Gearbox Boss Discusses Battleborn’s Performance Against Blizzard’s Overwatch

There are a number of hero-based shooters in the market currently. Two of them came out not so long ago, but only one of them is enjoying massive success and breaking records, while the other isn’t doing so well, and that’s unfortunately Battleborn.

Gearbox Software and Take-Two Games decided to release a game very similar to Blizzard’s Overwatch, however, Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford expressed his opinion on the comparisons in a recent interview with Glixel. Pitchford even mentioned that the studio went to Take-Two Games to discuss cancelling the project or delaying to a later time after Blizzard revealed Overwatch, admitting that they are going to be a “brute force” and will “outspend” them “every day of the week” in terms of development funds and marketing.

Everybody defines success based on what they risk versus what they’re hoping to achieve by it, but the world defines success based on comparing things to one another. It’s a relative thing.

If you played both Overwatch and Battleborn, can you tell us why do you think one is doing relatively much better than the other? Share with us your opinions down below.

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Gearbox's Randy Pitchford explains how failure can drive success

'If I'm not failing, then I'm probably not trying things that are hard,' said Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford as he dissected his own development triumphs and failures in an interview with Glixel. ...

European PlayStation Store Starts “Games Under €20” Promotion for PS4 Titles; Digital Discounts on Various Games

Sony is known for holding various discounts on their games through their digital store, and now is the time for another one.

The European PlayStation store has kicked off its “Games Under €20” for PS4 titles, which runs from now to February 8th. There is also digital discounts on several newer games. Below is all the titles included in the sale, with links to their respective listing pages.

Games Under €20 (Until February 8)

Digital Discounts (Until February 8)

Tell us what game you plan on picking up first.

The post European PlayStation Store Starts “Games Under €20” Promotion for PS4 Titles; Digital Discounts on Various Games appeared first on Gameranx.

Blog Post: Top Ten Games of 2016

It has been an eventful 2016 to say the least. I graduated high school, went of the college, made many new friends, watched the Cubs win a world series and witnessed what will likely be the most unorthodox presidential election cycle of my life. Still, it sure is nice to take a step back from the chaos and the transitions and reflect on what a phenomenal year it has been for us gamers. I would go as far as to argue there has never been a better time to be a gamer. I had a hard time crafting my own top ten and there are still a good number of games I haven’t gotten around to. Games in 2016 gave me a wonderful conclusion to my favorite video game series, numerous quality shooters, tight indie experiences, and the best puzzle game since Portal 2. I didn’t even get into the awesome couch co-op games or the social phenomenon that was Pokémon Go. As for movies, I found myself impressed by the end of the year. Arrival, LA LA LAND, Hacksaw Ridge, and Rogue One all blew me away. Toss in a couple movies from the last couple years, a new Captain America movie, a breathtaking new film from Laika, and I was left looking back on a good year for movies. Netflix made my summer with Stranger Things and helped me through first quarter with The Office. I also tried to get into more music this year and I’m truly glad I did. So, without further distraction let’s jump into my Top Ten Games of 2016.

Games I Want to Play:

·       Rise of the Tomb Raider 20th Anniversary Edition

·       DOOM

·       The Last Guardian

·       Battlefield 1

·       Hyper Light Drifter

·       Brut@l

Games I Considered:

·       Tricky Towers

·       Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Campaign)

·       Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens

·       That Dragon, Cancer


·       Pac Man Championship Edition 2

·       Amplitude

·       Song of the Deep

·       Stardew Valley

·       Alienation

·       Severed

·       Furi

·       Super Mario Run

Well here it top ten:


Another Insomniac game I haven’t played all the way through yet, Ratchet and Clank is an under-appreciated masterpiece. Not only is it one of the best-looking games on PS4 it’s among the best playing. Jumping from side-to-side, throwing Ratchet’s Omniwrench, and firing off shots from the Pixelizer all feels like pure perfection. The writing is quite clever as well. Captain Qwark narrates the entire game telling the origin story of Ratchet and Clank from his own, self-glorifying perspective. The self-aware dialogue from Ratchet, voiced by James Arnold Taylor, had me laughing aloud on multiple occasions. The writers of this game managed to find a satisfying balance between telling an independent Ratchet and Clank origin story and referencing the other games in the series that chronologically occur after the events of this year’s Ratchet and Clank. I know it’s confusing. But for a game, based on a movie, based on a game that had more than a handful of mainline sequels, Insomniac Games did a nice job.


