My Year of Gaming in 2020: A Gaming Blog Post

Playing Amazing Games in Well, Let’s Just Say One CRAZY Year

Okay.. I thought I would get this blog post done sooner. This was due like, eight months ago. Darn you busy individual. So a lot has been going on this year, exciting but crazy. Last year was a chip right? Man was there a lot going on, but so much time to be able to sit down, and get to playing some really good video games. Gaming during these stressful times has helped me and sometimes, opened my eyes a little more as a human being. These stories really move you if you really get into it, and the fun always never goes away! 

Last year I left off with Death Stranding since I was currently “in progress” with the game and it truly was an amazing experience, despite the haters complaining about “hUmAn WaLkInG sImUlAtOr” or something like that. I however experienced a story, from the heart and eager to challenge the current stance of gaming. A current stance of being and existence, a feeling of spirituality I have never experienced before.  I ended up playing some amazing titles last year. Very excited to share about them! 

Death Stranding (2019, PS4)

So as I have stated before, not “hUmAn WaLkInG sImUlAtOr”. Death Stranding was an amazing tear-felt story “no pun intended” and with gameplay that was a one of a kind type of delivery. No matter the feelings about it, you cannot question the creativity on Kojima’s behalf. Was an amazing playthrough and I look forward to playing again sometime.

Kingdom Hearts III (2019, PS4) + Kingdom Hearts III reMIND DLC

Sad but true, but I’m one of them fellers that still support and back Kingdom Hearts III. The combat is fluid and aims to entertain to those of all ages. The story after playing again did feel like a sprint to the finish rather than the complexity of things like other titles. However, the ending always hits you.. like really hard if you are a longtime fan of the series. No spoilers intended!!

The ReMIND DLC story-wise left me with a lot of questions, and confusion. I don’t know, but at the same time, it leaves an open window of continuity of the series as it is one of Square’s more ambitious title. I mean they are marketing with the mouse, what better could you ask honestly? The DLC had some challenging boss battles and a secret boss battle that made me glad I cut my hair a few months before, cause I would have torn all my hair out. 

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order (2019)

 

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order - Respawn Entertainment

A wonderful title developed by Respawn Entertainment of EA and Stig Asmussen (Director of God Of War III). It was pretty refreshing and kind of made me miss The Force Unleashed. The gameplay playing as a young Jedi forced into hiding from the empire in between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope was a nice perspective to see. The story I felt was greatly told and I feel in a way should be canon in the Star Wars Universe. Cal Kestis is a young Jedi Padawan in hiding from the new Empire. You have a helpful crew and an amazing droid to boot! The lightsaber attack, defense mechanics made me feel like a Jedi Knight! Even the force powers Cal is granted in the game is amazing with an amazing cliffhanger of an ending. 

Star Wars Battlefront (2015)

 

Star Wars Battlefront - EA

I remember when this came out and I never really gave it that much investment in time, and for this title, the graphics were so much better than the classics. However, I still love the classics a little bit more. There is actually still online multiplayer activity at least in the time I was playing in the game despite the 2nd one coming out in 2017. My favorite hero to play as was obviously Luke and villain was Darth Vader. Problem was there was clearly not enough heroes to play as, but FPS like gameplay was very much more fun. 

Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)

 

Star Wars Battlefront II - EA

This game definitely started on the wrong foot, however, it has massively improved since its launch and it has an extremely dedicated player base. I do think the online experience is just as fun if not even better than the predecessor.  This game comes with the thing we want, more heroes, villains, a custom story mode, which was my favorite feat. Several gameplay was 

God Of War III Remastered (2015) 

 

God Of War III - Sony Santa Monica Studio

Ahhh, the fury, the chaos, the wreckage! This game was a favorite of mine from the past (well like any other God Of War), and I needed to play it before playing the God Of War (2018). I wanted to see the closing chapter of Kratos’ time in Greece before heading up to Norway. I watched the entire series (I know laziness) and played III. The remaster however just makes the violence look even more gruesome and terrifying. King of gives me Kingdom Hearts III vibes, except, its a lot darker and gorier and violent and any other horrible way to describe a man’s rage for his dead wife and child at the content of the murdered God Of War, Ares and eventually, Zues. Hey.. a long-run sentence! 

God Of War (2018) 

 

God Of War - Sony Santa Monica Studio

A chef’s kiss to generation eight consoles. Sony Santa Monica really hit a homerun that beat the phenomenal Red Dead Redemption II at the Game Awards in 2018. There is a LOT of debate even as I am replaying Red Dead Redemption II and internally I am arguing to a massive T on why each game deserved game of the year that year. Quite frankly, 2018 was probably one of the best years in the 2010s in video gaming. Plain and simple. 

