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2017 appeared to be busy for gaming. Now we are halfway through the year with a list of games. That’s more than enough to put most previous “end of the year” lists to shame. For this, we owe quite a lot to a spectacularly resurgent Japanese gaming industry. After years of minimal activity, it came back with a string of modern classics, from Resident Evil 7 to Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, 2017 has gifted us with more than a few remarkable game characters. While some come as new versions of heroes from previous titles, others have shown up in our gaming rooms for the first time this year. A few new characters have already left a mark in our hearts that will last long after 2017.

Below are the top five best video game characters of the year so far.

  1. Wonder Woman from Injustice 2

The sequel to 2013’s overly impressive Injustice: Gods Among Us shows just how committed NetherRealm Studios (the guys behind Mortal Kombat) is, to establishing the DC heroes as household names among gamers. Set after the events of its predecessor, Injustice 2’s campaign focuses on Batman as he attempts to rebuild society amidst an imminent alien invasion.

Like its predecessor, Injustice 2 has many exciting characters. However, the most praise from fans seems to be going to Wonder Woman, the Amazonian warrior/princess who, following the events of Gods Among Us, is now colder and more aggressive. Her powerful combos, effective special attacks, and strong defenses make her a solid option for beginners and experienced gamers alike.

With Injustice 2, her successful self-titled blockbuster film, and the upcoming Justice League movie, 2017 is shaping up to be a pretty big year for Wonder Woman. By the way, you can print one. You’ll find STL files at Gambody.

  1. Scott and Sara Ryder from Mass Effect: Andromeda

Despite being one of the most anticipated video games this year, Mass Effect: Andromeda didn’t live up to the hype. Nevertheless, amid the hit-and-miss animations and numerous technical issues, the game had a few high points that couldn’t go unnoticed.

Among these were the new protagonists, Scott and Sara Ryder. You get to choose who of them you’ll play for depending on your gender preference. While opinions as to whether the Ryder twins are better than the previous games’ Commander Shepard remain polarized, BioWare deserves some credit for making the new characters a fairly competitive pair.

Even more welcome is the recently released animation patch, which significantly improves the Ryders’ faces, along with the general feel of the game.

  1. Mia from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

It’s not entirely clear how Capcom managed to make Biohazard so great after the bloated mess that was Resident Evil 6. For starters, the shift to first person shooter mode seemed like too bold a move for a franchise that has relied so much on visuals. Early looks of its VR support were also rife with complaints of crippling nausea.

And yet, RE7 turned out to be a sensational video game. Surprisingly, having little in common with its acclaimed predecessors seems to have worked out perfectly. For instance, Ethan Winters, the new protagonist, is much more charming than the brood of characters we had to work with in Resident Evil 6.

That said, one of the best moments in the game comes when you find out the truth about Mia, Ethan’s missing wife. After that you lose control of Ethan and take over Mia, going back in time to relive her previous experiences. While Ethan starts out blind with just a knife, pistol and shotgun, Mia is well-prepared. In her memories, she goes hard with a machine gun and remote bombs shredding anything that blocks her way.

You’re brought back to the current time, eventually, but for a few thrilling minutes, you get to be a one-woman army.

  1. Link from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild is the latest installment in the extensive and widely acclaimed Nintendo series – The Legend of Zelda. As everybody expected, it is yet another thoroughly impressive game. Like RE7, Breath of the Wild marks a bold departure from Zelda’s usual conventions, now featuring an expansive open-world environment. A player can explore that freely at their own pace. The game takes you through a captivating campaign filled with adventure, puzzles, and gripping fantasy.

What we love about Link in Breath of the Wild is that in addition to feeling different, he is exceptionally resourceful. The game’s new equipment system lets him procure a variety of items from his surroundings. He creatively uses them  to make weapons, shields, meals, and elixirs. His rune powers – Magnesis, Cryonis, and Stasis – are also very enjoyable to use.

Breath of the Wild is arguably the best Zelda game ever, and this year’s Link is one of the many reasons why.

  1. Kat from Gravity Rush 2

Gamers met the first part of Gravity Rush with overwhelming praise for its visuals, writing, narrative, and game play, as well as the light tone used to tell the story. What made it an instant hit, however, was Kat, the game’s charming protagonist. She becomes the hero of Hekseville after discovering she has the ability to manipulate gravity.

Kat returns in Gravity Rush 2, which profoundly expands its predecessor’s mechanics to include a choice of two new gravity styles – Lunar, and Jupiter. The universe has also been widened, with the city now more colorful and lively.

Over the course of Gravity Rush 2’s intriguing campaign, you take over Kat. She interacts and helps the people of Hekseville, assimilates into a strange mining settlement, battles the Nevi and other enemies. She also loses and gains her powers, all while searching for her friends Syd and Raven, another gravity shifter.

As a sequel, Gravity Rush 2 gets everything right, most importantly the development of Kat’s character. She gains new abilities and learns some important things about her clouded past. While the floating city of Hekseville is still fascinating to explore, Kat remains the heart of another heartfelt and engaging tale.

Final thoughts

There’s still a large chunk of 2017 left on our plate. Though the year has already given us great video games, whose characters will be remembered for years to come. And with more titles still on the way, it sure feels good to be a gamer. If you’ve not tried the latest games, now to save up for a next generation gaming PC and join the bandwagon.

 

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