Naughty Dog has shared a list of video games that “inspired, thrilled, and entertained” the team in 2021. It includes titles like Deathloop, It Takes Two, Inscryption, and even Bugsnax.
Deathloop was named the favorite game of 2021 by three employees, including game director Mathew Gallant, development director Waylon Brinck, and game director Kurt Magenau.
“Most importantly, Deathloop helped me break my bad immersive sim habits,” Gallant wrote. “The time loop structure gave me permission to let go of playing flawless zero-kill zero-alert runs, and adopt a more improvisational and chaotic playstyle.”
Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells and senior communications manager Rochelle Snyder both named It Takes Two as their favorite game of 2021. “Truly, I’m sure that this game absolutely wrecked some relationships (romantic and otherwise), but this was a huge hit in my household,” Snyder noted. “My partner has never been a gamer, and she really got into this.”
Bugsnax was cited by Naughty Dog VP Christian Gyrling, who played the game with his 7-year-old daughter.
Game director Anthony Newman’s favorite game was Fortnite, especially thanks to the game’s innovative musical events.
QA director Patrick Ross chose Frostpunk as his favorite game of 2021, saying that it has “beautifully gameplay balanced with just the right learning curve to teach you every time you failed (again and again and again).”
House of Ashes, the latest installment in the Dark Pictures anthology, was chosen by character art director Ashley Swidoski, who thanked Supermassive for “carrying the torch for horror in games.”
Other games on the list include Metroid Dread, Returnal, and Inscryption.