My Top Games I Couldn’t Get To In 2016

A sign of how good 2016 was for video games is the fact that I’m devoting a post to games I really wanted to get to this year but couldn’t play in any significant quantity before it came time to recount the year’s games. This is why award shows like BAFTA, the DICE Summit, the GDC awards, and the Oscars are held in spring, but almost everybody in video games seems to love doing Game Of The Year Awards in December or even November, and I’ve already established a pattern of making it my last post of the year. Partly I just don’t like dwelling on the previous year while the next one is fresh and new. This time around it’s also because quarter-one video game releases for 2017 look like they’re hitting the ground running.

The following are just games I was very interested in playing which came out this year, but which I haven’t had the time to. I’m just making this post so when I do put down my ultimate 2016 list on Friday no one gets mad about omissions. This isn’t even every game I thought was “great” in 2016, just what I was most interested in playing.

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I’ve more or less followed the decade-long development of what once was Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but I know pretty much jack squat about the Final Fantasy XV that Square Enix actually shipped. I honestly don’t know what to make of what I’ve seen of the final product. Did Square Enix really pull through or is it a disjointed mess trying to figure out what it wants to be and settling on “something” in order to just ship?

I’ve got a rental disc sitting near me right now so I promise to at least start Final Fantasy XV sometime in the near future. Starting it is all I can promise though. With everything else out or coming out, plus just life in general, this game is going to have to be something extraordinary to pull me away.

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The 2016 Hitman game seems to be up my alley in almost every way: It’s a stealth game about open-ended sandboxes, emphasizing systemic, free-form gameplay. Everything I’ve heard about it suggests a very fun assassination simulator.

I guess I just wasn’t sure about the episodic model — hopping into that $60 season pass. I’d resolved I was going to wait for others’ impressions as well as the eventual full release. What blindsided me was the full season being put on sale for $15 over the holidays. So far though as of this writing I’ve only had time to grab it and install the first episode. I hope to get on it somewhere on the other side of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Dishonored 2, but we’ll see if something else major isn’t already out by that time.

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I think new developer The Coalition seems to know what makes Gears of War games fun. I don’t know how the campaign in its first attempt, Gears 4, stacks up to Gears 3, but it’s very good in its own right. It gets the fundamentals of Gears so people who enjoyed the campaigns in the previous main games should enjoy this one. I just wish I could have gotten into horde mode more.

Horde is the main reason I even jumped on one of those Gears 4 deals over the holidays, enduring a nine-hour, 80 gigabyte download. Horde in Gears 3 is one of the only online shooters I’ve ever cared about and it’s a shame I’ve gotten barely any opportunity to really get into the Gears 4 iteration. I’ve tried a couple sessions but never found a team willing to stick around past wave 3.

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I bought and installed this on Steam day one and just didn’t touch it for some reason. The first two Zero Escape games are just about the only visual novels that have captivated me. I’d been anticipating Zero Time Dilemma just as much as any big fan .

Maybe it’s the fact that No Man’s Sky came out at basically the same time. Maybe it really is the number of good games that have come out in 2016. Come to think of it though, it did take me a little while to really get started on each of the other Zero Escape games at the time too. I don’t know how much longer I can dodge spoilers on this one though.

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After my awkward impressions of the Forza Horizon 3 demo I decided to take advantage of one of the holiday deals for the game. Despite being really unsure of what I’d tried in the demo, something made me want to return to it, and I guess that’s proof of a good product.

One thing might be how gorgeous Horizon 3 looks, but what I also sense is that it has really good “game feel.” Game feel is what some have described as the sensation you get from video games with just the right synergy between tight controls, sweet audio design, and graphics that just “pop.” Even since installing the full game I only got to play a few hours but wasn’t turned away but what I played. If nothing else Horizon 3 could be a good pick-up-and-play game every now and again.

BULLETS:

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