2021 is coming to an end. Despite it being another year in a global pandemic where nothing really changes, some things actually have changed. I guess self-isolation triggers contemplation, which made me realize a two things. First of all, I decided to become a vegetarian (or at least call myself that; I was practically already eating plant-based food every day) after realizing how messed up we as human beings deal with out planet nowadays. And secondly, I decided to become more privacy-aware on the internet, after realizing how messed up we as human beings deal with out data nowadays. This is actually a very recent subject for everyone who works with computers or uses the internet in general, so I decided to write a blog post (or short thesis if you will) about it, which you might find interesting.
Besides becoming super woke on these subjects, nothing changed too much luckily. Me and my loved ones are still healthy and at work we are prepping an upcoming game release. That’s right, Horizon Forbidden West will be out on the 18th of February. This means 2022 will become a VERY exciting year. I’m very proud of it and can’t wait to see what everybody thinks of the work that me and my colleagues at Guerrilla put into it in the past four (and for some even more) years. But before we look forward too much, let’s look back one last time and see what cool stuff I’ve played and listened to in the past year. It’s a short one this time, but I don’t want to break traditions, so here are my top lists from 2021…
- It Takes Two is an amazing couch co-op game by Hazelight. In essence it is a platformer, but it is admirable how versatile this game is. I cannot imagine how crazy their playtesting must have been to keep all the various genres that this game has to offer fun. A well deserved winner of the Game Awards 2021.
- Kena: Bridge of Spirits is pure eye-candy and reminds me why I loved action platformers in the PS2-area. I hope they make more games like this one, because they are so scarce nowadays. Mad props for Ember Lab who did not have any game development experience before this title to create such an awesome debut title.
- Ratchet and Clank – Rift Apart is another eye-catcher by Insomniac Games that shows the series is not dead yet. Some worlds were truly unique and the rifts to other dimensions are spectacular to use, over and over again. Plus there’s an easter egg in there about Jak and Daxter, which still gives me hope that that franchise will be resurrected again one day. Please make it happen.
Note: this top 3 could have looked a lot different if I had played more video games this year. Or if I would have like Halo for that matter. But even then, the top 1 would probably not have changed. Wonderful stuff.
I did not play a lot of board games that got released this year. I’m still playing through the campaign of the 7th Continent (I started with the What Goes Up, Must Come Down expansion, which is amazing) and finally bought the incredible party game Werewords. But the one game new to my collection this year that I played the most by far is the deck-building classic Star Realms Frontiers.
- Biffy Clyro – The Myth of the Happily Ever After
- Ben Howard – Collections of the Whiteout
- Lord Huron – Long Lost
- Kings of Convenience – Peace or Love
- My Morning Jacket – MMJ
- The Notwist – Vertigo Days
- The Black Keys – Delta Kream
- Parcels – Day/Night
- King Gizzard – L.W.
- Maximo Park – Nature Always Wins
Note: I just received My Morning Jacket’s Live 2015 album and that might as well skyrocket to the top 10 soon. It’s all the delight of seeing a live show, but without being able to actually see the band. A well-welcomed live record in times of lockdowns.
So there we have it, 2021 in review. Now to unpop that champagne and make 2022 really count. With amazing games, a slightly better planet, lots of good health and love and hopefully finally a way out of this global pandemic. Here’s to the new year, cheers!