If you are a gamer then you already know how crazy 2017 has been so far.
For beginners, let me shed some light. In short, we're only half way through the year but have already seen several 'Game of the Year' contenders.
With countless titles being released week after week, it feels like we are in our own little Role Playing Game (RPG) and there's a plethora of side-quests that make us wonder "Where do we even begin?" (Apologies in advance for the gamer talk).
With an overwhelming choice of games, we could all use a little help in getting started. So, whether you are a newbie or a pro, here are 5 games you need to get your hands on right away.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Genre: Action, RPG
This list is in no particular order but I wanted to start with my favourite from the list.
Think of some of the best games out there, like Witcher, Unchartered or Assassin's Creed, in an open, post-apocalyptic world. Throw in some of the most stunning visual graphics to date and you get Horizon Zero Dawn (HZD).
HZD's story revolves around a hunter, Aloy, a strong female protagonist who must navigate a post-apocalyptic world overrun by robots.
It is commendable of Sony and Guerilla Games for not sexually objectifying Aloy's character, as so many games have done in the past and continue to do so.
While HZD isn't very innovative with it's primarily action RPG gameplay, it is definitely a landmark in the current generation of games in the genre.
An engaging and exciting story-line featuring a strong lead character in a beautifully detailed setting; it's no wonder that this game took over five years to create.
Genre: Action, RPG
Platform: PC, PS4, XBox
Does Hitman even need an introduction? While there may be Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell in the same genre, I can't help but consider Hitman to be the king of stealth games.
Hitman follows the story of Agent 47, a genetically enhanced assassin who is an internationally acclaimed hired assassin.
Over the course of last year, the game was released as a series of episodic games and now Season 1 comes out as a compilation of all those episodes, making it the perfect package for stealth game enthusiasts.
Hitman is available on most gaming platforms and has enough content packed within it to keep you occupied for a long time. Each episode is not a mission but a comprehensive video game with a sandbox structure of its own.
You basically get six games in one package, each with its own challenges and methodology. While it's a difficult game, requiring a lot of of patience and a keen sense of observation, it won't ever have you feeling bored or frustrated.
Genre: Action, RPG
Nioh is a game made for fans of titles like Dark Souls and Bloodborne. It is essentially Bloodborne with a strong 'Last Samurai' vibe.
Made by Team Ninja, the game is set in 16th century Japan and features an Irishman, named William, who is in pursuit of his enemies.
Fun fact! The story is based on an unfinished script by legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa so you know it will be good.
To many gamers, Nioh initially felt like a Soulsborne clone, with many fans concerned about it being a rip-off.
The game's Looting and gearing techniques will be familiar to those who have played Diablo.
Presented with the signature style and substance of Team Ninja, Nioh manages to separate itself from games it takes inspiration from and establishes it's own identity, making it a game worth playing.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
Platform: Switch, WiiU
Everytime Nintendo releases a Legend of Zelda game, it overshadows everything else.
The Zelda series has historically garnered perfect scores for good reasons. Don't worry if you haven't played any of the previous Zelda titles because Zelda Breath of the Wild wants you to forget everything you knew about Zelda to this day.
Like all Zelda games, you take control of Link, the protagonist of Zelda games.
Like most Zelda games, Link is given the task of rescuing Princess Zelda and the kingdom of Hyrule from Ganon, the game's villain.
The games are usually a combination of an overworld, areas of interaction and special levels (dungeons and labyrinths) with boss fights.
This time around the kingdom Hyrule is a massive open-world with over a 100 challenge shrines, creatures and towering bosses. There is so much to do and with Nintendo's track record, you know playing it is going to be a charm.
WiiU and Switch are not the most popular consoles in Pakistan but if you can emulate it on PC... I mean, find someone with the game and play it.
Lately there have not been any good JRPGs (Japanese role-playing game) and with speculation about the genre coming to an end, there was a lot riding on Persona 5.
I'm happy to say that the game delivers in a big way.
The Persona series, known as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, is usually based in modern day Japan, revolving around high school students.
The Personas in the game are beings manifested from a character's psyche. Similar to a mage's summoning or spirits from the Final Fantasy games, these persona's are usually Greek, Roman or Japanese deities used in battles. Using this power, the character's go on various missions and combats.
Each Persona game has something unique to offer and the same is the case with Persona 5.
While it returns with all of its signature features such as social simulation, battling demonic creatures using your persona's powers and one crazy soundtrack.
Introducing elements such as platforming, stealth gameplay and even dungeon exploration, this game is both style and substance.
In terms of gameplay, the priority here was not technical showcasing, but being a product with ridiculous style and that is something it delivers in a big way.
There are other great titles out there which have just come out. But for now, how 'bout you these a shot?