In this, the second of a four-part review of 2016, we do not discuss Reddit’s dismemberment of No Man’s Sky and the fowl plague that it intoxicated our bodies with – so come back next week for that. We did however get some fantastic hardcore gamer starter kit essentials, more Square Enix remasters because that is all they can do (apart from having a big event to announce the date of a long-awaited game that they would ultimately delay anyway) and Naughty Dog did some things that made us feel feelings.
We kick start part two with Enter the Gungeon and its amusing bullet shaped baddies that left us feeling nothing but rage, sadness and a sense of realisation that we were wasting our lives playing yet another rogue-like game. That same day we got Quantum Break, a game to make your hard drive cry, or your SSD if you are totally incompetent (I’m talking about me). And Job Simulator as well! Holy fuck what a day for gaming. Go to work, come home, simulate your job – fantastic. A week later Dark Souls III came out and everyone seemed keen to mention how inferior it was in comparison to Dark Souls II in terms of content and features… But then proceeded to say it was the greatest thing since Moses parted the fucking Red Sea anyway. Ratchet and Clank came out as well and everyone smiled as 3D platforming refused to die. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture finally made its way to PC. It would have be here faster but the games brisk jogging pace slowed it down. Square Enix’s disgusting looking Final Fantasy IX sprites came to Steam and looked even more disgusting at a resolution higher than 56×84. If Nintendo release a terrible Star Fox game but no one owns a Wii U to play it, does the terrible Star Fox game exist?
May begins and Battleborn came out. I had a joke lined up for this bit but I forgot what it was (the game not the joke). Superhot was also released the same day and was an incredibly innovative indie shooter that we all could enjoy. After years of delay, Uncharted 4 finally made its way onto the PlayStation 4 and it was awesome for everyone except Sony who realised they had no other big games in the works and screamed at Naughty Dog to make more of ‘plant people game with the rednecks’. Final Fantasy 10 still getting re-released. Homefront: The Revolution did nothing but revolutionise how to completely kill a franchise and ID Software’s recreation of DOOM blew us all away as one of the year’s best titles. It is hard to say what 2016’s best game was, but even more so what the best game of May was. Uncharted 4 and DOOM were outstanding but Blizzard dropped Overwatch on the table just to add more excitement to the party. I cannot back it up with evidence, but I feel Overwatch was quite possibly the most played game of 2016.
After a maniacal May, June came through to calm the craziness down. June had its moments – mainly revolving around E3 announcements, Mighty No. 9 being a disaster and a surprisingly good adventure games, with some sprinklings of poor consoles ports and highly forgettable titles to go with it. The first big release of June was Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. It was a game filled with potential, a game fans had begged EA for, but it ultimately fell into the trap of being needlessly open-world, which has consumed a lot of games over recent years. Also, no one bought it, despite pleading for it. Understandably, EA do not listen to you anymore. Dead by Daylight came out – it was not particularly great or anything, I just really enjoyed it so I thought I would mention it because it’s my article not yours. June 21st. Mighty No. 9 and a Resident Evil game so bad they literally dropped the Resident Evil name from the title. Whereas Umbrella Corps was bad and disinteresting, Mighty No. 9 was a game built on false promises and deceit whilst latching itself onto a once iconic franchise. On the plus side, however, we may see the game rise again twenty years from now in the form of Sporcle quizzes – because that is the only place Mega Man is relevant. 7 Days to Die was still a mess on PC by the time it hit consoles and, unsurprisingly, the console version was dirtier than the underside of a Wetherpoons dinner plate. June closed out with the massively overlooked Zero Time Dilemma – the third entry in the Zero Escape series.
E3 was an exciting time as Microsoft really took the battle to Sony with a plethora of great announcements to enhance the Xbox experience, announcements that the PlayStation had no retaliation for. With Uncharted out the way, Sony relied on the God of War franchise to take the battle for best exclusives to Microsoft, but with God of War seemingly a long way off, I would definitely say Microsoft walked away the winner from E3 for the first time in several years. Outside of the big two jostling one another for pole position, Nintendo took the bizarre strategy of focusing 90% of their event on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It was a risky gamble, but one that paid off as the internet exploded with excitement. Capcom shocked everybody with their new Resident Evil direction, Crash Bandicoot finally made his comeback official, Hideo Kojima made an adorable cameo and EA and Ubisoft continued to host very strange and awkward conferences focusing more on celebrity appearances than actual video games.
2016 Awards Part 2:
Best Independent Game: Unravel
Best Action Game: DOOM
Best Action-Adventure Game: Dishonored 2
Best Role-Playing Game: I am Setsuna
Most Outstanding Soundtrack: I am Setsuna