“Game of the year” is a highly coveted award in the gaming industry. We see a plethora of “game of the year edition” repackaging of various games but there can only be one game to rule them all. Last year, The Witcher 3 took home the crown as prom king of 2015 and it was well-deserved. The Witcher 3 was masterful to say the least and the folks over at CD Projekt Red are worthy of the praise. We’re half way through July and we’re going to take a look at the GOTY contenders to come out during the first half of this year and decide whether or not these games stand a chance of winning the coveted crown.
Uncharted 4 is the final installment in Nathan Drake’s adventure. It released earlier this year to widespread critical acclaim. It sits on a score of 93 on both OpenCritic and MetaCritic. Set 3 years after the events of Uncharted 3, Nathan Drake has apparently left the world of fortune hunting behind. However, it doesn’t take long for adventure to come calling when Drake’s brother, Sam, re-emerges asking for his help to save his own life and offering an adventure Drake cannot resist. The Uncharted series is without a doubt PlayStation’s biggest property so it’s no wonder it’s made this list. Despite suffering multiple delays from its original unveiling, Uncharted 4 is the latest from Naughty Dog, a studio renowned for making highly acclaimed games. It’d be a crime not to put Uncharted 4 on this list as a Game of the Year contender for 2016. Uncharted 4 can only be played on PS4.
From the makers of 2010’s critically acclaimed Limbo, Inside goes one step further and has attained a score of 92 on MetaCritic (two points higher than Limbo) and gained a 10/10 from IGN. Ryan McCaffrey’s beautifully written review praised Inside as a “masterpiece” and the man himself called it one of the [easiest 10’s I’ve ever given.] It stuns me that an indie game can go toe-to-toe with giant AAA games. Games that have upwards of $50 million development costs and yet a small title like Inside can stop everyone in their tracks and gain such critical acclaim. Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project. The game is shrouded in mystery and is one that you owe it to yourself to experience. With an indie-appropriate price tag and a masterfully crafted experience, Inside is without a doubt a game of the year contender for 2016. As of the time of this article, Inside is only available on Xbox One and PC.
DOOM seems to have taken most people by surprise. Following a lacklustre open beta, it appeared that hype had reduced for the game but an impressive campaign and better than expected review scores made this game a stand-out title in the first half of this year. There is no taking cover or stopping to regenerate health in campaign mode as you beat back Hell’s raging demon hordes. Combine your arsenal of futuristic and iconic guns, upgrades, movement and an advanced melee system to knock-down, slash, stomp, crush, and blow apart demons in creative and violent ways. It was a surprise but a welcome one; DOOM is an age-old name in the industry and it’s now been made popular again.
Dark Souls 3
Dark Souls 3, developed by Japanese developer FromSoftware, is the latest chapter in the Dark Souls series with its trademark sword and sorcery combat and rewarding action RPG gameplay. Players travel across a wide variety of locations in an interconnected world of unrelenting challenge and deep RPG gameplay as they search for a way to survive the coming apocalypse. Dark Souls is a series that has always achieved critical success and Dark Souls 3 continues that trend of succcess for the series. Whilst it may be more challenging than ever, Dark Souls 3 takes the series out with dignity and greatness.
2016 is by no means over yet and we’ve still got the biggest season of games still yet to arrive. The holiday season brings with it a plethora of games and some of which we very much expect to be Game of the Year contenders. For instance, games such as Final Fantasy 15, Forza Horizon 3, Mafia 3, Gears of War 4, The Last Guardian, Watch Dogs 2, Below, Cuphead, We Happy Few and more could all stand a chance of being crowned GOTY so we’ll have to wait a few more months before finding out which wins but it’s safe to say that gamers win overall because 2016 has been, and will continue to be a great year for games.