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Top Best PC Games of 2017: Everything is falling apart. Nations, elections, celebrity deaths – it’s in this turbulent time that I look towards the game industry.
It’s stable as a rock and it’s only getting bigger. Yes, this is escapism at its finest. Computer games are there for me to turn to at the end of a long day. If I want to be coddled by a narrative heavyweight I’ve got the likes of Firewatch, The Last of Us, or Stanley’s Parable.
To blow off steam I can load up Counter-Strike:Global Offensive or H1Z1: King of the Kill and start counting the headshots.
As far as PC Games go, last year will be hard to top. Behemoths like Battlefield 1, Overwatch and The Witcher 3 proved that there’s still tons of room for innovation and the graphics are sweeter than ever – especially with Nvidia’s new GTX 1000 series cards.
So, how’s 2017 looking for PC Gaming you ask? It’s looking real good. Let’s check out the best games to come, including some indie sleepers that you probably missed.
Best PC Action Games
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
Open world fun in the most corrupt of countries.
This GTA-style military shooter is set in Bolivia and there’s major political trouble afoot.
The corrupt government has been working with a drug cartel and it’s your job to make things right – hopefully without causing too much of a stir, it’s called GHOST Recon for a reason!
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands has the largest world Ubisoft have ever built and it’s wide open for exploration.
The story is totally nonlinear and how you execute the missions is up to you. In the trailer, we watch as one mission is executed three entirely different ways, at different times of day. I love the flexibility here.
It’s up to the player whether they want to take advantage of some very attractive stealth mechanics or run in, guns blazing and explosions galore.
You can either play solo and use the responsive UI system to lead your hotshot AI teammates, or play with friends with each person controlling a different character in your squad.
In gameplay videos, the lush forests are responsive to movements, as is the rest of the world. The weather system, specifically the wind effects really took me by surprise. More importantly though, where many games simply give the player an illusion of choice, this blockbuster actually delivers.
Release date: 7th March 2017
Mass Effect Andromeda
There’s a whole new galaxy to explore in this story-rich Action RPG.
In 2185, several species have banded together to form the Andromeda Initiative.
Their goal: to find a new home for humanity in the Andromeda Galaxy. These scientists and explorers might not be prepared for war but they’ll have to win some battles.
Mass Effect Andromeda has you leaving earth, spending 600 years asleep, and waking up a long way from home.
In the lead up to release, Bioware have been producing some skin-tingling trailers that feature real footage of the cold war space race and they’re really got my blood pumping. For those of us with beefy graphics cards, get ready to crank up the settings.
GM Aaryn Flynn has confirmed that the PC version will have an uncapped framerate (hooray!)
You play as one of the Ryder twins, Scott or Sarah. This character is totally customizable, as is your father and the sibling you didn’t choose.
For those who like a bit of lovin’, expect some romantic storylines. Developers have said that same-gender romances are possible, as are alien romances. In true Bioware fashion, there’s tons of decisions to be made along with realistic dialogue choices and stunning world exploration.
The multiplayer aspect hasn’t been fully revealed but producer Fabrice Condominas told Game Informer that “You will have possibilities to send teams to complete side missions, or to do it yourself in multiplayer.”
Like most narrative titles at the moment, the story is flexible, I know I’ll be taking my time to explore the new galaxy. Some of the trading market areas I’ve seen are very Star Wars-esque.
If you’ve played previous Mass Effect games you can expect a similar but improved third-person combat system with motion tracked animations – and some flashy jet packs too. The Mass Effect series is known for its storytelling but from the gameplay footage and screenshots, it’s the graphics that have me feeling hyped.
Release date: 21st March 2017
Go nuts on a space station in Bethesda’s sci-fi shooter.
Prey has been in development hell for a long time but it seems that the wait might have been worth it.
This current version is a reimagining of the original Prey that came out back in 2006. The story takes place aboard Talos I, a large (and heavily infested) space station that orbits the moon in the year 2032.
The level and sound design of this free-roam station have got reviewers excited, myself included.
In this alternative timeline, JFK wasn’t assassinated in 1963 and kept pumping money into the space program (we can only dream.)
As a result, we annoyed some interstellar aliens called the Typhon, and they swung by earth. We banished them to Talos I, which functions as their prison. The TranStar corporation studies the Typhon in order to create human modifications (Neuromods) giving us new abilities and powers.
You take on the role of Morgan Yu (gender customizable), a human aboard the station who is undergoing some rather nasty experiments.
Fight your way through the station, collecting abilities and unraveling the mysteries of the infestation and your own identity. While this sounds like pretty standard stuff on the surface, the trailers tell a different story. Intense storylines, physics weapons, and abilities like Mimic – which let you turn into a nearby mug in order to sneak through tiny openings.
If you looked at this game and thought: this is Doom meets Deadspace, then you should give it another chance.
Besides, Doom meets Deadspace isn’t the worst pitch I’ve heard…
Some fans are upset that Bethesda moved away from their cyberpunk-bounty-hunter game idea that they showed off in an earlier E3 trailer. For this reviewer, I think Prey has some real potentia
Release date: 6th May 2017
Adventure PC Games To Try
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Superhero sequel to The Stick of Truth.
Hey New Kid, you ready for some fun?
