Whenever I choose a video game to play for the next few months the hope is I’ll stick with it and not stop halfway in the middle of the game. That has happened with a few games I played in the past where I start off excited to devote most of my time with a game only to abandon it for another game, or not being in the mood to play for a little while. This is why when I do commit to a game and see it all the way through, it’s a massive achievement for me personally to consider it finished and crossed off my backlog.
Here is a list of all the video games I played and beaten in 2021.
Despite a rocky game launch Cyberpunk 2077 had been a game I was excited to play in 2020 that continued into the 2021 year. With its massive neon colored world of Night City to seeing the likeness of actor Keanu Reeves voice the foul mouthed Johnny Silverhand, it was an entertaining ride to play as mercenary V in spite of the game’s flaws and occasional bugs.
You can read more of my final impressions here.
Although the video game GRIS was an older game and not a more recent release, I finally got the chance to play this incredible game from Nomada Studio after receiving it as a gift last year. I’ve heard plenty of good things about GRIS but nothing could have prepared me for the depth and beauty this indie title possessed. From the watercolor like graphics to the emotional musical score, this is one game that will stay with you long after you have finished playing it.
Read my full review of GRIS here.
An ongoing trend of this past year has been playing older, but outstanding, video games from the previous years. I dusted off my old Xbox 360 to finally finish Tomb Raider. Unfortunately, Tomb Raider was one of those games I started playing for a bit only to stop somewhere along the way and totally forgot about it. Luckily, when I went back to the save file I had, I only finished the Prologue and was able to jump back into Lara Croft’s origin story.
Tomb Raider was an edge of your seat, adrenaline rush and playing the game almost felt more like an interactive movie. The grittiness and the urgency to survive as Lara when her vessel crashes onto a mysterious island was an incredible immersive experience that I often felt very acutely. It’s a testament to what Crystal Dynamics achieved in gameplay and storytelling.
Read my review of the game here.
Life is Strange: True Colors
One of the few game releases to come out of 2021 that I did play, Deck Nine’s take over of the Life is Strange series from Dontnod Entertainment with their newest entry Life is Strange: True Colors became my game of the year.
Playing as Alex Chen who uses her empathy powers to get to the bottom of the suspicious circumstances surrounding her older brother Gabe’s death is a tightly woven narrative filled with a cast of memorable supporting characters, and the freedom to explore the beautiful small town of Haven Springs.
The strength of the writing really sets this Life is Strange game apart from the rest in the series, and I do hope Deck Nine comes up with more games like it in the future.
Read my full review of Life is Strange: True Colors here.
A much more recent older game I beat was Remedy Entertainment’s Control. Despite receiving rave reviews when the game came out in 2019, I largely was going to skip this one after hearing how incredibly hard playing this game was. The difficulty level was unforgiving and would potentially cause a controller breaking scenario. It took also receiving this game as a gift to push me into playing it. Thankfully, no controllers were harmed while playing this game.
Reading that the developers came out with an easier mode last year, to address the complaints that Control was too hard to play, I was relieved to know I wouldn’t end up playing a game I wouldn’t wind up finishing. I play games to experience the story and characters, and not have the gameplay be impossible for me to move onto the next part.
At times Control’s easy mode was ridiculously too easy that bosses known to be super hard to beat on normal went down in seconds with main character Jesse Faden’s supernatural ability. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed playing as Jesse who arrives at the Federal Bureau of Control’s headquarters, the Oldest House, to find her brother Dylan who was taken by FBC agents when they were kids.
Control has a very X-Files vibe and some really hair raising moments that often creeped me out but didn’t tear me away from playing the game for a second. Exploring the Oldest House and finding and reading all about the strange goings on at the FBC and outside of it added a rich layer to the game’s world.
Completing a total of five games in 2021 is a record for me and something I’m celebrating. Here’s hoping I’ll complete many more in 2022!
What games have you played and finished this year?