Gamer: “A person who plays a game or games, typically a participant in a computer or role-playing game.”
That said, I consider myself a videogame aficionado, more than a gamer per se. What I mean with this is that I don’t really play that many games (controversial, I know, but easy to say when compared to the rest of the GPT crew).
I did grow up playing my Mega Drive and PC, but I tend to simply play a bit here and there. I do love this industry; I love talking about games, discussing their impact on our world and lives, and most importantly I like to hang out with my friends while playing games, even if I am just observing and supporting instead of taking an active role.
2015 will be marked in the annals of history as the year I joined GoPlayThat, not only supporting them through my recurrent participation in Rob’s Friday night GARs (where I brought the thunder… hard), but taking a more active role. This was an easy decision; I love the guys in the group and what draws us together: Our passion for videogames.
Until now, I've been lurking in the shadows but I plan to be more visible in 2016. I will not make promises but I will make a commitment, starting with this first post.
This past year was marked by changes, both geographical and emotional, and I do think that my Top 5 are deeply connected to moments that marked my year, that go beyond playing a videogame.
5 - Battlefield Hardline
Some might find it strange that Battlefield Hardline got into my top 5. Is it because I don’t play many games? Is it because I’ve always been a sucker for Battlefields, so I will always give it a try? Well, honestly, it’s because I found the single player to be the best in this franchise since Bad Company 2.
Don’t get me wrong, the multiplayer in this game is fast and even innovative, but the way I see it, in single player, I had the chance to be a badass Miami cop that got stuck in the middle of a drug war. I loved Miami Vice, so it was easy to fall for this bait. 7 hours later, I felt like I had just finished playing/watching a really cool cop movie.
I played at my own pace, abusing stealth so that I could use my good-cop powers to arrest me some thugs…but at times I had to pull the trigger. What can I say? It’s a war out there, and Hardline did a good job of making me want to finish the job.
4 - Star Wars Battlefront
I just saw a toddler humming the Imperial March. This is what Star Wars has done to our world, and I have to say that this game is a result of the passion that Star Wars fans have for this universe, translated into the shape and form of a modern FPS.
Ever since the Beta, I've felt that I was immersed in a real fight on planet Hoth. The incredible visuals, astonishing sound effects and accessible game mechanics allow me to ignore the fact that there is no single player campaign, and made me enjoy taking an active role in what are some of the biggest fights created by Hollywood minds.
DICE’s creation is a great homage to the earlier versions of this franchise, and I am sure that everyone will play it over Xmas, right after watching the Force Awakens.
3 - Rocket League
This is the best multiplayer game I played all year. I could actually leave it at that because it’s that simple. Rocket League is not a complex game. It is not a breakthrough in graphics or gameplay. Its single player is basically non-existent. But this game found the recipe for greatness.
Fast cars with turbo, playing futuristic football in a modernized Colosseum, and you do it always online and with your friends. The GPT crew and friends played it, and screamed and laughed and trolled and we were happy. What else do I need?
2 - Fallout 4
What is there left to say about Fallout? Not much really. It’s easily the most hyped up game of 2015. Maybe the most hyped up in the last few years actually. Did it rise to meet the expectation? Well, it made me, a Fallout newbie that has never played (but watched my flat mate play many hours), buy it, play it and most importantly, thoroughly enjoy it in its vast and exquisitely designed post-apocalyptic world.
I tend to run away from overly complicated and demanding games, but I always felt at ease with was required of me, and in spite of the many, many, many deaths, I came back for more. This is by far the most well-rounded game I've played in the last few years and I only miss the opportunity to share these experiences in some sort of online multiplayer mode. Maybe Santa will bring that for me, but regardless I'm sure I will still continue playing it in 2016.
1 - Life is Strange
This is also Stu’s favorite game of the year (top 5 for Tom as well) and he did a great job explaining the game in detail, so I’ll avoid getting into that, but I can say that what drew him close to this game was basically the same that did me.
The emotional charge that is imbued into every frame of this beautifully designed and executed game, where we witness the unraveling of a story where every decision you take, every move you make, every conversation you have, brings you closer to a dramatic conclusion.
In a time where everything in the world goes by so fast, I took my time with Life is Strange and appreciated all the little things that make this game great, in its intricate Chaos Theory gameplay glory.
The scenarios that elegantly adapt to Max’s feelings and emotions, the carefully chosen soundtrack and the great voice acting bring to life what is the best story I’ve played since The Last of Us.
What Dontnod managed to create is more than a just another videogame. They've created a work of art, that reaffirms the position of videogames as the 8th Art.
For that I thank you, and hope to see more from you soon.