Some of the creators of Naughty Dog – the game studio behind series like The Last of Us and Uncharted – have revealed their favorite games of 2021.
Naughty Dog shared their list of favorite games that “inspired, excited, and most of all, entertained” in a Blog entry, and it all started with Bugsnax, where Vice President Christian Gyrling said it was “a unique game that my 7-year-old daughter and I connected”.
Deathloop was the darling of three developers at Naughty Dog, including Game Director Matthew Gallant, Development Director Waylon Brinck, and Game Director Kurt Margenau.
“Time-looping an immersive simulation was a brilliant idea,” wrote Gallant. “Every place you visit and revisit grows richer as you gain new tools, new information, and a new appreciation for the storytelling in the area. The art direction is breathtaking too, as it layered the mansions of the Bond villains of the ’60s on abandoned bunkers of Lost, all on a beautifully rugged and deserted island.
“Most importantly, Deathloop helped me break through my bad immersive sim habits. The time loop structure gave me permission to play flawless zero kill zero alarm runs and adopt a more improvisational and chaotic style of play. This was especially true in the case of an invasion by a seasoned Julianna gamer who instantly turned the map that disguised myself into a cat-and-mouse arena. “
Fortnite was the darling of Game Director Anthony Newman, who admitted that he originally thought of the game as “a mere toy for tweens, a passing fad only popular because of Drake.”
“How wrong I was! Fortnite is really inspiring, not just as a multiplayer game, but as playtime, ”Newman said. “Epic takes incredible creative risks every season and comes up with new ways to completely change the game, and it seems all but no new ideas, time-limited music event? It couldn’t be more innovative! If I could only learn to build now … “
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QA Director Patrick Goss picked Frostpunk as his choice, saying he loved “taking a Steampunk City Builder and chasing the ‘last stand’ of Victorian-era humanity into the Arctic”.
Character Art Director Ashley Swidowski selected The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes because “it doesn’t shy away from recognizing your inspirations but feels exciting in the way you approach it.” She was also very protective of the cast and can’t stand the thought of losing even one.
While Game Director Vinit Agarwal went with Inscryption, he chose not to explain too much because the game is so much better knowing as little as possible about the game for a very long time, and despite having a toddler, found the game I went back to myself until 3am every night and played until I finished. “
It Takes Two, named Game of the Year at the 2021 Game Awards, was selected by Senior Communications Manager Rochelle Snyder and Co-President Evan Wells.
“My partner was never a player and she really got into it,” said Snyder. “We spent hours on the couch laughing, making plans, and occasionally giving vigorous instructions to each other (honey, I need you in that damn underwear!). What a gift from Hazelight Studios – absolutely great. “
Metroid Dread was the winner for Character Technology Director Wasim Khan, who said, “Metroid Dread leaves you in awe while telling a compelling story thanks to its satisfying gameplay and atmospheric atmosphere.”
Finally, animation director Jeremy Yates and Vice President Arne Meyer honored Returnal and praised its “wonderful mix of beauty and horror”.
“Returnal was a master class in design efficiency and created a really addicting game loop that got my heart pounding and my palms sweating,” said Yates. “The art and sound were both spectacular and satisfying. I loved the subtle storytelling in the setting and how the backstory was slowly revealing itself in unconventional ways.”
Naughty Dog might not have been able to choose any of their own games as none were released in 2021, but that doesn’t mean the studio isn’t working hard to get another one worthy of the honor. In addition to the upcoming Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, we also know that in addition to a series for HBO, we are also working on a multiplayer component for The Last of Us.
You can also check out IGN’s Game of the Year 2021 and all of our other winners in categories like Best Console Exclusive, Most Accessible Game, and more.
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