2016 was a damn fine year for gaming. Not only did we see the release of two of the longest running gags in the industry - which actually turned out to be good (Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian), but we also saw the release of so many good, great, and surprising games that it’s not even funny.
So here we stand, a pile of played games in hand, and I have to pick a tiny few that rang loudest for me; the games that hit my personal hype buttons even after rolling credits; the games that when I think back on the year, they are the ones that my memories say “STAND UP GOOD SIRS AND TAKE A DAMNED BOW!”
From the moment I heard Remedy were going to be mixing a live action series with a game, and how the choices you make during the mission affect what you see on said show, I knew I was going to enjoy Quantum Break – and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed.
Well, that’s not entirely true. The final fight took a difficulty spike right out of left field, and I didn’t like that you couldn’t have multiple saves, but I did like that you could jump from Xbox One to PC and take your saves with you.
The story, acting, and gameplay in QB was all top notch, and I had a ton of fun playing around with the decisions – even though many of smaller changes didn’t amount to much of a difference, it was cool to see these live action characters’ comment on thing I did during the last mission.
I was really impressed with how well the story was told, and loved how despite starting off pretty strong, as you played through and the enemies somewhat scaled in difficulty, by the end I found I was zipping about and absolutely destroying every encounter. I felt like the super-heroic powerhouse the character was supposed to be. Some may see this difference in power as a little boring, but I really enjoyed it. Could it have been a bit more challenging? Maybe, but I would gladly drop coin on some story DLC or a sequel. Please let there be a sequel!
(I would honestly prefer a follow-up to this before Alan Wake – sorry).
The Battlefield franchise holds a special place in my heart, and with Battlefield 1 I was overjoyed to return to the era of The Great War. I say that, because my love of this gameplay started with the precursor to Battlefield 1942 in all but name; that game of course was Codename Eagle.
Having the chance to once again soar through the skies in World War 1 fighters, dog fighting around massive blimps, and storming all those European lands with century old tanks, or rushing the fields, sword in hand on the back of a fearless horse – Battlefield 1 was epic.
Not only did developer DICE bring some of the most beautiful graphics to the eye holes of gamers, they also provided incredibly solid gameplay, and quite honestly the best campaign the franchise has seen to date.
Whether you want to play multiplayer solo or in a squad, there are plenty of ways to score, win, and enjoy yourself. Playing in a non-modern setting was also a refreshing change of pace from the other AAA FPS titles of the last few years.
With this – their love letter to all things Nathan Drake – Naughty Dog show exactly why they are one of the reasons I own a PlayStation 4. For a system that constantly spouts that Greatness Awaits, Naughty Dog is one of the few studios that has consistently shown that greatness is already here. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the perfect example of why that is.
Whether I was navigating the streets and plains of a foreign land, exploring the mysteries of a forgotten isle, spending quiet moments with characters I love, or rampaging through the decayed woodwork of ancient cities, this game gave me all my favourite PS4 memories this year.
There were times where it did begin to get a little long in the tooth, but then again, many of those provided a special character moment that I wouldn’t want to do without. The more time I got to spend with these people, the better. The multiplayer is also a ton of fun to play, especially if you can get a solid group together.
The graphics were stunning, the environments vast and fun to explore, the story completely on-point, and the ending both tear jerking and hopeful. I loved this game.
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