Wooderon Games of the Year 2016: #9

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Day number two of my Games of the Year listings, and it kind of feels like I didn’t play much more than 10 games this year. Which not to say this bottom end of the list was scrabbled together from the only other games I could figure out I’d played this year, but it’s been light.

Look I liked all the games on this list, whatever. Like before I’m going to recap and link to previous entires before talking about the next game on the list.

#10: Gears of War 4

#9: XCOM 2

Played on PC | Released 5th February | Developed by Firaxis Games

I’m no XCOM traditionalist, I never got into the series until the Xbox 360 title; Enemy Unknown, came out. Even then, I’m a real XCOM wimp. I only play on the easier difficulties and save scum like a total machine. But I was still really excited to game my hands on the relatively surprising release of XCOM 2 on PC at the start of the year.

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Those of you that don’t know, XCOM is a turn based military strategy game where you play a rag tag group of resistance fighters trying to strike back against an alien menice that has taken over the world. My enjoyment comes for the tactical nature of the game, despite my total ineptitude toward it. Your success in the game comes from positioning, prediction of enemy position and reloading a thousand auto saves because you missed three 75% shots in a row.

There are wide and varied ways troops can grow and the number of skills at their disposal gets pretty expansive the deeper you get into the game.Not only that, the game has given a whole new level of troop customisation in this game compared to older entires in the series. Meaning you can name all of them after family, friends and famous people. Then have them brutally killed because they panicked at the wrong time and got themselves flanked by mechs and turrets.

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The game is a huge step up from the 360 release of years gone by, both visually and mechanically and is a pretty good looking game. Better than you’d expect. Given, I’ve heard that the game doesn’t perform as well on consoles, of which a port was released much later in the year.

You might be sensing some frustrations from me about this game. Well, there is a reason for that: the game is balls hard and oftentimes just plain unfair, throwing you into situations you can’t possibly be expected to succeed given the time restraints and the variety of enemies thrown at you. This makes success all the more rewarding and is one of the things that keeps me coming back to the game. It feels like the game can be too luck based at times and you can potentially lose your entire team because two or three dice rolls didn’t go your way, essentially ending the game for you in the later stages.

There’s this sense of masochism I gain from the game, despite being one of the few games all year to gain a physical act of frustration out of me. I want to succeed, and I intend to use every dirty trick at my disposal to do so. Despite what the game is trying to do to the contrary. It’s my favourite bullshit, frustrating and unfair game of the year.

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