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The Escapist's 2016 Game of the Year

The Escapist Staff | 1 Jan 2017 16:00
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After we chose the winners of The Escapist Awards 2016, we had a much harder decision ahead of us: which of the very deserving games of 2016 would be our game of the year?

There were a number of deserving candidates in 2016 from just about every genre, so we sat down hashed it out over the last few weeks. The ballots are in, the winners are chosen, and now it's time to share them with you. So, without further ado, here is our pick for Game of the Year 2016.

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2016 Game of the Year Winner

Overwatch


Developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. Released on May 24, 2016. Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One.

Steven says: Only Blizzard could have made Overwatch. It is mechanically sound, has a ton of free post-launch support, and is so professionally polished it shines. While plenty of other studios could have managed a game with one, or two of these qualities, only Blizzard could have pulled off all three.

Overwatch was salvaged from Blizzard's failed Titan MMO, which explains why the world, characters, and story are so incredibly rich in spite of the game being a multiplayer shooter. It's the studio's first true new IP in over 20 years, and you can tell that Blizzard put so much effort into making it stand out. The characters of Overwatch really pop in a way that none of its other IPs do. Sure, Jim Raynor or Thrall or Diablo Necromancer Guy have their own personalities, but they don't have the same style that Overwatch characters have.

Overwatch wins our game of the year because it shows us that after all this time, Blizzard still has a few tricks up its sleeve. It shows us that multiplayer-only titles are okay as long as they pack enough value. It shows us that games are more fun when they don't take themselves so seriously. And finally, it shows us that frantic 6v6 combat with a cast of colorful, unique and incredibly well-balanced characters is hella fun.

In 20 years, people will be talking about Overwatch the same teary-eyed way they talk about the likes of Quake, Team Fortress and Unreal Tournament today.

2016 Game of the Year Runner-Up

DOOM


Developed by id Software and published by Bethesda. Released on May 13, 2016. Available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Ron says: When id Software announced that they were working on a remake of Doom, I was understandably skeptical. After all, you don't just remake one of the seminal games in the industry. Except they did, and it turned out great.

The genius of the new Doom is that it manages to blend together the best aspects of the classic game with the features that modern gamers expect. This is no cover shooter - it's a high-octane, fast-paced, run-and-gun extravaganza. This is emphasized by the "Glory kills" system that rewards you with health and even ammo when you finish off a staggered opponent with a melee attack. id added in a solid upgrade system for weapons, armor, and other things, but the focus of the game is on shooting stuff in the face, just as it should be. The campaign story isn't deep, and it doesn't need to be.

The multiplayer is sparsely populated these days, and that's because it's the weakest aspect of the game. It was co-developed by Certain Affinity, and somewhere in the move from single-player to multiplayer, the game loses the pacing that makes the single-player so great. It's not that the multiplayer is bad, it just feels very different than the campaign.

If you're a fan of old-school shooters, or you just love the classic Doom feel, you should absolutely play this Doom.


So, what was your pick for Game of the Year 2016? Do you agree with us or not? Let us know in the forums!

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