2016 has been another great year for games, with the usual yearly suspects such as FIFA and other sports games, to the yearly slug fest of Call of Duty.
New IPs we’re introduced such as what is now Game of the Year from the Game Awards, Overwatch. There was also the brilliant Firewatch, Abzu and No Man’s Sky. The latter of which was hyped up to oblivion and had the fastest fall from grace.
Each of the team have written their own pieces for what they believe is there game of the year, or if they haven’t managed to pick one, then there selection for the year. I have to admit as well. Each of us at Honest Gaming Reviews have picked something different, which we were all pleasantly surprised about.
Last year I couldn’t make my mind up on a Game of the Year. It was a difficult decision and went with an overall view of my top games. This year has been a little easier and I do have a clear GOTY winner, which in a way I was surprised and also not really at the same time.
My GOTY is ….. *drum roll*… Titanfall 2. Surprised? I think the game is a very worthy winner. After the Tech Test, Respawn went away and took the feedback from that on board and made amendments to the game which added that bit of polish.
There are times where the launch of games don’t go smoothly, either because there are issues with the game, or the servers haven’t worked as expected. But with Titanfall 2, I didn’t have any of these issues and since switching the game on, it’s been an absolute joy to play. Plus, if you’re wanting a quick game of attrition to kill 10-15 minutes, then this is easily the best option for that. Getting into a game is so quick and easy, the loading times are barely nothing. This for me was one of the biggest factors when choosing the game as I was 50/50 between this and Battlefield 1, but the loading times on BF1 can be atrocious, I have known it to take around 5-10 minutes before I’ve been placed into a match, you then add that to the 10-15 minutes each match takes and that can at times take up half an hour. Not the 10-15 you were hoping kill.
One thing that I loved about this game is how smooth it runs. If you have read my review for this game, you will see what I mean about that. Technically for me the game is sound, wall running is simply smooth, going from one side to another, drifting wonderfully over each surface. I cannot fault this games mechanics at all, and it’s an absolute joy to play.
This is why Titanfall 2 is my GOTY.
As a few people know I only tend to play one game and I can’t really pick that as my GOTY constantly. So this year I’m going to throw my accolade on a delightful Indie title that I had the pleasure to review earlier this year.
Fru is a game that had me grinning like a loon and actually had me up off the sofa and getting some exercise whilst still having fun. It took a piece of hardware, the Kinect, and utilised it in a way that it hadn’t been used before. There was a story of sorts but it was secondary really to the enjoyment I gained from actually changing the way the character moved by using my body. In a year where all the big AAA companies released their stock ‘sequels’, I found Fru to be a welcome breath of fresh air and it showed that you can drift away from the current meta and still have a successful game release.
Honorable mentions go to Titanfall 2 (love you BT) , The Magic Circle (quite fun and surprisingly funny), Action News Heroes (devs listened to feedback to make the game more enjoyable), the quite brilliant Turing Test which featured some stunning voice acting and also to EA Access who have built up a tidy catalogue of games that are available if you subscribe to the service.
See you all in 2017.
I’m not usually one for singling out a game that stands out above the rest. I play a lot of great games and always struggle to say ‘That ones the best’ but in my opinion my game of the year has to go to Gears of War 4. The Coalition really outdone themselves in bringing the new chapter of the Gears franchise to the Xbox One. I loved the story in the original trilogy’s campaign and Gears 4 expands on this with great success. The gameplay and controls are pretty much spot on. Horde mode has been refreshed to Horde 3.0 and doesn’t feel like the slog getting to round 50 as it used to.The look of the game is simply stunning. Thanks in part to the Unreal 4 engine, I think its one of the best looking games of the generation.
Honourable mention to Titanfall 2 (#dicksoutforBT). The single player campaign is one if not the best FPS campaigns around. Also, The Division, a rocky start to begin with but has really came into its own after the latest update.
For 2016, I was between a few games, the new Doom being one of them. But the game that I felt trumped them all was, potentially, 2016’s biggest Lemon, Ubisoft’s The Division.
It’s no big secret that the Division has had its fair share of problems. Going from a well received, high profile release to quickly becoming almost a laughing stock in the industry. Recent patches rectified a lot of the problems and revitalised the heavily depleted community that stayed with the game. But in the face of so much negativity, it’s easy to forget what the Division got right.
At its core, it’s a very solid third person RPG. The core campaign and side missions alone provided a healthy and enjoyable 25-30hrs of gameplay. The world that was built for The Division, an almost identical recreation of the centre of New York, was an incredible feat and one the game was constantly praised for and still to this day can wow me unexpectedly. The Division also has a very solid party system implemented into the game, one I’ve yet to see bettered by any other developer, successfully keeping players in games even when disconnecting in the middle of sessions or the seamless transitions when joining other players’ games. The soundtrack is great and, eventually, the loot system became almost as rewarding as Diablo or Borderlands rather than the stingy harsh grind it was.
But the two things that made The Division particularly special to me was the Dark zone and the most recent expansion, Survival. The Darkzone was The Division’s PVP Zone. Letting players decide whether to engage one another or to help one another adds a level of tension and uncertainty that I’ve only previously experienced during my time with EVE Online and its own PVP sandbox and the exhilaration or the panic you can feel is palpable. It’s an element and experience which can and does leave a lasting impression on a player. Whether through a random act of kindness from a stranger or the unexpected stab in the back from the group of players who ignored you half an hour ago. It can be a marmite experience, but it’s one I savour.
The recent Survival mode, takes everything I love about the Darkzone and encapsulates it into a single contained mode. Pitting 24 players against each other, along with the AI in the game, with an hour to live and fighting over the limited resources everyone needs to survive and escape. The tension is increased dramatically as every encounter with another player becomes an even desperate fight for survival. Do they have the medication you need to survive that little bit longer or the equipment you need to push forward? Or do they have the same desires for the few valuable items you have found? Perhaps they’ll decide to ask for help, thinking safety in numbers is the way to increase their odds of surviving? Or will they stab you in the back when you finally let your defences down? These are all valuable questions you need to ask yourself and, on a certain level, test the sort of person you want to be in that game world.
Very few games can instil a true sense of panic, or the elation the way The division can. There is an unspoken social element to the game which brings out the worst, or the best, in people which is something I hope more games try to introduce. Not necessarily by copying how the Division has built their PVP Sandbox, but by coming up with their own flavours. Given Massive Entertainment’s dedication to turn the game round as much as they have, I cannot wait to see what they have planned in the next patch, the next expansion and the rumoured year 2 content.
I felt that was a very rounded take for games of the year, Titanfal 2, Gears 4, FRU and the Division. 3 Shooters, but all worthy accolades and FRU is one of the best indie games we have played this year and certainly deserves it’s place.
What would your Game of the Year be? We would love to hear and find out!