After having just finished listening to the Waypoint Radio episode about favourite games of the past decade, it got me thinking about the games that were most influential to me personally in various ways. I wanted to write out some of my thoughts on these games.
Assassin’s Creed 2 (2009)
Assassin’s Creed 2 started out this decade for me and is formative to me in the way I understand and enjoy open world video games. For me, it meant traversing this beautiful and intricately designed world set in the past. AC2 felt like I got into a time machine and arrived in Renaissance Italy in the 15th century. From that point onward, I understood the thing I really enjoyed about open world video games is just being in these vast and beautiful worlds, being a explorer in a different world from my own.
Honorable mentions on the open world front – Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn.
PlanetSide 2 (2013)
PlanetSide 2 is truly something special and unique. A massively multiplayer online FPS in a time before games like Destiny. In fact, I would still posit that there is nothing quite like PlanetSide out there and Destiny’s scale in multiplayer FPS combat is paltry in comparison.
PlanetSide 2 taught me about the value of cooperation in a multiplayer video game. Sure before this I had played multiplayer games but as a lone wolf. PS2 taught me how to coordinate with a team of like minded people and most importantly have fun in a cooperative sense.
I haven’t played PS2 in a while but I do intend to go back to it at some point in the future when I have a hankering for something of that scale.
Vanu Sovereignty forever.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)
My initial foray with The Witcher series was with the second game and I was immediately not feeling it. The movement felt strange, the combat felt clunky, the graphical style left much to be desired. So when the third game, I was late to getting into it because of my previous experience but boy am I glad I did.
The Witcher 3 set the bar for action RPGs for me. I still think the combat systems aren’t that great so I played the game on easy and enjoyed the story. What a story it was, and the side quests! Some of the best side quests I’ve played in a game. Just when I thought it couldn’t get better the DLCs Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine were there to prove me wrong. Blood and Wine especially is just a fantastic way to bring an end to Geralt’s story.
2016, my Twitter timeline was filled with folk very excited about the launch of Blizzard’s new hero shooter Overwatch. The excitement was palpable, I remember waiting in queue to get into my first game of quick play. Nobody had any idea what was going on and it was a wild and wacky time.
Fast forward two years to 2018 and I was still playing the game heavily and I also got into Overwatch esports via way of the inaugural season of the Overwatch League. And by 2019 I was fully into the scene, both the tier 1 and tier 2 Overwatch esports scenes. I almost definitely spent more time watching VODs and streams of Overwatch esports in 2019 than anything else. I even wrote an entire retrospective post about the 2019 season.
Overwatch changed the way I thought about competitive multiplayer games and esports. It opened up my interest in esports which I had previously thought was not for me. While I am currently taking a self imposed burnout break from playing the game myself I am very much looking forward to the 2020 season.
I am planning on returning to playing the game when Overwatch 2 is released. Let’s hope the double shield meta is well and truly dead by then.
P.S – Delete Mei.