Best of 2019 – Day Two: New IP, Sequel, Remake, Surprise, Puzzle

Over the next eight days, Hardcore Gamer will be revealing its Best of 2019 Awards leading up to our Game of the Year. Today we present you with the Best New IP, Sequel, Remaster/Remake, Surprise and Puzzle Game.

Control

When deciding what games is deserving of the title “Best New IP,” one important question should always come up: “Will I want to come back to this world again and again?” And in the case of Control, the answer is a resounding “Yes.” While inspiration was heavily drawn from the SCP, Control manages to stand out on its own thanks to the seemingly alive setting of The Oldest House, a place where the oddities of paranormal research and investigation collide with everyday office work. Alongside a cast of likable characters and impressive combat that makes for engaging gameplay, every corner of the massive building has its own story to tell, secrets to uncover and possible sidequests to undertake, and all of it contributes towards one of the year’s most enjoyable games with a setting and larger ongoing stories that we can’t wait to see more of…especially with the possible Alan Wake DLC coming out next year.

Runner-Ups
The Outer Worlds Astral Chain Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice A Plague Tale: Innocence

Devil May Cry 5

2008 was the last time we got a proper Devil May Cry. 2013’s DmC: Devil May Cry was a fine game, but it wasn’t the next step in the franchise. Finally, this year, Capcom delivered the long-awaited sequel and it was well worth the wait. Devil May Cry 5 took everything that has made the franchise fantastic (the gameplay, platforming and zany over-the-top action) and upped the zaniness to 11. Devil May Cry 5 gave players three unique characters to play as, several weapons to hack-and-slash enemies with, and plenty of excellent bosses to fight against. Devil May Cry 4 was already a tour-de-force in the action-adventure genre, but Devil May Cry 5, like any good sequel, successfully builds upon that foundation to give fans the sequel they’ve waited all these years for. It’s slick, stylish and a fantastic hack-and-slash. It’s everything a good sequel should be and Devil May Cry 5 is indeed the best sequel of 2019.

Runner-Ups
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair River City Girls Fire Emblem: Three Houses Luigi’s Mansion 3

Resident Evil 2

While there were fantastic remasters and remakes this year, there was nothing of the caliber of Resident Evil 2. Capcom has reworked its award-winning horror game to be a little more modern, while not sacrificing the thrills and freights. Being chased down by Mr. X is one of the scariest moments in the entire year, especially when you only have an inkling of where he might be. Capcom has somehow made the giant Tyrant even more threatening as his presence remains looming even when you think it’s safe. There was always worry the developer wouldn’t be able to do the original justice, but that was quickly put to bed within the first hour as everything about the game hearkens back to the golden age of horror games, while adding the over-the-shoulder camera angle. It may be a bit more action heavy, but it never loses its survival horror elements, making sure that every item you pick up and use means something. We can only hope more developers follow suit with a Resident Evil 2-level reimagining as it has set a new bar for remakes.

Runner-Ups
Halo Reach Dandy Dungeon Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Untitled Goose Game

Two years ago when House House first introduced the world to their mischievous fowl simulator, the debut trailer immediately grasped the internet with its bright, stylized graphics and appealing fantasy of terrorizing the locals as an annoying but lovable goose. And yet, as the game began to near its release, many began to wonder if the joy of the trailers can truly be captured within the length of the game, keeping up the variety as opposed to simply being a title that excites more as a concept than as a playable experience. Fortunately, those fears were put to rest upon the release of Untitled Goose Game this past September, as each of the game’s five explorable areas never outstay their welcome and offer some truly intuitive and ingenious objectives that inspire some creative thinking leading to solutions that rarely feel obscure or impossible. The simple joy of the befeathered hero honking or flapping its wings upon a simple button press cannot be understated, and the viral nature of that original trailer has continued to sustain itself months after the game’s release, including a memorable appearance at the Game Awards alongside the Muppets. Now that this small-scale Hitman has made its way onto PS4 and Xbox One, more fans will get the chance to be pleasantly surprised at how much chaos can be caused by setting loose the goose.

Runner-Ups
Tetris 99 Ring Fit Adventure Apex Legends A Plague Tale: Innocence

Baba Is You

Where the usual trick for puzzle design is for the solution to be so-annoyingly hidden in plain sight, the joy of Baba Is You was in its ability to hide solutions within solutions…within other solutions. The road seldom clear to spot, but with a little experimentation and dabbling in its logic-based, rule-changing systems on show, could be revealed if one was willing to think outside the box and adapt to the game’s own internal language. A language that, at any point, could rewrite the rules on a whim. One of the year’s most intrinsic, ingenious takes on the genre, Baba Is You’s brilliance was exemplified more so in how, ironically, its rule-breaking mentality led to some incredibly joyous, out-of-leftfield routes to success. Altering what “YOU” even was, perhaps even changing the “WIN” conditions so that the golden flag became utterly worthless — making sure that all other chains of declarative functions were still intact. Baba Is You was as much a commentary on the nature of puzzle games as it was on puzzle-solving itself. A game whose visuals may have took on the appearance of some quickly-scrawled doodle of multi-colored blocks and seemingly insignificant “characters,” Baba may begin at “YOU,” but after countless, cleverly-orchestrated puzzles, it’s apparent that that miniature blob of white is so much more than its aesthetic presents. Baba Is You? BABA IS WIN more like.

Runner-Ups
Grindstone Felix the Reaper Manifold Garden BoxBoy! + BoxGirl!

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