Todd Rigney — Staff Writer
What Remains of Edith Finch
Although developer Giant Sparrow’s moody adventure game initially feels unnerving and unsettling, it soon becomes so much more than yet another narrative-driven “explore the creepy empty house” experience. The emotional twists and turns of the Finch family’s fate, which unfold in vignettes that often feel like standalone short stories, are both brutal and depressing. However, it’s the game’s final act that really drives the dagger into your heart and almost demands you play it a second time to see the hints and foreshadowing you might have missed.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
A lot can be said about the thematic elements found in Wolfenstein II and the current political climate in the United States. However, once you strip all that away, you’ll discover one of the fastest, most viscerally satisfying first-person shooters of the year. Taking down hordes of gun-toting footsoldiers while B.J. Blazkowicz laments the death of his beloved comrade feels weirdly empowering and oh-so-satisfying. And once you start bringing the fight to the streets of the U.S., our hero’s quest to liberate the States takes on an emotional weight rarely seen in the genre. For me, it’s one of the biggest surprises of 2017.
I initially slept on NieR: Automata because I didn’t play the first game in the series. However, after reading countless positive reviews, I decided to take a chance — and I’m glad I did. As much as I adore the gameplay, NieR‘s presentation and narrative kept me coming back for more. Currently, I’ve played the game all the way through twice, and I totally plan to take as many spins through this enchanting world as it takes to get the complete experience. There are so many magical moments contained in this wholly unique title that I have a difficult time pinpointing my favorite, which speaks volumes about Automata‘s hold on me.