2016 is long gone and so it’s time to hand out some awards to the best, and worst, stuff from 2016. What you have here is our final awards and our reasons for selecting them. If you want to hear the full deliberations please check out our Game of the Year podcasts (Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3) to see how we arrived at the results we did. Enjoy.
Living in production hell for years and being almost completely scrapped and restarted, there seemed to be no way that DOOM could end up being a successful game, instead more likely to end up the next Duke Nukem Forever. On top of all that shaky development came a poorly received multiplayer beta a month before launch and the news that there would be no early copies for reviewers, both which certainly must mean that the final product was awful. Luckily for us, not only is DOOM not a bad game, it is easily one of the best games of 2016 and one of the most refreshing shooters to come out in years.
Runners Up: HITMAN, Titanfall 2
Winner/Loser: No Man’s Sky
Oh man where to even start with No Man’s Sky. There was the build up of endless exploration and countless creatures to discover and planets to explore. There was the weird mix messaging about what exactly you would do in the game and what the game was even about. Practically nothing that is in the launch game either delivered on the original promise of No Man’s Sky or lived up to the expectation of what that game looked like. The image above, featuring an image from a trailer that is still posted on the Steam store page, tells just how terribly the entirety of No Man’s Sky was, and continues to be, handled.
Runners Up: Mighty No. 9, Star Fox Zero
Winner: Free Content Updates
Who doesn’t love free, right? It seems free content updates is a full on trend in the industry. More and more it looks like the days of the Season Pass is coming to an end. Titanfall 2 launched with the promise of free additional maps and titans right from the start and Overwatch has given out multiple free characters and maps (not to mention their holiday events) throughout the game’s first year. It seems developers are realizing that if they want to keep a respectable player base, free updates is the best way to keep people coming back for more.
Runners Up: Microsoft gets serious about backwards compatibility, Virtual reality becomes a reality
Winner: NES Classic
The NES Classic is a mess up on many different levels. The first part is that it’s mid January and the miniature console is still nearly impossible to find and still going to almost three times its value on eBay. Secondly you have a selection of 30 games that are questionable as to the decisions of what was included and what was left off. Thirdly, and perhaps most absurdly, is the cord length of the single controller that comes with the console, sitting right around two and a half feet long. Seriously. That’s a third of the length of original NES controller, which was back in a day where you sat significantly closer to you television. Two and a half feet! Inexcusable.
Runners Up: No Man’s Sky, Palmer Luckey Debacle
Best Looking Game
The beauty of Inside is encapsulated in one word for me: depth. While Inside is played on a purely 2D plain, the entire, terrifying world comes alive thanks to the depth of the game, both foreground and background. This has an affect not just on how the game looks but how the game plays. The unsettling and disgusting world of Inside is alive and breathing and it feels so good.
Runners Up: ABZU, DOOM
Best Gaming Moment/Sequence
Winner: S.E.R.E. Kit (Titanfall 2)
There are a lot of highlight moments in Titanfall 2 and it was a real tough call between this moment and the level Cause and Effect. In the end we went with the S.E.R.E Kit, an amazing moment at the end of the game that gives you the feeling of being an absolute bad ass. Up to that point in the game, you either forgot that the Smart Pistol was a thing or have been wondering if Titanfall 2 left it out. Once the game finally delivers it, you go on a killing spree that gives all the feeling of every amazing CG trailer out there: sliding, wall running, amazing leaps – all while using the smart pistol to take out dozens of enemies. It’s a moment unparalleled in any game out there this year.
Runners Up: Crack in the Slab (Dishonored 2), Opening (DOOM), The Ending (INSIDE), Quiet Car Ride (Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)