For many people, 2016 will be the year that saw alot of grief, political shock, and grief over alot of our most talented artists and actors. However, we in the world of video games, perhaps see 2016 as a good year for video games because of the number of great shooters that released. It’s rare to have a year with so many great shooters, the last year that saw plenty of shooters was possibly 2004 which saw Half Life 2, Halo 2, and a number of great shooters.
In 2016, we saw the colorful, the bleak, the grim and story-driven shooters that took place among the unique of places that included Earth, Mars, and the blood soaked trenches of the Great War. Here, I examine the year and the presence of the FPS, it’s successes and it’s failures.
Although, majority of the shooters in 2016 had strong multiplayer experiences, one of the unique experiences or trends was that EA was slowly backing out of the multiplayer area of previous years for single player experiences. The last three Battlefield games were criticized for it’s lack of strong single player experiences, while Titanfall and Battlefront lacked any content or single player modes. This year, however was a back step in favor of a strong singleplayer and also strong multiplayer with Battlefield 1. Not only was the singleplayer for Battlefield 1 emotional, but it was very strong with strong writing and strong characters. It was a very strong campaign due in part to the anthology format that the campaign had: Players went from Gallipoli to the skies above France and beyond, it was very enjoyable as well as a strong multiplayer.
The strong multiplayer accompanied the strong singleplayer, although it butted heads with the dark and somber tone of the campaign, it is one of the most exciting, immersive, and cinematic multiplayer experiences that I’ve ever played. The Operations gamemode is a legit multiplayer experience that tell you the history of each battle that was fought during the Great War, it keeps you coming back for more.
Another great shooter from 2016 was DOOM. It was a return to form and a return to the good old days of shooters, this was a game that was on many people’s Game of the Year lists and for good reason. DOOM’s campaign returned us to the days where there wasn’t unlocks or XP or big action set pieces, the entire game was a big action set piece. From cool looking executions to blasting a demon in half with the Shottie was very cool.
When I first played DOOM, I didn’t know what to expect, I hadn’t played DOOM in quite a while. It was nearly a decade when I last played DOOM which was DOOM 3. DOOM in 2016 surprised me and I keep remembering the experience to this day, it is definitely one of the greatest shooters of 2016. It took a step back to the past with an exciting 12 hour campaign that had no patience for good storytelling and was all about the gameplay. A fantastic blast to the past.
2016 marked the 13th installment into the Call of Duty franchise with Infinite Warfare, Infinity Ward struggled after the successes of Treyarch’s Black Ops III and Sledgehammer’s Advanced Warfare. Ghosts was a complete disaster of a game, it fell to capitalize on the success of the Modern Warfare Trilogy and the first two Black Ops so they abandoned it in favor of Infinite Warfare, another game in the basket of futuristic shooters and I must say: It is a very different Call of Duty to Ghosts and to Modern Warfare 3, a game that I completely despise.
I returned to Call of Duty this year so I can see what has changed in the year’s since Advanced Warfare, nothing really has changed but it is very different. This year’s installment offers tactical freedom, a somewhat strong story and super duper fun zombies. It has emerged as a great addition to the series, although I’m getting tired of the same old formula ( I have a love / hate relationship with the franchise.) . I’m still waiting on my Vietnam or WW2 Call of Duty to return us to the days of CoD 2, WaW, or the Original Black Ops.
This year saw the release of many people’s Game of the Year and that happened to be Overwatch, a game that took this year and possibly the earth by storm. The game has emerged as a complete cultural phenomenon, branching out to casual players to parodies and drowning the internet with fanart and other entertainment.
No matter if the gameplay is alright, the game itself is a complete masterpiece of multiplayer shooters and it’s one of those games that releases once under a blue moon, the characters are funny, you can easily relate to them, they’re all memorable and it’s so easy to get into the game and pick your character. It’s a formula that’s unbeatable and rare, it’s so rare that the game can have that influence to reach other industries or have that much power to get everybody talking about. It’s simply inescapable.
In 2017, this year looks to be a little bare for the shooter side although we’re still in the early stages of the year: Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Battlefield 1: They Shall Not Pass, Destiny 2, Star Wars: Battlefront II, and Sledgehammer’s Call of Duty is set to be released this year but I know very little of these upcoming games so stay tuned.
What do you think of 2016? Was it a great year for games? Comment below.