Best Videogames of 2017

10) Middle Earth: Shadow of War

image courtesy: Warner Bros, Interactive Entertainment

Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PC, XboxOne and Playstation4
Release Date: October 10th, 2017
Review: Eccentric Tom

Ah Shadow of War. Even though this is on our top 10, this title is still steeped in disappointment. You would think that after the success of Shadow of Mordor no-one would mess with the winning formula of parkour, Arkham-style combat and the revolutionary nemesis system that made you really hate that fucking orc that keeps on popping up when you’re trying to collect flowers or chase Gollum.

You would think that, but corporate greed won out in the form of loot boxes. The fun gameplay is still there, and the nemesis system manages to build on itself, but once you make your way to the final act the sheer grinding slog of it all really overpowers any enjoyment you’re having. Furthermore, having the orcs as potential lootbox prizes undermines the power of truly creating your own nemesis from emergent gameplay.

Other than that, it’s definitely a Shadow of Mordor sequel, down to the generic side characters and rather suspect retconning of Tolkien lore, which we would be more up in arms about where it not just so damn fun to slice the heads of countless orcs and then brutally subjugating them to your service, or breaking them down mentally until they’re a sobbing wreck. Don’t read into that last sentence too much.

9) Assassin’s Creed: Origins

image courtesy: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: PC, XboxOne and Playstation4
Release Date: October 27th, 2017
Review: Eccentric Tom

Ah Assassins Creed, it’s hard to believe that this franchise is entering its 11th year in 2018. Famous for its disappointments just as much as its triumphs, we were all very much interested in whether Origins was going to be a triumphant return to form, or another Assassin’s Creed Unity. Much to our delight, it was very much a breath of fresh air that this series needed, and proof that there is still hope to be had in Ubisoft.

The parkour mechanic is just as strong as ever, with everything from the streets of Alexandria to the swamps of Memphis to the GOD-DAMN Pyramids, there is so much to explore in this game. Seriously, this is one of the biggest maps we’ve ever played in. More importantly, the plethora of side-quests and characters you meet in this massive open world make it a joy to explore, especially with the charismatic lead character Bayek, a true successor to Ezio Auditore.

It’s not a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination. The combat, whilst being something fresh, is a clunky baby’s first dark souls, and horses handle like overloaded freight trucks, and after a while some side quests start to feel very familiar. Despite these flaws, this is a definite improvement over the last few entries into this very big franchise, and for the first time in years it’s fun to play Assassin’s Creed again!

8) Horizon: Zero Dawn

image courtesy: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: Playstation4
Release Date: March 1st, 2017
Reviewer: Mr Toffee

Heya developers: THIS is how you do an open world action game without falling into the trap of having a big world with just checklists of stuff to do that feels arbitrary. The post-apocalyptic world of Horizon: Zero Dawn is beautiful yet full of danger.

The main heroine Alloy is quite a badass. The fights against the robot beasts are exhilarating. The side stuff like the Cauldron dungeons, mercenary missions, and tallneck searches are basically Far Cry-style missions given a new spin and add a ton of world-building and welcome narrative. The actual plot of the game takes a nice welcome turn, as well as answering the question regarding Alloy’s place in the world given her outcast status.

Did we mention how beautiful this game was? Jesus, those vistas and views are capture-worthy. Horizon: Zero Dawn does not break new ground in the open world action adventure genre, but it just adds and refines it to the point where it’s fresh and enjoyable again, as well as not being some boring-ass checklist-completion endurance test. It’s incredibly fun to play and explore in, robot horseback and all.