What a year it has been for gaming, 2017 has been impressive with the good, the bad and the ugly. With everyone doing their end of the year wrap ups and the annual ‘Game Awards 2017’ closing off the year last week, it had us wondering in the office, what were our highlights of the year?
So being an investigative journalist, or general pain in the ass as my colleagues see it, I harassed the team at MKAU to find out their feelings, grievances and accolades of gaming in 2017.
This is what Lance (Boss 1), Kurt (Boss 2), my fellow reviewers Brett, Simon and myself had to say. Categories are as follows:
Lance: CUPHEAD –
This was on my radar way back when it was first announced, and when it finally did, it didn’t disappoint. The art direction was spot on and overall was fun and challenging.
Kurt: CUPHEAD –
Sweet game, great visuals and a devil of story.
Stacy: RIME –
Man, that whole game was an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish, tears were flowing at the final conclusion, and I love it for that.
Brett: CUPHEAD –
This game was a long time coming, the 1930s cartoon design was an absolute killer choice for visuals.
Simon: RUINER –
This game took me by surprise but wasn’t farfetched with the fast-paced action that comes from other digital Devolver games. With its neon lights, in your face action and little nods to cyber punk references like Blade Runner and Akira it was impressive. It definitely left a mark on the scene.
Lance: INJUSTICE 2: SUBZERO DLC –
This year I didn’t actually play a lot of DLC so my stand out was when Subzero came to Injustice 2. Not only is Subzero my main man, but NetherRealm did a great job of incorporating Subzero into Injustice 2.
Kurt: DIABLO 3: RISE OF THE NECROMANCER –
Without a doubt the best DLC! After I finished Diablo 3 the first time, I waited with bated breath for the Necromancer. I am still playing it to the day…. It is just that good.
Stacy: DIABLO 3: RISE OF THE NECROMANCER –
I squealed when this FINALLY dropped, and grinded hours with friends to get the best gear, so worth it for the replay value. It got me back into Diablo, which I didn’t realised I missed so much.
Brett: HORIZON ZERO DAWN: FROZEN WILDS –
The base game was brilliant, which meant any DLC for it had to be nothing but pure quality to match the game and I can honestly say Frozen Wilds gave players hours game time to be had and added a massive new area as well as new creatures.
Simon: WARFRAME: PLAINS OF EIDOLON –
Bringing Warframe into a whole new world of possibilities with a more open world than ever before. This being a free DLC is even better excuse to play Warframe.
Lance: PLAYERUNKNOWNS BATTLEGROUNDS –
I have to give this one to PUBG. I don’t play ANY PC games, but this one I got into a little. Even now since being released on the Xbox One, I’m playing it.. A LOT!!!
Kurt: NO COMMENT –
I don’t play PC…. I’m not worthy.
Stacy & Brett: NO COMMENT –
We aren’t PC master race haha. Ask Simon.
Simon: PLAYERUNKNOWNS BATTLEGROUNDS –
What can I say about PUBG, that game is addictive, fun and even it being an early access game, has all the replay-ability and traits of a triple A game for a low price.
Lance: RESIDENT EVIL 7 –
I haven’t really played a good true horror games since the original Resident Evil on the PS1 way back in the day, so I was pleased that RE7 took me back to those days of being afraid to turn a corner or walk past a window. This game had me pooping myself.
Kurt: OUTLAST 2 –
Outlast scared the shit out of me and I think outlast 2 cleaned out what was left after the original had finished with me 🙂
Stacy: LITTLE NIGHTMARES –
I know it isn’t one of the big powerhouse titles of this year, and we all know I’m not the horror connoisseur like some of you guys, but it really impressed me on how this game gets under your skin in all the right anxiety – inducing ways. Well executed, while endearing for a creep as game… strange right.
Brett: OUTLAST 2 –
It takes a lot to scare me, but Outlast 2 created such a tense atmosphere that it was hard to play without freaking out. The first Outlast was also scary but the sequel was insanely scary.
