Other Favorite Games of 2016:
Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One)
Developer: Playground Games
The Forza series has become a yearly franchise for the Xbox. After Forza Motorsport 4, I stopped playing, as it slowly looked like it was going ‘full simulation’ to compete with the Gran Turismo franchise. That changed at E3 2012, when Microsoft showed off a game that would be developed by the Project Gotham Racing crew that formed Playground Games. After previously cruisin’ the open environments of Colorado, then Europe, and now Australia, what stands out is that you’re the host of the event. You plan the parties, music, and who you hire/fire, all while having fun races with the open world environment that takes full use of High Dynamic Range (If you’re TV supports it). What I love about the franchise is the use of blending arcade and simulation driving with lots of content to keep the game in my Xbox for a long time.
If there is a drawback, it’s the Play Anywhere feature. I would’ve loved to play this on my gaming PC, but heard the game has performance issues when gaming at 60 fps. That doesn’t matter since physical owners don’t have access to the PC version. It wasn’t till after E3 I learned that the feature only applies to digital buyers. I feel cheated learning this, but other than that, I look forward to seeing where the Forza Horizon series go next.
Batman: The Telltale Series (Xbox One)
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
As much I loved the Batman games from the NES, to the Arkham series, there is one thing I feel the games lack that the movies and animated series do, learn about the man behind the mask, Bruce Wayne. With Telltale games being a point and click adventure, I was intrigued with how they would handle the franchise. I liked that they created a new story and handled the characters differently. After the first episode, I assumed they wouldn’t go through with it. Not to spoil anything, but looks are deceiving with the backstory of Bruce. While Batman is present with beating baddies and solving puzzles, I like that Bruce is front and center and hope they can continue the series. Though I doubt it with Telltale being busy with other projects.
*Doom* (Xbox One) Honorable Mention
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Rebooting a franchise is a risk/reward that can help with a dormant series. When the rebooted trailer was shown at E3 2015, people were excited that the reboot is going back to the style of the first two games. What happens next is why I waited to play the game myself and don’t rely on the bipolar world of cyberspace. When the beta was released, people were negative on it and declared the game bad. I thought the beta was okay, but nothing amazing. When the game released, naysayers flipped the script with the single player content.
I recently finish playing the single player mode and had a blast. While the game got brutal towards the end, it was nice to play a run-and-gun game to a metal soundtrack. The story, for the most part, took a backseat as the game starts with the character smashing the screen as he was getting information. Had I played this game earlier this would’ve been placed higher on my list.