Race To GOTY 2016: Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

The Race To GOTY series is exactly what it says on the tin. There will be new entries, overtakes, disqualifications, and of course uncompromising wheel-to-wheel to go along with it. Game of the year title is the prize.

Yeah, sure thing, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is like Commandos. That’s something you can reliably say about exactly one game since 1998, bar Commandos‘ sequels. This one.

If you don’t make the environment work for you, it’ll work against you. Also, forget cheese.

Released in the nick of time to make the 2016 cut, my time with the RTS-stealther was as compressed as it was immensely delightful. Perhaps not as importantly (or perhaps first and foremost), it was kind of a flashback to that single-breath, locked-out-of-life playthrough of Satellite Reign.

There’s no loot, no level-up abilities. I like that, I like that a lot.

So. It’s hopelessly addictive. It’s brave enough to take on an undying legend fitting seamlessly on the pedestal in the process. It’s also set in, well duh, ancient Japan and, with confidence I’ve nothing but admiration for, recommends it’s played in Japanese. It follows a twisty story where fates of the five distinctly characterised playable heroes intertwine. It’s very well written and looks absolutely gorgeous.

If all that ain’t GOTY material, I don’t know what is.

I strongly suggest you take up the offer to play in Japanese with subtitles. Trust me on this one.

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