Jeff Gerstmann is the owner and operator of jeff.zone.
It's been a strange and occasionally exhausting year. A handful of humongous ups and some lingering, disturbing downs. But I'm not really here to recap the year that was, these articles can only get so long before they start breaking the page layout. Video games. 2016 was a great year for software--developers seem comfortable with the variety of platforms at their disposal and we're seeing a lot of really great games in all shapes and sizes. What used to feel like a divide between "big games" and "small games" now feels a lot closer to a game for every moment, every feeling, and every attitude. The old "mid-tier" game is creeping back onto the scene, but it's coming from the smaller games getting bigger, which has been pretty cool.
8. Let it Die
Let it Die is almost definitely not one of the 10 best games of 2016, but it's definitely one of my 10 favorite games of 2016. It's a weird mix that onlookers seem to keep mistaking for a Dark Souls clone, but there really aren't that many similarities beyond some basic stick-n-move combat and some long windups on heavier attacks. It takes that chunk of combat and drops it into a Roguelikelikelite format, then adds in an asynchronous multiplayer component that has a few things in common with Metal Gear Solid V's FOB raids. But it also has a crazy style, with fun characters, cutscenes that wouldn't have been out of place in something like Amped 3, and a free-to-play hook that manages to tie into the whole "arcade-game-within-a-game" aesthetic, rather than simply feeling intrusive and limiting. I think it all comes together in a really singular way, pulling its influences together without ever quite feeling like it's biting too much from any one thing.