We kick off a series of entries to remember the most outstanding games of the year by genre. Today they play action adventures.
We are now in the penultimate week of the year, a time so marked by the Christmas celebrations – although in 2020 they are conditioned by the pandemic – as by the habit of remembering and re-evaluating what the eleven (and some) previous months gave of themselves. The highlight will be, of course, the choice of the best game of the year, GOTY for friends, but limiting yourself to that would be like looking at a landscape through a funnel. In order to broaden your vision and remember a considerably greater number of the names that have marked this crazy 2020, with this we begin a series of articles that will extend throughout the week and will deal with different genres – as well as the inevitable indie stop – . Something that, in addition to the natural retrospective value, provides a good opportunity to address the concept of gender itself and its malleability.
Because it is easy to define a Tekken as a fight or a Tetris as a puzzle, but there are not few games that combine idiosyncratic elements of action, role-playing, platforms or other categories commonly accepted as their own genres. Today, for example, we will deal with action adventures, games precisely defined by their condition as hybrids. From the cocktail of exploration, combat and puzzle solving in the dungeons of a Zelda to the alternation between gunfights, stealth and narrative walks of The Last of Us, the adventures are an eclectic compendium that usually includes several of the weights heavy every year. Some of those who would also have fit in it have moved to other more specific lists that will come out in the coming days, but this selection serves to warm up the engines.
Journey to the Savage Planet
Developer: Typhoon Studios
Released: January 29
Platforms: PC, PS4, One, Switch
We start the list with one of the first surprises of 2020 and a competent approach to an under-exploited subgenre despite the solid foundations left by Metroid Prime nearly two decades ago. Because Journey to the Savage Planet is essentially a first-person metroidvania that takes us to a remote alien planet (the title is no accident) to combine exploration with a significant degree of freedom, backtracking with unlocking new areas through the use of skills such as double jump and an electromagnetic hook or the scanning of creatures and other elements of the scenes to gather information. To this, Typhoon Studios also adds a slight farming component to upgrade secondary weapons or abilities, a more creative interaction with wildlife through food, and a very acid sense of humor, with room for satire and occasional childishness. It is not the most pretentious game, the combat hardly evolves and can be completed in a few hours, but almost a year later it remains a highly recommended adventure for fans of this class of titles.