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We are now half way through the year — can you believe it? It always kind of sneaks up on you, and in this industry, the games that you thought were so far away from release are suddenly upon you, taunting you with their price tags…
There have however been some pretty spectacular ones so far, and this is that list!
Honestly, Overwatch is not particularly original. It’s a multiplayer FPS with some standard archetypes. It is however, a ridiculous amount of fun! The cartoon styling looks beautiful, the action is fast paced and actively promotes teamwork.
DOOM has a long history — some of it good, some of it abysmal – and so I was reluctant to spend more time on a game that I really hadn’t enjoyed in the last few years. Luckily this was a pleasant surprise — the FPS is carefully thought out and every aspect of it is intricately and carefully crafted, making it feel more alive than ever before.
Dark Souls 3
I have never been a huge Dark Souls fan, not because I don’t enjoy it, but because I find it frustratingly hard. Sure this is what fans will tell you is part of the appeal, but I have limited time and patience and so I don’t like to be stuck on the same boss for hours on end. That said, Dark Souls 3 is incredibly engrossing, and every aspect of it really is exceptional. Just be prepared to sink hours and hours and hours of your life into this game!
The episodic release format of this game is a little unusual, but there is supposedly a full retail release on the cards for 2017. It’s Hitman in all it’s glory however, and if you’re a fan of the series you won’t want to miss out.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
How did Tomb Raider go from awesome, to meh, to awesome again? Well I suppose the franchise has been running for so long that you were bound to have some duds. Rise of the Tomb Raider however is not that dud! Building on the previous game, it’s a huge improvement and convinces us that Lara is still the awesome character we grew up with — she just keeps getting better.
XCOM is a franchise I have a bit of a soft spot for and it doesn’t disappoint. You make difficult choice after difficult choice as you fight against the alien invaders, sacrificing soldiers for the benefit of the team. If at the beginning you procrastinate, by the end you’ll be a seasoned commander, ready to lead your squad into battle.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Let’s be honest, does Naughty Dog ever disappoint? The only thing I can say is that this is the perfect end to one of gaming’s most iconic adventure sagas. Reminiscent of Indiana Jones in the best way, it’s well written with great level design and much like other Naughty Dog games, stellar gameplay.
Ratchet and Clank
This game is the perfect combination of nostalgia, reboot, homage, sequel — I don’t know, whatever. It brought back memories and it introduced my son to the game with a fresh perspective. It’s fun and engaging with awesome level design and some fantastic new weapons. I had a couple of gripes about the digital download version, but nothing that could be considered a deal breaker.
Far Cry Primal
There’s only so many times Far Cry can reinvent itself, but somehow they’ve managed it again. While I wasn’t without criticism for this game, I did think it was a rather fresh new take on the franchise, managing to incorporate the feel of the Far Cry world with a slightly slower pace than we’re used to.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
The Division has a lot going for it, particularly because more content is being added consistently. The beauty of this game isn’t the somewhat repetitive gameplay, but rather the combination of the customisation elements as well as the engrossing world and the campaign. Yes there were frustrations, but I was happy to (mostly) overlook them.
Bonus: The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
This is actually an expansion, so I included it as an extra bonus game – hurrah! Everyone who knows me understands how big of a Witcher fan I am, and this expansion not only adds new combat abilities and gear, but it also adds some additional intrigue in the form of new missions. The characters are as memorable as ever, and the gameplay is still exceptional. Not that I’m biased or anything…