Christopher Jarvis / Wed 6th Dec 2017
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The Nintendo Switch was advertised as a portable console, but its versatility revealed itself to me at this year's EB Expo. With the many uses for the "Joy-Cons", and the number of accessories and options to customise the way you use the Switch, it is turning out to be a far bigger platform than anyone expected, and thus, my biggest surprise of 2017.
The most visibly varied use of the hardware available is Super Mario Odyssey. As the game was made to essentially sell the Switch, it's got just as many gimmicks as other launch day games such as Infamous Second Son. But this works really well for Mario, and it's much more fun shaking two tiny controllers for a gimmick than it is shaking a normal-sized (and highly expensive) PS4 controller.
Full disclosure: I didn't actually play much of Agents Of Mayhem. I knew that it wasn't a Saints Row game, and I saw enough gameplay in the trailers to lower my expectations, a lot. But somehow it still managed to limbo under the incredibly low bar I set it.
Agents Of Mayhem is a nothing game. Its city is lifeless and empty, and the tired drab neon colours of Seoul do little to disguise this fact. In fact, the open world is a complete waste of time, which is not something you want to hear from a reviewer who adores the Saints Row franchise as much as I do, and still plays Lego games just for the open worlds.
Most Anticipated for 2018
2018 is shaping up to be a huge year in video games, or at least, as far as my interests are concerned. Between Far Cry 5, Vampyr, Sea Of Thieves, A Way Out, Kingdom Hearts 3, Anthem, and Red Dead Redemption 2, it's an almost impossible decision. But for the second year in a row (thanks to a delay), I choose Spider-Man by Insomniac Games.
Insomniac is the company behind the Ratchet & Clank series, Spyro the Dragon, Sunset Overdrive, and a mixed bag of other games over the years since they stopped mass-producing Ratchet & Clank games. With Sunset Overdrive, they've proved they can make traversal interesting, which is essential for a Spider-Man game. And the onslaught of YouTube videos, analysing every facet of every gameplay clip, all seem to agree that this title could just be the superhero-themed game of the year for 2018.
Game Of The Year 2017
It kind of pains me to name Assassin's Creed Origins as my Game Of The Year, considering all the other smash hits we've had this year. But I haven't played any of the popular contenders such as Horizon: Zero Dawn, Destiny 2, PUBG, Prey, Cuphead, Breath Of The Wind, or Shadow Of War which I believe would've been my top pick. So out of this year's releases I've played, and somewhat surprisingly (considering the last few years), Assassin's Creed Origins it is. I wrote a full review of it here, but tl;dr
- the fire gameplay is crazy fun
- the story is interesting but a complete mess
- the stolen elements from Far Cry suit it well
- it looks pretty crap on PS4
It has a lot of issues, but Assassin's Creed Origins is certainly the best Far Cry game I've ever played.