Since MrJohnSherry has picked his game of the year it is only fitting that I take the time to pick mine!
If you read my recap of the year (part 1, part 2, part 3 & part 4) then you’ll know that 2016 was actually a really good year for games and absolutely full of top rated games from beginning to end, which made picking my top 3 games really difficult. However I feel that my list truly reflects the quality of 2016 if not the diversity that it provided.
The rules are the same as they always are:
1) I must have played the game.
2) Must have been released (in its entirety) between 01/01/16-31/12/16.
3) Cannot be a straight HD remake.
So let’s do this, let’s pick the Game of the year for 2016!
Overwatch was a game that I had zero interest in; I didn’t play the BETA and I didn’t read anything to do with its development.
The reason for this? I have never enjoyed a game developed by Blizzard – well except hearthstone, but that was very short-lived!
Then Sherry bought me Overwatch for my birthday and I played it – it is bloody brilliant. It’s a game that has dragged me back throughout the year for a number of reasons; its diverse range of heroes and their play styles keeps the game fresh and challenging while simultaneously making each and every match totally unique. The lack of stats like K/D ratios mean that everybody has a role to play in their team and can feel useful.
The balance of all the characters is absolutely perfect and makes the game feel fair, the transparency of its systems is refreshing, the massive support that it has received throughout the year and it’s incredibly fun seasonal game modes.
Blizzard have a history of creating best in genre games and Overwatch; while not being the best shooter of 2016 it was the game that put fun before everything else and it is a game that will go down as a classic.
2) Titanfall 2
Was the best shooter of the year, make no mistake about that!
Respawn Interactive are the team that made COD the biggest franchise on the planet and they have perfected their craft here. The single player campaign wasn’t just a tacked on mode to satiate public demand, but was an absolute masterclass of game making that other developers should take notes on.
It was a campaign that was full of bombast, spectacle but above all else heart. Respawn turned their back on the set piece heavy campaigns of yesteryear and have given us one for the ages. The campaign constantly surprises, throws up best in genre mechanics and the strongest narrative seen in a modern shooter which focuses on creating the inseparable and genuine bond between man and machine. It is brilliantly told and some of the levels are genius (I’m looking at you ‘Cause and Effect’) with mechanics that are ingrained into the narrative and the weighty, satisfying gun play you expect form a modern shooter. Calling this game “COD with robots” highlights your ignorance and does the best shooter in 10 years a serious disservice.
The multiplayer is also incredible with some expected and unique game modes as well as traversal options that are fun and satisfyingly destructive when utilised correctly. The maps are designed to encourage player experimentation, and a business model that gives maps, characters and everything else that affects gameplay for free!
The fact this game sold so poorly makes me sad for gamers!
Inside was the most beautifully artistic game of 2016; a game that set out to tell a story through setting and succeeding flawlessly!
The narrative is one that will shock the player through its use of violence against the child protagonist. It will also leave questions in your mind – is what you’re seeing and interpreting really what the developers had in mind? Or is this a piece of propaganda supporting the proletariat agenda? What exactly is going on here?
The story is told exclusively through the protagonist and the setting – this setting (while it is exclusively 2D) feels much more dense, real and alive than many AAA titles – every screen tells a story and establishes a universe. What Playdead have accomplished here is staggering.
As a game it is a simple platform puzzler but one that pitches its difficulty absolutely perfectly – there is nothing here that will halt your progress and it means that everybody who plays this will see it through to its conclusion with minimal fuss. It’s not easy, it just explains its systems in an organic and totally effective way which equips the player with the knowledge and skills to progress. It is a masterclass in game design.
Further to all this is the fact that it also has the greatest vehicle level I’ve ever played in a game – everything is pitched just right but the weight of the vehicle and how it responds and reacts to its environment is sheer perfection. There’s a word…
…this game is as close to perfect as you can get!
What was your game of the year?
Tell us in the comments/facebook/twitter