Saturday, December 24, 2016

IGE's Ten Favorite Games of 2016

2016 is almost over, and that means it's time to look back at the games that stood out, that stuck with me for various reasons. I actually played quite a few more AAA games this year, due to finally getting a PS4, so this list does feature several non-indie picks, but that's only because they were just that good. 

So here's my ten favorite games of year, in no particular order, along with a few honorable mentions. 

===



Hitman
Hitman is something rare and special: an honest-to-god comeback, a return-to-form that sets the bar for all future returns-to-form. From a game that made one question if IO had forgotten what made the series special, that altered many of the series' unique features in baffling ways, to a sleek game that pushes the Hitman series to new heights.

But even putting all that aside, Hitman is a triumph of game design, with sprawling clockwork sandboxes just waiting for you to poke and prod and manipulate, each one heavy with atmosphere and clever story vignettes, with so many ways to approach each mission that a single one can last you a dozen hours, and a huge amount of additional content that challenges your assassination prowess in new ways. This is the sequel I've been waiting a decade for.



Inside
At a glance, one might question what exactly makes Inside so special. Its visuals seem muted and dull, strip away everything and it's a game of mostly traversing right and solving environmental puzzles, it's a game where the only controls are move, jump, and grab. But Inside can't be fully appreciated at a glance; it must be played to understand its excellence.

Inside is a bleak crescendo of a cinematic platformer, every aspect building upon the other until its incredible finale. The animations, how the boy stumbles and struggles, how he looks with nervous glances or hunches over in tense fear. The aesthetic, rife with countless details and a cohesive palette that accentuates the game's depressing dystopian tone. The sound design, from the subtle heartbeat of a soundtrack to the boy's hurried breathing when stealth shifts to desperate pursuit. Everything coalesces to create an oppressive miasma of unease and tension, where you never feel safe, where every mistake is met with quick ruthless death, and its lean puzzle design is always driving you forward to more haunting imagery and more surreal discoveries.



The Last Guardian
I liked Ico, and I loved Shadow of the Colossus, so I had high expectations when I started The Last Guardian. And somehow, Ueda's vision was able to surpass them. This is an incredible journey of friendship told not through cutscenes or prose, but the medium's most unique element: interactivity. No doubt many great stories in gaming have been conveyed through audio logs and expert writing and compelling voice actors, but The Last Guardian tells the story of boy and beast through gameplay, through Trico's groundbreaking animations, through your petting and cleaning of feathers and removal of spears, through the desperate saves from certain death and the graceful leaps through this world's mysterious architecture.

From that foundation emerges a cinematic platformer that pushes boundaries on myriad fronts: playable set-pieces that rival Naughty Dog's work, tense platforming over vertigo-inducing heights, smart puzzles driven by cooperation, and an gripping ending that won't soon be forgotten



Titanfall 2
My eyes were opened to the joys of online multiplayer this year, first with Overwatch and Rocket League. then Battlefield 1 and Rainbow Six Siege. But I've played one shooter more than all of them, and that game was Titanfall 2. It's a demanding game, where quick reflexes and deft wall-running are your ultimate advantage, so it took a while for me to gain the skills to not get slaughtered. But with practice comes precision, and with precision comes some of the most intense and entertaining action I've enjoyed in a long time. There's nothing quite like wall-running past a missile salvo between warring titans, or sliding around a corner to cut down an incoming enemy, or grapple-hooking an ejecting pilot to deliver a killing mid-air blow. It's fast, furious, skillful, where a typical match can produce awesome emergent set-piece moments.

But those awesome set pieces aren't reserved to multiplayer, because Titanfall 2 also comes with one of coolest FPS campaigns in a while, a lean series of missions that shifts from one cool concept and encounter to the next, all wrapped in the stylish skillful parkour and combat that defines the series.



