The U.S. Army today announced it has fully launched the FREE America’s Army: Proving Grounds (AA:PG) game on Steam. The game, which was released in beta in August 2013, had more than 920,000 player accounts created during the beta period and over 7.7 million hours of play. Players can register their Soldier name for the game at the America’s Army: Proving Ground website (www.americasarmy.com/register).
Borderlands 3 claims to have one billion guns, which is 56 times the amount of guns Borderlands 2 had, which is impressive in any context. You’ll never see the same gun twice — or probably once for that matter! Borderlands was the game that combined action RPG and shooter first, and existed before the word (sigh) “shlooter” entered our vernacular. Now this is a game that follows the popularization of the genre it created. While it feels like it is playing catch-up, Borderlands 3 succeeds in what it sets out to do, even if it doesn’t re-invent the gun.
There are few experiences in gaming so sublime as entering a flow state while working your way through a challenging landscape, chaining together moves and hitting every single button press at the exact right time to produce a perfectly executed run, the aural and visual feedback of which perpetuates your trance of gaming nirvana. Few games I have played in my life are capable of regularly producing this phenomenon, as doing so requires the right composition of controls, music, level design, and all of the small imperceptible details that hone a game into an masterfully crafted engine for driving you forward.
Mark of the Ninja: Remastered is the same game content-wise, now including the post-release DLC as a single package. But that’s not all. What makes this a remaster is the improvements visually and aurally, which make it the definitive version to own. It has been 6 years and 1 month after its original release, and the 2D stealth of Mark of the Ninja is just as good now as it was then. Mark of the Ninja: Remastered is an improvement in every aspect, and even earning the achievements again are absolutely worth the replay – this is a masterwork by Klei Entertainment.
Outside of gaming, 2017 will be be a year to remember – or one you want to forget. It’s personally been one of my best years, as I’ve started a new day job, bought a house, and feel like a proper-ass adult for the first time a long time. But we’re here about games, and what a wild ride and great year for games 2017 was. This has been the hardest list to assemble for the 2,017th year in a row, because not only did I play so many games, but there were a lot to like and even love – 2018 has a lot to live up to.