With 2016 nearly over, it’s time to do what so many others are doing. No, not holiday shopping…making a game of the year list! There were some highlights and some lowlights. I’m only going to include games I actually played. That will certainly keep the list short but it will also leave out a lot of games since my time playing games released this year was somewhat limited. Let’s get started!
Honorable Mention – Destiny: Rise of Iron
Technically this can’t be on this year’s GOTY list because it is only DLC and not an actual game. It does get an honorable mention though because it did give players a reason to come back to Destiny at least for a while. The content was fun to play but it didn’t do a great deal to expand the Destiny universe and in some ways it felt like a step back from The Taken King. However, it did show that there is room for growth in the game and that fans are still interested in it.
Dishonorable Mention – No Man’s Sky
What can be said about this game other than it may qualify as the year’s biggest disappointment as far as games go. I was excited about this game ever since it was announced but my fever diminished every time it was delayed. By the time it actually did release my expectations were at an all time low, that was until I played the game. This game was nothing that I imagined it to be and I’ll take the blame for that but I won’t take the blame for the clunky game play, cumbersome UI, lousy inventory, and overall poor performance that has plagued this game. It still own my copy just so that every time I get excited about an upcoming game I can look over at my bookshelf, see No Man’s Sky sitting there, and instantly temper my expectations.
And a 1 and a 2 – Amplitude
This rhythm based game looks a lot like Guitar Hero but somehow you are flying a space ship. I never understood the underlying plot of the game and didn’t really care. My time with the game was fun even for a person that is not good at rhythm games.
Needs Improvement – Alienation
A twin-stick arcade shooter from the people that made Dead Nation? Hell yeah! Well, not so much. This game turned into a loot-based shooter that got too difficult too quickly. You couldn’t get better loot without playing a higher level than you were geared for but you could barely survive at the higher level because you weren’t geared for it. See a problem? Then there was the whole issue about how the enemies scaled to the number of players in the game. With a few corrections this game could have been much better.
Maybe I Missed Something – Titanfall 2
For whatever reason, people really liked the campaign in this game but I couldn’t disagree more. Titanfall is a first-person shooter whereas the campaign was designed as a platformer with a lackluster story. I had a great time with the original but this follow up just didn’t have the same draw for me. I respect most of what they did with the game and think it is a quality product despite my lack of interest.
It’s the Boys! – Gears of War 4
It was great to see a fresh entry in this series but it was far from perfect. The story was a little wobbly and ended abruptly. Horde mode had some changes that I didn’t care for, particularly having to collect your money between rounds. Maybe the best part of it for me was that it showed that The Coalition wasn’t going to ruin Gears of War for me like 343 Industries ruined Halo, at least not yet anyway.
Please Fix – Tom Clancy’s: The Division
Uh, I know some of you are rolling your eyes that this game is even on my list. This is the game I probably spent the most time with this year despite all of its numerous issues. My fondness for third-person shooters kept me going in this game along with Massive’s efforts to improve it. However, I’m not going to pretend that the game still doesn’t have issues because it does.
Obvious Game of the Year – Uncharted 4
Whether you believe or not that this is the end of the series, this is a great game. The story kept me playing for hours and the characters had me invested in them completely. This is the type of game other should aspire to make. I’m not sure if Nathan Drake is done or not, it could be that Naughty Dog doesn’t make the next Uncharted game. If this is the last game in this series it was a heck of a way to go out.
There it is, sort and simple. Wish I had played more games but I didn’t. I wanted to include games like Battleborn and Overwatch but my time was spent in the betaa and I feel that shouldn’t count. Perhaps next year I’ll get to play a larger set of games. It is a completely different discussion of what games I hope will be on this list next year.
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A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.