Simon: THE EVIL WITHIN 2 –
I’m not a huge fan of horror like Stace, because I never have enough spare underwear available especially for this game.
Lance: WOLFENSTIEN 2 –
This one was a little tricky. I was going to pick COD: WWII as it was the first time in a long time that Call of Duty had me coming back for more since the early Black Ops days, but there it’s the over the top, fun as hell gun play in the Wolfenstein games that won it for me, and the latest Wolfenstein 2 is no different.
Kurt: WOLFENSTIEN 2 –
Loved the original and the original original…. This one had more depth to it than COD this year.
Stacy: CALL OF DUTY:WW2 –
Okay, I was really tossing up between this and Battlefront 2, because the campaign is a really good diverse shooter, However and I know people are going to give me grief for this but I couldn’t stop playing WW2. The campaign was so freaking brilliant and immersive with its traumatic storylines, it sounded and was visually stunning and initiative menu designs. Sure, it had server bugs in multi, but seems it is an issue for all new games now. Call of Duty has finally gone back to its roots, 2017 style and I loved it again.
Brett: CALL OF DUTY:WW2 –
It had been a long time since I truly enjoyed COD my last fun experience was Black Ops 2 but finally boots on ground is back and future warfare is long gone, thank f#@%! It had the best campaign for any COD I’ve ever played and the visuals on both Xbox One and PS4 were glorious to look at, and what can I say multiplayer is great but still has those pesky snipers and campers.
Simon: WOLFENSTIEN 2 –
Who does not love killing NAZI’s with your favourite NAZI killing Machine BJ Blazkowicz.
Lance: MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA –
Now while many give Andromeda a lot of shit, I actually really enjoyed it and sunk a lot of hours into this one. I loved the huge open type worlds where I could go off and explore, tackling quest or mission as I felt fit. Sure there was some bugs, but nothing that really bothered me or stopped me from enjoying the game.
Kurt: MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA –
Some might say ME:A wasn’t a worthy contribution to the Mass Effect series, but as always, the story is what makes Mass Effect so good. The gameplay was top notch and the visuals were worthy of a such a game once the glitches were ironed out.
Stacy: PERSONA 5 –
Jesus, where to start. The bright, punk rock, comic art style of battle, mixed with the 3D Japanese textures made it so visually stimulating. The turn based combat was immaculate and fit so well into the intricately designed plot. Persona is one franchise with a huge following and Persona 5 adds to that legacy beautifully, fans were not disappointed.
Brett: HORIZON ZERO DAWN –
I don’t go out of my way playing RPG games as they do require a lot of time to Complete, Horizon Zero Dawn was something that I couldn’t stop playing, it’s a reason to own a PS4 and if you own a 4KTV and a Ps4 Pro you get an even better visual experience, the campaign was a tale that took Aloy and the person playing on a journey of hunting and finding out the truth.
Simon: SOUTH PARK: FRACTURED BUT WHOLE –
Who can’t go past South Park and the sequel was just as good as the original.
Lance: FORZA HORIZON 3 –
While some of the others went Forza Motorsport 7, for me it was Forza Horizon 3. While I love the Motorsport series, me being not an overly huge fan of racing simulators, the Horizon series are a good balance of arcade racing and a racing sim. The amount of cars and activities to do in Forza Horizon 3 had me busy for some time.
Kurt: FORZA HORIZON 3 –
Cars, cars and more cars. Love the open world. Love the customisation and barn finds. The inclusion of the 70’s Holden Sandman won it for me!
Stacy: FORZA MOTORSPORT 7 –
What can I say the FORZA franchise is an artform in itself. This game in particular is incredibly beautiful to look at, the scenery, the cars, even rain drops of the windscreen. The weather conditions so realistic it is scary. The customisation is some next level stuff, and I was even addicted to unlocking costumes for my driver.