This story is too compelling, as a father/son narrative that leads to mystery of what is to come next. It is such an outstanding and touching story Kratos, the man we all know whom brutally murdered the Greek Gods moved up north to Norway and had a child with (*spoiler go find for yourself*) and is now helping journeying with his BOY (Atreus) to spread the ashes of his fallen wife and the BOY’s mother. It really shows the growth in all characters including Kratos himself and more mysteries as to again, why Kratos is in the cold and what is to come next. The combat speaks for itself, an industry standard in the new RPG style approach the studio took to make this masterpiece. Platinumed this bad boy too. However, the Valkyries Battles? Haha. No.

A game I will likely revisit again, because it looks that good, that why. For the third time that is, playing in 2018, and then 2020, maybe 2022? 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR (2011, 2016)

 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Bethesda Softworks

If I were to tell you that I never played Skyrim, you wouldn’t believe me based on the games I have played. Well, in 2020 I played the giant rpg, open world phenomenon by Bethesda Softworks out of Bethesda, MD. Never played Fallout yet still to this day. Playing as the Dragonborn was absolutely fun in VR. To play this in VR versus the actual version, it really appreciates the detail originally put in the game. The graphics seem to resolve in PS4 settings pretty well in the VR which makes it more realistic and somewhat terrifying at moments. Like dragons randomly showing up (until you become an OG and wipe it out with no problem) or trolls in the beginning of the game that knocked you 1,000,000,000 feet in the air with their club. The game really has its surprises, and there is definitely no ends to the game. So much to do! The main questline, and the many side questlines (Companions was my favorite fight me), collectibles, weapons, DLC and more and more and more, the game can last forever. 

I’ve grown very fond of the tale of Rangar the Red.. kidding aside, this game is a one of a kind, and it definitely deserved Game Of The Year in 2011. 

Days Gone (2019, PS4) 

Let me rephrase from last year below. However the big difference is I platinumed the game! Very exciting!

I was excited for this release since they announced it. Basically taking Sam Witwer (Starkiller from The Force Unleashed) to a mixture of Sons of Anarchy meets The Walking Dead on steroids, and I mean that with no understatement. The hordes of zombies or “freaks” in this game come in hundreds and hundreds of the freaks and you have to kill them all alone at once. I was sold when I saw that first trailer.  Developed by Bend Studio in Bend, Oregon, Days Gone is a beautiful game built in Unreal Engine 4. It takes place in basically Bend or Farewell, Oregon near Deschuttes County in Oregon. The same studio that made Syphon Filter! Who would have thought!

The gameplay is open world sandbox style, with your ability to ride and upgrade the protagonist, Deacon St. John’s bike to full ability by doing quests and many side quests to improve the Deacon’s weapons and Bikes. The open and broken roads are beautiful, yet dangerous. There was always trouble brewing, especially at night! 

I actually enjoyed this game and the story behind it. Especially in the end with the many twists and improvements in character development. I enjoyed the open world, killing the hordes and doing camp missions. 

You play as Deacon St. John in a post apocalyptic open world in Midwestern Oregon. It starts off with the premise of Deacon’s wife being stabbed and taken by NERO to a safe location that eventually gets overrun by the freaks. With Deacon believing her dead, him and his best friend, Boozer setup camp in a Fire Watch Tower in the Cascade Wilderness. They both are members of a former motorcycle club that ran in Oregon. It starts with Boozer being wounded and with Deacon doing missions for Camps to get them supplies. Eventually, Deacon notices a chopper and attempts to get answers about the night in question and does missions from a member of NERO. Deacon and Boozer eventually relocate over to a camp they were once at and as Boozer got worse and had to do some work for that camp. The people responsible for Boozer’s injury, the Rippers get into war with the camp with the villainous Skizzo selling out Deacon and the camp. Eventually Deacon finds out that there is a possibility that his wife is alive and I will leave it from there. 

This game was amazing despite the critics’ reviews. I liked the gameplay and compelling story. Once you got to the hordes, it just got even better. My favorite moments was taking out the Sawmill Horde by Lost Lake Camp. I hope Days Gone 2 is elevated and even more action packed than the first. It can only get better from here! Cheers Bend Studio! 

