To mark the end of the 2010s, we celebrated 30 games that defined the last 10 years. You can find all the entries in the Games of the Decade archive and read our thoughts on this in an editor's blog. Meanwhile, here is something extra.
Large or small, large budget or micro-studio, all games live in memory as moments Happy accidents, terrible last-minute losses, technical problems that ruined a game but somehow made it brilliant at the same time.
We've been watching our favorite games of the decade this week, but that really doesn't do justice to a decade. So here are our favorite moments of the games that came out over the past ten years.
Be careful here: MANY OF OUR FAVORITE MOMENTS ARE SPOILERS.
Realizing the identity of the Archangel in Mass Effect 2
If I could erase my memory of any game to experience it for the first time, it would be Mass Effect 2. The song of Mordin, that random mission where you play as Joker, the suicide mission! But of all these, the one who really stays with me is to find Garrus.
Your squad up to this point has only been Miranda and Jacob (and possibly Mordin if you choose to find him first), and despite their honesty and willingness to help you, both characters are from an enemy faction that you know has done some unforgivable things.
But finally you arrive at the Archangel: the helmet is removed and you find a friendly face that stayed by your side in your fight against the Geth, when a whole Galactic Council did not want to have anything to do with you. Although many of us probably suspect that the sniper Turiano dressed in blue was Garrus, the words cannot describe the relief and pure euphoria I felt when I was sure it was him.
Then he brings a rocket to his face. For a brief moment, it seems that they are taking away the friend you just rediscovered, and the scene fades to black, then comes to see you in Normandy.
"Shepard. How bad is it? Nobody would give me a mirror."
Controlling the spacecraft in MirrorMoon EP
MirrorMoon was a game of brilliant epiphany, none of which really should be spoiled. But the most vertiginous revelation in the whole affair is also one of the first. They drop you in a spaceship and you face a complex control panel. How does this thing fly? Well, you start discovering what everything does.
This is a trial and error game, and it is glorious: each element of the board has a beautiful tactile quality: a beautiful piece of animation and a satisfying sound effect. He is a much better teacher than a tutorial would be. Over the years since the game came out, I played in MirrorMoon about six or seven times. Each of those moments has felt like a real event, and I think it is due to the domain I learned in my first jump into the cabin. What a beautiful thing this is.
Dimitri's time jump in Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Blue Lions route spoilers
It is easy to get carried away by a false sense of security during the opening hours of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. You are drinking cups of tea, fishing and guiding the students gently, and like Hogwarts, dramas are largely contained within the walls of the monastery.
If you take the route of the Blue Lions, one of these students is Dimitri, a royal heir who struggles to overcome a horrible past and set a good example to his classmates. As betrayals and new traumas occur, that mask begins to slide and breaks completely when it disappears for five years amid the chaos of war. When you return, you go over the bodies to find him hunched in a corner, broken, tormented by hallucinations and alone. It's heartbreaking, and I felt really distressed for being absent when I needed it most: the final failure as a friend and teacher.
Eventually, you will guide Dimitri on the path of redemption, helping him control his anger and handle his survivor's guilt. But at that time, he is a young man who has lost everything, including himself, and is totally agonizing.
Say goodbye in Toca Nature
I could have chosen almost any of the wonderful children's apps from Toca Boca for this piece, but there is something enduring special about Toca Nature. Your job here is to take the mosaic of earth that has been given and transform it into an ecosystem, drawing mountains, digging lakes and rivers, scattering forests and encouraging animals to thrive. You can spend hours making the perfect design, but the great thing is that you can't save any of them. The moment you turn off the game, they disappear, and the next time you load it you start again. Perfect.
Fortnite's black hole and Chapter 2 return
Our perception of time slows to the edge of a black hole and, in fact, those two days that Fortnite was offline, the entire game just a retention screen perfectly designed to create anticipation, felt like an eternity. Who knew what would arise when everything was said and done? An infinite of futures lurked.
And then, so suddenly, Fortnite returned. A completely new game, close enough, emerged through a theatrical scene change on a scale that seemed only Epic could muster. Loading for the first time took you from a scene, which solved the cliffhanger of Fortnite's story, reintroduced his world, established what was new, reassured and reoriented fans that still remained the same, and in his first fight, all in 60 seconds.
The direction of the scene, its erroneous address of the main character of Fortnite jumping from the middle of the Battle Bus song and the sudden discovery that you were playing now, the understanding that Fortnite had been pairing you silently while putting you on day … it was a breathless return, a perfect setting, and a reminder that Fortnite effortlessly achieves things that others only dream of.
