Breath-of-the-Wild-Walkthrough

These are my Top 20 Games of 2017. As usual, I tend to only play Console Games, so that’s all I’ll be judging here. Sorry! I’ll also only be counting brand new titles, so no re-releases, hd-remasters, or revamps, such as ‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’, ‘L.A. Noire’, etc.

01 THE LEGEND OF ZELDA : BREATH OF THE WILD / Switch

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It’s impossible to put into a single paragraph just how revolutionary ‘Breath of the Wild’ is. It’s both a successor to everything that’s come before it, while soaring gracefully to heady and brave new heights of ambition, scope, and creativity. From simple mechanics that make every other open-world game impossible to go back to (paragliding, climbing), to the sheer multitude of treasures and secrets hidden across the enormous landscape, this is a game that never stops giving. You live this game. I spent over 120 hours playing before my partner (who’d spent 70 hours at the time) told me about a character mechanic that I had no idea existed, which then completely changed the way I played the game. You carve your own adventure in ‘Breath of the Wild’ and it is, quite possibly, my favorite game of all time. Nothing else came remotely close this year.

02 CUPHEAD / Xbox One

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Initially created by just 2 talented brothers, this completely unique, hand-drawn, 2D bullet-hell platformer acts like a perfectly nuanced re-invention of the hard-as-nails ‘Mega Man’ formula. Originally conceived as purely boss battles, Microsoft was quick to see the stunning potential in the title and pitched in to secure an exclusive that was expanded into a fuller title. The result is one of the toughest video games in recent memory, but one that rewards it’s frustrations with sweet victories steeped upon balanced gameplay and some of the most timeless graphics ever created for a video game. The soundtrack, voice-acting and simple narrative all help to bolster this as a true modern classic.

03 SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY / Switch

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The first ‘mainline’ Mario game since ‘Galaxy 2′, ‘Odyssey’ is a beautiful celebration of all that’s come before it. Mixing in elements of ’64’, ‘Sunshine’, ‘Galaxy’ and it’s original 8-Bit and 16-Bit era, ‘Odyssey’ offers up a gorgeous, slick series of mini-worlds to explore, stuffed with secrets and collectibles. The new mechanic (throwing your hat to ‘possess’ an object – everything from a cactus to a T-Rex) is magical and while the game begins easy, the post-game becomes aggressively tougher. For me personally, there was little desire to continue after I’d collected 500 moons and there’s absolutely nothing here that is as progressive for the franchise as ‘Breath of the Wild’ is for ‘Zelda’. But this is a stomping entry in an iconic legacy that is as joyous to play now as it was 30 years ago.

04 NIGHT IN THE WOODS / Xbox One, PS4

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Debuting on PS4 early in the year, ‘Night in the Woods’ was out on Xbox One by the end of it, and proved itself to be one of the most beautiful, touching, honest, funny, and tragic titles released in 2017. Exploring very human stories as you return to your home town and try to interact with your past via friends, ex-lovers, family, and a mistake you once made that people haven’t forgotten – this is a really special game and one that boasts some of the smartest storytelling dealing with depression that I’ve ever encountered in a game. It helps that the artwork is stellar.

05 FRIDAY THE 13th / Xbox One, PS4

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Originally conceived as the first in a series of un-official slasher knock-off ‘levels’ by Gun Media, this was quickly picked up by the rights holders and turned into an official Jason game which pits a number of victims against the iconic killer over a series of lakeside maps. It may have launched horrifically broken (and sure, it still has numerous problems), but when played with friends – it boasts the most fun I’ve had in a video game in 2017. With numerous ways to escape, or survive the night, tactics and working together is a must. And the developers have done an incredible job of continuously supporting the game – adding new characters, costumes, levels, weapons, Jasons and perks as well as balancing out dozens of gameplay nuances. Now is the best time to play this and I simply can’t recommend it highly enough.

06 PUBG / Xbox One

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The biggest success story of the year, beginning as a mod on PC, selling over 20,000,000 copies before it was even officially launched, and then picked up for an ‘adapted’ version by Microsoft for the Xbox One by the end of the year. No game had more buzz around it in 2017 than ‘Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds’. The truth is – it’s janky as hell and on the surface isn’t doing anything dozens of titles haven’t done before. But the hook is in the tiny details and it’s impossible to ignore just how bewilderingly addictive this title is. Hopefully it’ll get smoothed out even more on both PC and Xbox One throughout 2018 so it can have the version it truly deserves. There’s no reason we can’t and shouldn’t expect this game to be as visually beautiful and slick as ‘Ghost Recon Wildlands’. But for now – the jank is almost part of the endearing fun of it all.

07 WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH / PS4, Xbox One

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From the makers of the flawed but acclaimed ‘The Unfinished Swan’ (2012), ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ was published by Annapurna and tells a beautifully unique story of a cursed family living in Washington State, but via series of tiny stories set throughout the history of a house you are exploring. Like an expansion to the classic ‘Gone Home’, ‘Edith Finch’ is bristling with ideas, surprises and heartfelt storytelling, whilst looking gorgeous to boot. A tremendous title that too few people investigated in 2017.

08 UNCHARTED : THE LOST LEGACY / PS4

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Some wrote it off as a mini-middle-chapter in the ‘Uncharted’ legacy that should have just been DLC. But this 12 or so hr adventure not only adds a fresh spin to things with it’s female protagonists (and complete absence of regular lead Nathan Drake), but it takes gameplay mechanics and ideas from the previous titles and finesses them to near perfection. Sure, there’s little new here that you won’t have experienced before in an ‘Uncharted’ game, but when we’re talking about one of the greatest franchises of all-time (regardless of medium of entertainment) and even a smaller slice makes for a blissful event that is impossible to ignore.

09 RESIDENT EVIL VII / Xbox One, PS4

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Who’d think that this classic horror franchise, long-since turned stale, still had fresh blood in it. But when the terrifying ‘The Kitchen’ VR Experience turned out to actually be a prequel to ‘Resident Evil VII’, people got excited. And it turned out to be with good reason. ‘VII’ turns the series on it’s head by moving to first person, and creating a world that at first seems devoid of the usual zombie tropes the franchise is known for. Hiding and running is the name of the game here and it’s a terrifying journey for the first two-thirds of the game. Sadly, the final third reverts to older ‘RE’ titles; meaning shooting galleries and ridiculous ott plot twists and creatures. But it’s all worth it for those stellar opening hours.

10 HELLBLADE : SENUA’S SACRIFICE / PS4

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The English creators behind ‘Heavenly Sword’ and ‘Enslaved’ return with a short, pocked-sized title that boasts probably the most lavish production values you’ll see all year. Staggeringly animated, this is a fascinating look into severe mental depression and schizophrenia. The lead actor does a phenomenal job, the sound design is intoxicating, and the art design is impeccable. Sadly, the combat is over-used and the puzzle-solving quickly becomes repetitive and ‘gamey’. But the core of this title is something truly special and brave titles like this should be celebrated.

11 HORIZON : ZERO DAWN / PS4

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12 SNIPPERCLIPS / Switch

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13 WOLFENSTEIN II : THE NEW COLOSSUS / Xbox One, PS4

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14 DESTINY 2 / Xbox One, PS4

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15 ASSASSIN’S CREED : ORIGINS / Xbox One, PS4

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16 A GOLF STORY / Switch

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17 FORTNITE : BATTLE ROYALE / Xbox One

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18 THE EVIL WITHIN 2 / Xbox One, PS4

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19 PREY / Xbox One, PS4

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20 STAR WARS : BATTLEFRONT II / Xbox One, PS4

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