Callum Corcut / Thu 22nd Dec 2016
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The greatest shock in gaming (for me at least) this year came in the final moments of PSX. That's right, The Last of Us Part II. After such a successful year from Naughty Dog and the announcement of single player Uncharted DLC appearing earlier in the same show, I didn't for a second believe that they would be anywhere near ready for a game announcement. Nor did I think that they would be willing to show a four minute trailer to one of the most anticipated sequels of all time. Naughty Dog are a class act and this moment stole both my heart and the approval of the internet at the same time. Red Dead Redemption 2 and the Nintendo Switch were great surprises as well but I think TLOS Part II wins on account of literally no one expecting it to appear this early and that incredibly. Bravo.
(Insert No Man's Sky joke here) I think in all seriousness, the greatest disappointment of 2016 was the PS4 Pro. The industry changed tremendously this year with the introduction of quality VR and the release of classics we were unsure we would ever see, such as The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy XV. It is such a letdown that so many people have been convinced to purchase a supposedly 'supercharged' PS4, only to find that there is either little or minimal improvement to their games, or even that some games have clearly suffered due to their release on a regular PS4. This decision to charge people full price for a newer, slicker machine halfway through a consoles life cycle is a sign of troubling times for the industry. With the Scorpio being advertised as the most powerful console ever, it may yet prove that mid generational improvements can work or conversely, it will only cast further doubt. The industry will watch on anxiously in 2017.
I have been waiting for Mass Effect Andromeda for close to five years now. The ending to ME3 will forever live on as one of the worst endings of all time and deservedly so. I have not purchased a Bioware game since 2012 due to their awful treatment of long time fans of the franchise. There's a reason why this isn't connected to the same universe, it's because they ruined the old one. They will either destroy or rebuild the greatest gaming series of all time (IMO) in 2017. Everything is at stake for this company in the eyes of many. Will Bioware hold the line? March can't come soon enough.
Game of the Year
Inside. Inside is not only the best game of 2016, it is one of the greatest games that has ever been released. This is what you show someone when they say that gaming is 'childish' or 'just for fun'. If you have any interest in gaming at all, Inside is for you. A masterpiece. A testament to the value of video games.