Learning to use Clone in Clash Royale
What is better than a hot air balloon? Two hot air balloons, and the second is a kind of strange ghost.
Arriving at Skyhold in Dragon Age: Inquisition
I don't think Dragon Age: Inquisition is a game of the decade. While it's a wonderful entry to the BioWare series, it doesn't really do anything new that its other titles haven't yet done. But it has a memorable moment that deserves a special mention: discover Skyhold.
Freshly wandered in the snow after a climate fight against the Corypheus thugs, you end up stranded with the rest of the Inquisition in the Frostback Mountains. All hope seems lost, until Solas takes you aside to give you a slight push in the right direction.
The music, cinematography and narration marvelously delivered by Solas' voice actor, Gareth David-Lloyd, come together to make a truly epic sequence. It almost seems as if the game starts over, providing a solid home for the Inquisition, and the hope of being able to defend itself after everything has been taken away.
Painting with archipelagos in From Dust
Dust may be the game that saddens me for having surpassed the top 30. It is a wonderful hymn to the pure power of change, since lava meets the water to create new rock landscapes, and fire breaks loose through the grasslands eliminating options and perhaps creating new ones.
It is better, I would say, towards the end of the campaign, on a map called Emergency, in which you must guide your followers from A to B through a dispersion of lost islands in a calm blue sea.
At first, it is difficult to determine how something is going to do, so that each individual land mass is isolated. However, he will quickly begin to think like a god, which means reinventing a promising mini-volcano as a kind of ink pit that can be used to paint new land in lines and cross-patterned rock.
It is a relatively simple level to complete, but that is never the point with From Dust. Instead, this is a toy box to explore, set in motion, neglect, revisit and reflect. From Dust is a game that really makes you feel like a god, and a game that shows that even the gods can be surprised.
The final secret of Sea of Thieves
Somewhere in the Sea of Thieves, we are told, among the endless turmoil of its tinted waters, is the treasure to end all the treasures, the fortune of Athena. Its discovery, only possible for those who achieve Pirate Legend, is an important goal as the free spirit pirate sandbox of Sea of Thieves really allows. However, between the initial animated introduction and that final goal, it is a tremendous task. But everything is worth it for Rare's last joke. It's hard not to laugh when it's clear, on the stone fence, the swell of supernatural light and the chorus of sirens that accompanies the great orchestrated revelation, that the goal you so bravely sought was just where you started all the time.
When Assassin & # 39; s Creed Origins takes you to Giza
The Great Gallery, on the right, seems part of a machine whose mechanism and purpose defy understanding. I don't remember where I read that, but when I stopped at the Great Gallery of Giza, deep in a pyramid, this was in the mid-90s, I was surprised how true it was. Then I left, and I realized that I would probably never come back.
But I did it! In Assassin & # 39; s Creed Origins we can all explore these magnificent buildings. And better than that, they have been empty of crowds and full of the right secrets to discover. Despite all this, they somehow retain their mystery, their power to confuse. These buildings are old. They are so old that when Bayek arrives, they are already Ancient and a myth thing. (In the best joke of the game, he mentions that he had imagined that the Sphinx would be bigger). The Grand Gallery already feels like part of a machine whose mechanism and purpose defy understanding.
That part of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Time has blunted my memory of the Brothers, but what I do remember is bursting into tears. Was that bit when you press that buttonof course Suddenly, after 10 hours of meandering history and sometimes quite complicated maneuvers, the reason behind everything I had been doing, everything that I had been forced to do, as a younger brother of the game, focused on a clarity that left me speechless. I tried to put into words the how and why of what I had just experienced and I found it deeply difficult to explain.
There is something physical about the loss: the absence of something that you used to be able to reach and feel, a feeling that the ground has moved beneath you and stays amazing to compensate. Brothers capture this in a moment of devastating simplicity, but that marries it in a sense of strength. Loss is the absence of something, this moment shows, but also a recognition of what once existed, and we are all stronger to remember it.
Titanfall 2 smart gun revelation
What does a giant robot keep inside its head? It turns out that they keep the best weapon of the first Titanfall: the smart gun, which selects targets quite automatically and ties you with virtual fishing wire lines.
