As gamers, we obviously love playing games. Sometimes, though, it can be just as fun to take a peek under the hood and see what makes everything tick. What engine is a game running on? How does it take advantage of different consoles' features and limitations? What kinds of tricks do developers have up their sleeves in order to make these games look so gorgeous?
We regularly turn to Digital Foundry for their expert analysis of the hottest new games (and retro games). These are the guys who not only look under the hood to see how everything is running, but also regularly get insights straight from the developers and their own tools to give us the inside scoop on visuals and performance. Today, they're looking back at what they consider to be the most technically impressive games in 2017. Check out the video above to see their top picks!
For me personally, the biggest surprise on the list was number six, The Surge. I never picked this game up, and so I know very little about it. I was delighted to learn that the game was developed and running on a proprietary, in-house engine, which enabled the developers to cram in a gorgeous, expansive game into a tiny 6GB package. In a world where we regularly see Unreal Engine games balloon over 60, 70, and even 100GB in size, efficient optimization and compression is something that should be celebrated. This is something Nintendo does very well.
I was also delighted to see Gravity Rush 2 represented on the list. The original Gravity Rush and Gravity Rush Remastered (which brought the Vita exclusive to PS4) blew me away with its fluidity, art direction, and general aesthetic. Gravity Rush 2 upped the ante considerably, and it's one of the most beautiful games I've ever played. If you own a PS4, you need to grab both of them while they're on sale.
While Assassin's Creed Origins nearly took the number one spot, that throne is still occupied by what many concede to be the most gorgeous game of 2017: Horizon: Zero Dawn. Never have we seen such brilliant lighting and atmosphere on a console title; it's pure wizardry.
Do you agree with their list? What other games would you have liked to see included? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter what you consider to be the most technically impressive game of 2017, and why!