2016 Summed Up In Gaming

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2016 was probably one of the best years for gaming, with many negative aspects.

This year has been a rollercoaster in the world of gaming, ranging from some of the best games which have changed the world to some of the most anticipated games of the year which have turned out to be unfavorable (You know which game I am talking about).

To start off with, the countdown of the best and worst games released in 2016 by calendar month.

January

  • Minecraft Story Mode: Episode 1 for Wii U
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India

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The Minecraft Story Mode had great expectations, especially because it was a telltale game series, well known for creating the beloved Walking Dead series which was absolutely amazing! The Minecraft story mode was highly anticipated since Minecraft was such a colossal video game, which appealed not only to the young community, but to a much wider audience.

The minecraft story mode is very different as minecraft has never had a single mode campaign before with many different challenges. But this is the game.

Although telltale has released many awesome video games, i am not sure that they have fully succeeded with this one. It doesn’t give the full feel of creativity the minecraft has. There are a few moments where it reflects elements of the franchise such as crafting, however it’s not something you can build with your own imagination.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India is very innovative in comparison to the rest of the franchise as it’s a 2.5D world in which you are limited to roam around in. The whole of the chronicles trilogy is reminiscent to 2D platformer games such as mario or little big planet.

Although this trilogy was created in a complete different light, it was very successful and received a lot of positive reviews.

February

  • Dying Light: The Following
  • Unravel
  • Farcry Primal

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Dying Light is definitely one of my favourite video games in history. Basically, it is a mixture of Mirror’s Edge and Dead Island. Parkour, zombies, guns and swords. What more could you ask for?

In the original dying light it wasn’t possible for you to drive around, but since the following follows Kyle Crane’s story of how he came to be, and the evolution of the apocalypse, you can achieve a lot more things and it enables you to explore a lot more.

Dying light contains many intriguing creatures such as the night infected like the Volatiles, Bolters and Night walkers or the uncommon infected like the goon, toad, demolisher, bomber, screamer and the freaks of nature. Then there is just casual, common infected. The biter, viral and gas tank zombies.

These creatures create a more intense, gruesome atmosphere and construct a unique experience.

Unravel could be seen as very similar to LittleBigPlanet, as it is a puzzle platformer however it has more of a back story which is very immersive.

It was developed by a swedish company which was known as Coldwood Interactive, which was then published by EA. It is said to be EA’s most graphically beautiful games of the year.

Farcry Primal was a very interesting, unique video game, as the time period was set in Stone Age.

The idea that you could take control of a creature was fantastic and having an animal as a companion was entertaining.

As Farcry always produces open-world maps, you always are given an extensive setting to explore. You also have many skills to master and ubisoft gave immense attention to the detail.

However, FarCry Primal failed to include multiplayer as there were no co-op modes unlike the rest of the franchise. The storyline was very conventional and there wasn’t much excitement to the overall story.

It was said that the mission were very repetitive, therefore it felt as if you were replaying parts over and over again.

March

  • Tom Clancy’s: The Divisionthe_division_wallpaper1625

 

Tom Clancy’s: The Division was an incredible game for free roaming and adventuring around a dilapidated city in an immersive post-pandemic world. The Division is an online-only open world third-person shooter, which was developed by Ubisoft Massive, and then published by Ubisoft.

Ubisoft did astonishingly well with creating addictive and intense gameplay, especially within areas of the Dark Zone.

The Division didn’t lose much of its allure, but over a couple of months players realised how repetitive the game was becoming. Many of the missions were similar in many types of ways. The only decent part about the game was free-roaming, finding equipment and fighting against noobs.

April

  • Quantum Break
  • Dark Souls 3

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Now, I recieved Quantum Break as soon as it was released. It earned mediocre sales of around 150,000 in the first month. It wasn’t highly advertised which could be one of the main problems. Also, the fact that it is xbox exclusive could be another one of the problems.

Therefore, this made it very unrecognisable. I completed this game within the first day of receiving it. I ignored all the negative reviews and I gave this game a chance.

I loved it!

Not one of the best games in the world, but it wasn’t the worst either.

Quantum Break was incommensurable, very innovative and…strange. It’s a science fiction, action adventure, third-person shooter, and was nominated for the most anticipated game of the year award, which seemed a little odd, since the sales were incredibly low.

Dark Souls 3. Wow. Now this is the most anticipated game of the year. And one of the most difficult.

If you played the first two dark souls, then you would know that the difficulty didn’t purely come from the enemy’s strength or smartness, it was more about the amount you had to fight. Going from two gargoyles from the first dark souls, to then fighting six in dark souls 2.

