Angus' Highlights of 2016

Angus' Highlights of 2016

2016 has been a roller-coaster of a year. In fact – looking back – it’s been pretty bleak, with the deaths of three musical legends, a gorilla, a wizard, and then another guerrilla. Not to mention the unfathomable recent outcome over in America. Thankfully though, 2016 has also given me plenty of gaming joy. The following are not my games of the year as such, but highlights of a year gone by.

That Time I Stabbed someone in Monte Grappa

I could actually write an entire article about some of the moments I’ve had in Battlefield 1. Every time I play the game there is a noteworthy, ridiculously awesome encounter. Like that epic horseback sword duel I had in the middle of the desert with a complete stranger, or maybe the time I shot a plane out of the sky with a tank. Or maybe that time in the woodlands of northern France, when I stormed a small bunker filled with enemies armed with a flame thrower. Battlefield 1 not only delivers an action-packed shooter, it effectively drives home the senseless waste of human life that occurs in all wars, particularly World War I.

Battlefield 1 Review.

That Time I was a Geologist... in Space

The other day I remembered I spent about a fortnight of my life collecting fictitious rocks. Granted, in-between rock accumulation, I also built some kind of warp-drive, catalogued a bunch of weird looking alien creatures, shot a few drones, and learnt what amounts to a Lonely Planet phrasebook of a new language. I played No Man’s Sky intently, and passionately for around two weeks... but I haven’t picked up the game since because it was such a lonely existence. I’ll never forget those initial moments though, where I felt like a true intergalactic pioneer. When everything was new and unknown, and the game seemed limitless. No Man’s Sky gave me unique memories that no other game has – even if it was for a fleeting moment.

No Man's Sky Review.

That Time I was Batman

One of the highlights of PlayStation VR for me was undoubtedly Arkham VR. From the initial, slightly awkward scene in Wayne Manor with Alfred, through to the terrifying conclusion in Arkham Asylum with my inner demons - it delivered a lot of things that VR should. It was immersive and despite the limitations of the technology, felt like pure escapism. Unfortunately it was also very short-lived, and was weak in the storyline department - but the experience of being the Dark Knight still reverberates in my head and has me excited about the future of VR.

Batman: Arkham VR Review.

That Time I was a Fireman up in the Mountains

I was immediately drawn to the art direction of this indie game. Firewatch looked like a beautiful 2d painting, with a perfectly balanced colour palette, lovingly turned into a 3d environment. But the game delivered a lot more than just pretty visuals. Despite the unsettling soundtrack and creepy mystery unravelling around you, there was something peaceful and surreal about the game too - which is probably why it worked so well. It had a sense of juxtaposition and unease throughout. I would recommend Firewatch to anyone who wants to feel something.

Firewatch Hub.

That Time I Went on a Globe-Trotting Treasure Hunt

My pick for game of the year has to be Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. I’ve always been a fan of the franchise, but this final instalment exceeded my expectations in every way. It had a captivating story, perfect voice acting, great gameplay and above all, it had a sense of heart and soul that so many games fail to capture these days.

The single-player experience was epic, rounding off a chapter of Nathan Drake (one of the best ever game protagonists) and the multiplayer also gave me months of action packed enjoyment. It looks like I might be picking Uncharted 4 up again too as a whole new co-operative, wave-based survival mode with zombies has been announced to land mid-December. Thanks for the memories Naughty Dog.

Honourable Mentions:

Doom for having one of the best heavy guitar riff soundtracks ever; Pokemon Go for turning me into a phone-gazing zombie whenever I left the house; Watch Dogs 2 for sincerely making up for the mistakes of the first game; and finally Dishonoured 2, which I’ve only just started to play, but am loving every minute of it.

Those were some Angus' favourite games of 2016. What were yours? Sound off in the comments below!

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Comments Comments (14)

Posted by AdamC
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 3:15 PM
That No mans sky bit.... took the words outa my mouth. It was amazing but I have little desire to go back yet because I feel I done it all
Posted by czk51
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 3:23 PM
"No Man’s Sky gave me unique memories that no other game has – even if it was for a fleeting moment." right??? Still holds a special place in my heart and for the 50 or so hours I immersed myself in the universe, it was a unique and exciting adventure.

Bring on the moon buggy!
Posted by ThatUndeadLegacy
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 3:42 PM
Hmm for me replaying Skyrim with 300 mods, was an amazing moment. ENB's Look beautiful and Inigo is the best follower/friend i've ever had.
Posted by Xaphriel
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 4:14 PM
I keep meaning to play Firewatch, Hopefully get to it over Xmas.
Posted by CloudAxel16
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 4:30 PM
I was disappointed by the ending of Firewatch but I really did enjoy some of the moments throughout the game.
Posted by Outlaw213
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 5:09 PM
I'm loving Battlefield myself, have hit 150 hours on it already!
Posted by drunk_monk
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 5:30 PM
Firewatch is definitely on my to play at some point list.

Also top marks for the framing of the piece as a highlights of the year.
Posted by Paorio
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 6:46 PM
This year was pretty amazing for games
Posted by drunk_monk
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 10:08 PM
6 December 2016, 06:46 PM Reply to Paorio
This year was pretty amazing for games
I feel like we say this every year. I think games just rule.
Posted by polarbear
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 10:26 PM
Man I've got to play Firewatch. Looks so interesting
Posted by captain X nz
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 11:53 PM
Did nobody else play Just Cause 2 or XCOM?
Posted by captain X nz
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 11:54 PM
6 December 2016, 03:15 PM Reply to AdamC
That No mans sky bit.... took the words outa my mouth. It was amazing but I have little desire to go back yet because I feel I done it all
Check out the latest update.
Posted by ptys
On Wednesday 7 Dec 2016 1:55 AM
Interesting list, I played Firewatch with my Partner which was fun as we had some good discussions. I thought it was very linear for such an open map however.
Posted by ChimeraNZ
On Thursday 8 Dec 2016 6:25 PM
Firewatch is a great game - while the price may seem a little high for what it is, I'm happy knowing its going towards a really top notch developer. Looking forward to more games like this!