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TheGamer Game of the Year Editor’s Choice, 2021

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The haze of an ongoing pandemic and a generally slow year for games meant that when asked to recount my ten favorites, I could barely remember three – but after sitting down and watching the ‘year back, I was pleasantly surprised by the games that I had forgotten. There are also a lot of things that I haven’t covered yet, but let’s not think about that just yet.

Some honorable mentions? Death’s Door is a narrow cut of this list, as a Zelda-Souls-like that emits endless grandeur and style; The forgotten city, as I have it forget to actually play it, but I heard its praise in all directions; and Little Nightmares 2, a game that’s both cute and horrible, and it’s a ghastly delight. I’ve also heard that the Halo game is pretty good, but I’m following two missions in Halo CE, so give me a second.

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10. The artistic escape


The Artful Escape sitting with guitar

I hadn’t heard of this game at all, until I did – and oh, I did, but for good reason. What started out as a peaceful tour of a beautiful city quickly exploded into what I can only describe as absolute sensory overload – but there’s no denying the charm and prowess The Artful Escape delivers almost immediately. With uninterrupted, downright glorious visuals and a constant flowering of marching band orchestra, this track is a must-have experience – whether it’s for the story, the soundtrack, or if you just want to watch brilliant views while you shred your guitar. through cosmic realities. Either way, if you have a few free hours, sit back and buckle up – it will be quite an adventure.

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9. Sand


Sand hoverbike through the desert

There is something refreshing about starting with absolutely nothing in a desolate wasteland. The house you have is quickly left out as you begin your journey, crafting and adding to your hoverbike as you go. Seeing which ruins I would encounter or which characters I would meet at each settlement was always a joy and brought an otherwise ever-present post-apocalypse serenity. And with an art style that seems straight out of a comic book with the animations to go with it, how not to love it? Sable is one of those indie games that went under my radar, but I tried on a whim – “Why not?”, I thought – and was glad I gave it a chance.

8. Forza Horizon 5


Forza-Horizon-5-1

The car game is good. I mean, it was always going to be – Forza Horizon 4 was excellent, so taking the same series to a new and interesting place was a no-brainer. This time around, running through the arid deserts and volcanic ranges of Mexico is an experience that feels a far cry from the flat, almost green British landscapes of Horizon 4. You can run, participate in stunts, or even carry science experiments to, you know, driving your car. I’m not even a huge fan of racing games – I don’t play any of them, to be honest – but I feel like anyone can take Forza Horizon 5 and have hours of fun. You don’t even have to think about it too much, just pick a route and start walking away.


7. Guardians of the Galaxy


Work of Guardians of the Galaxy

Yes, the great Marvel game is on the list, but listen – I don’t like Marvel too much. Sure, I’ve seen the Avengers movies and other MCU pieces, but they’re hard to avoid at this point. The point is, this Guardian’s of the Galaxy game initially looked repetitive, uninspired, and a bit stale. Was it? The fight, yes, but the story was a surprising twist compared to all the expectations I had. There are absolutely hilarious moments, then there are moments that hit hard, with real emotion carried by each performance. With an engaging narrative and characters that were adorable at times, I watched the credits roll by and was happy with the overall experience – and let’s face it, I never thought I would go as far as the credits roll. It was, in the end, a fun video game – nothing less, but not much more either, and that’s okay.


6. The ascent


Climbing the Veles Tower

In their first game, the 12 independent developers of Neon Giant created an incredible, complex and absolutely beautiful cyberpunk world. This isometric two-stick shooter may be simplistic in its game elements – one stick moves, one stick shoots, now go grab some loot – but exploring the heights and depths never ceases to be a joy. by Veles. The quests are similar in nature, with a general do / kill / destroy structure, but it absolutely sticks to that formula. Sure, you could be in indentured bondage from any ruthless leader looming above you as and when it suits them, but I always found myself wanting to keep playing anyway, seeing what new places I could explore and what creatures I could shoot. It helps that the game looks like a top-down view of an ultra-realistic, gritty Star Wars setting – sci-fi fans will love this one.


