Over the last year, I spent more time designing and building health related VR games than playing them. As a team we moved from proof of concept through to minimal viable product and are now working on commercial versions of our systems. This has been challenging and time consuming, but at the same time is exhilarating and fun. It has given me an excuse to build up my game development skills.
However, from time to time I still enjoy playing a game to relax. My favourite game of last year was God of War. I completed and loved the first two God of War games, and though the new game doesn’t quite have the finely tuned arcade-like control of the older ones, it pays homage to these classic versions while also a delivering an aesthetically rewarding experience. The action and story interplay between father and son is enjoyable. The son acting as a kind of AI assistant – at least the way I played – works as a kind of difficulty modifier. God of War 3 was perhaps too hard, especially at the beginning, and so it was nice to have the difficulty curved designed and managed better in the new version. This is something that I can pick up on in my game AI lectures next semester.
Most of my students seem to be playing games like Fortnite, Overwatch, and Destiny 2, or pixel art games such as Celeste. I dabbled with these but I spent more time playing Nier: Automota, Moss, Ni No Kuni 2, Dragon Quest 11, Shadow of the Colossus, and Hollow Knight. Moss is really unique. It is a puzzle adventure game designed explicitly for VR and is one few VR games that feels more than just an elaborate demo – worth buying! Of the others that I’ve played, I would really recommend Nier: Automota. It has a really interesting story and characters, and has multiple ends/playthroughs.