The smart gun defined the first game for me, I'm terrible for the shooters, and I must say that I really missed it when Titanfall 2 started and it wasn't seen anywhere. I shouldn't have worried. The designers saved it for a late flowering in which you suddenly move with a wonderful clip and end up with a magic weapon that makes you feel invincible.
The songs often have a little towards the end when the main theme is inverted or twisted, and then you end up in a chorus, except that everything jumps up in terms of energy. This is the power of a middle eight, and the middle eight of Titanfall 2 is something I will never forget.
Patologic 2 puts an end to everything
Pathologic 2 is a game of death and misery with a little hope. You know how it will end from the beginning, the first minutes take you on a majestic tour of its strange isolated city, panting for the last time. a biblically apocalyptic rain of fire and disease.
Before all that, however, it is the dawn and a return, in which at least for a while, we encourage you to explore, to reconnect with abandoned friends. And somehow, despite the tortuous survival rhythms as the world begins its slow decline, you will find an unexpected warmth, a sense of belonging among this small condemned community and something worth fighting for.
But on the third day, when the plague is finally released, a sudden bell starts ringing at everything it once was as you walk the streets that now feel at home. And as the bell continues its endless drone, realization strikes that hope, like many other things in Pathologic 2, it has simply been used as a cruel tool to increase your despair.
Control is one of those beautiful luxurious games that really deals with simple things handled with care. You take things with your mind and the reward always feels fantastic. Concrete crumbles, office objects fly away, papers come out of a printer as you push it against the wall.
All this is great, but nothing is as deliriously attractive as the way filing cabinets work when you hit something on them. Reader, they shake: the doors open and then sink again, an expanding circle that shudders from the point of impact. Control has so many good things, is it strange to concentrate on a humble filing cabinet? No, it's perfect. What a game.
Mordin's big moment in Mass Effect 3
I still find it difficult to play Mordin's mission in Mass Effect 3. The morally complex outstanding partner in Mass Effect 2 is allowed to close the circle, if allowed, in a touching goodbye to one of the best BioWare characters. Once so sure of his point of view, the pragmatic lover of the operetta has been shaped by Shepard's actions and influence through dozens of conversations through multiple games. It all leads to a confrontation at the base of a tower in Tuchanka, and whatever you choose, whatever to have chosen, you have the feeling that this scientist who lives, breathes and sings has fulfilled his destiny, however devastating it may be.
The monolith in painful crowd
The games are no better than Painty Mob, right? Run, paint explodes everywhere, repeat. But at the beginning I unlocked a new avatar: it was only the numinous monolithic of 2001! Suddenly, a great game was even more exciting.
Overwatch game play
Play of the Game takes advantage of our human desires. He puts me back on the football field as a child, wanting to prove myself. Most games go by and there is a default "good game" return at the end. But once in a while … This time, on the edge of the box, I screwed an absolute pearl in the upper corner. I could'nt believe it. My team definitely couldn't believe it. I was about 14 years old and even now, two decades later, I can see their astonished faces when they turned from the goal towards me. For a glorious moment, I was brilliant.
Playing the game is that feeling. It is your name in lights. It's everyone else watching you do something they really want to do, and you feel brilliant about it. As if you belonged, as if you had the gift that the game requires.
The Game Game feeds Overwatch. It is what is at the bottom of your mind when your Ultimate is loaded, it is how the community communicates its achievements with each other. There is even a kind of language and decorum, since it sprays a wall after making a movement that it considers good enough to make the cut, which makes it seem, yes, that does this all the time.
Playing the game is everything. I can't imagine Overwatch without him.
Technology and nature in Breath of the Wild
Stalactite! The translation, I simply searched Google, so I could be wrong, is "what drips." Man! What thing. What drips!
And stalactites are at the heart of everything I love about Breath of the Wild: it's a strange, strange and strange relationship between nature and technology. You have a tablet in Breath of the Wild that seems to be a stone tablet, but it is also a tablet in the sense of the word iPad. You update it by placing it in a socket under a stalactite. At that point, what drips proceeds to drip. The code descends on its sides and forms a small drop of dew that falls on the tablet and voila, a download!
This is just the surface, of course. The relationship between nature and technology is very deep here. But it's something that, hundreds of hours of play later, I'm still trying to untangle.
Meeting with Paarthurnax in Skyrim
I have something for dragons. I think it has been there since I read the Hobbit, or maybe Tales of Earthsea, and I definitely remember being there when I played the Hordes of the Underdark expansion of Neverwinter Nights. That is a great expansion by the way. What I remember of all those versions of dragons was that they were intelligent. They were ancient beasts with much more wisdom than me, and they could talk. Not only were great silly things to kill for prestige.
