The Best Games of 2017 So Far

More than 30 must-play video games of 2017

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'Prey'

“Explore a space station after a disaster” is a venerable game idea going back to System Shock 2 that's seen a revival in Alien: Isolation, and also inspired games in different locations, from BioShock to Gone Home. Prey takes tropes of the form, like audiologs and locked door puzzles, and finds surprising new ways to make them sing. Listening to recorded conversations and reading emails becomes meaningful when you know every crew member can be found on Talos 1 station somewhere, dead or alive, a real person rather than just a voice in your ear. Finding a way into new areas becomes a thrill thanks to strange alien powers and a spatial thoroughness that make even a crossbow that shoots nerf bolts – and so can trigger buttons that otherwise can't be reached – into a vital tool. When you make it outside Talos 1 and float in zero-gravity, you realize that everywhere you can see on this orbiting edifice that looks like a fancy New York hotel is somewhere you can reach with enough ingenuity. It's another “explore a space station after a disaster” game, but it's also the best of them. System Shock 3 has a lot of work to do to be a better sequel to be a better sequel to System Shock 2 than Prey was.

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