HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE
1 Ninja Theory’s game picked up a swathe of BAFTA awards this year, and its Game Beyond Entertainment win was a big one. Its use of sound design and mixing live action with animation created an audio and visual landscape that really immerses you in a series of potentially psychotic episodes that Senua is experiencing. An incredible piece of work from a small team.
THAT DRAGON, CANCER
2 An utterly heartbreaking story, beautifully told, That Dragon, Cancer was inspired by the real-world experience of losing a child and the highs and lows of life under such a diagnosis. It’s a stunning game, not least for the strength and bravery of its creators Ryan and Amy Green, who lost their son Joel. It’s a powerful example of game as autobiography.
THIS WAR OF MINE
3 Most war games have you looking down the scope of a gun or behind the controls of a machine of war, but This War Of Mine focused on the civilian experience and depicted the cruel and merciless repercussions of war for the innocents caught in the crossfire. It’s all depicted as a survival experience, as you must gather resources and craft to keep your band of survivors alive.
NIGHT IN THE WOODS
4 For a game that on the surface appears to be about a cat with big eyes hanging out with an alligator, bear and fox, Night In The Woods manages to be a moving depiction of a collapsing middle-american town, mental illness, depression and real human experiences like coming back to a childhood home and feeling disconnected. It’s an amazing game.