For the most part, 2016 was a good year for gaming. A very good year, in fact. There were a lot of really good releases, which I’ll get around to for one of these. Actually, there were so many that I missed a lot of big titles, and while not everything on this list I can say is “really good”, they’re big enough releases that I feel bad about missing them. So without further delay, here are the 5 top games I missed in 2016
I’m a fan of indie, story-driven games. I also like unique art styles. So Oxenfree should be right up my alley, right? And it is! Except the bit where I half-watched someone stream the last part of their playthrough. I had next to no idea what I was watching, but it kind of messed things up for me, so I’m just giving myself a month to completely forget things. I’ve heard nothing but great things, and I want to be able to fully experience those things with as much of a blank slate as possible.
4. Titanfall 2
I never played the original Titanfall. It just flew under my radar and I’m not really into modern military shooters — I like to not die from a stray bullet, if at all possible. Not only that, but I’m not someone who really plays multiplayer games consistently (Hell, I got Overwatch at launch and am only level 55), so the lack of campaign meant Titanfall was an even less likely purchase. But Titanfall 2 boasted that it was going to have a campaign, and even that new maps would be free. I should be supporting that… with my money, I mean. But it picked the absolute worst time to release, and now has a dying multiplayer community. I may pick it up at some point for the campaign, but it’s just not that high a priority.
3. The Witness
Jonathan Blow’s first game since Braid, The Witness game was decently hyped up as one of 2016’s big games. I… did not get it. As in either the hype or the game. Visually, it looks very nice, with a nice painted style, and some nice architecture. But as a game it just seems to be a line puzzle game. I can’t justify paying so much (39.99 USD!) for a game that seems to just not have much to it. Apparently there’s a story there for those who want it, but when it’s so hidden and obscured by line puzzles, I just can’t justify getting this quite yet.
2. The Last Guardian
I’m a huge fan of Team ICO. I love how they provide just enough detail in their games so that players have a motivation, while being obscure enough that analysing and dissecting their games is possible, while also having enough recurring motifs that they’re games do feel connected. But I didn’t play The Last Guardian. It apparently is pretty hit-or-miss with audiences, more Ico than Shadow of the Colossus. But I will get around to it! It’s just that I still haven’t finished Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian warrants my full, undivided attention.
1. That Dragon, Cancer
Oh man… So I’m a fan of experimental, narrative-driven games. I really am. Journey and The Beginner’s Guide are among my favourite games of all time. But this game… it’s just too heavy. Made by a couple about their child who died from cancer, it’s something I just wouldn’t feel comfortable approach with a critical, analytical mindset, even if I was in the right mindset to play something like this. But I really do want to play it. I think making a video game like this is not only an interesting way to tell such a tragic story, but also a great creative outlet. The Beginner’s Guide, to me anyway, was about this very thing: video games as a way of artistic expression. One day, when I’m feeling particularly relaxed but also ready to have my heart broken, I’ll play it. But I just haven’t had one of those days yet.