Happy new year to you all! 2017 was a ride and a half for me, so many things happened and time went by so quickly.
I thought I would start off my blog by talking about the games I most enjoyed playing during 2017, I will try to give my positives and also my criticisms for each of the games. Though I may be slightly biased since I love all of the games on this list!
(Everyone is entitiled to their own opinion so do not take this list as “THE BEST GAMES”, they are just what I most enjoyed playing last year!)
5. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Seige (Starter Edition: £11.99 – Standard Edition: £34.99)
“Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft.” – Wikipedia
I’m pretty sure by now, any shooter fan (especially those who love the Tom Clancy games) has heard of Rainbow Six Siege. Ubisoft have strived to innovate on the FPS genre, by straying away from the arcade shooter like games, such as Call of Duty or Battlefield. They have designed a multitude of games that are based around strategy, “one life, one round” game modes and have had a lot of success with drawing in new players, and veterans of the Tom Clancy series.
Rainbow Six: Siege keeps this trend by creating a very tense and thought provoking game, where communication and tactics are key to defeating the enemy team.
Over the last few months of 2017 I decided to play Rainbow Six: Siege with a few of my more adept friends, and to me, the game can be immensly fun (even though I am very bad at shooters). The way that Siege creates immersive combat, and only allowing one life per round in some game modes, creates memorable moments through tense action and thrilling team cooperation. My most memorable moments are the satisfaction of being the only team mate left, and clutching the round by capturing the objective or wiping the enemy team, it really pumps adrenaline walking around tight corridors when you could be shot down at any moment.
On the other hand, there are some drawbacks of RS:S. Mainly the balancing can be quite badly done by Ubisoft. Some operators can be very powerful, whilst others are pretty much unusable. Also, I sometimes have connectivity issues with the game. This may be petty and could also be my ISP’s fault, but it does irritate me as a player when a disconnect from a match at random points.
Why do I recommend this game?
In my opinion the game is worth the £35 price tag, it’s fun, it’s fast paced but tense at the same time! The game is well developed and even a FPS noob like me can find an operator I enjoy to play. Even if you are sceptical, there is a starter edition for a much lower price, if you just want to try out the game. Starter edition allows you to play the game normally, but unlocking operators will take more time since they cost immensely more credits.
4. Dead by Daylight (£14.99)
“Dead by Daylight is an asymmetric survival horror online multiplayer video game developed by Behaviour Interactive and published by Starbreeze Studios” – Wikipedia
Horror games… Oh ho ho. I would love to say “I am not scared of horror games and movies”, but unfortunately, I am. However this does not mean that this game isn’t… awesome. In the simplist form, Dead by Daylight is a 5 player, 4 vs 1 survival game. Where four players are survivors, and one person is a killer. I have had so much fun playing both the killer and the survivor in Dead by Daylight.
There are a bunch of different Killers and Survivors. Killers are based around some actual horror stories, such as Leatherface or Freddy Krueger.
The objective of Survivors is to turn on 5 generators within a multitude of different maps to enable the escape doors. When activating the generators, the player is required to perform a “skill check”, and circle will appear, and the player has to stop the arrow on the highlighted sector of the circle. Failing to do so will create a loud noise, alerting the Killer of your location. Survivors need to use their wits and sneaky skills to silently progress through the dark, sinister fields and buildings. Killers emit a terror radius, Survivors will start to hear a heartbeat sounds, gaining intensity depending on how far the Killer is away from them. This feature is what makes playing a Survivor the most intense, hearing this sound tells you that you need to move. Fast.
The objective of the Killer is to hunt down the Survivors. Killer’s sight is impaired with fog, making it more difficult to see the Survivors in the already gloomy setting. Using their gruesome and horrific weapons, the Killers must kill (obviously) and offer up the sacrifices to the Entity. A mysterious being that the Killers serve. After two hits from the Killer, a Survivor will fall, allowing the Killer to carry them to a nearby meat hook to hang them upon. Not a very dignifying way to go, in my opinion!
My favourite part of Dead by Daylight is the perspective whilst playing the two different roles.
In theory, I would assume that the Survivors would have a first person perspective to give a more spooky immersion, and the Killer being in third person to give a better view of their surroundings. However, this is not the case. As a Killer you are fixed to first person. This means that even though you cannot be “hurt” it increases the skill cap to play as a Killer, since the survivors can easily dodge around you when trying to run away.
As a Survivor, you are in third person view. Giving you a distinct advantage of knowing where the Killer is positioned. This mechanic does not impede the horror of the game though, even when I play now I still get jumpy at the slight noise, and the feeling of being chased by the killer is thrilling (in a good, and a bad way!).
