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Dec
27
2016

Klein Maetschke’s Top 10 Games of 2016

Klein has actually had more time for games this year, and has rounded-up a powerful Top 10 Games he’s played in 2016. Yes, a few of them are from his 2015 list, but that doesn’t mean those games haven’t done something worthwhile to earn a place onto this year’s list – though, there sure is a lot of shooting on this list.

10. SUPERHOT

It’s rare a game as unique as SUPERHOT comes along. Its got unique gameplay, challenging levels, and entertaining exploits. They even throw you for a loop with a plot, presumed to be an excuse for the gameplay, that turns your previous work on its head.

SUPERHOT has recently added VR support, as well. Which seems too meta to make me comfortable to recommend that aspect of the game.

9. Insurgency

Before Battlefield 1 came along, Insurgency was my go-to for a gritty war-like experience. A bit akin to Battlefield 1‘s “hardcore” game mode, you’re not given hit-markers or even told when you’ve killed an engaged enemy. You have to work closely with your team or risk being overrun by a team with better tactics. This isn’t a AAA title, to be sure. The graphics leave a lot to the imagination, but it doesn’t totally ruin the immersion.

8. Tom Clancy’s The Division

A contested pick, no doubt. The Division is a game that never quite lived up to the impossible hype it built for itself. It was a brilliant game for the first 40 hours, so it was certainly worth the cost, but didn’t offer much after that. The “end-game” was poorly managed and, compounded by rampant hacking, the PVP aspects were all grind and no reward.

7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

I’m not upset about it, but Skyrim is a game that won’t leave me alone. I played it on Xbox 360. I played it in Boot Camp on Mac before I built my PC. And now it’s come back to me.

Skyrim, like Minecraft, so often lends itself to becoming Mod Simulator 2016 a game I’m sure exists in some Steam Greenlight somewhere. Many times, I’ve spent the entirety of the time I’d set aside for gaming just modding Skyrim.

And yet, I’ve still found that everytime I play, I find something new. Not just a small something, but I’ll find a new storyline that has larger implications on the lore I’ve come to love.

6. Firewatch

Essentially an indie movie set in the forests of Yosemite, in Firewatch you play the main character and the plot evolves in reaction to your decisions. This game is beautiful in its unique art style and even more so in its storytelling. It’s short, concise, and clever. Like this recommendation.

5. Grand Theft Auto V

Look. Grand Theft Auto V is in the title, because that’s the name of the game. But we’re here to talk about Grand Theft Auto Online. GTAO is the most frustrating online gaming experience to which I, happily, continue to subject myself. The partying system is nightmarish, but once you get it to work it is one hell of an experience. The game has, over time, added an insane amount of content and options. To name a few: motorcycle gangs, in-game companies, heists, inter-company battles, gang fights, etc.

Until they slow development of new content, I’ll keep coming back to this game and ramping my car into a military base to steal a jet.

4. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

Post up. Set charge. Breach. There’s a million ways into a hostile-heavy house and you’ll get to experience them all in Siege. This game has one of the best online communities I’ve played in. Akin to early Payday 2, success depends on tight team tactics. Each player character has a specific role to fill, and each provides a different dynamic to the assault/defense.

Rainbow Six: Siege is doing things different with DLC, as well. Not buying the season pass or DLC no longer excludes you from playing content. You get to play all the new maps. All new player characters (and they’re adding more all the time) need to be purchased with in-game currency. Though that’s no small feat, it’s a great in helping with the longevity of the game’s life.

Easily one of my favorite shooters in a long time and will remain so.

3. Overwatch

I generally despise MOBA-likes. If any company is going to bring me into a good relationship with them, it’s no surprise that it is Blizzard. I may have been reluctant to hop into Overwatch at first, but it’s given me hours and hours of fun. Its competitive mode is something I’ll never excel in, but I still find joy in playing it.

2. Rocket League

Of the games on my top 10 list from last year, only one game carried over into 2016 for me. Rocket League refuses to go stale. New game modes, maps, and models are frequently added and I have come back with every update.

Rocket League is often the game you play between games; The game you play while one of your crew is on a break walking the dog, or waiting for your 4th squad member to show up. (Looking at you, Rex.) It is always fresh and always fun, and quick gameplay lends itself to remaining a “go-to” game in these situations.

1. Battlefield 1

War is hell. And Battlefield 1 is the first game, in some time, to actually make your combat feel like it means something. The game opens by having you jump through the eyes of many lives lost in the Great War. It teaches you futility: You are not meant to survive. It shows horrific deaths, and gives each life a birth date and date of death. In the era of modern shooters, war tends to be an inconsequential joyful killing spree. The *Battlefield* series has always done its best to avoid that trend; This installment is by far its greatest success.

Multiplayer leaves little to be desired. “#BattlefieldMoments” are a real thing. For example: I once ran across the top of a zeppelin as it was crashing (crushing the players beneath it), managed to leap off at the last moment and launch into a hatchet attack against the opponent I was chasing. For all the “hell of war” Battlefield 1 captures, it equally allows players to experience valor.

Battlefield 1 took a unique approach to a campaign for a game that tends to be multiplayer-centric. You experience short, self-contained, stories of war. You follow a tank crew on its last leg, an American gambler/plane-thief, a sole-surviving twin bent on avenging his brother’s death, an legendary Australian soldier, and a Bedouin rebel on the Arabian Peninsula. Each story is engaging, inspiring, and heavy. More than one led me to presume someone was cutting onions nearby.