Game of the Year 2017: Neranjan’s Picks

Credit: Kaigan Games OÜ
Credit: Kaigan Games OÜ /
5 of 5
Credit: Bethesda
Credit: Bethesda /

Neranjan’s Game of the Year #1: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Developer: MachineGames
Publisher: Bethesda

At the start of the year, I didn’t expect to say that Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is my 2017 Game Of The Year. But I was raised on Wolfenstein and that has impacted the type of games I tend towards playing, causing me to forego Breath of the Wild (for now) and pick this up instead. The original Wolfenstein was the first PC game I ever played and has left a lasting impression on me. I describe the latest incarnation as the most woke game of 2017. From racism to breastfeeding, Wolfenstein seems to weave many of the current social talking points in American society into a story that feels weighty yet still manages to not take itself too seriously. That is a very thin line to walk.

Though I enjoyed Wolfenstein: The New Order, the latest follow up has solidified the current vision of Wolfenstein as a generationally passed down myth of good vs evil. BJ Blazkowicz has gone from video game tough guy trope that could be played by John Cena to a real human being.  The themes of hope and loss are real as BJ goes from a violent killing machine to being viewed as a product of his environment that rages with every released bullet.

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At the same time, the game is just super fun to play in its brutal, over-the-top, cybernetic vision of WWII-era America. Wolfenstein II can take things super serious but still has enough heart to bring some comedy to take the edge off the thrill ride. MachineGames has taken on this Nazi-killing classic and made sure to not turn it into a joke given today’s social climate. They also understand that are still just making a video game, not a political statement.