Although you can work with an organization that monetarily eliminates many of the stresses that you could feel in providing for your family in-game, I still found it surprising just how engaging Papers, Please made administrative labor. I also appreciated the unique music and graphical style, and the humor of Jorji Costava.
Although the characters in Shadowrun Returns were not quite as compelling as those in the sequel, the long and twisted tale grabbed me and never let go. The turn-based combat was intuitive and satisfying. I love spending time in the world of Shadowrun, taking shady contracts from shady individuals, concerning body modification, pharmaceuticals, etc.
I am a huge fan of Splinter Cell Conviction, and Blacklist just kept bringing the noise. I enjoyed using Sam's tech, sneaking through the shadows on roofs and walls to silently eliminate the opposition. Like most reviewers, I did miss Michael Ironside's gravelly tone, but I got over it. Although I would've still loved the game without it, I absolutely appreciated the inclusion of the co-op mode.
Judgment remains my favorite Gears game, even after finishing Gears 5 this last year (2019). It retained the immensely satisfying weight of the previous games, with substantial gun recoil and viscera-filled killshots, while adding additional bonus challenges to each section of the campaign to change the way that your squad approached it. Lastly, Judgment included the OverRun mode, not only the only time I've had fun playing competitive multiplayer in a Gears game, but likely the only time I've had fun playing competitive multiplayer in a 3rd-person shooter, period.
Sanctum 2 is a brilliant combination of FPS and tower defense. I loved playing it's cooperative multiplayer mode, determining who is focusing on the creation of each type of tower and on the elimination of which type of enemies. Sanctum 2 is old-school in the way that it requires the creation of a "maze" that enemies will weave through as you whittle them down. Not only does it require solid gunplay to complete a level, but each enemy has different weak spots that require precision shooting.
While Sanctum 2 requires effective cooperation to be as effective as possible, Forced requires effective cooperation to do much of anything at all. A series of challenge rooms, you and your partner (both playing different classes with different ability choices) will have to communicate well and think on your feet to stay alive. Forced has an isometric perspective, like many of my favorite action RPGs.
Gunpoint is exceptional. Not only did the game crack me up, but I loved rewiring the systems in each level to cause maximum havoc. In what other game can you wire a motion detector to a door, so that when the detector spots the enemy it opens the front door for you? Gunpoint is not only one of my favorite games of 2013, but one of my favorite games ever.
Although I never loved the Uncharted series, all Naughty Dog had to do was add a bit of stealth and grime to their process to get me on board. I liked the characters in The Last of Us, and found the clickers to be appropriately terrifying. I'll never forget how excited I was in-game to find a brick that I could use to bash something's head in. That's how hopeless and forlorn the world seemed in the game - I was excited to find a brick.
I feel like Gone Home was the first game I played that primarily involved going to an abandoned location to piece together the lives of those who lived there. I loved it, and I've continued to seek out games with similar mechanics. The house felt so "lived in," the drama of the family's lives felt so real, and I felt that I could learn almost as much about these characters through their possessions and letters as I could through dialogue. Much like the original Life is Strange, Gone Home made the drama of the teenage years real again for me.
I mean, it's a cooperative deckbuilder with many meaningful choices. If you describe your game as a cooperative deckbuilder, it's hard to miss with me. I used to love played two-headed giant games in Magic for the same reason. Alongside the engagement of creating complementary decks, Ironclad Tactics includes a charming, animated graphical style. In addition to just completing the levels, I enjoyed the challenges set forth through Playstation trophies - can you complete a level only using cards from a single faction? How about completing one without attacking? These representing fun deckbuilding challenges for me.