However, from one’s view, Dark souls 3 had the best bosses in comparison to the rest of the franchise.

May

  • Overwatch

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Overwatch. Another one of my personal favourites.

Remember when you were younger, and you really wanted to play first person shooters, yet they were rated 16+, so your mum wouldn’t let you. Well, overwatch is a 12+.

This shows that you don’t actually need blood, guts and gore to create an amazing, ingenious shooter.

Overwatch got such great sales and just scraped over half a million in the first month of release.

June

  • Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
  • 7 Days to Die

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Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst. Just like the original game, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst had a magnificent open world setting and the parkour had extraordinary movement.

The graphics were pretty incredible but the game did experience a number of sound and graphical bugs which affected a minority of the gameplay.

The storyline was not the strongest however there were plenty of side missions that you could complete which created a more of a ‘completed’ feel to the story.

7 Days to die is a survival horror RPG set in a post-apocalyptic zombie filled world. The game has a crafting system that enables players to craft a large range of materials, tools and weapons to build their own fortress to survive the dystopian world.

7 days to die was very well thought out. The dynamic day to night cycle worked in sync with the zombie behaviour, and the fact that you could craft pretty much anything helped a lot with your survival.

However, the graphical textures were not the best they could have been. Also players complained that at times, the gameplay was “brutally difficult” and at the fact there was no proper ending to the game.

July

  • Pokémon Go

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Pokémon Go was the best mobile game of the year, along side Mario Run. However Mario Run, didn’t turn out as great as expected since you have to pay £7.99 to access all the maps.

Pokémon Go changed the world!

It succeed in encouraging players to take a step outside, explore their surroundings and catch Pokémon. This ended up becoming a huge trend across the globe and brought in players who knew nothing about Pokémon.

As time progressed onwards, the mobile game started dying out and it dramatically decreased in players by 80%.

I mean I still play it occasionally, since I will always love Pokémon, but I don’t play it as much as I used to, since I do agree with the fact that it is very repetitive.

August

  • Batman: Telltale
  • No Man’s Sky

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Batman: Telltale episode 1 (Realm of shadows) was released on the 2nd of August. Like the rest of the telltale franchise, most of the games succeeded, like the Walking Dead or the tales from Borderlands.

Telltale Games managed to capture the atmosphere perfectly and the visuals fit well with the style of Batman. They did manage to take a fresh perspective of Batman and the other characters, but the gameplay stayed true to the world of Batman.

However, it wasn’t the longest of video games that telltale games produced and the choices lacked impact on the story and characters, so there wasn’t much interaction and it was more like you were watching a movie instead of playing a video game.

No Man’s Sky. Well, what can I say about this one. It was a highly anticipated game after being shown the trailer in 2014 at E3, but then as soon as the game was released on the 9th of August a ray of disappointment spread across the world.

The colour visuals were absolutely breathtaking, and the soundtrack set the mood well and it promotes the idea of how much of a minority we are in the universe. It captures that perfectly.

The cons? Well the inventory management was highly frustrating and there were a tonne of bugs. It also had a very repetitive nature, and it just didn’t exceed to the trailer that was actually shown.

September

  • Forza Horizon 3

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Forza Horizon 3. Honestly, I don’t think I can really say anything bad about Forza. The whole franchise is beautiful, and it captures the pure essence of driving perfectly.

The Horizon games are open world therefore you aren’t limited to just racing. You are able to explore a magnificent setting. On the other hand, you could say that there was way too much desert and off road racing, which made it very repetitive. This frustrated players in the fact that they would love to drive and explore and experience other locales.

The car selection was fantastic, but a minor problem which disappointed a majority of the players was the fact that they decided to take out Volkswagen.

But other than that, Forza Horizon 3 was really that good!

October

  • Mafia 3
  • Gears of War 4
  • Battlefield 1
  • Titanfall 2
  • Skyrim: Special Edition

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Mafia 3 had an amazing storyline even though its gameplay was very repetitive, therefore making you lose interest because of the repetition of gameplay in which this makes you feel as if you were completing the same missions over and over again.

The character development was great though and the new Bordeaux looks and feels very authentic and it had a wonderful atmosphere.

Once again The Coalition has developed yet another graphically beautiful game.

Gears of war 4. It had a fantastic campaign and an excellent co-op mode.

The weapon choices were impressive and it had a magnificent start to a new saga. The third person combat system was outstanding, and had great action.

However, again, the gameplay is repetitive and the end battle was uninspired as the story ends very abruptly.

So, not the best game of the franchise.

Battlefield 1 has unique gameplay. The style captured the Great War flawlessly

making it a more educational history lesson.