Oxenfree
The narrative adventure has seen a renaissance since Telltale revitalized it with The Walking Dead way back in 2012. From Dontnod's Life Is Strange to the historical 1979 Revolution, their influence has been undeniable. But while they may be the originator, Oxenfree is the innovator. Harkening back to the Spielbergian adventures of the 80s, this tale of friends on an island where dark forces lurk pushes the genre forward in wonderful ways. Its walk-and-talk mechanic allows for the kind of pacing that Telltale games and their ilk could never do, letting you make tough dialogue choices without breaking away from regular gameplay. And that dialogue is so natural, flows so smoothly, with interjections and interruptions and whatnot, a far cry from the turn-based style of conversation seen in everything from Mass Effect to Fables. Finally Night School found a clever way to do a New Game Plus within the confines of a narrative adventure, giving you another reason to revisit these likeable characters and atmospheric locales.



SuperHOT
It's the most innovative shooter I've played in years. No really, clever joke aside, it is. SuperHOT takes the one hit kills and limited ammo and encroaching enemies on all sides of Hotline Miami, and makes it a pseudo-turn-based action puzzler through its core time-moves-when-you-move mechanic. That simple idea changes everything. It's a game of minimalism and restraint, more time spent side-stepping bullets and planning your next move than attacking. Those methodical minutes-long sequences of time-slowed action only last mere seconds in real time. Every moment is one of careful movement, since every step by you means danger is one step closer. 

The combat in SuperHOT is the stuff of Hollywood magic, scenes that are usually only reserved for scripted moments and set pieces. You snatch a gun out of the air and spin around to kill the enemies approaching from behind. Point blank shots are negated by a katana slicing the bullet in half. You weave between bullets with effortless ease. It's a low-poly dance through a rain of crystalline shards and it never gets old



Stephen’s Sausage Roll
2016 was the year of the puzzler. The Witness, Obduction, SHENZHEN I/O, Recursed, Sethian, Thoth, and more, this year was one with quality puzzle games of all kinds. But none impressed or stumped me as much as Stephen's Sausage Roll. It may not seem like much, a Sokoban-style puzzler with a low-fi aesthetic, but that's where the genius of the games lies. Stephen's Sausage Roll is an ever growing puzzle box of new mechanics, mechanics that were always there, hidden in plain sight through level design alone.

Your basic toolset of rotation and fork is so versatile, allowing for puzzles so satisfyingly diverse and tricky, it is astounding to think back to how the early puzzles were only about rotating and pushing sausages with your fork. This is an ingenious work of level design and clever puzzles that should not be missed.



House of the Dying Sun
At one point, House of the Dying Sun was a bigger game, an ambitious sprawling Mount-and-Blade-style campaign with procedural factions and an open map. But instead the finished game is a lean collection of hand-crafted missions, polished and distilled to focus on one thing: combat. Combat is House of the Dying Sun's core element, each mission dropping you into a volatile situation and asking you to seamlessly manage both intense dogfighting from your interceptor cockpit and fleet tactics from the macro RTS view. No map to travel, no trading or hangars to buy a better fleet, no smaller jobs to build up your reputation, just relentless combat where positioning and expert flight is key to survival.

But it would remiss to not single out House of the Dying Sun's stellar sound design. The audio makes the game. The muted rumble and thuds of your weapons. The rasp of your oxygen mask. The tinny chatter of your wingmen, The mechanical whir when you reload or switch weapons. The sound design draws you into the combat, gives every action an immersive and atmospheric reaction



Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
You know a game is going to be good when a demo shifts your expectations from "Huh, seems interesting" to "I need to keep playing, please release already". In an ideal world, Shadow Tactics will be for real-time Commandos-style tactics what Divinity was for CRPGs. Polished to a mirror sheen, this is a game of weaving through vision cones, of carefully planning out precisely timed distractions and executions, of managing all your of team's special skills and abilities to overcome seemingly impossible odds. A single mission can last 2-3 hours, as you plan and study and observe and act and react and quick-save like a madman. This is one of the best stealth games of 2016, and the best Commandos-like in a long time.



