What is that saying? “There is nothing new under the sun.” Well, Bethesda is out here proving that a hundred times over. A hundred star systems, a thousand planets, all of them with the dreadfully boring lockpicking system in them. But hey, this time we called it “Digipick”, isn’t that cool and futuristic?
For fuck’s sake. I don’t think Bethesda is capable of making something that is not Skyrim with a different coat of paint anymore. This time they don’t even have the lore and world of The Elder Scrolls universe to finger-paint with. Maybe the modding community will yet again bail them out of their creative bankruptcy.
There never was any Bethesda “magic”, just the one trick that they keep doing on the back of crunching developers.
It is Christmas as I write this post and this year in games feels like a total blur. While making this list I had to think long and hard to make sure there wasn’t anything that was really good but I had forgotten about in the haze of seasonal depression.
But as it turns out no, I played a bunch of games this year but only two really stand out as games I think are worthy of being called my Games of the Year.
This week reviews for the Skyward Sword HD remaster came out and it brought me to a realization. I realized that I don’t actually care about Zelda as a franchise.
The reason I played Breath of the Wild was because it was a novel open world game which encouraged exploration. Nothing about the characters or the story was particularly interesting or compelling. The final boss fight felt more like a obligation than a fun thing to do.
One thing that was interesting to me from reading this review was seeing the origin of ideas that got refined in Breath of the Wild. Systems like the stamina system and weapon degradation were present in a crude way in Skyward Sword. I hope BOTW 2 sees further refinement or even removal of the weapon degradation system because that was another part of BOTW that was not enjoyable at all.
Weapon degradation in BOTW meant that the flow of the already mediocre combat system got broken in the middle of a combat encounter. So you stop and switch to another weapon. Aggravating to say the least.
The hardest part of writing this post was trying to remember what I played at the beginning of the year. Games that I played near the beginning of the year and that I thought were really quite good or even exceptional I nearly forgot about when it came to making this list. It’s just been that kind of year.
These games are going to me in an entirely arbitrary order, there is no ranking here. I enjoyed all of these games for different reasons and it would be a disservice to their quality to have them be in a ranked list.