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The Best Third-Person Action-Adventure Game of 2017

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The Best Third-Person Action-Adventure Game of 2017

There can only be one winner…

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It’s award season here at Twinfinite! Let’s look back at the best third-person action adventure games from 2017. Voted on by our editors, these games, in particular, stood out as among the most exceptional titles of 2017. Let’s start our top vote-getting honorable mentions, runner-ups, and finally, of course, our overall winner!

Honorable Mention: Middle-earth – Shadow of War

Best Third-Person Action-Adventure of 2017

shadow of war

The follow-up to 2014’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was an improvement on the original game in nearly every single way. From its cast of memorable orcs to its fleshed-out Nemesis system, it offered important advancements from a base game that was, admittedly, quite lacking in several departments. The plight of ranger Talion and his dalliances with the ghostly elf lord Celebrimbor is less of a tale of the forging of a new Ring of Power than it is a tale of forming new Orc armies with close friends and allies.

Not only do you genuinely begin to care about the races you’ve fought against and recruited to your side over the course of the game, but they become a living, breathing part of the world that feel just as vital to the campaign as its story elements and worldbuilding. The combination of single-player elements and open-world environments makes for a game that invites you to explore its outer reaches as you settle into the role of Talion, with surprising plot twists and a meaty endgame that begs you to keep playing even when you think your journey has come to an “official” end.

It’s clear Monolith Productions went to great lengths to create an infinitely more rewarding and exciting product that feels more faithful to the Middle-earth lore and fan base than the first game did, and even if you’re completely uninterested in the company of Sauron and his cronies or the Ring of Power, you’ll find something to enjoy about this open-world gem.

Second Runner-Up – Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Best Third-Person Action-Adventure of 2017

assassin's creed: origins, assassin's creed, best games, metacritic

The history of the Assassin’s Creed franchise has been one of peaks and troughs. After finding its feet with the beloved Ezio trilogy, the series has struggled to maintain a consistent standard of quality. The momentum garnered by superb entries such as Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag has been marred in equal amounts by wobbles like Assassin’s Creed: Unity. So much so that Ubisoft finally opted to hit the brakes and take the series back to the drawing board. The results have been astonishing.

With Origins, a new focus on RPG mechanics, revamped Souls-like combat, and one of the better Assassin’s Creed stories has propelled the series back into the spotlight. The Ancient Egyptian setting, too, despite being much less vertical in comparison to the towering Victorian streets of London or the dazzling buildings of Renaissance Italy is a standout. In fact, it’s one of the most detailed open-worlds we’ve ever played, populated by convincing NPCs that do well to capture the historical tone of the era.

Origins features the most compelling combat of any Assassin’s Creed title to date, thanks to proper hitboxes and the removal of the one-versus-one dueling in previous entries. Traversal, too, has never felt better and generally makes controlling Bayek an absolute joy. Both combine to produce a stunning blend of action role-playing, stealth, and platforming that we struggled to put down for eighty-or-so hours. Without a doubt, Assassin’s Creed: Origins is one of 2017’s must-play titles.

First Runner-Up – Horizon Zero Dawn

Best Third-Person Action-Adventure of 2017

horizon zero dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn’s eye-catching science fiction tale of a doomsday apocalypse and a world of awe-inspiring robotic creatures has been a wonderful breath of fresh air for the games industry. It’s not often we see such a bold and innovative premise being used as the basis of an all-new AAA IP.

Thankfully, though, Horizon Zero Dawn is much more than a pretty facade, featuring one of the most polished and streamlined open-world gameplay experiences ever created. Developer Guerrilla games somehow managed to deftly balance emergent gameplay, storytelling, exploration, and one of PS4’s most graphically accomplished games in one superlative package. Each pillar binds the experience together in equal measure, and Horizon Zero Dawn isn’t let down by the blemishes that other open-world games are so often spoiled by. It’s superbly optimized, narratively well-paced, and finds the perfect sweet spot between action and role-playing.

Horizon Zero Dawn feels like the culmination of the best aspects of a dozen open-world games before it, but presented via such a unique and inventive setting that it doesn’t lean too heavily on well-established genre tropes. It really does stand tall at the top of the action-adventure class, and it took something very special indeed to wrestle away this year’s “Best Of” category accolades…

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