Continuing on my list of the games of the decade but this time with the PC games. If you want to check Part 1 and my picks for console games you can find it here. I will break this into two posts though because there is a lot of PC games and I need a bit of time to get everything written down and sorted out. :p
Also, in case you missed the first time here are my criteria for these lists:
First I am sticking only to games that I actually finished. Or at least finished one route if it has multiple story routes. Otherwise this list would be much bigger.
Secondly, I am not sticking to any particular number of games or ranking them. This is just the ones I can remember from the top of my head and they are all special in my heart for different reasons.
Lastly, this is my personal list. Yours will surely be different. In fact, if you made a blog post like this feel free to link it in the comments below or if you don’t have a blog of your own feel free to write down your list there. 🙂
We good? Ok, let’s go!
The original X-Com game was one of my favorites as a kid. But to be honest I was horrible at it and had no shame at all about using a save editor to give me all the good stuff. When the announcement of the 2012 remake came I was cautiously optimistic about it. I mean, remakes of anything can be such a gamble in terms of quality and entertainment. But all the interviews with the developers looked like they at least had their hearts in the right place so I decided to give it a shot. Much to my delight the game was not only good on its own but it successfully kept the spirit of the original game, not an easy task. Oh, and I did manage to beat it without any cheating, before anyone accuses me of anything. At least up to Classic difficulty. :p
XCom 2 picked up all the things that worked well with XCom and made it better. I am trying to think on how to explain why I like it so much more than the previous entry but all the things I can think of feel more like comparing apples to oranges. The first one was more like the original, in which it as the defender, it was a waiting game until you got enough technology and information until you could do a definitive counter-attack. The second one you play a guerilla warfare and so by necessity you need to be a lot more pro-active in your decisions. Viewing this way they are both good at what they were trying to do.
My only nitpick with XCom 2 is how the Commander is pretty much treated as some kind of “Chosen One” even though they technically lost the first war. It is a narrative problem though and this game is all about the gameplay so it doesn’t really bother me much.
The original Hitman game was one I never was able to get into. I liked the concept but the controls were just awful. Also somehow I never tried any of the sequels. I just don’t have any explanation for that. And then there was a Let’s Play of Hitman Absolution from the Spoiler Warning crew that I watched that just didn’t inspire me much confidence for the continuing quality of the franchise.
After its release I start to hear good things about this game but didn’t immediately buy it. It wasn’t until it was ported to Linux (thanks Feral Interactive!) that I picked it up. Gotta support my OS of choice and all that. 🙂
It was definitely one of the best games I spent money on. I love how it feels like a giant puzzle of murder as you make your way through the level, trying to find the best way to take out your target without anybody noticing and then leaving. Even better is that are so, so many ways to kill your targets and if you fill certain objectives they give you different options of starting at a different location, with a different disguise and you can even choose what kind of equipment to take/make available at the location. For a game with such a relatively simple premise it sure has a lot of replayability to it. 🙂
The dark sense of humor is also great. I just love how Agent 47 will wear the most ridiculous disguises and do so with his usual stoic expression. XD
Unfortunately I haven’t bought Hitman 2 yet. I have been waiting to see if it was also getting a port to Linux but there was no news about it so far. I guess that means there won’t be any porting and I probably just should buy it anyway and enjoy some more Hitman.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The original Deus Ex is another game I was never able to get into back in the days. In this case though it wasn’t for any fault of the game itself it is just that I was an insufferable teenager who didn’t like FPS games and I saw Deus Ex as being just an FPS pretending to be a RPG. So like any stupid self-righteous jerk I snubbed it. Still haven’t really got back to correct that mistake of my life.
When Deus Ex: Human Revolution launched it felt like a good way to start fixing that. In terms of story it is a bit clunky but in terms of gameplay it is pretty fun. I also will be honest and say that the mandatory boss fights didn’t bother me until people pointed out how it didn’t mesh so well against the rest of the gameplay or the spirit of the original game. Despite these problems I loved my time with it.
Unfortunately I haven’t played the sequel, Deus Ex: Makind Divided, yet. I waited until the sequel was ported for Linux, bought it and then keep completely forgetting about it. One day I will play Mankind Divided. I just need to remember it exists!
Divinity: Original Sin
Before this game I never heard about the Divinity series. I might not even had heard about this one or played it if it wasn’t for a friend who liked the older Divinity games, mentioned to me about the Kickstarter for Original Sin and that it might be a game I might be interested in. So I went to check the Kickstarter info and any interview I could find. I liked that what they wanted was just some money to finish the game and polish it, meaning that whatever happened I’d at least get something out of it if I decided to back the project. I also liked what they said in interviews about how Ultima VII was their inspiration, how they decided to bypass a publisher so they could do a turn-based game like they always wanted and other little bits that seemed right my alley.
So I kickstarted it and eagerly waited for the game release. It was everything I wanted and more. I love how the game is open enough to let you solve the quests in multiple ways. I also love how if it lets you do something there isn’t a situation where it is possible. For example, your character has an skill that allows them to teleport to any place they can see? Then it will work just like that even through a gate as long as they can see the other side. Then there is their quirky sense of humor which is just the cherry on top. 🙂
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is another sequel I have yet to play. I actually tried to but at the time I wasn’t really in the mood for a western RPG but from what little I saw I love it. The fact I keep forgetting about it just go to show how many good games we had in the last few years making it hard to choose what to play. That or this is another sign that I have absolutely no memory at all. Probably a mix of both.
To be brutally honest if I saw Stardew Valley without knowing anything about it I’d probably think it was some cheap RPG Maker game trying to ape a much better, much more famous franchise. Luckily that isn’t how I got introduced to this game. I found about it when I was bored one day and decided to check what GOG was streaming on Twitch. Turns out it was this game and I liked what I saw so much that I decided to buy it.
This is such an excellent game to just relax, with so many wholesomeness in it. I am still very impressed that the game was the work of just one person. Even more impressive is that it still receives some hefty updates, years after its release. All in all, it is an excellent game to come back to from time to time, specially when I need something that doesn’t require much of a commitment. 🙂