The GWW gaming team has put together a list of their top games of 2021. Are any of these on your list?
Nova Drift (Early Access)
Published by Pixeljam
Developed by Chimeric
Shoot, Upgrade, Survive. Deep space is cold and lonely… until you get swarm after swarm of invaders trying to take you down. Your persistence and resolve teach you more about your foes and give you the ability to take from them and make them your own. Welcome to Nova Drift! You are a lone pilot out in deep space, surviving wave after wave of boulders, ships, bosses, and cosmic anomalies. Each group gets more powerful, numerous, and much more dangerous.
You come across boosts that increase your level and gain the ability to alter your vehicle—weapons, shields, then the ship itself. The upgrade choices give a roguelike feel, and certain upgrades lead to a “super ability,” one that can bring a much more critical aspect to your survival. The particular upgrades that show up can be changed with the help of a reroll ability. If you don’t like what’s being offered, change it up! A major unknown is how space will react near you, sometimes having comets fly through or even a singularity opening up and just swallowing everything in the vicinity, including you.
Developed by: Ubisoft Quebec
Released on: December 03, 2020
Originally titled Gods and Monsters, the game I chose experienced delays, a name change, and quite a bit of controversy. Still, I feel Immortals Fenyx Rising ultimately is worthy of a place in all gamer’s libraries, and I am choosing to let it be my choice for this list. More widely referred to as simply Fenyx Rising, this game has so many components that makeup what I consider a great game.
If you enjoy character design in your game, it’s here. From gender to outfits, this game not only allows it but even offers players the chance to change them with a simple visit to the Hall of the Gods. Did I say Gods? Yep, this game is based on the storied legends of the Greek Pantheon. Your missions have you traveling around the Golden Isle attempting to free various Gods and Goddesses from curses caused by Typhon. And while you have the option of taming several stallions you encounter (even the fabled Pegasus), the preferred means of traveling are on the wings of the fabled inventory Daedelus.
Using a variety of weaponry, including a bow and arrow, which when the game debuted made me think this was a Kid Icarus follow, you face off against everything from boars and lions to Minotaurs and even Medusa. It even offers a hilarious commentary by Mr. Hey-You-Get-Offa-My-Clouds himself Zeus along with Prometheus. With puzzles and plenty of treasures to be found while exploring a detailed and graphically rich landscape, this is an amazing game. With DLC content as well as the core game, there are several hours’ worth of enjoyment for gamers. The fact that it was a cross-platform release means gamers of any system shouldn’t hesitate to add this one to their collection.
Developed by: Housemarque
Released on: April 29, 2021
With only 4 months left into 2021, I wanted to sit back and write about one of my favorites games of this year. Last year I was lucky enough to get my hands on a PlayStation 5, and many games have come out that I have really enjoyed on that platform, im looking at your Ratchet and Clank, but none have captivated me as much as Returnal. For the past couple of years, I have been obsessed with roguelike games. Games like Enter the Gungeon, Dead Cells, and most recently Hades have given me some of my favorite gaming moments of recent memory.
When Sony announced Returnal, a triple-A story-driven roguelike, I was more than ready to take on this new challenge. Returnal has stayed with me months after its release. Even though I have not beaten the game, and I don’t know that I ever will, I have not stopped thinking about it. Returnal is one of the best games I have ever played, period. From its haunting vistas to its tight bullet hell gameplay, Returnal delivers on a true next-gen experience. Now, I know that a lot of people argue whether or not this game is worth $70; I am here to tell you, Yes, it’s more than worth it.
Again, if roguelikes are your jam like they are mine, then you will find yourself at home with this beauty. Returnal will make you rage quit. It will make you want to put down the game and burn it to the ground, but Returnal will keep you coming back for more. Returnal is my game of the year so far, and I have played many other games that could easily be GOTY contenders any other year, but this 2021, so far, belongs to Returnal, and I really don’t see that changing.
Developed by: UmaikiGames
Released on: January 13, 2021
Squarumon has sent his monsters to inhabit the realm after a love scorned, and you are the undead that can stop them. Skellboy Refractured was right in my wheelhouse, and I love UmaikiGames for it. You play Skippy, the multi-functional hero that can utilize the bodies of his enemies and some pillaged swag to up his game throughout his quest to rid the kingdom of evil once and for all.
The gameplay was easy for these old fingers to learn. But, it was challenging enough for the game to not be too easy. I love when it shows you what to press and when in the beginning, and Skellboy Refractured did that beautifully. One of my favorite mechanics is the inventory. In most RPGs, the inventory is on your body. In Skellboy Refractured, it IS your body. I loved trading out my head for a zombie’s head only to discover it took away a life cube in the process.
I loved the pseudo-squared-off world full of more detail than initially believed. The music didn’t quite live up to the art’s standards. I did like it, though, as it was reminiscent of 80’s video games. It had enough variation to not get overly repetitive. However, I did find myself turning it down after a bit as the effects and music got a little old.