It’s that time of year within the GamEir tower (yes it’s a tower get used to it) where we choose our favourite games of the year. We get the writers together and sit down throw our thoughts at each other and by the end, we have our choices of games we’ve played this year we’ve adored. We hope you enjoy reading about our experiences this year, and please let us know yours.
Graham’s GamEir Game of 2020
Anyone who knows me will be unsurprised by this choice. It’s Final Fantasy VII Remake. I went with my heart rather than going with a game that is perfect. Final Fantasy VII Remake is a game that I have been waiting for for years and when it arrived it achieved something rare, it delivered. It did not let me down. It was the game, the story that I wanted.
Were there changes made? Yes but I frankly saw these as welcome additions into the lore. I had so much fun with the combat system, the score was phenomenal and getting to see these characters as I did when I imagined them as a small child was, honestly, emotional. With these heightened graphics my diminished imagination was allowed to fall in love again with them. And I fell hard.
Conor’s GamEir Game of 2020
By far my favourite game of 2020 has been Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord. This game is many things, but the best way to describe it would be a medieval simulator. Bannerlord is the long-awaited prequel to Mount and Blade: Warband (which I would also recommend) developed by TaleWorlds Entertainment. It is an open-world action-adventure strategy game set in the fictitious world of Calradia.
An empire has crumbled and in its ashes, you must forge your own kingdom. You may start off as a noble man’s son on an adventure or as a peasant family’s daughter seeking to liberate her family. The possibilities in this game are almost endless. You can raze armies, fight alongside your merry band of companions, become a vassal for your favourite kingdom, or create your own kingdom from the ground up. The land of Calradia is made up of various kingdoms and factions based on real-world civilizations.
For example, the Battanians are based on the Celts specialising in ambush tactics with strong infantry units and the Aserai are inspired by the pre-Islamic Arabs using light cavalry and infantry. All of these factions you can join or conquer. That is provided they don’t decide to just act hostile to you. There is so much content to sink your teeth into this game it’s mind-boggling.
I’m 65 hours in and I’m still learning new things. For anyone interested in strategy-based games, role-playing games, or even medieval enthusiast, Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord is worth your time. However, I must forewarn you that as of this writing this game is still in early access and is still being updated.
Jade’s GamEir Game of 2020
This was a tough pick, but no one will be surprised by what I’m about to say. Without a doubt, my game of the year is Those Who Remain. I gamed a lot more this year than ever, and I massively stepped out of my comfort zone.
Those Who Remain was such a huge moment for me this year. Not only was it a massive sucker punch to psychological and survival horror, and there was so much lore to go with it. In the run-up to release, the Discord became so much more interactive with The First Chapter. We all got roles, Tomas Ridley or Susan Ward. We got to choose their paths. It was a really great way to introduce the forgive or condemn mechanic of the game. Plus the story, and the multiple endings… Oh my. 10/10, fantastic experience for any horror fan. The devs are also some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
Niall’s GamEir Game of 2020
Well damn, somehow it’s December? Linear time and I have somehow both survived 2020? It’s true!
Yet I cannot lie, I’ve not been so in the loop this year with gaming. Animal Crossing: New Horizons helped keep me sane, Ghost of Tsushima was enjoyable if very safe. The Last of Us Part 2 I only got seven hours into before I was split from my PS4 yet had done little in my mind to justify itself as a sequel.
God, the fact I still haven’t touched Doom: Eternal… I should really be fired! The superb beat-em-up Streets of Rage 4 is a solid contender, but I have to go with the title that truly won me over.
Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise is technically a mess. Dated visuals, a barebones open world and an appalling frame rate (look it up!) it was initially quite the disappointment.
As a massive fan of the original, it was a step back in almost every way. Terrible LGBTQ+ representation was a particular let down, to the point where certain faux pas were patched out altogether. However, like the first title once the story got its hooks in I was utterly transfixed.
Where the first game looked to Twin Peaks for inspiration this time the flashback/flashforward approach of True Detective was an inspiration. Using this sequel as an opportunity to explore loss and trauma was such an ingenious way to work on from the tragic ending of the first game. York is always a delight to be
around, a coffee craving cinephile FBI agent.
Pairing him up with snarky kid Patty was comedy genius. However, my standout has to be Simon Jones, the Paul Giamatti lookalike with a religious reverence for pizza. This game certainly isn’t for everyone and in a market so consumed with trying to maximise broad appeal it’s a minor miracle. An ugly game with a big heart: could there be a title more deserving of the subtitle A Blessing in Disguise?
Slav’s GamEir Game of 2020
2020 was a year of disappointing setbacks and delays. That’s why I find it fitting that I actually didn’t even play anything from this year. Hence my game of the year game is Metro Exodus. Fantastic storytelling, setting, gameplay mechanics and best of all. I didn’t even experience a single bug or glitch. Which is rather rare for today’s world of game. Metro Exodus so easily grabs you and envelopes you in post-apocalyptic Russia that it was truly escapism for me.
Moving slowly and methodically, saving ammo and crafting gear for a big fight that was waiting for me around any corner. Only for me to panic, fumble the controls, scream and blast away with every round of ammo in my clip.
Feeling my heart rate rise and getting a notification from my fit bit was rather impressive. Metro Exodus was the only game this year that immersed me in a world and took me on a journey. An early 2019 game was my game of the year for 2020. On a side note, there are some similarities between post-apocalyptic Russia and the crazy year that is 2020.
Marcus’ GamEir Game of 2020
What game truly deserved the GOT this year?
We all know who won the title but in my humble opinion (and many, many others) it should have been; Ghost Of Tsushima!
Yes, Ghost of Tsushima won my heart, without contention and is crowned my GOT!
I cannot overlook the picturesque and charm of Sucker Punch’s breakthrough title.
This hectic year forced us all to participate in a strange Fallout parody! We bunkered down in our vaults to outlive the virus and in doing so we all became somewhat obsessed and overcritical of the games we chose to play!. but this one game silenced all the critics.
The harmony between story, gameplay and graphics are so well balanced. If you are in any way a peace-seeking human being with a love for nature and a strong sense of right and wrong, then GOT is simply irresistible. Plus you’re a freaking Samurai!. I mean who doesn’t think samurai are cool?
What other games allow you to honour your fallen foes with a bow? or find some of the most breathtaking scenery, to which you can compose Hiku as you meditate on its beauty.
Ghost Of Tsushima’s fascinating cultural depth, a morally provoking storyline (with a twist), combined with intricate yet tough combat all lend to Ghost Of Tsushima being my GOT!
See you next year
Well, guys, we hope you enjoyed reading our article. It was a love letter to games and our experience with them this year. It’s been wild and I would like to think gaming and the community surrounding it has helped a lot of us get through this year. We hope you have a great Christmas, you’re safe and able to spend it with those you love and that you get to play a ton of games.