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Jessica’s Video Game News: A Look Back at the Past Decade

IN THE December 28 ISSUE

FROM THE 2019 Articles,
andArts & Entertainment,
andJessica Ham
SECTIONS

by Jessica Ham

A decade ending is a historic moment. This decade has seen so many great video games, so today I thought I would share my top five favorite video games from the decade.

1. Life is Strange (2015)

video gameLife is Strange, while not heavy in the gameplay, is my number one game from the decade. The story is thought-provoking, intense, exciting, and emotional. The wait between each episode was pure sweet torture. Theories were shot back and forth between fans on reddit forums, tumblr, and the like. The developers built up the hype of each episode so well. I look back fondly at 2015 because the excitement for each episode filled me with so much joy. The graphics were not the best, but I did not care, I loved it anyway. The game was a perfect blend of brilliant storytelling and fun yet sometimes difficult puzzles. The use of time travel to solve puzzles was surprisingly fun. I will never forget this game.

2. Portal 2 (2011)

video gameWhen Portal 1 came out, Valve did not expect it to become the huge phenomenon it did. The gameplay, which used portals to solve puzzles, was something new and exciting for gamers. The phenomenon allowed them to make my second favorite game of the decade, Portal 2. This game was three times as long as the first and involved a much more detailed story and a lot of character development. While the main character Chell still did not talk throughout the entire game, the player could always tell how she was feeling through her actions against the antagonist GLaDOS, my favorite video game villain of all time. The relationship between Chell and GLaDOS is why the second game is a hit in my eyes. The game shows another side to the villain and builds up to some heavy emotional scenes between the two of them. The gameplay and puzzles are more intricate and fun than the second game, although sometimes being so difficult I almost threw my controller at the television. I can thank Portal 2 for showing me that games can be more than just action and fun, they can have heart as well.

3. Night in the Woods (2017)

Who knew that a game about anthropomorphic animals could be so amazing? I remember watching the trailer for Night in the Woods and immediately being enthralled by the art style and atmosphere, but I was not prepared for it to gut me emotionally. The game manages to make these animals feel like real people with real complicated lives. Their portrayal of mental illness in twenty something adults is nothing short of perfect. I related so heavily to this game that I still think about it often. The gameplay was chill but extremely fun. The decision making was there, but it never felt like too much like some other games.

4. Oxenfree (2016)

A good sci-fi horror is very hard to find, but Oxenfree manages to nail it. There is enough mystery to keep you guessing and enough scares and lore to keep you on the edge of your seat. I marathoned this game in one day, and I do not regret it. Every character has a purpose and grows so much throughout the story. For a game that technically takes place in one night, it sure knows how to make you care about every single character and push the story forward in interesting and profound ways. The lore can become confusing at times, but they do a brilliant job at explaining at the perfect time. The twists and turns are something I still think about from time to time. The use of a radio to solve puzzles and move forward the story manages to stay fun throughout the entire game. I hope that another game like this is made someday, it was truly special.

5. Resident Evil 7 (2017)

video gameResident Evil 7 scared me more than any game ever has. My heart rate became so high that I thought I was going to have a heart attack, but still, I loved every second of it. This game showed us a different side of the Resident Evil universe that we have never seen before, how the virus affected a family in the early stages of its development. Through this game, we learned how different the virus can be and that there may be more hope than we thought. The scenery was the makings of a classic horror movie style, dilapidated homes and a backwards creepy family. This game was a historic moment in the series as it introduced new gameplay mechanics that have now been incorporated into remakes and future games. I can genuinely say I have never enjoyed a horror game more in my entire life.

What will this new decade bring in gaming? It sure will have big shoes to fill.




Jessica Ham is 27 years old and an ongoing contributor. With a love of all things nerdy, she’s right at home covering entertainment.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

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