2016 is on the horizon meaning people are looking at their lives and wondering “what would I like to change about me in the new year?” Some may want to lose weight. Some may want to be more organized. Some may even want to finally start making that career change they’ve been dreaming of. This time of year is full of people imagining better versions of themselves.
But what about our gaming lives can be improved in 2016? With an assortment of new games set to come out and all-new experiences to be introduced, how can we maximize our gaming time in the new year? Here are 6 different resolutions you can make in 2016 to do just that!
Use Team Chat in Online Multiplayer
Since the inception of party chat on both consoles during the PS3/Xbox 360 era, the number of users who use the in-game team chat during multiplayer matches has greatly decreased. Sure, it saves the headache of having to listen to some dude listening to Fetty Wap on full blast over the headset or another guy having an overly-specific conversation with his wife about his digestive issues, but at what cost?
Team-based games like Rainbow Six Siege, Halo 5, and Call of Duty are all best experienced when there is a team full of people communicating about the objective. If all of the responsible microphone users began to poke their heads out from the party-chat isolation they’ve grown accustomed to, maybe it would be enough to drown out those that ruin the experience for everyone. With a little effort and strategic use of the mute option on players that still commit the vilest of chat offenses, team chat can be reclaimed as a place to discuss strategy and enemy movement.
Branch Out From Your Comfort Zone
Gamers have a tendency to pigeon-hole themselves into certain genres of games without exploring the vast landscape that is modern gaming. In the earliest days of gaming only a handful of genres existed. However, now there is myriad of different kinds of games to be played. If a player’s gaming life has been lived solely within one genre (First Person Shooters, Sports Games, RPGs), playing at least one game outside of that area will help to mix things up.
One of the best games of 2015 was Rocket League, a quirky game in which the player attempts to score a giant ball in an exploding goal by hitting it with a rocket-powered car. Effectively, Rocket League would be categorized as a sports game, a genre that many would say they are not particularly drawn to, but the addictive and simple gameplay made Rocket League one of the most loved games of 2015.
Simply put, try something different on for a change.
Lay Down Your Console War Arms
PS4, Xbox One, PC, Wii U, Sega Master System. It doesn’t really matter what concoction of plastic and wires brings joy to a gamer’s life. The point of gaming is to find the place where the most fun can be had, and somewhere along the road we’ve lost sight of that aim and slipped into perpetual fanboyism. But the fact of the matter is, there are far too many real issues in the world today for us to try to fabricate a new, trivial one.
All of these platforms existing together equal out to be a better gaming experience for everyone. Competition breeds innovation. Without Xbox, console gaming wouldn’t have the innovation in online multiplayer that gamers have enjoyed for the last 15 years. Without Sony, gamers wouldn’t have the dual analog controller that has become standard in console gaming. Without Nintendo, gamers wouldn’t have some of the most beloved video game characters of all time. And without PC, gamers wouldn’t experience the great leaps in computing power that have happened throughout the history of gaming. Now break out the guitar and sing Kumbaya, we are gamers!
Don’t Count Out Indies
The term “indie game” has been stigmatized throughout the history of gaming. Many people conflate the term with more negative adjectives such as small, incomplete, or any number of pejorative words. However, that has never really been the case. Much like AAA games, there is a sliding scale of quality when it comes to releases and just because a game is being developed independently from a major publisher has no bearing on whether or not it is going to be a good game.
2015 saw a vast number of independent games that sunk their claws deep into gamers: Rocket League, Her Story, Undertale, Axiom Verge, Massive Chalice, and the list goes on and on. If a gamer decided early on that they only cared about AAA games with massive budgets and huge marketing campaigns, many of the best games of 2015 would have gone right under the radar. In 2016, let’s make it a point to support these fine works of art.
Claim Every Game Made Available on Instant Game Collection and Games With Gold
Is there a better word in the english dictionary than “free”? Every year dozens of games are given to gamers who subscribe to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold. Sure, the money the you pay every year to maintain these subscriptions means they aren’t necessarily free, but if you play online the subscription is required anyway.
While some of the games released to the PS Plus Instant Game Collection and Xbox Games with Gold may not be the most high quality of titles, there are always those games that make the download worth it. Rocket League, #IDARB, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and more all were made available to download at no additional charge in 2015. That’s a serious backlog of games, and even it costs no extra money!
Chip Away At Your Backlog
2015 was an incredible year for gaming. If gamers tried to play everything they wanted to, they would have had a hard time finding the hours to do so. The Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid V, Fallout 4, Bloodborne, Batman Arkham Knight, and many more made 2015 a dense and time-consuming year for games. (Check out our 2015 Game of the Year post here). No doubt, many players have built a backlog in 2015, but don’t get caught up in the rushing river of new release in 2016.
There are still several weeks between now and when the February releases start to hit the shelves, and that is plenty of time to start to check off some of the 2015 games that were purchased but not yet finished.
2016 is going to be another great year for gaming. What are some New Year’s Resolutions you are going to make to get the most out of it?