My most played game – Overwatch. Sometimes maddening, other times hilarious, it made me think of 6v6 combat as a puzzle. What playstyle do I prefer? How can I use that to help the team and accomplish the objective? It doesn’t hurt that that characters have a lot of personality, thanks to the wide variety of emotes and voice lines.
Persona 5 – Effortlessly stylish and cool, and yet utterly WTF in the way only a Japanese role-playing video game can be, you literally live day-by-day as a maligned Japanese high school student. But at night, you become a Phantom Thief, where you enter distorted dimensions and fight warped mental perceptions in order to make reality a better place. Fight monsters, manage your time. friends, and resources, and see if you can make a difference.
Wolfenstein: The New Order would have likely been my game of the year if I hadn’t seen how many hours I put into Overwatch. Released in 2014, this installment of the Nazi-killing franchise envisions an alternate timeline where the Nazis triumph and BJ Blazkowicz must resist and survive. This game could’ve easily been an ultraviolent run and gun (and can be if you want) if not for two pleasant surprises – 1) broken stealth mechanics so if you want to be sneaky and kill someone by throwing a knife at a guy’s knee, go for it and 2) the writing which makes for some deeply intimate moments for the game’s cast of characters. The New Order does a great job making things incredibly personal for our protagonist and his friends, something that I felt was lacking in this year’s sequel The New Colossus. Add in the trauma of this past year’s politics? Violence can be cathartic. Resistance can be healing.
Seedship is an interactive fiction game written in Twine. You are a ship AI that is tasked to find humanity’s next home. It’s a simple game, challenging and fascinating. The game gave me a sense of wonder and occaisionally loneliness. It’s very much like life, I suppose. You do your best with what life has given you and hope for the best.