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What We Gamed - 2021

PW scribes TheMorty and FBT look back on another year gaming the sales.

Previous Weapon is all about games in the sales and digging up forgotten classics, yet this year FBT pre-ordered Cyberpunk, Black Ops Cold War, Deathloop and Far Cry 6 - and hated them all. He should just stick to the rules. Meanwhile, TheMorty played all the games that FBT loved last year, in a futile attempt to pick holes in his arguments - and then rolled back all of the years and blazed the entire Super Mario back catalogue. At least he didn’t sleep outside HMV in his tent all night to be first in line to buy Cyberpunk on release day …

FBT – Yes I did play Cyberpunk on day one, and yeah it was a mess. But once it gets going, it really goes. It just shouldn’t have been freeroam. If it’d stuck to a linear story it would have rocked. And Far Cry 6 was not the bitter disappointment of AC Valhalla, but just so… Far Cry. Ubisoft, go home you’re drunk – and creatively dead.

TM – Technically I did keep to’s remit – all my gaming was in the past. AC past. Don’t get me started on Origins. I wasted 20+hrs before realising it wasn’t getting any better, or any less sandy. Bayek is so lame. Okay, he’s a revenge story that overcomes personal tragedy which is great for AC but he’s no Alexios or Ezio. That game sucked.

FBT – Wow, that kind of directionless raving is usually my bag. I liked Bayek, but I begrudgingly agree that Origins is a terrible game which doesn’t even describe the assassins’ ‘Origins’. Triple-A games just suck those days. Deathloop was all bark and no bite and the timeloop concept is a total cheat. Black Ops 5 was great looking but contributed nothing and its connection to the original was laughably bad. But my Triple-A hate was tempered by Horizon Zero Dawn, the game Cyberpunk, BO5, Far Cry 6 and Deathloop thought they were. A young woman cast out into an apocalyptic wilderness filled with robotic nasties should have come off as a bad Fallout but it was the best game I played this year. It even pauses to take the piss out of flat earthers. Robots rule. Even the robo crocs.

TM – Bethesda’s Deathloop sounds like a dream compared to the actual loop of death I battled through when playing Twelve Minutes I’ll never get back. Aside from how annoying it is hearing James McAvoy do his best Captain Kirk impression, screaming up into the heavens every… well, 12 minutes… you relive your wife being murdered in a top-down Groundhog Day for masochists. There was a brief moment when the plot looked like it was taking a really interesting turn but, instead it just got a bit incest-y.

FBT – Wow, you should try Minit, a pixel RPG where the gameplay lasts… a Minute. It still has more pathos than Skyrim. The Indie pool is usually my go-to after a crappy AAA but most I found beautiful/boring. What Remains of Edith Finch had startling moments but it was a hipster Tales from the Crypt. Lost Ember was all concept and no content, and the ultimate walking sim Dear Esther proved you can make the most boring genre even more boring.

TM – Minit, a minute-long RPG? Is FBT making those games up? There weren’t many indie games that I’d class as review worthy this year, but the latest in the Dark Pictures series, Man of Medan, was an interactive story in the vein of Heavy Rain set in an early 2000s paranormal horror movie. It’s scripted but plenty of times I had to restart after checking my phone and ending up dead. At least the silver lining to that was it was the insufferable Shawn Ashmore I kept killing. Good to see after Quantum Break his career has taken off...