The most entertaining games of 2019 with a small budget.
Here we have put together our favorite games with a small budget and / or ideas that are too bold for AAA projects. There were a lot of applicants, in the debates about the nominees the editors broke so many copies that would have been enough for an excellent bonfire, but the strongest won.
Third place. Katana zero
Gameplay Katana Zero is a hardcore, perfectly tuned mix of battles, platforming and stealth. The hero fights off bullets, tumbles, jumps, slows down time, throws at the opponents everything that is not pinned … and, of course, deftly wields a blade, cutting bundles of enemies. The levels are well thought out: each can be walked in two or three different ways. However, if your tactics misfired or you did not have time to react to a change of scenery – be so kind as to return to the beginning of the location, take a breath and think again. At the same time, endless attempts to get through the same room are gracefully played out by the plot.
Against the background of this kaleidoscope, we are told the story of a killer Zero suffering from amnesia. He wears a fanciful kimono that looks like a robe, lives in a closet furnished under a dojo, rents films about samurai and, in the age of a gunshot, prefers the good old katana. Zero is not really tormented by the fact that he kills people, but he is imbued with sympathy for the starving daughter of an alcoholic neighbor or two drug addicts who were killed because they were too noisy. This character is more real than the protagonists of some large projects with multimillion-dollar budgets; he touches the soul, which is why you observe sincere interest in his hallucinations and attempts to remember his own past.
Unfortunately, Katana Zero cuts off her story in short, but this is not important. After all, she falls in love with herself at first sight, the first remark and the first blow with the sword.
Second place. Pathologic 2
The original perfectly scared off casual players, but toward the end it became much less hardcore: the hero lived on ammunition and a rifle, the chickens didn’t bite food and money, and you could get used to the finals of Sand Ulcer and its victims. Now the opposite is true: the already rather big complexity is growing every day, there are more dangers, less food, and riddles without answers are pouring in one after another. They also introduced the damned hours for preservation – well, so that life would not seem like honey.
The first reaction to the remake is rejection. In the course of the game, the feeling does not leave that you are being bullied, trying to make you as weak and worthless as those infected with the Ulcer that pull their stumps to the hero in a plea for help. This is really not a project for everyone: most just spit on the damn game (choose where to stress) the game and go chopped into something more friendly. But those who can get through a heap of technical problems, annoying backtracking, the monotony of the gameplay and mediocre graphics will find a deep philosophical story that poses a real challenge to the players – as, in fact, the original 14 years ago. It was still possible to play the old “Pestilence”; this one was almost impossible; and, the funny thing is, in this case it is a sincere compliment.
Worthy of Mention
First place. Untitled Goose Game
In the Untitled Goose Game, they did not invest a million pumping branches, three hundred thousand skins and multiplayer on a small commune of gamers – this is not its power. This is a surprisingly sincere game in its idiocy, where the situation itself is funny: a craft that grew out of one tweet blew up the Internet and spawned thousands of memes. It is for this, as well as for the gift of the opportunity to relax properly after work and school days, the Untitled Goose Game rises to the first step of our pedestal and takes a gold medal.
Unfortunately, many worthy projects did not fit into the top – otherwise the article would turn into a lengthy treatise, and few would be able to get to the end. The outgoing year regularly threw up cool games from small studios, and this can only be rejoiced: in AAA, developers rarely allow themselves risks and experiments. It remains only to wish that in the first year of the new decade there will be even more good indie!