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Today, we’re announcing our winner of The Free Cheese Game of the Year. If you’re reading this, you won’t learn the results of our awards for 2017 though. In fact, this article is going to ask us about a different year.

It’s been a full year since we called DOOM our Game of the Year 2016. Since then, we’ve had time to digest our thoughts and play through some other stuff that released last year. We also individually voted for different games, despite DOOM becoming the ultimate winner for our website. This is our chance to talk about where we stand one year later. Would you still make the same choice?

 Last Year, I was charmed by The Last Guardian. A game where I ascended a towering prison with a giant companion who’s heart was even bigger. It was like living within a foreign folklore and it’s tale worth experiencing at least once. This is still my personal game of the year for 2016, but boy is Doom just a badass game.

Doom gets what makes FPS so exciting and cranks that heat up to hellfire. I admire its simplicity of controls and its ability to let your personal skill take the driver seat as you’re constantly challenged by more and more demons. It never stops and I need more games like this in my life. I’m still happy with Doom winning overall. I wouldn’t change it. Ripping and tearing demons will forever feel invigorating.

 After a year where we saw Uncharted: The Lost Legacy release, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End still holds up for me as my Game of the Year in 2016. The Lost Legacy did some interesting things to make it a slightly better title, but it doesn’t have the lasting impact that Uncharted 4 gave me. Uncharted 4 tells an endearing story about the Drake brothers reuniting. Despite some familiar beats in an Uncharted game, the epilogue that closes out the series more than makes up for them. Naughty Dog also managed to leave the ending open enough for a possible sequel down the road. It was the perfect ending to that series and it will always be one of my favorite video game moments.

DOOM is still the closest game to being better than Uncharted 4 in my opinion. In many ways, it is the better of the two games. However, the complete package of these two games is what makes Uncharted 4 the better game. The multiplayer in DOOM is really generic feeling and does nothing new or special to make me want to come back. Uncharted’s multiplayer isn’t the best in video games, but the 3rd-person perspective and the verticality of the map design makes it feel fresh compared to a lot of other shooters. When it comes to such small details in deciding a Game of the Year, the multiplayer has to be considered and it ends up being the deciding factor for me between these two games.

DOOM was my number one spot last year and I wouldn’t change its place at the top of my list nor would I argue that it shouldn’t have won The Free Cheese Game of the Year 2017. DOOM was exactly what it needed to be. I appreciated and still applaud the way that the game didn’t overcomplicate itself. Anything that you were asked to do as the player was always with the design of pushing you forward in the game. You felt appropriately powerful as you worked through each stage; Each area giving you just enough to overpower the enemy but still asking that you work for it and think smartly about the way to attacked.

It was simply fun. It made me feel good while I played it and of everything that I played last year, I still feel it deserves everything we said about it.

I will add Hitman to the conversation. We played a lot of Hitman this year, and I believe that had we played it last year our conversations would have turned out inevitably different. I don’t think it would have outranked DOOM, but then again I don’t really know. It’s such a fun experience to just wander through the cities and see what works and what doesn’t. It’s not unlike DOOM in that regard, where you the player are asked to try things and hope for success. It too, does not take itself too seriously and lets it just be a video game sometimes. The way that enemies drop to the ground when you huck something across a room at the back of their head; the way the developers leaned into the fan reactions to certain weapons or characters. Hitman is a lot of fun and a really fantastic video game that I wish we would have played a bit more last year.

Joe Dix

Joe is the creator of The Free Cheese. He eats a lot of pizza and takes thousands of pictures of his pugs Oswald and Earl every day.

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