For some outlets Game of The Year could be listed as an annual blood sport. Interns are sacrificed and used as weapons, desk forts are made, hallways are reminiscent of trench warfare. All because Marcus found out that Sam chose some hipster indie game that literally only he had played as his game of the year, and Link fanboy Marcus was outraged that he didn’t choose Breath of the Wild. We here at Gamer Assault Weekly try to keep a civil order when we talk about our choices for Game of The Year or at least keep up the appearance of being civil. So staffers, “What was your Game of the Year pick?” Allen Saunders Editorials & Reviews Manager/ It was his idea to use the intern as a weapon Game of the Year is a legitimately hard choice for me this year. I played a ton of really amazing games and I hate having to just choose one because they are all worthy of the title. Perception brought a new aspect to a previously tired genre and the attention to detail even with the minimalistic aesthetic was unmatched. Resident Evil 7 reset a troubled series and managed to take massive steps in the way of gameplay innovations, at least in terms of that series. Antihero was a total surprise for me! The turn-based gameplay worked insanely well and the whole management of the thieves guild was astoundingly organized. The one game that managed to steal my heart though was MAiZE. What I thought was going to be a horror game set on a creepy farm, quickly changed into one of the funniest and most enjoyable games I played on the Xbox One this year. Vladdy the Russian Teddy Bear is easily the best companion in gaming. He hates everything, including you and your stupid face and he isn’t afraid to throw down with anyone! Not even a six foot, evil scientist sentient corn stalk. Not to mention there’s a boss fight that is essentially Dance Dance Revolution. So ya know, suck on that Call of Duty. Allen’s Pick = MAiZE Jonah R Esports Manager/Gets clothes for Christmas Despite my concentration on esports titles, there are times where I am able to break that focus and play other video games. Out of all of the new releases, I have only been able to pick up Destiny 2, Call of Duty WWII, The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, and Middle Earth: Shadow of War. This is not really an easy decision for me. To start, Destiny 2 was, and still is, a fun game to pick up from time to time. The raids and various other side activities provided thorough entertainment, as did the first DLC. The core item the game lacked was a strong story, and with that came lack of mission diversity. The multiplayer aspect of the game is incredibly fun, but the story was lacking. With Call of Duty WWII, it had a great campaign that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I have never really been a fan of the multiplayer, largely because I’m more of a Counter Strike player and aiming down sights is something we generally do not do, unless we use the AUG, SSG, Scout or AWP. Simply put, I enjoyed the campaign, but that alone is not enough to warrant a GOTY from me. Middle Earth: Shadow of War was fantastic. The combat system was Assassin’s Creed-esque (before they changed it). The story is a continuation of Talion’s struggle against the dark forces in Mordor. The game has a wide variety of interesting subplot quests, and the main quest series is rather interesting in itself as you, once again, build your army to fight back. The addition of the forts makes for a fun minigame, as well as a critical mechanic in the plot when fighting back against the dark forces and reconquering the areas involved. Unfortunately, the game was, admittedly, microtransaction reliant, which is a deterrent for many. The game was well written overall and makes second place in my books. This leaves The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as the remaining game, and is my Game of the Year pick. As a kid, I was not exposed to the Legend of Zelda games. The only chance that I got to play the games was through a friends Nintendo64, and that was limited access. Picking up BOTW meant that I picked up my first LoZ game. I could not put it down. The story was beautifully written from the start. It brings the player in at the right pace, introduces players to key game mechanics such as durability of weapons, food, cooking and so on. It also walks you through the first shrine, opens up the plot and simultaneously, opens up the world. The best part of this game is that you are free to play it however you want to. The combat system is great, the characters are quirky, the plot builds up at a steady pace, peaks, and eases off correctly. The game is visually appealing as well. Jonah’s Pick = Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Noah Dominguez Jr. Staff Writer/Likes Huey Lewis and the News Unfortunately, I have yet to purchase a Nintendo Switch, and therefore have not yet been able to enjoy some of this past year’s most talked about games, namely The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey. Rest assured, I will play them when