by Byte’s Editorial Board
It’s the end of 2015, which means it’s time to select the best games of the year. To celebrate, members of Byte’s editorial board picked their favorite games to highlight. The games below are the favorites of Lucas Schmidt (@SchmidtyFro), Byte’s Features Editor and Senior Copy Editor.
4. Fallout 4
“I’ve got something a bit different for you this time.”
The previous Fallout games were difficult for me to get into. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed them, but I was never able to fall in love with them like so many other people did. Fallout 4 is different though. From the enhanced shooting mechanics to the enticing Power Armor, this new entry in the series offered just what I needed to sink about 80 hours of playtime during one month.
Like all Fallout and Elder Scrolls games from Bethesda, Fallout 4 excels at providing nearly endless amounts of activities. There was always multiple quests for me to take on, and exploring off the beaten path often yielded surprising stories and locations. My only gripe with the game is that once I completed the main storyline I found myself with a nearly empty quest log. The only quests I have available now are the repetitive ones for the Minutemen.
Top-down games are a rarity in my video game library. But every now and then, one comes along (usually a shooter) that brings me back into the genre. Helldivers did just that to me and simultaneously satisfied the urge I’ve had to fight giant bug aliens since the first time I watched Starship Troopers. There are dozens of weapons and stratagems available to fight the bugs, or the game’s other enemy factions; cyborgs and illuminate. While not all of them are as powerful as the others, there is still lots of diversity available for your loadout before you drop onto a planet surface and jump into combat.
If you’re lucky enough to have three good teammates by your side, Helldivers can easily be some of the most cooperative fun you’ve ever had in a shooter. Since the hordes of enemies are endless, each mission is a race to complete the objectives as quickly as possible. Every mission ends with an extraction via a shuttle, and usually makes for an exciting and tense standoff as you attempt to hold your position until the shuttle arrives.
2. Star Wars: Battlefront
“Don’t get in my way.”
After waiting for nearly a decade to play a new Battlefront, I was finally able to relive my childhood fantasies of being a soldier in the Galactic Civil War. Naturally, this was my most anticipated game of the year. In many ways the game met my expectations, but a lack of content keeps Battlefront from being as great as it should be.
Blasters sound and feel better than any Star Wars game I’ve ever played, and are a fun alternative to the usual bullet-fed guns that is the standard in most shooters. Heroes and villains are wildly fun to play, and playing as them tends to feel like a mad dash to get as many kills as possible during the sparse amount of time you’re given to control them. What Battlefront offers is incredible and is sure to make any Star Wars fan ecstatic. But the severe lack of maps, vehicles, unlockables and customization prevent the game from being as great as it should be.
1. Rocket League
I had no expectations for Rocket League. The first time I heard of it was when Sony announced their lineup of free games for August for PlayStation Plus members. It didn’t look all that interesting to me, but a few friends of mine wouldn’t stop raving about it, so I decided to try it out. I was hooked after the first game and have been playing regularly since then.
Rocket League is a perfect game. This doesn’t mean that it’s better than every other game though. I say it is perfect because Rocket League accomplishes everything it sets out to do. Regardless of whether you’re playing by yourself or with friends, the game never forces you to team up with strangers unless you want to. Customization of your car is deep and varied, and ensures that you’ll be unlocking something new after every match for at least your first few hundred matches. I almost never experience online connection issues, and the Season game mode is a fantastic option for offline couch co-op.