Best Sequel of the Year
Yesterday we praised originality, but today was praise iteration in the form of Best Sequel of the year. Of all the “serious” categories, this one is perhaps the hardest to judge thanks to just how many sequels to long-running series have come out in the last 12 months.
When it comes to what makes a good sequel I’m looking for innovation, something that feels fresh and new but has a reassuringly familiar quality. Despite that second part criteria, the winner of this award is part of a long-running series of which I had never played until picking up this particular game.
The winner is, of course, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
To say I’d never played a game in this series is a bit wrong, I did try Ground Zeroes but without any knowledge of the series I was quickly confused and unable to get into the game. With Phantom Pain though the game guided me slowly through all it’s various systems and before long I was big-bossing around the place like a pro. As a none MGS fan, I could have been put off by the amount of lore dumping the game does but instead the game handles its wider story in a way that never confused me (Ok some parts did confuse me a little)
The gameplay is a thing of beauty that fills every moment with possibilities and different courses of action to take. Plus it has D-Dog who is amazing in every way possible.
Other contenders for this award were Witcher 3 which actually got me interested in the Lore of the Witcher, although not enough to actually finish the game. Batman: Arkham Knight was also a contender, as was Fallout 4 but neither really showed that much innovation in terms of new gameplay to merit winning (Don’t look at me like that Batmobile)