Most Impressive Game of 2017 (so far)

It involves giant machines.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn captivated me from the minute I inserted the game disc into the PS4; with a world as immersive and big as Horizon’s world is, I had a fun time just roaming around it and I loved sightseeing the many environments in Horizon. This is an open-world game that is done the right way and I feel like it’s ahead of the curve in comparison to other open-world games.

On top of the environment being breathtaking, the game is just a ton of fun to play. One of my favorite things about Horizon is the variety in which the machines appear in this world; no two machines are the same and Guerrilla Games has done a great job at creating these beasts in which Aloy fights throughout the story mode. My personal favorite machine enemy is the Stormbird; they’re a major pain to deal with but they just look awesome and menacing upon arrival within the story mode.

The story within Horizon is a major talking point simply because at the end of the day, stories do drive gamers to be engaged with the game as a whole. One reason why The Last of Us was so beloved is because of the characters and the overall premise of the story mode. Because of The Last of Us and games such as Uncharted, people expect a grand story that might rival something as seen in a movie; don’t expect that with Horizon: Zero Dawn. While I love the story mode and Aloy, the main character in this game, Horizon is more beloved for its great gameplay and the overall setting within Aloy’s world. I don’t necessarily find any problem with this simply because if one plays a Mario game, they’re not playing it for the story mode; it’s a Mario game, after all. I’d apply this same logic to Horizon. While it attempts to give players a great story, it’s not one game I’d point out and say, “ya know, Horizon was one of the best experiences story-wise” because I would be lying.

Overall, I still love Horizon and feel like that this is a huge step forward for Guerrilla Games. I love Aloy, I love the world that she partakes in, and I just feel like this is a game that everybody should try to play at some point before 2017 is over. I recommend Horizon: Zero Dawn and I feel like this game has GOTY potential written all over it. While the story is not its strength, everything else that’s packed into Horizon: Zero Dawn kept me occupied and entertained for hours on end. We need more games like Horizon: Zero Dawn and so far, this would be my personal favorite game of 2017.

Sky High Expectations

Your move, Insomniac.

Spider-Man: Homecoming has just added an enormous amount of pressure to the Spider-Man video game that fans expect to see on the PS4 in the coming months. This isn’t a knock on Homecoming per se but because of how successful the movie was, critically and financially, the new Spider-Man game must deliver big time for us to care. Anything less than great will be disappointing to hardcore fans, as well as the casual Spider-Man fan.

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For me personally, despite not loving Spider-Man like I used to, I want to see the character done justice. This applies to video games, movies, cartoons, comics, and so on. Tom Holland and Marvel have given Spider-Man a breath of new life for the better and for the worse. The good news is, the last two times we have seen Spidey on the big screen, he hasn’t let us down. Personally, I still have a love for the first two Sam Raimi Spidey films but Spidey’s brief appearance in Captain America: Civil War started this trend of Spidey being great again. In Civil War, Holland stole the show when he appeared on the screen; this continued in the solo Spidey film, Spider-Man: Homecoming. I had fun again watching a solo Spider-Man film and despite Iron Man being prominent in this film quite a bit, it was still Spidey’s movie at the end of the day.

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But why does this matter? It matters because gamers expect a Spidey game to be quality just like the product we have received with Homecoming. A great Spider-Man game is definitely possible considering how many people loved Spider-Man 2 for the original Xbox and for the PS2. I can’t even imagine how many hours I spent in NYC just swinging around as Spider-Man; as a kid, I cherished this. The Batman: Arkham games gave me a similar feeling; I loved flying around Arkham City as Batman and patrolling the streets; it was a ton of fun. I’m not saying the new Spider-Man game will be on par with those Batman games but that’s the bar that has been set; because of how great those games were, the Spider-Man game is being heavily compared to those Arkham games with how they are set up.

This trailer gives us an in-depth look at what to expect with the newest Spidey game. The game looks like a ton of fun, the world is beautiful, and it looks like the game plays well. I also heard talks that the city players can swing around in is enormous; this makes me giddy for this new game. The hope is that this new Spider-Man game will satisfy Spider-Man fans everywhere. The ball is in Insomniac’s court; if they deliver, they will make a lot of fans happy and ecstatic to play a new Spider-Man game.

I hope I am one of those fans.

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