What an amazing year to be trapped inside! For a lot of folks, this has been the year for playing loads of games and getting to experience everything on the menu. For me, it’s largely been just another year of juggling responsibilities and doing what I can to make time for games as they come, and probably spending too much time playing older games instead of newer ones. Priorities! This was also the year I finally invested effort into getting my Twitch channel off the ground (sorry for the shameless plug), which did end up driving my decisions to play some older games, and a lot of multiplayer ones.
Longtime followers of Hideo Kojima’s work know that his games have a reputation for being multifaceted journeys that are as frequently confounding as they are astounding. We go along for each new ride fully aware that we are setting ourselves up for amazement and moments of frustration, and that the experience is often about accepting and even inviting both extreme ends of this spectrum, and everything in between.
Death Stranding is Kojima’s first foray into something truly new in well over a decade (not counting the ill-fated but well-loved P.T.), and the question that has largely been hanging over the release of this game is “Can it stand apart from Kojima’s legacy?” Or, more pointedly, “Can Death Stranding escape the shadow of Metal Gear?” Given that Death Stranding originally released on consoles in 2019 and there has been plenty of time for players to evaluate these questions and come to their own conclusions, I won’t spend overly much time on this particular point, except to say this: Death Stranding‘s parallels to and influences from the Metal Gear series are inevitable.
Another year and another great batch of games to come along. When the end of the year rolls around, it’s always hard to encapsulate just how many games made their way into my rotation. Those that left a lasting impact. Luckily for me, it’s been time to sit down and finalize the list for 2019.