Brett: FORZA MOTORSPORT 7 –
Forza is a franchise ill always get day one, they get better every year and what really impressed me with Forza 7 was the native 4K visuals it’s a stunner and the car count is superior compared to any other racing game
Simon: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS –
Um does PUBG count? I can drive a Dacia like a pro!! (** Stacy Post Note: Umm no that doesn’t count, you are too obsessed with this game, ha.)
Lance: INUSTICE 2 –
While I dipped my feet into games like Tekken 7 or MVC, they just didn’t really do it for me like Injustice 2 did. NetherRealm Studio are the masters of the fighting game genre. This game has everything, am amazing story and some of the best fighting mechanics around. And of course my boy Subzero is in it. 😉
Kurt: INJUSTICE 2 –
There may have been some competition with Marvel vs Capcom late this year, but nothing compares to NetherRealm’s beast that is Injustice. I still prefer MKX, but we are talking about this year 🙂
Stacy: INJUSTICE 2 –
Hands down, no competition. Despite the fact DC is where it is at, NetherRealm can’t step a foot wrong with this one. Well timed DLC drops, interesting skins and character designs, loads of replayable content, and a filthy good, captivating storyline, who would pick anything else?
Brett: INJUSTICE 2 –
I’m the biggest DC fan! And if Ed Boon is apart of a fighting game it’s going to be the dopest game around, it gets all the ticks of approval, visuals are bad ass, all characters and soon to be released characters are awesome I love the motherbox character unlockables most of all.
Simon: INJUSTICE 2 –
Seriously do I have to say anything? We are named MKAU
Lance: CALL OF DUTY: WWII –
I’m going to have to give this one to Call of Duty for the simple fact that Sledgehammer games have done an amazing job of bringing the old school, boots on the ground gameplay back to the series. This is the first time in the very very long time that I’ve spend way too many hours playing the multiplayer portion of WWII.
Kurt: KNACK 2 –
No-one said it had to be online multiplayer 🙂 Playing co-op from start to finish on Knack 2 was an awesome ride. There are special moves that can only be done with a second player, and it certainly makes a great game even more great.
Stacy: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS –
This game has taken the world by storm. Yes, it maybe basic in graphics, simple in purpose but it has so much more in-depth gameplay and strategy and has built a community that is unstoppable. People are buzzing around it in the streaming circuits, youtubers rave about it, and tournaments are watched all over the world. it is destined to be the next huge Esport.
Brett: FRIDAY THE 13th: THE GAME –
Horror is my thang, movies or games you name it I’ve seen it or played it, Friday the 13th the game is strictly online multiplayer only and what can I say it’s like the game was pulled out of the movies, the fight for survival is funny and scary all at the same time, the terrible facial expressions are priceless but I always looked forward to playing as Jason and hacking and slashing all other players. It’s a must for those who love playing online.
Simon: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS –
I have enjoyed many hours upon hours playing this game and still counting!
Lance: LOOTBOXES/MICROTRANSATIONS –
For me it’s not a game that was the worst move, it was the unfortunate evolution of making loot boxes and microtransactions borderline gambling and pay to win. Battlefront 2 is a more recent example where the upgrade system is so rubbish, purchasing Loot Boxes is really the only way to get that sweet stuff. Let’s hope things start to chance.
Kurt: BATTLEFRONT 2 –
See Stacy’s comment below… + EA are just greedy bastards with how they massacred this game with microtransactions.
Stacy: BATTLEFRONT 2 –
Look, micro-transactions and loot boxes are here, and they aren’t going away anytime soon, but EA were seriously taking the piss this year. Locking things behind pay walls … not cool. Pulling down those walls for a short time, then putting them back up.. not cool. I wanted Battlefront 2 to do so well, I actually liked the first one, all it needed was the muchly anticipated campaign which they delivered with a strong female lead might I add, which I enjoyed thoroughly. Alas, the game servers seem dead in the water and it has been curbed to the bargain bin already.
