Best Games of 2016… So Far

It’s July… If you hadn’t noticed. Which means we’re halfway through the year. 2016 hasn’t been a great year in other walks of life but what it has been good for so far is new games. So here’s a nod to the five best releases in the first half of this year.

Overwatch

Available on: PS4, Xbox One and PC

overwatch-tracer

In May, Blizzard released their take on a First-Person Shooter in Overwatch, with it also taking the burden of being its first new franchise since 1998. Solely for multiplayer, the plot was told through animated shorts, over a story mode. With this new technique on establishing a background to Overwatch, they could focus more on making the gameplay fun. Which it really is. A cast of 21 heroes with varying genders and ethnicity is a breath of fresh air in a typically typecast genre. The wide range of different abilities with each hero means you get a different experience each time you play. A new style of multiplayer which should be made an example of.

Stardew Valley

Available on: PC (late 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and Wii U)

StardewValley

Stardew Valley made farming fun for the first time since those early Harvest Moon games. Developed by ConcernedApe as their first title, the indie farming simulation crossed with an RPG proved to be the perfect formula for PC gamers, with over a million downloads within the first few months. The February release lets you take control of your Grandfather’s farm, which meant growing crops, raising animals and finding a significant other to share it all with. Oh, then there’s the fighting slimeballs and other mystical beings down in the mines… Expansions are planned to grow your farm even further, including the introduction of co-op play. And it’s soon coming to other platforms later in 2016. Stardew Valley is just an adorable and charming game for a nice change of pace.

Plants vs Zombie: Garden Warfare 2

Available on: PS4, Xbox One and PC

plants-vs-zombies-garden-warfare-2

It all started on mobile. Planting your peashooters and protecting the house from the Zombies shuffling across the screen. Now look how far its come. A fully-fledged open world invites you to smush all the zombies you could ever want. Or, you can even be the zombies now and squish plants instead. Released back in February, a whole host of different and fun multiplayer game modes are now on offer with plenty of characters to choose from. Not only that, but you get an engaging single-player story and daily challenges to keep you coming back for more. The upcoming DLC for the game is free, so you’ll be shooting those peas for quite a while to come yet.

Doom

Available on: PS4, Xbox One and PC

doom-2016

23 years since it first came out, Doom returned in May with a fresh new look to it. And all those ghouls you have to murder. Bethesda’s decision to reboot the franchise rather than churn out another sequel was a welcome sight to behold. It makes more sense considering it’s two decades old, rather than rebooting a game that’s less than that (Mirror’s Edge…). You get the classic chainsaw and shotguns that Doom fans know and love, and you get the addition of “Glory Kills” meaning you get some sweet melee executions giving you bonus health and ammo to go along with it. Doom is a hell of a game for a bloody good time killing mutants and whatnot.

Firewatch

Available on: PS4 and PC

Firewatch-screenshot

Considering the short amount of time you spend with Firewatch, it sure packs a punch with personality and emotion. Campo Santo’s February release garnered a backlog of hype thanks to E3 presentations, so expectation was high. Although gamers were disappointed about the 4-hour completion time, the story of a fire lookout armed with a walkie talkie is deep, thanks to the dialog options the players can choose from. Or not to depending on what feels right for the situation. The art style fits the atmosphere of the game to perfection. Firewatch will stick with you for a long time after you finish.

Is there a game you think deserves to be on the list? Let us know in the comments below.

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