TiX’s GOTY 2017

Ever since TiX went multiplatform this year, it was clear that one game would shoot right into some of the teams GOTY lists for 2017.

I mentioned in my nominations that the chances are this would have been close to the top of my list, but having not finished the game it was unfair to include it, but enough of the team have therefore the winner of the TiX GOTY 2017 is…

Horizon Zero Dawn!

Both John and Simon had it as their GOTY of the year, I had it in my ‘If I had finished it, it probably would have been GOTY’ plus its still a game the team have been really excited about since it’s release at the start of they year. It was pretty much the reason I bought a PS4.

Here is what John had to say:

I am not sure what to say about Guerrilla Games’ smash-hit. I am serious…. Just buy it, play it. Love it. Play it again. Then go online, talk about it with rabid fans; discover parts you missed. Go back. Play it again. Then write about it on a GOTY list.

While Simon said:

Could it be anything else? The clear, clear winner for me this year. I was going to sell my PS4 earlier in the year. I just never used it and it’s odd blue colour (Uncharted version) looks a bit weird on my shelf. However, I saw an add for this game and decided to give it a go before taking that trip to CEX.

Holy crap! What a game. There isn’t one single thing about this game I do not like. The story is fascinating and rewarding, the characters are brilliant. The game play. it’s stunning looks, also, not a micro transaction or loot box in sight!

Robot dinosaurs!

I love this game! This is going to be a game I play once a year, just to play it through again and again. I’m going to end up keeping my Playstation just for this franchise alone and I am happy with that! Seriously, if you don’t have this game, you are missing out.

So there you have it, congrats Guerrilla Games!

 

 

Kodi now available on Xbox One

Kodi

Kodi is now available on the Xbox One.

Yesterday the first version of the app hit the Xbox One and is available for everyone to download. Over on the Kodi website there is a blog post which explains how the team came about getting the app on the Xbox, but in summary they have warned users that the Xbox One download isn’t finished and may contain missing features and bugs and they are listed below:

  • There’s limited access to only part of your Video and Music folders.
  • Network support is limited to NFS:// shares.
  • There’s no access to attached storage or to the Blu-ray drive.
  • There might be problems with some add-ons.

 

 

 

 

Games With Gold Announced for January 2018

As we head into 2018, Xbox have announced the Games With Gold line-up for January 2018. From January 1st through to 31st we have The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 3, which will make its debut on Xbox One and will be Xbox One X Enhanced upon release. Then, from Jan 16th to February 15th we have the London based Zombie survival game Zombi.

On the Xbox 360, and of course available on the Xbox One via the Backwards Compatibility program, are Tomb Raider Underworld, which is free from January 1st to 15th, and then Army of Two, from Jan 16th to 31st.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 3 – In this final chapter of the trilogy, you’ll see Borgovia in its darkest state. The civil war may be over, but a strange cult is prophesying the end of the world. Van Helsing will do battle against even more terrifying beasts with an expanded arsenal for six specialized character classes and a more detailed, diverse leveling system. He’s now prepared to face his archenemy in this world of squabbling factions and criminals, but he won’t be alone — Lady Katarina, his ghost companion, is still with him and her story is set to be revealed as well.

Zombi – How long do you think you can survive in the streets of London, surrounded by the infected among the roads and underground canals? If you happen to fall victim to these mindless enemies, you’ll lose all your possessions. Start again as a different survivor and you can fight your way back to recover your stash. Plan well and you may make it out alive.

Tomb Raider Underworld – Dive, climb, fight, and jump your way back into the world of Lara Croft as she travels around the world to uncover the mystery surrounding Thor’s Hammer. You’ll need all of your new combat options and gear to help prevent a forgotten power being unleashed that could destroy civilization.

Army of Two – Combat, camaraderie, and cash. Bring your best buddy (or play with the AI) in this innovative co-op third-person shooter centered around the world of private military enterprise. Earn and spend your money to improve your weapons and increase your lethality as your jobs will take you around the world, from Afghanistan to South Korea, where your team will confront a conspiracy that threatens the entire world.

 

Dave’s GOTY 2017

This year has been a weird one for me, I’ve started a lot of games and not finished as many as I should have done. Luckily, I have played some fantastic titles.