Speaking of games that made me laugh, Hitman feels like it was designed to create moments of complete absurdity and “what if…” questions. I watched significantly over 10 hours of video content of Giant Bomb’s Dan Ryckert and Brad Shoemaker playing this year’s episodic Hitman entry. From trying to kill a target dressed as a Sheikh carrying a fire axe, to jettisoning a movie star into the sharpened mouth of a mechanized beast Hitman delivers on being a game that encourages fun and independence. What I found the most shocking is that IO Interactive managed to make guns the least important weapon in a Hitman game. As a player, your goal is never killing with a gun, simply because using every other kind of weapon is so much more satisfying: whether that be knocking out a guard with an expired can of tomato soup or straight throwing a knife into your target’s face right as she turns a corner.



I try to play a game like Journey every year, in the past games like Hohokum have scratched that itch. From art director of Journey and his new studio Giant Squid, Abzu was the purely emotional experience I was looking for this year. At the core of the game is its fluent swimming mechanics that allow for beautiful moments to occur. The fish are gorgeous and move realistically, the lighting is stunning, and the blend of technology with nature is quite tasteful. Most of all I want to compliment the soundtrack in Abzu that truly brings to life every pause of meditation and every ride along the current. Beyond what is presented, Abzu holds surprises in both its narrative and environments. I’m purposefully trying to dodge spoilers because I honestly believe this is a game I would recommend to anyone. Expect a two-hour relaxing experience and Abzu is perfectly fulfilling. It’s not Journey by any stretch of the imagination but wow it’s an impressive feat to make a game that almost reaches that standard.


Yes, I know it’s not as high on this list as most of you would like. I truly love Overwatch and the insane level of diversity in that cast. I’m not talking about ethnicity, though that is certainly true, I mean in terms of how each of them play and work with one another. I consider myself very capable at playing first person shooters like Titanfall, Call of Duty, and Destiny, but Overwatch forced me to transition my typical methods from constantly moving and killing to keeping track of my team and building momentum off them. I went from completely discounting Overwatch, because my interest in Battleborn, to being completely addicted to the Beta. I took my lunch break between AP tests to come home and play a couple matches of Overwatch. Let’s just say Roadhog hooked me hard and I fell in love with Overwatch and even prematurely called it my Game of the Year. For as much as I value and appreciate Overwatch, I can’t get around the flaws that allowed me to escape its grasp. The free-to-play, loot box based progression system fails to encourage playing beyond just the enjoyment of the matches themselves. As much as this speaks to the quality of Overwatch I lacked any desire to play after underperforming. All the cosmetics and sprays are locked behind massive paywalls or the luck of the draw. If rewards were based on the characters I played as and duplicates were eliminated I would be much more compelled to play more than one night a month. With all due respect Overwatch is one of the best games of this year and certainly worthy of the accolades it is receiving but it just failed to deliver in long run.


No game has moved around this list as much as Overcooked!. Couch co-op games have a unique ability to dominate the holiday season: this is especially the case with Overcooked! Ghost Town Games’ cooperative kitchen experience is easier enough for anyone to play but mastery requires teamwork, active communication, and a solid strategy. I’ve played most Overcooked! with my dad and younger brother by my side. Despite the constant yelling for onions, or to wash dirty dishes, or to serve a last-minute order, Overcooked! is a blast to play. Each level adds a level of complexity that is guaranteed to keep your team on your toes. As logical as it seems to assign one person to cutting and another to grabbing ingredients, there is always an extra task or challenge that forces a level of chaos even on a solid, three-star run. Overall, Overcooked! succeeds as a couch co-op game because its mechanics are inviting and growing complexities create chaotically addicting fun.


From a design perspective Jonathan Blow’s The Witness is the most impressive 2016. It’s a genius concept: create a metroidvania game that advances with the player’s knowledge. The game is essentially a 3D metroidvania, in which new skills are learned through exploration and the completion of puzzles. New areas are unlocked by the player’s own understanding of the world rather than mechanical skill. Beyond this The Witness has a very pleasing and relaxing art style that clearly points attention to what needs to be seen for the completion of the story. It also hides many secrets that deepen the puzzles and add narrative depth through raising new philosophical questions. Both the standard ending and the secret ending shed an incredible amount of light on the questions I had witnessing the game but also leaves much to interpretation. Personally, the two endings represent what I feel to be one of the best video game endings of all time. The Witness is a very satisfying 40-hour experience that I persisted through the first half of this year and finished completely Blow(n) away, pun very much intended.


