2016 was a rather big year for gaming. Some excellent games (both large and small) were released, indie developers came under fire & VR was released upon the world. I myself have found it quite difficult to even remember what actually was released this year so picking a single game to be your Game of the Year is going to be quite difficult. However though, the task of choosing has been given to all the staff here at Otakugamers UK.
This year we are adding a slight twist to the format of picking a Game of the Year. The staff have all chosen a Game of the Year for 2016, a game they played during 2016 that they highly rate and something from 2017 that they are looking forward too.
Game of the Year : Uncharted 4
2016 has been an interesting year for me as mid way through the year I decided to move onto working through my back log, which in all fairness has not gone too well. When picking a game of the year for 2016 I had to cast my mind back to earlier in the year and the choice was obvious to me.
The Uncharted series is a personal favourite of mine and I must admit I did not think it necessarily need a fourth instalment. However though, Naughty Dog did an excellent job with Uncharted 4 and brought the entire saga to a nice end. It is no way the best one in the saga but the combat felt more refined and exploring felt more “realistic”. As you would expect from Naughty Dog, the game was stunning to look at with some of the best animation I have seen to date plus with access to a photo mode you can easily end up with an endless supply of stunning desktop wallpapers.
Treasure of 2016 : Life is Strange
I have played quite a few games in 2016 that did not actually release during the year. One of these games is the excellent episodic adventure, Life Is Strange. The game has a similar structure to any Telltale Games but for me is knocks spots of any of them. The main difference is that Life Is Strange has a time manipulating mechanic which allows you to rewind time to change events. However though, early on in the game it will hammers home the Butterfly Effect, that ever thing you change will have a major effect in the future.
The character development of the game was perfect. You feel everything they feel and when it is all over it will live with you for a long time. To this day, nearly 12 months after I finished the game, I still listen to the soundtrack on a weekly bases and even wonder if I made the right choices during my play-through.
Seriously, if you have never played Life Is Strange, give it a go. Episode 1 s free on all formats and it whole season goes in sale a few times each year.
2017 : The Nintendo Switch
I know that there are a lot of games heading to us in 2017 but for me I am looking forward the most to the Nintendo Switch. With the dedicated event just around the corner, it feels like Christmas again for me. I skipped the Wii U as at the time it was released I was happy with my gaming set up and with the unfortunate decline of games in its life cycle, I could not see the point in picking one up. For me, the announcement of the Nintendo Switch too me back to how I felt when the Wii was originally released. With all the 3rd party backing along with the excellent 1st party support, I have high hopes for the Switch. There are a lot of rumours flying around regarding features, games and power but like with everything, I am taking them for face value but I cannot help but to get a little excited about some of them.
Game of the Year: Final Fantasy XV
So I shall start my section with something painfully predictable in Final Fantasy XV, now before I go on to gush about the game I will be the first to admit the game had some painful problems. The main issue being the story not existing within the first 8/9 Chapters and then being an utter mess until the end and more importantly that it relied on outside media to fully grasp what little story was left, but as much as the story blew chunks it was the core gameplay that helped Final Fantasy XV grab this spot.
Last year I fully immersed myself within The Witcher 3 & Xenoblade Chronicles X, Final Fantasy XV is for me the 2016 version of these games, lacking the narrative of The Witcher 3 but being more interesting than Xenoblade Chronicles X in my opinion helped this game kickstart its way into my heart. Fortunately within the first few hours I caught something that I hadn’t had for a long time, the wonder of Final Fantasy, discovering new dungeons, finding treasures, the banter between the main cast, an interesting bad guy, fun combat all coated with a glimmer of what was once my favourite series, sure it hasn’t redeemed the series but between this and World of Final Fantasy I’m more open to hype from Final Fantasy than I was.
All the above reasons, couple that with more side quests than I can count, hunts and the sheer size of the world of EOS is why I am still playing Final Fantasy XV and do have my eye on the season pass. I have played some fantastic games this year but Final Fantasy XV manages to stand as King of The Mountain for 2016 in my eyes.