5th – Injustice 2

I’m by no means a huge fighting games fan, but when I got the chance to review Injustice 2, I had to have a go and I’m glad I did. Not only did it teach players well in the game, it looked incredible. It also had quite an interesting story mode that had me hooked. I’m still rubbish at it though.

4th – Halo Wars 2

I was so excited to play this, having got to spend some time with the game before its release I told the team how good it was, they weren’t having it but they all realised in the end. Blitz mode was the perfect game for those who didn’t have time on their side while the full campaign was exciting and it was another game that looked great.

3rd – Destiny 2

Like many of us, Destiny was bought and barely played, but there was something about Destiny 2 that had me hooked. It was great being able to drop in and out, take part in whatever took my fancy and moving away when I felt like it – one day we’ll finish the raid, one day.

2nd – FIFA 18

I love my FIFA titles, each year they do small things to make the game better, with PES hot on their heels EA really needed to up their game and they did. The game is full of different game modes that suits all types of players. I certainly don’t play as much as I used to but I love going back.

GOTY 2017 – What Remains of Edith Finch

This is why I love gaming, I loaded this up with no expectations. Within 10 minutes I was hooked and a few hours later I had finished the game, but for a long time afterwards I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I’ve been back to play it countless times afterwards. I’ve told everyone I know to buy it and play and will continue to do so. If you pick up any game this year, grab this one.

Honourable mentions

As I mentioned, there are some games I have started that I love but because they haven’t been finished I can’t have them on the list, there are other titles that were close but didn’t make the top 5 either:

  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Wolfenstein 2
  • Rainbow Six Siege – Year 2
  • PUBG
  • Forza Motorsport 7

Rich’s GOTY

It’s hard not to let my fanboy enthusiasm get in the way of my GOTY choice this year – and I do love Assassins Creed. It started slowly with the game asking many questions as to whether it is a ‘true’ Creed game, but my game of the year for 2017 is without a doubt Assassins Creed Origins. I completely fell in love with the main characters, particularly Aya and what’s not to love about ancient Egypt.

Next on my list is Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, visually it’s stunning and the story that Ninja Theory told was done so with such care and attention around a sensitive subject that it is worthy of recognition – not to mention that it has stayed with me for the best part of the year.

Finally is Destiny 2. I really dislike the first incarnation of Destiny (Before the Taken King updates) but 2 is the game I wanted the first to be. It has more of a story to immerse in and the multiplayer is finally worthy of the Halo makers name.

John’s GOTY 2017

Game of the Year talk is, oddly enough, a year-round topic. I remember early on in 2017, March time, I remember saying to a few friends that I believed that Horizon: Zero Dawn wouldn’t be bettered this year. Also, that Resident Evil 7 was a return to form – even though it took me a lot longer to finish than I cared to admit, at the time anyway. During my review of Shadow of War, for this very site, I often said to my colleagues here that I’d need the dust to settle on the Middle-earth epic before I could say where it sat – but top three was mentioned a fair bit.

Now, one game that I have had to – personally, that is – judge harsher than some other potential Game of the Year titles this year is, surprisingly to some, Destiny 2. If I’d settled on this list in early October, or heck, purely on the nights played with other TiX staff, then Bungie’s controversial sequel would have been a solid top three entry. However, with a game like Destiny 2, I have to let it breathe a little before seeing where it sits. Destiny 2 is a game that, for me, has asthma. Bungie hasn’t given it an inhaler, at least not regular enough, which is why it doesn’t quite make the cut.

Obvious, to some, omissions are most of Nintendo’s first-party hits. From Zelda to Pokemon, deluxe Mario Kart to the sprawling Mario Odyssey, and the much hyped – by me – Xenoblade Chronicles 2. All these titles are stellar but just didn’t strike me like the following three games did.

3rd – Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Overall, I had an incredible time returning to Mordor and the surrounding areas. Monolith really did go and pull an Empire! An improvement in almost every single area, from gameplay, to the unrivalled Nemesis system, and the world they doubled in size. The latter half of the game is a bold move, one that I hope they can make payoff. And if they don’t, then I look forward to my yearly replays of War, and maybe Mordor. Maybe.

