January 11th, 2016
Penguin DT's GOTYs 2016!
What am I doing right now?
Work continues on the final boss; Now I'm working on the effect layers – overlay effects like lights and rendering masks for reflective surfaces. Once those are done, I can finally re-assemble all this into an in-game entity.
So, yup. I'm still sadly on this hush-hush work streak I can't write about in fear of spoiling things. However, I am considering turning this whole ordeal into a time-lapse video similar to the Mecha-Penguinator one. Naturally we'd release this after the release of TAGAP3, giving everyone enough time to see the boss for themselves first.
But now, to the main programming...
Penguin DT's GOTYs 2016
Time for yet another round of Game of the Year awards, Penguin DT style! And what a year this was for gaming – there were so many great titles that I haven't gotten to all the must-play titles yet! Seriously, with TAGAP3 and all, there are several great games I didn't manage to get to yet. But hey, time to pick our favourites from the ones we did get to play!
Best positive surprise:
The fact that something so daring that FarCry: Primal not only exists, but does so in an established shooter franchise, is nothing short of mind-boggling in a positive way. I went into it expecting a simple and cheap-yet-delightful gag-of-a-romp in style of BoodDragon, but boy was I in for a surprise; Primal is a full, well-thought-out experience filled with wonderful moments and fun characters.
I can't stress enough how atmospheric an experience FarCry: Primal is. The moment you descend into the wild forest at night for the first time, armed with nothing but a bunch of wooden sticks while every bush rattles with life... it's something else. Toss in wonderful audio, from the Wenja-speaking tribesmen to Jason Graves' truly primal score and you have a winner.
Oh my, this year was filled with great soundtracks, so many I had trouble keeping up with them all! Deus Ex: Mankid Divided's cyberpunk soundscape from Michael McCann and Sascha Dikiciyan is brilliantly atmospheric, Andrew Hulshult's neo-retro Rad Rodgers soundtrack is catchy as heck and the divisive No Man's Sky's score from 69daysofstatic is perfect stuff to relax to.
But – fortunately or unfortunately – I didn't have to choose between those three; Because Mick Gordon's DOOM is not a soundtrack, but a force of nature. It captures the brutally direct, hard-hitting blast-o-thon that is DOOM in a perfect way on audio. I mean just listen to it!
New favourite addiction:
Limited Run Games
Almost every year, something truly addictive creeps up onto gaming scene. You know what I'm talking about; Something so fun that you can't stay away. Last year introduced us to Lego Dimensions, so how about this year?
In addition to DOOM, my new biggest obsession is something called Limited Run Games. LRG is a company with a very specific purpose; To give limited physical editions to indie games that were released only digitally – often complete with soundtrack CDs! As a game and soundtrack collector I can't help but to love it!
I can't get everything they release – I mean I have TAGAP3 to budget as well – but holy heck do they have an amazing output. I actually intentionally avoided them for a while, since I knew I'd get hooked... but then they released physical copy of Shadow Complex. You know, one of the best games of all time and the main reason why TAGAP3 has Metroidvania elements?
Yeah, couldn't avoid that, could I? And now I'm hooked. All hail Limited Run Games!
Best of Backlog:
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Unlike with the previous years, I focused mostly on new releases – or new re-releases – so I went through only a couple of backlog entries. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of them, but I had too much fun with select new releases to take them for a ride.
I guess my pick isn't surprising to anyone. I already praised Wolfenstein: The New Order to high heavens last year, so naturally Wolfenstein: The Old Blood would follow. And it's pretty awesome ride, working as a prequel to the first one. Pretty much everything that made The New Order great is back, from the choose-your-style approach to shooter gameplay to fantastic world-building.
From the two, I like The New World a tiny bit more, but if you liked that one, The Old Blood is a must play.
Timo's GOTY 2016:
Come on, it's DOOM; Do I need to write up a justification for that?
Petja's GOTY 2016:
Larger scale strategy and close combat tactics combined with excellent design and gameplay choices work brilliantly in this sequel.
Jouni's GOTY 2016:
Is anyone surprised about this pick? Anyone? Thought not.
What is there left to say about the comeback of DOOM? It's honestly, without a scent of hyperbole, the best game I have ever played. It took the original, ran with it, amplified it and turned it into a pure adrenaline rush from beginning to end. It's metal as hell, brutal beyond belief and leaves you screaming for more.
So, welcome back, you blood-red, chubby Cacodemon you! Please, bring your friends soon!
So many games and so few prizes to give away; Each of these games is as worthy a visit as any of those mentioned above;
2016 games in the to-play cue
These games are on my to-play list, but since I didn't get to them yet, I can't valuate them for our GOTY awards. That said, expect to see some of these next year in 'Best of Backlog' category!
Most anticipated games of 2017
There are tons of interesting games incoming this year as well. Here's a bunch we are looking forward to;
Phew, that was a hefty update! Congratulations to all the winners!
Until next time,
Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin