2019 Ranked

List items

  • I have never played a Kojima game before. What I found here was a masterful synthesis of design and narrative that felt like equal parts Philip K. Dick, David Lynch, and Sesame Street. The playful tone of it all was so endearing, but it never got in the way of these wonderfully pulpy character arcs that played out like a really good science fiction story anthology. But more than anything, this is pretty much the open world experience I've always dreamed of. You can scarcely see the seams of the environmental design; sometimes it's just you and a backpack with ladders and anchors versus a mountain, the confrontation of a lifetime. What a way to end 2019.

  • The gameplay is so, so crispy and doesn't lose a step across wildly diverse styles of play. Nothing really topped making Caustic hotboxes for me, especially launching straight onto a dropship and farting up the place. I haven't even touched the new map but I'm looking forward to hitting it up with some pals.

  • The mechanics of this game are so brilliant that I can overlook some of my least favorite art direction I've ever seen in a game. I peaced out around Ascension 4 for everybody but I see there's a new character so I'm probably going to have to hit it up again. The first deck where I really got poison to synthesize was probably my favorite moment.

  • I'm haunted and humbled by this game. There is one puzzle fairly early on that I have yet to solve that makes me think I must be so goddamn stupid to not figure out. How can there be anything else besides what I've tried? What are you hiding from me, Baba? Don't hold out on me, Keke!

  • Not done yet but it's growing on me steadily.

  • I'm tempted to say the same thing I did about DQXI: the writing is what makes any of this work. I'm not terribly far into this game yet but so far there's a dude whose main characteristic is a beard nobody likes, a helpful priest named Pastor Al, and human poop as an ingredient that you can use. Hell, why isn't this my GOTY?