I can. In any case, not having a Nintendo Switch doesn’t mean you couldn’t enjoy gaming in 2017, as there were plenty of great, new releases for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. For me, the most noteworthy game of the bunch has to be Sonic Mania, which was released back in August. The game is a love letter to Sonic fans, old and new, which contains some the game’s best levels, a wonderful modern-retro aesthetic, and utterly fantastic music. Thanks to Sonic’s open-ended nature, Sonic Mania also has a great amount of replayability. So, if you want to check out one of 2017’s absolute best games, but aren’t at a place where you can spend $60 on a AAA title, Sonic Mania is the game for you. Noah’s Pick = Sonic Mania John Donadio Chief Operating Officer/ Streamer/Hates Watching the Ball Drop On New Years This is a pretty hard choice for me. After almost 3 years of being with Gamer Assault Weekly, I have never given a 10/10 review, until 2017, that is. I gave out two. Both Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Cuphead both received top marks from me. Both games got the 10 score for very different reasons, and yet, I don’t know if I would give either game the title of Game of the Year. In fact, there were a lot of games I played this year that were great and I had fun playing. While all those games gave me immense satisfaction, I don’t even play them anymore. It’s a shame, I know, however, as great as the stories and gameplay are they have no reply value for me (However, if you haven’t played either please play both they are wonderful). No, so far this year there is only one game I have gone back to over and over again and spent 80+ hours exploring and killing in. That game is called Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Yes, the Ubisoft company made a game where I have loved spending my short attention span exploring most of Egypt. Bayek (the main character) has pulled me into his amazing story and ambition. I grieved with him and I’ve shed blood with him. The game is like an amazing callback to the first few games and so much more original. So my pick for Game of the Year of 2017 is absolutely Assassin’s Creed: Origins. John’s Pick = Assassin’s Creed: Origins Adam Siddiqui Senior Staff Writer/Works through the Holidays I’ve spent most of the year in front of a screen, and it was worth it. Horizon Zero Dawn surpassed any expectation I had, Cuphead’s wonderous level design oozed charm, and Middle-earth: Shadow of War allowed me the chance to control, and manipulate, the Urks of Mordor. Resident Evil 7, The Evil Within 2, Sonic Mania, Metroid: Samus Returns, and so many other games released this year deserving of this title. But I can only choose one. It’s hard to decide, after playing so many games. However, what stood out the most was Nier: Automata. Horizon Zero Dawn encouraged me to purchase a PlayStation 4 Pro, Super Mario Odyssey amazing worlds had me in awe, and I couldn’t stop playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild once I started. So why Nier: Automata? One word, ending. Nier: Automata has multiple endings but reaching the final battle, after enduring everything regardless of which end I choose the impact was heartfelt. Mysteries of purpose, life, death, and other significant questions that many of us ask ourselves at least once in our lifetime take center stage here. The action, soundtrack, and character performances all mix together for an outstanding journey that will leave you thinking about time and meaning well after the credits roll. Adam’s Pick = Nier: Automata Christopher Taylor Reviews & Editorials Writer/Still One of the New Guys My game of the year might be a bit of a ‘Did you hit your head’ decision as it is Mass Effect Andromeda. Despite its forgettable story and less than interesting characters, Drack the Krogan and Vetra the Turian squadmates being the exceptions, I have not had more fun playing any other game in regards to exploration and combat this year. The controls are responsive and intuitive, the only gripe being when using a keyboard I kept accidentally hitting the tilde key instead of the 1 key causing a command line interface to pop up and character control to cease in the midst of multiple firefights. Exploring the unknown in games is my kryptonite and in Mass Effect Andromeda they give you no shortage of sprawling landscapes to get lost in. Each planet has a viability score that the player can increase by finding and activating ancient technology for terraforming the planet, completing quests for the various factions and infiltrating and taking over the enemy base on each planet. Each map starts relatively small but as the planet becomes more viable more areas open up to explore. I know Mass Effect Andromeda received a lot of negative feedback for its story and animation glitches, however being a video game, gameplay is what matters most and Mass Effect Andromeda delivered beautifully. This is the most fun I’ve had playing a mass effect game since Mass Effect 2 and if a sequel is ever