Awarding the right competitive multiplayer title is tough, especially when you have top-tier giants like Counter-Strike: GO and Dota 2 asserting their dominance. This year saw a ton of new titles that managed to blaze trails. Which one ultimately claimed victory? Let’s look at the nominees for best competitive multiplayer title of 2016.
Blizzard Entertainment turned the hero shooter on its head with this year’s Overwatch. With a current roster of 23 heroes, Overwatch presents incredibly memorable visual design for its heroes along with fantastic voice acting. It’s amazing just how much the pace of Overwatch can change – you can play it like a hardcore competitive twitch shooter or simply stay back, support your team, and profit. These various degrees of pacing combined with an “easy to get into, complex to master” hero pool and amazing gameplay, make it hard to put down.
Cue talk of Respawn having to live up to the hype. Titanfall 2 isn’t an example of its developer providing more with the sequel. Respawn instead went back and changed many of the fundamentals of the game, from map design and abilities to Titan variety and unlocks. The result is a fast-paced yet clean-cut multiplayer shooter where movement, gun skill and yes, Titan management are all king. Some changes may have annoyed the faithful but in terms of slick movement and action, Titanfall 2 is the place to be.
“War never changes” but in the case of Battlefield 1, it gets even bigger. DICE went back to the past, using World War 1 as its setting. While the debate could be made about historical accuracy, Battlefield 1 delivered the goods when it came to visceral combat on the ground. Conquest and Rush were back with a vengeance, the new classes felt just right and Operations mode offered some cinematic excellence to go with our objective play.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Interestingly, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare followed an altogether different arc from last year’s Black Ops 3 with a far superior single-player campaign compared to an acceptable multiplayer. And while many don’t appreciate the payloads, bland classes and lacklustre movement options, Infinite Warfare is still – for all intents and purposes – a Call of Duty title. Whether the quick time to kill and claustrophobic map design appeals or not, there is some pleasure to be had in ripping enemies apart with Synaptic’s Reaper form.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
A stark contrast to many of the other competitive shooters this year, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 can be tons of fun despite its simplistic atmosphere. The various different plants and zombies that players can choose from lend a ton of variety (yes, even with some of the more unbalanced heroes at launch) and it’s easy to get lost in the larger skirmishes that occur.
This isn’t your typical arena shooter. Or maybe it is? Id Software’s DOOM sent us into a tizzy with its single-player campaign but intrigued us even more with its multiplayer. The splash of dabbing emotes and dances, loadouts and perks meshed with overpowered shotguns, power-ups and Demon Runes. It was a mess but some would say a fun mess, even as we struggled to get our footing.
Though it may not have launched as feature-rich as other shooters on this list, Overwatch was equipped with sterling servers (discounting that 30 minute downtime at launch), exceptional support and more importantly, fun gameplay. This was a competitive shooter that anyone could get into and contribute, with each match offering something new and different by way of hero compositions. Overwatch has since received numerous modes and heroes, new maps and a ton of other features. Along with its awesome gameplay and hero selection alone, Overwatch ranks as our competitive multiplayer game of the year.
Note: GamingBolt’s Game of the Year categories, nominations and awards are selected via an internal nomination, voting and debate process. You can check the rest of categories and the respective winners here.