2016’s twilight is fast approaching, and while the year has been one of many ups and downs in the world, there’s no doubt that 2016 has been a cracker for gaming. So, in a somewhat nostalgic look back at the year, here are our 7 favourite games of 2016:
In today’s gaming landscape, where most shooters hold your hand along the way to the finish line, Doom harks back to a time where health was scarce, bullets were aplenty, and enemies pushed you to the limit. Doom isn’t a revolutionary entry into the franchise, but rather a love-letter to old-school Doom fans to remind them of a video game generation gone by, albeit with a new lick of paint. Instead of relying on set-pieces and genre-bending gameplay mechanics, Bethesda’s reboot places its pride in its fun, frantic gameplay and a badass attitude, which is sometimes just what we really want as gamers. Doom brings the feeling of classic first-person shooters into 2016 without sacrificing what made the series great in the first place.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
With the new implementations in the game, it’s clear that Naughty Dog wanted to evolve Uncharted for its final outing, but doing so without risking the integrity of what made the franchise great – relying on luck and quick-thinking by the player. Uncharted 4‘s personalised story brings the narrative to a heartfelt conclusion that rounds off the character development of Nathan Drake, and marks the end of one of the best franchises of the past two console generations. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a must-play for any PS4 owner.
Quantum Break is a testament to how fun gameplay mechanics at the core of an experience can elevate a game above its shortcomings. It isn’t very long, but given the fact that you can play through multiple times with different outcomes, there’s a lot to enjoy with the game. It’s got the addictive gameplay hooks, gorgeous visuals, and a memorable story, Quantum Break is a must-play for Xbox One owners and PC gamers.
Despite the franchise’s name, the Hitman games have never been about killing. They’re puzzle games wrapped up in a blood-coated, leather glove, and series developer IO Interactive seemed to have lost a little of that problem-solving magic with Hitman: Absolution, the last entry into the franchise, relying on a more linear experience that left fans divided.
However, the acclaimed studio seems to have found their groove once again with their new episodic approach to the series, providing a playground of murderous conundrums that allow the player’s creativity and timing to shine, rather than handing you the gun, so to speak.
Ratchet & Clank
Ratchet & Clank make their PS4 debut with a rebooted iteration of the beloved galactic adventurers, and while it also ties into the recent animated feature film, it avoids the trope of becoming a terrible licensed adaptation. The platforming is fun and fresh, the weapons are as bizarre and satisfying as you would expect from an Insomniac game, and it’s one of the best-looking games on the PS4. Ratchet & Clank is a triumphant return for the duo and a must-play for anyone familiar with the franchise or looking for something with a little colour, humour, and some impeccably tight gameplay mechanics.
Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20th Celebration Edition
Following the successful release on Xbox One earlier this year, Lara Croft’s most recent adventure made its much-demanded debut on the PS4, albeit with some enhanced features and new additions. The base game itself is spectacular, expanding on the stellar 2013 reboot, which takes some pages out of Uncharted‘s book, and to good effect. The influence of crafting and survival has taken the experience to new heights, and the ever-evolving story of a young and ambitious Lara Croft is impossible to not be caught up in.
The 20 Year Celebration also features two previously-unreleased segments, Blood Ties, which takes place in Croft Manor, and Lara’s Nightmare, a zombie mode of sorts, which throws you into an onslaught of creatures as you try and survive. For those who may own the Xbox One version, there’s not too much you’re missing out here, but for anyone who is yet to experience Rise of the Tomb Raider, it’s a must-play.
Blizzard, the famed developer behind the Diablo and Warcraft franchises, have finally released a new game that diverges from the usual formula, kind of. Overwatch is a brilliant FPS based on heroes. It’s competitive arena-based matches that are as fast and frantic as they are vividly gorgeous. The speed and abilities of the different heroes makes it one of the most enjoyable experiences of the year. Super precise controls, completely different playable characters, outstanding level design and a great work on art direction, are just some of the standout elements in Overwatch.