Best Games of 2017 – Part Two

We are back with the final four best games of 2017! So without any shenanigans let’s get right to the games…

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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You had to have seen this coming right? There was no doubt that Breath of the Wild was going to be on everyone’s game of the year lists this year. The game is just too good to be true… but it is and its so magnificent. Nintendo truly came out of left field this year and delivered an open-world rpg experience unlike any other. For a company that doesn’t tend to develop open-world games, Nintendo sure made one hell of an open-world game. Breath of the Wild‘s world is as gorgeous as it is vast and solidifies that all big rpgs need to have a paraglider to help with exploring. That first view from the opening plateau is really the tip of a dense and continuously satisfying iceberg. What is the most impressive thing about Breath of the Wild is that it expands into a open-world setting without ever losing what makes a Zelda game a Zelda game.

Not only is there so much to discover, but the excellent puzzle design the series is known for is very much intact here. With the clever use of the new rune system, Nintendo is able to create dozens upon dozens of fun puzzle shrines which are essentially mini-dungeons. There are about 120 to find in the base game and they make for excellent breaks between the long treks through the wilds. There are definitely some aspects that take a bit of getting use to, such as the stamina wheel and breakable weapons, but as you continue to play it becomes apparent why certain decisions were made. After spending dozens of hours with the game, it is easy to see why Nintendo was so confident launching the Switch with only Breath of the Wild as their main launch title.

Persona 5

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This is incredibly cheesy but… Persona 5 does actually steal your heart. Persona 5 immediately snags your imagination with a jazzy and stylish aesthetic, excellent characters, pitch perfect music, and an enthralling story about teens rebelling against corrupt authority. Much like Wolfenstein 2, Persona 5 comes with a story that is potently relevant to the politics of today’s world. The teens in Persona 5 are pit against several powerful figures ranging from power-hungry politicians to sexually abusive teachers within scenarios that feel quite real and human despite the supernatural aspect of the game. You will be hard-pressed not to relate to at least a few of the party members in the game as you get to know them more and more.

Persona 5 use of time management is as compelling as the rpg elements as you learn how to keep proper track of Joker’s schedule between dungeon raids, high school classes, and staying socially connect to an ever-growing group of confidants. The game is also features an amazing and sleek looking user/menu interface which is pretty rare in most games. Just like the story elements, the gameplay is fantastic as well and gives plenty of opportunities to meet all sorts of unique personas along the way. If there is any grip to be had with this amazing title, it’s length. The game’s main narrative is easily over 100+ hours and that is not including side missions and confidant opportunities. Completionist will definitely need to go through at least two playthroughs in order to get everything, which is a pretty daunting task, but thankfully Persona 5 is such a great game that its hard to not jump back in again as soon as the credits roll.

Prey

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Arkane Studios’ Prey is definitely a major departure from Human Head’s original 2006 game, but surprisingly it is still able to stand strongly on its own as a reboot. The new Prey utilizes fresh psychological horror to create a deeply unnerving experience. The fact that any object in the room can quickly turn out to be a shapeshifting shadow creature makes stepping into any new room instantly dangerous. The game also does a fantastic job introducing you to the world of Talos I through a stellar beginning sequence. The best part of the new Prey is how the available gadgets and powers you unlock allow for numerous ways to traverse the space station (some players have even found a way to use these abilities to skip the whole game!). Between gloo guns and alien powers, Prey lives up to its promise of open exploration.

Can’t reach something that’s on a high platform? Create your own stairs with the gloo gun. Cool object trapped behind a grate? Shape shift into a small object in the room and slip through the gap. Don’t have a key card? Use available terminals to track down the right employees location or use your abilities to chart a new route through. The options are near limitless here. The game is also clearly influenced by similar titles such as Bioshock and System Shock which it isn’t afraid to wear on its sleeve. Prey‘s neuromod abilities are incredibly similar to plasmids, but Arkane is able to take that influence and go a step further by providing an extensive upgrade tree. The main story is solid, but the universal lore created for this reboot is much more captivating. Nothing quite like reading alternative history where JFK made unbelievable advances in space exploration.

Nier: Automata

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One of the biggest surprise hits of the year, Nier came completely out-of-left-field and defied everyone’s expectations. The most miraculous part about this gaming oddity is how well it blends multiple gaming genres seamlessly. At one minute you can be playing an open-world rpg type game the next you are in an over-the-top isometric shooter and it feels so natural. The sweet icing on top of this already delectable cake is the fact that the story is absolutely amazing as well. It will take you a few playthroughs to get to Nier‘s true ending, but throughout each the game tackles some particular heavy themes. Mainly Nier takes its time to study what it truly means to be human as androids and robots struggle to understand the concept. The main character 2B is also one of the best female characters to come along in a game for some time.

Speaking of varying gameplay styles, Nier is at its best and most engaging when it is mirroring the style of games like Devil May Cry. Most fights are composed of nailing the right combos at the right time and doing some serious, and quite stylish, damage. 2B animations and movements are very fluid which makes these combat sections such a joy to watch unfold. Nier thankfully has some particular engrossing boss fights as well with all manner of mechanical marvels. The game is downright beautiful to boot… seriously you can go on for hours discussing how much Nier gets right. Do yourself a favor and pick up this crazy experience today!

Honorable Mentions: 

Final Fantasy XV
Injustice 2
Cuphead
Divinity II
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Resident Evil 7

And there you have it folks! Those are Split Screens eight best games of 2017. We are sure your opinions may differ, so tell us what your favorite games were in the comments…

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