Gaming Illustrated’s Games to be Thankful For
GI Staff / Nov 24th, 2016 1 Comment
On this day of Thanksgiving, there’s a lot to be thankful for in each of our lives. At Gaming Illustrated, we are thankful for the developers and publishers who put their endless efforts into creating the games we love. So, with that in mind, here are some games that we are especially thankful for.
Greg Johnson: Unreal 2: The Awakening
Warning: this post contains spoilers!
Unreal 2 was a strange game for me. It was one of the first titles to ever truly make me sad. Before that time in my life, I had never played a game that challenged me on an emotional level.
In Unreal 2, the entire crew led by John Dalton dies. After talking to each crew member and learning their stories throughout the game, they were gone.
I spent countless hours searching online for a way to bring them back, wondering if there was something I had missed, something I could have done quicker. Eventually, I had to accept that they were gone. There was no way to bring them back.
The lesson I learned from Unreal 2 was one of serious loss. It taught me, as a young gamer and boy, that sometimes bad things just happen. I’m thankful for the hard lesson Unreal 2 taught me, and the strength it has given me in more serious situations.
Kalvin Martinez: Watch Dogs 2
The game I am thankful for this year is Watch Dogs 2. Sure, it just came out and maybe it is in the honeymoon phase, but something about this game connected with me on a deep level.
When the game was first announced by Ubisoft, I said to myself, “Don’t be fooled. Remember the first Watch Dogs.” Then, Ubisoft showed off gameplay and it blew me away. It wasn’t revolutionary, but it seems to completely re-invented the gameplay from the original.
I’ve had the opportunity to play the game, and it has confirmed all of my suspicions. Ubisoft fixed the multitude of issues plaguing the first game.Driving around San Francisco and its surrounding areas is endlessly enjoyable. The missions are unique and are grounded in hacking culture. The gameplay allows for plenty of creativity and hacking is much more satisfying.
It is an engaging, charming and supremely addicting game that I am thankful for this year.
Ben Sheene: Destiny
As real world problems take a tighter grip on your life, there’s less and less time for the things you enjoy. Gaming is my biggest hobby and my greatest passion, and I want to make sure that I have time to enjoy it and forget about those pesky worries and responsibilities.
Destiny is a game I got into on the cusp of some big changes in my life. The promise of exploring a solar system and taking on alien forces with friends was an irresistible soup that had never been explored on consoles. Since the game’s release, I have been critical of its many flaws while embracing its great mechanics and inspiring core.
In the winter of 2014, Destiny was exactly what I needed. I needed something to lose myself in and distract me from the ensuing chaos in my personal life. It took me a few weeks to touch any game but I decided to knock the dust off my PlayStation 4 by spending some time with my guardian. The Dark Below expansion was right around the corner and I still had yet to complete the Vault of Glass.
Thankfully, I had a friend, Shawn, who was still playing Destiny at the time. In the weeks I had been gone, he had met a group of people on an LFG site (because Bungie still won’t implement raid matchmaking for some crazy reason). The game was a vehicle for conversation and this handful of people had a great sense of humor, gaming skill, and were just easy to talk to.
As the months went on, we toiled away for hours in Destiny and even added a few more people to our numbers. I’ll never forget the ridiculous situations Bungie put us in. These people have become true friends that I hope are in my life for the foreseeable future.
It’s hard not to be thankful for Destiny because it paved the way for me to meet some people I’m truly thankful for.
Ryan Bloom: Mario Kart 64
Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, and the holidays are all about family. For me, my family are my best friends. I have shared countless hours of video game moments with my siblings and cousins. Some of the best came while playing Mario Kart 64.
Sitting around a small TV, we had some intense Balloon Battles and races. We laughed, talked trash, critiqued and complimented each other, and mostly just had a great time while our parents chatted the night away.
Those moments brought us together when we were young, and we’ve remained close since. In fact, I even shared a few passionate matches of the arcade version of Mario Kart with my cousins during my bachelor party earlier this year.
In short, I am thankful for Mario Kart 64, but mostly I am thankful for the moments it created with my family and friends.
tags: destiny , Games to be Thankful For , Mario Kart , opinion , Thanksgiving , Unreal 2 , Watch Dogs 2