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2023 Video Game Roundup

By Public Service Associate Paul

2023 was a remarkable year for gaming and as we come to a conclusion on this 3rd year in the 9th generation of home video game consoles let’s take a look back at some of the best this year had to offer. In no particular order, I would like to highlight some of the games this year that, when faced with the challenge of launching in a window of time that was surrounded by so many other hotly anticipated games, rose to the occasion and left an indelible impression on myself and so many others that I would be remiss to not include them today to share with you all. 

To start, I would like to first allow a moment for a few honorable mentions. I tried to keep this list limited to games that would typically not be considered AAA, AAA being the term given to games produced by the largest companies with the largest budgets but felt that in a year as packed as this, not mentioning them at all would be a disservice.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Dead Space – Motive studio | PS 5
  • Resident Evil 4 – Capcom Production Studio 4 | PS 5 / Xbox Series X
  • Star Wars: Jedi Survivor -Respawn Entertainment | PS 5 / Xbox Series X
  • Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Nintendo | Switch

Baldur’s Gate III

Starting the list proper with the only AAA game to make the cut, Baldur’s Gate 3. 

Baldur’s Gate 3 is an isometric, turn based, CRPG with an emphasis on gameplay mechanics and immersion, rather than visuals. However, that’s not to say that Baldur’s Gate doesn’t have the visuals down in spades. The game is absolutely gorgeous to behold, but even more fun to manipulate. Baldur’s Gate takes the traditional tabletop RPG formula and gets rid of the game master and subs it in with the video games myriad of systems so you can get right to the meat of what makes roleplaying in a fantasy world so much fun — combat, exploration, and of course the ROLEPLAYING. With 17+race/ subrace options; 36+ class/subclass options; and numerous other background, attribute, and skill customization options, the choice is yours on what kind of adventurer you want to be over your 100+ hour campaign in the Forgotten Realms. Be that a benevolent hero that sacrifices their own health and safety for that of their community? Or a malevolent villain who can’t resist but give in to their darkest urges. Available on PC and PS5 at time of recording with an Xbox Series S/X release confirmed but no release date announced.

Alan Wake II

Next on the list is a game that, rather than letting you manage a ragtag team of heroes through a fantastic world full of magic and wonder, puts you right into the depths of a chilling murder mystery where slow-burn psychological terror turns to frantic survival-horror action. Welcome to Bright Falls Washington, this is Alan Wake II. Alan Wake II is the third game in the Remedy Connected Universe connecting 2010’s seminal Alan Wake and 2019’s Control. You follow the titular Alan Wake, a writer who wakes on the shore of Cauldron Lake near Bright Falls Washington to learn that he has been missing for 13 years following the events of Alan Wake I, and FBI Agent Saga Anderson who’s been sent to the town to investigate the latest victim in a series of ritualistic slaughters. Gameplay switches between Saga and Alan to give both intense, heart pounding, 3rd person action and mind-bending puzzles where Alan (and the player) must use their skills to alter the Dark Place he currently resides in to find his escape. Alan Wake II also leverages its breathtaking visuals and full motion video sequences to truly immerse players in Bright Falls. For fans of True Detective and The New Weird. Alan Wake II is available now on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.


Now, taking a step away from The New Weird and foggy Washington lakes, let’s take a step offshore to a distant archipelago and cast our line for Lovecraftian sea creatures in Dredge. Dredge is the debut title by Black Salt Games, a studio that consists of only three developers who led with their best foot forward with this title. Dredge sees the player control a small fishing boat on a day-night cycle where minigames are completed to catch fish or underwater salvage. Which would be par the course in most fishing games. The catch comes when the player stays out late in the night, a panic meter starts to rise that can cause hallucinations that alter reality around the boat, and some fish are ONLY available during the night hours, forcing the player to stay out during these times if they want to fish for the best rewards. The art in Dredge is what some have taken to call “low-poly impressionism” which lends itself well to presenting the unfathomable creatures found in the fathoms of Dredge’s inky seas. Recent updates to the game have also enabled a “passive mode” in the settings; so, for those of us who don’t yet have the courage to be beset upon by Lovecraftian horrors, passive mode will make all of the traditionally hostile creatures non-hostile so you can enjoy your cozy fishing to your heart’s content. Dredge is available now on PC, Ps4/Ps5, Switch, and Xbox one and Series X/S.