2nd – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Resident Evil 7 was a return to form that I wasn’t aware was needed. Resident Evil 5 was a game that my Wife and I played many, many hours of. Resident Evil 6 was being played when my Wife’s waters broke with our second-child. Yet, Resident Evil 7 has the both of those beat, for me. I was in a party with a good ol’ friend, who had already beaten 7, but he was a passanger on my journery through the terrifying-times ahead – and I dare say he enjoyed every moment which I flinched and yelped at. Yelp, being the replacement word for scream. I yelped a lot.

GOTY 2017 – Horizon: Zero Dawn

I am not sure what to say about Guerrilla Games’ smash-hit. I am serious…. Just buy it, play it. Love it. Play it again. Then go online, talk about it with rabid fans; discover parts you missed. Go back. Play it again. Then write about it on a GOTY list.

Simon’s GOTY 2017

With 2018 nearly upon us, before embracing the new, it’s time to take a look back at 2017 and more specifically, what were my games of the year. So, with no further ado, in reverse order, I give you…

5th – Middle Earth: Shadow of War

I love this game. The combat, the story all of it. This would actually be higher on my list however it’s gotten knocked down because of a completely unnecessary loot box system (this nearly disqualified it from my list) and to be honest, the shadow wars bit at the end is dragging on a tad and is a little too repetitive, however, these things can be overlooked as the game is just so damned good up unto that point, and fact is repetitive or not, I’ve still going back to it… I loved the main story, I disturbed myself by being attracted to Shelob and chopping up Orcs was great almost therapeutic fun! I hope the season pass is in the sale come Jan and I’ll be getting it.

4th – Sniper Elite 4

The honest truth here is that I was bored one evening and I saw this in a sale and picked it up on a “why not” basis. Certainly, my surprise of the year right here! I was completely hooked within about 5 minutes. The story was basic but flowed nicely. I loved the open structure of the levels and the objectives contained within that went side by side with the main missions. I thought it was a pretty game, which reminds me going to have to boot it up on the X now to see if it has any gains, and the cherry, the X-ray kill cam. Never has shooting other men in the testicles provided so much entertainment and it never once got old! When I picked it up also included was the season pass, and I really enjoyed the additional content that came with that too. All in all a really great package! If anyone fancies a bit of co-op here and there, just let me know as I would be up for it. I hope there is a 5!

3rd – Destiny 2

I know there is a lot of conflicting tales about this game and yes a slight misstep has been made here and there, but the fact is that I personally found Destiny 2 to be a vast improvement over the first one. The story had a beginning, middle and end, the fact it had a story propped it up over the first and the shooting mechanics are still second to none. The X enhancements recently made this an absolute beauty to look at and it’s just simple, addictive fun. This will be eating time of mine well into the new year and beyond.

I also thought that the Curse of Osris was good, remember the first DLC from the first game? No, neither do I! If you are thinking about Destiny, just do it!

2nd – Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars was one of my personal favourites on the Xbox 360. The cut scenes were beautiful and the campaign was bloody good fun. Halo Wars 2 simply carries that on. Yes, there was a slight problem with the story that could have been fixed by moving the mid game boss fight to the end to give it a proper sense of closure and the less said about the season pass mess the better, but, this is a game I still go back to once or twice a week for a quick match of some kind. Also, Awakening The Nightmare campaign, all arguments to one side, fecking awesome! Buy it if you have this game!

A few quick honourable mentions for Wolfenstien 2, Ghost Recon Wildlands & BulletStorm Full Clip Edition. These 3 were all great, but not quite enough to make it into my top 5. Now, time for the main event.

GOTY 2017 – Horizon Zero Dawn

Could it be anything else? The clear, clear winner for me this year. I was going to sell my PS4 earlier in the year. I just never used it and it’s odd blue colour (Uncharted version) looks a bit weird on my shelf. However, I saw an add for this game and decided to give it a go before taking that trip to CEX.

Holy crap! What a game. There isn’t one single thing about this game I do not like. The story is fascinating and rewarding, the characters are brilliant. The game play. it’s stunning looks, also, not a micro transaction or loot box in sight!

Robot dinosaurs!

I love this game! This is going to be a game I play once a year, just to play it through again and again. I’m going to end up keeping my Playstation just for this franchise alone and I am happy with that! Seriously, if you don’t have this game, you are missing out.

So that was my 2017, how was yours?

What I am hoping for in 2018? Bulletstorm 2 please!

