Home Gaming The Lazygamer Awards 2016 – Game of the Year

The Lazygamer Awards 2016 – Game of the Year

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2016 goty (7)

2016 may have been a terrible year in terms of celebrity deaths, Oompah-Loompahs being elected into the highest office of the land and war never changing, but at least there was some escape there. Video games were a step above this year, with every month seeing multiple releases that elevated the medium to new heights. 2016 might just be the greatest year ever for the best form of interactive entertainment this year, with our efforts to find one single game that stood head and shoulders above the rest to be the equivalent of choosing our favourite nipple.

But if you had to have one game, just one exemplary title that could prove to the world just how far the industry has come, the choice would be obvious:

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

2016 goty (4)

Is there anything that Uncharted 4 didn’t do right? It had a gripping story, characters who felt more realistic than your parents and a sense of action that was polished to a fine sheen in this final outing with Nathan Drake from Naughty Dog. But more than that, Uncharted 4 was simply a magnificent example of all these various facets combining to create something special.

An experience that had to be played to be believed, a game that was more than the sum of its parts. Or as Geoff still called it when he reviewed Uncharted 4:

There’s no cheap set-up for a sneaky sequel, no cliffhanger ending. Just the door fittingly closing on a series of great – if unfortunate – adventures. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call Uncharted 4 the greatest game that’s ever been made, it is indeed a remarkable one, and undoubtedly the best the Uncharted series has to offer.

You don’t often get to play a game that defines a genre for years to come. But a game that goes on to redefine the idea of what the industry is capable of as well? Now that’s an even rarer treat, making Uncharted 4 our undisputed best game of 2016.

Runner-up: Overwatch

2016 goty (2)

When you think about it, Overwatch is actually a barebones game. You’ve got a selection of characters, a handful of modes and a scant few stages to play around online in. That’s it really. And yet, Blizzard’s multiplayer shooter almost took the top honour this year. Overwatch may be simple in its setup, but it’s anything but that in its execution.

There’s a world of strategy hidden beneath those Saturday morning cartoon aesthetics, a gripping lore that players can’t get enough of and a sense of fun whether you’re having a 10 minute break or an all-nighter marathon session of escorting the payload. More than that, Overwatch is a reminder of how video games can bring fans together, to be positive and to help foster relationships.

On a social level, Overwatch is simply amazing. But on a technical level? It’s some of the best damn fun you can have right now, hooking you in like a Road-Hogg counter.

Honourable mentions

Dishonored 2

Dishonored-2-2.jpg

The return of the Corvo family may not have been perfect, but the strengths of this intricate sequel more than made up for the flaws. Tense, amazing to explore and weaving a complex web of intrigue and daggers, Dishonored 2 is the knife before Christmas that you’ve been waiting for.

Titanfall 2

2016 goty (1)

Possibly one of the best shooters not just of 2016, but ever. And quite possibly the one game that nobody is playing right now. Respawn Entertainment took the best parts of their debut title, tweaked it further and added an amazing single-player campaign that blended giant robots with guns and parkour. And that’s an achievement that deserves to be recognised.

Hitman

2016 goty (6)

Not only is Hitman a great game, it’s also an example of how episodic gaming should be done. By giving its fans all new levels of freedom and time to breathe between releases, IO Interactive knocked the latest chapter in the life of Agent 47 out of the park.

INSIDE

2016 goty (3)

Alessandro won’t shut up about this game, and I can’t say that I blame him., Haunting, beautiful and capable of stirring all manner of emotions within you, INSIDE is the kind of game that is going to have an impact that will be felt for years to come.

DOOM

2016 goty (5)

It’s the game that your mother warned you about. But bigger, better and gorier than ever. Somehow taking the mechanics of the past and making them relevant again, DOOM is pitch-perfect in its genre and ready to stomp a mudhole in your perceived ideas of what a first-person shooter should be. You hear that rattle of the chainsaw? That’s the sound of near-perfection as DOOM gets closer and closer to you.

