There isn’t a whole lot to say about gaming in 2017 for me. Statistically I played fewer games than any year since I started tracking my playtime in 2011. The final count for 2017 was 62 games, the vast majority of which were from years (and decades) past. So which of the eleven 2017 new releases did I like the most?
I thought about it a lot over the last month and whenever I did my mind kept coming back to one game, Crossout. I still wasn’t certain until just last week when I came back to the game after months of absence to record the music. Being a free-to-play, multiplayer title it will eventually disappear and above all I couldn’t let that fantastic music go.
Like all free-to-play games, logging back in resulted in a dozen new pop-up messages about events started and ended, rebalance changes, and a completely new interface. Jumping into a game for old time’s sake I immediately found my little truck with conventional weapons overpowered by plasma guns, vehicles made out of NASA rover parts, and hovercraft. But dammit, the game was still fun!
There is nothing quite like it: a team-based, battle version of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts where everyone crafts their vehicles out of individual pieces. For every OP, plasma-throwing Mars rover there were still as many questionable, wild, and ridiculous builds: Top-heavy gun towers, squirrely micro-cars with a single gun, iron beasts with one of each weapon type, and everything in between.
The first few months with the game benefited from the mysterious newness that comes with a fresh multiplayer title as well as playing it side by side with Katy. We would bounce ideas off of one another and try to find the mythical “best build” for each game mode. She always took the time to add a jack to her builds, an item that would allow her to flip upright if she toppled over. I never sacrificed the power that the jack requires and naturally flipped over all the time. Playing it again just last week I immediately up-ended my faithful old truck and Katy’s quick “criticisms” reminded me of all those great times with the game through the Summer.
Yes, it was more fun than Super Mario Odyssey, it was more special than NieR: Automata, and it was more satisfying than Wolfenstein 2. I never thought I’d say it but my heart apparently always knew: Crossout was my favorite game of 2017. I hope to keep up with it for a little longer as well, knocking out a few more Trophies and testing out those new space rover parts for myself.