Welcome to GameSpot Q&A, a section where we ask our staff and readers an interesting discussion question about video games. Look at this as a forum where you and others can discuss and compare your opinions of this beloved hobby of ours. Let us know what your answer is to this week’s question in the comments below!
This week’s question is:
What’s your favorite shooter this year?
This year has been packed with first-person shooters that each sport their own distinct rules and mechanics. For example, there’s Overwatch with its approachable team-based action, and then there’s Doom with its fast-paced gun battles and classic FPS structure. With so many great new shooters, which one is your favorite of 2016 so far? Our editors highlight their choices in the answers below.
Overwatch | Joey Yee, Video Producer
Overwatch has taken me by the horns and hasn’t let go. No other shooter this year has built such an incredible world and filled it with such a diverse cast of characters quite like Overwatch has. It’s a game that puts a name, a backstory, and a personality to whomever you’re controlling. It ties every single one of the heroes abilities to their character design, making everything you do with them all the more personal. Not to mention, the sound design is among the best I’ve ever experienced in any game, with voice lines serving as both flavor and function. Just when I think I need a break from playing it, the art style, the team-based combat, and the well-balanced cast of heroes just keeps pulling me back in.
Doom | Peter Brown, Senior Reviews Editor
Shooters have evolved in leaps and bounds since the original Doom graced PCs back in the early ’90s. Hell, even Doom 3 was a wholly different beast when it arrived in 2004, eschewing all-out carnage in favor of spooky corridors and measured exploration. Yet in 2016, we saw Doom return to its roots by focusing on fast-paced gun battles and explosive weaponry. As you descend from the surface of a broken colony on Mars into the depths of hell, the demons you battle grow more fearsome and the heavy metal soundtrack goes into overdrive. By the end, the combination of wild beats and beasts is almost too much to handle, but that’s what makes Doom so delightfully sinister, and why it’s my favorite shooter this year.
Battlefield 1 | Eddie Makuch, News Editor
DICE’s World War I game Battlefield 1 is my favorite shooter of 2016. While most shooters focus on the present and future, DICE looks to the past, to a time period that mainstream games haven’t done much with over the years. You might think the relatively low-tech warfare of World War I does not lend itself to being a fun experience, but no game in 2016–shooter or otherwise–has captured my attention like Battlefield 1 has. The dynamic multiplayer is highly compelling, drawing me back with the allure of what crazy thing will happen next. The globetrotting nature of both the multiplayer and single-player campaign help you get an idea for where and how the Great War was fought and the struggles of its combatants. Riding horses across the desert in a Battlefield game is an experience I didn’t know I wanted but now need more of.
Titanfall 2 | Rob Handlery, Video Producer
With 2016’s great line up of diverse shooters, it feels trite to say Titanfall 2 is what its predecessor should have been. It’s difficult to vouch for a sequel that, at first glance, doesn’t break or alter its own franchise formula drastically. Then you wonder why you’ve been playing Titanfall 2 for six hours straight. Respawn has meticulously added everything absent from the first game to Titanfall 2. A strong progression system of unlocks that glorifies personality, prediction, and playstyle. It has finessed the series’ renowned mobility, further rewarding the anti-twitch shooter with the speed to cheat death within polished parkour maps. Enjoyment doesn’t end upon perfecting that custom loadout catered to you–it’s learning how to counter your opponent. Every kit, ordinance, and ability feels as if it challenges others. And losing doesn’t feel like a cheap death. In Titanfall 2, there’s always a lesson to learn, and a story to share.
Battlefield 1 | Dan Crowd, Video Producer
Now this is going to sound like madness, but Battlefield 1 is my favorite shooter of 2016 (and my favorite Battlefield overall) because of its single-player campaign.
Yes, the multiplayer is incredible: the shooting, the weapon balance, and the horses. It’s all great.However, the game’s War Stories campaign is one of its most standout qualities. Whether it’s the conman telling the tale of how he became the best pilot in the British air force despite being an American, or the war hero taking a bright-eyed, idealistic kid from small town Australia under his wing during the battle of Gallipoli, DICE told engaging, affecting stories that balanced quiet, emotional moments with Battlefield’s trademark explosive gameplay. The single-player campaign is a benchmark that future games in the genre should strive to achieve.
Overwatch | Jimmy Thang, Technology Editor
Shooters aren’t my favorite genre; the only FPS I’ve ever played consistently before this year has been Team Fortress 2. I tend to enjoy MOBAs, specifically League of Legends. However, Overwatch essentially melds two games that I love into a beautiful, cohesive package. The game has an amazing, diverse cast of characters, a fleshed-out universe, and most importantly, it’s fun as hell.
Overwatch is by far my most played game of 2016. I’ve spent countless hours watching character tutorial videos and have theorized how to come up with cheesy strategies with my friends. It’s not only one of my favorite shooters of the year, but I’m confident that it’s a game that I will be playing for many years to come.
Gears of War 4 | Scott Butterworth, Editor
If I’m being completely honest, I don’t think Gears of War 4 is the “best” shooter that came out in 2016–as others have made plain, that’s a battle to be fought among Overwatch, Titanfall 2, and Battlefield 1. But for a multitude of reasons, Gears 4 is my personal favorite. Part of its appeals stems from nostalgia. Slamming my shoulders into cover before popping up to fire a few bloody rounds into a rushing Locust took me right back to the early days of the Xbox 360–a halcyon era for both myself and gaming at large. Seeing classic characters like Marcus appear in a new context had a similar impact.
But the real draw was (and continues to be) the revamped Horde Mode. The strategic depth added by the introduction of the Fabricator–among other clever tweaks–makes this mode my favorite cooperative shooter experience in years. Very little can match the reward and exhilaration of conquering the final wave after multiple hours of effort, a feat that requires no small amount of commitment and skill. That exceptional mix of planning, cooperation, and good ol’ blood-and-guts shooting make Horde Mode 3.0 and Gears 4 as a whole this year’s standout shooter.
Titanfall 2 | Jake Dekker, Video Producer
I can’t stop playing Titanfall 2. I don’t even like online multiplayer shooters that much, but every time I sit down to play a game, Titanfall 2 is all I want to play. Respawn built a solid foundation with the first, but Titanfall 2 manages to push everything further. The result is a polished shooter that feels better than anything else I’ve played this year. Whether you’re leaping from wall to wall, boarding an enemy titan, or facing off against a pilot; there’s no shortage of exciting moments. If you asked me what shooter I was most looking forward to this year, Titanfall 2 probably wouldn’t have come to mind, but now I don’t know how I’ll be able to go back to Call of Duty or Battlefield.