Cue Skyrim, a fantasy game about the birth of a dragon. God, I was excited when Bethesda shared that release. But I was worried too. What if dragons were what I always feared: nothing but combat encounters? And for one part of the game, that concern was played. But then, Paarthurnax, the secret on top of the world. A talking dragon. An ancient and wise beast that had the key to a mystery, as a dragon should. The accumulation, the revelation, the encounter: it was epic. It was unforgettable and I was very satisfied.
Going to know where in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M
Towards the end of the codename; S.T.E.A.M you go to Oz. Oz. Srsly
Become a god in Atomega
You start so small, and then you grow in scale, an amoeba, a dinosaur, a gorilla. In the upper end you are a god, a trembling thing of pure electricity. You are powerful, but you need to keep eating to stay alive. And all the time your whole body trembles and trembles with the terrifying potential you have. Fantastic!
Dying in 30 seconds in Torment: Numenera Tides
I like to push the games to see what they let me do, but I usually do this safely knowing that they won't reject it. I trust that designers won't let me sabotage my game so easily. I played this chicken game with Torment.
I fell off a moon base at the beginning of the game and refused to delay my descent. It's the beginning of the game, for God's sake – tutorial territory – they won't let me die. But oh boy, I was wrong. Splat, on the ground, and the credits rolled. The credits! This was not an accidental result, it was a trap to catch arrogant players like me. I was delighted. Well played, Torment, well played.
Score a Meld touchdown on XCOM: Enemy Within
God, XCOM is brilliant. And with the Enemy Within expansion, it got even better. Enemy Within introduced mechs, which were always going to be good, but also introduced Meld. And Meld was … well …
What happens with XCOM is that you can play it quite conservatively. You can group your forces and take things very slowly. But then Meld appears, an extremely valuable resource that doesn't stay for long. As soon as you discover it, it starts working, heading for its own destruction. Then, suddenly, you must make bold strokes across the map, extend yourself too much and perhaps end up in a tragic situation. Meld took a great tactical game, in other words, and turned it into American football. And everything fits very well.
Find the treasure kingdom in Diablo 3
Seeing a treasure elf in Diablo 3 is always an exciting time. They are swag on the legs, mini-Santa Claus. If you can run after them and tear them apart before they teleport, you will be covered with treasures. But where do they come from? How do they get so much loot? I never cared until a portal to the Treasure Kingdom appeared randomly.
Understand, this is a very rare occurrence In hundreds of hours playing Diablo 3, I've only been there once, but I've mistreated hundreds of treasure elves. I didn't even realize that there was a portal like this, to be honest, but suddenly there was a golden portal to The Vault.
I entered and could not believe what I was seeing. It was in what looked like Smaug's lair, or Aladdin's cave, a chamber stacked from floor to ceiling with bright treasures. Now understand that Diablo is a game about treasures, about greed, and you can imagine the effect this has. I was in heaven
I went through the camera, filled my pockets, until I faced the guardian of the kingdom: greed. Literally greed. And when I defeated Greed, which is something strange to write about, I was rewarded with the biggest chest I've ever seen and a volcanic loot eruption.
I couldn't stop talking about it later. I couldn't stop trying to get there again. But I have never done it.
When the Witness puzzles are finally released
At least for a while, The Witness is a small prickly box wrapped in a beautiful bow. Everything is very admirable, since it reaches your head and crushes your brain, but there is a cold detachment in its puzzles, its isolated riddles firmly keep its distance from the impressive world around them.
But then, as you walk through its extensive meadows, its coastal plateaus, its forests dotted with the sun, something catches your attention, a somewhat unnatural form in the clouds, an uncomfortable line in the sand. And with one step, everything changes; Suddenly he realizes that those little funny boxes scattered awkwardly are nothing more than a small part of a dizzyingly vast machine that covers everything.
Everyone remembers the moment they discovered that there was something beyond the line puzzles & # 39; simple & # 39; in The Witness, the revelation that, with spoilers later, the flow of joining two points in the hundreds of riddles of two-dimensional lines scattered around the island was a trick. It could also apply to the world itself.
