With my time spent on summer vacation and the current E3 hype, I’ve had ample opportunity and reason to reflect on the games I’ve played this year along with the games I’m looking forward to starting. So I thought I’d write a bit about both today.
Sea of Thieves (Xbox One)
Sea of Thieves is one of those games I saw announced at E3 and thought, “that looks pretty awesome!” I’m of the belief that you can never have too many pirates or video games, and I’ve had an itch to play a full-blown pirate game since Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. So when the game released, I readied my ship and set out with a friend. Initially, we had a lot of fun, admired the water, and felt a rush whenever another ship approached. Unfortunately, the game was lacking content on launch, which prevented me from playing beyond twenty hours or so. And another significant issue for me was that the cosmetic items felt way beyond my reach. However, Rare seems to be turning things around as they announced at this year’s E3 that some DLC will release later this year. Once it releases, I’ll give this title another go.
Say what you will about Battle Royale games as a genre, but Fortnite will go down in gaming history as a literal game-changer. It’s one of those titles that broke past gaming culture and entered the mainstream at a rapid pace. While I’ve enjoyed playing the game with friends, it’s also been fascinating watching the game’s development, Epic’s marketing strategy, the impact on the video game industry, and the ways in which the game’s popularity has altered spaces like Twitch.tv. The concept behind the game may be simple, but Fortnite has been an explosive force. If you enjoy shooters, I recommend giving it a go. Plus, it’s free!
Far Cry 5 (PS4)
Far Cry is one of my favorite franchises, and I waited eagerly for Far Cry 5‘s release knowing full well that Ubisoft would be Ubisoft. Ultimately, the game fell short in a number of ways, especially in terms of the narrative, but overall Far Cry 5 is a standard entry in the franchise. The open world was vast and had character (the unique regions were a nice addition), many of the characters were interesting and entertaining, and the gunplay was solid. However, I would like to see Ubisoft push this franchise further. I know Far Cry has become synonymous with “crazy open world fun,” but I do wonder what a darker (in theme and story) Far Cry might look like and would be fine with the franchise turning back to the likes of Far Cry 2 in some ways. I don’t expect such a tonal shift though, and regardless, I’ll inevitably buy Far Cry 6.
God of War (PS4)
Don’t crucify me, but this year’s God of War was my entry into the franchise. I was surprised by the well-developed story, the complex and growing characters, and the satisfying combat. And of course the voice acting was excellent. God of War sold me on the franchise. And while I don’t know that I’ll have the time to play the previous games, I’ll certainly keep my eye on the next adventure. I know there has been a lot of game of the year talk for this one, and I can’t say that I disagree with it. But I didn’t feel the “magic” with God of War. It’s a solid game and will almost certainly be in my top 10 at the end of the year.
State of Decay 2 (Xbox One)
I played the first State of Decay on PC for a short time. I generally enjoyed it, but would have liked to play with friends. State of Decay 2 allows for co-op, plenty of zombie smashing, and looting. If it weren’t for the bugs, I’d have a lot more praise for the game. To be fair, when playing solo, I didn’t run into as many issues, but when playing co-op, the lag can be quite bad, cars tend to get stuck on objects, and sometimes invisible zombies strike. Hopefully future patches will address some of these issues.
Skyrim: Very Special Edition (Amazon Echo Dot)
I can’t even say I’m joking about this one. Haha. After seeing the video at Bethesda’s E3 conference, I had to check it out. No shame. It’s actually kind of fun and definitely funny to be playing Skyrim with Alexa.
I have a pretty full gaming list for the rest of the summer, and I probably won’t be able to complete both Yakuza 6 and Monster Hunter World. But the following is what I have in mind:
Detroit: Become Human (PS4)
Jurassic World: Evolution (PS4)
Yakuza 6 (PS4)
Monster Hunter World (PS4)
The Walking Dead: The Final Season (PS4 or PC)
What are you playing this summer? Feel free to share in the comments below, and thanks for reading!