It had a great weapon selection and large maps, which made it difficult to get a large number of kills, however the multiplayer gameplay was the best so far out of the franchise.  

The combat was amazing since it felt intimate and brutal at the same time.

It did experience some minor bugs though, and the loading times were incredibly long, which caused some frustration amongst players.

Titanfall 2. Personally, I wouldn’t say it is much different to the original game.

They do have a fantastic map design and it has tonnes of gameplay.  In comparison to the original game, this one has tonnes of customization options.

The cons? It does not have a very memorable storyline and the narrative hasn’t had much thought put into it.

There isn’t any character development so you don’t get to truly connect and experience a different persona.

Again, not the best of the franchise. Seems like sequels are never the better ones.

Skyrim is one of the most amazing open-world RPG’s to have ever been created, so Skyrim: Special Edition was highly anticipated, therefore creating mass of pre-orders and sales.

The remastered graphics were absolutely astonishing with the improved lighting system.

Because of the original, fantastic gameplay, it is easily replayable.

But, as of all games, it did experience minor bugs and lag, and many of the aspects of the game still feel quite dated.

November

  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Dishonored 2
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Planet Coaster
  • Pokemon Sun and Moon
  • Final fantasy XV

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Not the best game in the series; it had so many bad reviews and it isn’t a game that was highly anticipated throughout the gaming community.

I did actually manage to have a go at the multiplayer and zombies for Infinite Warfare, and I hate myself for saying this, but I did briefly enjoy it.

Now, the maps weren’t that great. I miss the old times when Call of Duty was actually based on Earth. The weapons weren’t the greatest either. They were just a more futuristic version, for example the MacTav-45 is based on the UMP-45 or the Volk which is based of the AK-47.

I loved the zombies.

The fact that they replaced the dog round with clowns was absolutely terrifying, but it was unique.

In comparison to the original game, Dishonored 2 was definitely the better version. It had a much larger world with an outstanding atmosphere. The game really chose its focal point of the characters this time, creating a much better character development.

There is a large variety of gameplay choices and the level design was very innovative and was very well made.

Dishonored 2 has many cons with the fact that there were gameplay and visual issues. Furthermore, even though Dishonored 2 was the better game of the series, it still had a very similar storyline.

Watch Dogs 2 was developed and published by Ubisoft and is an open world action-adventure.

As the original game wasn’t the greatest, no one really had high hopes for the sequel, however it did show a great deal of improvements.

Again, you had a magnificent, beautiful open world to explore. Watch dogs 2 included some incredible side missions which allowed a lot of depth to be created within the world of watch dogs.

As you have probably guessed, Watch Dogs suffered from a lot of technical issues including many glitches, bugs and a bit of lag here and there.

Even though the side missions were amazing, the mission design was seen as repetitive, and the AI as illogical.

Planet Coaster is one of the most addicting games I have ever played! It is actually incredible. You are just free to do whatever you want.

It is basically a mixture between Rollercoaster Tycoon and Minecraft.

The possibilities are endless. You can construct buildings plank by plank, wall by wall. You place light by light, tree by tree, track by track.

The best sandbox game of the year enables you to access other people’s incredible creations and add them to your park. It’s all to do with your imagination. That is what is so astonishing about this video game.

Pokemon Sun and Moon. For a Pokemon Fanatic, Sun and Moon have definitely been a massive game changer in the long running series of Pokemon RPGs.

Rather than following the same process of travelling the local to area to obtain all 8 Gym badges and become a Pokemon Master, you are set a number of tasks and challenges to allow you to explore the islands of the Alora Region.

The location is completely unique with a hawaiian-type setting. Our original (and well loved Pokemon) have new “Alora Forms”. There are new insanely powerful “z-moves” for your pokemon to fight with.

Definitely one of the most immersive and joyful games released by Game Freak yet.

Final Fantasy XV. I honestly don’t understand how there could be so many Final Fantasies. I don’t understand how these developers could come up with a different storyline, different characters and different gameplay every time.

However, they do create a beautiful open world with every video game. There’s always something to see and do.

In comparison to the rest of the franchise, it is one of the better ones. It has a revitalizing take on it.

There is always plenty of side quests, missions to complete, along with a tonne of secrets to discover.

However, it does undergo some problems, like long loading times and many glitches.

You could basically say the second half of the game needs a bit of work. Despite this, it is still an incredible game.

December

  • Steep
  • Dead rising 4
  • The Walking Dead: Season Three

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You could say that Steep is trying to be the new SSX.

One thing I could agree with on this game is that the graphics are absolutely stunning! The rider, animations, the scenery and the weather just is amazing and all fits perfectly together.

