GOTY 2019

This year was a pretty good year for video games

List items

  • Remedy does it again. I am 1000% on board with their brand of weird. Control is batshit from the moment Jesse walks into the Federal Bureau of Control. Everything in this game is *chef's kiss*, from the weird entity in your head, your nutso brother, the crazy world building documents littering the various sections of the Old House, the entire cast really, the characters, the Hiss, the powers you gain. I could go on.

    So unlike other people, I really like Quantum Break, Remedy's previous game. I'm a sucker for a time travel romp. And there was some weird shit going on in that story, for sure. But it was played more straight compared to Alan Wake, and now Control. After the more structured QB, it's clear Remedy wanted to turn things up to 11 for Control and I think they were served better for it. I mean, pretty much everything with Dr Darling is perfection. The gunplay, like Quantum Break, is fine/serviceable. But unlike QB, the powers you gain throughout the game and upgrade seem to flow a bit better, and certainly have more impact against enemies.

    There are so many fantastic moments in this game. The completely apathetic guy that runs the Panopticon, the Essej sequence, the weird shit with Ahti, the Foundation, and the Board, the completely overpowered sequence at the end of the game, THE MAZE SEQUENCE! OLD GODS OF ASGARD IS BACK BABY! DR DARLINGS DYNAMITE VIDEO!!!

    Yeah, this game is amazing. Absolutely GOTY for me. And? It seems like there's going to be ALAN WAKE DLC FOR THIS GAME IN 2020. WHAT!? INSANE.

    TAKE. CONTROL.

  • I spent the entire first half of 2019 only playing this game. After 60 hours, I saw most of what there is to see in Dragon Age Origins. Well, at least on a single playthrough. This is one RGP ass RPG and it's been far too long since I've played one. Even though I've played Dragon Age 2, I never played the first because it seemed intimidating at the time. But the various systems, and complexity of combat can be mostly left by the wayside by throwing the game on easy!

    This has to be one of the most dense, well thought out, complex storylines ever in a video game. The major story arc is a fairly typical high fantasy storyline, evil demons and their army, yadda yadda. But moreso than any other modern Bioware game, the story of Dragon Age Origins is all about the characters you meet along the way and the choices you make. The banter between Alistair and Morrigan is fantastic. And there are SO. MANY. CHOICES. I'll freely admit I played the game while looking at a guide, partly to get the outcomes I wanted. Even at the very end of the game though there are a variety of outcomes for a handful of major characters in the game, including your own.

    When it comes to RPGs, I've always enjoyed fantasy more than scifi. Even though I'm way behind on this franchise, I'm glad I'm finally getting back into it.

  • WOW. WOWOWOWOWOWOW. This game, is fucking, GORGEOUS. The entire back half of this game I kept saying "OH WOW". And I'm pretty sure my jaw was wide open for the entire end sequence. It's a short, compact experience, but still contains some good emotional punches.

  • This is simultaneous an amazing Gears of War game, and a piss poor launch for a Microsoft first party title. Firstly, it's absolutely amazing graphically speaking. It pushes the limits of Xbox One hardware and runs like a dream on PC for the most part. (I do disagree with the choice with real time cutscenes, as I did experience frame drops and hitching during them.) The gameplay is tight as always, although I didn't care much for the open world stuff too much. But it did allow for some cool set pieces. The multiplayer is also super great. They changed things up by taking weapon spawns off the map, and instead allow you to eventually spend points you earn throughout a match to get power weapons. The system works surprisingly well, and it seems that for the first time since Gears 1, the multiplayer is no longer a shotgun spam fest.

    That all being said, this was such an incredibly broken game at launch. All stat tracking across the game are still broken for me. For some god forsaken reason all stats, including campaign progress, are stored server side and only server side. The achievement for completing the campaign didn't unlock for me until three months after the fact. And according to the stat section I've never touched multiplayer. Multiplayer servers were fairly janky for the first month. The list goes on. I'm not a huge Gears multiplayer fan anymore, and from what I understand a lot of problems have been fixed now. But man, the stability of this game's online structure did not make a good first impression.

  • This is a pretty good Star Wars game. I'm not in the mood for longer games these days, so I didn't care much for the exploration aspects. I also don't care much for the slower paced combat, but once you get later in the game with more abilities being able to make quick work of the lower tier enemies definitely gives combat a better flow. The story was pretty damn good though. The main character is kinda whatever, but pretty much the entire rest of the cast is amazing, especially Nightsister Merrin. There were some fantastic sequences throughout, and as a fan of Clone Wars I really liked the flashbacks.

  • This was a crazy year for Destiny 2. Bungie went independent (again) and made Destiny 2 free to play. I really fell off Destiny towards the end of the first game, as it wasn't the game that was originally pitched by the original creative team. But hey, I enjoyed the gameplay well enough so jumped in for Destiny 2. Turns out, it's more Destiny! The gameplay is still great! There are new environments, returning environments, and more things to do! There are some changes made to make vendors way more grindy that I'm not a fan of, but once you do get the gear you like and want, they seem to make it pretty easy to keep it, upgrade it, and customize? Idk, there are a lot of systems in this damn game. You know what else there is a lot of? CUT SCENES! I know, wild compared to Destiny 1. So yeah, Destiny 2 isn't the end all be all. But it still plays great and there's more of it than ever before. And now it's free!

  • I've been waiting for this game since 1943. No, not for 76 years. Battlefield 1943. I've wanted a fully fledge, fancy graphics WW2 Battlefield game for many years now. And we got it! The single player vignette things are kinda dumb. But that's not what you come to a Battlefield game for. The multiplayer is pretty much everything you'd want from WW2 Battlefield. Bolt action rifles, Sherman tanks, and explosions everywhere! It launched missing some core things you'd want from a modern WW2 Battlefield, but in 2019 they finally added Wake Island.

  • Got back into this for a bit. It's still great fun. While still somewhat aimless, there's plenty of things popping off in the world to keep you entertained if you just wanna jump in for a bit. Between megalodons, skeleton ships, and the new quests there's a decent amount of fun to be had. There's nothing like taking down a skeleton galleon, having a sloop full of treasure, and being chased by not one, BUT TWO megalodons while trying to get to a trading post.

  • It was interesting to watch Horizon 4 evolve this year. With no Motorsport release this year, it was the only Forza game receiving major new content this year. I enjoyed the Fortune Island DLC fairly well. It's no Blizzard Mountain, but it had some cool environmental stuff and didn't overstay its welcome. But I was disappointed by the LEGO expansion. It just wasn't as good as FH3's Hot Wheels. Even so, right at the end of the year they released a fuckin Battle Royale mode for the game. NUTS! It's pretty cool.

  • That sure is a video game! It was really hyped up when it came out. I didn't care much for the gameplay loop of this game, ESPECIALLY the exploration aspect. It's 2019. I don't want to go around searching for keycards. I almost stopped playing the one or two times I got stuck looking for them. That being said, the story, set pieces, and moments were still pretty dope. Hella metal! Hail Satan!

  • For a game that's the spiritual successor to Burnout 3, one of my favorite games of all time, this was incredibly disappointing. Yes, it's an indie game, and as a result less feature rich. I didn't have a problem with the fact that they had to add core features, like online multiplayer, after launch. My major, unforgivable problem with this game are the tracks. The environments are all fairly unique compared to one another and look good. However, the track layouts themselves are completely forgettable. It's impossible to memorize the track layouts because they're so generic. Half of the turns look the same, and most don't have any major landmarks or features to know what the next corner is like. Half of the point of racing is good, memorable tracks to drive on, and Dangerous Driving is completely missing that.