During this year marked by confinement and curfew, video games have been a real success. Here are the titles that marked us.
THE LAST OF US PART. II
The game of the year, all genres combined. The first episode narrated the adventures of Joël, a father overwhelmed by the death of his daughter, and Ellie, a young teenager immune to a pandemic that is ravaging the United States. In this sequel, cordyceps, the fungus that infects most of the population, is still present. Violence eats away at human relationships much more than only an idyll or a few moments of poetry appeases. We have rarely reached such a degree of maturity in the exchanges between the characters, the links that unite them or the unfolding of a scenario punctuated by strong, tragic, melancholic moments and addressing contemporary themes.
ASSASSIN’S CREED VALHALLA
Released on almost all platforms, it is almost the most beautiful game of the moment. For Ubisoft, its creator, the success is dazzling: “Valhalla” sold more copies in the first week of sale than any other game in the series during the same period. We see the epic of Eivor, a legendary Viking warrior (or a female warrior, as you wish), driven out of Norway by endless wars in the 9th century AD We love certain dazzling panoramas and the richness of the title , more substantial than expected.
On PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, One, Xbox Series X / S
DEMON’S SOULS REMAKE
Updated after being released on PS3 in 2010, this game plunges us into the dark universe of Boletaria, where several demons have been released. Our hero takes it into his head to fight them, which he does in a spectral form after having very quickly known death. Be careful, Demon’s Souls is an ultra demanding title like most games from the Japanese studio From Software. It is for the moment the only real exclusivity of the PS5 which is worth a look. We love the charisma of the bosses and their impressive animations.
GHOST OF TSUSHIMA
This is one of the last beautiful PS4 exclusives, signed Sucker Punch, historic studio behind the series Infamous and Sly Cooper. We play as Jin Sakai, one of the last samurai at the end of the 13th century, who intends to resist alone the conquest of the Tsushima islands by the Mongol Empire and its general Khotun Khan. Quite exotic, the title is based on a solid artistic direction, offering splendid plays of colors and pretty panoramas. In this feudal Japan at war, it is also captivating to see our hero metamorphose.
SPIDER-MAN: MORAL MILES
For fans of the Marvel Universe. This game, which benefits from “ray-tracing” technology on PS5, features a second Spider-Man, Miles Morales, hero of an alternate reality in the comics, in which Peter Parker was killed. Here, the two cohabit, one taking on the role of student, the other, of master to protect New York. Visually, it is really beautiful and the key moments are particularly taken care of. The gameplay is meant to be quite classic, but the new powers of the hero bring a little novelty to the series.
On PS4, PS5
ANIMAL CROSSING NEW HORIZONS
He was the star of the first confinement and remains a formidable stress reliever in these still troubled times. Here, no fear, no fighting or difficult challenge. Our character is sent to a paradise island that must be brought to life. We start by building our tent, our house, our village, we collect raw materials, we make tools, decorative objects, we garden, we fish, we welcome new characters, new animals, we socialize … It’s pretty amazing for a video game but the title manages to reconnect us to simple things … real life.
FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE
The first game in the series to hit Europe in 1997, “FF7” marked a whole generation of players who were discovering Japanese role-playing games. Brought up to date this year, this remake does honor to its video game legend: if the original episode shone with its totally bluffing cinematics for the time, this new vintage dazzles at every moment, both during the combat phases and exploration only during cutscenes, worthy of publisher Square Enix. The fights have become more dynamic and some characters are gaining in depth.
ORI AND THE WILL OF THE WISPS
Our little candy of the selection: continuation of Ori and the Blind Forest, this new adventure of the little white sylvan spirit benefits from a new combat system and relies on new talents to unlock. It is above all visually that the title makes us crack: the artistic direction is always to die for like the soundtrack signed Gareth Coker, British composer awarded several times. Well paced, the game finally stages clashes against quite impressive enemies.
On Switch, Xbox One, PC
It is the indie game that has made the most talk this year. Behind this title, we find the American studio Supergiant, which has built a good reputation in the industry thanks to a particular graphic style and titles like Transistor and Bastion critically acclaimed. In Hades, we find ourselves in the skin of Zagreus, the prince of the underworld, who tries to flee the kingdom of the dead where monsters abound. Then again, the art direction makes a difference, as does the storytelling and the really interesting character enhancement system.
On Switch, PC
Let’s finish with the most subjective choice, for music lovers abandoned since the decline of Guitar Hero or Rock Band in particular. Behind this game that makes the player a DJ, we also find the same American studio Harmonix. This title leaves much more room for creativity and improvisation. The principle is to mix four songs on a virtual turntable: playing with the tempo, the instruments or knowing how to renew your set requires some training, but the game is intended to be fairly accessible. It is not visually that it makes the difference: we especially appreciate making the crowd dance when we were deprived of a festival last summer.
On PC, PS4, Switch and One