I have just returned from celebrating Midsummer at Glastonbury Festival, which is closer to the UK equivalent of Woodstock, rather than the commercial celeb-fest that is Coachella. So, I’m currently reacquainting myself with the real world and the gaming world (as well as non-muddy, level ground). As a result, l shall follow Todd’s lead and take stock of the best games of 2016 so far.
Campo Santo’s wilderness mystery had been on my radar for sometime and thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. the dialogue was top notch, as was the acting. Walking sims don’t tickle everyone’s fancy, but the art of Firewatch makes it one worth diving into and a highlight of the gaming year, so far. Okay, so the ending was slight anti-climax, but the journey was more than worth the trouble. On my highly recommended games of 2016 list.
Banner Saga 2
Stoic returned with a bigger, better and even more beautiful game. If you like Vikings, then play the Banner Saga series because it gets the style and atmosphere so right. This was one of those pleasing moments when the developers had listened to everything players had said and addressed them. We had deeper combat, more of the gorgeous animation and more variety. The epic Norse adventure dished up even better characters and left us on a dark, if slightly confusing, cliffhanger. I’m looking forward to the final part of the trilogy, so catch up with this one before it comes out.
It could only be Uncharted 4 – clearly, the best game of 2016, so far. Naughty Dog’s finale for Nathan Drake blows everything out of the water in terms of polished, pixel-pushing graphics. If you like realism, A Thief’s End is a thing of beauty. Add to that the snappy dialogue, we’ve all come to expect from Uncharted and touching character moments. In Uncharted 4, we find out about Nathan’s past and meet his brother, Sam, who turns out to be a charmer. In gameplay terms, the addition of the grapple and sliding sections were real winners and a bit more focus on stealth did attempt to reduce the kill rate. It’s not the best game in the series, but it’s up there and it’s definitely the best looking and the most confident. A must play.
I’ve had a quick look at the slick, intense shootathon that is Doom 2016 and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst came out, while I was away, so all in all, it’s been a great start to the year. And it’s only going to get better. Deus Ex and No Man’s Sky, followed by The Last Guardian, to name but a few. My mission throughout July, is to clear the decks because I suspect that No Man’s Sky will be a life-eater. Me thinks Todd doth protest too much, as I suspect he splashed out on a PS4 to sample the sci-fi procedural everyone’s talking about.
Rather than looking ahead, I’m going to enjoy the moment and catch up with the great games that are already out. I’m currently on Oxenfree, so listen out for that, as Drew and I discuss the game on the next episode of Argue the Toss.