The end of the year is usually the time for recollection. So here is my take on the games I really liked in this year, on Linux. No “Top 10” this time around, since I can’t say there were 10 games that stood out in the ones released in 2017. Then again, I can’t play all games that come out, plus I don’t really like multiplayer FPS and certain genres, so there’s probably some gems that you will be missing if you restrict yourself to that list. And as you may have noticed, I also play games that were released earlier in time, so I’m not always following the most recent trends as much as I would like. Now, here goes!
Steamworld Dig 2
Released later in 2017, Steamworld Dig 2 takes the same formula as the original episode and builds on it, improving on about every aspect. Better narration, less grinding, more adventure, and better work in the art department overall. It’s the perfect example of “I took a good idea and iterated on it”. Very nice job, with a full review coming up soon on BoilingSteam.
Formula 1 2017
Feral was a little less active this year compared to 2016 - fewer ports, probably because there were busy with Metal development and ports for iOS/Android. However they did release two good racing games, Dirt Rally and F1 2017. Both are great but I have to prefer F1 2017. F1 2017 has a great campaign mode that ensures tons of replayability. And better, it can be played perfectly with a gamepad, which was not the case for Dirt Rally (where a wheel is almost necessary).
Shogun 2 Total War
There’s been a bunch of Total War ports for Linux, and Shogun 2 is probably one of the better one in the series. Great depiction of feudal Japan, numerous options for trade and military actions, and as usual a dynamic campaign that makes you come back turn after turn. Graphics-wise it has aged, but it’s still a very strong game when it comes to strategy.
Platformers are enjoying a renaissance with indies, and Owlboy is one of the better ones in 2017. We don’t get to see a lot of good 2D art anymore, and Owlboy makes a great case for hand-drawn animation, serving a very original world and story. The game progression and design feels very natural and obvious, which is a sign that a lot of thinking went into it.
Another welcome AAA port on Linux. Hitman 2016 is faithful to the original concept of sandbox-style assassination. There’s really nothing like it, and this episode is massively impressive when you are among crowds of people, trying to blend in or escape folks looking for you. Each episode of the first season sports very different locations and targets. Beautiful and captivating.
I have also omitted on purpose some games that did not meet my expectations:
- Dawn of War III: decent, certainly not the best in the series.
- Yooka-Laylee: certainly not meeting the heights of a RARE title.
- Civilization VI: entertaining, but I have issues with how things work in the game.
There are several games I haven’t played enough yet to have a firm judgment on them, but that may prove to be worthy of this list:
- Hollow Knight
- Tooth and Tail
- Hand of Fate 2
If they end up being worth talking about, you’ll be sure to hear about them in the near future. Until then, a Happy New Year 2018 to you all!