Tell Us Dammit: 2016 In Gaming

Image: Kotaku

Just yesterday I saw someone comment about how crappy 2016 had been for video games. And I had to do a double take: I thought 2016 had been a pretty solid year so far. Weren't launches a little better? We had VR headsets. And there has been some cracking games to boot.

But what do you think about 2016 so far?

There's probably no doubt that the launch of virtual reality has been a touch underwhelming, at least as far as the Rift and HTC Vive were concerned. There still isn't a killer app as such for VR yet, although what I've seen of RecRoom looks pretty damn amazing.

It's been a good year for indie games, though. If you can put the No Man's Sky drama to one side, we've had big hits like Stardew Valley and SUPERHOT. They didn't explode quite the same way as Rocket League, but they've done well for themselves.

Battlerite has done well of late, Paladins has been wonderful for Hi-Rez already, Total War: WARHAMMER has been a big hit for Creative Assembly and Rainbow Six: Siege has enjoyed a resurgence. The Witcher 3's expansion was superb from everything I've heard, Overwatch and DOOM were fantastic, and Planet Coaster is looking really, really good.

Also, DOOM provided me with one of my more favourite screenshots.

But apparently that's not a popular view. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe 2016 hasn't been a great year for gaming. What do you think?


    2015 was a better year for me. This year wasn't bad in any way, but it was few & far between for me.

    The stuff I did get, I enjoyed, but wasn't super excited by.

    Still, Final Fantasy XV is coming.

    This year's games for me:

    Digimon Cyber Sleuth
    Tomb Raider 20th
    Bravely Second (dissatisfied)

    Final Fantasy XV & Pokemon Moon

    Odin sphere ( already own 2 copies)
    Dark Souls 3 (waiting for a complete version)

      Oh yeah, DOOM is really good but I'm terrible at shooters. Return to form though.

    Let me get back to you after I sink my teeth into Civ VI...

    I had a job for a few months. So I was able to play new games on launch :D

    The only 2016 games Ive played this year are Mirror's edge: catalyst (it was ok. Probably not for me. But finished the story) and Inside (which was great)

    It’s certainly quiet compared to 2015, but that doesn’t mean I’m complaining. It’s probably a good thing because I got so buried in quality last year I can get all the games I missed then cheaper now.

    As an Xboner I spent the first half of the year still finishing the Witcher 3 and it’s expansions and I’m now completely f*cking swamped in good stuff to play!

    Deus Ex, X-Com 2, Tomb Raider (last years), Gears of War, Battlefield, Titanfall and Dead Rising 4 could all get a run before the end of the year.

    Maybe the problem is that 2015 was one of the GOAT in gaming. Anyone who has a problem with 2016 should think back to 2014 when 'solid' games were topping the best of lists.

    Last edited 20/10/16 11:36 am

    Superlative year.

    My December/January was filled with the new-ness and excitement of putting together my new gaming PC and indulging in the games I'd been putting off like Witcher 3 and Arkham Knight, plus the fact I managed to build a PC was also a highlight.

    My Wii U is getting a new lease on life because I picked up Paper Mario on a whim last week,.

    Seriously, why aren't we talking about this game more? It's absolutely transcendent and frankly I'm annoyed it's being ignored in the mainstream gaming circles. I had to venture to Reddit.


    Still can't find anything meaningful over there either.

    My PC as much as I love it hardly got a look-in during the middle part of the year. I actually didn't go back to Witcher or Arkham Knight. I need to get back to them, but then I need to get back to many of the games I've bought this year simply because they are now able to be running optimally.

    Dark Souls 3 was probably the only game I'm that keen on as far as my PS4 goes. Seriously, it if wasn't for that game and of course Bloodborne I'd probably get rid of my PS4.

    That said, it it wasn't for the free weekend that Blizzard put on for Overwatch recently, I'd have never discovered Overwatch. but I did go and get it on both PC and PS4. I haven't even touched my PS4 copy, the PC version is clearly the only way to fly. Level 37 and loving it.

    As far as the 3DS is concerned:

    Pokemon Red and Blue!

    Other random stuff:

    Doom from what I've played (again, timed free trials are something I encourage) seems very nice.

    Pokemon Go: still playing it daily.

    Fire Emblem Fates: I'm taking my time with this. I think I'll go the Birthright story. Yes that means i've barely played it.

