2016 will be remembered as the year that gave Charlie Brooker so much material, that 2016 wipe was split into 12 parts. To thank for all the misery we have, From Software, who decided to release a Dark Souls game for public consumption that Muss actually enjoyed. This critical error engendered unprecedented degrees of geopolitical destabalisation and the undoing of much progressive politics in a price humanity will be paying for generations to come. Currently, there is no apt category under which one may fully realise From Software's work. As the few scientists we have left busy themselves with the unenviable task of restoring some semblance of rationality to humankind, let us take a momentary respite from our dark timeline and shine a torch upon those honourable games which attempted to stem From's tides of turmoil.
The Beautiful Game Award
Pro Evolution Soccer 2017
Not since the PS2 glory days had Muss picked up a PES game, but from the moment his Master League motley crew stepped onto the pitch for their opening game a warm sense of familiarity welcomed him. A masterful simulation of football, consistently bringing out the beautiful elements of the beautiful game from tense 1-0s to five goal thrillers. Perfect with a friend for a few casual games to immerse oneself in as the world around burns, or as a significant solo time sink, this is unquestionably the sports game of the year and an example of what Konami can accomplish when they aren't busy shooting themselves in the foot.
The Randy Orton Award for Best Game out of Nowhere
An outstanding fusion of solitaire and horse racing, marrying the tactical aspects of racecraft with a high tempo game of cards that dictates how much energy your mare has in the tank for the crucial homestretch. Presented within a cheerfully silly RPG story, and plump with replayability thanks to varying horse race styles, a good degree of challenge, and the long term goal of breeding winners, this game came out of nowhere while proving to be one of the year's more addicting experiences. May we count our blessings that the requirement of quick thinking has kept many human minds sharp during the Frompocalypse.
The, Dah I'm on 'Telly, Award for Tele-Cinematic Immersion
Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom
An exceptional adaptation of the popular Anime, Omega Force flawlessly immerse players into vertical maneuvering equipment that will have all joyously swinging about the gloriously styalised locales of the Amime. Not as refined as other nominations but outrageously fun, consistently evoking exilheration from titanic battles. A perfect accompaniment for the either the show or manga, those who partake in this title in short bursts will feel greatly rewarded for doing so with a game which captures the quintessential aspects of it's source material, while still affording one enough time to focus on the important things in life, like cleaning up From's mess.
And the Game of the Year award goes to...
Much like Terminator 2, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and the Godfather Part II, X-Com 2 had was beset a mighty challenge in merely attaining the levels of its predecessor, let alone surpassing them. But like those aforementioned classics, X-Com 2 is such a complete success that many will many will even find returning to the original difficult.
The narrative commences in a fittingly dark timeline where a bunch of lizard men masquerade as champions of humanity, beckoning the chosen to seek refuge within their medical facilities, in what is clearly some perverse effort to make neo-con xenomoporphs great again at the expense of mankind the vast majority of humankind. Things appear bleak, and indeed they are. Mankinds resistance is woefully inadequate, and the alien occupation of Earth is almost total, when the last best hope of humanity, the Commander, you, are freed from incareration and embark upon furthering a woeful resistance movement into a miraculous savior of mankind.
This isn't all coincidental. It isn't random chance that a lizard man is soon to be inaugerated as the most powerful individual on Earth, nor that resistance to it has hitherto been inept. This is all part of the inevitable havok From Software, knowingly or not, unleashed upon our home in the wake of Dark Souls III. Fortunately, one man stood wise and true amongst the mass hollowing and decay of celebrated life in 2016.
Big Sid Meier.
Quite rightly the only human left within the industry with the name value to have his three syllables etched upon the plastic flesh of video game disc containers, Big Sid Meier developed the perfect training device for those of us who are undead but have not yet descended into madness. With X-Com 2 in hand, the plight of Earth is plain to see. There will be a grave, seemingly impossible struggle, against what seems to be an overwhelmingly superior force. Many brave comrades will fall along the way, but mankind must soldier on. Defeats will feel inevitable, but through adversity we become stronger. We take the impossible odds and defy them. We train, we learn, we understand the Dark Soul which feasts upon us.
And we vanquish it.
Our journey to that goal requires the The X-Com 2 training module. It is there that we may begin to understand the true reality of our world that is, as we speak, hurtling dangerously towards a Earth year 2017. Fortunately, this module was available from Earth year 2016, sun revolution number 158, which was time enough for those whose presence the module graced to begin their training in time for tomorrow's reality.
There is an early victory. The rookie team rescue the venerable commander, the terms of reality are bound, troop limitations conveyed. But the cost is real, a soldier will fall, and our base of operations begins as little more than a glorified tour bus whose best days are behind it. The task is entirely up to the player to bring turn this ramshackle operation into liberation.
Triumphs bring rewards which enable an intangible amount of upgrades to the base of operations, soldier equipment, and resistance networks. But each victory is a challenge. The menace of the alien dark soul evolves. What was beaten mutates and must be beaten again with different tactics. Fortunately soldiers can grow too, specialising in a particular field, and each providing a vital role in our struggle. X-Com 2 teaches us the true tactical value of our soldiers. The risks are great and many, plain to see, and the enemy morphs. Not everyone soldier will make it unscathed. Even the wiliest veteran can be felled by foul odds. These soldiers grow and develop characteristics under your command, they transcend their two dimensional aesthetic and become dear to your heart for their actions. The loss of a skilled elite hurts. It's a pain that will cause some to hollow, but it is a hurt which must be overcome by a true commander for the greater good of mankind. Their loss, our loss, cannot be in vain.
Some will question the value of the X-Com 2 training module because it is turn based. They will claim that it therefore cannot generate the tension and quickly changing reality of our world.
They are fools.
Turn constraints and challenging objectives ensure that the valiant X-Com soldier is up against a seemingly intolerable strain constantly and must employ smart guerrilla tactics. Time is no ally. The deeper one stares into the fog of war, the quicker our hollowing beckons as an unthinkable number of malicious permutations are cloaked tantalisingly on the cusp of sight, while lying predominantly unobtainable. To live in Earthyear 2017 is to either hollow or to rekindle. To rekindle one must master the fear that knowledge brings. Fools will gaze into the fog for an eternity and learn nothing. The X-Com 2 training module forces the unknown upon us, forces the madness of infinity, because only those of us who can conquer this fabric of our reality may truly stand up to the challenges of righting what 2016 has wrought, and has still to wrought.
With the right level of aptitude and perseverance, the X-Com 2 training module will turn you into a human capable of struggling against the reality of 2017. Big Sid has unleashed the holy grail of video games unto humanity in a bid to springboard us away from woe and towards prosperity.
Don't let Big Sid down.
Enlist in the X-Com program today.