2016 has been a wild ride for sure. A ton of games came out, many top ones from the beginning of the year, but we were treated with an amazing lineup for the holiday season. What was particularly surprising is the sheer level of quality in this year’s shooter games. We got a semi-dud from 2K’s Battleborn, but the game that competed almost directly for it, Overwatch, dominated in the shooter market. Then we got hits like Call of Duty’s Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered, Battlefield, and even a resurrected DOOM franchise. Read more to see why 2016 may have been the best year ever for shooter video games.
DOOM: May 2016
DOOM was one of the surprise hits of the year, despite coming early in the year compared to others. The game went back to its fast-paced, gory, and dark roots with the 4th iteration of the franchise. The multiplayer felt ideally similar to the older games and was very nostalgic for myself. But it was the single player campaign that I was most hyped about. The story was seriously nothing special, but it felt so well-paced and the goriness kind of made the game feel like a first person Mortal Kombat-esque game.
Overwatch: May 2016
This was most likely the absolute hit of the year, regardless of genre. The game absolutely exploded, and at a time where most publishers typically do not release games. Many marked Overwatch as a Team Fortress 2 clone, but many months later, it absolutely is not. The game is timeless, with its frantic, fast-paced combat, combined with a need for teamwork and communication. I also am in love with the balance in this game; no one feels too overpowered and everyone in a team can work together to beat the other team.
As with agelessness, I really think Blizzard nailed this one on the head. Months later, when games like Call of Duty and Battlefield come out, Overwatch still competes in sales. The price didn’t drop as quickly as 2K’s Battleborn did, in fact staying at a steady $35 even through Black Friday. While those numbers are not typically used to exaggerate how well a game is doing in terms of sales, in general, games that stay up in price do not drop theirs because they are already receiving a good amount from the current price. The best example I can give of this is Grand Theft Auto V, where years later, $30 was an absolute deal for the game, whereas other games would drop all the way down to around $10 months after their release.
Deus Ex Mankind Divided: August 2016
The first person genre is filled to the brim with multiplayer games, but this year we also saw an emergence in the campaign side of things from the first person perspective. Deus Ex was one of my favorite franchises of all time since it had the right amount of stealth and exciting campaign style. Mankind Divided was another iteration in a game I loved dearly. It was a steadily run campaign with awesome new features that made me feel like a total badass. There wasn’t any multiplayer to write home about, but the game’s single player mode was an absolute blast.
Battlefield 1: October 2016
Battlefield was Overwatch’s biggest competitor, but they couldn’t be anymore alike. While Overwatch followed the teamwork-based hero formula of shooters, Battlefield 1 focuses on the teamwork-based formula in a war setting, which actually happened. The game is historic because it gets so much of its accuracy off of textbooks and documentaries, which made it feel all the more realistic. The campaigns were short, but the multiplayer is what you come to Battlefield for in the first place.
There are 4 classes, all with completely different objectives for each other, so play style isn’t really an issue. You can dominate the battlefield without having to be a beast killing other players. The vehicle play once again is a staple in the franchise, making it jaw-dropping to watch something as big as a blip in the sky falling down or a tank trying to take out jets in the sky. The game plays like a movie and became one of the reasons 2016 was a year of the shooters.
Call of Duty: November 2016
Two games technically came out for Activision in the Call of Duty franchise: Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered. Most people cared about the latter, but don’t write down Infinite Warfare as a game. The multiplayer is very similar to past games, but the campaign was very different and felt much better. The story obviously seems like it will never get better, but at least the campaigns pacing in gameplay and story are balanced.
Modern Warfare Remastered seems like the only game worth playing, though. Many people bought the Deluxe version of this year’s COD only to pick up the remastered. It was a great purchase, too, since Activision is releasing all the maps for free and even finished releasing the last two missing modes from the original game.
2016 – Best year for shooters ever?
I believe this year was the best year for shooters ever. Keep in mind, I don’t believe Battlefield 1 or Overwatch, two of the year’s biggest FPS games, are the best first person shooter games of all time, but there are hardly any years that even compete with the amount of quality we have received this year. It seemed that some of those years contained the biggest shooters ever, but were spread thin with the amount of content. Each of the shooters released in 2016 were blockbuster hits. We got many of them this year and I am so happy to have had that many quality titles in just one fiscal period.