The game's description puts it best, "Thumper is rhythm violence: classic rhythm-action, blistering speed, and brutal physicality. You are a space beetle. Brave the hellish void and confront a maniacal giant head from the future". Weird, right? But it is truly one of the most intense, unsettling, and overwhelming games I've ever played. Each beat in Thumper's rhythmic symphony is a set split-second actions the player must execute. Like the greatest level based games, Thumper establishes patterns and adds complexity and/or new mechanics to them. The game is stunning visually, musically, and mechanically, but most importantly it is a unique take on the rhythm genre that most gamers are still burnt out on. My only issue with Thumper is that I was under the impression it was only a VR game. That is not the case, I played Thumper entirely without VR. So please go play Thumper, especially if you are a musician.


Inside is 2016’s tightest, most artfully designed experience. Totaling around 2 hours, every moment of Inside is intentionally placed, leaving no room for filler. Playdead’s LIMBO is one of my favorite games of all-time, so naturally I had high expectations for its successor: Inside still managed to blow me away. While a similar game to LIMBO in design, Inside adds much welcome color and three-dimensional depth to the familiar gameplay. This, in addition to its stirring sound design gives Inside a style so strong it literally oozes out of the game. Much like Abzu I would recommend Inside to anyone who enjoys games. Inside is a rather simple puzzle-platformer and its impact lies in its narrative, visuals, and pacing. It is a game filled-to-the-brim with striking moments driven by approachable gameplay. But above all, Inside has a compelling obtuse story with an fittingly absurd ending. It is a game that respects the player’s time and intelligence and for that reason I give it my highest recommendation.


Super-Hot, Super-Hot, Super-Hot. What more is there to say? Inside may ooze with style but Superhot is the definition of styyyyle. The mechanic is simple: time moves when you do. With this concept at its core, Superhot delivers the action sequences you never thought were possible. Catching guns out of the air, slicing through bullets, surviving and elevator confrontation, Superhot is fully devoted to letting you live out your action hero fantasy. The story surrounding the already innovative game is cleverly fourth wall breaking and takes risks that I found thoroughly satisfying. Superhot is truly my indie darling of 2016 and it caught me so hard. I stayed up till 3:00am after booting it up for the first time and I have zero regrets. The game also has a well-paced ramp up in difficulty. By the end true mastery is required to pull off a truly impressive string of evasions and attacks. The reward for your dedication is true freedom to play Superhot...endlessly.


I’ll come out and say it, Titanfall 2 is the best full-package offered by any shooter to date. I loved the first Titanfall and played hours of its multiplayer. I even went as far as to complement its movement as the best seen in any first-person shooter, now topped only by its sequel. Titanfall 2 is the best playing shooter I’ve ever laid my hands on. I mean this both in terms of the still superb movement and the instantly gratifying gunplay. Titanfall 2 never took control out of my hands, and when a game plays this good I couldn’t ask for anything more. But Respawn takes it several steps further with its sequel. The campaign is refreshing in a way shooter campaigns haven’t been since this generation began. The long-lost art of level-design is something that has been dismissed for the sake of freedom and scope in modern shooters. Titanfall 2 ignores these trends and provides a carefully designed campaign that is intent on making the player feel awesome. All I need to say is press L1 to jump through time: this game is seriously cool. Its story isn’t the strongest but I would argue it doesn’t need to be. Narratively the campaign is just strong enough to hit the emotional moments and provide an occasional laugh. Perhaps what makes Titanfall 2’s campaign the most effective is that it never runs out of or overuses ideas. New mechanics are introduced, expanded, and fully delivered upon and then gone; just when you’ve had enough. The multiplayer is also perfect, With a healthy variety of modes, maps, and customization. Plus, an innovative new way to matchmake and join clans keeps wait times low despite disappointing sales. If you like shooters go play Titanfall 2, seriously it’s well worth the $30 it is selling for now.


