Console Domination’s 2016 Game of the Year Awards
With the smouldering remnants of 2016 finally burning out (finally! What a terrible year for bad news and disappointing games, huh?) and with the vibrant glow of anticipation at 2017’s gaming offerings on the horizon, let us all view from a safe distance the year that was. The purpose of this retrospective assessment is of course for the sole purpose of determining which games stood out from the crowd and gave us the ultimate experiences of the year.
If you guessed that this article is related to Console Domination’s latest round Game of the Year Awards (a little belated admittedly), you’d be correct! Have a cookie. Here is where the individuals behind the site have their say so that we can recognise the titles the team have deemed to be the best of the best for the year. As with last year, we’ve boiled it all down to the top five titles of the year as voted by our contributors with a few notable honourable mentions at the end.
Whilst it was always going to be a struggle to surpass 2015, 2016 was still an alright year for gaming. In fact, 15 games (23% of those we reviewed) managed to snag an overall score of 9 or higher, indicating a solid effort. Unfortunately, due to individual budget restrictions, personal preferences and the like, our contributor’s picks are subjective and not everybody could agree on which was the best overall game of the year from the get go. As such the guys have come together and after much intense debate and soul crushing elimination decisions, we have come up with a winner… or five.
So, join us as we delve into the sea of gaming that was 2016 and emerge with the victors in hand. Without further ado, here is our top five:
Dishonored 2 comes in at number five in our Game of the Year line up:
Dishonored 2, much like its well-received predecessor is a brilliant stealth/action game. Set in a steampunk setting and placing an emphasis on stealth, Outsider abilities and sword/gun-based combat it is an excellently visualised and often visceral game. The addition of an extra character in addition to Corvo leads to more experimentation due to different sets of talents and unique abilities as well as allowing players a hand in somewhat shaping the narrative and difficulty of the game through the Chaos system which is based upon whether they play stealthily or simply kill everything on sight. Depending on players’ choice of character s and abilities, Dishonored 2 provides numerous ways to approach missions, alternate routes to objectives and assassinations.
If I haven’t pounded it home hard enough yet, this is a game where player choices play a large part in how things pan out, with no two playthroughs needing to be the same. Because of this, Dishonored 2 boasts a great deal of depth and replayability and with its longevity, the ability to see consequences to in-game actions and an immersive game world, Dishonored 2 is a truly memorable experience that well and truly earns a place on our Game of the year list.
– Paul Williams
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided comes in at number four in our Game of the Year line up:
Following on from the excellent Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a tough ask, but Mankind Divided does an admirable job of living up to its predecessor. Featuring an interesting premise that explores the rift formed between ‘pure’ humans and augmented people stemming from the aftermath of Human Revolution and the forced segregation that follows. It’s a game that gave us plenty to think and philosophise about. Rather than focusing on its entertaining, but somewhat brief story, the game focuses on a larger picture, creating a depressing cyberpunk world which is revealed not only throughout the campaign, but also in the series of nearly a dozen fully fleshed out, excellently written side-quests that populate post-segregation Prague.
Premise and storytelling aside, Dues Ex: Mankind Divided is no slouch in the gameplay department either. Thanks to a refined version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s well-crafted stealth shooter-RPG gameplay, as well as a large assortment of upgradeable augmentations used for both interacting with the environment and improving combat and the knowledge that there are always at least 2-3 alternate routes to access/complete just about every objective, Deus Ex is a game that rewards exploration and promotes a high level of replayability. All things considered, it certainly deserves a place on our shortlist.
Overwatch comes in at number three in our Game of the Year line up:
Game of the Year nomination and Blizzard seem to go hand in hand. It is an extremely rare occurrence for Blizzard to release a title and not have it at least mentioned. So, no surprises here, this year Overwatch has made its way into our top five titles of 2016.
Overwatch came with massive hype, a first person shooting team based game, that was not quite MMO, not quite death match multiplayer. Overwatch’s blur of genre was a welcome addition to any gamers library and was released with Blizzards quality polish that seems to accompany all of their entries.
Having logged many hours over the last six or so months, I have found the game to both a brilliantly entertaining title and an infuriating spawn of demonic developers. Balancing issues have marred some characters during the game’s existence and much to many player’s disgust Blizzard has come in with swift, harsh nerfs to counter character exploits. I found that before the nerf bombardment, matching of characters for counters was the answer, in other words, get good!
Another issue is nothing against Blizzard but my net speed flat out sucks, lag is impossible to counter.
Besides these slight issues though, Overwatch is my favorite multiplayer shooter since Rainbow Six Siege. Due to its team-ship, polish, unique characters, fantastic map design and overall play-ability it shines.
– Gavin Petersen
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine, whilst technically a piece of DLC and not a standalone game in its own right was still excellent enough to reach the runner-up position in our Game of the Year line up:
The Witcher 3 is one of the finest RPG’s ever crafted. If had a tremendously expansive world within a grim and often bleak setting torn apart by war, racism, and a looming apocalypse. It had exceptional writing, in everything from the oh so memorable characters who you soon got invested in, to even the smallest and minor of side-quests. It featured an enjoyable combat system that emphasised fighting smart, just like a professional monster hunter should.
When we think of DLC’s, even those that add story and gameplay, we don’t expect much in terms of length and complexity. Even the incredible work Bioware did for Mass Effect 2 and 3, while brilliant, wasn’t particularly large. Not so for CD Projekt Red. What they gave us for Witcher 3: Blood and Wine was more like a good old fashioned expansion pack. In terms of gameplay length, it was practically another game! It gave us a massive new area to play around in. A complex and layered storyline to unravel, and if you played your cards right, a happy ending for the long-suffering protagonist Geralt of Rivia. After all the trouble suffered in the books and games, I think you’ve earned your retirement in that sweet villa with accompanying vineyard. It was a fitting conclusion.
By the slimmest of margins, DOOM managed to emerge victorious to earn our Game of the Year honours:
The 2016 reboot of the 1993 first person shooter classic Doom was filled with everything 90’s fans loved about the game including the heavy thrash metal inspired soundtrack and iconic, brutal weapons. Tearing through Mars and Hell as the Doomslayer for the evil Vega corporation was explosive with blood, limbs as well as much needed health and ammo. Fans and critics give reboots a lot of negative attention for providing nothing new to the industry, DOOM was the reboot nobody (but Bethesda) knew we needed, filled with the appropriately heavy and engaging soundtrack from genius Mick Gordon tearing your eardrums to pieces in the process.
So, for providing an almost dangerously addictive gameplay experience, DOOM is our Game of the Year for 2016.
Unfortunately, 2016 was a pretty solid (if only slightly above average) year for gaming and there were plenty of other quality titles that didn’t get a look in against the eventual winners due to reasons and things. Here is a list of the remaining games that came up in our game of the year discussion and that by extension were pretty good and should peak your interest if you haven’t checked them out yet:
Battlefield 1, Dark Souls 3, EVE Valkyrie, Final Fantasy XV, Firewatch, Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, Hitman, INSIDE, King’s Quest, Kirby: Planet Robobot, Mafia 3, Pokemon Sun/Moon, The Division, The Witness, Titanfall 2, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and XCOM 2.
So, what do you think? Did we pick the right games or are we way off? Let us know on Facebook and be sure to stay with us as we begin our coverage of 2017 and all of its awesome looking titles in the near future. For now, though, game on and peace out!
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