Our individual Game of the Year articles allow our lovely team of writers to share their own personal PS5 and PS4 picks for 2023. Today, it's the turn of reviewer Jaimie Ditchfield.
At the time of writing, I have yet to finish Baldur’s Gate 3. I’m about 35 hours into my adventure so far, yet I can still appreciate just how immersive the entire package truly is. In the short amount of time that I’ve played, BG3 has been able to demonstrate just how ambitious its role-playing mechanics are and provide me with the closest version of Dungeons & Dragons in video game form. It might be lower on my list compared to most, however, there’s no denying that Larian Studios has developed something magical here.
Ever since I was young, Spider-Man has been a constant influence in my life. The web-slinger is probably my favourite character in all of fiction, with me being obsessed ever since I watched the animated series growing up, in addition to the Sami Raimi trilogy of live-action films. After falling in love with Insomniac’s first interpretation of the character in 2018, Spider-Man 2 managed to fix a lot of the issues I had with the original, and introduce my favourite villain, Venom. Traversal is further improved with the addition of the wingsuit, combat is fluid as ever with the symbiote powers and alterations to Miles' venom powers, and the story has a lot of emotional moments that resonated me as a long-term fan of the character.
Resident Evil 4’s 2023 remake had a lot to live up to. The original version, which was released in 2005, became an instant classic, and one of my favourite games, period. To say my hype for this remake was above “normal” levels would be an accurate statement and, in the end, it certainly delivered. The remake managed to find a nice balance between the action-oriented gameplay of the original title and the modern take on horror the series introduced in Resident Evil 7 and the remake of Resident Evil 2. Additionally, the story was streamlined to be more consistent in terms of pacing and character development. And yes, Leon still says “Where’s everybody going, bingo?” which makes me very happy.
When Like a Dragon Gaiden was announced, it was a day one purchase – I absolutely adore this franchise, and I was expecting to have yet another fantastic experience. What I was not expecting, however, was to fall in love with this emotionally charged continuation of protagonist Kazuma Kiryu’s story. To be honest, I didn’t understand the decision to bring him back after the conclusion of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, and especially after his appearance in the last main line entry, Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Nevertheless, combined with the usual Yakuza / Like a Dragon minigames and side activities, Gaiden has established itself as one of my favourite games in the series.
1. Alan Wake 2
Alan Wake 2 is weird. Remedy’s latest production is filled with some of the best gameplay sequences in recent years, excellent music, and one of the finest examples of implementing live-action components into the typical “game” experience. Most of my journey through Bright Falls and the Dark Place were filled with moments of me being simply mind-blown by what I was witnessing, in addition to appreciating what Remedy was trying to accomplish with Alan Wake II’s ambitious narrative. I don’t think there’s anything quite like Alan Wake 2 and I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon.
What do you think of Jaimie's personal Game of the Year picks? Feel free to agree wholeheartedly, or berate relentlessly in the comments section below.