The perfect conclusion to my favorite video game series. What more could I ask for in a game of the year pick? Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End takes everything co-directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley learned from The Last of Us and applies it to the pulp action formula of Uncharted. Uncharted 4 is filled with perfectly timed moments of intimacy that ground the game in ways the series never has been. Watching Nate and Elena enjoy dinner and some video games together is incredibly captivating thanks to brilliant writing, phenomenal acting, and the unbelievable facial capture technology that picks up the subtle forms of expression. The treasure is the background to the relationships and that is a much welcome change. Uncharted 4 succeeds as a conclusion because it fully explores, tests, and reveals each character in the core cast. Aside from narrative the game is absolutely stunning. From the massive vistas of Madagascar to the easter egg filled attic of Nate Drake, Uncharted 4 delivers on being a technical marvel to behold. As for gameplay, it is the best out of Naughty Dog in their history. I know that is not saying much considering the gunplay in Uncharted is tolerable at best, but Uncharted 4 does step it up a couple notches. On the chance the gunplay still isn’t good enough there is an aim-assist option that allows you to feel like the flawless action hero you imagine Nathan Drake as. I mentioned earlier that the treasure is placed in the background. True as that is, I do believe it is the most interesting and mystery filled treasure in the series thus far. Nate’s journey is being discovered as he uncovers the story of Captain Avery and his commune of pirate captains. Many of the late game reveals land perfectly. Almost as perfectly as the epilogue, which delivers a truly satisfying end for my much beloved thief: Nathan Drake.


Thanks for reading.

Battleborn Now Has PS4 Pro Support, Winter Update Brings New Support and Features

Still playing Battleborn? No? Yes? Well, 2K and Gearbox have been working hard at bringing a new update to coax players back into the game, the “Winter Update” will bring a host of new features and PS4 Pro support to the game.

Although we have previously known most of the features of the new update, the devs are bringing even more than previously discussed. Alongside a UI overhaul and visual enhancements, the game has just gained PS4 Pro support.

The game will also receive a performance boost regardless of if you are a PS4 Pro player or a regular player.

To read the list of all the changes, click here.

“The Battleborn Winter Update is here, and boy is it massive! Players will experience brand new training modes, pick/ban draft mode, a user interface overhaul, player Command Rank cap increases, and of course, PS4 Pro support!

With so many additions, improvements, and adjustments, no part of Battleborn was left untouched by this update. In the words of Gearbox Software Producer Chris Brock, “I’ve been at Gearbox for 10 years and this is the craziest update we’ve ever done!”


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Battleborn's Big Winter Update Might Get A Couple Dozen More People Playing

Battleborn’s massive winter update drops today, bringing massive changes to Gearbox’s game, including full access to the game’s 25 launch characters, new training modes, and enhanced UI and 4K support for PS4 Pro. All that, plus the game’s third story DLC and fifth free character.


News: Battleborn now has a native 4K mode on PS4 Pro

Major Battleborn Update Coming Next Week; Adds PS4 Pro Support, UI Changes, Two New Training Modes and More

Battleborn plans to kick off 2017 with a band, receiving a major update some time next week.

The update includes major changes to many aspects of the game, while adding two new training modes. It unlocks all 25 core characters once the player has finished Battleborn’s prologue. The story mode will also now have more guides to help players get through them. Numerous changes are going to be implemented to UI, Draft mode among other things. In addition to that, it adds PS4 Pro support to the game.

Here is everything the update plans to bring:


Whether you’re new to the game or just want to hone your skills for multiplayer, we’ve added several key features.

  • All 25 Core Characters Unlocked! 25 badass playable characters, no waiting! You’re eager to find your favorite, so get to it! With this update, the core 25 characters will be unlocked for all players after completing the Prologue.
  • What about the character unlock challenges? These challenges now award a brand new skin upon completion! We’ve also adjusted several challenges to be more attainable.
  • Main Quests – Story Mode
    • Story Mode missions will have more guides and tools to lead your through various areas of the game. The Credit rewards have also been boosted to help you get an early edge on loot packs
  • Two New Training Modes
    • Incursion Tutorial: Build up your PVP skills and learn the key elements of competitive play in Battleborn. Your first play-through is solo, but this practice mode can be repeated with groups of up to three players.
    • Dojo: Take each and every Battleborn hero for a test drive! Learn how to slice, dice, blast, smash, and rocket your way through waves of minions.


We’ve talked to many players who have put hundreds of hours into the game. Whether you’re coming back for the second time or your two hundredth, we are all about replayability. Listening closely to your feedback, we made some big moves to continue keeping the Battleborn experience fresh for you.

