GOTY 2016: The Top 10 Games of 2016 - #2
We're excited to announce the Silicon Sasquatch Top 10 Games of the Year! After months of discussion and a marathon five-hour meeting, we've finally narrowed down the ten games that we feel best represent the best and most important that 2016 had to offer.
#2 | Doom
id Software | May 13th, 2016 | Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Doom is perhaps the most successful reboot of this generation. The only other game that holds a candle is Wolfenstein: The New Order, also an aging IP published under the Bethesda label.
But where Wolfenstein (also a Game of the Year winner) succeeded by writing its lead as a fully developed personality, the newest Doom strips away all pretense that shooters need an expository story or a relatable protagonist to be entertaining. In just the past few years two revitalized, classic shooters with two divergent opinions on game design have been released. Doom bets it all on recapturing the original’s frenetic nostalgia and reminds us that sometimes the feel of a game can matter as much, or more, than the relatability of the narrative.
Once Doom starts the action, it never stops until the credits roll. Even though some light platforming segments break up the ultraviolent combat, the plot propels players from one fight scenario to the next at a breakneck pace. And the whole time Doom demonstrates its self-awareness by leaning heavily on its ridiculousness. Chainsaws rip into flesh by way of one-button, killing-blow flourishes that pulverize demons into blood geysers. Fists are a fine substitute if you run out of chainsaw gas, easily tearing through hellspawn like sheets of printer paper.
Because the story means nothing, it does a spectacular job of serving the action. Maybe some fans out there picked up on series nuances and obscure references, or were even floored by the tiny Doom Guy collectible statuettes. But for someone like myself, who knew of Doom but had written it off, the reboot earned top marks for its one goal: make Doom relevant again.
At the same time, I hope Doom doesn’t sequelize itself to death. That lightning-in-a-bottle balance between old and new is hard to recapture, and bolting on new features and crazier kills will only dilute the 2016 version. Surprising many, id Software took a long look at what was special about Doom and revamped its core addictive hooks for today’s audiences. There are very few series that can reinvent themselves while simultaneously recapturing their oldest glory days, all while avoiding the fury of expectant, diehard fans.
While not the most original concept in an era full of reboots, Doom deserves its place on our list for just being a damn fun game stripped to its base appeal. With so many products swept up in using nostalgia to pocket our dollars (NES Classic Edition, Rogue One, etc.), it’s refreshing to enjoy a well-developed, well-polished game that doesn’t try to pretend it’s more than the sum of its predecessor’s parts. It asks us: Who doesn’t like shooting big-ass space guns at the endless legions of Hell?
Answer: No one hates that. Everyone loves shooting demons. — Aaron Thayer