I promised, as part of running this blog that I would include reviews of all manner of things. I have continued my Goodreads reviewing and as a result have a handful of book reviews available to read now. I also have a review of Doctor Strange and now I am going to review the best video games I have played in 2016.
As a disclaimer, these are games are the Xbox One versions (my gamertag if you care is Mistborn22) while the two games at number 10 exist as placeholders owing to the fact that I have yet to play them. I also did not include NBA 2K16 or Just Dance 2016 among this list despite playing them.
2. Diablo 3 (9/10) - Diablo III is one of those games I had always meant to try until this year. When my friend Adam went home to the Philippines he briefly let me play this game. I was hooked (and to this point it is my second most played) because I am an absolute sucker for fantasy rpgs. Particularly if the lore and story are interesting. A world of soulstones, angels, demons and racial conflict? Diablo III has that and more!
3. Fallout 4 (9/10) - I'm not as far into the game as with some of the others, but the sheer level of worldbuilding and detail is incredible. The fantastic side-quests, character choices and overall game is highly polished. In fact I spent most of my time so far performing side-quests and winning favour with fellow vault-dwellers in order to build up a variety of settlements. It is a game that reminds me of Simcity mixed with COD-style shooting and general RPG fun.
4. Arkham Knight (9/10) - All of the Arkham Asylum games are excellent and Arkham Knight I felt, really put a full stop on a magnificent series. The sense of playing as Batman in an increasingly larger world, solving crimes and puzzles and stealthily making your way around was incredible. Critics complained that the Batmobile was used too often in this game, however I felt the balance between the story and the use of the devices was wonderful. In all the best Batman game I have ever played.
5. The Witcher 3 (9/10) - This is a game that would be much higher. Except, I have only played 6 hours of its incredibly long story for one accomplishment. The world (based on the books by Andrei Sapkowski - also excellent reading I might add) is one of monsters. Monsters who are men and monsters who are the ghouls and vampires of myth and legend. Playing as a monster-hunter you have the opportunity to take on these contracts and follow a sweeping storyline. And even after just 6 hours I have a sense at just how grand that storyline is.
6. Dishonored (9/10) - Want to be a silent assassin with incredible magic abilities? Yeah, me neither - but that's exactly what Dishonored is all about. You start the story as Corvo Attano, bodyguard to the Empress, who is framed for her murder and imprisoned. Fortunately, you are freed by a group of loyalists who explain the situation and set you on a path of vengeance and redemption. Plus you get incredible abilities such as possession of rats, blink teleportation and windblasts. Play how you want: stealthy and bloody, stealthy and innocent, or with a hail of gunfire. High-chaos, low-chaos, the choice is all yours!
7. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (9/10) - The Lord of the Rings is my favourite book series and the films are among my favourites also. I was worried that Shadow of Mordor would depart far too much from the established lore, however it is a wonderful addition to the lore and the game physics are unique. The concept of bosses who remember past-encounters with you thanks to the wonderful Nemesis system is terrific, as is the Assassin's Creed-style combat and wall-climbing.
8. Sunset Overdrive (7.5/10) - It turns out that the makers of such games as Ratchet and Clank (and reportedly Spyro) had further unique ideas up their sleeves. I downloaded this as a free Games-With-Gold offering and boy is it fun chaos. For those who prefer there is a profanity and gore filter, and countless other options for editing your game character and play style. Yet the sheer idea of grinding around a city, defeating hordes of mutated fizzy monsters is pure fun and colourful (self-mocking) delight.
9. Star Wars Battlefront (7.5/10) - I suspect that I, like many other 'super-fans' of Star Wars was expecting something a little more fine-tuned. Of course, it appears that spending the extra 30 dollars (per pack) for the DLC may bring the experience that was hoped for and in and of itself Battlefront is not a terrible game. It's merely that it could have been a better Star Wars experience with a campaign, greater choice of troop types (which was what made the originals fun) and more maps (again with better choice). Hopefully the sequel will improve these elements!