The Best Reviewed Games on TrueAchievements in 2017 - Part One

By Dave Horobin, 1 year ago
Earlier today we opened up the voting for the year's TrueAchievements Game of the Year, and we thought we'd try and help with your decisions by looking back at some of the highest scoring games from this year's official site reviews.

Over the course of the past 12-months, we've reviewed 187 games and 17 DLC packs (over 30% more than we've ever done before), 21 of which have received a score of 4.5 or 5 out of 5.

Here are the first 11, in order of date published.

World of Van Helsing: Deathtrap - Published January 5th - 5/5

Title

World of Van Helsing: Deathtrap is a masterpiece in the tower defense genre to which many developers should look for years to come. It requires strategy and skill in equal measure in ways that few tower defense games can demand. With over 52 different map setups to complete and master, there's plenty to play in both singleplayer and co-operative. There are many common pitfalls into which tower defense games fall, but Deathtrap deftly avoids them all, offering stable performance and a balance between the player and towers that is nearly impeccable. Better still, the fantastic depth to the RPG elements ensures that even hesitant players can find something to love in the game. Whether you enjoy action RPG combat or tower defense games, Deathtrap is a game that is more than worth your time.

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The Assembly - Published January 24th - 4.5/5

The Assembly

Although it started out as a VR title, The Assembly feels right at home on Xbox, perhaps even better suited. The way in which its story unravels alongside Caleb and Madeleine's motivations will fascinate you throughout the game and potentially even have you asking what's right and wrong as you progress towards the end. The diversity between the two different characters and their gameplay adds variety throughout your playthrough, and exploration always feels worthwhile as you control Cal. Madeleine's puzzles are very creative, and the way in which the story progresses through your interaction will regularly keep you engaged until the very end. It's an enjoyable game that many will enjoy as it has managed to achieve a perfect mesh between storytelling, exploration and puzzle solving.

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Chime Sharp - Published March 6th - 4.5/5

Chime Sharp

With throwback games being all the rage in independent development, many developers have chosen to go the 8/16-bit, pixelated, "ain't this cute?" route to tap into nostalgia while bringing along more modern systems and mechanics. Chime Sharp goes the opposite route; it may look like a modern game, but it feels like an older game in the best ways possible. With its highly accessible gameplay style and a difficult-to-master level of play, Chime Sharp is an easy endorsement for virtually all gamers.

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Snake Pass - Published April 14th - 4.5/5

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Snake Pass is a real gem in the ID@Xbox program and you can almost sense this as soon as you start up the game. The bright colours and upbeat jungle soundtrack jump right out at you and Noodle feels like such a likeable character, without him ever saying a word. The levels are short but substantial — they feel really well designed, with a good amount of obstacles and collectibles that don't feel overwhelming. Your time with Noodle and Doodle might be a bit short, and some of the camera angles will really have you struggling, but overall it's a fun and exciting experience that you shouldn't misssssssss.

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Voodoo Vince: Remastered - Published April 19th - 4.5/5

Voodoo Vince

Voodoo Vince: Remastered is the definitive version of the classic original Xbox platformer. It's still got the same delightful soundtrack, unique New Orleans atmosphere and laugh-out-loud humor that you remember from the original, but now it's upgraded with all the new features of the Xbox ecosystem. Whether solving puzzles, piloting a submarine or running yourself over with a train to defeat the newest mini boss, the gameplay always feels fresh thanks to its diversity. There are hundreds of collectibles, but they're purposeful and fun to collect. There are a few small downsides left over from the original game like occasional camera problems, and there are a couple areas where the frame rate feels sluggish, but none of these issues are deal breakers. If you were already a fan of Vince, Voodoo Vince: Remastered will be a worthy testament to his cult classic legacy. Not only that, but the game holds up well enough that Vince is on track to woo a new generation of fans.

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The Sexy Brutale - Published May 3rd - 4.5/5

Characters

The Sexy Brutale is a truly memorable title. The grisly Groundhog day design makes for a unique gaming experience unlike any other title on the platform. All of the elements of the title, the graphics, characters, environments, sounds, music and gameplay come together in a superbly crafted game that oozes class from start to finish. The puzzles are enough to tax you without straining your brain, and the gameplay is cleverly balanced throughout. Despite the macabre subject matter and quite grisly demises to which some of the guests fall victim, the game retains its alluring charm. There are games that feel manufactured, some just simply developed, but here you feel that the game has been crafted. From start to finish, it oozes class. There is something special about The Sexy Brutale, something you don't come across often. To come full circle, it's a not a phrase that I would use often to describe a video game, but this is quite simply exquisite.

