I don’t know if 2021 (as a year) was better or worse than 2020 — they were both pretty rough! — but I find myself feeling a tad more optimistic than I did before. We could hem and haw about it until the cows come home, but I do believe that ’21 was a much better year for new releases in ’20, so I don’t feel the need to go overly snarky and make my list entirely out of remasters. This was a great year for games, and I want to recognize the wide variety of brand-new, original releases that captivated me throughout the year.
Author: Jarrod Johnston
Last year I was feeling a bit snarky after what I thought was a pretty underwhelming year for new releases, so I populated my top 10 list with nothing but remakes and remasters. I still stand by this choice, as it allowed me to somehow award Dragon Quest XI my Game of the Year three times in a row. Thankfully, 2021 has proven to be a much stronger year. I’m also feeling less dour than I was at the end of 2020, so I wanted to do the inverse and focus this year’s GOTY list on only truly new releases.
Come And Get Your Love
HIGH Breaking a pep-talk huddle and “Never Gonna Give You Up” blasts without irony.
LOW The performance mode on current-gen hardware leaves a lot to be desired.
WTF What the flark does “flark” mean?
HIGH The original Crysis is still both a technically and mechanically exceptional shooter.
LOW Way too much content missing to be considered a true “collection.”
WTF …Boy howdy, centering the series around a pandemic was a bad call in hindsight.
I’m Out Of Lawyer Puns
HIGH It’s still the best way to beat the hell out of people in modern gaming.
LOW Some of the original Judgment‘s nagging issues are still present
WTF …Is this series really ending because of pig-headed Japanese talent agents?
Writing the review for Marvel’s Avengers proved to be a challenge when it arrived in my inbox last year. Going into it knowing that it was a live-service game, it was hard to put a ‘permanent’ score on it when my top question was “So what is this going to be a year from now?” Welp, it’s officially a year from then, and with the recent War For Wakanda expansion released, I wanted to see for myself how much Marvel’s Avengers has changed, while also seeing how my original review holds up.
Point After Touchdown
HIGH There’s a move called the “Screw****er Death Kick”
LOW The open world traversal is downright awful
WTF Could we maybe get just one woman in a Suda game that isn’t a sexual fetish come to life?
Power Of Attorney
HIGH A truly remarkable job by the localization team at Capcom
LOW A little too much Herlock Sholmes
WTF …Still waiting on that Ace Attorney Investigations 2 western release
Kickstarter: Nothing Is Final Any More
HIGH A respectful ode to both the source material and a dormant genre.
LOW It’s not the most welcoming of titles.
WTF …Maybe going with “Final” was a bad naming convention?
A Fine Macrobrew
HIGH Exceptional production values with outstanding in-engine cinematics.
LOW It’s a franchise still defined by cheap deaths due to finicky controls.
WTF …Where’s my gotdang fart button!?!