made, whoever develops it has a solid foundation to create a better story to enhance the superb combat. Chris’ Pick = Mass Effect Andromeda Vanessa Marie Founder/CEO/Makeup Addict (please send help) I will say 2017 was sort of a “meh” year for me and games. While I saw so many come out this year, finding the time to play them has been a bit difficult. I did play and try a lot of the big releases like Call of Duty WWII and Destiny 2, but for me, those big releases fell flat compared to the fun I had playing smaller indie titles. As I’ve grown I find myself more interested in party games I can play with friends, so titles like Human Fall Flat and Stick Fight really stood out for me. There was one game that I’ve dropped the majority of my time into and that was PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds but I can’t really give that game the “game of the year” title even though it’s now fully released. The game has its high points but still has a lot to work through to be given that title. One game I did play and replay that wins the game of the year for me is Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Wolfenstein as a series does so much right. The character development, the gameplay, the mechanics all work so seamlessly together and create such a wonderful experience. What wins it for me though is the storyline. No other game does a sequel quite like Wolfenstein does, the overall story and character development really pulls you in. I felt nervous, excited, scared, happy, empathy, and that’s all due to how the characters are written and how they relate to one another and to the overall game. There were times where I went from feeling like a bad ass fighting Nazi’s to shedding tears and being able to experience that range of emotion from a game is something I didn’t get from any other game this year. It’s a brilliant title worth playing. Vanessa’s Pick = Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Christine Marten Senior Community Developer/Staff Writer/Resident Horror Expert 2017 was a great year for family-friendly games, with everything from Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch to That’s You! on the PS4. Though that’s not what I’m here to talk about, so if that’s what you were expecting, you may want to skip this section. I’m here to talk about good old-fashioned horror. This was the year for revival in the horror/thriller genre, and other than a select few (I’m looking at you Outlast 2) I’ve got to say I’m rather pleased with the turnout. Fans got a fresh reboot out in the Baker bayou, with some nods to the original series, in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Even Evil Within 2 made great strides in its storytelling as fans explored a new STEM world and a new Sebastian Castellanos. While the 1930’s made a comeback in Cuphead, the Fleischer-esque cartoons had a darker side in Bendy and the Ink Machine. Even visual novels throw their hat in the ring with the surprisingly terrifying Doki Doki Literature Club. Though there was one game for me that stood out among the rest because of all of its components; from the story to the jumpscares, to the mechanics, and its personality, came together to make it my game of the year. I am talking about The Deep End Games’ Perception. I have to say there is no game out there quite like Perception. When I first tried this game at PAX East in March, I was genuinely excited to see where the story would go and how its characters would develop after playing the demo, and it’s come such a long way since then. Playing as a blind woman Cassie, you follow your nightmares to a house that is embodied by an evil spirit. If you’ve ever been in a hunted house, or a creepy basement in the dark, you know the lingering fear of there could be anything around the corner. They take that and make it a constant as you fumble around in the dark, using your cane to try and “see” around you. Though for anyone who likes to make mental maps of areas as they play games, you’re going to have a bad time. The more you use your cane for sight, the more susceptible you make yourself to attack, making it the ultimate double edge sword mechanic. That frustration just adds another layer of connection to the main character, giving you a taste of what it’s like to be someone with disabilities trying to function with all odds against them. While guiding Cassie through the house, you use a combination of technology and puzzles to find objects that tell the stories of those who have lived in the house before, and how they ended up as they were slowly broken down by the negative forces of the house. Think The Shining meets Amityville Horror meets Insidious, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you’re in for. Just don’t play it in the dark, or by yourself…trust me on this one. Christine’s Pick = Perception Well, this year was a tough one but there doesn’t seem to be a clear winner here for Gamer Assault Weekly staff. Perhaps you can vote in the comments and pick a winner for us! Have a great 2018 everyone! Happy New Year!