  • Admiral Chief Argonian

    Game of the year should have been accessible by all gamers, irrespective of the platform.

    Just my 2C…

    • Magoo

      Absolutely. The restriction should be a deciding factor.

    • That’s daft. It’s a game. It came out this year.

      • I STILL haven’t played that game yet.

      • Admiral Chief Argonian

        Your face is daft man, and it is daft…ALL YEAR EVERY YEAR

        [Goes to sulk for not being able to play TLOU and UC]

        [Stops sulking becoz PC gamer and Steam]

        • MonsterCheddar

          XD

      • Matthew Holliday

        Thats only if you consider mobile gaming actual gaming.
        Filthy casuals.

        Accessibility should be a factor though.
        Being exclusively PS4 should atleast be a demerit.

    • Don’t worry we all know it was actually Overwatch that was bestest this year 🙂

      • Admiral Chief Argonian

        Indeed

      • For the narrative and character development, am right!?

        • Mei is Bae

          That is all

          • Admiral Chief Argonian

            Mei is cancer
            That is all

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          So you also read the wiki?

          • Pariah ???
          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Shhh… next they’ll try to tell you it’s an RPG and not a glorified fighting game.

          • Ohh, man. About to cross the fucking line…

          • Original Heretic
          • Pariah ???

            Oh, well I suppose playing as a sword fighting corpse could *technically* be considered role playing. *technically*.

          • Original Heretic

            I have never played any of the souls games as a sword fighting corpse! How dare you say such a thing!
            I. Was. A. Magic wielding corpse!

          • Pariah ???

            Of course you’d choose easy mode… Heretic.

          • Original Heretic

            ooooooo, them’s fighting words!

            But the spellcasting thing is just me in RPG’s. I always go mage.

          • Dresden

            Same here! Even if the mage/ spell caster is a weak class in a certain game, I’ll always pick it even if it means I will struggle.

          • Original Heretic

            They usually start off weak, but near the end they’re nigh unstoppable.

          • BWAHAHA! UMAR!

    • Dresden

      I think it’s a smart move from Sony.
      All these exclusives are pushing me towards buying myself a PS4.

      • Original Heretic
        • Dresden

          XD
          I’m actually on the look out for a good special. If any of you know of any, please let me know!

          • Pariah ???

            Makro, CNA and BTgames are selling a 500GB PS4 slim for R3999.

          • Viper_ZA

            Pretty good value for money if you don’t own a Xbone/PS4 yet 🙂

          • Pariah ???

            I have to agree – but also add ‘if it fits your budget’. If it fit into mine, I’d be buying one without hesitation. 🙂

          • Magoo

            It’s R3899 on a TakeAlot daily deal today!

          • Dresden

            I saw thanks! The problem is I can’t afford buying it now straight up today 🙁

          • Nikola

            Check ToysRUS they having an one day sale tommorow PS4 Slim with 4 games I thing R4500.

        • Captain JJ

          No thanks. The dark side always loses.

          • Original Heretic

            Only in the movies. I real life, evil is much more inclined to take victory. They’ll do the things the good guys are too afraid to do.

          • Admiral Chief Argonian

            …until caught/dead/moertoe

          • Original Heretic

            If I go down, it’ll be in a blaze of glory!

          • Captain JJ

            Like buy a Playstation? trolololooo!
            But you’re right though 🙂

          • Nikola

            It’s not bad having a console as well as a PC you missing out on some really awesome exclusives well Sony ones Xbox is just crap!

          • Captain JJ

            Hehe. Yea. It’s just bad that you have to buy two different platforms to enjoy all the games. Which I won’t do. Financially doesn’t make sense to me, also, not possible 😀

      • Matthew Holliday

        Same could be said for the Xbone, atleast they have the “play anywhere” thing going on though.

    • Magoo

      MFW I have to pay R4k+ to play the GOTY.

      • Pariah ???

