Welcome. Your creeper returns for his annual self-indulgence and self-reflection on the gaming year that was.

I wanna say 2016 was weak, but I know it really wasn't. I've heard so many good things about so many games that came out, but I think 2016 was finally the year I "grew up," as it were. Lots of work hours, lots of sleep, lots of needing to pay the bills and enjoy life has left games juuuuust enough by the wayside that I can go a few days without playing anything and it doesn't totally break my heart. That being said, what I lacked in the number of games I played I made up for with the hours I spent with each one. I wrote on an old blog almost a decade ago that I couldn't understand why people rush through games just to be able t get to the "next" one, but I've felt myself fall into that hole time and time again over the years. This year, not so much. I'm not so desperate to wring all the pennies' worth out of my rental service so I'll keep games longer and enjoy them more. It's what well-made games deserve and what good games make me do anyway. :)

On with it!

10) Far Cry Primal

Ubisoft remade Far Cry 3 AGAIN and I said after Far Cry 4 that I wouldn't let them get away with it. But the scenery is breathtaking, the enemy AI feels much less cheap without guns and I got generally lost and caught up in the experience of Takkar and the Wenja more than once, so it makes my list.

9) Star Trek Online

It's hard to control with a controller, it's not all that to look at, battles are difficult and unwieldy and it takes a while to travel anywhere new.


I get to captain my own starship and have adventures decades after the time of Picard, Sisko and Janeway, so all flaws get swept away in my newly-rediscovered Trekkie mindset.

8 ) inFAMOUS Second Son

The inFAMOUS duology was one of my favourite experiences on the PS3 and Second Son does its best to capture that lightning in a bottle again. It's still incredibly fun as long as you acknowledge the inherent ridiculousness, but inFAMOUS always did a superpowered sandbox better than anyone and Second Son's Delsin Rowe is worthy of carrying on Cole McGrath's legacy, no matter which moral path you choose. Could've given us concrete before the final boss though, Sucker Punch.

7) Broforce

Broforce skirts the line between parody and homage to its inspiration while maintaining a perfect mix of fun and frustration without ever getting too difficult or too easy. It's also one of the most fun local co-op games I've ever played.

6) Until Dawn

David Cage didn't make Until Dawn but it follows the blueprint set forth by Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. The PS4's additional power is used very well because I forgot I wasn't looking at the real actors and the incredibly creepy locations gave me numerous jump scares and filled me with dread the further I pushed. I'm also glad I'm nosy, because finding many tangential documents, clues and pieces of evidence can make the story divert wildly, even moreso than in HR and BTS. It's a great experience, even if I'm VERY tired of every game with branching paths act like they're the first ones to ever think of it.

5) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Uncharted has always been awesome, but after UC3 I was tired of it. Uncharted 4 feels simaltaneously like a bit too much of a return to the well but also a massive upgrade. The story is well done, it looks like few things I've ever seen, the gameplay is refined and tooled just enough to still feel good and Uncharted 4 is still a great game and a great adventure. It's almost like returning to an old hangout after years of being away. You clearly recognize everyone. They've matured and grown up, but they're just as ready to get into trouble as ever. Nate tries his best to keep his adventurer side supressed, but to save his long-lost brother? Of course we're going to go on an insane, world-spanning quest!

4) Gone Home

I know, I'm years late to the Gone Home party, but man was it worth the wait. My first time through I kept expecting ghosts or a grisly murder-suicide scene to come up; the developers did a great job turning that trope onto its head. Once I finished the story all I wanted to do was start over looking for audio logs I'd missed and let the very heartwarming story wash over me again. Sam's voice actress absolutely nails every line and the house is full of clues and stuff to find and AHHHHH I loved playing this game.

3) Mirror's Edge Catalyst

I honestly forgot this was coming out until I was right on top of it, but the lack of hype or expectations greatly helped. The original Mirror's Edge had greatness buried somewhere inside of it, thrilling jumps and chases stuck underneath frustrating overly-complex controls, unfair puzzle and jump timing, confusing levels and crummy load times. Catalyst is easier and fairer to control, re-loads much more quickly (though not instantly, to my annoyance), has a toggle-able compass and has much more involving combat. Even if Faith not being allowed to use guns when all the enemies carry them feels like the game is cheating and laughing at you, nothing feels better than using some of the many combos to outwit them and knock them all on their asses. The sandbox city of Glass is a wonder to behold and fun to get around in, the side missions and collectibles don't feel shoehorned in like in so many Ubisoft games and the story is generally well done and touching in spots, even if it AGAIN refuses to fully end with no discernible sequel on the horizon.

2) Rock Band 4 (& Rivals)

I've always loved the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises, but even being as understanding as possible Rock Band 4 was not as good as Rock Band 3 when it came out. It felt more like 'Rock Band 2' 2, with a similar career mode, a much lower level of avatar customisation and a general UI downgrade. Also not helping was the disappearance of the keytar from RB3; without it, all imported RB3-era songs had their piano tracks deleted which makes for some VERY crappy songs on guitar and base. Rick Astley, Queen, etc. were so much fun before and are just BAD without a mixture of keys and guitar on the same track.