    Zelda Twilight Princess: I think I stuffed up by choosing the Wii-orientated Right-Handed Link mode whereby it's automatically harder. I'm not used to managing my health like this.

    Overwatch has dominated this year for me. Otherwise, reasonably quiet.

    I think 2016 has been more about the hype train crashing a lot for a number of games this year. People are getting weary of some AAA games not living up to expectations, or DLC that are merely a poor tack on. I've fallen for it a few times this year when normally I wait well into post release before buying.

    2017's going to be an interesting year for games with a number of gamers having already been burn't. Once bitten twice shy.

      Oh you have far more faith in gamers learning from pre-ordering based on hype and believing in season passes than I do

    My game purchasing has slowed right down, I only got a few new games this year compared to previous years. I think this reflects that I am becoming more selective as I have less free time and am disposing of my disposable income elsewhere, rather than an absence of available games.

    So far I have purchased just Doom and Forza Horizon 3 from the 2016 new game lineup, and picked up a sampling of other games on sale such as Battlefield Hardline and The Division. The former I am yet to install, the latter I have sunk perhaps five hours into, progressing slightly further than I did when I played the beta. I played Fallout 4 through twice and despite enjoying the game just didn't get invested enough in the world to care about the DLC, happy instead to wait for the Fallout 4 equivalent of New Vegas.

    That said, I have been gaming pretty actively. I played the hell out of Doom and Forza, not to mention a number of titles that I've received for free via Games with Gold. Spelunky is an old title but I play it quite regularly when I have time to play a "quick burst" of something. I'm terrible at it, but I hope that I can amend this with time. I probably wouldn't have bought Forza Horizon 3 if I didn't get the original for free and backwards compatible on my Xbox One. I have returned to Red Dead Redemption after buying it years ago and only playing it for a few hours, and apparently now have about a year to finish it before RDR2 comes out.

    There are games I've missed. I was really hyped for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Rise of the Tomb Raider, both of which I have let slip to the point I'll just wait until they're in the bargain bin. I'm sure they're great games and I'm excited to play them, but gaming has taken a bit of a back seat lately.
    Other games I've let go so long that I have reassessed whether I really even want to play them. I love Hitman but I feel like the latest iteration in the series, while reviewing well, just isn't for me. Games I've kept an eye on waiting for sales have simply slipped by me. Despite owning a PS4 I was waiting for The Witness and Firewatch to come to Xbox One. Now that they have, I'm yet to pull the trigger. I want to play No Man's Sky despite the backlash against it but again, am waiting for it to come to Xbox One and presumably won't buy it then either, if history continues to repeat itself. The way I'm going I'm starting to think the next game I actively make time for is Mass Effect: Andromeda.

    Finally, VR is a fad.

    I have played exactly one game that came out this year: Stardew Valley. It's pretty rad.

    The rest of my gaming year has been pretty sedate and that's just fine. I'll play some DOOM eventually. I'll definitely sink many hours into Civ 6 over the next few years. There are probably other games that I'll come back for.

      We must discuss on TAY! Unless you already have been? I was going to wait and then I broke my rule when GMG offered deluxe for US$60...

    WoW Legion
    Pokemon Sun/Moon
    Final Fantasy 15/World
    Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice

    Probably the big ticked releases I have or will spend money on this year. Honestly been a pretty light year though next month seems likely to be a little more interesting

    I think 2016 has been pretty great. I don't have a hell of a lot of time to play each week (family, work , life etc) which may influence my thinking? Predominantly play on PS4 and tinker on some Mac games. Some highlights for me -

    Uncharted 4 - My GOTY
    Inside - so very near my GOTY
    No Man's Sky....yes, I enjoyed warts n all!
    SOMA (perhaps released 2015?)
    Bespin & Outer Rim DLC Battlefront

    Yet to play/be released -
    Deus Ex : MD
    Battlefield 1
    Dishonored 2
    Tomb Raider

    Last edited 20/10/16 12:35 pm

      Yeah, SOMA was released in 2015. It's a great game, IMO.

    The (non definitive) list games released this year that I am keen to try
    Xcom 2, The witness, Firewatch, Unravel, Far cry primal, Stardew valley, Battlefleet Gothic, total warhammer, Stellaris, Deus Ex, Tomb raider, Telltale Batman, Quantum break

    I think it might be viewed as crappy because, as has been in the passed few years, the expected hits missed while the unexpected shined. But for real, this year has been phenomenal, and there's still plenty of potential to come.