Ady’s GOTY 2017

I joined TiX earlier in 2017, so that makes this my first ever Game Of the Year post as a (part-time) bona-fide games reviewer. I always thought this decision would be awful, but in this case my GOTY stands head and shoulders above its competitors this year. However, it’s only fair to point out that I haven’t played everything thats been released, so I can only base it on what i have actually experienced. I don’t have a Switch, although it’s days away from arriving, so they’ll be no Mario or Zelda. And I have a few big-hitters lined up in Hellblade, Assassins creed Origins and Shadow of War, which I’ve saved for the barren New year period.

So, lets start with my Number one, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. This game had me hooked with not only it’s balls-to-the-wall action, but the story and character development as well. I reviewed it for TiX and gave it a whopping 9.5/10. Once the first few (not great) levels are out of the way, and you reach Nazi-controlled America, the game just blasts it’s way from one awesome set piece to the next, whether you’re on a rocket train to Area 51, or blasting off to Venus to meet the Fuhrer himself. The new characters that are introduced are written so well that you will be caring about them as the game progresses. And its incredibly funny to boot, with two of the best cut-scenes you’ll find in a video game. Considering there has been some talk of single player games being canned in preference of developing large multiplayer experiences, its fitting that Wolfenstein should come along and blast that theory to smithereens!

Second up is another single player game, Horizon Zero Dawn. I need to mention that I am yet to complete the main quest on this, having only started playing in November, but clearly this deserves to be high up on anyone’s best of 2017. Let’s start by mentioning just how amazing this looks on a standard PS4. It must look incredible on a PS4 Pro on a 4K/HDR TV. But the graphics don’t take anything away from the gameplay mechanics, which never feel even when you are taking down the millionth robot.

Thirdly, and deservingly so is Destiny 2. Yes, its had its haters, and Bungie have made a few mistakes in the endgame, which are now hopefully being addressed and fixed, but no other game this year caused myself and nearly all the other members of the TiX team to immerse ourselves in a game as much as this one. Destiny 2 was a seven nights a week pastime for around six weeks, whether it be Crucible, Nightfall or Heroic Events. It took over our lives, and I for one was struggling for time to play the review games that came afterwards. My mind was fully immersed in the world that Bungie had created and I couldn’t think about anything else. At its core, Destiny 2 is the best FPS game there is with perfect gunplay mechanics.

Next up is Cuphead. A throwback to the incredibly difficult games of old. And no, I still havent been good enough to finish all the levels. But I will get there, even if it takes me years! Every so often I will get back into this gorgeously hand-created world and spend an hour perfecting a level in order to get that little bit further forward. It is the best looking (and sounding) game of the year.

And finally, rounding out the top 5 is my suprise of the year, The Sexy Brutale. I reviewed this back in May and fell in love with the gorgeous visuals and simple gameplay that surrounded me in my quest to stop the multiple murders from taking place. I loved it so much that I will be double-dipping and purchasing it on the Switch for my second playthrough. I described it as Groundhog Day meets Cluedo, a comparison which led to the developer quoting me in a Tweet, a moment which made me very proud!

An honourable mention should go to Fortnite, both in it’s Save the World mode, and the PUBG inspired Battle Royale addition, which got plenty of my attention. However, my most played games this year were 2016 releases that continue to be supported by their creators, so a huge shout to Hitman, Rocket League, GTA5 and Rainbow 6 Siege!

Greg’s GOTY 2017

No one sets out to make a bad game, yet it happens anyway. Things go wrong during development, the scope out weights the team’s efforts, the fun is lost somewhere down the line, or a myriad of other issues that leads to the result of a bad game.

The honest truth of the matter is: it’s all too easy for a bad game to be made. There’s too much stacked against them, the hype from elements perceived as intriguing by consumers and journalists, the financial commitment to develop something that meets modern standards of visuals and features. I don’t think we truly appreciate just how hard it is to make a good game.

What about great games, then? What measure of developer does it take to build these? I think the groups of people that manage to deliver an experience that you cherish are remarkable developers indeed, and their success should be vigorously celebrated. With that, then, I’d like to tell you about my personal top three games of 2017.

