As 2017 is drawing to a close, we can start to look back at games that have been released this year and start to pick the best of the bunch. Games that stand out from the crowd; the full package has to be near flawless. Not just exceptional graphics will do. These are the cream of the crop and games that have had the praises shouted from up high.
What we will do now, is list some potential candidates before we narrow the selection down and choose some winners in our categories. Triple A and ID@Xbox will both see an eventual winner.
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
German developer Mimimi Productions released the tactical, real time strategy game back in August, set in the feudal Edo period of Japan. Featuring 5 unique individuals who's lives are intertwined during the story, each with their own unique personalities and fully voiced acted. Shadow Tactics is not for the faint-hearted, as even the easiest difficulty will test your stealth skills to the maximum.
Sometimes, a game doesn't need the best visuals, although that can play a big part. Metanet Software, who are famous for the N, N+ and now N++ series have produced one of the most demanding platformers, with an incredible 4300+ levels to play. Everything is out to get your ninja as you strive to reach the exit in order to advance. Intuitive gameplay, and devious level designs await those who step into the world of N.
Aer: Memories of Old
The second entry for publisher Daedalic Entertainment, and one of the most relaxing titles I've ever played. Forgotten Key have excelled with Aer, and even if it is a low poly visual, it's still a stunning game to behold. Transitioning from human to bird, and soaring through the skies between floating islands to a chilled musical score is something that everyone would enjoy.
With an aesthetic that would remind all of 1930's Disney cartoons, Cuphead has taken the gaming industry by storm. Side scrolling platforming done right, with a high degree of difficulty, although not impossible. Beautifully presented, and full of charm.
Redout: Lighspeed Edition
Racing games don't get much better than this, when they aren't Wipeout. Exceptional quality and visuals.
The Pillars of the Earth
Based on the novel by acclaimed author Ken Follet, and our third title from publisher Daedalic Entertainment, The Pillars of the Earth sees us travel to 13th Century fictional town, Kingsbridge. Corruption within the Church is rife, but one soul stands out from the crowd. An interactive novel rather than a game, and with just one of three parts currently released, it prevents it from being considered for a nomination.
An on the rails shooter accompanied by an electronica soundtrack that suits the gameplay that is easy at first, but once you pass the game, it's time to advance to more challenging difficulties. A stunning game in all respects.