The Last Of Us Remastered + Left Behind (2014)

 

The Last Of Us Remastered - Naughty Dog

Halfway there? Bleh! But this is a masterpiece and there is nothing to it. A fresh combat, inventory and overall system in gaming making this one of a king, The Last Of Us will be up there with the all time greats. An amazing story about a man so beaten from a global pandemic and lost from tragedy as soon as it happens, learns to give himself a try again at loving again by helping a young girl who maybe the cure to this infection in 20 years time behind 2013 cross a broken United States to potentially save the world. With many close calls, and so many powerful moments, it is an amazing title that you cannot miss if you own a PlayStation. Combat, and Stealth keeps you on the go with an amazing crafting system backed by a wonderful inventory system. It keeps you on your toes, or maybe you’re just more careful with your controller while sneaking around. 

You play as Joel Miller helping Ellie Williams an infected girl with no effect from the virus cross the country facing may challenges with supply scared bands, infected and obstacles across the countries fallen infrastructure, you are always on the move and thinking ahead. Especially when you’re in the Pittsburgh hotel in the basement!   

A new type of zombie and a new type of narrative, no evil corporations, a natural thing from a real fungus that corrupts the human mind and you play as a Texas Madman, sign me up! I will always replay this game when replaying the series, no excuses needed! 

The Last Of Us Part II (2020)

 

The Last Of Us Part II - Naughty Dog

The debate begins! After much thought, I loved The Last Of Us Part II. I looked beyond the controversy and falsehood hateful conspiracy theories against the studio, and went in with an open mind and boy did they get me riled up! That was the point of the game! All of you mad at the events of the beginning to the climax of one part of the story and then the development of open-mindness in between to the end of the story with the emotional final fight. The graphics were amazing and the gameplay massively enhanced. Not saying much about the story, play the game. Don’t wanna spoil a year later.

Naughty Dog hit the nail on this one, hate on me if you want. 

Ghost Of Tsushima (2020)

 

Ghost Of Tsushima - Sucker Punch Productions

My favorite game of the year! This game had me seriously invested. Literally everything about it. Combat. Scenery. DESIGN. JAPAN. SAMURAI. A compelling story. Character Improvements. Duels. Felt like an old school Japanese Samurai Film. Just wowed overall. You play as Jin Sakai, a respected Samurai form the Sakai clan and nephew to Lord Shimura. The Mongolian Fleet invades in the 1200s and it is up to you to help save the village from the invading Mongolians, even if it goes against everything you have ever known. 

This game is nothing short of amazing and I will be playing this gain at some point. Sucker Punch killed it! No need for another InFamous, give us more Ghost! Platinumed and would gladly do it again!

Watch Dogs + Watch Dogs: Bad Blood (2014/2015)

 

Watch Dogs - Ubisoft

Another game I will defend to death. I love Watch Dogs! Always have been a fan as an avid fan of software development and smart innovation. The game gives you a GTA feel but with hacking abilities. You play as hacker and vigilante “The Fox” Aiden Pearce on the hunt for those responsible for the death of his niece that was originally a hit aimed for Aiden. You learn more about the corrupt city of Chicago from the mob control, the corporation Blume and help from legendary hacker Raymond Kenney. They mention a lot of mideastern stuff with me being a Cleveland guy, I love the game, makes me feel right at home, even with the fact it is not based in Cleveland. The Bad Blood DLC continues adventures in Chicago as Raymond Kenney faced with the sins in his past causing the 2003 Northeastern Blackout after finding more about what Blume was up to. 

Overall, I have always been fond of Watch Dogs no matter which hate it got.

Watch Dogs 2 + DLC (2016)

 

Watch Dogs 2 - Ubisoft

Watch Dogs 2 was much more fun than the first one make no doubt, but I still love that darker story while this story felt a little “too” fun. However, I loved it nonetheless. The gameplay definitely expands from the original Watch Dogs and gives a much more youthful feel of the game. Playing as young hacktivist, Marcus Holloway, with the group DEDSEC, you aim to take down the Blume Corporation CTO and its very foundation with the cTOS’ corruption over many things that goes wrong in today’s modern practice of capitalism. Taking place in The Bay Area in Northern California, it makes me kind of want to head out there. 

Another game, I would gladly play again.

Watch Dogs Legion (2020)

 

Watch Dogs Legion - Ubisoft

You will definitely see I was trying to do an Ubisoft run, but was cut short due to the Far Cry 6 delay in 2021. Watch Dogs Legion has you playing as just plainly DedSec in the future in London. You play as literally everyone on board of DedSec which can be literally anyone in the city of London. With  a futuristic in the series, I for one am excited, yet concerned for the storytelling in the series. More will tell in the Bloodline DLC that was released that I will somewhat get to in 2021. 

I would play this again for sure, but probably as Aiden or Wrench. Im not sure, but it was cool to see all the technology concepted in the game. Makes me think what is going on currently over there in the west. Only time will tell! A platinum trophy earned that made me anxious. 

