I've written about 99 PC games since I started my blog back in August. That's a lot of games. I thought it would be cool to do something a bit different for my 100th PC Spotlight, so this is a look back at the games that have ended up being my utmost favorites. (It was either that or wait till August to make Gods Will Be Watching my 100th, and I didn't feel like waiting)
Every game has its merits, but these stood out to me as some of the best experiences.
NaissanceE earned its spot on my slowly growing Best of 2014 list. It's true that some platforming areas were frustrating and perhaps too difficult, but every other aspect towered over those negatives. Traveling through the world of NaissanceE was such an otherworldly, unsettling experience, an awesome experience (in the actual sense of the word, inspiring awe). You felt like a stranger in an unfriendly place, and the way the audio, the weird compelling architecture, the sprawling vistas, the subtle visual cues all came together created one of my favorite games this year.
Capsule impressed me so much by taking its minimalist presentation and crafting a tense suffocating atmosphere. Through the sounds of your labored breathing, the muted bumps and bangs, the tinny radar tones, you're full immersed in the world and gameplay. Coupled with the sense of desperation and exploration, Capsule excels at making you feel lost and alone, quite a feat for such a minimal experience.
The Stanley Parable
Other narratives may have been more emotionally engaging, more compelling, more complex, but The Stanley Parable is the one I remember most fondly. The Narrator imbues the game with such a wonderful sense of wit and humor, and the many ways the game toys with your expectations and subverts game tropes are just brilliant. Again, like last time, it's an experience you can't really talk about without spoiling something, but it truly is a game worth playing for the journey.
It's a testament to how much fun Broforce is that I've played the game at least 15 hours now, played through the campaign five or six times, and the game is still so satisfying to play. Blowing bad guys away (and apart) with such a diverse action heroes just never gets old. Mechanically, it's relatively simple - jump around, kill things - but it's the spectacle and fluid gameplay that Broforce so good. The over-the-top gore, the huge explosions, the environments crumbling away under your firepower, the fast paced action, how different each Bro plays, it all comes together to make an incredibly fun experience.
One Finger Death Punch
One Finger Death Punch is a masterclass in simplicity. Somehow the developers were able to take a control scheme of only two buttons and make one of the most addictive games I've ever played. Like the Arkham games, OFDP combines simple controls and stylish animations to make you feel like an unstoppable martial arts badass. Once you get into a rhythm, timing your attacks with precision, the gameplay is just sublime, as you pluck weapons out of the air, tear out hearts, evade attacks, and just utterly destroy your enemies. The variety of mission types and the different skills you can unlock only add to the fun.
I had initially overlooked NEO Scavenger since at the time, turn based roguelikes didn't really appeal to me. I soon rectified that mistake and the game quickly become one of my favorite roguelikes, thanks to its deep survival mechanics and brutal combat system that makes each encounter feel like a desperate struggle from The Road.
XenoRaptor has become my favorite top down/arena shooter, even surpassing Assault Android Cactus. The wealth of weapons and modifiers provide so many loadout options, and the hectic combat is always a visual spectacle due to the stylish effects and hordes of enemies.
Overgrowth is far from complete, but I've played the game for almost ten hours. The fluid animations makes the hard-hitting combat a joy to watch and even more fun when you pull off some rapid fire parry or survive a three-on-one knife fight.