Imbroglio
Michael Brough's games have often hinged on the dichotomy of simple on the outside and surprisingly deep within, a lo-fi aesthetic contrasted by challenging strategy. His latest game Imbroglio is no different; it plays like a distant cousin of his previous roguelike 868-Hack, with a focus on positioning and smart use of your abilities, but expanded exponentially and offering surprising complexity.

Imbroglio is many things. It's a roguelike, as you tactically use different skills and turn-based movement to outlast increasingly challenging groups of enemies. It's a card game, with each class having unique skills and limitations that define the kind of deck you can build. And it's a board game, as you use those cards to build the floor of the board itself, carefully considering synergy between abilities and your health and mana and where enemies will enter the arena. Imbroglio is the kind of simple-to-play yet surprisingly complex game that you'll often find on mobile, and one of the best roguelikes the platform has to offer.

Honorable Mentions:

Sethian
I've never played anything like Sethian. Essentially Arrival: The Game, it's a narrative adventure/linguistic puzzler that challenges you to learn how to read and communicate in an alien language. Wholly unique and very clever

N++
I'd place the physics-driven platforming and slick smooth controls of the original N up there with games like Super Meat Boy as one of the forefathers of the indie precision platformer, and N++ is the culmination of 12 years of refinement on that original game, with thousands of smartly-designed stages that wringe diverse platforming challenges from a simple moveset.

Devil Daggers
If DOOM was the modern update of the old-school shooter, Devil Daggers is the other side of the coin, distilling the genre to its leanest form. You, your weapon, an arena, a cacophonous onslaught of eldritch horrors, now survive. An oppressive symphony of distorted shrieks, skittering legs, guttural roars, echoing moans brings to life a bestiary of bone and flesh and too many appendages. Devil Daggers' sound design is some of the best you'll hear this year

Thumper
The most intense, most satisfying, and most draining test of reflexes since Super Hexagon, Thumper is equal parts simplicity and excess, easy-to-understand but challenging-to-master gameplay within a sensory overload of movement, color, and sound. If Super Hexagon was hypnotic in its shifting twisting geometric minimalism, then Thumper is 2001's mesmerizing mindfuck given metal life.

The Witness
Jonathan Blow's seven-years-in-the-making magnus opus is a puzzle game masterpiece, a vibrant Myst-like that wordlessly teaches you to understand its expansive repertoire of mechanics

DOOM
You are not a one-man army. You are a god of death, a bringer of ruin and slaughter to the forces of hell. They fear you and rightfully so, as you unleash unstoppable fury upon them through relentlessly fast first-person shooter action

43 comments:

  1. Tower defense game 2017: island death
    https://t.co/L2w5RaaLUl

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is the best arcade Game i ever played, look at this.
    video game table

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Have you tried out this new mobile word game? it's really cool!
    Download MIGHTY ALPHA DROID now!

    Android: http://bit.ly/MADBeta
    iOS: http://bit.ly/MADiOS

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ban or Spam this link, Or Click this link and damage your website now. This link is a virus.
    http://cheaterland.com/mark-stachura-goldcoast-lier-australia.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey! I really like Indie games. I want to ask does someone played "Hitman" game, and what is Your opinion about this game?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for providing this good information,Thanks for your sharing.

    goldenslot

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have read your article, it is very informative and helpful for me.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting it..

    ดูหนัง

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for providing this good information, Thanks for your sharing.
    keep getting more Mp3 Download here

    ReplyDelete
  10. Some truly great blog posts on this site, thank you for contribution. Goa escorts

    ReplyDelete
  11. It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us.

    หนังออนไลน์

    ReplyDelete
  12. Such an interesting information. I always rate my paper to know level of it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We offer 11% paperhelp discount code for students. To apply promo code, just click "Apply" and proceed with the order, discount will be applied automatically.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Latest skidrow,p2p, indie game release. Easy
    torrent download, no virus https://ngedo
    wnloadgame.com/

    ReplyDelete
  17. Still, old games have some magic, but nothing compares to modern graphics. Students usually do not have enough time to play and rest, but this problem is solved by a simple click https://writeanessayfor.me/

    ReplyDelete
  18. Trucking Cube Provide Freight Charges, Lorry hires Bulk Transport, Cheapest Truck Rental Company, Hire a Truck, etc. If you want this kind of services at an affordable cost then contact Trucking Cube.

