2017 is halfway in the books. That means several things for the video game industry. For one it means we're now firmly planted in the dark period better known as July (and most of August) where major game releases slow to a crawl — if not a halt. That also means we're just about ten or twelve weeks away from when more of those huge titles start piling on again during the many winter holidays that drive us to shopping sprees. Most excitingly, it means that we've already seen six great months of games hit stores and download queues.
While we await the next rush of big games, we got to thinking: what's been your favorite game so far? This year the current generation of consoles really seems to have hit its stride with big games like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Injustice 2 receiving rave reviews. Of course, we'd also have to be especially ignorant to the non-Xbox portion of the gaming world if we failed to mention other platforms' blockbusters like Horizon: Zero Dawn or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
We rounded up a few of our favorites so far and invite you to share what most earned your appreciation halfway through the year.
There is little left to be said that wasn't already said in the review. Whilst it might be as grand in scale as some of the AAA titles on this list, The Sexy Brutale still stands out as one of the most innovative titles to launch this year. The groundhog day murder mystery puzzler - like Cluedo in reverse - is superbly crafted and an absolute joy to play. The quirky characters and locations could come from the mind of Tim Burton and there's a delightful soundtrack that plays in the background as you try to save the unfortunate hotel guests from their bizarre and grisly fates at the hands of murderous servants. As short as it may be, this remains an exquisite and sublime little title. A perfect way to spend a few hours over the course of a few summer evenings. — Nexus Grunt
I'm a sucker for anything bright, colourful and vaguely platform based, and I was lucky to review two gems this year that ticked all of these boxes. Snake Pass saw you take control of Noodle as he slithers through complicated but beautifully designed levels to ultimately reach his goal. Yooka-Laylee instead had a bat and a chameleon at the helm, as they worked together in similarly inspiring levels to defeat Capital B.
Both of these games grabbed me from the get go, with their appealing graphics and inviting characters. Though both were fairly short, Snake Pass more so, the content here was irresistible and addictive. Both of the worlds in the games were a joy to explore, and I gladly revisited them on numerous occasions in order to finish my reviews. If bright and bold platformers are your thing, consider either of these games as a great buy. — MegsonGrove
Marc's Pick: Nioh
If you're a Souls fan, and have a PS4 handy, then you should have already played Nioh at some point this year. Taking its inspiration heavily from From Software's world renowned franchise, Nioh places you in a 1600 Japan during the Sengoku period. If that doesn't mean all that much to you, then it's the gameplay where this samurai title really shines.
Working in more of a mission-based structure, Nioh has you trawling through a multitude of maps and battling a myriad of monsters with fast-paced and addictive combat. It definitely feels Souls-like, but calling it a clone is a huge disservice. Its own take on the genre is brilliantly executed, as exploring feels rewarding, combat remains fluid and bosses constantly put all your skills to the test, whether you're five or 50 hours into the game.
I was unsure whether it would capture the essence of one of my all-time favourite series, but Nioh has really taken me by surprise. It may be overlooked by some of the bigger and more mainstream titles, but it's just too well made to pass up, Souls fan or otherwise. — Marc Pilkington
Though I want to give some small but special shoutouts to games like Outlast 2 and Friday the 13th: The Game, ultimately I award my personal Game of the Year distinction to that which resonates the most with me, and six months into 2017 that applies most greatly to this macabre platformer. Even though the puzzles of Little Nightmares don't feel wholly fresh, the world in which they're placed is imaginative and truly unforgettable. I've replayed it since my review and I plan on replaying it many more times over the years. It's a title that has a lot of staying power when it comes to invading your thoughts long after you play. It's creepy and grotesque, but never gory or terrifying.
It feels like it exists on its own as a game — though certainly if you enjoyed Playdead's catalog you'll like this one from Tarsier Studios too. With some of the best audio and visual design I've ever experienced in a game, Litte Nightmares is really just some quicker loading screens shy of being one of my all-time favorites. — N0T PENNYS B0AT
Those are some of our picks. Now let's see yours. We included several specifically mentioned games based on a combination of TA user ratings, OpenCritic aggregate scores, and general awareness of what was big so far this year. We also made sure to allow for both non-Xbox games and the all-important "Other" option. With all that said, what's your Game of the Half-Year?
The year is half over. What's your Game of the Year so far?
We've had 2516 responses.
Injustice 26.96% (175)
Resident Evil 714.07% (354)
Halo Wars 25.6% (141)
Mass Effect: Andromeda11.84% (298)
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands7.11% (179)
A PC game2.98% (75)
A PlayStation game7.67% (193)
A Nintendo game10.45% (263)
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