  • User Interface Changes: Battleborn’s user interface gets a major facelift. Cleaner, more vibrant, and much easier to find the information you need most. You’ll see UI changes throughout Battleborn, from the starting screen, to the Command center, character select, and even some menu changes.
  • Draft Mode: This is one of the most exciting new additions! In Draft Mode, teams and players take turns picking and banning characters trying to find the perfect match-ups and counters for what the other team is choosing.
  • Introducing Daily Quests: The action doesn’t end when you take down Rendain. Check back daily for new objectives and rewards across both Story Mode and Competitive Multiplayer Mode.
  • Command Rank and Character Rank Increase: Keep on growing your Command and Character ranks! We pushed the cap to 150 for Command Rank, and rank 20 for each character, with all-new rewards!
  • Updated In-game Economy: We’ve overhauled the Credits system and how loot packs are made available, particularly in Competitive Multiplayer matches. Credits will now accumulate faster in public PVP matches, making it easier to grab more loot packs from the Marketplace. But not for leavers – they are out of luck and will not receive any rewards. You see, nobody likes a quitter.
    • Loot Packs: All loot pack variations will still drop in Story Mode missions, but only one type of loot pack will be available in the Marketplace: The Core Pack. The Core Pack has better odds for higher rarity gear and has a chance to drop any skin or taunt previously available in Faction packs.
    • Boosts: A bigger variety of Boosts will become available for Platinum in the marketplace.
  • PS4 Pro Support: Battleborn will also support PS4 Pro! PS4 Pro players will be able to choose between 1080p at 60fps or 4K at 30fps.

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January 19 is a big day for Battleborn

January 19 is a big day for Battleborn screenshot

I'll admit: I've slowed down on Battleborn lately. I still think it's a great game that got a raw deal, but after 200 hours and a Platinum Trophy, I was ready to take a break. It was in my New Year's resolution to play more short games, after all.

But in just a little over a week on January 19, there will be several good reasons to load up Gearbox's FPS; hobby-grade coop campaign; genre-blended, multi-mode competitive e-sports; meta-growth, choice + epic Battleborn Heroes!

Namely, the big winter update will drop on that date, free for all users. It includes a ton of new user interface and quality of life additions, like a draft mode, a fully unlocked hero roster, and more easily navigable menus, among other things.

In addition to that, the 30th (and likely final) Battleborn hero Beatrix will release for season pass holders. She's a debuffing Jennerit sniper who appears to be inspired by BioShock's Little Sisters. As with the other DLC characters, she will unlock a week later for everybody else, and will be available for purchase using 47,500 Credits, an in-game currency that represents 30-50 hours of play.

Finally, the third DLC story mission, Oscar Mike vs. The Battle School is also coming out on January 19. This is included in the season pass or costs about five bucks for those without it. The first two Story Operations (Attikus and the Thrall Rebellion and Toby's Friendship Raid) were pretty good, so I'm expecting this one to be worthwhile too.

So there's a lot going on in Battleborn next week. Hopefully it bumps the population up a bit so matchmaking times are low.

Winter update arrives January 19 []

Blog Post: The 2016 Shooter Of The Year Awards

What year ranks as the best ever for shooters? Many convincingly argue this honor belongs to 2004 – featuring a deep catalog including Half-Life 2, Halo 2, Far Cry, Star Wars Battlefront, Battlefield: Vietnam, Doom 3, UT 2004, Counter-Strike: Source, Painkiller. Others cite 2007 as a major contender thanks to gems like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, BioShock, Team Fortress 2, Halo 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, Unreal Tournament III, and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Thanks to an amazing lineup of its own, expect 2016 to be in this conversation moving forward as well. 

Shooter fans had something to look forward to in 2016 regardless of their preferred play style. Campaigns experienced a resurgence thanks to games like Titanfall 2, the Doom reboot, and even Battlefield 1. Cooperative players could dive into the juicy campaign of Gears of War 4 or the complex events of Destiny: Rise of Iron, which demanded constant communication to overcome. And multiplayer fans welcomed a new top-tier competitor in Blizzard's Overwatch. 

With no shortage of praise to dispense, our 2016 shooter of the year awards were tougher to come to a consensus on than any previous year. Check out the accolades below:

Best Campaign: Titanfall 2

This proved the toughest category to award an outright winner because we had two games deserving of the award. Doom's throwback campaign is pure, blood-drenched bliss, but ultimately Respawn's return to building campaigns won out thanks to its pitch-perfect pacing, strong mechanics, and continual commitment to introducing new mechanics. The time-bending Effects and Cause mission in particular stands out as one of the best in all of gaming.