        You don’t have to play Lazygamer’s GOTY though. You can, like anybody else, have your very own GOTY. And decide for yourself.

        I know, it’s tough, but you get used to it after a while. And hey, you might end up having fun. No promises, but it COULD happen.

        • Magoo

          Point received. But still, if I were deciding which game was the best, the fact that it’s only available on one platform is a negative strike. It’s not only about story, there is functionality too. Like with the bad reviews on surgeon simulator VR.

          • Pariah ???

            To me, it’s not about PC game of the year, or XBOX game of the year – it’s about game of the year. There are no restrictions on platform, game of the year should be the best one across all platforms. That’s exactly how it should work.

          • Original Heretic

            ^^this^^ A great game is a great game.

          • Spathi

            Then they will have to take a PC game’s minimum requirements into account as well? Look I game on PC as well (exclusively), but I don’t think they made the wrong choice to give GOTY to an exclusive.

      • Original Heretic

        Every system has their exclusives. You’re always going to miss out on something if you only choose to game on only one of them.
        There are XB1 and PC titles I’d love to play, but hey, I’m a PS4 guy.

        • Pariah ???

          100%. I’m a PC guy. And there are plenty games I would love to play on console, but I can’t justify the price. So I accept my choice and work with it and play the games I enjoy playing on the platform I chose to play on.

          It’s really so easy.

          • Lu

            Agreed. Consoles are great but the sheer amount of games I can buy instead of a console +5 exclusive games is mind boggling.

        • Nikola

          and you sir have made the right choice;)

          • Original Heretic

            Just because I game on a PS doesn’t mean I’m prejudiced against other consoles.
            I love my PS4, but if I had a XB1 or a PC to game on, I’d love them just as much.

      • Spathi

        Well, you either have to purchase a PC, Xbox or PS4 to play a GOTY, so that argument doesn’t really hold any water.

    • Nikola

      You missing out…

    • 40 Insane Frogs

      lol, no! That’s madness! “Game of the Year” is the best game – regardless of platform.

  • Viper_ZA

    Played TF2 last night, wow what a blast!!!!

    • MonsterCheddar

      It is rather quite awesome.

    • Sageville

      Campaign?

      • Viper_ZA

        Jumped into campaign for about 20mins and played a random MP map to gauge the latency etc, it really does look good xD

        • MonsterCheddar

          I have the campaign about 90% finished, but when I put it in it’s MP all the way.

          • Viper_ZA

            I realised that I need to play the campaign to better understand the MP mechanics, or so I think?

          • MonsterCheddar

            The campaign is a shitload of wallruns in all forms. I think that’s about all that can help in MP, although there are not much walls in MP.

          • Viper_ZA

            Okay, so a few hours in MP will be sufficient then xD

    • Guild

      Nice. Really is a great game. EA seriously screwed up with the release date. So many ppl missed out on it because of CoD and BF1

      • Viper_ZA

        Yep, I actually hope Respawn will get another publisher in the future. Anything but EA & UBI…

    • Captain JJ

      All I saw was Team Fortress 2.

      • Viper_ZA

        Good thing I didn’t play TF2 then 😛

        • Captain JJ

          Well, it’s free and not on Origin. I don’t see how Titanfall could be better 😛

      • Matthew Holliday

        Also had to think about it for a bit.

  • VampyreSquirrel

    Stardew is my game of the year.

    • Have a golden watercan upvote

      • Original Heretic

        Is that for golden showers?

        • Pariah ???

          GO PLAY STARDEW VALLEY YOU HEATHEN.

          And then spend 2 years befriending everyone in the town for a stupid achievement, and then just start a new game and farm and marry that one person and have exactly 2 babies who will never, ever, ever grow up.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            But I play games for escapism.

          • pity you wouldn’t just stay escaped…

          • Pariah ???
          • Alien Emperor Trevor
          • lol

          • Original Heretic

            I’m not a heathen, I’m a heretic. There are fundamental differences. Or I’m just mental. Meh.

