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Voxel Voice 2017 Staff Picks

The admins over at the Voxel Voice Facebook group don’t just throw their weight around, acting like big shots all the time. Sometimes they actually play games! Here are the personal lists of each staff member of the Voxel Voice team.

Derrick’s Top 5 Games of 2017

Derrick Trumbauer is an admin of the Voxel Voice Facebook group and runs regular streams to his MurderedMonkeys Twitch Channel.

1. Final Fantasy XV – episodes DLC – I just got done playing the three DLC episodes released for FFXV as of last week. All three of these took around three hours max to finish (story wise). They added that bit of needed story and what went on feeling to the game that gave you a deeper connection with them. This really makes me want to hit that new game plus that was added to the main game and re-experience the story with the better understanding of these supporting characters.

2. NieR Automata – This game was a blast! At first I hated the fact that not all features were unlocked during your first playthrough of the game. But after nearly 30ish mins into the game and dying because I ate a fish that was randomly handed to me I became more then excited to continue on and find out what the other 25 possible endings are. The game was action packed with some exploring, but very to the point.

3. Cuphead – Cuphead is here on my list because it is that game I hate to love, and love to hate. The art style gives you that classic cartoon type feel, and the soundtrack just fits the game so well. Levels are fun and complex with learning how enemies work and where you can jump and not jump. If there was one downfall to this game I would have to say its the default mapping of keys if playing with keyboard and mouse.

4. Fortnite – Fornite is on my list due to being a founder and avid tester of the game. This is full of action, crazy “zombies” and a lot of building. The building is simple yet what you can make and do in the game can quickly become complex. It offers single and co-op modes and even took
a stab at the ever so popular “battle royale” . And well I think they nailed it. For a game that will be free-to-play sometime in 2018 it has been worth every penny invested as a founder.

5. Hellblade Senua’s Sacrfice – This game is just a masterpiece for what it represents. The gameplay mechanics are simple yet for what the game is, they get the job done well. Initial fear of dying too many times and losing your save file has you on edge as the superb sounds have you so immersed you forget you are playing a game. Do you listen to the voices in your head or try to push on the way you want to go? Don’t get too distracted or that could be the end.

Honorable Mentions

1. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
2. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
3. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
4. .Hack Gu // The Last Recode
5. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Leigh’s Top 10 Games of 2017

Leigh Patton Riding admins as well as streams to the Voxel Voice Twitch Channel. He’s a fan of horror games and loves diving back into old classics.

1. Resident Evil 7 – The big daddy of survival horror returns with a first person perspective (not for the first time; they date back to Survivor on PSOne waaay back in 2000) and may just have rescued the series from focus group mediocrity. Genuine boos, a grotty, tangible environment to explore, references for the superfans, and Jack Baker, one of the most memorable and fun protagonists since Far Cry‘s Vaas. The Resi series gets its redemption.

2. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – Pounding follow-up to Machine Games’ fantastic one-two sucker punch of The New Order and The Old Blood, TNC carries on the thread of arch humour, alternate history weirdness and chunky gunplay. I had a blast with this one, figuratively and literally.

3. Persona 5 – Atlus’ long awaited JRPG finally arrives, and it’s a jazzy, charismatic joy. Broken down to the simplest form, it’s ‘high school kids moonlight as masked vigilantes take on twisted adults’, but it’s so much more. Dazzling pop art direction, awesome combat mechanics and dark, compelling atmosphere.

4. Ruiner – Initially drawn in by the cyberpunk aesthetic, Devolver and Reikon games took me by surprise when it finally arrived. Essentially a semi top down twin stick shooter, Ruiner stands out with it’s almost zen combat loop. The amount of satisfaction from a seamless bob, weave and kill is huge. Immensely satisfying game.

5. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild – Yes, I know the weapon degradation sucks, but it’s still BotW. Next.

6. The Surge – Another surprise for me. Essentially a sci-fi SoulsBorne, this is far more urgent, kinetic and moment-to-moment in its gameplay. Coupled with an oddly deep narrative touching on transhumanism, this is 2017’s dark horse.

7. The Sexy Brutale – What a great game. A baroque art deco/chibi crossover art style mixed with a Groundhog Day style approach to murder mystery puzzle solving, monitoring the victims and killers throughout the time loops and placing a chain of events in motion to prevent the deed. Compelling.

8. Nioh – often labelled as a SoulsBorne derivative, Nioh actually has more in common with Capcom’s much missed Onimusha series. It’s a slick and measured hack and slash with so much to see and find on your way. Tough yet rewarding.

9. Prey – I’ll admit it. I don’t completely understand Prey. So it’s a testament to it’s draw that I’m still going back to it anyway. Clearly a cousin to System Shock, it’s a sprawling sandbox of a game where traversing and memorizing the environment is arguably as important as any combat. It seems like Prey ’17 has been rather overlooked, but I’m certain it will catch on over time.

10. The Evil Within 2 – I loved survival horror godfather Shinji Mikami’s callback to his own Resident Evil 4, despite it being dopey, messy and muddled. The sequel overhauls absolutely everything, tightening up the control and opening up the level structure into essentially open world, owing a lot to Silent Hill‘s approach to traversing a town. The stealth is tense but still super fun in a way that The Last Of Us 2 could learn from, and the game sports a ludicrous rogue’s gallery. Yes, the story is nonsense, but who goes to survival horror games for narrative cohesion? My surprise of the year.

John K. Tuner’s Top Games of 2017

  1. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  2. Horizon Zero Dawn
  3. Darksiders
  4. Darksiders 2
  5. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Steven Anthony Skelly’s Top Games of 2017

  1. Yakuza Kiwami
  2. Friday the 13th: the Game
  3. Star Wars Battlefront II
  4. DOOM (2016)
  5. Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rachel Doden’s Top Games of 2017

  1. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  3. Prey
  4. Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  5. Call of Duty: WWII

Red Beard’s Top Games of 2017

  1. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  3. Horizon Zero Dawn
  4. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  5. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
  6. Star Wars Battlefront II
  7. Call of Duty: WWII
  8. Destiny 2
  9. Mass Effect: Andromeda
  10. Injustice 2

I remember playing Super Mario Bros. and Metroid on the NES with my older brother, and never being able to land on the aircraft carrier in Top Gun. I faked being sick so I could stay home from school and play Quake II once, but now I request days off from work instead of lying. Age of Empires II is still the best RTS, Half-Life is still the best FPS, and I still think the end of Mass Effect 3 was great!