Well, another year has passed, and it’s about time that I settle down and ponder what game I thought the most highly of this year. 2016 was full of shooters, some of them absolutely brilliant, others causing controversy amongst fans. And then there were the RPGs and strategy games as well as a great showing of indie titles. Let’s discuss my Game of the Year for 2016.
Choosing my Game of the Year winner proved rather difficult, as there were many games that I enjoyed this year, and some that I still can’t seem to put down. Games filled with content, games possessing great replay value, and some that just look absolutely stunning, play superbly, and feature a great theme or plot.
However, my Game of the Year for 2016 is going to have to go to Playdead’s ‘Inside’. It comes from the Danish developer who were also responsible for ‘Limbo’, a game I love to this day and forever have a fondness towards. While Inside was a little easier to get through than Limbo, it’s an artist title that leaves you asking questions while leaving you wanting to run through it again right away.
Of course, I’m not going to spoil the ending or the theme, I just want to talk about the game and express why I chose it over other titles this year. Inside had been in development for roughly 6 years. For a game you can complete in one sitting of a few hours, that seems like a very extensive development time, and maybe it was. But you can’t argue about its intricacies.
Its simple controls of only two buttons, the sound design, how it’s best played in complete darkness with the volume as high as you’re allowed to have it. The game is filled with amazing puzzles, and while they don’t leave you standing around questioning your goal for more than a few minutes, they all make great sense and accomplishing them gives you a feel good sensation.
I also appreciate the subtle-ness of this trailer, that says nothing, and reveals nothing.
The game also features a bunch of collectibles to find littered around the game’s environment, and if you happen to stumble across them all, locate a secret room near the beginning of the game and you will experience an alternate ending, which only adds to your internal debate about what the game is implying.
While Inside doesn’t necessarily have the replay value of say, a Triple A first person shooter, or a driving game with hours of high speed racing, or an RPG with 100s of hours of side quests and stories, it’s without doubt a great game to invite friends over to try, where they can actually play it rather easily due to its simplicity, and enjoy it.
This year, I visited friends for a weekend, and over the course of two nights, I sat and watched them play it together, as they passed the controller between them upon each death. It’s a perfect game for couples or groups to work through together, and isn’t taxing on the mind either (aside from the ending!). There is no dialogue, no indication as to who you are, what you’re doing or why. You just have to work it all out as you progress, and it’s all grimly beautiful!
My Runner Up
As I said in the opening of my piece, there have been many games this year that I have enjoyed, from Titanfall 2 to Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4 to Final Fantasy XV. While I chose Inside as my ultimate Game of the Year winner, I will give Titanfall 2 my runner up.
The game is exceptional fun, with a brilliant campaign, immensely enjoyable multiplayer that makes you feel like a superhero as you zip around the map either cloaked or with the wonderful grappling hook. The weapons are cool, the Titans are awesome, and I will be on that game for the foreseeable future!
For the record, I would have chosen Rocket League if I could, because it only released this year on Xbox One. Sadly, politics got in the way. Love you, Rocket League!