Here I am at the last article of this year choosing the best PC video game of 2016. Dark Souls III, Inside, DOOM, Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, Titanfall 2 or Hitman are all great games competing for this title and I had a blast playing all of them.
My choice for game of the year is a partial victory for PC gaming. Hitman returns to form after Absolution dived deep into a consolized gameplay losing much of the values that define this series.
First of all I want to acknowledge that Io-Interactive and Square Enix have done a despicable thing not with the episodic release but by making this game require an online connection to enjoy most of its features. An unjustified move considering that aside of its leaderboard, which isn’t all that important, there is no feature that should require a constant connection to Square Enix servers. Years from now all the good features like masteries or unlocks that give a great incentive to play every mission of this game over and over again won’t be available as the servers will probably be closed. This problem aside, Hitman is the kind of stealth game that the gamers of today know about from tales of past legends like Blood Money. It’s a game that takes the fundamental features of the past and expands on them with elements that make video games appealing in the new era, but without dumbing down the gameplay unless the player wants to.
Hitman delivers where Metal Gear Solid V’s gameplay has failed to. Vivid levels with great design and an intricate system of social interactions provide a playground for sneaking around and spy games just to assassinate two targets. It’s not about a grand story but about the little details which are gradually discovered by replaying the levels building up a story for each episode. The options to deal with each situation are so vast that it’s easy to get lured into trying an episode multiple times just to see the different outcomes of another path. The array of tools is expanded through a system of unlocks to let the creativity go loose. The game provides a ton of scripted methods of cutting targets off the list, but thinking outside of the wide box given by the developers opens up even more impressive and funny ways of assassination.
Coming up from the pitfall of 2012, Hitman returns to its legendary roots delivering a complete experience with up to date graphics, great level design, free content and a gameplay limited only by the player’s imagination… or by Square Enix’s servers.
This list might be controversial, but since the beginning these articles were never about complying with the opinions expressed by other gaming websites. I looked at games from my own perspective weighing down qualities and faults as objectively as I could while injecting a dose of my subjective opinion. The chosen games excel at what’s important for their genre and have problems that do not overshadowing their greatness or insult the PC gamers.
In retrospective, 2016 hasn’t been the best year for PC video games, but not the worst either. As always I’m looking forward towards what the next year has in store for us.