Another feature about the game which I specifically enjoy is the fact that I do not have to indulge hundreds of hours into the game to improve. There are parts of the game you have to learn (Killer skills, survivor buffs, etc), however it is a game you can sit down, gather a couple of friends or play by yourself for a couple of rounds to get a quick thrill.
Balancing… Balancing, balancing, balancing.
I feel like this game is slightly pay to win, some Killers and Survivors you have to pay real $$$ for. Even if you do not have the DLC, you can still be placed against a DLC Character which in my opinion is unfair since the Killers can be overpowered (cough, cough, The Doctor). It can be rage inducing to get placed against a character that is overpowered and then getting shouted at in the post game lobby by your fellow Survivors. Sigh… Some games can’t help but need microtransactions.
Why do I recommend this game?
Overall it is a very fun game. Not for the faint of heart, though!
Getting over the “pay to win” barrier, Dead by Daylight is still one of my favourite games of last year to play. It’s scary and fun at the same time, without the need of lots of experience to enjoy the content.
Dead by Daylight has a reasonable price tag for the amount of content in the game. Every round feels different, and makes the game definitely worth the money if you are into horror survival games.
3. League of Legends (Free to Play)
“League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games” – Wikipedia
Love it or hate it, League of Legends is probably one of the most sucessful games of the modern day. It has one of the largest active player bases for an online game.
Since Defence of the Ancients (or DOTA as it is commonly known as) was released, MOBA games have been quickly increasing in popularity due to the addictive gameplay, and the Esports potential of the genre. League of Legends is no stranger to this popularity. Being consistently the highest viewed game on Twitch.tv, there is no doubt that players love this game.
In my experience, I have a love-hate relationship with this game. I love it; “just one more game” I keep saying to myself, at 3am with college work surrounding me. “I hate this game”, I say to myself after I lose a match, before clicking “Find Match” another time. It’s addictive and most importantly; FUN. Due to the game being so popular, and this post getting very long already, I will skip the gameplay overview as finding out about the game will be easy.
The amount of characters in the game may seem highly overwhelming at first, however you are able to quickly find a character that you grow to love. There is a Champion for everyone, with all the champions having their own unique skillset, appearance, and personality. Also, if you are new to the game there are Champions that are tailored to beginners, the skills are usually easier to learn and master. However, it does not matter if you play badly or not. A quick “/ignore all” in the chat at the start of the game will stop any player harassing you, and it keeps the salt level low.
Through experience, a player like me realised the high skill ceiling for this game. This is not necessarily a negative point, it is much more of a positive. League of Legends’ complex game kindled my interest in their game, it made me want to play more and learn the Champions I was playing, to become a better player overall. I was hooked.
So much salt. By far the worst part of League of Legends is it’s community.
You can get even the slightest thing wrong and the team will be consumed by rage that burns hotter than the Sun itself. Do not get me wrong, I have met plenty of great friends through this game, but the positive attitudes get masked by the taint that is the “I’m really a pro gamer, but my team lets me down” players that seem to think that every game is a championship final…
In all honesty, this is the only issue I have with the game, it’s not pay to win. Riot games always hotfix bugs or overpowered champions as fast as possible. But the community just lets the game down. Do not let this put you off though, like I said before in the post; using “/ignore all” at the start of the game makes the players in game unable to chat to you, but still keeps the tactical alert pings.
Why do I recommend this game?
It’s free to play, give it a try and you lose nothing but the time to install! If you’re a strategy game fan like me, it is likely that you will also get hooked on this popular game.
As I said, nothing to lose, get a couple of friends and get some fun out of learning this game!
2. Osu! (Free to Play)
“osu! is a freeware rhythm game developed and published by Australia-based company Ppy Pty Ltd” – Wikipedia
My inner weeb is starting to show
Osu! has won my two awards of “A game to make me procrastinate for 4 hours at a time” and “My keyboard may now be ruined from playing this game”.
As the definition says, Osu! is a rhythm game, based on the game mode you play, you tap on objects in time with the rhythm of the songs. Or even create your own maps to any song you like! There are four game modes withing Osu!:
Osu! Standard: using a mouse or tablet you click on circles that appear around the screen.
Osu!mania: using keys on the keyboard, you tap when the notes hit the threshold (think of it similar to Guitar Hero).
Osu!Taiko: based on the Japanese Drum game; Taiko is a mode where you tap keys on the keyboard to the notes that fly horizontally across the screen.
