Best of 2019 – Day Four: Action, RPG, Shooter, Platformer, Strategy

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 Action Game, RPG, Shooter, Platformer and Strategy Game.

Resident Evil 2

When Resident Evil 2 was announced back in 2015, there was both excitement and hesitation. While Revelations 2 was a fun spinoff, the series had been in a downward spiral. Remember, this was before Resident Evil 7, which somewhat revitalized expectations in Capcom’s horror output. There was no doubt some unease and concern in the air whether or not they’d be able to properly reimagine the classic horror title with up-to-date expectations. Fortunately, the Japanese giant absolutely delivered, not only following close to the original vision, but also incorporating a number of modern elements and improving upon the formula as a whole. The combat is exquisite, truly focusing on ammo scarcity where one missed shot will make you upset, and considering zombies are lumbering oafs, it will happen quite a bit. This isn’t wholly an action game like Capcom has moved towards in the past, but instead a survival horror title that will still give you jump scares and a tense atmosphere. The stomps of Mr. X will continuously haunt my dreams. It’s a game that will take fans back and introduce an entire new generation to the survival horror classic with a spin of action.

Runner-Ups
Devil May Cry 5 Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Astral Chain Control

The Outer Worlds

It would be easy to simplify all this and basically comment on how it’s just “Fallout: New Vegas in space” — acclaim and appreciation for the finer detail included. And while there’s some truth to that sentiment, Obsidian’s skills are in their knack to appease as many crowds, without ever coming across like it’s spreading itself thin. For a planet-hopping, “do it your way” story amidst the hyper-corporate meddling of the Halcyon system, The Outer Worlds’ best moments were the ones that tested how far you were willing to commit to your own preferred play-style. Whether it was trying to find a pacifist outcome in a heated moment, scouting out possible alternatives in and out of a key location, or simply letting loose on a few alien hostiles with some weird-science tools. However you respond — peace-keeper, trouble-maker, opportunistic or a mere lone wolf devoid of any and all empathy — The Outer Worlds upheld the “role” part with this the western form of role-playing games. A testament to how well it tailors for all forms of interaction, but in a way that never locks you out from other secondary possibilities should the temptation come. No matter how high your level with guns, charisma or intelligence was, The Outer Worlds’ flexibility and persistent urge to look at things a second/third time over meant this was a role — let alone a galaxy — worth figuring out

Runner-Ups
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Children of Morta Pokemon Sword and Shield

Gears 5

It has been an amazing year for shooters; from the reboot of Call of Duty Modern Warfare to the surprising hit of Apex Legends, 2019 had a lot to offer. Unfortunately, there could only be one winner and that without a doubt is Gears 5. Coming off the good, but not groundbreaking fourth installment back in 2016, Gears 5 improved upon the traditional formula in spectacular ways. It told a compelling story of Kait Diaz and her lineage, instead of focusing on the rather dull son of Marcus Fenix, who even in this fifth installment has become more of a grunt with little charisma. The Coalition even built open areas to explore, and while they weren’t fully fleshed out like you’d hope it would be, it still was a major improvement over the linear approach of the past. That’s not to mention that the multiplayer is still one of the best in the business and easily the top of the third-person shooter genre. The sheer number of multiplayer options and the heavy-limb-exploding combat creates an experience that will have you hooked from the get-go and won’t let go. Add in the gratifying Horde mode and you have yourself the best shooter of 2019.

Runner-Ups
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Metro Exodus Remnant: From the Ashes Apex Legends

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

In an industry that was built on innovation it’s sometimes easy to forget that a game doesn’t have to reinvent the genre or introduce significant new concepts to be great. Some of the greatest games have simply followed a familiar formula but just happened to execute almost flawlessly. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night doesn’t mention anything about Dracula, Belmonts or have a Konami logo, but Koji Igarashi doesn’t need those to make an Igavania game that can stand proud among his Castlevania legacy. Bloodstained used Symphony of the Night as its template and included some similar elements from later handheld Castlevania titles but used these assets to a create something new. The gameplay similarities to Castlevania are undeniable, but the world of Bloodstained is interesting enough where we hope to see this new IP grow and evolve as franchise. Since its announcement Bloodstained was touted as the spiritual successor to a certain type of Castlevania, and it delivered on recreating that sense of exploration with memorable boss fights and challenging but satisfying platforming. Bloodstained didn’t reinvent or make drastic changes to the metroidvania formula, it simply was one of the best executions of it.

Runner-Ups
Super Mario Maker 2 Blaster Master Zero II Valfaris Unruly Heroes

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

When it comes to strategy titles, the Fire Emblem series is a classic. It’s been a while since players got one on console seeing as the last few made their home on 3DS, but Three Houses delivered with strong gameplay and story to get players deeply invested. Three Houses offers tons of variety in character classes, memorable stages and a great amount of variety throughout the multiple story playthroughs it offers. The tiresome child mechanic was done away with in favor for a more relaxed and not nearly as intrusive relationship mechanic that made each character feel more natural and true to themselves. Players got to take on challenge the way they liked it whether they wanted punishing combat or a more relaxed beginning journey where characters don’t stay dead. It changed up the gameplay and offered different ways to approach each battle, making it our favorite strategy title for 2019.

Runner-Ups
Planet Zoo Slay the Spire Anno 1800 Dicey Dungeons

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