2016: A Year in Gaming and Expectations of 2017

Well, 2016 is drawing to a close, it’s time to take a look back on what this year has been like in the realm of video games. There have been disappointments, surprises, highs and lows. There are a few trends that I wish would disappear, and thankfully one of my biggest problems with games seems to be on it’s way out: Season Passes.

Now, companies such as EA and Activision will probably take a bit longer to get away from the idea of a Season Pass. It’s a really anti-consumer practice, do you really want to pay $70+ on launch day for the game AND the season pass just to ensure you get all the content? I don’t, especially if I’m unsure of the quality of the content. Look at Fallout 4 for example, the DLC released by Bethesda has been extremely hit or miss and now if you want the Season Pass it’ll come at a juicy $39.99 price, which is actually UP from the initial cost of $19.99! It’s ridiculous to say the least, and I hope this practice just dies a quick death.

Game launches seemed to be more stable this year overall. I was part of the Battlefield 1 launch and experienced absolutely no server issues, I’ve read that Titanfall 2 also had a very smooth launch. Overwatch also had a smooth launch and is easily one of my favorite games of the year (I’ll have a post later where I discuss my top games of 2016, if I feel I have enough material to write about anyway). Big multiplayer games had a good year this year overall.

What about single-player focused games? Weeelll, there was a bit of a kerfuffle surrounding No Man’s Sky. If you’re into video games then you probably heard and saw many advertisements for No Man’s Sky, a space exploration game where you can discover a bazillion planets and each planet will be different and have unique flora and fauna! I haven’t had the displeasure of playing the game myself so I cannot pass off a proper judgement of the game, but suffice to say I’m really not sure I’ll ever be paying more than $10 for the game at this rate. Will Hello Games ever be able to fix it? Only time will tell, but I’m afraid Hello Games has damaged their reputation beyond repair. How do you go from making Joe Danger to No Man’s Sky anyways? It wasn’t a match made in heaven.

Good games though! Yes, there were some very good games in 2016, see my Uncharted 4 review to see what I thought about that game (Spoiler: I liked it). Dark Souls III was definitely the game that I played most this year, clocking in over 70 hours. Doom was a complete surprise, I don’t think many people expected the campaign in that game to be what it was and I beat that game in two sittings during a long weekend. Shouldn’t forget about Tyranny either, a late entry to my library it is becoming one of my favorite D&D style RPGs.

I’ll get back to those in a minute, right after I talk about some games that I missed this year. The list is pretty exhausting: Civ VI, Titalfall 2, Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, Planet Coaster, Hitman, Watch Dogs 2, Dishonored 2, INSIDE, The Witness, Ratchet & Clank, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian … etc., etc. The list goes on and on. Having a career and being a grown up really sucks sometimes because I find it hard to find the effort needed to plow through a lengthy game like Final Fantasy XV. The fact that Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian are out within a month of each other is just crazy to me, never looked like these games were going to get out of development purgatory.

Anyway, the games that I did play were all very good so there’s no much point in me giving you reviews of Dark Souls III and Doom because really you should just play them. Dark Souls III doesn’t re-invent the wheel but it really feels like a love letter to all the fans of the Dark Souls games and Bloodborne. Doom, as stated earlier, was a complete surprise and almost took my top spot for best campaign in an FPS. Wolfenstein: The New Order still holds that trophy though.

Looking forwards, what am I excited about in 2017? There’s one game that I’ve been waiting for for years: Persona 5. Words can’t express just how excited I am for this game to finally be released, I played Persona 4 to almost 100% completion on the PS2 and then played the hell out of it when it was re-released as Persona 4 Golden on PS Vita. The game just oozes with style, the menus are responsive and flashy in the best possible way. It’s hard to say at this point whether Persona 5 will dethrone Persona 3 as one of my favorite games of all time, but I’m open minded to the possibility.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is another game I’m looking forward to. Hopefully Bioware learned some valuable lessons during the development of the Commander Shepard trilogy. Cut content really caused Mass Effect 3 to just drown in a sea of it’s own false promises. Couple that with the extremely poor handling of the DLC (It still costs a large amount of money to obtain all Mass Effect 2 and 3’s DLC, never mind even trying to get Mass Effect’s Bring Down the Sky or Pinnacle Station DLC) and there’s plenty for Bioware to improve upon.  Many comments on Reddit and Youtube on the recent gameplay trailers have some people concerned that Mass Effect: Andromeda will simply be Dragon Age: Inquisition In Space… honestly it doesn’t bother me that much, I was completely enamored with DA:I’s world and if ME: A can deliver something similar I will be SO happy about it.

Quite a few great looking games are planned for release in 2017: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Red Dead Redemption 2, Gravity Rush 2, Nioh, Lego Worlds for consoles, Nier: Automata, etc.

Horizon Zero Dawn looks interesting but I haven’t seen enough of the game to pass off much  judgement on it. A remaster of the first three Crash Bandicoot games was announced, which will definitely hit the nostalgia buttons of MANY people. The Last of Us Part II was teased, no release date was given and I doubt it’ll be released on 2017.

Days Gone was teased at E3 2016, developed by the same studio that did Syphon Filter. Not much else has been released about the game since the announcement at E3. I’m genuinely curious to see what will come of this game or if it will be stuck in development purgatory.

Before the new year is rung in, I plan on having at least a few more reviews out for games from this year. Not sure what games they’ll be, but I’m planning on The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy XV and possibly Watch Dogs 2. The Last Guardian will most likely be first, Final Fantasy XV seems like a game that will take me much longer to finish. I’m the worst kind of completion, I will turn over every rock if there’s collectibles to be found.

I probably forgot to mention a game or 5 but whatever. I’ll probably start adding more images to posts I make, looks more lively I hear. Working on my YouTube channel and Twitch stuff as well, keep an eye out for that cause I’m sure it’ll be awful.

TL;DR I missed a lot of vidya from 2016 but I’ll get around to them. I’m excited about 2017 ’cause of Persona 5 and Mass Effect: Andromeda.

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