Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4):
It seemed a lifetime ago I finished playing this game and mind you I haven’t played the Frozen Wilds yet! I know, I know. I’ll get to it soon, I promise. Back to this game and how much fun I had with it and going on this journey with Aloy and being in wonder like her once you step out into the world of Horizon Zero Dawn.
This game is breathtakingly beautiful. From the different environments encompassing this world is gorgeous and there have been times I would stand still and watch the herds of animals going about doing their own thing. Or a couple of Watchers attacking a Thunderjaw, which felt like a National Geographic moment just needed the voice of David Attenborough to complete it. And I loved the fact they put Photo-Mode in the game. I’m pretty sure 50% of my game time was taking photos anywhere I could. The above image is one of those photo-mode shots I took.
The game’s soundtrack was beautiful which added to what was going on around you. It really had this epic operatic vibe that really sucks you in the environment or a story beat your experiencing. If you need that open-world action RPG game you can’t go wrong with this game. The story, characters and the world are of the highest quality and I hope there is more because the lore that you discover throughout the game and its history, there is a foundation to build upon.
Mass Effect Andromeda (PS4)
A new team. A new story. A new galaxy. Everything about this game was new yet familiar. There was a lot of expectation with this title and I wish there wasn’t. I’ve been a fan since the first Mass Effect’s release a decade ago. With that in mind, I had to put aside those expectations when I first loaded this game up.
One thing Bioware does well is introducing new worlds, especially in their Mass Effect games. I had that sense of everything is old is new feeling throughout the game. You can’t help but draw comparisons to the Original Trilogy. Andromeda’s strongest suit was the world building of setting up a new galaxy and the lore surrounding it. They took the best parts from the previous games and gave it a new spin to play around with which is great for us longtime fans. Newcomers to Mass Effect would enjoy this sci-fi RPG and won’t get lost in its story.
And of course, it’s not Mass Effect without the characters you bring with you on this big mission you were given. Which goes back to that smaller band of brothers like the original game which was great. Even the new species they introduce into the lore which one of your crew members is one of them. Learning about their way of life which is fascinating at the very least. Just wish there is was real stakes in the games with its characters but there was none it would have added an element of urgency to your decision making but there was no payoff at the end, unfortunately.
One thing that games does that the original’s never did was the protagonist that you create and play as because whereas in previous games you play as Commander Shephard as either male/female but it was a singular character. In this, you play siblings Sara and Scott Ryder for spoiler reasons I won’t get into the specifics but you get to pick one or the other and the other will be a part of the story as you play through it which is a very nice addition. This Mass Effect is a family drama at its core which provides some really cool character moments in the game.
All in all this game is a fun adventure for both old and new fans. It has multiplayer which I had fun with the time I gave it. Very similar to Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer if you’re into that style. I wished that Bioware continued with more games in the Andromeda universe but sadly this will be a stand-alone game as clearly there was set-up for more to be told and explored. Thank you for taking me back to the Mass Effect Universe one more time Bioware, hopefully not the last!
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4)
In a lot of ways, this game was no “DLC” or even an expansion. This felt like a full-fledged Uncharted game with all the action and thrills you would find in an Uncharted game. I wasn’t expecting Naughty Dog to go full blown with this spin-off adventure when it was first announced. I’m glad that they went guns-blazing with Lost Legacy following Chloe who was absent from Uncharted 4, which I thought she would appear in as it was the final Uncharted game with Nathan Drake but they were cooking something else in the background with this game.
Naughty Dog has a knack for pushing the PlayStation to its limits graphically. This game is no different, I feel they pushed it even further here than they did in Uncharted 4 and that is no mean feat! Even in the opening section where you are in India, you are hit with a kaleidoscope of colours when you’re exploring the bazaars and the sound design is another element to that hearing all the chatter both in the foreground and background. It really adds that extra layer to the overall experience as you explore India in all its glory.
Everyone kept talking about the Madagascar level in Uncharted 4 where the game introduced an open-world feel to Uncharted for the first time and in the Lost Legacy they take it a step further to that true open-world experience once you start getting into the meat of the story and expanding how exploration works in Uncharted. You’re given side-missions to do in whatever order you want or not do them, it’s up to you at the end which was a nice change from the norm.
Exploration has been always a part of the Uncharted experience but here in Lost Legacy takes the front seat and it’s beautifully done. Between gun-fights and action set-pieces there is enough quiet to take in the views and the weather system adds that element of unpredictability as it can affect gameplay in different ways. I’ll say this much the mud physics in this game is second to none.
What I love about this Uncharted game is the banter between Chloe and Nadine Ross who was one of the antagonists in Uncharted 4. To have her paired with Nadine was gonna produce some golden moments. I wasn’t disappointed with them being at each other’s throats or being a team. The dynamics of their growing respect throughout the game was great and at a particular moment even poignant as you begin to see what makes Chloe’s mind tick.
This is a fantastic package and the multiplayer is back here too. It’s just as chaotic and fun as ever which allows you to play against people who have copies of Uncharted 4 as it all is on the same servers. Highly recommend for any PlayStation 4 owner.
Persona 5 (PS4)
This is the game I’m most excited to talk about with you all. For the longest time this year, Horizon Zero Dawn was my Game of the Year until this came along and stole my heart. I had no idea what this game was about or what to expect. I’ve played previous Persona games in the past but they never seem to hook me as this did and to completion.
From the opening intro with the anime style intro and the theme song for the game. Hooked me straight into it before I hit the menu screen. From the opening intro for the game once you load it up, plays out like an anime series in this lavish cut-scene and then switches to game-play. Everything feels familiar if you’ve played a lot of JRPG’s, Atlus did what I call the “Blizzard move” take the best parts from other games in the genre and blend it all together in this perfect amalgamation.
There are games out there where you finish the story between 30-40 hrs and side missions add another few hours on-top. This game’s story is 100 hrs plus it was no mean feat but the story was so engaging all the way through and the side missions were just as engaging because there are a day and night cycle but also a date cycle. Without spoiling it there is a calendar cycle system that adds a sense of urgency to the missions, even the story ones which is great because it requires you to be focused 100% of the time.
As I’m writing this I’m listening to the fantastic soundtrack from the game. This has one of the catchiest beats and songs I’ve ever listened to in a game period. I still hum the tunes to this day even though I’ve finished the game a while ago now. From combat mechanics to the puzzles and I have to say this game has the most bizarre Boss battles ever. They are disgustingly fun and requires strategy with each approach.
What carried me throughout this game is the cast of characters you meet and form the Phantom Thieves that you lead. This game feels like playing a live anime series as you go through to solving murder mysteries, government corruption and this whole “Upside Down” world that you have to explore and solve its mysteries. This game has it all. For me, this is my Game of the Year of 2017. I highly recommend it for any PS4 owner and any lover of RPG’s in general and also for any newcomers to the genre. This game will also steal your heart!
Gypo Gamer signing out.