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Best Major Contenders for Game of the Year 2023

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If there’s one thing you can say about the world of gaming, it’s that it never gets boring. Console makers are constantly striving to release impressive new games in different genres, and online gaming operators likewise to offer new games on their websites, all to keep their fans engaged and coming back for more. Whether you’re looking for poker Omaha, a massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMPORPG), a first person shoot’em up, a strategy game or something else, you’re sure to find a genre that will suit your tastes. 

This year has been a tremendous one for gaming so far and has seen some fantastic new releases. Whoever is tasked with picking the Game of the Year 2023 has a hard job on their hands. Below is a look at some of the strongest contenders for 2023’s Game of the Year. 

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

“The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” is the sequel to “Breath of the Wild” and retains the open world environment of Hyrule. This open world has been expanded and creates opportunities for even more vertical exploration. Link, the protagonist, has a host of new abilities that allow him to craft new weapons and ways to cross the landscape, to discover new ways to build and battle the forces threating Hyrule, and explore the skies. 

The “Legend of Zelda” series is one of those series that seemingly can do no wrong. This ambitious sequel is no exception and strikes up a fine balance between not completely revolutionising “Breath of the Wild” but also not simply fobbing fans off with more of the same either. Fans love it. Serious gaming sites also don’t have a bad word to say about the game. This game is a serious contender for Game of the Year 2023.

Dead Island 2

It took some time, but “Dead Island 2” has finally arrived in 2023 and sets the action in Los Angeles, which has been quarantined because of a zombie outbreak. This first-person, single or multiplayer role playing game delivers the gory and brutal first-person experience that makes zombie games so enjoyable to play. The game features several different zombie variants, including The Moon and The Devil. There are different zombie slayers, and there’s a wide range of weapons available to stick it to the zombies.

Unfortunately reviewers didn’t meet this game with the praise the makers would have liked. Although reviewers enjoyed the story and the general execution of the game, they also felt “Dead Island 2” failed to distinguish itself enough from many other zombie games out there. The game may be a contender for game of the year, but it may not win over the judges if they’ve been reading the reviews at all.

Resident Evil 4

In this survival horror game, players control Leon S. Kennedy, whose mission is to rescue the President’s daughter, who a religious cult in rural Spain have kidnapped. The game is a remake and features improved gameplay and new visuals, characters and cast, building on the original. It’s a third-person shooter, and the purpose of the redesigned visuals is to create a tenser atmosphere. 

It’s not often that a remake is better than the original, but this is what some reviewers have found. Although they were expecting Capcom, the makers, to do a respectable job, they weren’t prepared for just how much they were going to enjoy the game. The “over the shoulder” camera viewpoints bring the player closer to the gore, and the movement of Leon S. Kennedy is much better than in the original. The excitement the game has created for players makes it another strong contender.

Fire Emblem Engage

“Fire Emblem Engage” is impressive for being the 17th instalment in the Fire Emblem series alone. In this tactical game, the player awakens as Alear, the Divine Dragon, who must save the continent of Elyos and collect the twelve rings that will persuade the legendary heroes, Emblems, to bestow incredible power on him and bring peace to Elyos. However, the Fell Dragon, Sombron, who is the nemesis of the Divine Dragon also seeks the rings for his own evil purposes. Only Alear and those loyal to him stand between the Fell Dragon and the total destruction of Elyos.

Despite some excellent gameplay on the combat front and some pleasing colour and animation, “Fire Emblem Engage” didn’t grab some critics, who weren’t impressed by the non-combat gameplay. They also felt the story didn’t make the best use of its characters and that the game was somehow caught halfway between wanting to celebrate its past and wanting to make its own mark on the series.

The above are all potential contenders for 2023 Game of the Year. Have you played them yet? Other titles to watch out for this year include “Street Fighter 6,” “Assassin’s Creed Mirage” and “Dead Space.” 

Last Updated: May 31, 2023

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