Like the passage of time, Video Games never stop. Midway through twenty sixteen, it’s time we took a moment to look back at what came before, to reminisce about the good old times, a time before Pokemon Go and Primsa ruled Social Media.
Ratchet and Clank
To say that I had little interest in the Ratchet and Clank franchise would be an understatement. I’ve never played a Ratchet game, and for the most part I had little interest in doing so. I knew they held a special place in many a gamers heart, but I thought 3D platformers had been assigned to the scrap heap. A genre from a bygone era. I was wrong.
Ratchet and Clank is a pleasure to play. It’s colourful, easy to master and gosh-darn hilarious from start to finish, which in a world where the dark and gritty rule the roost, is a genuine nice change of pace.
The moment to moment game play isn’t all that challenging, but it won’t matter because Ratchet and Clank excels at what it needs to. Cool weapons, great storytelling and lush visuals.
I’m not the guy who enjoys competitive video games, in fact, I shy away from them in their entirety. Overwatch however may have changed all of that. With it’s enjoyable characters, and it’s softly softly approach to online multiplayer and a feedback loop that lets even the most average players feel like elite-pro-gamers, it really has won my heart.
I’ll never be an Overwatch god, but Overwatch fills a gap that I didn’t even know I had. So whenever I’m bored, or whenever I have some time to kill, Overwatch is where I go. My girlfriend hates it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Overwatch ends up being my favourite game of the year.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Lara Croft is back with a bang in Rise of the Tomb Raider. The Xbox One (Exclusive Wink Wink) hit PC this year and I was there, with my now-not amazing GFX card and PC superiority complex, ready to see what Rise had to offer.
What I found was a game that improved upon its predecessor in every way. The plot is still a little…(it’s a video game), but the moment to moment gameplay is just downright enjoyable. Uncharted might end up taking the crown as the shining example of 2016, but make no mistake, Rise of the Tomb Raider might just be the better game in almost every way.
Special mention to the visuals on display here. It might be one of the best games I’ve ever seen. Especially some of those optional Tombs.
Superhot might be the most fun I’ve ever had in a video game. It’s that good.
The first person shooter meets puzzle game in which you take control of a dude who’s movements control the flow of time whilst being shot at by cool looking dudes made of glass and stuff…
It all sounds a little crazy, but it works, it works very well indeed. The 9 or so hours I spent on Superhot were some of my favourite of the year. It doesn’t hang around, and I’ve found little reason to go back to it since completion, but I think Superhot is a fantastic gem of a game that more people should play.
As is custom since the release of Gone Home, you’ve got to have at least one ‘Walking Simulator’ on a list like this, and Firewatch is my offering.
The game’s main draw (for me at least) was its sumptuous visuals . It really is a beautiful looking video game, perhaps my favourite looking game of the year so far. And whilst it’s far from a technical masterpiece in terms of raw aesthetic, I think you’ll struggle to find a better looking game in 2016.
The game story isn’t as gripping as a Gone Home, but it certainly has its moments and the character work between the two main characters is certainly fun, I just wish the games final act landed as well as it could have.
XCOM 2, The Banner Saga 2, The Witness, The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
I Guess This is Important?
You’ll notice that a few of this years more..popular games aren’t on the list. Whilst I do plan on playing the likes of Inside, Uncharted 4 and DOOM, I simply haven’t had the time (or money) to do it yet. Therefore this list features only games I’ve played. Who knows, maybe when I get around to doing my post-2016 review those games will make the list?