    Freight Forwarder Cost
    Container Shipping Rates

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you so much for providing such a nice information. Awaiting for your interesting solutions and ideas from you.

    PC Game Testing Services

    Mobile Game Testing Services

    Console Game Testing Services

    Video Game Testing Services

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hello friends, nice post and nice urging commented at this place, I am in fact enjoying by these.Regards Thanks for sharing this valuable information to our vision. You have posted a trust worthy blog keep sharing.

    software testing services
    software quality assurance services
    software testing services company
    Software Qa Services
    quality assurance service providers
    Performance testing services
    Security testing services
    software testing Companies

    ReplyDelete
  21. AGRA SERVICES & BEST SERVICES URVASHI

    Agra Call Girls Welcomes you to High profile Escorts Services in Agra. Agra is not just famous for Beautiful Taj but also Know for hot and Sexy Bold and Beautiful Girls. If you are one who is Looking for Love then you should visit for Agra Call Girls instead of Taj. We have lots of Sexy and high profile call girls in Agra at a very affordable price.

    Agra is full of tourist and they come from far away to have fun. Real men always look for red fun in bed. We Escorts Service provider in Agra is best to know for bold and beautiful sexy escort girls. Agra Call girls are so educated and belong to high profile background. Agra Escorts and call girls are here for fun and earn money to fulfill their expensive desires.

    Escorts in Haridwar
    Dehradun Escorts
    Call girl in Dehradun
    Dehradun Escorts
    Escorts Services in Haridwar
    Call girls in Haridwar
    Rishikesh Escorts
    Escorts in uttarakhand
    Call girls in Haridwar
    Call Girls in rishikesh
    Escorts Girls in rishikesh
    Independent Escorts in Rishikesh
    Escorts Services in gurgaon
    Escorts services in agra
    trenchless-water-line-replacement
    backwater-valve-installation
    sump-pump-installation

    ReplyDelete
  22. ESCORTS IN CONNAUGHT PLACE

    To reach Kashmiri Escort services in Connaught Place, you just need the internet, and you will find their contact number there. Within a period of 10 to 15 minutes, they will come back with many options and offers, while giving details of escorts that suit your needs and budget criteria. Kashmiri Escort, Kashmiri Escorts Connaught Place in Connaught Place, Kashmiri Escort Connaught Place Kashmiri Escort Agency. Here you can find all Indian websites for call girls

    Most call girls in Connaught Place are hot and beautiful and college girls, who are bold, outplayed and classy. These escort agencies spend a lot of time and money to hire air hostess escorts, only to give you 100% service and satisfaction. For them, customer satisfaction is the main criterion.

    CONNAUGHT PLACE ESCORTS
    HOT CALL GIRLS IN CONNAUGHT PLACE

    A NEW STEP CAN REACH TO THE HEAVEN IN HARIDWAR

    Every year thousands of people come to Haridwar, but for us it does not matter which purpose brings you here. Our only concern is to make you feel great and make your journey the best and unforgettable and if you also think that you want to make your journey successful, then you have to support us and you will have to book your meeting today.

