Gaming is bloody brilliant right now. We’ve just come off a new console launch, and whatever your thoughts on Nintendo’s latest, a new console is always an exciting occasion. Then there’s the constant flurry of games and we’re only in March.
When it comes to greatest gaming years, 1998 always seems to be the go to answer with Ocarina of Time, Half-Life, Resident Evil 2, Metal Gear Solid and many more. Some would also include Grim Fandango in that list, but those people are crazy and don’t understand what a good game is. But can 2017 match it?
Right off the bat, the year started off strong with Resident Evil 7 in January. A return to form for the series according to many, it’s a game currently sitting on my shelf unopened as I just haven’t had the time to play it yet. The reason being I got it the same time as Horizon: Zero Dawn, which is something I was interested in, but never felt I would enjoy it as much as I am. Since it comes from the creators of Killzone, a series that garnered mixed feelings from myself, my Horizon pre-release thoughts were that it would be a technical marvel but lacking in the gameplay department. I was thankfully very, very wrong. It’s a game that I expect to see high on game of the year lists.
Of course, as I already mentioned, Nintendo’s newest console just hit store shelves and it has on it one very special game indeed. While I myself am holding out for more than one game (roll on Mario and Splatoon) with each shared image and gushing praise, I find myself slowing crumbling, looking at the availability of Switch consoles on Amazon. But I remain strong, remembering that the next couple of months will be lost to the delights of Mass Effect: Andromeda and Persona 5.
Two massive adventures await in the months ahead. Persona 5 is more of a known quantity, having already arrived in Japan to much praise; Mass Effect though is an interesting one. It’s a game that for the first time in quite a while I’m going in completely blind. Having seen the initial launch trailer I’ve since been on a media blackout; the only thing I know is the basic premise and that’s it. I know nothing of the characters, the worlds you explore, or even the gameplay mechanics. It could be the same as previous Mass Effect games, or they could’ve revamped it completely, I have no idea! And this feeling of the unknown is great. With so many games swamping you with pre-release material, shutting yourself off from all of it has been a delight. As long as you watch out for potential spoilers on the old social media.
It’s been a crazy few months with the likes of Gravity Rush 2, Nioh, Nier: Automata and Yakuza 0 showing that the demise of Japan’s developers was greatly exaggerated. Then there’s the smaller, indie titles like Disc Jam which, providing they sort out some of the server issues that have plagued it the last couple of days, could be the next Rocket League.
It really has never been a better time to play video games. There’s variety, quality and it seems like every console has exclusives worth playing this year. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m heading back to hunt more machines.