Most Phenomenal Games That You Overlooked In 2017


It’s true that when this generation started off, behind the scenes many developers were apprehensive about the supposed ‘need’ for a new generation of hardware, thus resulting in a monumentally stilted start when sales for the PS4 especially continued to break records. As games were shoved out the door unfinished or otherwise didn’t live up to expectations (Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed Unity, The Order: 1886) it really felt as though the entire console cycle could be a bust.

Sniper Elite 4

Weirdly, despite this being the fourth numbered Sniper Elite game, it’s more like the third, as ‘Sniper Elite V2’ was actually more of a remake/second attempt at refining the mechanics and vision of the original.

Following that, the team ditched the otherwise bombed out homes and World War II locales of these games for a sweltering North African setting in Sniper Elite 3, garnering mixed results from fans. Sniper Elite 4 thereby attempts to blend the two, combining a variety of island-based headshot porn with the occasional nighttime infiltration of Nazi-infested compounds and dockyards.

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Honestly, this is the best Sniper Elite has ever been; a perfect combination of tactile stealth mechanics, varied pathways through levels and the ability to go guns-blazing if need be. Thanks to a fantastic scoring system that rewards consideration and skilful across-the-map assassinations, there’s an addictive loop of experimentation and reliable gunplay that’s easily recommended to fans of stealth games and third-person shooters alike.

 Nioh

Come Game of the Year, you’ll definitely see Nioh come back around and dig its heels in to fight for the top spot – so immaculate is Team Ninja’s return to brutally hard gameplay, it warrants every possible accolade under the sun.

Case in point: The easiest comparison is Dark Souls, but the devs have innovated and iterated at every turn. Gone is the notion of sticking with one weapon for the majority as a mix of core animation styles, stance-switching and loot-drops always give you something new – though it’s counterbalanced by a ‘familiarity’ system that does reward you for wielding one item for the duration.

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Speaking of the loot system, any players who died in their own games can be revived and fought against, with you gaining whatever spoils were on their person when they went down. You can customise specific parry and backstab animations, equip Guardian Spirits to buff character stats in the background, there’s a neatly told story to take in and the entire eastern mythology setting feels like a throwback to Onimusha. All while learning the best foundational lessons from FromSoftware’s games, and Team Ninja’s own history with Ninja Gaiden.

Releasing right next to For Honor didn’t do Nioh any favours, but it’s by far the superior game – one that if you want to test your gaming mettle and be rewarded in turn, more than deserves your time.

Gravity Rush 2

Sony really have been bringing the guns both big and small this year, as Gravity Rush 2 slipped into the release schedule as a brilliantly unique physics-based action game twinned with unique gravity powers – only to drop four days before Resident Evil 7 i.e. The one game everyone was holding onto their cash to purchase.

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Alas, it couldn’t break the top 10 sales chart, but that hasn’t stopped Gravity Rush being an outstanding achievement in mind-bending level design. The whole story takes place across a variety of townships and locales you’ll ‘fly’ to by way of reversing and flipping gravity to your whim. This freeform approach to exploration extends to combat, seeing you pick up any objects scattered around the environment to hurl at foes, before finishing them off with quickfire melee attacks and a visually-popping rage mode.

Yakuza 0

Sometimes you love a game and a franchise so much, it’s hard to do justice other than holding up screenshots like the above and screaming, “You must see this in action.”

Still, Yakuza 0 is the latest instalment in the long-running franchise, yet it’s a prequel, providing career-origins for series mainstay Kazuma Kiryu and his best pal/long-running allegiance-switching nemesis Goro Majima. Whilst on its face, Yakuza appears to be this serious The Raid-style tale of martial arts and backward gang-stabbings (and it is indeed that too), there’s an irreverent tone that brings to mind Metal Gear Solid’s most lovably whacky moments and reveals.

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Yes, there’s brutal fighting, weapons and environmental finishers, but there’s also pool, darts and karaoke minigames. Tons of hilariously off-kilter side missions pepper the regions of Japan you inhabit, but not before you’ve dove into the licensed Sega arcades and played some of their emulated 90s classics (thereby trading in-game credits to purchase a plush toy for your collection).

Yakuza is an open-world game with some very personable touches – one that’s enamoured scores of fans to its charms, and one that I guarantee you’ll enjoy if any of these features have at least made you curious.

NieR: Automata

Like Nioh, NieR has been somewhat overshadowed by the likes of Horizon and Zelda, yet Platinum Games have created – almost invented – one of the coolest video games of all time. By combining third-person hack n’ slash combat with side-scrolling Mega Man blaster sections and top-down bullet-hell arcade beats, all by keeping the same control scheme and intelligently shifting the camera around, it allows Automata to play like nothing else.

There’s an open-world filled with Horizon-esque dilapidation to take in (you’re playing as an android helping make Earth liveable again by wiping out a race of colonised aliens – just go with it), the real hooks come from this three-way mash of genres, the mysterious narrative that actually asks some profound questions as to human behaviour, and a ‘New Game Plus’ that fundamentally changes the entire story after three full playthroughs.

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Nier is incredibly special, the result of a total disregard for the sort of “What sells?” Powerpoint presentations so many other games get completely bogged down by. Each game on this list deserves your time, but NieR is hopefully going to be regarded as a turning point for how developers think about implementing time-tested genres and rolling them together, opening the floodgates for what’s to come next.

Source – Whatculture

#Most Phenomenal Games That You Overlooked In 2017

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