5. Ratchet & Clank: Rift apart


separate

Have you ever played the original Ratchet & Clank games? Well imagine that, but bigger the better and a lot more fur. Rift Apart is basically a Ratchet & Clank game – true to its roots, and never too much. We had amazing graphics powered by the PS5, sets to make Nathan Drake blush and the introduction of Rivet & Kit, the beloved new characters. With a gripping tale that took us to planets we’ve never seen before, it was hard not to have a good time. And yet, grand as it sounds, Rift Apart has never crossed its limits, for better or for worse. Yes, it’s a relatively short experience, but it’s packed with flair to make sure I was always smiling or completely in awe. The game is truly a next-gen Ratchet & Clank – no more, no less – and exactly what it needed to be.


4. Life is Strange: True Colors


Alex Chen from Life Is Strange True Colors is looking at something;  she looks worried.

We had the opportunity to go back in time and spoil the consequences. We had a brother who can dangerously mix up an entire room when he’s cranky. This time in True Colors we can see and feel the emotions of others – it may seem less cool but this one is the best Life is Strange we’ve ever had. With Alex Chen moving to a small town with a tight-knit community, she must investigate her brother’s concealed death, learn to open up to those around her, and use the abilities she has tried so hard to suppress in order to find out the truth. With some truly heartfelt and incredibly creative moments, and a story that makes you feeling so many emotions, True Colors deserves its place as one of the best games of this year.


3. Metroid Dread


Metroid Dread.  Poster promoting the game.

Metroid? To verify. Fear? Oh yes. As one of the toughest bounty hunters in the galaxy, there is very little that Samus would need to run away from – so if she does start running you better be okay now. Stranded on the planet ZDR with no memory of what happened to him, Samus must fight his way out of this strange and long abandoned facility. The trap ? Dangerously possessed EMMI robots that want to stab you in the face – you know, for science. These moments of sheer panic and narrow escape is what makes the game anxious – a real feeling of dread. As the perfect modern take on the classic Metroid, this game is one of the best in the entire series, honoring its roots while pushing the genre to new places. Maybe winning the best action / adventure game at the Game Awards will mean Nintendo won’t wait another 19 years to create the next one.


2. Monster hunter: Get up


Monster Hunter Rise Magnamalo

I wanted to get into Monster Hunter for so long, but struggled. Generations Ultimate on the Switch seemed complex and intimidating. The world on PS4 treated me like I already knew how to play, instead of guiding me at a comfortable pace. I really wanted to dive in and love those big monsters and equally big guns, but every time I tried I hit a barrier. Monster Hunter Rise has lowered that barrier and welcomed me into its world with open arms. I don’t know if it was the setting, the learning curve, or the fact that I could jump and swing with Wirebugs at my leisure, but this Monster Hunter game captivated me and made me run hunt after hunt .

I’m still playing it now and can’t wait for the Sunbreak DLC in 2022 to expand the experience even further. I have also taken a step back in the old MH titles as a result now I knowhow to play. Rise is excellent and has given me a new passion for a fantastic series. It’s great because I have so much content to play now, but oh man do i have so much to play now

1. Death loop


GOTY Death Loop

I’ll be honest – I didn’t expect to like this game. I know Dishonored and Prey are awesome, but I’ve never been able to focus on the controls. Something about the way Arkane’s first-person perspective is handled has always struck me – and I know it’s just me, but I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s the frame rate? Either way, I loaded Deathloop ready for that immediate disheartening feeling, but damn this game feels good.

The controls looked perfect, the styling was quick, and Colt Vahn almost instantly became my favorite character from this year’s games. As I played more and more, I spent hours walking through each area of ​​Blackreef throughout the time loop, uncovering lore, secrets, and intricate puzzles that didn’t strike me. given answer. I’m talking about puzzles and radio frequencies, maps and perspectives – I don’t remember feeling the same about these kind of completely optional puzzles in another title, and I love it. After 50 hours, I had completed the game, broken the loop, earned the Platinum Trophy, and continued to blast enemies with the Heritage Pistol and experimenting with the Slab’s abilities, before starting all over again. Also, have you seen the kicks in this game? This is GOTY material alone.


Deathloop just clicked with me, and I wasn’t expecting it. I wanted to love him, yes, but I didn’t think he would attract me and keep me so entangled in his compact and colorful world. From the Blackreef mysteries to the weird and distinct visionaries to the feuds between Colt and Julianna, I felt that willingness to keep going until I saw it all. It’s just too bad I can’t go back in time and replay it all – I can’t, can I?

NEXT: Hope Deathloop Isn’t The Last Game Of Its Kind


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