2016, just like every other console year, ebbed and flowed. Big games here, under the radar indie titles there, but one thing remains true, there was something that everyone could enjoy. Here at SheAttack, we like to pay homage to the year by going out with a bang letting you all know what games meant the most to us this year and what we hope to play next year. Maybe some of your favorite games of 2016 will be in our list!
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
I know it’s probably a little redundant at this point, but Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End wins my vote for Game of the Year: 2016. It was the bright spot in what was sort of an average year in terms of games releases for me (granted I haven’t had the chance to play Final Fantasy XV yet). Naughty Dog did what many companies don’t, which is live up to the hype surrounding the release of their big titles. If you already love Uncharted, you’re basically getting what you’re used to, just better. If Uncharted 4 is your introduction to the series, then you’re in for a treat. The story plays out beautifully, as a Naughty Dog story usually does. The voice actors were amazing as usual, almost as if they’d been wearing the characters for years (because they have). Graphically the game is, for lack of better words, really pretty. And though not perfect, the gameplay mechanics were the best in the series so far. My favorite kind of game is one where I feel like I’m controlling a movie and that’s exactly how I feel when playing Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. If you haven’t played it yet, do yourself a favor and get it.
As for 2017, it has me more than a little excited. As a huge Assassin’s Creed fan, Assassin’s Creed: Empire has me counting the days until Fall 2017, when new AC titles usually come out. The same goes for Quantic Dream’s upcoming choice-based title, Detroit. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, Spider-Man, and Horizon Zero Dawn also make my list of Most Anticipated for next year. 2017 is gonna be great, you guys.
- Brad F., Contributor
My favorite game of 2016 is Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. This series has meant so much to me since I bought the original Uncharted around 2009 (I bought it a little late), and as a fan of the series, Uncharted 4 gave me a lot of what the I have loved the series for with cinematic set pieces, great characters, and a worth while adventure around several walks of life. Although these were some of the reasons why I loved the game, they are not my main reason for giving it my GOTY. My main reason for choosing Uncharted 4 as my GOTY is because it achieved the goal that I wanted the game to have. I wanted it to have a clear identity from the rest of the series, and it did that in spades because of the incredible performances of the cast, the very intriguing sub plot of Henry Avery that seemed to unfold even when he wasn’t even there, and that the story wasn’t afraid to have more nuance and slow down the pace of the game to spend more time with the characters. Even The Last of Us did not have a sub plot as interesting as the one with the pirate utopia of Libertalia. Overall, it is an incredible conclusion to my number one favorite series of all time and I hope Naughty Dog never steers away from the studio I know them for now, and keep progressing forward.
- William B., Editor
My Game of the Year choice would have to be Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. My first game on the PlayStation 3, when I truly became a gamer, was “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves”. The love I have for this series has only continued to grow after my original mind-blowing experience with UC2. “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” defines what a beautiful game is: the graphics, the environments, the story, the voice acting. There is very little I can find to complain about in UC4. Quality stories in the medium of video games are what make me the happiest and UC4 is nothing short of that. This game is an amazing end to the adventures I have been lucky enough to go on with the “Uncharted” team and I truly believe it deserves to be called Game of the Year.
My most anticipated games for 2017 are For Honor, Horizon Zero Dawn, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Kingdom Hearts 3.