Brett: GRAND TURISMO SPORT –
It’s 2017 and it seems some games still have failed launches, the biggest fail I can think of has to be Gran Turismo Sport. It had a lot of issues and only now are they somewhat better. Firstly, it doesn’t have a single player campaign, though it’s apparently soon to get one, secondly, to save any progress you need to be connected to the Internet, but the games servers have to be online, which was a massive issue at launch, Sony really blew it with one of the biggest racing franchises.
Simon: BATTLEFRONT 2 –
Those darn loot boxes, EA handled this in the worst way possible, but i hope they learned from their mistake along with other companies in the new year.
Lance: LACK OF PS VR SUPPORT –
I really wanted to see more VR games for the PS4 this year. I mean, those VR headsets aren’t cheap and the only real AAA games that came out was RE7. Sure we are starting to see some games now, but since launch, there just hasn’t really been anything there and my VR gear has spent most of the time in the draw.
Kurt: SONY’s LACK OF VISION –
While Microsoft may not always make good decisions, the addition of the Xbox Games Pass subscription this year for $10/month is a fairly good investment along with the tried and true EA Access (Even though I said EA are greedy bastards, EA Access is still awesome value). Sony seem to be sitting on their hands in regards to PSN. No new features, no real reason to even pay for it except to play online. C’mon Sony, it’s about time to get creative with PSN and make it worthwhile.
Stacy: FOR HONOR –
Mine for me is more a game, in particular, For Honor. Let’s go to back to the start of the year, when the internet was buzzing for this game. For Honor could have been amazing, and it probably was for a very short time, but everything was just so unbalanced. It looked stunning but with no personality, you definitely are not going back for a second date. The hype was real, the disappointment realer.
Brett: GAMES WITH GOLD/ PLAYSTATION PLUS –
My biggest disappointment of 2017 is the games for gold and PlayStation plus “monthly free games” sure there were some gems but I’d have liked better games, there were months I felted ripped off and I’m not the only one who thinks this way. We pay for our memberships so give us something worth it
Simon: MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA –
I enjoyed the game, since it was a Mass Effect game. I’m just disappointed that they didn’t continue to evolve it with more content, this is why it was a huge disappointment.
Lance: ASSASSINS CREED ORIGINS –
This one I had to think about but I decided to settle with Origins. The reason for this was simple. I’m a huge Assassins Creed fan, easily one of my favourite franchises of all time but the last hand full of AC games just didn’t keep me interested in like they use to. Origins on the other hand did. If feels fresh with an interesting story and world. Ubisoft made the right decision to take a year off releasing a AC game as it shows with Assassins Creed: Origins.
Kurt: ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD –
Massive open world, great visuals and awesome story. Yes, some boss fights are ridiculously hard and there is a fair share of frustrating moments, but there is also a massive sense of accomplishment when you do make it past that difficult part of the game. Requires patience and thought.
Stacy: MARIO ODYSSEY –
Nintendo really nailed a few things this year, and other than the winner of the official Game Awards; ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wind’, Mario Odyssey was another of their flag ship titles that proverbially shat all over the competition. It was brilliantly designed with amazing artwork, innovative gameplay and everything we know and love about Mario, the gameplay value.
Brett: HORIZON ZERO DAWN –
It’s super hard to choose just one game for game of the year, but I thought long and hard and for obvious reasons I picked Horizon Zero Dawn. It was my first game that I owned that had decent support for the PS4 Pro and it blew my mind on how great the visuals were. Sure, it isn’t native 4K but checkerboard looks better than 1080p, the world has a many different environments. The fact it has no multiplayer means the focus was on nothing but the single player, it had a few hiccups, but they were ironed out quick smart. The mechanical creatures and the various characters interactions were a joy to experience.
Simon: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS –
I just can’t say any more praise towards this game. With it being brought over to Xbox, shows that it is a lead contender for this year’s game of the year.
Feel free to chime in with your own in our comments section of the MKAU Facebook page. Merry holidays and happy gaming from the MKAU crew.