The controls are mediocre. They are easy to use and you could master them pretty quickly, however there are a few complex tricks that are difficult to predetermine. But there are plenty of fantastic challenges that you can complete throughout the game.

As of cons, many players have wished for grinding to be added to the game, since it would make it a lot more enjoyable. Added rails and other features would give a full essence of snowboarding or skiing.

Also, even though the weather is graphically beautiful, players would like to experience more variations of the snow conditions to add to the mountain essence that the game allows players to experience.

Overall, it’s actually a pretty decent game as there aren’t many of its kind available on the market.

The holiday season had emerged once again in Willamette, Colorado, and yet again it holds an outbreak in the Mall. Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall. The town is now lurking was deadly and brain-munching creatures.

Welcome to Dead rising 4.

Another incredibly enjoyable, zombie filled sandbox open world. The storyline and gameplay of Dead rising 4 was very unique and innovative.

As always, Capcom always manage to add just enough humour to the story with touches of ingenious, which makes gameplay highly enjoyable.

Something unique about dead rising is the opportunity for you to create wacky and insane weapons, which then allows you to demolish hordes of zombies in style creating a more enjoyable and fun atmosphere.

The multiplayer to dead rising 4 is entertaining along with the investigations.

I could go on and on about how incredible Dead rising is, but there is always a few issues about every game. Dead rising 4 doesn’t actually offer a co-op campaign which disappointed a vast majority of players.

There are occasional bugs and glitches and the fact that restrooms are no longer savepoints created a sea of frustration. Now it just makes it more difficult to save before quitting.

An incredibly high anticipated game, and telltales best series. The Walking Dead: Season Three.

It has a very gripping story, as the whole series did and it allows you to really connect with the characters. Especially Clementine, as you have followed her for near enough to whole series.

She has gone from that small innocent girl to a complete zombie butt kicking badass.

That’s what is so immersive and enjoyable about this game. You can just sit back, and watch the characters develop and grow.

The walking dead season three is absolutely incredible but there were a few problems in terms of the frame rate and the fact that there were some lip-sync inconsistencies.

Other than that, Telltale Games did another fantastic job.

2016 was the year for virtual reality

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Virtual Reality headsets are now the way to go to experience a brand new, interesting, entertaining and innovative way of gaming. Many games were put on the market for virtual reality along with some of the most popular headsets.

  • Oculus Rift – 6th January
  • HTC Vive – 5th April
  • Samsung Gear VR – 2nd September
  • Playstation VR – 13th October

Some of the best virtual reality games included:

  • The Lab
  • The Climb
  • Kittypocalypse
  • Hover Junkers
  • Chronos
  • Keep talking and nobody explodes

Now, at i54 in 2015, I got to experience Alien: Isolation on the oculus rift, and oh boy was it terrifying. It made you feel as if the xenomorph was really there with you and it completely messed you your brain.

It was a bit faulty back in April 2015 and they didn’t master the graphics perfectly. A lot of the time you could just see inside the body of the xenomorph, which was not pleasant.

2016 – The year games started to be commercially ‘moviefied’.

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Many games were ‘moviefied’ in 2016 and some of them turned out to be absolutely incredible.

  • Ratchet and Clank – April 20th
  • Angry Birds – May 20th
  • Warcraft – June 3rd
  • Kingsglavine: Final fantasy – August 17th

There are also many upcoming movies in 2017.

  • Assassin’s creed – 1st January
  • Resident Evil: Final Chapter – January 27th
  • Uncharted – June 30th

I did infact get to watch the Assassin’s creed movie on the day of release. Since it is my favourite game franchise, I absolutely loved it.

It was an incredible movie.

Michael Fassbender, who played Cal Lynch and Aguilar, fit the role perfectly, and he made an amazing assassin. I was hoping for more of the movie to be based in the actually memory, since a lot of it was based around reality and the animus.

It did receive quite a lot of negative reviews, maybe because it didn’t go into much detail about the creed or the templars, and for people who haven’t played the game may have found it difficult to fill the blanks.

You could say that this movie was a whole easter egg for the games. There were many references and you could tell which scenes were inspired by the game franchise.

But overall, I did enjoy it greatly. This movie did not let me down whatsoever and I am very appreciative and proud of the cast, the creators and their outstanding work on this movie.

2016 hasn’t been the best year ever, so hopefully 2017 will bring some amazing, brand new innovative video games along with more amazing technology to enhance our gaming experiences. Just please don’t bring anything like no man’s sky.

And let’s just pray for a decent, ‘down-to-earth’ Call of Duty to be released in November 2017.



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