Our individual Game of the Year articles allow our lovely team of writers to share their own personal PS5 and PS4 picks for 2021. Today, it's the turn of video editor Aaron Potter.
Toem takes the simple idea of photography and absolutely runs with it, letting you explore several diorama-like worlds as part of a wholesome coming-of-age tale. It’s exactly what I wanted from a low-key indie this year, boasting a relaxing pace that is incredibly refreshing and a cast of colourful characters that made me further believe in this otherworldly place. It’s a game that really understands how life’s journey is so often not about the destination, but rather the friends and experiences you enjoy along the way. All of which represent a specific snapshot in time.
After the absolute disaster that was Marvel’s Avengers, I don’t think I was the only one who didn’t hold much hope for Eidos Montreal’s Guardians of the Galaxy game. Imagine my surprise, then, to learn that Starlord and gang’s intergalactic journey wasn’t just good, but genuinely great. The combat was simple yet fun, all five Guardians surprisingly well realised, and it was all wrapped up within a strong cinematic adventure that really showcases the benefits of authorship in a single-player campaign. It doesn’t matter that you only control Starlord, because everyone else stays with you every step of the way.
Having grown up alongside PlayStations infamous Lombax and robot duo, I had high hopes that Ratchet & Clank’s first original adventure since 2013’s Into the Nexus wouldn’t disappoint. Fortunately, this PlayStation 5 showcase title turned out to be better than even I expected, introducing plenty more characters that I now can’t wait to see return, and offering up one of the most creative weapon arsenals the series has seen yet. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart proves that there’s a place for 3D action-platformers in the modern gaming landscape. I hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of them on PlayStation 5.
It didn’t take me too long to realise that Psychonauts 2 was truly something special. Sure, while the PS4 version doesn’t benefit from the same level of visual upgrades seen on other platforms, it did nothing to dampen the fun I had in this inventive brain-hopping adventure. Raz’s expanded powerset always makes exploring your fellow Psychonaut’s minds a blast, and it’s helped by each contained level always differing wildly in terms of theme and concept. Psychonauts 2 is a game that was made with real love; you can tell. Rarely ever have I played a game as witty or creative as this.
My love for Resident Evil: Village can all be boiled down to how Capcom handled the game’s marketing. Rather wisely, it chose to only showcase the first 4 hours or so, leaving the rest of Ethan’s search for his missing daughter a complete surprise. It was so much better for it! Village is filled with some of the scariest sequences I’ve experienced in Resident Evil yet, but it also takes time to reconcile how ridiculous the situation is. As such, Resident Evil is the ideal mix of seriousness and camp I’ve always wanted – hence why it’s my game of the year.
What do you think of Aaron's personal Game of the Year picks? Feel free to agree or berate in the comments section below.