Atmosphere doesn’t mean scary. While there are games out there that are scary and can suck you in, any game can really. It just takes excellent world building and something that’s not realistic but engaging, a world that you would want to be in.
Resident Evil 2
PC – PS4 – Xbox One
RE2 managed to nab the scary atmosphere this year, but also the heart wrenching fear of being stuck in Raccoon City. The world in RE2 may be linear, but it’s downright frightening and one of the best horror games of the last decade. The most realistic zombies ever created sure helps a lot too.
Graphics aren’t everything in a game, but they can still make or break it. Artistically, it can set a game apart from the rest or make one stand out over all the others. It’s not just cartoony, but a game with a unique art style and sense of identity are what you see here.
Disco Elysium’s art style is something that makes you stop and look when scrolling through a store page. It’s an art style you won’t forget and keep you entranced during your entire playthrough. The muddy, gritty, and dirty look of Elysium is just spectacular and every background oozes with detail.
Action games are an all encompassing genre of games that put their action at the front. Anything with big explosives, scripted events, or anything that acts like a Hollywood movie will be in this genre.
Resident Evil 2
PC – PS4 – Xbox One
RE2 features both action and suspense and the action itself is some of the most tense and edge-of-the-seat stuff I’ve played in a long time. From zombies lurking around every corner to Mr. X on your ass at every turn just makes the game incredibly suspenseful. Conversing ammo and foraging for healing items has never felt better.
Once again, the puzzle genre is rather dried up this year, and I’m afraid one day this category may disappear. Everyone is so worried about the next action game that people don’t want to step back and relax and work their brain.
While we’ve played Tetris dozens of times over before, Tetris 99 brings people together in an online world and feels exciting and fresh. While there were other great puzzle games this year, and you could argue that Tetris isn’t unique, it’s a timeless classic and when put together with new ideas can become one of the most addictive puzzle games ever like it was on the original GameBoy decades prior.
The mobile genre is becoming harder and harder to filter out the awful microtransaction laden garbage, but a few gems still shine through every year. What makes mobile gaming so appealing is the pick-up-and-play and the constant increasing power of cell phones.
Sky: Children of Light
Created by the minds behind Journey, thatgamecompany really knows how to make minimalistic games appealing. With simple controls and fantastic visuals, you play through a community filled adventure with little hand holding and the ability to explore and sail across the wind. There’s no other experience like it on mobile devices.
PC has been stronger than ever. Never before have their been as many PC releases alongside consoles. However, the PC is still unique with its own controls and power that consoles just can’t provide. It was a tough year spanning across many genres.
Disco Elysium is a rare gem that only gets released maybe once a decade. This is what makes PC gaming so unique. A point and click RPG with a gorgeous art style, story, characters, and so many possibilities to choose from. It’s what made the PC so appealing as a gaming device decades ago, and Disco Elysium nails that need.