It’s December, the end of the year approaches and so many sites will start on their “Best Of” lists. I’m not a fan of them, least of all of Game of the Year nominations and awards. I think they’re short-sighted and often try to quantify games to pick a winner, often just the game with the highest review score, ignoring every other aspect of a game and its impact on the industry.
But with that said, I played more First person shooters in 2016 alone than the last couple of years combined. I don’t play the franchises with the yearly releases, as I need something more to attract me to the games. I often just play a single or a couple of first person shooters every year, those with the plot and elements that keep me playing.
I know I make it sound like I played a good baker’s dozens of first-person shooters, but in truth there were only 4:
- DOOM: I played this in the past week, buying it during the latest Steam sale and enjoying it on my new computer. This game is badass and even being new and having shiny graphics, it made me remember the good old days of playing Doom and modified versions of Doom 2 with my friends, just killing demons one super-shotgun blast at a time.
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: sure, I may play this game more as a first-person sneaker but it is still a first-person shooter. The only thing that brings it down, as I mentioned in an article a few days ago, is how the story doesn’t seem to go anywhere significant, how it feels incomplete, cut too short at the end of a prologue. But it’s still fun and interesting and I will always love the freedom of approach you have in Deus Ex games.
- Overwatch: The only multiplayer-focused first-person shooter I’ve ever enjoyed. This is a fun and fast game, with amazing characters and a wonderful lore to back it all up. And with new maps and characters along with competitive seasons and rewards, it’s going to be a game I keep playing for a long while, particularly using the Green Cyborg Ninja Dude and Reinhardt!
- Shadow Warrior 2: One of my latest acquisitions, bought along with DOOM in that Steam sale and a game that once I loaded it for the first time I could not let go until I had cleared the game. And then I restarted it on new game plus in a much higher difficulty level, something I rarely ever do.
Out of those four, I’m tempted to give the best of award to Overwatch, as it’s the game I’ve enjoyed the most over the year, the title I’ve defended to non-believers and one I just like so much that I’m willing to endure the competitive mode, one I’ve called a snake-pit in the past. And let’s not forget this is the game I’ve recorded the most videos for this year.
But to be honest, in the past week it became absolutely clear to me that despite some issues, the game I had the most fun with was Shadow Warrior 2. It has the action, fast paced and against incredible odds. It’s challenging, especially since it’s a hybrid First-person shooter and RPG and you get elite enemies with special properties, resistances and a ton of health. The bosses are great and can kill you.
Speaking of, it has a phenomenal death mechanic, like Dark Souls but with one clear difference that I think more games should implement: no loading times. If you die, you instantly respawn and get back into it.
Shadow Warrior 2 has a fantastic sense of humour and makes fun of itself—that and the many dick jokes—which is something it shares with Overwatch but not with the other two games on this list of nominees. It’s great to see Lo Wang just make fun of everyone and everything, with this as my favourite exchange:
Orochi Zilla: “Guards!”
Wang: “I killed all your guards”
Orochi: “All of them?”
Wang: “What can I say? I was on a roll!”
And to prove his…unique sense of humour, he has another exchange with Kamiko, his spiritual companion in this game:
“You’re such a prick!”
“I consider myself more of a Wang!”
But what truly puts the game on the top of the list is the song for the final boss fight. It’s a new theme recorded by Stan Bush, the singer for “The Touch,” the theme song for the 1980s Transformers animated movie.
The song’s name is Warrior and it’s an 80s Rock anthem. The moment I heard the song I knew it, Shadow Warrior 2 was the best first person shooter of the year, for a simple thing, and I’ll say it again: I had the most fun with it.
And in the end, that’s what games are for, to have fun.
But that’s my best first-person shooter of the year, do you have a different one? Let me know in the comments or on social media!