2016 was a huge year for gaming. With numerous exciting games to play, a plethora of new game announcements, and some most the obvious blunders and unforced errors in recent memory, 2016 gave us a lot to talk about in the world of gaming and here are the top seven biggest moments from this year.
The Nintendo Switch Reveal
After years of setback and failures with the much maligned Wii U, Nintendo has made its way through the darkest of days and come out on the other side with the reveals on the long rumored Nintendo Switch. Not everything is known about the combination handheld/home console device as of yet, but a full blow out is scheduled early in 2017 when things like battery life, storage size and the launch lineup will surely be revealed. Until then, Nintendo is back to making all the right moves so far when it comes to the Switch.
No Man’s Sky’s Headaches
Who could’ve seen this one coming? After years of hype and being shown prominently at press conference after press conference, the small team at Hello Game finally released their space flying sim thing No Man’s Sky this year to a loud and resounding thud. Through all the marketing speak, half truths and outright lies about what would be in the game and the deafening silence from the developer for months after its release, it’s safe to say No Man’s Sky was the biggest disappointment of 2016.
Jonathan Blow and Playdead Deliver Again
The day and age of indie gaming is in full swing, but the biggest noise of all this year came from two developers whose first projects really kicked the door down for indie games to succeed. Both Playdead, who created the macabre Limbo, and Jonathan Blow, who made the somber Braid, followed up these releases with a pair excellent sophomore efforts in Inside and The Witness, respectively. Both games were hailed as critical darlings and they just go to show that indie games are still putting forth incredible and unique ideas in 2016.
The Pokémon GO Craze
Sure, its time in the limelight was short lived, but no phenomenon in gaming quite took hold of the public consciousness the way that Pokémon GO did this summer. From people causing traffic problems in busy intersections to just simply going outside and interacting with each other, Pokémon GO was something that won’t soon be forgotten any time soon. The fact Pokémon Sun and Moon were two of the top selling games of the year truly shows the impact this franchise still has in people’s lives today.
Red Dead Redemption 2’s Announcement
Now three years after the release of the critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar finally announced something new this year with Red Dead Redemption 2. After tweeting out a picture of their logo that got everyone talking, the open world developer treated us to a small taste of what we are all hoping will be next year’s playable Westworld. The reception to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption sent the franchise into territory little other open world games could match aside from Rockstar’s own Grand Theft Auto series, so a return in 2017 will surly be a welcomed development from most gamers.
Virtual Reality is Here
The commercial release of HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR has been a rocky road to say the least. However, the simple fact that right now I could go out and buy something that I can strap to my face and teleport me to a digital world to get lost in is kind of synthesis of a Kubrick film into real life. While it’s unclear what the future hold in regards to VR and what it will mean for the gaming landscape going forward, it is one of the biggest things to come out of this year in technology.
Doom, Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian Finally Come Out
A combined 25 years of work went into these three projects since their announcement to their release this year and it’s insane to think that despite all of the hype all three of these projects seem to have garnered quite a bit of positivity since their release both critically and from the hardcore fanbases, giving us hope for all of the titles still stuck in development hell.
While these were some of the most talked about things that happened in 2016, there’s a lot that was left off the list. Xbox One S and the PS4 Slim/Pro were released and Microsoft revealed plans for the Xbox Scorpio that shows first parties are all in for the future. Watch Dogs 2, Dishonored 2 and Titanfall 2 all released in the same month making November the month of the AAA sequel and Overwatch took the gaming world by storm with its fun mechanics and bright vibrant characters. So what did we miss? Leave your biggest moments in the comments below.