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Edged out pretty narrowly by The Legend of Zelda, Resident Evil is one of my favorite video games series. I could talk to you for quite a while about how amazing most of the games in this series are, but I’d like to get a little more specific today. In anticipation of Resident Evil 7 launching in one week, I decided to fill the most glaring gap in my knowledge of the series by finally finishing the infamous sixth entry. Resident Evil 6 was a highly contentious game and as a huge fan, I have many thoughts to share. So, sit down with me as I explore my feelings about Resident Evil 6 long after proper expectations had been set.
No joke, I listen to the Uncharted theme while walking by myself fairly regularly, because I like to pretend I’m off on an epic adventure. Needless to say, I have some feelings for this particular series. If you’d asked me at the end of Uncharted 3 that there was any way they could successfully make another Uncharted game without messing it up badly, I would’ve been hard pressed to take the leap. Thankfully, the team over at Naughty Dog managed to stick the landing on Nathan Drake’s final adventure for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Focused on delivering a narratively driven final chapter, the game makes good on developing Nathan Drake as a character and shines in some of the quieter moments just as much as the beautiful set pieces.
When it was introduced back in 2012, The Walking Dead Telltale series ushered in a new era of series from the adventure game developer. Containing some of the most genuinely emotional moments in gaming that year, it set a very high bar for what would come after. Just before the end of the year, Telltale launched the first two episodes of the third season in their Walking Dead series. The perspective has changed yet again, but the extended premiere has ticked all the right boxes for me and leaves me excited for what the rest of The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier will bring.
The one PC game that has always held a special place in my heart is Doom. After such a lengthy development cycle, I was on the fence about getting it at all. In the end, id Software made it worth the wait and the new Doom is a phenomenal game. Channeling just about everything that made the original Doom games great, it updates the formula perfectly and brings a classic game into a new generation just as well as the likes of Ocarina of Time. Frankly, it was all out war between Doom and my number one game, with the deciding factor being that I got side-tracked and haven’t finished the entire Doom campaign. Even still, this game well deserves as high a spot as it got on my list.
Developing some of the toughest and most rewarding games out there, From Software hit another one of out of the park with Dark Souls III. Using the same engine from Bloodborne, this game shines on both the PC and consoles. This game ticked off every box I was looking for in a new Dark Souls game. Containing a dark and gorgeous world filled with some of the toughest bosses I’ve faced thus far, I’m looking at you Nameless King you bastard, this is easily the game I sank the most time into this year.
Effective games always invoke a strong response from the player, whether positive or negative. Virtual reality has the added benefit of total immersion, which really ramps up any of those feelings. The game thus far that had the biggest effect on me has easily been Thumper. Hurtling the player down the lane at breakneck speeds, this trippy rhythm violence game succeeds at feeling immensely oppressive. The speed of the game feels equally impressive, especially with the VR headset strapped to your face.
If I’ve learned anything from playing video games over the years, it’s that I would make a terrible assassin. Translating being a badass contract killer into gameplay is very difficult and I had bounced off of nearly every Hitman game to date. As such, I didn’t have high hopes when the new Hitman was announced. This is one of those rare instances where I’m not even quite sure what to tell you they did right this time. Something about the formula in this particular entry clicked with me in a way it just hasn’t before lending to one of the best stealth games out there.
Looking back at my list from 2014, I actually gave the top spot on my list to a demo. This Playable Teaser, or P.T. if you will, featured some innovative ideas about horror games that left me reeling when the full game was eventually cancelled. A few games have attempted to live up to the promise of what Silent Hills was going for and the best among them thus far is Layers of Fear. Taking the similar concept of traversing similar areas and applying its own brand of mind-bending visuals, Layers of Fear is full of the right kinds of scares.