Callum Corcut / Mon 11th Dec 2017
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I almost didn't believe that prequels could be done this well in the video game landscape, but Life Is Strange: Before The Storm is easily one of the very best I have experienced in gaming. When I first heard that Life Is Strange was releasing a prequel I was obviously excited due to being such a huge fan of the original, but I also had my expectations in check. I had heard that a second season was already in production so I assumed Before The Storm would just be some tasty fan service meant to satiate us before the next full instalment. Boy, how glad I am that I was wrong. This game is not only one of the best prequels I've ever played but also arguably better than the critically acclaimed first season. This game is one of those unexpected gems that completely encapsulates why we should not judge until we play.
This has undoubtedly been one of the most consistently great years in gaming. There have however been a handful of noticeable disappointments. Earlier in the year my favourite gaming franchise - Mass Effect - released its latest title. That saga is over now, but it was a devastating blow to me as a fan. Even then that still does not cover my biggest disappointment of 2017. That award goes exclusively to Star Wars Battlefront II. A widely beloved franchise completely overshadowed by controversy and unacceptable business practices. This was one of my most anticipated titles of the year, and I was actually a huge defender of the original in 2015. Due to EA's decision to implement pay-to-win tactics in a fully priced triple-A title I have instead refused to purchase the game. Treating customers like they are nothing but bank accounts that can be squeezed for every cent they are worth is personally appalling to me. I really hope that someday in the near future we will finally receive a genuinely great Star Wars game.
Most Anticipated for 2018
There are two games I am equally excited for in the year (or possibly years) to come. They would be Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Last of Us Part II. The Last of Us currently has no official release date and I am personally sceptical that it will release in the next year. That's fine, however, as I vehemently believe that it will be a worthy successor to one of the greatest games of all time and continue the illustrious legacy of Naughty Dog. Red Dead Redemption 2 will definitely be releasing next year however, and I can't wait to get my hands on it and my calloused fingers back around a six-shooter. For a long time, Rockstar has been the envy of the industry when it comes to open world games and I have a sneaking suspicion that RDR2 will be their best one yet.
Game of the Year (2017)
The best game of the year, in my opinion, is one I haven't even played due to not owning a Nintendo Switch. That game is the breathtaking adventure known as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I can't wait to finally purchase the console and experience this masterpiece for myself. But until then I will speak about the best game I have personally played in 2017. That is Persona 5. It includes easily some of the best music in gaming and one of the most unique narratives of the year. All of the battles, all of the interpersonal relationships, all of the trials and tribulations in this 100 hour plus JRPG, are completely worth your time and effort. This is the best game I played this year and I can't remember the last time I played a JRPG that completely engrossed me quite like Persona 5 did.