And once you knew it, it was everywhere: on cracked walls, irregular rocks and even distant horizons, looking you in the face but not revealing you until you aligned things correctly. For me, I discovered it by accident, looking at a cliff a dozen hours while resting my broken brain. I know that for others, they saw it within minutes of starting the game, a revelation that I imagine and then completely reformed their experience.
In a game about perspective, it was appropriate for everyone to discover it in their own way and made the island a beautiful place that at first seemed like an excessive showcase, a puzzle in itself.
Reach the Nether Kingdom in Minecraft for the first time
I had played Minecraft for a long, long time before I cared to reach the Nether Realm. My son and I spent the entire Sunday afternoons starting over from scratch, surviving our first night, doing our first big dig together, melting our first iron armor. This kept us busy for years.
For us, the Nether Realm was something other people went to. A legend. To get there, you needed obsidian, and for mine obsidian you needed a peak of diamonds, and we always had trouble finding diamonds. Usually, we get bored by then and end up starting over.
But one weekend we persevered, and little by little we put the obsidian blocks we needed until our greatest achievement was there, a monument to play Minecraft seriously. My son took a step forward to perform the last part of the procedure. Flint and steel in hand, lit it. Vomf! The fire caught and an undulating purple portal was there. A door to another world.
That afternoon, we entered together.
Put a Skylander on the portal for the first time
Don't hit it! I thought it was a lot of old nonsense until I tried it. But I tell you there is magic in those toys. Try putting one in a Skylanders portal. You wait until you see the ray of light and the toy suddenly appears, animated, characterized, ready for battle. Then change it for another. Whoosh, it's there. Another: whoosh, it's there.
It gives them life. It makes a child, and a child the size of an adult, see a little more in them that is actually there. And because they keep their progress on a chip inside them, it begins to form attachments with them as they grow.
Soon, I guarantee you, you will be as hooked to pick them up as I am, under the veil of buying them for my son. The question is, what do I do with this sack of toys now?
Discovering the secret story in Hatoful Boyfriend
On the surface, Hatoful Boyfriend is exactly what he claims to be: a crazy dating simulator where the objects of his attraction are birds, rather than people. You can fall in love with your best friend Ryouta, the pompous Sakuya, the Okosan pudding, the surprisingly violent Shuu and Nageki, who is a ghost, among others. In search of love, you will find yourself looking for a magic pudding, working in a cafe, without worrying about where other humans are, buying bird seeds, living in a cave and joining the student council.
Eventually, however, when you start a new game, you will be asked if you want to keep a promise. If you decide that you do, the game will begin normally: you are Hiyoko, who is excited to start her second year at the St PigeoNation Institute, as her only human student. Until, one day, visits to Ryouta in the infirmary. The game will fade to black and, for some reason, you are now playing as Ryouta. He arrives at the class to discover a box in his class that contains the head of a human: the head of Hiyoko.
It is at this point that Hatoful Boyfriend's humorous tone is stripped, revealing the mystery of the psychological murder that lies in his heart. The school becomes a prison, built on a secret laboratory, and a scarecrow-like robot chases you through secret corridors. Gradually, you discover that this apparent bird utopia has been built on the debris of multiple wars, deadly viruses and terrorist attacks.
This gender change works very well, because it transforms the jokes that originally seemed to be exaggerations of the tropes of the dating simulator into main points of the plot. Nageki, the ghost bird, for example, died of self-immolation in an attempt to prevent the creation of a new super virus. It also makes it worth repeating the dating simulator stories, because you can find the plot points, which hint at the darkest currents in the game's history.
Hatoful Boyfriend attracts you with his humor and his ridiculous premise, but leaves you reflecting on the ramifications of war and unethical scientific experiments.
That speech in Far Cry 3
I missed watching the Ubisoft 2011 E3 press conference live, but I was in Los Angeles at the time and I felt a strange buzzing in the air when word spread about a certain Far Cry 3 promotion that had just been issued
Later that night, at an industry party, I heard people describe their focal point, Vaas, as one of the most threatening and disturbing video game villains they have ever seen. After the party I saw the trailer in my hotel room and I was surprised by the performance of Michael Mando, whose speech of & # 39; definition of madness & # 39; It was delivered with so much malice and mischief that I felt a chill in my spine. Never before has a video game character seemed so real or so intimidating and much of that was due to the way Mandol pronounced his lines.
According to the interviews with Mando, Vaas did not even exist before his audition for Far Cry 3, the character and his infamous speech were improvised and elaborated around the actor and his image. In the end, Far Cry 3 received stellar criticism, including a 10/10 (reads like an Essential) from Eurogamer, and while much of that had to do with gameplay, it will always be Vaas and that incredible monologue that stick. in my mind.
