Monday, December 30

2019 Game of the Year Awards

Game of the year; Resident Evil 2

Capcom has been giving us a new golden age for the Resident Evil series starting with the amazing Resident Evil 7 in 2017. Acting as a celebration of the series while still bringing it forward with modern ideas like a 1st person perspective and Texas Chainsaw Massacre tone.

Well, this year Capcom showed us that it still knows how to deliver the tense horror of the classic era games with REmake 2. The PS1 classic is retold with amazing visuals that use the more powerful tech to pump up the horror with amazing use of light and shadows. The new 3rd person perspective makes combat much more practical but the increased durability of the undead hoards manages to still make the threat feel real. The story while not perfect with the 2nd playthrough from the perspective of the character you didn't play as first time round straight up reusing whole boss fights and story beats. Both Leon and Claire will fight Burkin in the station, sewers, and lab, both will get the same security chip from the greenhouse and so on. But despite these flaws I've finished both campaigns multiple times and already I'm itchy to do so again. While I'm not the biggest fan of the classic Resident Evil 2 as I feel it's overshadowed by both RE1 and 3 this Remake is easily one of my favorite games in the series.

I'm very excited about REmake 3 next year!

Best Non-2018 game I played this year; Aliens Infestation

Infestation started life as a DS port of the absolutely abysmal Aliens Colonial Marines which is why I was surprised to find one of the best Aliens games to date. The fast frantic horror of the second Alien film is captured perfectly in this 2D Metroidvania. The story follows pretty similar beats to Colonial Marines but with a much better cast. This makes the permadeath of your party members feel meaningful. That's right, you start with 4 marines and if you die they're gone for good and if all 4 die it's game over. You are able to find more marines around the levels you explore which avoids a harsh difficulty. This creates a wonderful balance where death is always something you want to avoid but the game never feels unbeatable or frustrating.

While Alien Isolation captures the slow-paced methodical dread of the first film Infestation almost flawlessly captures the manic heart-racing terror of the second. This is without a doubt an underrated gem and a must-play for fans of James Cameron's masterpiece.

Final notes

Normally I would have an award for the worst game of the year but honestly, 2019 has been a fantastic year for gaming. While I gave my GOTY award to Resident Evil 2 it was a difficult choice between Ace Combat 7, Borderlands 3 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 as well. That's not to mention all the games I just haven't had the time and/or money to play yet such as Death Stranding, Outer Worlds, Control and so on. I'm looking forward to seeing what 2020 has to offer with the upcoming Resident Evil 3 remake and even Project Resistance. Outside of Raccoon City, I'm very excited for Doom Eternal, Cyberpunk 2077, Marvel's Avengers and Halo Infinite. Then you have games I'm just plain curious about like the Final Fantasy VII remake and Vampire the Masquerade – Bloodlines 2.

On a personal note 2019 has been a very mixed year for me. I lost both my Granny and my Aunt which has hit me really hard. Politics as well has been very scary and the future seems uncertain. But I also started to date my best friend and we've started to live together which has to lead to me feeling an inner peace I've never felt before. I'm nervous about the world, obsessed with the shadow death lingering over my family but also feeling confident and positive about my future with a woman I undoubtably love. I go into 2020 feeling very mixed emotions but content in the knowledge that I'm not doing so alone.

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