2016 Games That You Have Not Played
No matter what you play, 2016 has been a crazy gaming year so far. With so many huge and successful titles hitting the shelves every month, it is nice to look back to those games that get overshadowed by the Triple-A titans and over-hyped launches. They may be forgotten, but not lost, and it’s not too late to show them some love.
January: The Witness (PC, PS4)
Typically, January is a quiet month in the gaming world and it was no different this year. Yet somehow, there managed to be a miraculous gem that quietly wiggled its way into the market. Enter The Witness, a 7-year labor of independent-gaming love. The Witness is a three-dimensional puzzle game where you draw lines. And that is it. While the concept sounds simple and redundant, the lines you have to draw are based on where you stand, which way you are facing, and even the environment, such as wind direction and where the sun is in the sky. This game, however, has no concept of what “gradual progression of difficulty” means. My only complaint is how ridiculously hard these puzzles can get later in the game. But for some people, that’s the selling point. Maybe I am just bad at it.
Rating: 8/10 — “Simple” Geometry
February: Firewatch (PS4, PC, Mac, Linux)
February was every gamer’s dream this year. We got something for everyone: Street Fighter V, Far Cry Primal, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, Unravel, XCOM 2, Not a Hero, and the list goes on and on. Silently slipping its hat into the ring is Campo Santo’s Firewatch, a story-driven adventure game. The basic plot is that Henry, trying to expand his horizons, goes to the Shoshone National Forest to watch for fires. He gets supervision from Delilah, another firewatch, as Henry begins to learn the ropes and begins unveiling a huge can of worms. Long story short, tension rises through the roof and keeps going up. And I have not even mentioned that the game is graphically beautiful. The Shoshone Forest is recreated in a grand way, and watching the sun setting is actually a beautiful sight.
Rating: 9/10 — Pretty Forest, Pretty Fantastic
March: Hyper Light Drifter (PC, Mac)
Pixelated games coming out nowadays are a bit of an anomaly to me. While graphics do not mean much to me, it bothers me that there are people who praise pixelated games because they are pixelated. With that being said, this game deserves any and all praise it gets. Hyper Light Drifter sucks you into a beautiful world and a horrifying story, throws hordes of enemies at you, gives you the tools and ninja skills to defend yourself, and says “Good luck.” This fast-paced, high-action eye candy will make you fall in love and never let you go. Recently, the game has been launched on consoles for everyone to know this game’s glory. I, for one, can’t get enough.
Rating: 9.5/10 — Just Play It Guys…
April: Enter the Gungeon (PS4, PC)
Rogue-like, a genre created by people trying to copy Rogue, has gained a resurgence in popularity with the rise of indie titles. The first big one was The Binding of Issac, which continues to grow today. Trying to slither its way into our hearts is Enter the Gungeon. And slither into my heart it has. This game takes the aspect of a “bullet hell” and makes it all too literal, turning your enemies into giant, man-sized bullets wielding guns and bombs. Your job is to travel through each dungeon killing bigger and badder bullets, getting better guns, and killing bosses to reach the horde of gold that lies at the end. With multiple characters, dynamic floors, and more guns than I care to count, you will log hours and hours into this game.
Rating: 9/10 — Bullets DO Kill People
May: Battleborn (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Let me tell you a sad story of being outdone by competition. The people behind the Borderlands series decided that they wanted to make a game based on a multitude of characters and playstyles. They launched their new game, Battleborn, with about 20 characters, all with varying strengths, weaknesses, and playstyles. You know who else did this? Blizzard. They made Overwatch. It blew Battleborn out of the water before it was even released. But let’s not compare straws here. Battleborn, in its own regard, is a very solid game. The levels are vibrant, the enemies are interesting, and the characters are fun to use. Overall, it may not be worth the price tag if you already have Overwatch, but if that’s not a problem (or Steam’s having another sale), I whole-heartedly suggest this game.
Rating: 7.5/10 — Thanks Overwatch…
June: Dead by Daylight (PC)
Nowadays, horror games rely more and more on the jump-scare. This can get boring and never get a reaction when you can predict when these things happen. But as of late people have been realizing that this can be avoided in an incredibly simple way: make a multiplayer game. The concept of running away from one of your friends because you’re defenseless and he’s a killer creates high tension and exciting game play. This new concept gets pushed further in the title Dead By Daylight. Now running away from a demonic killer in the woods, your job as the runner is to set up generators to open the exit, all the while setting traps and screaming like a little girl when you see him around the corner. If you have a group of friends who are up for a great time, look no further than Dead by Daylight.
Rating: 9/10 — Extra Pants Not Included
With all these games on the market and many more like it to be coming out in the future, there is never a dull moment in gaming; you just have to know where to look for them. If you ever get tired of the monotonous Call of Duty game-after-game and need something fresh, I suggest looking around for games not many people play. You’re bound to find some gems like these.