RSS Feeds NGN on Facebook NGN on Twitter NGN on YouTube
Welcome, Guest. Login | Register | PW? ]
Header logo
  1. Index
  2. » Articles
  3. » Features

Game of the Year Awards 2017

We pick out some of the best titles from the year that was

Posted by on
head banner

Introduction  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Special Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

winner badge

This is the big one, the release that feels like what all Nintendo fans have been waiting for. Nintendo has been promising a new Zelda since the Wii U launched in 2013. They literally spent all of their 2016 E3 presence talking exclusively about this game. And as if the long wait wasn’t enough, there was the added pressure that Breath of the Wild would have to be the swan song for one Nintendo console and also be the must-buy hardware-selling title for another. That’s a lot of expectation to pile onto a game. So how does Breath of the Wild handle these pressures? Pretty well, actually.

Breath of the Wild has its flaws, to be sure, but it’s a fascinating game to unpack in more ways than one. Zelda’s move to an open world turned a lot of heads when announced, but it has clearly paid off as the world of Hyrule has never been so grandiose in design and epic in scale. What is most impressive is how much this feels like Zelda game. So little has been sacrificed in the open-world design that fans of the series and newcomers alike will be sure to love how many secrets, riddles, vistas, and monsters have been packed inside this environment. Zelda games have never been short, but this one packed on about ten additional hours of playtime compared to my experience with previous games in the series.

There’s so much to do in Breath of the Wild it sometimes means you’ll be spending some time going in and out menus, but usually the game flows smoothly transitioning from exploration and platforming to combat and item-use. It’s impressive enough that Breath of the Wild has so many elements, but the fact they all work so well together is really something. The crafting, the exploration, the combat, and all other gameplay elements come together to form a great final product. Gliding through the air to fire that perfect shot feels as good as scaling your way up a mountain, which feels as good as crafting a new recipe.

Creating a game for the Nintendo Switch means that the game lacks the console power for photorealism, instead opting for a cell-shaded aesthetic, but it does so effectively, creating beautiful vistas and enchanting visuals that capture the eye and the imagination. Whether that means watching the setting sun in the distance or running through electric fury of a lightning storm, Breath of the Wild is always visually engaging.

The good news is that even if this was on your list since the initial announcement years ago, you got a pretty great game out of the deal. Those who do snap up Nintendo’s newest hardware can know the console already has at least one wonderful experience waiting for them. The story might be relatively forgettable and I had a few technical issues, but most of my time spent with this Zelda was a delight. It’s nice to see that even after all these years, Hyrule still has plenty of magic left in it.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild really is a joy to play. It's a Zelda game that is sure to satisfy those who've had it circled in their calendars all these years, but even if you've never been a fan of the franchise, this is an excellent place to start, and it is our 2017 Game of the Year.

Honorable Mentions: Horizon Zero Dawn, Super Mario Odyssey, Cuphead, Prey, Divinity: Original Sin 2.

Thanks for joining us for this year's awards! We look forward to an exciting 2018!

Comments
Top Articles this Month
Forza Horizon 5 Review
A great, but familiar racing experience with a new backdrop
Posted 29 days ago
Riders Republic Review
Posted 21 days ago
Bloodshore Review
Posted 18 days ago
Call of Duty: Vanguard Review
Posted 19 days ago
Battlefield 2042 Review
Posted 4 days ago
Bright Memory: Infinite Review
Posted 9 days ago
Shin Megami Tensei V Review
Posted 5 days ago
Best of the Quarter
78%
Riders Republic Review
Eric Hall
45%
Bloodshore Review
Alex V
74%
NBA 2K22 Review
Eric Hall
78%
Far Cry 6 Review
Eric Hall
72%
WRC 10 Review
Ben Thomas
80%
Deathloop Review
Alex V
43%
I Am Fish Review
Ben Thomas
77%
FIFA 22 Review
Alex V
Latest Comments
Free PlayStation Plus games for December 2021
Dec 3, 2021 by fvxc
I swear, Godfall really wants to cement its legacy as a...
Epic Games acquires Harmonix
Nov 30, 2021 by fvxc
i hope they can continue to experiment with music...
Battlefield 2042 review
Nov 29, 2021 by Tim R
Great review. Frustrating that EA haven't learned their...
Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta begins today
Nov 15, 2021 by dapperr
i wonder if it will make a dent in COD or BF numbers, esp...
Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta begins today
Nov 15, 2021 by fvxc
clever that they still mark it as BETA until actual Dec 8...
Advertisement ▼
New Game Network NGN Facebook NGN Twitter NGN Youtube NGN RSS