Top 5 Games of 2016: Mid Year Extravaganza! GAMING GAMING REVIEWS by Brian Toglia - August 11, 2016 Article by: Brian Toglia So I was thinking, “By the time the end of the year rolls around, some of my Top 5 Games of 2016 will have changed from the ones that are my current favorites”. I then continued my thought and said to myself, “Wouldn’t a mid year Top 5 list make for a fun article and possibly shed some light on a few games people might have missed and want to play over the relatively lite-on-games summer?”. Once again, internal dialog persisted, “That’s a pretty good idea, if I say so myself!”, which I did just say… to myself…. Somehow I was able to escape the downward spiral of this self-to-self debate and managed to write down some groupings of words that amazingly manifested themselves into my Top 5 Games of 2016: Mid Year Extravaganza article. Enjoy!? Snapping into cover at number 5…. Tom Clancy’s The Division What we have here is a decently deep RPG disguised (thinly) as a cover based 3rd person shooter. With tons of loot including guns, armor, holsters, knee pads (your super elite secret agent is not at a high enough level to equip those pads… so silly!) and more, this game is way more Diablo than Gears of War. The leveling system(s) are of particular note in The Division. It moves along at a brisk enough pace without the need to grind (too much). The game has separate level systems for PvE and “PvP” (quotes explained shortly) which is both interesting and divisive simultaneously. While the game doesn’t have a true PvP per se, it does introduce an (initially) cool “Rogue Agent” mechanic where a player can try to steal another player’s loot in the non campaign co-op multiplayer, called the Dark Zone, by going rogue and killing a fellow player. Unfortunately, less than reputable players have taken to camping out entrances to the Dark Zone in order to kill unsuspecting journeyman. That hurts the replay value of this title immensely. At number 4 with a Bullet, a Sword, some Magic, a couple of Traps, and a few Bombs is…. Overwatch Blizzard shows that they still know what they are doing when it comes to making stellar video games with the “Hero Shooter” Overwatch. You choose between a large number of Heroes that have varied abilities such as wall running, flying, super speed, transformation (particularly into a stationary turret), and many more. Each character is sorted into 1 of 4 classes (Offensive, Defensive, Tank, and Support) and each class has a specific role to play in a teams pursuit of victory. Obviously, team balance and teamwork are integral if you are to achieve success in this multiplayer only FPS. Each hero has equal usefulness and an equal and opposite counterbalancing character (at least they do after a few post-launch tweaks) so as to make your choice of who to play as a personal one rather than who is the best available. This game is so polished visually and gameplay wise that it almost immediately makes all other multiplayer only games irrelevant. I can see Overwatch getting better with age and creeping up my list eventually. For more on OVERWATCH read our review here, exclusively at Monkeygoosemag.com! Coming at you like a Cyberdemon outta hell at number 3…. DOOM This game is amazing! A stellar single player campaign for the ages, with lots of weapon, enemy, and terrain variety. I’m not too keen on the multiplayer but it is at least serviceable. Honestly, the single player deserves a 9.5/10 rating while the MP sits somewhere near 6.5/10. Breaking through to the number 2 spot: Quantum Break I love Remedy as a developer as they rarely miss their mark, and they sure didn’t miss it with Quantum Break. Up until the recent release of Inside, QB was my front runner for GOTY. There is so much to love about this XBOX exclusive. The gunplay, the cover system, the awesome time based powers,and the splintering time travel based story! Up until the recent release of my #1 game, QB was my front runner for GOTY. The fact that it was overtaken does not take away from the fact that Quantum Break is a tremendous game! The gunplay is so silky smooth that I felt like a time manipulating, bullet spewing, havoc creating god! If that doesn’t sound like an enjoyable way to spend 10ish hours then this game is not for you. Running, Jumping, and swinging into the number 1 slot in my mid year GOTY Extravaganza is…. Inside This game single handedly renews the long lived debate; Are video games art? I believe the answer is yes, and Inside is case and point, and oh what a case it has made! Normally, I don’t mind video games having console exclusivity as they are the sole reason to own each system, but it’s a shame that if you don’t have an XBOX One, you are walled off (at least for now) from playing Inside. If you own an XBOX One, you owe it to yourself to play this game. If you don’t, you should consider buying one for it. Yes, Inside is short, but it REALLY is that good! Honorable Mentions: Rocket League (XBOX One version released this year), Firewatch (PS4 exclusive), Note: I have yet to play Uncharted 4, Dark Souls 3, The Witness, or No Man’s Sky, by default, I can’t comment on or rank them. That’s all folks! Look for a lot more game reviews and Top 5 (or 10) lists from me in the future. I might even throw in a retrospective or opinion piece as a bonus! Happy Summer everyone!