Before moving onto the next year, we gotta look back at the stuff that defined the high points of gaming in 2021. You know the drill with these “best games of 2021” articles, so I’ll keep this one short.
I dunno if I’m harping on this game too much, but I gotta say: Inscryption remapped my brain’s understanding of how to define an “original” piece of art. I mean, the nature of something original is that it’s something I wouldn’t have seen before or expected to see, and yet I still feel like my previous encounters with original art just weren’t as awe-inspiring as my play through of this game.
Am I lame for being so in love with this game? Maybe. Am I wrong in saying it was one of the, if not the, best game of 2021? No, my subjective opinion on the matter is objectively right, fact, and unquestionable. If you haven’t played this game because you don’t think you’ll enjoy its card-game mechanics, just play it. Please play it. Play it.
Play. Inscryption. Please.
I know you’re probably going to be upset with my over this, but Village was my first ever Resident Evil game. Yes, I can see your face, it spells U P S E T, and I completely understand.
Despite what the memes might suggest, Village is not a game about a sexy vampire lady. In fact, if you pay close attention, you’ll find that she’s actually one of many characters in the game. (I didn’t find this out until my third playthrough.)
The story, as I was told to expect from Resident Evil games, is cunning in its originality and clean structure. I wasn’t ever at a point in the game where I was like “Okay, let’s hurry it up.” The game has a solid beginning, middle, and end, and does a good job at making me want to learn more about the universe and its past, and future, story lines.
The gameplay was super smooth, and was complimented wonderfully by the excellent horror themes exhibited by the narrative and visual structure of the game. The subtlety with which these horror elements were employed were so masterful that I actually had to use them as a subject in an entire article about the topic. There have been many points in history where prolific game direction and masterful programming / design have met hand in hand, and RE: Village marks one of those points with a ton of ink (and a little obscurity.)
Village was a masterpiece, and I look forward to absorbing more Resident Evil content because of it.
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
Disco Elysium was released back in 2019, and even then it wasn’t anything short of incredible. The intensely complicated RPG elements and top-tier writing are complimented by a collection of gritty, charming, and realistic voice acting performances that pull everything together in what is, unarguably, one of the best narrative-driven RPGs of all time.
Its release of “The Final Cut” in 2021 version gave me an excuse to add the game to this very barren best games of 2021 list and to tip my hat to it, if only for a moment. I know this game already has enough love as it is by those who understand solid game design, but it still feels odd that, in a world that’s having a love affair with RPG gaming, Disco Elysium doesn’t see more commercial success.
In any case, Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is a prime example of how passionate world building and professional, talented writing can carry an otherwise decent game into instant classic territory.
No, really. That’s it. I didn’t really care for too many games in any meaningful way this year. This could be due to the fact that I’m currently limited to PC gaming: I’d figure The Last of Us 2 or some Nintendo game would have made it onto this “best games of 2021” list, otherwise. Or it could just be that the gaming industry is giving up and can’t, or doesn’t want to, produce quality content as much as it used to anymore. Its probably the former, eh?