    We promise you that we will provide you the most sophisticated, elegant and admirable maintenance service. We are very careful about our name and fame and dignity should be saved for the whole life why we can not compromise with service and convenience because we understand your precious desires, time and money. People are always eager to get to heaven, so that they can forget their problems and sorrows and reduce their loneliness, though we have to say here that if you want to become a happy man again and travel to heaven If you want to experience, then choose the service of Haridwar.

    need help
    Rishikesh Escorts

    ReplyDelete
  23. About Greenland

    Greenland is the largest island on the planet and the least populated country in the world. Most of the island is within the Arctic Circle, and the majority of the island is covered by the Northern Ice Cap, so the waters surrounding the northern shores remain frozen all year. Ice as thick as two miles can be found in the middle of the island, creating incredible mountaineering opportunities.
    The history of the island goes back as far as Eric the Red and his band of Vikings who settled on the southwestern coast. There is evidence of Norse habitation for 500 years, but during the Little Ice Age, their settlements disappeared. The inhabitants of the island are now mostly the Inuit peoples who have populated the region for nearly 1000 years.

    Cruise to Antarctica
    Cruises to Antarctica
    Antarctica Cruise
    Antarctica Cruises
    Antarctic Cruise
    Antarctic Cruises
    Tours to Antarctica
    Traveling to Antarctic
    Antarctic Travel
    Antarctic Tour
    Antarctic Vacation
    Antarctic Trips
    Antarctic Trip
    Antarctica Trip
    Antarctica Trips
    Antarctic Vacations
    Antarctic Tours
    Antarctica Tours
    plumbing toronto

    Antarctica Cruises | Antarctic Cruise | Antarctic Cruises | Tours to Antarctica | Traveling to Antarctic | Antarctic Travel |
    Antarctic Tour | Antarctic Vacation | Antarctic Trips | Antarctic Trip | Antarctica Trip | Antarctica Trips | Antarctic Vacations |
    Antarctic Tours | Antarctica Tours |

    ReplyDelete
  24. situs hondaqq dan pasarqq hampir wedeqq mirip dengan lipoqq situs yang asikqq jalankan meteorqq dan juga anda bisa pelangiqq melihat berbagai permainan qq fifaqq

    ReplyDelete
  25. Good post...

    They rarely get any hazard to do it. Being one of the main Chandigarh escorts’ companies in Chandigarh, it is our core duty to cater these offerings to our clients
    Chandigarh escorts
    Chandigarh escorts service

    VIP Chandigarh escorts

    Escorts service in Chandigarh
    Chandigarh escorts service

    ReplyDelete
  26. HOT EXOTIC AND MODERN DRESSING SENSE DEHRADUN CALL GIRLS

    Our Dehradun Call Girls are well educated and intelligent. They are modern and wear decent and sexy dresses that will make you fall in love with these hot Dehradun babe.
    They know how to behave like Girlfriend and when to behave like your fantasy girl. You can feel like you are spending time with your hot and seductive girlfriend with them.
    Dehradun Call girls know what attracts a man towards female and what a man expect from their service provider.

    Call girls in Dehradun
    Call girl in Haridwar
    RUSSIAN CALL GIRL IN DEHRADUN
    Modern Call Girl in Dehradun
    High Profile Call Girl Dehradun
    Best Call Girl In Dehradun
    Housewife Call girl in Dehradun
    Escorts in Dehradun
    Best escort service in Dehradun
    Escorts service in Dehradun
    High profile escort in Dehradun
    call girl in Dehradun
    RUSSIAN escort in Dehradun
    Sexy call Girl in Dehradun
    URVASHI Call Girl in Dehradun

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hire Hot and most Sexy Jaipur Independent escorts girls Jyoti Nasana for Full Entertentment. Jyoti have good figure and experience. Visit our site and Be a part of Best Jaipur Escorts Agency. our top class escort agency Provide quality escorts services in Jaipur.

    Escorts in Jaipur

    ReplyDelete
  28. Find The best perfect Escorts Service with Us. Ascorts Club is Safe and secure Escort Agency who Provide Vip Call Girls in india With many Big Cities. Hire indian Or Russian Escort Girls, Models, Celebrity, Local Call Girls.

    http://www.ascorts.club/bandra-escorts/
    http://www.ascorts.club/colaba-escorts/
    http://www.ascorts.club/navi-mumbai-escorts/
    http://www.ascorts.club/thane-escorts/

    ReplyDelete