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Brutal Gamer Awards 2016 part 1: We pick our ‘Genre Bests’

The 2016 Brutal Gamer Awards are go. Part 1 is here today, with our picks for the best of the individual genres for 2016.

Genre Bests, 2016

A big year for games? Yep, 2016 was pretty gigantic, though we tend to say that almost every year. When you get right down to it, every year brings surprises, monster releases, and a precious few games that redefine the genres that they call home. And you better believe that this past 365 was no different.

One of the most lopsided sections of this year’s voting within BG, the Genre Bests were more runaways than not. In particular, the ‘action’, ‘RPG’, and ‘indie’ sections were easy picks for our staffers. And that’s even with the glut of excellent games to look back on, from across every console and platform out there.

In all, there are six categories to peruse today, with some of our top picks listed before we get down to the individual winners. Past today, there’s plenty more to come too, with two more installments of this past year’s best, before we get to the very best of 2016. So, without further ado, scroll down and see what we here at BG thought were the best of the Genre Bests, for the year of 2016.

Action

One of the most popular categories was also the biggest runaway for us this year. Far and away, our writers selected the PS4 exclusive Uncharted 4 as the winner. And really, who can blame them, as the game closed out the Nathan Drake saga definitively and with style.

From our review:
With excellent graphics and sound, an incredible cast of voice talent, and a script that is loaded with shocks and twists, Uncharted 4 hits all the high notes in terms of presentation. Add to that perfectly tuned gameplay, and even a shaky stealth system can’t ruin what’s one of the best games of 2016.
Our Score: 96%

Winner: Uncharted 4

Runners up:

  • Ratchet & Clank
  • Gears of War 4
  • Dishonored 2

FPS (Shooters)

One of my personal favorite genres, shooters usually excel in lots and lots of bloody action and gunplay. This year though, there was one game that not only got the blood (and guts) right, but shook up the typical gunplay quite a bit. Of course, I’m talking about Bethesda and iD’s Doom. A reboot of the classic FPS series, Doom offered gamers plenty of ways to shoot demons, but also gave them the goriest ways possible to rip them to shreds by hand. This is how you remake a classic.

From our review:
Doom is a successful modern return to its roots, a heck of a grindhouse adventure, a romp through hell in the best meaning of the word… if there is a “best meaning” to that… ?The gameplay is fluid and brutal, the multiplayer, while lacking in uniqueness, is still a fun way to kill an hour or so at a time, and the SnapMap, if you can understand how to use it, seems to be one of the most competent level creators I’ve seen in any game. If you grew up playing the original Doom and had some skepticism about this modern Bethesda-made iteration, leave them at the door and go to Hell… in-game of course.
Our Score: 89%

Winner: Doom

Runners up:

  • Overwatch
  • Titanfall 2
  • Battleborn

RPG and Strategy

Another runaway winner was picked here in the role-playing and strategy category. Can you guess which game it was? I’ll help you out: it was Final Fantasy 15. Square Enix’ long awaited RPG finally saw release this year, and made a heavy impact with fans, who loved the mix of the traditional and new that the game offered.

From our review:
Final Fantasy XV does a great job of combining a strong relationship between main characters and an epic quest to make a compelling experience. A lot of the story could use to be fleshed out a little more, but I was happy with the overall product. It is important to mention that as of press, a new update adding New Game+ arrived for the game. More DLC and updates will be coming over the year as well.
Our Score: 88%

Winner: Final Fantasy 15

Runners up:

  • Total War: Warhammer
  • Dark Souls 3
  • 8 bit Armies
  • XCOM 2
  • Civ 6

Indie

Let’s put it where it is: Indie games are here to stay. They provide some of the most original, and at times though-provoking gaming experiences around. Not afraid to take chances and not beholden to sales figures, Indie games are an important part of the gaming landscape. And this year’s pick by our staff at BG was right there with both of those thoughts, and also yet another runaway winner. Its the underwater adventure, Abzu.

From our review:
All of the above comes together in a package that’s as cool to play as it is different and -dare I say it- artistic. ABZÛ is fairly unique (excepting Journey) in the video game landscape, and that’s a good thing.It’s gorgeous, it’s not overly-complicated, and it’s as deep as the big, blue sea. Simply put, it’s worth diving into.
Our score: 82%

Winner: Abzu

Runners up:

  • Firewatch
  • Inside
  • The Temporal Invasion

Family or Kid Friendly

There was a time when games aimed at kids and family play were almost the totality of the market. The 80s and half of the 90s saw almost every release fall into this category. That was a long time ago though, and the medium has evolved into one that covers pretty much every and any age group. Still, there are plenty of games still that cater to younger gamers and are friendlier to family time. And one of those is this year’s winner, Ratchet & Clank.

We didn’t run a review of the title that rebooted Ratchet & Clank as a series, but it’s all kinds of fun. With stunningly sharp graphics, this PS4 exclusive platformer/action title offers plenty of cartoony shooting and even some light puzzle-solving. It’s honestly fun for all ages, but should make for a game that older kids will love, not to mention give them a little bit of a challenge.

Winner: Ratchet & Clank

Runners up:

  • Pokemon Sun/Moon
  • Skylanders Imaginators
  • Pokemon GO

Miscellaneous

Our last category of the day is also our most diverse. It celebrates games from a whole bunch of genres, that don’t fit into the ones already mentioned. Some of these genres are also criminally underserved in the gaming universe, and so nominees for Game of the Year need to be put together with others in the same boat, to better make for a voting card.

This year’s list included adventure games, virtual reality titles, and even one that starred dueling chefs. The winner? That’d be Telltale Games’ Batman: The Telltale Game Series.

Batman Telltale Games Logo

From our review:
Personally, I thought the story that Telltale presented us with was a delight. I may even go back and make different choices, and see how my season ends. At times it feels like they are trying incredibly hard to squeeze a lot into such a small window of opportunity. However, with Gotham being as it is, and so many storylines intertwining, it does not feel out of place. While the story sometimes feels like it wanders, things are brought home in the finale. We get one last glimpse of our friend from Arkham. His latest location and personality have changed. This leaves things quite open-ended. We will have to wait and see what Telltale and DC have in store…
Our score: 82%

Winner: Batman: The Telltale Game Series

Runners up:

  • Overcooked
  • Pokken Tournament
  • Rhythm Heaven Megamix

About Jason

Jason
Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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