Honourable Mentions: World of Final Fantasy, Overwatch, King of Fighters XIV, SMT 4: Apocalypse
2016 Treasure: Titanfall 2
So I had to have a long think about what title I was putting here, quite a few titles were bounced around but as soon as this name came up I knew that it at the very least this deserved this space. Now I’m not huge on FPS games anymore outside of stuff like Duke Nukem, Painkiller & Serious Sam but Overwatch had brought me somewhat kicking and screaming onto the online Multiplayer shooter. I had the chance earlier in the year to play some of the original Titanfall and I fell in love with it, naturally when the second one fell into stores and on a console I actually own, well I was there Day 1.
What draws me into Titanfall is just how fluid the game is, every action is fast and smooth and doesn’t strain your hands to do, wall running, double jumping and navigating the levels in seconds due to gaining speed & my god the online battles actually feel like all out warfare. The Titans are an utter joy to control and the game is balanced in a way that means even if you aren’t the best pilot you can still help take down Titans and pull points for your team.
Titanfall 2 unlike 1 actually contains a full single player campaign and its far from something tacked on, it’s a little on the short side but I would hand on heart say it stood next to Doom for best campaign in recent memory. The campaign features some brilliant writing, one of the best levels I have played this gen & some actually fun boss fights!.
Titanfall 2 released at an awkward time and is suffering for that, the game oozes quality from every aspect and more so the developer has promised all future maps will be free. unfortunately due to it being released alongside Call of Duty & Battlefield our hero here has lost out but the numbers have been picking up over Christmas and it seems like this is going to be a slow burner turning into full forest fire within the new year. Prepare for Titanfall
Honourable Mentions: Street Fighter V, The Last Blade 2, Invisible Inc, X Com 2, Street Fighter III: Third Strike
2017 : NiER Automata
This section writes itself for fans of Drakengard and the criminally overlooked NiER that was released last gen. If there are two things I love they are quirky JRPG games and anything developed by Platinum (Yes I even enjoyed Korra & TMNT) so I can only imagine Square Enix threw me a huge solid by announcing a sequel to one of my favourite (& presumed dead) JRPG series was being developed by my gaming crush obsessions Platinum.
A demo for the game was released and having recently played it I am finding it very hard to contain my excitement for this title, from what I experienced in the Demo it still has the look, the feel and my god the music of NiER with some Bayonetta level combat, hopefully Platinum nail the adventure sections and the story for this title to the level of NiER 1 and we have a very serious contender for GOTY 2017 dropping very early within the year!.
Honourable Mentions: Yakuza 0/Kiwami, Resident Evil 7. Final Fantasy 7-R, Persona 5
Game of the Year: Overwatch
I have chosen a fairly obvious game for many of us for my game of the year. This is the masterpiece from Blizzard that is Overwatch. Overwatch is an incredible first person shooter where you choose one of a handful of champions with their own unique skills and abilities and work with five other players to complete one of four objectives; these being capture control points, escorting the payload, defending the objective or a hybrid of the last two.
Although it may not seem like much at first glance, Overwatch is addictive, its fluid gameplay, wicked visuals and incredible mechanics just make it so empowering! which is why its my game of the year, even though it had a rough start with a lot of champions being to overpowered they fixed this and made them all as overpowered as each other with regular updates to buff and nerf champions accordingly.
whether or not you want to master a new champion, get to grand masters or just try to complete your hero gallery Overwatch will always have something for you to do and with regular events that provide us with new exciting aesthetics for our favourite champions (Rudolph Roadhog) you’ll always find yourself going back for more!
Treasure of 2016 : Black Desert Online
I have chosen Black Desert Online for one of my favourite games of 2016 just for the sheer size and scale of it. It is a game you can well and truly lose yourself in. It can be frustrating and challenging however you are heavily rewarded and left with a strong sense of achievement no matter what you do in it. It’s a game where every time you log in you will find something else to do, be it slaying world bosses, awakening you champion to their full potential or even just doing a spot of fishing . The game itself is visually absolutely beautiful, has incredible sounds and the gameplay itself is so fluid and clean, it’s truly an immersive experience.
it’s a game that almost feels like real life itself, this would have been my game of the year however not so long ago the devs added a pay to win mechanic, this doesn’t directly affect anything game wise you as can still do everything without investing, just the people who have invested more into this game have a clear advantage. nonetheless I still plan to spend a lot of time on this game in 2017.