Catch the Beat: you control a 2 Dimensional character that moves around the bottom of the screen, where you have to catch fruit falling from the sky in time with the song.
Again, it’s free to play, if you have ever been into Guitar Hero, then maybe osu!mania will be a good time killer for you.
Osu! has been named and shamed for being too “anime influenced”, and yes, even though the game is heavily based around Japanese culture and a lot of the songs in the game are from anime shows. There are many, many maps made for Western songs. There is something for everyone.
The game is honestly one of the most addictive games I have ever played, the gradual increase of difficulty will get you hooked. Every time I fail on a song, I know that I can do it if I click faster, or move my hand to a better position. Every time I get progressively better at the game and that’s what makes it so much fun.
Osu! is very centered around the community. All the songs, apart from a select few, are created by the community. I find it quite humbling to know that this game revolves around the players enjoyment, and getting to know the community and it’s players is more endearing than you may originally think.
I am very biased about this game, I do not think there are too many negatives surrounding this game. It’s a niche genre in the present day so not everyone will enjoy it, though I am a music fanatic so rhythm games are one of my top genres to play.
Some beatmaps (levels/songs) can be much harder than others, and sometime the difficulty rating is hard to judge due to the fact that it’s player made. Each player finds things more difficult than others. Also, when you first start to play the game, it may seem infuriating and slow, but getting over that first hurdle is the key to enjoying the game.
Why do I recommend this game?
Similarly to League of Legends, it is free to play. You will lose nothing by trying the game. Plus it is a very small game so installing should be quick and simple.
It is one of my top favourite games of all time at the moment, so I suggest trying this game if you get some spare time.
1. Guild Wars 2 (Base game Free to Play)
“Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by ArenaNet and published by NCSOFT.” –Wikipedia
Ladies and Gentlemen, my number one game of 2017 goes to: drumroll Guild Wars 2!
What can I say about Guild Wars 2, it’s my all time favourite MMORPG game. The game is set in an alternate world called Tyria, and the continent your character is based in is… also called Tyria. Confusing, right? ArenaNet have made an MMORPG that combines two of my favourite settings, fantasy and ‘steampunk’. I use “steampunk” lightly because I don’t think it is intended to fall under this category, I just get that vibe when exploring the world and especially the vast cities.
Guild Wars 2 has had a rough time in the past, a lot of players still dislike the game which is completely fair. But in my opinion, the game has so much content it’s hard to not play for hours on end.
I am just going to jump straight into the positives of the game.
First of all, it is definitely not “Pay to Win”, a lot of MMORPGs are adding so many micro transactions into the game, it makes it boring and too grind-y. Plus there is a lot of unsatisfaction knowing that the top players have used their special move: credit card, to obtain the best gear in the game. Guild Wars 2, does not do this. The only micro transactions are used for cosmetic items.
Before players of Guild Wars 2 start raging and saying things like “But Flycon, you can use the Premium Currency to buy the in game currency”. Yes I know this, however the only “end game items” you can buy with in game gold is Legendary Weapons, and on their own, is not the best gear. Ascended and Legendary armour can only be crafted and not sold on the Player Auction House.
The game is a living and breathing environment, all the NPCs are moving about and talking to each other. This gives the game more immersion.
Each class in the game is a lot of fun to play, whether you are playing serious or not, 99% of the time all of the classes are viable.
There are activities for everyone. Want to be a master cook? Sure, go ahead. Want to be part of an epic guild and go on adventures? Right this way. Want to explore and find all the hidden nooks of each map? Explore on! PvP your thing? Time to hone them skills. Guild Wars 2 is fresh, looks good and plays amazingly even without a high end computer.
Like any MMORPG, there is a grind when you hit level cap. Most of this can be done through Dungeons and Fractals of the Mists, but the grind is still there. That does not mean it is boring in any way! You just have to find your own method of gaining that sweet, sweet gold to progress further. Or don’t! You could be a social bee and talk to people in a Guild.
Again, I am being biased. Everyone will have their own positives and negatives about each game. But these are just my own opinions on Guild Wars 2, and I think it is a highly positive experience.
Why do I recommend this game?
With almost 1000 hours into the game, I can assure you I have enjoyed every moment of it. My advice is to get known with a Guild, playing with friends also increases your enjoyment. Savour the moments of exploring the world for the first time, because I wish I could experience that feeling all over again.
The base game is free to play, however, if you are still looking for some more Guild Wars 2 goodness, there are two expansions: Heart of Thorns, and Path of Fire. Each adding bounties of new content that will keep you hooked for weeks and weeks.