When Apex Legends released last year, my friends and I were overjoyed. Here was a battle royale we could get into. Crisp shooting with lots of guns, fun characters with unique powers, and a helpful ping system left us hungry to jump into this explosive multiplayer genre.
Then we died. A lot. And died some more. Meeting an enemy team was near-instant death, every time.
At the risk of further humiliation and demoralizing evenings, we ultimately shelved Apex Legends. I continued to watch the genre from afar, my hands pressed against the glass of the battle royale sweet shop, not daring to venture inside. Until Spellbreak appeared in the window.
It’s not uncommon to shout “just sautée the damn mushrooms already!” at your family members when playing Overcooked 2. The delightfully chaotic cooking simulator returns with more cooperative mayhem as players quickly work together to fulfill culinary orders while avoiding kitchen hazards.
The sequel offers a few new features but ultimately the same experience. Thankfully it’s still a winning recipe.
Multiplayer survival-crafting games lack a succinct acronym or single genre-defining style, but they’re absolutely taking over the world of modern online gaming. Older MMORPG behemoths like World of Warcraft have begun a steady decline while there doesn’t appear to be any stopping the new juggernauts like ARK: Survival Evolved.
These new breeds of shared sandbox worlds evolved from Minecraft and traditional MMORPGs that had dominated the last decade and a half of online gaming.
My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!
#10 Pokémon GO
#9 Skylanders Imaginators
#7 Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
#6 Fire Emblem Fates
I don’t really consider myself a big fan of any specific franchises or game developers. But if I had to pick a game developer to receive my feverish devotion, it would be Blizzard Entertainment.
I’ve been loving Blizzard’s games since before they were Blizzard, with 16-bit titles like The Lost Vikings and Rock ‘N Roll Racing. I fell in love with real-time strategy games in the 90s with Warcraft and Starcraft and Action-RPGs with Diablo and the rest is history.
So it means a lot when I say that we are at peak Blizzard awesomeness right now. A Blizzard game (or expansion) has appeared on my annual Game of the Year list for three of the last four years (and twice last year). Now with Overwatch, make that four out of five.
Overwatch is easily the most popular game on my list. The “hero shooter” blending of MOBA and FPS exploded this year. But leave it to Blizzard to once again take a genre and perfect it into an easily accessible, yet highly competitive format. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2016: #5”