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Game of the Year (Gaming)

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Friday, December 11, 2015, 18:04 (2181 days ago)
edited by Ragashingo, Friday, December 11, 2015, 18:32

I didn't play every game this year, it was such a strong year for console gaming, but here's what I enjoyed and why I considered picking each of them as my game of the year.

- Batman: Arkham Knight - The first new game I got for my Xbone, Arkham Knight looks amazing, plays great, has a great story and a world filled with Batman callbacks, and even was largely successful in adding in the speedtank Batmobile.

Particularly well done was the way they integrated the Joker and ultimately dealt with him in the end.

On the downside, the Arkham Knight himself was predictable and him not being allowed to kill Batman by his boss felt very contrived. The ending and what happens to Bruce Wayne is also iffy, but then is there really a good way to retire Batman?

Overall I had a lot of fun with this game and it was a worthy conclusion to the Arkham series.

- Rise of the Tomb Raider - As the sequel to the very well done 2013 Tomb Raider, Rise had a lot to live up to. And by and large it did.
Graphically and sonically, this may very well be the most impressive game on the Xbone. It is often jaw dropping in its beauty and there is some really great sound design. I love the little plunks you get from Laura kicking as she swims!

Gameplay it was largely more of the same, meaning excellent, with the added layer of stealth being viable. Tough encounters could often be solved with brains rather than blazing guns. With the added stealth elements it felt like they forced you into combat far less and even when they did you often had clever options.

Of note, also, is the almost completely continuous hub world nature of the game. You can hike from the very beginning to about 50% in when you go back after finishing the story. And even then, it's only one small section that's not accessible. Skip into that area with Fast Travel (you literally just skip a wall of debris) and I believe you can continue all the way to the end!

The two big hub areas, the snowy one and temperate one, are huge and have a lot to find and do. There's also a day night system (though I'm not sure it cycles between them like Destiny) which changes up hub world encounters.

The only let down was, oddly, the story. It had all the pieces to be good but ultimately failed to connect them. Plus they just plain missed the opportunity to deal with Laura's traumatizing experiences in the previous game. That and having another undead army carrying out centuries of military parades and waiting for invaders who may never come didn't work so well when there were no island shores and mysterious storms to keep them from leaving...

All in all Rise was a fantastic experience. Oh, and the upcoming DLC looks to add a whole lot more story that I was expecting! I'd rank this as my runner up for GotY.

- Fallout 4 - Take Fallout 3, change locations, add dialogue and a story that's actually good, upgrade the graphics, and toss in a good soundtrack, and you get Fallout 4. It's good. It's massive. I'm not even close to finishing it.

- Destiny - Nearly perfect core gameplay + TTK which was a lot more expansive that I thought it might be + ongoing updates. I'm still playing and still wanting more...

- Life is Strange - Easily the biggest surprises of the year. Completely fantastic story and voice acting. It had characters who felt utterly real and situations that were grounded and moving and thought provoking. I dug its serene Indy music and its environmental soundscapes were lush and convincing.

In the end, it ended... controversially... and it probably should have stayed focused on its characters instead of the unexplained approaching doom, but man what an engaging emotional ride!

Other games had better gameplay, every game had better graphics, but even despite its ending, nothing came close to Life Is Strange in terms of impact. When I think back about each of these game Life Is Strange is the one I say: "Damn, that was good." So, I'm picking it for my game of the year.

How about you? What did you like? What game would you rate as your Game of the Year?


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