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Injustice 2 - Published May 23rd - 4.5/5

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NetherRealm has completely knocked it out of the park with Injustice 2 once again. Presenting us with a fighting title that sheds a new perspective on the world of DC is an idea that continues to be executed brilliantly. The game's story mode is highly enjoyable, and the superb animations and performances help to elevate it to movie-like quality. Gameplay is as slick as ever, and every available mode is rather addictive in nature. For the more casual player who has come for a story and few brawls, repetition has the potential to creep up on them so a variety in content wouldn't have gone amiss, but NetherRealm has still managed to utilise what's on offer to great effect. The gear system is an ingenious one, so you'll more than likely want to keep coming back for more so that every fighter is covered in shiny, epic gear. NetherRealm continues to show us that they really are the king of western fighting games with Injustice 2.

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DiRT 4 - Published June 20th - 4.5/5

DiRT 4 Rallycross

Inevitably, comparisons will be drawn with Dirt Rally, which is something I've deliberately avoided to this point. When stacking one against the other, it feels like Dirt Rally is the elder, more scholastic, and slightly serious sibling. DiRT 4 on the other hand, is the younger, outgoing sibling who, whilst not exactly bouncing off the walls, still knows how to have a little fun. It allows for an awesome and technical approach if you find yourself among those who crave the purest racing simulation worthy of Codemasters' reputation, but Dirt 4 now invites others less experienced to the table with alternate driving modes. They have listened to the critiques of their previous games and created a rally game that truly is for everyone.

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What Remains of Edith Finch - Published July 19th - 4.5/5

edith

The exceptional story and inventive gameplay design makes Giant Sparrow's title a memorable trailblazer for walking sims. It sets a new bar for what the genre is capable of in its interactivity, and all narrative adventure games that arrive after What Remains of Edith Finch may now have to consider challenging players with more than diary reading and tape playing. It's said that, in their infancy, each new medium copies the one it's following. In some ways, games are the successor to movies and we've seen plenty of cinematic games that crib the format of feature films. To take nothing away from such games, What Remains of Edith Finch is a shining example of what video games do uniquely well.

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F1 2017 - Published 1st September - 4.5/5

F1 2017

Building on last year's already successful iteration, F1 2017 has been tweaked, polished and refined. On top of all that, a whole load of new content has been added making it feel that there are almost two games in one. There's more to motorsport than just driving speedily around tracks and this year's installment has done its best to capture this. The massively expanded research and development tree and the new engine management system bring an extra level of detail that might frustrate the more casual player but that no doubt delights true Formula 1 fans. The racing remains as good as ever for all levels of drivers and with all of the new championships and invitationals, short track variants and classic cars, there is plenty of racing to be done. In short, this is possibly the most complete F1 title for a long time, and arguably the best in the franchise.

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Dishonored: Death of the Outsider - Published September 19th - 4.5/5

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider 1

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider comes just a year after the second game and even though it isn't given the numbered sequel treatment, it feels like a worthwhile final chapter to the Dishonored story arc, albeit brief in comparison. Introducing new abilities on top of the always remarkable level design is the game's strongest suit. Some small bugs disrupt the game and the last level doesn't feel as special as any that came before it. Still, if this is truly the last chapter, Death of the Outsider cements Dishonored as one of the best new franchises of the last ten years and places it among the most consistent trilogies ever seen in video games.

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Do any of the games above make it into your Game of the Year shortlist? Let us know in the comments below.

We'll be posting Part Two of our Games of the Year roundup shortly, so keep checking back to see what else made it into our top twenty-one.

In the meantime, you can cast your votes for your Game of the Year here.

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Dave Horobin
Written by Dave Horobin
Dave is the TrueAchievements Social Manager and has been a Newshound since 2010. When he's not chasing developers and publishers for early review copies, he can usually be found on the TrueAchievements social pages discussing all things TA related.