But being the comfort food-seeking fanboy that I am, I bought Rock Band 4's guitar bundle for my birthday last spring, got my old DLC and imports working and went nuts. New tiny changes make a big difference once you get used to them, such as the new Play a Show mode, in which you start with a selected song and them vote on a type of song ("something pop-rock," "from 1987," "with a female vocalist," etc.) until you want to stop. I also played the s### out of Career mode to have enough money to buy enough new clothes to make as many avatars of real people I know as possible. New good DLC dripped out over the next few months, and once Harmonix released Rivals, RB4's first expansion (instead of stupidly making an RB5) I was home again. The music is as fun to play as ever, Rivals Mode gives a new challenge with my song library each week that makes me want to play more and keep going up in tier (or at least not get demoted), and the new MadCatz guitar to a joy to hold and play with. Well done, Harmonix. Shut up and take my money.

1) Fallout 4

Odds are I would've had this list done weeks ago except that every night I just want to come home and play more Fallout 4.

It was a strange enough year that I honestly didn't have a clear cut number 1. I'll admit it was a little bit of a weak year personally; just look at what 2016 releases are nowhere to be found on my list. I was fairly sure Rock Band 4 was gonna take home the trophy until very late, but it would seem that I'm just the perfect sucker in the last few years for "The Bethesda RPG." I played a lot of Skyrim well into the year, finally clocking out with a Platinum trophy and 127 hours saved (lots of save scumming went on too). Fallout 3 was my #1 game its year, New Vegas was my #3 game its year and Skyrim was my #2 game its year. On Christmas Day I got Fallout 4, installed and patched it and have barely looked at any other game since. Aurora's adventures in the Commonwealth looking for her lost son and discovering what this terrifying new world has to offer is just as enthralling as Thomas' adventures in the Capital Wasteland, Kim's trek in the Mojave Wasteland and Unawen's long sleepless nights fighting through all the nooks and crannies of the provinces of Skyrim.

Having a voiced protagonist makes a world of difference, enough to let me fully plunge into this world. Yeah, maybe someone who'd been tricked into cryogenically sleeping for 210 years should freak out more, but honestly, if I can suspend my disbelief for nuclear-powered cars and servant robots I can buy that Aurora has a calm and balanced head on her shoulders. Building up my house next to home plate in old Fenway Park, taking out Super Mutants, Synths and @$$hole Raiders in power armor, reliving memories of a muderous merc through pieces of his brain and going on numerous other adventures with Dogmeat, Codsworth, Nick and Piper has been something I'd been missing since spamming magic spells to hit level 50 in Skyrim.

Maybe I'll get sick of Bethesda's brand of open-world Western RPG someday. But today is not that day. Thank you, version 1.8.7 of Fallout 4. You are my 2016 Game of the Year.

Posted by T_Prime Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:12:25 (comments: 5)
Tue, 31 Jan 2017 15:05:58
T-Prime.....Silent, but deadly.

Half nekkid FO4 chick?
Wed, 01 Feb 2017 22:36:09

My Fallout 4 girl was also half naked.

Thanks for reminding me about Mirror's Edge.

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 07:09:29
gamingeek said:
T-Prime.....Silent, but deadly.

Half nekkid FO4 chick?
edgecrusher said:

My Fallout 4 girl was also half naked.

Thanks for reminding me about Mirror's Edge.

I hope to be louder this year. I'd become a bit of a politics and blogs junkie the last year or two, and now I've deleted most news sites from my bookmarks and I just need a nice long break from that reality. What better way than to dive back into video games and a community I know cares a great deal? Let's see how long it takes me to hit 100 posts after only 5+ years as a member.cheeky

I dress her up a lot, but also keep her in her underwear a lot. Maybe 30/70? I'm levelled high enough that I don't need armour most of the time. And the dialogue from companions is hilarious. "Oh, what I wouldn't give for a camera right now!" "Uh, Blue...where are your pants?" "Miss Aurora! Going...natural today, are we ma'am? *ahem* Seriously ma'am, put on some pants."

Mirror's Edge Catalyst was great. I actually popped the orginal back in after I finished Catalyst's story, and the new one is SO MUCH more forgiving. I gave up trying to get past the original's tutorial; I'd hit the combo but it would fail me anyway, so f--- it. Catalyst doesn't do that at all.

Also, I'm a little proud that I made all these screenshots myself. The PS4's Share button is incredibly useful.

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 16:15:12
They recognise your attire? That's Sam and Max level irreverence. Awesome. I would be a dude wearing naught but a thong.
Sun, 05 Feb 2017 06:48:26

They recognize your lack of attire, at least. I also admit she'd probably be naked a whole lot too if I was playing on PC. (Or at least wear different underwear.) I don't know how people can play these games in first-person.

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