3rd –  Yooka-Laylee

The N64 and original PlayStation consoles saw the birth of 3D platformers, and it didn’t take long for some true classics to hit those system. 2017 saw a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie release in the form of Yooka-Laylee, a love letter to the early 3D platformers with a focus on cute and quirky characters, collectathon gameplay, comical boss fights and themed worlds.

It’s a marvellous, nostalgic trip with enough collectables to keep you busy for dozens of hours, and indeed it’s that quest, that obsession to collect everything on offer, that drives the experience, further enhanced with achievements and trophies. And despite a combative camera and the occasional section of poor or obscure level design, it kept me entertained for weeks while I conquered every stage and searched every nook and cranny for shiny trinkets.

2nd –  Resident Evil 7

Over two decades after the original Resident Evil title, Resident Evil 7 comes along and drastically changes the series’ style. The third person perspective gives way to first person, zombies and genetically modified monstrosities give way to a crazed family and organic clumps of mould, and the comically campy storytelling gives way to a tense atmosphere and serious character motivation.

The puzzles hark back to the original, and the primary location strikes a nostalgic tone with its intricate design, but now the horror is more real and frightening than ever before. The visuals are so splendidly detailed and grotesque you can almost sense the damp, the blood, the sweat and the adrenaline. Stick a VR headset on and the immersion becomes that much more engrossing.

This was a completely new take on the Resident Evil formula, making bold new strides in horror and storytelling while keeping enough familiar elements to appease long-term fans. This was a special title for me, drawing me in enough to command multiple playthroughs and scaring me enough to wear me out at the end of every play session. And with smartly designed DLC side stories to draw me back in, it became a title that stuck with me throughout the year, one that I enjoyed and indeed still enjoy immensely.

GOTY 2017 – : Dungeons 3

As the release of Dungeons 3 approached I suddenly became intrigued. I’ve been after a title that approaches the greatness of Dungeon Keeper for many years, and had been left wanting. Dungeons 3 looked like it might get the formula right, that perhaps it had learned from its previous titles, as well as from similar dungeon management titles, and made the jump to something as enjoyable as the original Dungeon Keeper from the early 90s and yet featured precisely the modern refinements we all expect. Indeed, Dungeons 3 meets that hope.

Fourth wall breaking humour galore, dungeon building that’s smart and expansive thanks to a well implemented upgrade tree, and that special something to place it apart from Bullfrog’s original dungeon management marvel: RTS style gameplay in the overworld.

Indeed, Dungeons 3 nails the dungeon building and the humorous atmosphere, and while its performance is a little patchy on console it’s still hugely entertaining, with enough content to keep you engaged for countless hours, and a challenge in not only building an efficient dungeon for your creatures and to decimate any invading heroes, but also to then lead your army of creatures in combat in the world above. It’s excellent and I couldn’t stop playing it until every single achievement was mine.

I think of the aforementioned titles as great examples of the year’s best games and then I recognise that there were so many more that I haven’t had the chance to play yet, such as Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Horizon Zero Dawn, Cuphead and Super Mario Odyssey, and I’m reminded: don’t think that a small group of dedicated and thoughtful people can’t make an impact in this industry, because it’s the only thing that ever has.

Vermintide 2 coming to Xbox One and PS4 – Beta Sign-up Open

Independent developer Fatshark has announced that Warhammer: Vermintide 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the multi-million selling game Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide, is heading for consoles.

“Although speculations have been correct all along, today we are happy to start talking more console specifics as the Xbox One and Playstation versions has been confirmed” says Martin Wahlund, CEO of Fatshark.

Vermintide 2 is a visually stunning and ground breaking melee action game pushing the boundaries of the first person co-op genre. The game introduces the dark, bloody and twisted Chaos as an enemy faction. Other new features include 15 hero careers, new environments, talent trees and the proprietary Heroic Deeds System.

The 5 heroes have returned to take on an even greater threat – the combined forces of the cowardly Skaven army and the barbaric Chaos faction. Prepare to be challenged like never before as you and your team desperately try to survive the never-ending hordes of enemies. Choose between 15 different careers, climb the talent tree, and customize your weapon arsenal to fit your unique play style as you fight your way through 13 stunning levels. The only thing standing between utter defeat and victory is you and your allies – if you fall, so will the Empire.

You can sign up for the Console beta now by going to the following; Xbox One sign-upPS4 Sign-up