This year has been a huge year for the Xbox One, and as we showed you guys last week with our most anticipated games article; we can't wait to see what 2015 has in store. However, it is now time for me to reflect on the past and choose my favorite game of the year. Just a heads up, this is my personal opinion and you guys are encouraged to share your favorites in the comments below.
Let me start by telling you what I personally look for in a game. First off, I'm a sucker for an immersive story. Any game that can make me feel as if I am the biggest part of the story is a winner in my book. Secondly, I love a game that isn't afraid to try a new gameplay mechanic or reinvent an old one. This keeps things fun and fresh. Lastly, cohesion. If you can make a great game with a great story and great mechanics that don't disconnect you from your character, you have struck gold my friend.
So without further ado, here is my favorite game of 2014.
I guess the best way for you guys to understand why I love Sunset Overdrive so much is to take you guys through the journey it took me through. As most of you know I'm fairly new to the site and this was my first big AAA game review. Also, this was Microsoft's biggest new IP of the year, so I had a lot of pressure on me to say the least.
When I launched Sunset Overdrive I knew I was playing something different. I mean the bold colors stand out from the start. The yellows, reds, and blues. This was refreshing as many games have somber colors schemes. But little did I know the boldness of the colors were a hint of what was to come.
My first couple of hours into the game were tough. I had trouble getting used to the controls and I somewhat as if the game was trying a little too hard. You had this crazy new type of traversal, yet the game just kind of throws you in there and hopes you will pick it up. But this wasn't the only thing that threw me off in the beginning. Insomniac Games is well known for their sense of humor that they proudly display in their games. Well, I felt like as if it was a little over the top.
Not only was I put off by the humor at the beginning at the beginning of the game, I was dismayed when I realized that a lot of the missions where point A to point B type of missions. You guys have surely played these before. Someone in the game wants you to go fetch some item for them and then bring it back to them. These type of missions drive me crazy. Especially when that's all a game is doing.
At the point in the game, I reached out to Paul and Sam and expressed my concern with them. I was afraid that I was going to give my first big title a horrible rating. I was sad that I was only 3 hours into the game and I wasn't enjoying myself. However, something changed.
Sunset Overdrive started adding amps to my weapons that created some crazy firefights. It also started giving me new movements to add to my traversal such as air-dash and being able to pound into something and jump up from it. While it was adding all of these new things to the gameplay, it was also began to get smart. The humor and the story were falling into place and I was having loads of fun with the game. Never has a game been so self-aware, yet not obnoxiously so.
I honestly can't remember the last time I thoroughly enjoyed a game as much as I did Sunset Overdrive. To put it best, this game was the shooter genre's equivalent that Burnout was to the racing game genre. Everything was just over the top fun. The game even has a fast travel option, but there was no honest need for it. Traveling from one side of the map to the other often resulted in some awesome chain moves that came at the expense of the OD'd. I mean a gun that lets you shoot flaming teddy bears at enemies will always be a winner in my eyes.
So if you haven't bought Sunset Overdrive yet, I advise that you do so. Yeah, the first couple of hours are a total grind, but once you get through it, your side will be splitting from it breaking the fourth wall and you will endure aching face muscles from smiling so much. The game took me back to a time when games were just pure fun and didn't think too highly of themselves. We are surrounded by games that tell somber stories and consist of brutal deaths. However, Sunset Overdrive shows that you can even have fun when you're dying by awesome re-spawn animations.
I guess the reason I truly enjoyed the game was because it was such a breath of fresh air that it's been so hard to forget it. Sunset Overdrive you were my hero in 2014 and a great start to my writing career. I hope there are more games just like you somewhere out there in the not too distant future.