            And besides, soon I’ll be too busy with Uncharted 4. Muhahahaha!

          • Pariah ???

            GAH!!!! How DARE you show me up with your logical arguments and obvious name reference that I totally didn’t miss but shouldn’t have.. HOW DARE YOU?!

            Also. Enjoy. 😀

          • Original Heretic

            I thank you! Logic is my strongest attribute. Along with the ability to ascertain weaknesses….

            Logic and ascertaining weaknesses in my opponents are my two strongest attributes.

            Still working my way through the whole Uncharted series before I get to 4. Gonna be a long, but epic, road.

          • Nah most of the games are like 15-20 hours.

          • Original Heretic

            Well Uncharted 1 (almost done), it about 10 hours or so. So I reckon each one is about there.
            I’ll treat them all as one game, so I’m looking at about a 40 hour journey.

          • I did the trilogy a few months back, damn that second game is so frigging good.

          • Original Heretic

            I’m about 75% into 1, so I’ll be with 2 real soon.

  • Viking Of Science

    DOOM = GOTY. period

  • Damn straight!

  • Sageville

    The ending of Uncharted 4 was sublime, a perfect conclusion to Nathan’s adventures..

    Can’t argue too hard about it being GOTY

  • Original Heretic

    Now I’me even more excited to play U4!

    It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

  • Captain JJ

    What’s uncharted? As a pc gamer I have no idea.

    • Go backlog yourself *runs

      • Pariah ???

        Isn’t that what you do? I’ve heard it gets messy.

      • Captain JJ

        😀
        It looks really interesting, for sure. Just no idea what it is or what it’s about.

    • Original Heretic

      It’s a game where they don’t give you map. Big challenge, much wow.

    • Spathi

      You could say that for you the game remains…

      ( •_•)>??-?
      (??_?)

      uncharted.

      • Captain JJ

        dyumn!

        • Spathi

          Unfortunately I won’t be here all week as I’m almost going on leave, but drop my agent a mail and he’ll get right back to you!

          • Captain JJ

            I’ll be here, looking at old articles 🙁

          • Spathi

            Please note that I said “leave” and not “holiday”. So I’ll be around as well looking at that same old articles. Maybe if we ask nicely, Geoff can force Darryn to post new stuff over the Christmas period!

          • Captain JJ
          • Original Heretic

            Perhaps they’ll do what they did last year and throw an article or two in specifically for us to have comments days.

          • Admiral Chief Argonian

            That was my doing, I plan to do it again this year

      • Nikola

        Hahahahahaahhahaha BEEEST comment!

  • Captain JJ

    I haven’t played any of these and I regret buying Deus Ex MD when I had a few of these as other options.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Witcher 3 Blood & Wine. It made me laugh and get allergic.

    • Captain JJ

      Allergic to what? Crappier games? 😛

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Onions.

        • Original Heretic

          Does that mean you’re also allergic to ogres?

        • Captain JJ

          Wow. With onions making your eyes water as it is that must be pure torture.
          I didn’t get allergic at all with Witcher though. I just cried like a baby 😛

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Pansy. I have allergies. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

          • Captain JJ

            XD

          • Also, when is the braaii?!

          • Captain JJ

            When do you have time?

          • Email us and suggest!

          • Captain JJ

            Okay. Will do. Maybe only next year, since I’m working all the way through. 🙁

    • Yeah, damn that was good.

  • Gustav Minnie

    Mine is Doom but TF2 was fun. Got TF2 just for the SP and it’s worth it.
    I wish people will wipe the COD shit out their eyes and give TF2 multiplayer more love.
    Dishonored 2 is in the pipeline because I love what is coming out from Bethesda Softworks these days.

