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Game of the Year (Gaming)

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Friday, December 11, 2015, 18:04 (2185 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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GTA V PC? Splatoon? Witcher 3?

by Funkmon @, Friday, December 11, 2015, 18:25 (2185 days ago) @ Ragashingo

I didn't find any particularly worthy of the title. I haven't played ROTTR yet, but Fallout 4 wasn't totally amazing, LiS is highly dependant on your personality, ASS is great but not that many people like it, Halo 5 was genuinely fun as hell, but I didn't like the multiplayer. I have no experience with The Witcher 3, though people are talking about it like it's the second coming of Christ. Rocket League I didn't like. Splatoon people are in love with or they think it's dumb.

It seems like this year there are a lot of 9/10 games, no 10/10.

All in all, I agree with you based on what I played almost down to the letter. IDK if I have a personal GOTY...but if I do it's probably LIS.

Downwell

by electricpirate @, Friday, December 11, 2015, 20:03 (2185 days ago) @ Ragashingo

Just pitch perfect action gameplay, even on a phone, and the design addresses some of the core issues that Rogulikes always have (weak intros).

Still haven't beat it yet, I've brought the last boss to his final stage but I just couldn't go the distance :(.

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Witcher 3.

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, December 12, 2015, 00:24 (2185 days ago) @ Ragashingo

I actually agree with the "official" pick of the Witcher 3, despite never actually finishing it. It's still on the list (The Taken King got in the way, and I haven't made time to go back to it, yet).

Despite the fact that I'm getting more than a little weary of open world games, The Witcher 3 is a nearly perfect example of one. It really does it right. The world is very large, but has lots of unique and interesting areas, and is truly gorgeous (just barely loses out to Rise of the Tomb Raider for gorgeous vistas, for me, but Tomb Raider isn't anywhere near the size of the Witcher). I'm only about 50% through the main story, but it is varied and interesting, and it has the best side quests of any game I've ever played. They're all worth doing, which is a large part of why I haven't finished. I'm usually not a completionist and am okay with skipping side content, but I have yet to do any mission in the Witcher and leave it thinking it was a waste of time. The relentless updates and support from CDProjekt Red was amazing.

It's just a damn good game, but it's one that requires a bare minimum of 50 hours, and that's absolutely blasting through the story, judging from my experience.

I bounce back and forth on Fallout 4. I truly enjoyed it while I was playing, but I put it down about a week ago. I took my second character about halfway through the story again, then put it down. I haven't felt any desire to go back to it. It just didn't capture me the way Bethesda games usually do. I've put well over 200 hours into every Bethesda game since Morrowind (200 hours is the minimum for those games, I put well over 1000 into Morrowind). I don't see the same happening for Fallout 4. It's nowhere near my game of the year, even though I didn't even play that many games this year.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a great game. I'm not quite finished with that yet, either, but it has been amazing. Just an all around fun game. My biggest complaint with it is that the platforming makes me wish we had a new Prince of Persia game to play. :P

Halo 5 is likewise a great game (in my opinion). I think 343i nailed a lot with it, and solidly set Halo back on the right track. The gameplay is tight and fun, I think the story was interesting, and the multiplayer is great and seeing frequent updates and content drops. Sadly, I haven't played it as much as I want. I played some BTB last week just to check out the new maps, but that was my only play session in about a month. I'm going to have to try and make some more time for it in the near future (maybe after SRL is over!), maybe jump in on some HBO custom nights or something.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider for me :)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Saturday, December 12, 2015, 00:35 (2185 days ago) @ Ragashingo

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Tough Choice. Tales from the Borderlands?

by someotherguy, Hertfordshire, England, Saturday, December 12, 2015, 01:12 (2185 days ago) @ Ragashingo

I've not played half as many games as I'd have liked to this year on account of Destiny, but of the ones I did TftB is a standout for me. Technically only 4/5ths came out this year, but thats good enough for me.

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Tough Choice. Tales from the Borderlands?

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, December 12, 2015, 02:03 (2185 days ago) @ someotherguy

I just started this a few days ago. Going to start episode three here in a few minutes. They definitely nailed the Borderlands atmosphere. Zero had me rolling in episode one. <3

MGS V

by TheeChaos @, Saturday, December 12, 2015, 02:08 (2185 days ago) @ Ragashingo

- No text -

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Dying Light, hands down...

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Saturday, December 12, 2015, 07:15 (2185 days ago) @ Ragashingo
edited by Korny, Saturday, December 12, 2015, 07:23

In a market over-saturated with zombies and other co-op games that vie for players' attention, Dying Light stood out.

It may not have been a narrative masterpiece, but the story was engaging and straightforward.
It may not have had bleeding-edge graphics, but the world was expansive and beautiful.
It may not be a lot of things, but for me, it was the two most important things: rewarding and fun.

Dropkicking a zombie as it chased your friend across rooftops? Priceless.
Igniting a flare at the last moment before you and your teammates were swarmed by Volatiles, then planning your next path as you regain stamina and the flare dies out? Intense.
Joining a random group of people, and terrorizing their game as a super zombie while they struggle to outwit you? So satisfying...

Dying Light is great, and the support that Techland has shown it is inspiring. Heck, they made a clever jab at Destiny's Red Bull promotion this year, then turned around and actually made free DLC because of it.

This is a game that I just absolutely loved from beginning to end, and the thing is that the "end" was hardly the end. I can't recall a game that has had so much stuff added to it post-launch (besides Warframe and Helldivers) without requiring players to buy something extra.
And the funny thing is that the game does have a Season Pass, which had a solid amount of content, but Techland has been working on a pseudo-sequel to the game, and instead of just charging players separately for it, they added it to the Season Pass for no extra charge to current owners (and they have given people a window to get it free if they don't have the Season Pass yet), and it looks crazy good:


(The new playspace is reportedly bigger than the main game's two current playspaces combined).

A real underrated gem.

PS. The game also has one of my absolute favorite trailers:


As for other games, The Witcher 3 is real fun, but I'm only about fifteen hours in, but I really dig it. It's like Fable 3 for grown-ups, and I'm addicted to the in-game card game, Gwent. I'd be down for playing it IRL, even.

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