I’m not really much of a gamer, i tend to play a single game intensely for a while then not play anything for months. Gaming is something which takes a lot of focus and energy so after a long work week i’m more likely to pick up the the TV remote than an xbox controller.
When i do game, i tend to do it with freinds or play puzzle & driving games. Here’s a quick run through the games i played in 2016.
Forza Horizon 2 & 3.
Forza horizon is an open world driving game. You drive around a large map and take part in different events and races. The maps are huge with the drive between races often being 10-20km. There are other activities too, like looking for special boards and hunting down lost cars.
I like this style of game because its a mix of sometimes i can repetitive thing (the circut racing) and exploring a large world. It’s really satisfying to explore something like a large forest and eventually find an old overgrown shed with a ferrari in it.
Forza horizon does not try to be a simulation, the driving benifits from practice but its not accurate or very realistic. It’s challenging enough to be interesting but not challenging enough to be too difficult. I tend to come in the top 3 of most races i enter on the first go.
Forza 6 is the similation version of the horizon game. It aims to be as realistic as possible and on the harder settings is very very difficult to play. You play through a series of “Chapters” each defining the type of car. Starting with releltively slow street cars and ending with forumla one cars and other motorsport toys.
I really enjoy the challenge of understanding how to drive fast. It requires a super delicate touch and lots of practice. The game is also vast, with every race having 6 different groups of similar cars avaliable. Completing all of chapter one took me months.
I don’t think either game is definitively more fun; it really depends on my mood. Adverture and exploring versus repetition and refinement.
Dirt Rally is the most recent edition of the classic Colin Mcrea Rally series i played as kid. After going a bit odd for a while (becoming more of a driving variety show game) the series refocused on just the stage based rally driving dialing up the realism in the process.
It’s like an off road version of Forza and that is really appealing. In many ways it sits between Forza 6 and Forza horizons. Runnig through stages and touring the world (with some stunning landscapes!) but while also still working towards a specific goal etc.
It’s really fun and very challenging to delicately slide a mini around an icy corner hald way up a mountain!
Unlike the other two games which have a “instant reply” system allowing you to retry a corner after a crash Dirt Rally is a single run everytime. If you make a mistake you have to live with it or restart the whole stage.
For the long stages it can be hard to keep the focus to be quick, smooth and not end up over wrapped around a tree.
Gears of Wars 4.
Gears of war is a shooting game. I dont enjoy the single player mode much. I find it repetitive, loud and annoying. However, i love playing the miltiplayer mode with my freinds.
Five of us can get together to build and defend a base from wave after wave of enermy attackers. It gets steadily harder as waves go one and you complete the mode when you hit wave 50.
I don’t tend to do well in intense firefights so i have taken to playing as a sniper (where i can pick off enimies from a distance) or as an engineer (where i fight very little and spend my time bulding traps and keeping sentry guns etc maintained).
Surviving on the higher waves requires intense team work and specilisation. As a sniper, my role is to pick off the big monster before they get close enough to kill a a member of my group.
Lego Star Wars Force Awakens.
Unlike all the other games which i have played on the Xbox, the final game i have been playing this year is for the Mac. It’s the Lego Star Wars game where you get to play through the story of The Force Awakens. It’s well designed, pretty and simple to play.
What games did you play in 2016? Did you play any of the games above? Feel free to leave a comment to let me know.