2016 Game of the Year

The Game Awards were recently hosted in LA. The gaming community rolled out the red carpet and a large group of games received the honor of a nomination. Some of the categories were pretty standard: Game of the Year, Best Narrative and Best Sound. Others were a little unexpected: Highest Impact and Trending Gamer. While one was a pretty new field: Best VR game. 

When it came to the game of the year, the judges decided this honor belonged to Overwatch, Blizzard’s highly acclaimed team-based FPS. That may be their choice but personally, I would disagree with that decision. 

So what game should have received the accolades? What game receives our prestigious* game of the year award? None other then:


I’ve made no secret of the fact that Naughty Dog’s farewell to Nathan Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, is the game that you need to be playing. If you haven’t played it, do it.
What makes me so determined that this is it? I won’t go into a full review, you can read Krispy’s coverage of that here, but I will say: it has everything… 

Controls

You start with an in-game tutorial that blends seamlessly into the narrative. I can’t say enough for developers that are wise enough to build the directions into the game so that I don’t have to sit reading a controller mappings list. But really, it’s barely needed. Some games I can start playing and constantly feel like I’m hitting the wrong button throughout the game because the controls don’t fit me. I know this can usually be fixed with some button mapping configurations, but in Uncharted 4 it wasn’t needed. Everything was just where it should be. 

Graphics

These characters are brought to life on the PS4 in such beautiful precision. The hard work put in by the artists on this team does not go unnoticed. The cut scenes were movie quality. Early on I found myself doing a double-take because I wasn’t sure if they used live footage. Little details like treads in the dirt and foot prints in the snow weren’t overlooked, neither were realistic movements as you parkour from ledge to ledge, or the fluidity of motion as swing from your grappling hook. Each of these things keeps you in the part of Nathan Drake. 

Audio

Along with the gameplay and the graphics, the third part of the trifecta was the audio. Naughty Dog did an amazing job tying it all together. It’s not just that each bit of sound was believable, but that the voice actors breathed life into their onscreen digital avatars. Nolan North received the award for best performance, and he definitely deserved it. 

Story

Just like Naughty Dog did with the fourth chapter in their Uncharted series, I’ve saved the best category for last. The narrative was both fun and moving. You can really get behind Nathan as you get to know him and his brother from an early age. It has action, romance, nostalgia, drama, treachery and more. Thankfully none of it feels forced, and you finish the game wishing it wouldn’t end. 

Conclusion 

Well that does it – those are a brief list of the reasons why you should be playing Uncharted 4 now, if you haven’t already. If you have, how did you like it? What game do you think deserved to be GOTY? Are you playing the multiplayer mode?

*Self proclaimed.

Bigfoot
Bigfoot has been playing video games for as long as he can remember, he was weaned straight from the bottle on to a Commodore 64 and hasn't looked back since. He enjoys sampling beer and hanging out with his family. A couple of his all-time favorite games are Earthbound (SNES) and Fallout 2 (PC).

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