We are approaching the end of the year which means the multitude of irrelevant video game awards had been passed out. So, it’s time for the first annual Hidden Room Year’s End Awards. We only give out two awards. Of course, one is the prestigious (albeit made up) Game of the Year award and the other is The biggest Letdown Award.
Personally, I think 2016 may be the easiest list of games to sort through when looking for the overall best video game of the year. There were a few major hits, a couple surprises and some remasters. With all that said, I gotta be honest there were only three games in 2016 that I personally feel are worthy to be called the 2016 video game of the year.
My Three finalists are….
(1.) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
With the recent reveal of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy fans were relieved to find out the franchise will live on after all, but this new standalone will star the very popular Chloe Frazer. With that in mind, it reminds us that Nathan Drakes incredible journey has come to an end in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Not only will Nathan Drake forever be remembered as an iconic character, more importantly, Nolan North will forever be employed. The previous three installments of Uncharted had their fair share of bugs and Uncharted was no different but I could count the number of glitches/bugs I encountered during my playthrough on one hand. Naughty Dog definitely did a great job at keeping fans happy especially after all the delays that essentially resulted in a two-year wait. Uncharted 4 had an exceptional story with a much larger playable environment than I was expecting. Uncharted was one of the very rare franchises that kept the gameplay mechanics and controls consistent throughout the series, which gets extra brownie points from me. I really loved this game and thought it was a great way to end the series. The only real complaint I have about this game was the ending. I feel as if Naughty Dog gave us the safe ending and not the ending they should have given us. I personally would have preferred an entirely different ending for the characters …..by the way…. The Crash Bandicoot mini game certainly didn’t hurt my experience…
(2.) Far Cry Primal
Far Cry has been an exceptional series! Far Cry 3 was so good that I replayed it 4 times just to enjoy the story over and over. Far Cry 4 had a horrible story, so it took me some time to really get into the game but once I did…. holy crap! I’m not backing down from my stance about the story but Far Cry 4 was great. I purchased Primal the day it came out but to be honest I played it for a week and it wasn’t really grabbing me yet, then Uncharted 4 was released at the time, then Ratchet n Clank was released than before I knew it three months went by (oops!). Then for the next two months, I really wanted to put the disk in and play but I kept thinking about Far Cry 4 and how disappointing of a story it was and I just didn’t want to go through it again. To be honest (again) I wasn’t a fan of the setting at first but I’ll be damned if I don’t give Ubisoft credit, they hit a monster home run with Primal. The story is incredible, as usual, the gameplay is smooth and simple and Ubisoft even managed to include weapons that you’d believe were really used at the time. I can honestly say that besides a few lag issues (damn my internet!) I did encounter many glitches, yet somehow the glitches didn’t affect my playthrough at all, in fact, it made it easier. Animals and enemies can’t do much when there stuck inside of a rock or glitched on the side of a mountain. I enjoyed this game a lot… the only thing I did not like was that the god damn Honey Badger was stronger than 85% of the animals in this game, but oh well
(3.) Ratchet N Clank
I understand that Ratchet N Clank was essentially just a re-release of the original Playstation 2 hit. I look at it like this, the game was great back then and it’s even better in 2016. The new perspective sees us hearing the story through Captain Quark which makes the story way more enjoyable to play than back in the day. The remastered feel and HD graphics almost brought a tear to my eye. The PS2 version had a lot of glitches and clunkiness, it didn’t stand out as a classic until we got several other installments in the franchise, thus making it a “classic”. Fast forward to 2016, Ratchet N Clank now has a fresh feel and I won’t complain about that! I haven’t had as much fun playing a video game since South Park: The Stick of Truth. Now if Insomiac wants to re’release all the Ratchet N Clank titles in the future I won’t complain about that either….. neither will my Platinum trophy!
drum roll please…..
Now, for the grand reveal. I officially announce that my 2016 Video Game of the Year is Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The categories (which I made up) that I take into account are Gameplay, Graphics, Story, voice acting, environment setting, controls, online difficulty and what I call the ’emotions factor’. Basically what that means is the attachment to a character and their story. Far Cry: Primal met all the same categories but Ubisoft simply cannot compare to Naughty Dog when it comes to the ’emotions factor’. In all honesty, It has nothing to do with the setting of Primal, I just couldn’t get emotionally attached to Takkar or his story, mostly because there is just too much to do besides the main story missions in the Far Cry series. It’s a classic Blessing and Curse situation, the depth of Primal makes it a strong game, yet at the same time it causes a gamer to feel a repetitiveness to it.
Congrats, Naughty Dog on this truly amazing (made up, imaginary, fake, insignificant and irrelevant) award.
Now for the Letdown of the Year Award
This one is easy…..
For those of you that have read my previous Mafia 3 articles you know that I have been waiting for this game for seven years. Mafia 2‘s story was so good that I replayed the game at the very least 274 times…. at least. Mafia 3 has a lot of severe glitches that absolutely ruins the gamers experience. Glitches such as a boat or truck not appearing on the map where it says it should be, I literally got stuck in an alley for almost two hours because a certain side mission replayed itself four times. I can go on listing specific glitches but I won’t. Let me get back to my rant inside of a rant. After hearing that we’d have a new protagonist I got a little upset and then crawled into a dark hole for 72 hours, when I emerged from the hole I realized that I still had 24 hours before Mafia 3 was to be released so I made sure I said a few prayers (to Rick Grimes) and cleared my mind completely. After finally picking up the game from Game Stop, I had a feeling of happiness, I went home and then proceeded to insert the disc (nice and slow) into my Playstation 4. I had absolutely zero thoughts in my head, in fact, my hopes were so low that…… that….. well basically I had no hopes is the point I’m trying to make. Glitches aside, Mafia 3 had amazing graphics and a decent amount of Boss fight difficulty in comparison to the side missions. The side missions were so repetitive that you felt like you were just going to the same locations over and over, oh that’s right that’s because we were. Mafia 3 was not a Game of the Year worthy release but I feel like it should be talked about in a more positive manner and not just bashed for the glitches. The story was absolutely amazing and it definitely had everything it needed, story wise. There is an old saying in the video game community “glitches can ruin a game” and that is exactly what happened with Mafia 3. I put my love for the series above the severe glitches and repetitiveness but honestly you can only put up with so much. I don’t have a way to upload my screenshots from my PS4 onto this article or I would, but here are a couple common ones I found online that pretty much summarizes Mafia 3.