The magical beach at Grow Home
Cuando arrojas algo al océano aquí, no se pierde. Después de unos minutos, vuelve a lavarse tierra adentro en la playa mágica. ¡Encantador!
La primera vez que todo se va al infierno en Mónaco
Mónaco es un juego sobre planificación, precisión y escabullirse. Lo que significa que también es un juego sobre la improvisación, los errores y la entrada a una habitación solo para descubrir que está llena de perros enojados. La genialidad del hermoso simulador de robos de Pocketwatch es la forma en que logra abstraer un mundo lujoso y ocupado hasta el nivel en que todo se puede entregar en 2D, y en este proceso, no se ha perdido absolutamente nada del potencial para el caos. Puede avanzar con cuidado en las primeras misiones con cuidado, pero siempre llegará un momento en que las cosas salgan mal y el juego, junto con el glorioso puntaje dinámico de cine mudo de Austin Wintory, está ahí para apoyarlo todo.
Nace una leyenda de los deportes electrónicos, con la puerta trasera xPeke en IEM Katowice
Me enamoro y desenamoro de los deportes electrónicos. Es imperfecto e inmaduro, y siempre parece estar al borde de una crisis de identidad, pero de vez en cuando te presenta un momento de pura magia.
Enrique "xPeke" Martínez es un jugador profesional de League of Legends de España, y en este momento particular, en 2013, tiene veinte años. Es un juego decisivo en algún momento de las finales de IEM Katowice: no recuerdo en qué etapa fue exactamente, los torneos de deportes electrónicos tienden a convertirse en uno solo para mí, y el equipo de xPeke, Fnatic, está en la cuerda. El juego lleva 53 minutos, un maratón, y ahora está abierto.
Fnatic aguanta el empuje de sus oponentes SK y contraataca. SK se aferra a sí mismos, solo, y Fnatic es empujado hacia atrás una vez más. Es algo de piernas largas y profundas. Si se tratara de jugadores de fútbol, los calambres caerían, los boxearían, ambos estarían ensangrentados y balanceándose. Los SK están remendados y pesados por la mitad para tratar de cerrar las cosas. Fnatic look gastado, disperso y listo para desmoronarse y ¡espera! – xPeke acaba de aparecer dentro de la base de SK. Entonces, tal vez diez, once segundos de perfección deportiva completa. Chaos, as he dances around their final structure, chipping away at it one teeny tiny incy wincy bit of damage at a time, opponents running around it in circles, dogs chasing each other round a tree. SK are scrambling, most of their players are halfway across the map. There's one back but he's a tank, slow and clumsy and unable to catch a slippery champion like xPeke's Kassadin. Every time they get near to xPeke he pops up somewhere else. Chip chip chip goes the base's health. SK are too furious for dread, it's too fast, happening too sudden. Another one's made it back now but needs to land a devilish skillshot to slow xPeke down. He gets one! Kassadin's slowed, his health is low, SK catch up to him but – no! – he's away again. A few more chips and its gone. Disaster. The commentators are screaming, the poor SK players who just couldn't-quite-land that final hit are seeing all the nightmares come to life, in real time, on the biggest stage. Heads are in hands, headphones are flying, there are tears. Catastrophe and euphoria.
Sport! The real deal, for just a single, spellbinding minute. Unforgettable.
The relief and nostalgia of playing Shenmue 3's demo
Shenmue narrowly avoided missing this decade with less than two months to spare, and even I, an ardent fan of the series, was surprised it made the finish line. And I was probably more surprised that, against all odds, it was actually good.
I discovered this sooner than that, though, thanks to the demo – a short slice of the game's opening given to Kickstarter backers, and something I'd admittedly forgotten about until a code arrived in my inbox, possibly in anticipation of having my heart broken.
But playing the demo confirmed I everything I dared hope a new Shenmue would be, and that was more of the same – the pacing, the attention to detail, the night-time transition scenes, the stilted dialogue – all stuffed into a modern engine more comfortably than you'd expect. And then I played it again, and again, discovering new details and small touches – something I hadn't done with a demo in decades, itself its own form of nostalgia.
For days, this demo was all I could think about – days which turned into months as I then waited for the full game to come out. Yes, Shenmue 3 was good. Yes, Shenmue was back!