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1. The Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt
This game is for you if you enjoy: immersive experience where your choices matter, mature fantasy, picturesque landscapes.
Based on a bestselling book series by Andrzej Sapkowski, Wild Hunt garnered over 200 prestigious awards before it even hit the shelves – and for a good reason. In this RPG, you play as Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter whose quest is to find a child from an old prophecy. The quests you are given range from trotting through a field with a bell in a search of a goat called Princess or cleaning a frying pan to slaying sirens and harpies.
As soon as I started playing, I was captivated by beautifully mundane humans of Witcher 3 – take a stroll through any village and you will see greasy hair, patchy beards, farmers with overbites and fishermen with drooping eyelids.
After playing it for an outrageous amount of time I feel confident to say that his game has it all – masterfully crafted characters, impactful choices, colossal next-gen world, Polish folk-inspired soundtrack, and a serious dose of bawdy humour.
2. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
This game is for you if you enjoy: detective stories, Lovecraft, horror, exploration, story-driven games with plot twists.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a visually stunning Lovecraftian horror game. As a detective with psychic abilities, you try to uncover the story behind a disappearance of the titular child by solving puzzles that expose horrific parts of backstory. If you are observant enough throughout the game, the ending will leave you speechless.
The storyline coupled with a soundtrack that seamlessly blends with the game and its outstanding graphics provide a truly unforgettable experience. And, if you have ever visited the mines of Lower Silesia in Poland, certain locations will definitely jog your memory.
3. This War of Mine
This game is for you if you enjoy: survival, atmospheric games requiring strategy and stealth.
In This War of Mine, you and a small group of unarmed (at least not yet) civilians try to survive in a besieged city. The only way to survive is to scavenge for medicine, food and useful items whilst under constant danger from hostile soldiers and citizens.
Will you choose to save your ailing friend by stealing pills from an elderly couple’s house or watch him suffer more and more every day? Will you barter potentially life-saving weapons for wood so you don’t freeze to death during winter? Will you rely on your stealth to find or steal the items you desperately need or would you prefer to start your own production of alcohol, medicine or cigarettes and exchange them for food at a ridiculously unfavourable rate on the black market? Despite being a 2D game, This War of Mine does not reduce war to a bloody playground or calculated strategy. It is heartbreaking, grim, and, just like in real life, it can kill you even if you did not make any mistakes.
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham