As we head into the exciting year of 2018, we close out on what was a phenomenal year for gaming. From January until December, 2017 was the launch year for countless memorable experiences that resonated and dug their way into the hearts of players around the world. It’s for that same reason CGMagazine’s Game of the Year discussions are always a hard-fought battle. After a preliminary poll, hours of in-house banter and a GOTY Podcast, we narrowed our sights on five games that we consider to be the best the industry has to offer in 2017.
Through an intense contest, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came out on top as CGMagazine’s winner for Game of the Year. The competition wasn’t weak though with the likes of Nier Automata, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and South Park: The Fractured But Whole nipping at its heels for the top spot.
Speaking from personal experience, the moment I picked up my new Nintendo Switch and booted up the game for the first time, I knew The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was going to be something truly special. From the beautiful, cell-shaded graphics to the immersive gameplay and its captivating score, Breath of the Wild is a game I believe everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime because it’s an unforgettable journey. The moment I left the Plateau and started to explore the rich overworld of Hyrule gave me a feeling of freedom that no game in this genre ever has. By letting go of the player’s hand, Breath of the Wild promoted me to actively discover the world, uncover its hidden treasures, go off the beaten path and learn to live off the land in unique ways. That feeling of never knowing what was just around the corner was the driving force for me to experience everything the game had to offer as I chronicled my adventures and marked up my map. We may have all experienced the same ending in Breath of the Wild, but how we got there was our own unique story and one we couldn’t wait to share with friends.
In his own game of the year list, Derek Heemsbergen had this to say about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
“Breath of the Wild is a supremely important release in a year packed full of standout titles. Not only did it debut alongside Nintendo’s new console as a show-stopping demonstration of everything it can do, it redefined Zelda as we know it. Elegant and restrained, there’s a sense of fulfilment inherent to the mere act of discovery in Breath of the Wild. While other games incentivize exploration with material rewards, Breath of the Wild successfully convinces the player that their feats are rewards in and of themselves.
“Breath of the Wild‘s sheer volume of things to do (or “content,” if the word is more palatable) is hugely impressive. It’s the sort of game that every player approaches differently, thanks to its beautifully realized mechanical language. Objects in its world behave and react with a natural sort of logic that is immediately understandable, even to unseasoned players. Plus, with two sizeable pieces of add-on content now available, there’s even more reason to revisit the game nine months after its release. Mark my words: Breath of the Wild is going to be influential for a long time to come.”
Runner-up of the pack is Super Mario Odyssey, showing that Nintendo is back in full force as a developer and continuing to deliver powerful experiences for players of all ages to enjoy. One such player being our very own resident movie expert, Phil Brown. Here are a few excerpts from his recent article describing why Super Mario Odyssey was his personal GOTY:
“Super Mario Odyssey was both a celebration of Nintendo’s past and a promise to the future. Proof that the company can tickle our old pleasure centers while still providing rich and deep new gaming experiences that can match other AAA titles. My game of the year is a game that I’m still playing months later, either to find pesky stars and secrets hidden throughout or simply to re-experience moments that delighted me to no end the first time. It’s a masterpiece. Something that seems so simple that you can fall into it, yet is so deceptively massive that it rewards endless replay. Simply put, it’s hard to imagine a better Mario game. This is one title that I actually anxiously await DLC for and I know I’m not alone.”
Game of the Year 2017 Nominees (Based on Staff Vote)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild [Winner]
Super Mario Odyssey [Runner-up]
Horizon: Zero Dawn
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!
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