2017: Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon zero dawn.. what can I say, unfortunately not too much because I’m trying to go into it as blind as possible, but the small bits I have seen it looks like such an incredible adventure with gorgeous visuals, the gameplay also looks very smooth and impressive and the multitude of ways that there seems to be to take down the enemies looks like it wont get stale. From what I’ve heard the soundtrack sounds like it’ll be a joy to listen to and hep with the overall immersive experience, and I mean c’mon its robot dinosaurs who wouldn’t want to play a game like that!
I defiantly think this game could be a contender for game of the year 2017 lets wait and see and hope it lives up to everyone’s expectations!
Game of the Year: DOOM
Not too long ago we saw the spectacular return of the grandaddy of the FPS genre in Wolfenstein, and last year brought us the daddy. DOOM has been through a bit of a rocky development, seemingly changing direction multiple times to leave those keen wondering just how it would turn out. The E3 gameplay footage put an end to any worries, and the surprisingly good multiplayer Beta kept the wheels rolling on the hype train. When it came to the time of release, I went Ps4 as my GTX660ti PC build at the time seemed to struggle with the Beta. Finally getting to grips with the single player was a joy.
Story just consisted of the protag punching things till they worked or did as was told, but the gunplay was sumptuous. It’s a relentless game that’s played at an eye searing pace, performance is also rock solid, with some eye scorchingly beautiful graphics to boot. The demon’s never give you a break. Sure it can get a tad repetitive, but it’s still engaging as the game throws in the execution moves that rewards you with health – you gotta keep killin to keep killin. It’s a great little addition as the lack of health regeneration means you have to stay in the fight. Like I said, it’s relentless. I was also one of those that enjoyed the multiplayer. It’s small maps and power up packed levels give a throwback feel to the arena shooter days. The pace never lets up during the multiplayer too. For me though, it was just great to see id back with great tech and a great game to show it off. The daddy is back.
2016 Treasure: Fallout New Vegas
Now this is somewhat of an oldie these days considering we’re a good few years into the latest generation, but it’s one that didn’t grip me at all till I picked up a cheap Steam key earlier in the year & gave it a blast on PC. If there’s one area Obsidian batters Bethesda with regards to the franchise, it’s storytelling. Fallout 3 was pretty mundane, and Fallout 4 is the same storywise from what I hear, but Obsidian did a great Job with New Vegas. There’s plenty of memorable side quests and numerous decisions to change the stories path – not to mention plenty of nods to the Interplay Fallout releases. It only took 3 mods to get the game sprightly enough for me.
NMC’s Texture mod (changes the colour palette a bit but looks glorious), A world of Pain (adds locations, characters & quests) and Wasteland Free Radio (adds numerous stations packed with perfectly fitting music). That’s all ya need to enjoy the game again on PC as it doesn’t really change much. There was a lull in playtime when the game decided to randomly stop working (CTD at every load) a few months ago and even building a new system didn’t fix it when reinstalled. Randomly decided to reinstall the game last week and it works again. PC Gaming. At least the Fury Nano I have now allows a full 4K downsample to 1080p without breaking a sweat for the best image quality I can get. Dem ghoulettes have never looked finer…
2017: Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash
Was anyone really expecting anything else for my pick of upcoming 2017 releases? I usually remark in my Senran Kagura reviews that the series is going to be in need of a shake up sooner or later, so seeing a third person shooter announced was a tad surprising. Bon Appetit was a sumptuous distraction that slotted into the franchise perfectly, even though it was a rhythm title, and Peach Beach Splash looks like it could be going the same way. Swimsuits & water guns? Hell yeah. It looks as though it will incorporate the melee that the series is known for alongside the new gunplay, which should make for an interesting combination – as long as the balance is right. I suppose most people are wondering how the gunplay will fare, Tamsoft aren’t newcomers to TPS with work on numerous franchises including Onechanbara, but it’s still something I’m waiting to see myself. It could potentially be the clunkiest shooter known to man, or maybe the most spiffingly marvelous watersport of all time. Only time will tell. The talk of a VR mode could shift some Playstation VR units though….
So there they are readers, our Game of the Years along side what we have enjoyed playing this year. Hopefully 2017 will be as kind to use as 2016 has.
Do you agree with us or did you have a different choice for Game of the Year? Let us know below or drop us a Tweet!
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Rocking the world of gaming since the Atari 2600, has now settled down to bask in the warmth of moe. Moe is life for a moe connoisseur.