With the end of another amazing year, the media was full of “best of” lists. Television shows we should have watched, music we may have listened to and games we couldn’t miss. However, we live in a virtually interrupted reality…meaning reality and our everyday lives tend to interrupt our virtual playtime. Someone has to be the grown up and we’ve been nominated. So here, then, is our list of games we never quite got around to playing! ~ Amala & Star
Borderlands 3 by Gearbox Software, 2K Games
My connection to the world of Pandora is at the point where after playing Borderlands 2, I realised that my preferred playstyle in any game is ‘Krieg.’ I wish I had time to go into why I love Krieg, gameplay and character-wise, but I don’t, so you will have to take my word for it. Excluding this latest game, I’ve played every single one of the Borderlands franchise, including Telltale’s spinoff Tales from the Borderlands.
I would have jumped onto Borderlands 3 to get more of that silly humour and siren lore anyway, but when they unveiled the new Vault Hunters… woah, Amara! Her pseudo-Indian heritage matches my real Indian heritage! And her name is close too! It was meant to be. Why hasn’t it happened yet?! I want to punch things with spirit fists. ~A
The Elder Scrolls Online by Bethesda Softworks, Zenimax Online Studios
I own Skyrim and I am quite content with it as far as games go so I was never really in a hurry to get to The Elder Scrolls Online until this year when they released their Elsweyr expansion! Admittedly, this has everything to do with the khajiit and nothing at all to do with anything else. When I was young, back at the dawn of time, I discovered Daggerfall and Arena, where I first fell in love with the Khajiit. To this day, they are my favorite Elder Scrolls race and I can’t wait to explore their homeland. With a bit of luck, I may have to make some time to play this game in the near future! ~S
The Outer Worlds by Obsidian Entertainment, Private Division
So the story is you’re on a colony ship to travel to the edge of the galaxy which is tragically lost in transit. The thing is, the powers that be actually know exactly where your ship is, but it has been deemed unprofitable to rescue the colonists. Queue the eccentric scientist who thaws you out from cryosleep to help him rescue everyone else from a corporate coverup!
I love the (single-player) Fallout games and there is definitely a similar vibe with the character creation, stat choosing, companions, humour and sci fi theme… the stumbling out into an unfamiliar world, that is surprisingly hostile. I was pretty excited when I realised this was made by the developers of Fallout: New Vegas — one of my favourites. Yes, this may satisfy the irritation I felt when my excitement for a new Fallout game was dashed by that which we call Fallout 76. Bleh.
The Halycon System looks great to explore in its own right. The wild nature is so colourful, and the cities (or space stations?) are totally infected by a type of hyper-capitalism. My satire senses are tingling. I have to check this out. ~A
Death Stranding by Kojima Productions, Sony Interactive Entertainment, LLC
Well, I admit that I was first drawn to this game because of Norman Reedus and my Walking Dead obsession. However, after discovering what the game entailed, it really wouldn’t matter who portrayed the main character. The game is an open world, multiplayer RPG that leaves you room to explore on your own and complete countless side quests before advancing the main story. In Death Stranding, your job is to rebuild America by restoring communities one doomsday prepper at a time. Yet, there’s a twist. The game’s multiplayer aspect is unique in that it is asynchronous. While others are playing at the same time as you, they won’t necessarily show up on your screen. As a person who enjoys solo play in MMORPGs, this intrigues me. Players can create structures for others to use, work together to build communities, or leave cars strewn about the hillside, blocking paths…an issue that had to be dealt with in a patch shortly after the game’s release. This format has been trademarked by Kojima Productions as the Social Strand System and I’m looking forward to being able to try it! ~S
Disco Elysium by ZA/UM
Ohh, this RPG is different. It’s insane. You play an alcoholic detective with amnesia solving a murder in a weird city, okay okay, that’s normal. But look at the skills you can have: Authority? Empathy? Savoir Faire?! That’s a far cry from the usual Strength/Dexterity/Intelligence (though those are there too in some form).
That’s not all. Each skill is also a voice in your detective’s head, each just chiming in at times appropriate to them which can affect the choices you make. (Ah! Story choices. Another thing I love!) Levelling up these skills increases your chances of passing skill checks and how they speak with you, but there’s another twist. Levelling them up too much isn’t a straightforwardly good thing. As you can probably tell, your detective character is bananas. He’s unstable. If you levelling up Drama too high, you’ll become someone who’s prone to hysterics and paranoia rather than just someone who’s really good at lying.
There’s also a mechanic called the ‘Thought Cabinet’ where you unlock and equip different thoughts which both adds a layer to your idea of your detective, affects dialogue options and may give a skill boost here or there. For example, if you choose anti-drug options a lot, you get the ‘Opioid Receptor Antagonist’ thought which will give you no positive effects from drugs, but no negative effects from alcohol.
This game is so unique! ~A
Of all the games we’ve seen come and go, these five are going to remain top of the pile and perhaps one day soon we’ll have the time to log in and find out for ourselves how amazing they are!