I took a look at my favorite movies released so far this year yesterday. I haven’t exactly played the same number of games as movies watched this year, though, so today’s breakdown is going to be a little different. Let’s take a quick look at my two favorite games so far this year.
These two games share a lot in common. Both are open world games featuring post-apocalyptic (or post-post-apocalyptic) worlds overrun by killer robots and bands of other enemies. Both feature massive worlds of mountains, deserts, and rideable wild creatures. Both stories revolve around a mystery uniquely tied to the protagonist. They released just days apart from each other.
But they’re both their own games, and they’re both deserving of your attention. And your time.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn is still my frontrunner for game of the year in 2017, and I don’t expect that to change given its quick ascent into my favorite games of all time. Aloy is a strong, interesting protagonist, and the world she lives in is unique and steeped in mystery. It’s a mystery wholly tied to her, and the game simply couldn’t exist without Aloy. That’s not to say it’s all about Aloy, of course.
The supporting cast of characters, from the prominent roles of Sylens, Rost, and Elizabet Sobeck to the featured likes of Erend or Sun King Avad, all the way down to Brin and his taste for machine blood, are all superb. Horizon Zero Dawn‘s futuristic/returned to nature Rocky Mountains setting is interesting and visually stunning, and the machines that occupy it cover ground from minor nuisances to terrifying beasts that can and will destroy Aloy.
It’s Horizon‘s story, though, that really makes it worthwhile. Split between Aloy’s present and the past that brought it into existence, it’s one of the best stories ever to be told in a video game. I’ll skip the spoilers in case you haven’t played the game yet, because Horizon really is something special, and it deserves to be experienced.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
It’s clear from very early on that Breath of the Wild is something special (there’s that phrase again). From the first brick wall climbed, it’s obvious that Breath of the Wild isn’t going to be like other games. This is a game that wants you to tackle the game however you want to. It encourages it. The world is massive and stuffed to the brim with things to do, possibly to the point of overdoing it.
I know I’m never going to collect all of the Korok Seeds. I know I’m probably not going to find all of the side quests the game has to offer. I’m not sure I’m even going to finish the game. But it’s great and I can see why people love it. I don’t quite get the best games of all time discussion going around about it, but that’s probably largely due to my preference for Horizon Zero Dawn‘s story and presentation.
That’s not to take away from Breath of the Wild, of course, because it really is an excellent game.
There are a few more games this year that I think could make a proper best of the year list, assuming I’m able to play enough games to even make such a list. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War could get there given my love for its predecessor. Super Mario Odyssey looks simply wonderful. Wolfenstein: The New Colossus seems like it could be great, but I’m only going to play that one if I can get myself through The New Order and The Old Blood first.
What are your favorite games so far this year? What games do you think are going to rank among your favorites? Let me know in the comments.