Assassin’s Creed Origins + DLCS (2017)

Assassin's Creed: Origins - Ubisoft

This Assassin’s Creed definitely is up there with my favorite ones in the series. Going to Ancient Egypt with much to do in a beautiful, yet corrupt world built by Ubisoft was so much fun. I could not tell you all enough how much fun I had with the game. You play as Bayek on the hunt for revenge on the death of his son at the hands of an Ancient Order before the Templars. With Bayek and his wife Aya, you see the opening of corruption in mankind and the nonstop battle established between the newly founded Hidden Ones versus The Order Of The Ancients. This older approach was amazing. The story was much more groundbreaking. Bayek is such a likable character as well. The DLCs in these newer Assassins’ Creed games are so valuable. So much content and such a good story that actually sticks with the timeline.

Proudly platinumed and would do all over again. Loved that Final Fantasy XV collaboration by the way… 

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey + The Legacy of the First Blade & The Fate of Atlantis (2018, 2019, PS4)

Let me just describe from last year.

This one took me the longest to complete this year as I went in as a completionist for the game. Ive always wanted to do that in my first try on one of the games in this amazing series! I loved Assassin’s Creed since it has come out and still loved the games that some people would say they did not like as much.  I enjoyed this one to the very end, even with the some of the best DLC’s I have ever purchased and played for a Single-Player story in gaming. The series has come a long way with this one being the first Game of the Year nomination nod in a long while! 

The game and the DLCs took me three months to complete with it being mostly the main game taking over two months and three weeks of traveling the entire map, getting all of the collectibles and completing all side quests which felt endless to me. The re imagining of Ancient Greece is done extremely well by the team at Ubisoft and it surprised me that an annual follow up to another favorite of mine in Assassin’s Creed: Origins could be this good! I really had to grind for this one as it just looked to beautiful to leave behind! 

There was just so much to do with this game with naval game play returning, traveling many distant lands doing side missions, taking out the mysterious Cult of Kosmos and headed to war for either Sparta or Athens, finding and fighting mythical creatures and collecting Pieces of Eden. 

In this game, you play either as Alexios & Kassandra in the game. Ubisoft is doing a very good job with female representation in gaming. You start as King Leonidas fighting the invading Persian Army on the deciding night of the Battle of 300 before many years later starting with whomever you chose in the beginning. The game comes with custom dialog in which the character can decide on the path of the story so if you want a happy ending, you better be careful with what you say. You start by being the known as Kefalonia’s Eagle Bearer mercenary after as a kid being thrown off of Greece’s tallest mountain near Sparta by your own father. You end up leaving the island of Kefalonia to take out the Wolf of Sparta in which was the same father that threw you off of the mountain when you were a child. You find out that it was all a setup and discovered the responsibility was that none other than a Pre-Templar Order, The Cult of Kosmos which were members of many across the country of Greece running the Pelopennesian War for their own gain and rule. It is led by the latter character and you end up trying to convince that he/she is being deceived by the Cult throughout the game. You also fight creatures of mythical stories in this game as well. The Legacy of the First Blade and The Fate of Atlantis were perfect ways of telling expansive stories for The Eagle Bearer post game.

There is just so much to say other than wow, this was the best investment I could have made if I wanted a game that could last a year if I wanted to do literally everything in it. I left behind somethings despite getting the Platinum trophy in the main game and almost all of the trophies in the story expansions. The game was amazing and extremely inclusive with the LGBTQ relationships or hetero relationships you were able to have in the game with specific NPCs. I love the things Ubisoft has been doing to make everyone feel included with their own stories. My favorite moment was completing the game. I felt like I was on an Odyssey with this one, no pun intended! I am definitely ready for the next one Ubisoft puts together! 

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (2021 – PS5)

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - Ubisoft

Let me just add that Owen Wilson meme, WOW. This game really gets you the real viking feel we would expect in an Vikingr Assassin’s Creed game! Taking place during the times of the vikings moving to England in the 800s, you play as Eivor Styrbornsdottir. You get an omen from dreams of betraying your brother (adopted in from events in the beginning of the game) and you want to try everything in your powers to stop it. Unlike the other recent AC installments, this goes right into the mythology and Norse Gods with no DLCs on one questline while you conquer England with many other friends you make as you represent the Raven Clan. 

After beating this game, I swore I would play again, but not go for that platinum, took me just as long if not, longer than Odyssey! But the game is so worth it if you love Viking history. Looking forward to the DLCs. 

The Future

Welp, that was it and I even added one game played in 2020. Lots of games I played indeed and lots of games I actually platinumed in 2020. It was a crazy year in real life, yet productive on the gaming side.