Last week I covered the biggest disappointments of the year and it proved that a lot of nonsense went down this year that we all wish we could forget.
Loot box scandals and poor games filled the list and while they were bad, let us not forget that 2017 also had some awesome moments too.
There were epic games and the industry went through some great changes this year too. Every dark cloud has a silver lining. I know I am getting philosophical but it is true. Here are some of the biggest triumphs in gaming this year.
Industry rallies against EA Games
While Star Wars: Battlefront 2 has made it onto everyone’s “most disappointing” list this year, it actually had some good to it too. The game’s negative press and criticism brought the gaming industry and media together like never before and everyone fought back against EA Games like an epic showdown on Game of Thrones. Petitions were started, videos were made, and players simply refused to buy the crappy game due to its terrible loot box-based gameplay.
Industry fought so hard that it cost EA Games $3 billion in stock as their shares plummeted. While the situation was negative it had a positive outcome that proved that publishers cannot take advantage of gamers as much as they think they can. Battlefront 2 now stands as a game with empty lobbies, no ability to buy loot boxes, and a faster progression system. We fought well comrades.
The Switch is the business
If you have been hiding under a rock you would not have seen that this week Nintendo announced that they sold 10 million Switch consoles since its March 2017 debut. 10 million is a huge number and this is not even including the holiday season sales which are about to begin. The Nintendo Switch had the best first year out of any console ever released with games like Super Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart Deluxe, ARMS, SnipperClips and much more.
There has never been a console with such an instant success ever and I won’t lie, I was a bit worried when it released and it only had a few selection of games. The Nintendo Switch’s success is no doubt one of 2017’s biggest highlights and at this rate, it could be 2018’s greatest achievement too.
PlayStation has another killer year
While Nintendo was killing it with the Switch, PlayStation was doing what they do best too with the best exclusives of the year. Starting off with Nioh in January followed by Gravity Rush 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Persona 5, Crash Bandicoot, Knack II, GT Sport and more.
These games were great, well most of them anyway and led Sony through the year with at least one exclusive a month so every PS4 owner, and there are 70 million of them by the way, was able to play something awesome every few weeks.
Horizon Zero Dawn was no doubt the best out of the bunch and for a new IP, it did extremely well. 2018 is going to be even better with games like Spider-Man, Dayz Gone, Ni No Kuni II and much more.
Assassin’s Creed returns with a bang
After being an annual title since its initial release back in 2007, the Assassin’s Creed series had its ups and downs but it was when Unity release that it showed just how rushed the games were. Syndicate was better but it was still missing the mark.
Ubisoft decided to take a break with the series in 2016 by releasing a remastered trilogy of the Assassin’s Creed II series, and work on Origins, the best Assassin’s Creed since the second one.
The game has done extremely well and it comes as no surprise as it is the biggest and most ambitious in the series. Egpyt looks gorgeous and the origin story of the Brotherhood and the Templars is told perfectly. The game comes to life like never before and is truly a masterpiece. Thank you 2017 for delivering us this fantastic adventure.
The Battle Royale explodes
While the Battle Royale genre has always been around, it was not until 2017 that is truly exploded with the release of PlayerUnkown’s Battleground.
PUBG redefined the free for all 100-person battlefield and its success speaks for itself. While I think it is a terrible game that needs at least three years for polishing, other people think it is great.
The success also spawned a few new Battle Royale games this year too as everyone is trying to compete with it. Fortnite Battle Royale, and Islands of the Nyne just to name two of them. To think that in today’s gaming age new genres are still being created. 2017 might have been the year of the loot boxes but it was also PUBG’s year too.
While I never had a doubt that Hellblade would not succeed, its departure from Sony meant that Ninja Theory would be on their own developing one of the unique games of this generation.
The studio dubbed the game as one of the first “independent AAA games” and without the help of a publisher, it did very well. Hellblade also managed to get into people’s heads as it tackled mental health issues like nothing we have ever experienced before.
Not only was it a journey through these problems a crowning achievement but its focus on psychosis and its unique approach to it made it something so new that I doubt anything will come close to it ever again.
The Legend of Zelda Win takes home the prize
While it was no big shocker really, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won Game of the Year 2017. Considering it was up against the likes of Persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, Super Mario Odyssey, and PUBG (why this was nominated is beyond me), the game walked away with the prize. It is truly a masterpiece though and deserves all the praise it recieved.
It was one of the best moments of the year knowing that Nintendo managed to come back from the Wii U’s failure and release a great piece of hardware with the best games of the year available only on the console.
Xbox owners get 4K
While the Xbox One X relied on its backwards compatible games and its older software to push sales, the fact that Microsoft finally sorted out the resolution issues and lacklustre hardware performance on the Xbox One is great.
The Xbox One has always suffered from lower quality visuals compared to the other platforms on the market. Games running at 720p (Ark and Tekken 7) compared to 1080p and 4K on the PS4 and PS4 Pro. The Xbox One X releasing this year created a levelled playing field now where Xbox fans can experience the great games at great resolutions.