This has been a very slow year. After how amazing last year was, it’s to be expected. This year has had a lot of delays, a lot of VERY cool reveals, and wonder about what will happen. It’s looking like next year will be pretty quiet too. I am working on my Most Anticipated Games of 2017 list, and my top entries haven’t been confirmed for next year, but it’s a decent guess that they will be released then. I was so hoping that my favorite game of this year would be Final Fantasy XV. After ten years of waiting, I was so stoked for what I believed to be the best display. However, such was not the case. That was a very good game that was being held back by a completely lackluster story and a third act that was downright boring. No joke, everything after going to Altissia is dull a fuck.
With that said, the game that took the top spot this year was one that I didn’t expect. When I first saw the reveal trailer, I was so certain that this was going to be a snooze. I mean, how could this possibly be any good? So glad to see that I was wrong. It shouldn’t have come to me as any shock, considering that It was made by Naughty Dog. After the reveal of the sequel to The Last of Us, I am so hopeful for what I will see next. My pick for the best game of 2016 is…
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Man did this game do it right. So many truly great franchises crash and burn at the end. Probably the most famous example is Mass Effect. Right up to the very end, that franchise was so fucking good. But then, in its final minutes, the whole narrative just falls apart. Everything after the Victory Fleet goes to Earth is terrible. You have no idea how depressing that was. Perhaps the hardest thing for any franchise to do is end well. I don’t deny, it is a tricky gambit. But this game showed that it could be done, and done incredibly well.
First, this is the most beautiful game I have ever seen. Bar none. The visuals are a step above, which helps bring to life a story that has some fantastic depth. Whether it be examining Nate and his inability to let the treasure hunter life go, or what it means to be married and have it be “until death do you part,” there are so many wonderful relationships that are examined, with the express purpose of bringing the franchise to a close. Sure, it does bring up a plot convenience in Nate’s brother, but with Troy Baker doing the voice, along with an amazing introduction section, he fits right in. Not to mention we are back with our main man Sully once-again. Add in Elena giving Nate shit, and it’s like getting to go on one last adventure with a family that we have known for so long.
Then there is the fact that this game is so damn fun! Whatever your play style, the game accomodates you. Whether it be running and gunning, or doing what I do and getting your stealth on. It is just so much fun to explore the beautiful landscapes and shooting up the place or picking the enemy off one by one. We also get these wide open landscapes to explore, to take in the beautiful vistas and get to hear our characters play off each other. There wasn’t a single level in the entire game where I was like, “wow, seen this before.”
Finally, the game brings the franchise to a definitive end with a perfect epilogue. Nate’s place on that beach is fucking amazing. Sure, it is a hipster house, but if I had the chance to live there, you bet your ass I would take it. I loved this game, and it makes going through the entire franchise again that much better. We get to see how it all ends, and that is why it is my favorite game of this year.
Until next time, a quote,
“Sic Parvis Magna, little brother.” – Sam Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End