The geniuses behind South Park have done it again. Trey Parker’s original subtitle was “The Butthole of Time.” This should reassure you that this sequel is sticking to its roots: gross and satirical. As a longtime fan of South Park, I couldn’t be happier.
In a developer diary, Trey revealed that he watched PewDiePie play through The Stick of Truth as part of his creative process. It’s pretty clear that with this title, they’re aiming to fix the bad parts of the prequel (like the combat system) and do it all again – but better.
Fantasy has been replaced by superheroes. There are 12 classes to choose from, two gender options, and far more player customization than ever before. In response to recent gameplay footage, turn-based RPG veterans are singing this game’s praises.
What’s most important to me though, is that this sequel will continue to feel exactly like the TV show. This is a feat that just isn’t possible for other games. Going from TV show to video game normally ruins everything.
The hilarious trailer highlights Cartman’s aim to turn his Coon and Friends supergroup into the biggest superhero franchise of all time so he can earn one billion dollars. However, there’s a mutiny – a civil war.
Professor Chaos (Butters’ super villain alter-ego) is set to return as the key antagonist who’s tearing apart the sleepy Colorado town of South Park. Your job: to unite the superheroes and destroy all evil.
Players are now mobile during combat encounters, moving between one square to another, meaning that these all-out superhero brawls are responsive and wild. You’ve gotta plan with your team of heroes and think multiple turns ahead. It’s the combat footage that caused me to move this game firmly onto my shopping list.
Release date: Q1 2017
Impressive graphics and puzzle solving on a mysterious island.
A young boy is shipwrecked on an unknown island after a storm and the place is full of challenges and secrets to uncover. The peaceful trailers show this game looking like a mix of Journey and the Zelda series – both good things.
Instead of voice acting, Rime relies on its epic score to carry the player through the game’s beautiful world.
I like playing visually appealing games that rely on story instead of jump scares. Especially when the story is nonlinear and the graphics are as fresh as Rime’s. The music is incredible too – slow and sweet.
There’s even a smooth day-to-night system which shows off some impressive lighting effects. I’ll be loading this one up after a stressful day.
From released footage, the puzzles look awesome too – smooth animations and they’re spread out over the entire world. It’s not clear how they all link together but I guess you need to explore them yourself to find out.
It all seems to revolve around a giant tower in the center of the island with a keyhole shaped window. There aren’t any tutorials so you’re pretty on your own – that is, apart from the critters and creatures you can befriend. One question, where can I pick up the soundtrack?
Release date: May 2017
Indie PC Games To Play
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
Physics based low poly craziness.
Indie studio Landfall Games landed a winner with their breakout hit Clustertruck last year.
I’m a huge fan of these guys and I really love their low poly aesthetic. Totally Accurate Battle Simulator has you taking on the vicious blue army by setting up your own units on the other side of the battlefield.
Once your red army is set up, the physics based A.I. takes over and you can zoom around, watching the mayhem as the two armies kick each other’s heads in – often in rather hilarious ways. In my experience so far, working with projectiles, like musketeers or canons, means dealing with a certain amount of friendly fire – sorry my little red dudes.
There’s tons of units to choose from, each with individual physics and battle interactions.
A whole range of regions and eras are featured – including Vikings, Crusaders, Ancient Greece, Samurai Asia, Napoleonic, and Miscellaneous (boxers, chicken men, politicians.) As of writing, there’s twenty levels of varying difficulty, set in different genomes.
No strategy works twice as the dreaded blue army changes their unit makeup every level. There’s also a free play sandbox mode to test out all the cool units. Oh, and clicking mouse1 slows down the action, increasing the goofiness.
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator is currently in open alpha but they have an early trailer that shows off the game’s goofy mechanics.
You can grab a copy of the alpha to test yourself. It’s free on Landfall Games’ website. If you’re interested in following the development, be sure to check out the subreddit where the developers post test ideas and take on board user feedback.
I love this studio because they are totally focused on raw gameplay and continue to pump out top games.
While the game still needs polishing as it undergoes development, it’s already easy to tell this will be an indie hit. Like Clustertruck, this game lends itself well to the YouTube “Let’s Play” format because of the ridiculousness of its physics. Expect to see some silly highlight reels in your Recommended feed in six months time.
Release date: Summer 2017
A fresh twist on the survival genre with a kick-ass art style.
Survival games are everywhere, especially in the indie scene. So many small studios are trying to tap into this fast growing market. However, Finji have come to the genre with something special.
It’s the art style of Overland that catches your eye first, and then when you find out that it’s isometric and turn based, you already want to know more.
This procedurally generated squad-based strategy game is set in post-apocalyptic North America.
The E3 trailer showed off its roguelike gameplay and unique visuals. Every encounter in Overland is randomly generated. You start out on a road trip to the heart of America – each time with a different car and character.
Complete the levels, survive, and unravel the mystery. In my experience, it’s best not to get too attached to the people you pick up on the way because some of them are gonna have to go, if you know what I mean. (They’ll die, it’s the apocalypse, dude.)
Most people just choose to save the dogs instead.
Overland is out for first access, which is Finji’s term for open alpha, and you can buy it on their website. My warning to you: this is one of those games where three hours will fly by like nothing.
Release date: 2017
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
gif one: War is Hell
alpha signup: http://landfall.se/totally-accurate-battle-simulator/