Saturday 21 March 2020

Top 10 games of 2019

While 2020 is in turmoil, I reflected back on the previous year and thought which games had the most impact on me… It was quite a difficult task, as I do not necessarily play them at the time of the release and it is sometimes hard to keep track of, nonetheless, below is the list of the games which were the most important and I´ve spent many hours playing them:

1. Horizon: Zero Dawn

I was not convinced I will like this from the trailer and early footage, but I was so wrong. I spent about 100h on this game and do not regret it at all. Possibly the best PS4 exclusive there is, story of Aloy and to discover the fate of our civilization has been a thrill. It made me think over every piece of technology we take for granted. Hunting the machines was so much fun with bow and arrow and accompanied by beautiful graphics, Decima engine proves its worth also in Death Stranding.

2. AC Odyssey

As an AC fan, I´ve been playing AC games since they came out. Latest was Origins which was great and when news of Odyssey were revealed only to come out a year after Origins, rumours of copy-paste emerged. Luckily, completely unfounded and now with more focus on RPG elements and allowing you to choose your responses and path through the story, leading to different endings. There is a great deal of wit and funny dialogue which

3. DMC5

It took many, many years and one wrong attempt but Capcom is finally back on track with DMC series! Nero and Dante are back and the new addition in form of mysterious V is welcomed as well. Three different fighting styles, awesome music and visuals, what else to add? Ending hints at a next game, just hope we won´t have to wait another 10 years for it!

4. Resident Evil 2

Capcom is on a roll and RE2 remake delivered – it is everything I want a remake to be. Familiar enough but also having it´s own character. When you hear Mr. X´s footsteps in the room next to you, it sends shivers down the spine! The only problem is that scenario B is nothing like in the original game and is essentially identical to the main one which is a shame. Looking forward to RE3, though.

5. Pokémon Ultra Sun

When Sun and Moon came out, I have decided to wait which turned out as a good decision. Nintendo released the definitive versions Ultra Sun and Moon within a year and while the changes haven´t been as apparent from the start, they mostly tweak little things here and there and added additional post endgame content, which infuriated most of the fans who were asked to pay another full price to get nearly identical game. Ultra Sun is amazing and I have sunk over 100h into it. Most of the complaints I had before (need for HM slave, can´t reuse TMs, etc.) were eliminated and the game is much more streamlined which I welcome.

6. Subnautica

I wasn´t sure what to expect for this one, but it got me hooked quite fast. I love fish and this survival game with a story is well crafted. You start with just one safety pod but eventually you will be able to craft huge bases and explore the depths of the ocean. Story is interesting and it keeps you going until you discovered what happened on the strange planet you are stranded.

7. Return of the Obra Dinn

Unusual visuals and while short tale, Return of the Obra Dinn is a unique experience, where you try to solve the mystery of the return of the long lost ship. Game throws you into the turmoil straight away and you slowly start piecing together the whole picture by returning to the time of death of all the passangers. For that, you must find their corpses first which are not always easy to find. One scene can lead for you to discover another scene. I had many theories as to what was going on and Obra Dinn does well to keep your attention all throughout. You can pencil in the names into the diary and gather clues on who died which way.

8. Spyro Reignited Trilogy

What an excellent remake! With the original music turned on, this is a well made trilogy and even if the controls are not as tight as in the original, it is still fun and visually pleasing game.

9. A Plague Tale: Innocence

A pleasant surprise of the last year, Plague tale brought interesting mechanics and amazing play between light and darkness. Likable, realistic characters and while some aspects are more fantasy like, it is still a solid experience and fun to play through. Atmosphere and graphics are top notch!

10. Abzu

Mesmerizing trip deep into the ocean – short but stunning visuals and sea creatures keep your eyes satisfied during the whole dive. There are only a handful of puzzles but this does not take away from the experience at all.

Special mention: 

Tomb Raider 3: Punas Revenge
I do not think I have ever played this well constructed TR3 custom level. Definitely worth playing if you feel like returning to the coast in TR3 again.


Shadow of Tomb Raider and Life is Strange 2

Shadow of Tomb Raider was just that – a shadow of its former self, while I really liked Rise of TR, Shadow just wasn´t fun for me and too linear. I have described this in my detailed review.

Life is Strange 2, while a solid game, just didn´t get me as much as LIS1 did – I just could not feel any connection to the characters and Daniel was more annoying than useful most of the time. It was a good experience but nowhere near as memorable as the first game.