- Carly E., Editor
Paladins: Champions of the Realm
Though I often feel conflicted about online-only games being donned “game of the year” due to my old school upbringing, I honestly had the most fun this year playing a free-to-play hero shooter on Steam called Paladins. Although there was a lot of controversy around this game due to how it and Blizzard’s incredibly popular hero shooter, Overwatch, borrowed from one another, this one stood out to me because, 1) it’s free so there were no high stakes on giving it a shot and 2) the game has an immensely in-depth economy that allows it to stand apart from other games in that particular genre. In Paladins, you have two game modes. The first being siege, where your team fights to capture a central point and then defending or pushing a payload to further the game progression in your favor. The second mode being payload, where your team either defends or pushes a payload in your favor gaining you points. What I love the most about Paladins is that no matter what champion you main, you will never encounter another that plays like yours due to a feature called loadouts. Your loadouts correspond to each ability your champion possesses, except ultimate abilities, allowing you to add, increase, or decrease the effectiveness of each. This is where you choose which skills to focus on that cater to your personal play style. My main, voodoo priest, Mal’Damba, has these four skills that can be altered using loadouts: mending spirits (individual healing), gourd (team healing/crowd control and damage to opposing members), slither (evade), and armor/weapon (for standard attacks and overall defense). With my loadouts, I tend to focus more on his healing and evasive abilities to be more of an asset to my team in times of duress and to be increasingly mobile when in tough situations. On the other hand, if a player chooses to, they could focus more on his stun damage and defense instead making him more resistant to oncoming attacks and more likely to stun enemies in their tracks. Mal’Damba’s position is support (with an emphasis on healing and crowd control/stuns) and I have chosen to make him a pure support character. Regardless of if a champion is support class, damage class, flank class, or front line (tank) class, the loadout used for that champion could switch that character up to the player’s liking.
Another facet of the economy system in Paladins comes in the form of items, in-game burn cards that you use to buff certain aspects of your character that could help you during your current game. Items come in 4 categories: attack, defense, healing, and utility. There are 4-5 burn cards in each category with each card having 3 tiers of potency. Most tier 1 cards range from 200-300 credits (in-game points received for good deeds during play), tier 2 cards range from 600-800 credits, and tier 3 cards range from 900-1200 credits. Your items could help change the tide of the match when used strategically against the enemy team. In my opinion, the game feels very competitive as a result and rewarding when mastering a character and finding a loadout that suits your play style.
Some of my most anticipated games of 2017 include The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (for the 3rd time), Horizon: Zero Dawn (again), Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Cup Head!
- Nia Pierce, Founder/Editor-in-Chief
Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV was definitely the game of the year for me. I haven’t played a spectacular Final Fantasy game since 2001 and Final Fantasy XV fulfilled my expectations in many aspects. The choice to combine the open world aspect of games such as the GTA series with the battle system from Kingdom Hearts made the game extremely fun for me. Noctis is a solid hero because he has the weight of the world on his shoulders and all these responsibilities. Throughout the game he works hard to prove himself and overcome all the obstacles that hold him back and it’s quite amazing to watch. The brotherhood aspect between Noctis and his friends worked really well because watching them together really felt like watching genuine friends looking out for each other. The team at Square did a tremendous job showing the love and loyalty the guys had for each other.
The games that I am most looking forward to in 2017 are Horizon Zero Dawn, Detroit Become Human and Death Stranding.
- Nia R., Contributor
My game of the year definitely has to be Final Fantasy 15. With stunning visuals and a massive open world to explore, Final Fantasy 15 delivered on the hype it garnered. The four main characters have some of the best dialogue I’ve seen in video games to date. The playful banter really makes me feel as of I’m on a road trip with Noctis and his friends. Not to mention the superb voice acting and hours of gameplay the game boasts. There’s no doubt this game will be keeping me busy for weeks, and maybe even months, to come.
My most anticipated games for 2017 are Mass Effect Andromeda, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, and Kingdom Hearts 3.
- Anna M., Writer
Despite playing a lot of games this year, I didn’t complete many that were actually released this year. However, out of the ones that I did play, I definitely picked some top tier ones. The first one, that I’m sure comes to many people’s minds when they think about GOTY is Overwatch. What an impact that has made on so many people in my life. This has been by far the funnest (Is that a word? It is now.) multi-player first-person objective shooter (yes that’s a genre now too) I’ve ever played. Star Wars Battlefront (2015) and I had some great times, but the sheer variety of game modes that Overwatch has had so far, outweighs Battlefront ten to one. Of course I’m exaggerating a little, but there is no doubt that Overwatch has been the most fun I’ve had with friends consistently over half of this year. Even if I take breaks from it here and there, it’s always ready for me to come back. Another huge game for me this year was Senran Kagura Festival Versus. Don’t know this game? Please go look it up! I’d rather not spoil the awesomeness of it here. Fantastic and addicting game-play and that’s no lie. The third game on my list has to be Final Fantasy XV. I still haven’t had much time to put into the game but it’s just the right amount of chill and action to make it the perfect “chill out and game” game.
