Defying the odds, id Software has made DOOM not only a relevant series in 2016, but a great one. They’ve also managed to create three distinct modes that all have their own appeal and feel to them. It’s an amazing package, and one that has continued to bring gamers back to over the year.
A shooter is largely dependent on how you view it: from a single-player or multiplayer standpoint. Infinite Warfare has one of the best campaigns that we've seen in a shooter, with some incredible set pieces, a ton of varied gameplay, and some dark grounded moments, despite being in the vast reaches of space. It merits consideration for shooter of the year on this campaign alone.
If you’re a hardcore first-person shooter fan, then play the campaign on Hard difficulty right away. While the story of the campaign might not blow you away, the gameplay variety and execution might. This isn’t your typical first-person single-player that shepherds you from one setpiece to the next. Not to say there aren’t any, but for the most part, the “wow” moments come in the form of gameplay design much more than pre-canned animations and quick-time events (QTE).
Titanfall 2 is the new king of the FPS hill. Controls are tight, action is fierce, maps are intricately designed, and Titans are badass. The cherry on top is a campaign that is genuinely enjoyable, and one that fans of the first game are likely to be satisfied with, which expands upon the universe of the series. Group all of this together with an ambitious free DLC plan, and the choice of which shooter to buy this holiday season becomes obvious. Titanfall 2 is second to none.
The Division is something special that’s never really been done before in games, and while I don’t expect perfection from such a bold experiment, I’m impressed with what they have been able to pull off so far, especially as the game has been updated with DLC and improvements. It might be an odd pick, but it's innovation certainly earns it a place on the list of nominees.
With accessibility to spare, a real commitment to diversity and an infectious sense of innocent fun, Overwatch feels like an important game — the sort that can bridge boundaries in the oft-segmented gaming community. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that this may just be the project to revitalize lapsed or disheartened gamers’ interest in the medium, or the one to bring new players onboard the FPS wagon. So many big games unintentionally put up a wall, implying through their communities, marketing or even gameplay, that they are only for one kind of player or another. Overwatch, on the other hand, makes no mistake in identifying its audience: anyone and everyone that wants to take a shot. It’s ironic to imagine a title about a fragmented team fighting amongst itself serving as a big unifier, but that might just be what we need. At a time when the division between our hobby’s constituents seems more visible than ever, Overwatch reminds us that we’re more alike than different — if we let them, games can bring us together. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s something well worth fighting for.
The team at Respawn Entertainment took everything they learned from the original Titanfall, and applied it perfectly to Titanfall 2. Considering this developer started with members from Infinity Ward of Call of Duty fame, their experience in crafting a masterful multiplayer experience shows throughout Titanfall 2. The campaign even kicks ass, to boot!