  • Bruce Bielie

    Uncharted is waiting at home for me like a patient puppy. But from what I have played this year, my GOTY is Skyrim Special Ed and well… That is about the only game I have bought that was released this year.
    Sad state of financial affairs this year was…

  • Nikola

    Could not agree more with the choice, one of the beest complete games I’ve played in a while well beside Witcher that shit is amazing!! But Yeah This last entry is absolutely phenomenal and if you have not played it, DO IT!!! Lend a PS4 from a mate if u have to!

  • Daniel Hallinan

    So, I actually have an Opinion™ regarding Uncharted 4.

    You have been warned.

    Quick preamble: Thereafter will be some criticisms directed towards Uncharted 4, but I do NOT believe it’s undeserving. GotY is basically a bunch of people going “yeah I really liked that game!”, and that’s 100% okay. What follows a purely indulgent disliked of what I liked and disliked about Uncharted 4, and why I personally didn’t think it was a good game.

    I recently played and finished Uncharted 4, two days ago (so it’s purely good timing). And honestly, it feels like Naughty Dog has been desperately trying to expand their skills, but are still *entirely* stuck under rocks that have been there since Uncharted 1 (and this also applies to Last of Us).

    Primarily, they’re completely unable to shift away from the exact same core narrative and gameplay skeleton. EVERY SINGLE Uncharted game sees Drake go from place to palce hoping to find treasure, only to be lead to another place, and then to another, through puzzles that are far too needlessly complex to be narratively coherent, grapples with perceived betrayal, and eventually to an inevitable lost city that crumbles and explodes in a climax completely tempered by a game over indulging in climaxes and thus completely negating any sense of amazement.

    The uncharted games have always had shallow and predictable stories. This doesn’t mean the stories are bad, but Naughty Dog are honest with what they are – simple glue to connect action scenes and cool explosions together.

    The combat is near identical, and it’s frustrating to see that. While it’s refreshing to see them slowly and completely abandon waves, there’s little to no evolution beyond that. Worse, the combat is blatantly inserted for no reason other than to bar progess, to the point of ridicule.

    What Uncharted 4 does well, what it does BEST…. is characters. It is the goddamned pioneer in character writing, acting, and animating. Many, many times I had to remind myself I was in a game, it’s all so natural. It’s ASTOUNDING. It’s good enough to make me feel I’m in a deep and personal epic, until the gameplay and predictable narrative breaks through the 4th wall and goes “NAH BRU I KNOW YOU LIKE GUNS SO HERE’S EXPLOSIONS”.

    My favorite parts of Uncharted 4 were the beginning, up until the combat wasn’t narratively cohesive (when the guns came out at the acution), and EVERYTHING after the final shoot out. Because those are the only times the good parts of Uncharted are really allowed to shine.

    It’s weird to look at – parts of Uncharted are boring, plain, and predictable, but it’s contrasted with parts of it that are astounding, yet the game feels utterly ashamed of it – it hides it under what it feels the majority of it’s audience wants.

    Last of Us suffers from this as well. The core narrative is great, albeit predictable (you don’t make characters get that personal without intending to have loss in the narrative), the characters are amazing, and yet again the game is completely sidelined by samey combat that breaks the narrative and immersion. 80% of humanity was wiped out? Odd that I’m killing hundreds that just so happen to be in this spot right here in the middle of nowhere. Clickers require food to live and aren’t undead? Odd that there are thousands of them all over despite all the narrative that people are struggling to find food to eat after several years and that the human population is a fraction of what it once was. collapse.

    In general, it seems (to me at least) that Naughty Dog has great difficulty trying to align gameplay mechanics to become cohesive with their plots or character writing. The private armies of Uncharted and the Clickers and military enforces of Last of Us are there in the game as an obstacle – I understand that, but they are dropped in without much thought to world building coherence, and that in turn damages the overall world building coherence.

    If Naughty Dog can manage to tear themselves away from their now generic combat, their not-so-impressive-anymore environmental exploration, and invest in those to walk hand in hand with the out-fucking-standing character writing / acting / animating they do? That would be neat.

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