Mafia 3 stands out on the story front, and if you stick to its powerful story and main missions, you might find something here to like.
Unfortunately, its barren game world, trivial side missions and mindless AI make it a tough game to recommend. It has a story to tell, one many of us probably need to hear.
It’s just a shame that it gets lost in the background.
No Man’s Sky
The story of No Man’s Sky is perhaps the most intriguing of 2016. Sony had marketed this game as being one of the must-have games for the PS4, and leading into release there was plenty of hype surrounding it.
Unfortunately, the end result was well below the expectations set out by advertisements and promotional tours, which painted a picture of an action-packed space exploration game. What we got instead was a slow grind, inviting players into an admittedly impressively-sized universe that lacked much in the way of compelling progression.
A recent update aimed to address a lot of the game’s less-than-enjoyable features, but nothing can save No Man’s Sky from its most disastrous launch.
ReCore has some solid ideas, and it definitely has its moments, but I still find myself unsure if it’s worth recommending.
While playing it, I found myself both loving and hating major facets of the experience: I liked the shooting and its colour-coded weapons, but I hate how tough it can be to switch in the middle of a battle. I love the world of Far Eden, but I hate how the map lacks structure. I adored Joule and her relationship with the Corebots, but the story all too often dips into long lulls. I love the crafting system, but I hate the long waits to and from the base. I don’t mind the visuals, but low-quality textures and screen tearing devalue it.
Overall, ReCore has a story it wants to tell, and while it sometimes may not even know what that story is, it’s still confident enough in what it’s trying to. It has its moments, and there’s plenty of depth there, so it comes down to whether you can find the patience to battle such a consistent stream of inconsistent quality.
Homefront: The Revolution
The Homefront franchise is perhaps one of gaming’s most underutilised. The first game set a fascinating scenario of war and conflict, and while it didn’t set the world on fire, it seemed like a compelling enough world to justify a sequel, and it was.
Unfortunately, The Revolution went through development hell. It started at THQ, moved over to Crytek, and eventually ended with Deep Silver. The end result is a game that isn’t very good, but is still drowning in ambition.
The Revolution is a game that wants to be good: it’s just a victim of poor parenting. Is it worth a go? Maybe. Probably not. It’s almost too frustrating in parts to recommend, and its story can be a little muddled. But I still see it as the little game that could, even if it could have done with another year or so cooking in the oven.
Street Fighter V
One of the year’s most anticipated games was released in an essentially unfinished state.
Capcom’s intention was to ditch the countless re-released versions that infamously defined Street Fighter IV, and instead focus on downloadable content and updates to keep Street Fighter V active and fresh.
The problem, however, was that the game released with as barebones an offering as you could imagine. Capcom went from one extreme to another. Included in the game was a shallow online mode with versus casual and ranked, and a training mode that was so thin and boring it may as well not have even been included in the first place.
Capcom still asked for a full retail price at launch, and screamed down from the rafters that paid DLC was on the way, like as if players and fans should be happy about that. On top of all of this, the online functionality was a broken mess for weeks after after launch.