2021 A Year in Games

Quick list of games played in 2021:

Genshin Impact, Cyberpunk 2077, Artifact, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Seek Etyliv, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Dyson Sphere Program, Final Fantasy XV, Valorant, Concrete Genie, Control, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, God of War, Knockout City, Virtua Fighter 5, Wild Rift, Industries of Titan, Naraka: Bladepoint, Hunter's Arena, Florence, Superliminal, DotA 2, League of Legends, Battlerite, Runeterra, Hitman 3, Bright Memory: Infinite, Legion TD 2, Titanfall 2, MageQuit

In progress:

Pathless, Persona 5, Kena: Bridge of Spirits


Timelie, Shadwen, Loop Hero, Rhythm Fighter, A Plague Tale: Innocence


This year, I've had more interest in classic JRPGs and shooters.  Both in the style of high fidelity experiences, action cutscenes and a clear throughline story with memorable set-pieces.  The music in FFXV set the tone of a grand epic.  That followed with a lot of focused, fun time in FFVII Remake and Persona 5  Voice acting went a long way to make the character drama come to life.

The weakest genre as of late has been stealth.  I did play Cyberpunk 2077 with a stealth build, so perhaps that covered my needs there.  Maybe the military backdrops of that and Metal Gear / Splinter Cell franchises are more compelling to me.   As for the other, more traditional hard stealth games, I found that there was a tradeoff where the designs had a lot of tutorializing of stealth mechanics that I did not have the patience to get past.  The puzzle-like elements of early stealth games felt restrictive and bland, as I'd have seen these before from past experience.

Competitive games were fun (as always) but a bit of a struggle this year.  Without dedicated time to study and master the strategies, it was harder to keep up across multiple multiplayers games.  These are still very fun, I thoroughly enjoyed Hunter's Arena, Virtua Fighter 5, Knockout City, MageQuit, and Naraka a lot, especially in the early learning curves just after each game's launch.  I'm happy to play out a season in each one and see how I rank compared to other players.  But there's no chase to be the top 1% for me here.  Mastery is a bit out of reach without focus.

Biggest surprise and enjoyment was Superliminal.  It spoke directly to me as a game developer, by showing the backstage elements of creative work.  

Ultimately, I'm reminiscing on Nier: Automata.  This is the masterpiece that come back to me a lot, especially through the soundtrack.  I've picked up the prequel remake Nier: Replicant ver 1.22474487139... and it's going to be my focus for 2022.

Anticipated games of 2022/23:

God of War: Ragnarok, Elden Ring, Sifu, Final Fantasy XVI, Astrea: Six Sided Oracles, Endless Dungeon, Citizen Sleeper

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