My true GOTY is probably a tie between Hyper Light Drifter and ABZU. Two of the most beautiful games I’ve played. Why are these at the top? Because they made me cry. Tears. Tears of joy – and sorrow – and just “OMG look at how beautiful this is” (it’s true, I have video evidence of this). Hyper Light Drifter is a great action game with an art style that is just, well, I can’t even describe it. ABZU was just as much of a masterpiece as Journey was. I’ve played the game through three times and will probably play through it again in the future. It was a short, but unforgettable journey and story. If there was ever any gripe about the game it’s that I wanted to play more of it. To summarize, indies dominated 2016 for me despite still having time to put some love into the more mainstream games out there.
- Char S., Writer
Oxenfree is a great cross of an indie sci-fi teen horror. There are multiple ways to complete and play. Sometimes you might ask yourself if the decision you made was the right one or did you just doom everybody. As the game progresses, you’re left questioning which way is up and which way is out. The graphics are like a moving comic book with 3D characters followed by unique game-play that draws you in further.
The games I look forward to for 2017 are Kingdom Hearts 3, Detriot: Become Human, Horizon Zero Dawn, Crash Bandicoot Remastered, and Parappa The Rappa Remastered.
- Fosette (Cookie) A., Writer
Ratchet & Clank
2016 has been a great year to be a gamer no matter what systems you own. I’ve played and beat tons of games this year but only one can be my game of the year. It was a tough choice but I must say that Ratchet and Clank, stole my heart this year. Before PlayStation Experience 2015, Ratchet and Clank wasn’t even on my radar. I was a fan of the series, but I felt that during the PlayStation 3’s era, Ratchet and Clank just felt too over saturated. I’m a huge fan of the first 3 games in the series and after that I found myself wanting the series to take a break and comeback fresh. After hearing about the Ratchet and Clank movie coinciding with the game, I was kind of skeptical and kept my expectations low. However after doing my research on the game and realizing that the game wouldn’t be based on the movie, but a retelling of the first game, I changed my outlook. To be honest, the positive news is what actually warmed me up to the game as well as finally seeing some gameplay and screenshots. After getting my hands on a build at PlayStation Experience 2015, I knew I had to pick this game up. It blew me away! Ratchet and Clank brought out the kid in me and made me fall in love with the series all over again. Some of the main things I liked about the game was…it was just fun. It was a great palate cleanser from the shooters and RPGs I was playing at that time. From the upgraded graphics to a different outlook on the story from the first game plus excellent platforming and level design, Ratchet and Clank should be the benchmark on how developers do a remasters/reimaginings of older titles across the board.
My most anticipated games for 2017 are Persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Red Dead Redemption, and Scalebound.
- Jaleesa F., Field Manager, Team Lead, & Writer
Dark Souls 3
Choosing my Game of the Year was not easy this year. There were many good games but unlike previous years, there wasn’t that one that stood above everything. I liked a lot of games equally this year so I decided to base my decision on which game I spent the most time and had the most fun with and that has to be Dark Souls 3. When it comes down to it, the Souls series still amazes me with its intense boss battles and beautiful combat. Even though I felt Dark Souls 3 was a bit easier than the previous games, there is no question that the Soulsborne series has forever changed my gaming life. Combat and how complex and precise it is, is more important now than ever thanks to this series. Nothing beats the Soulsborne grind of being punished for my mistakes and then learning from them. Dark Souls 3 was no exception! Not to mention, it also has some of the most epic boss battles ever. Combined with a killer soundtrack, some of these bosses were flat out amazing and because of that alone, Dark Souls 3 should always be in the 2016 Game of the Year discussion. So, this one’s for you Dark Souls 3!! My GOTY. P.S. Please remaster Demons Souls.
5 games I’m looking forward to in 2017 are The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Ni-oh, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and For Honor.
- Erica C., Manager of Operations, Team Lead, & Writer
2016 was full of interesting things that could appeal to any gamer. Some of them were even surprises that went under the radar. If your personal game of the year wasn’t one of ours, comment and express why it was your favorite!