Its the biggest entertainment industry on earth and if you aren’t in on it, you should be. For those of you who haven’t played a game since Super Mario, they have come on a hell of a long way since the days of italian plumbers and tetris. Those of you who turn your nose up at games and think they’re childish and juvenile, you’re only depriving yourself of some incredible experiences. Video Games are, by quite far, my number one way to relax and I spend way more hours than i can count playing them.
If you’re reading this as a non gamer, the rest of this might not make sense, but it might surprise you how deep these games can go. There are no full reviews here, just my overall thoughts on my favourite games from this year.
5 – Overwatch (Might’ve been higher if i was really good at it)
Warcraft creators Blizzard turn their hand to class-based first person shooting games, and turns out they aren’t bad at them there games. I thought it looked cool from the adverts, but I wasn’t overly hyped. Then i played it, and its great. Blizzard made a game that is polished to a high sheen, so easy to pick up and yet so hard to master. In a genre that was hotly contested this year with Battleborn and Paragon in similar moulds, Blizzard backed their reputation to blow the competitors out of the water, and delivered one of the great multiplayer gameplay experiences of the current generation.It lacks any single player story, and the characters are way more interesting than you would ever know without spending hours on youtube watching all the short adverts they made, so that’s a negative. That takes nothing away from how well balanced, tactical and downright fun Overwatch is. Until you play an entire team of Soldier 76 and you descend into a mad rage.
4 – Sid Meier’s Civilisation VI (Thats 6 for you dumb f***s out there)
If you haven’t seen or played a Civ game before then its incredibly hard to get across why i love it. It can take forever to complete one play through of, and even longer if you’re playing online with a mate who wont press the “Next Turn” button (You know who you are). But there is no game I have ever played that has given me a greater feeling of satisfaction then when you finally see your civilisation rise above all the others on earth. Whether you’re victorious through winning the space race against Cleopatra, vying for diplomatic delegates with Queen Victoria, or Nuking the hell out of Gandhi, you will feel a real sense of achievement. Possibly a bit guilty too, seeing as Gandhi is a peaceful leader, and you had no reason to do that.
3 – Doom (The new one obviously. I was barely out the womb for the first one)
I am a gamer who loves a decent story, deep characters and fun interactions through the game. Doom does away with all of that. There is barely any plot beyond reach the end of the level, and your character doesn’t say a word. That being said i have no qualms about saying Doom is the most insane, obnoxious and insanely fun game of 2016. You’re given weapons, bullets, fists and a horde of ugly enemies to unload it all on. Gameplay is the main attraction here, and its very hard to ever tire of running, punching, strafing and shooting your way around this game. Its heavy metal soundtrack and gory glory kills are relentless, and there is enough variety in the enemies and maps to keep you hooked for the entire campaign. There’s multiplayer too, but it doesn’t quite have the same insane fun as the single player.
2 – Battlefield 1 (did anyone actually play the first Battlefield? I’m not sure I even know what it was called, was Bad Company the first one? i should have googled this.)
World War 1 can never be a setting for a game, they said. It’s too slow and dirty for modern games, they said. F**k you i wont do what you tell me, EA said. Its single player is short, but the impact is there in spades. The single player section is split into short stories played as different people fighting in different places all over the world, and each one is its own interactive movie in a way. The games impact is partly down to the incredible graphics and flawless sound design that’s become the standard in Battlefield games, and this all adds to the immersion. The multiplayer is what keeps you coming back to Battlefield 1, and it is the best in the series to date. There’s a few new game modes, but its the minute to minute chaos that keeps you going back for more. The battles feel truly massive, and if you stop for a second and look out over a multiplayer map mid game, its an truly impressive sight.
1 – Uncharted 4: A Thieves End (This is how you make a good 4th instalment of Indiana Jones)
If I could only pick one game to show someone sceptical about whether Video Games are a legitimate source of entertainment for all ages, i would pick Uncharted 4. It is simply the best experience i had last year in any entertainment medium, including Rogue One. The games story is wonderful, taking you on a real journey that only Naughty Dog seem capable of doing in the Video Game world at present. The characters of Nathan Drake, Sully, and Elena have been with us for a while but even if you havent played 1-3, Uncharted 4 is such a well constructed, entertaining and at times emotional story it can stand on its own as a great game. The gameplay is the best in the series, and whilst you might accidentally jump off a building occasionally, its satisfying throughout. The sound design and the musical score is up there with my favourite scores from any movie, and the graphics are superior to anything i have ever seen. If you can play through this game, do it. If you cant, then find a way.
Thats that then, my top five video games of 2016. Ironically none of the games i played the most actually made this list, as Rocket League came out the year before, and FIFA 17 isn’t a better all round game than anything on the list. My top 5 movies will be later in the year, as I’m going to do it in line with the Oscars, so that i can moan when they don’t nominate any of my top five for best picture. Til next time, thanks for reading.