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2017 – One of the Best Years for Gaming (Already)
Gaming's Nicholas Burton takes a glance at the first few months of game releases in 2017 including Nioh, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Zelda: Breath of the Wild and more!
It is with some sense of shock that I can tell you that 2017 has been one of the best years for gaming, even though we’re only in March. The main reasons for this comes from PS4 exclusives like ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’, ‘Nier: Automata’, ‘Nioh’, and ‘Persona 5’. But let us not forget the astounding critical and commercial success that ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ has reached over the past few weeks. The fact that these games are reaching such critical success and that I haven't even mentioned Resident Evil VII, illustrates to me that it would not be such a folly thing to think that this might be the best year in gaming in a very long time.
Let’s start with the success of ‘Nioh’. A game that borrows a lot from the Dark Souls series, but also puts its own blueprint onto the all-so familiar formula. ‘Nioh’ is an extremely hard game, and this is where the game succeeds; In rewarding the player through difficult enemy encounters, and even harder boss fights. The pace is much faster and more arcade-like than dark souls, which is another factor that contributes to its differentiation. This game is unlikely to convince you to enjoy these types of games if you don’t already, but for those who do enjoy the difficulty and preciseness, this is another 30-hour adventure for you to get lost in. It also gives you a reasonable excuse to pull your hair out in anger.
At the end of February, ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’ arrived. Developed by Guerrilla Games (famous for creating the ‘Killzone’ series), this game couldn’t look more different from the ‘Killzone’ series. A vast, beautiful open-world, with compelling characters and a mysterious story, this game will have you addicted to its vast side missions and complex enemy encounters. Before you know it, you’ll be 50 hours in with a new platinum trophy to boast about. We could tell from the first reveal that this game could be very special. We were right in that assumption.
Releasing slightly before ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’ was the sequel to a cult classic, ‘Nier: Automata’. ‘Nier’ wasn’t a fantastic game, nor was it a bad one. It was a game however that resonated with a hardcore fan base. Luckily enough, this fan base got a sequel, which is better than anybody expected. Developed by Platinum Games, this game has features from all kinds of games, that reflect on the games story, gameplay, open-world and more. If you enjoy slightly more experimental stories in your games, but still crave for excellent gameplay, than this is the one for you. You will not be disappointed.
‘Persona 5’ at the time of writing is about to be released. There aren’t many reviews for it at the moment, but we can safely assume that this game will be absolutely fantastic for those of you who enjoy JRPGs. The Persona series has really come into its own over the past decade, and it is safe to say that this could be the best installment yet. You already know why you need to get this game. If you don’t, check out some gameplay from ‘Persona 4’, and you will quickly realise why this game franchise is becoming the biggest phenomenon in Japan.
Now, ladies and gentlemen. If you’ve been paying any attention to what everybody in the gaming world has been talking about lately, you may have heard of a brand new Zelda game called ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’. Not only could this be a contender for the title of the best Zelda game ever made, some are calling it their favourite game of all time. I will admit to you fellow readers, I have not had the fortunate chance to play Zelda. Alas, if you venture into this game, you are sure to find one of the finest crafted games this world has seen (or so I hear). Is it worth buying the 'Nintendo Switch' just this game? Perhaps.
With all of these fantastic games already released this year, we can safely assume that the time is over for most triple-AAA games to release in the last few months of the year. Great games will now be released all-year long. It’s crazy that we still have the Autumn/Winter release season ahead. If we get some more fantastic games later this year, this could be one of, if not the best, year in gaming ever.