    Games such as Mafia 3, No Man's Sky, ReCore, VR in general - these missed their mark. Even Deus Ex to an extent, depending on who you ask. These games didn't meet the (unrealistic, in some cases) expectations people had set for themselves.

    As always, GOTY style games come mostly out of experiences no one expected.

    This would be a list of games I'm expecting to be on GOTY lists this year:
    - The Witness
    - Stardew Valley
    - Firewatch
    - Pony Island
    - Darkest Dungeon
    - Dragon Quest Builders
    - Fire Emblem Fates
    - Far Cry Primal
    - Dark Souls 3
    - Superhot
    - Hyperlight Drifter
    - Overwatch
    - Hitman
    - Inside
    - Pokémon GO
    - Deus Ex Go
    - Halcyon 6
    - Rez Infinite
    - Thumper
    - Xcom 2
    - Ratchet & Clank
    - Uncharted 4

    Also, FIFA and Forza had fantastic entries.

    We're also still waiting on Battlefield 1, CODx2, Titanfall 2, Civ VI, a new Harvest Moon, Tyranny, Dishonored 2, Watch Dogs 2, Pokémon Sun & Moon, Final Fantasy XV, Dead Rising 4, Steep, The Last Guardian, Tyranny and Super Mario Run.

    That looks like a fantastic year to me.

    I can kind of understand why some people might think 2016's been a bit of a letdown. It's been rife with games not living up to hype, delays until later in the year, delays until next year and the first signs of a potential fragmenting of the console market. For me though I've been pretty happy with the year, but then I'm not the kind of person who gets hyped over mainstream AAA titles so I'm probably easier to please.

    Some may say the Wii U is having a terrible year as it crawls toward an early(ish) death.

    On the other hand... Pokken Tournament, Tokyo Mirage Sessions and Paper Mario Color Splash have all been really great and different.

    On the PS4 I've been playing Dark Souls III and Uncharted 4. Good games, but also very much sequels.

    not great imo but not terrible. but world of warcraft legion is the best xpac wow's had in a while, haven't seen that mentioned above. 2016 did enough but it didn't have big new franchises that grabbed or impressed me.

    Last edited 20/10/16 1:08 pm

      Yeah agreed, I only bought it out of nostalgia but was very impressed after being bored af in the last 3 expansions.

        normally i wait until just before the last raid tier and resub then for a month but this time i bought early because some friends did. has been enjoyable so far much more to do other than make alts for people who don't want to play hardcore

    Pretty quiet year, yeah. Only got Star Fox Zero, Federation Force and Paper Mario. Oh and grabbed FE Fates on a whim, just because physical release of DLC. I guess otherwise most of the year's been dedicated to VR hype for me, though since my main go-to there is Elite and that got hit with a whole bunch of delays on its updates that kinda slowed things down too. Still got plenty to play there though, and Touch is just around the corner, so got plenty of hype left.

    I think that, until I finally get my hands on Dishonored 2, (I'm trying not to hype myself up too much, can you tell?) Boxboxboy is my GOTY.
    So, no, I can't really call 2016 a disappointment just a little on the quiet side.

    Fun but forgettable:
    Dark Souls 3

    Still playing:
    Witcher 3 expansions

    Dark Souls 3
    Uncharted 4
    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
    Forza Horizon 3
    Quantum Break
    Ratchet & Clank
    WoW: Legion
    Total War: Warhammer
    Gears of War 4
    Destiny: Rise of Iron
    The Division

    Plus all the remasters, and still to come we have:

    Battlefield 1
    COD: IW
    FF XV
    Dishonored 2
    Titanfall 2
    Watchdogs 2

    Gaming in 2016 can be summed up for me by 3 releases:

    Arktis by Ihsahn
    Pleiades' Dust by Gorguts
    and the upcoming Shrines of Paralysis by Ulcerate

    I think the fact that I've spent the majority of this year playing games that were released last year gives you an indication of what I've thought about this year's offerings.

    I can see how this year might've been good for some people, but for my particular tastes, or even games that I thought might be good but failed in some way, 2016 has been pretty lackluster.

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