Best Setting: Battlefield 1

While nearly every other major shooter franchise ran like lemmings to the space race of sci-fi settings, the clever Swedes at DICE seized a perfect opportunity to differentiate the Battlefield franchise by diving further back into history than it has ever done before. Trading laser guns and space fighters for bolt-action rifles and biplanes proved to be a major boon, as the World War I setting brought gamers to an era ripe for storytelling (and multiplayer battles) they have seldom visited before. 

Best Character: Tracer (Overwatch)

We could have picked just about any Overwatch character for this honor (Hanzo and Bastion being the obvious exceptions), but ultimately decided on the first face that greets you in the game's tutorial. Tracer is a lot more than just the lovable poster girl for Blizzard's critically acclaimed shooter. Her Blink and Recall abilities give her a unique attacking role never seen before in shooters. She may be fragile, but her quick pace and ability to fade in and out of combat in the blink of a second make her a truly formidable foe when in the hands of an expert.

Best Graphics: Battlefield 1

DICE's Frostbite engine is so good that EA decided to make it the de facto choice for the vast majority of its games, including BioWare RPGs and sports games. Battlefield 1 is a great showcase for why that seems like a smart decision. The graphics are jaw-dropping thanks to best-in-class weather effects and a welcome return to more destructible environments. If you want to treat your eyeballs to a spectacle, fire this game up in 4K. Considering Star Wars Battlefront took this award last year, this marks back-to-back wins for DICE. 

Best Audio: Overwatch

Battlefield 1 and Doom could have won accolades for their bombastic sound effects and memorable soundtracks, but we ultimately chose Overwatch because of how seamlessly Blizzard blends audio cues into the action of its fast-paced shooter. Listen closely, and you can tell what is happening based solely on characters’ unique audible tells, from ultimate callouts to Reinhardt's thunderous footsteps. The volume scaling smartly alerts you how close the incoming threat is, letting you either prepare for your pending doom or man up for a defiant defense. 

Best Weaponry: Doom

As far as I am concerned, there is only one shotgun you should carry into battle in a first-person shooter game, and that's the iconic original from Doom. Developer id Software wonderfully recreated this boomstick along with several other memorable Doom weapons (with a few new ones to boot). The rocket launcher, BFG 9000, and chainsaw gun are all showstoppers, and most of the weapons get even better in this reboot thanks to modifications you can find by locating field drones in each level.

Best Gunplay: Doom

Reloads are so 2015. In 2016, id Software flew in the face of modern convention by getting rid of weapon reloads, cover, a sprint button, and making players follow an NPC through a linear level design. By going back to its roots, Doom discovers the joy of the original with fantastic guns, open environments, and lightning-fast movement. When you see a mouth of hell in the middle of a room just waiting to be activated, you know it's time for a metal-driven ballet of death and destruction. And when your guns are low on ammo, it's time to embrace the Itchy and Scratchy-style close-quarters glory kills.

Best Remaster: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered

The remaster of the best shooter from last generation was arguably more desirable than the game it shipped with, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. While those who bothered to check out Infinity Ward's space-faring campaign were ultimately rewarded with an underrated experience, you couldn't fault those who pre-ordered the game from popping this Modern Warfare into their disc drives first. This all-time classic received a welcome makeover including new textures, higher resolution, and high-dynamic range lighting.

Read on to find out which shooter we named the best shooter as service, cooperative game, and competitive game. [PageBreak]

Best Indie: Superhot

Given the high quality of the entrenched competition, we rarely see indie shooters outside of those that try to recapture the style and fast-paced gameplay of the genre godfathers like Doom and Wolfenstein. Superhot chose a different approach inspired by puzzle games to make a must-play shooter unlike anything we've ever experienced. Time moves only when you move, turning each gunfight into a chess match that requires more wit than twitch skills.

Best Comeback: Doom

The last time we played a new Doom game in 2004, YouTube and the iPhone didn't exist yet. Think about that for a second. A Doom 3 follow-up that took many cues from popular modern shooters like Call of Duty was in development for years, but id and Bethesda ultimately felt it was the wrong direction for the franchise, scrapped it, and started over. It proved to be a wise decision, because this campaign skillfully captures the essence of the original FPS that put the genre on the map while at the same time bringing it into the modern era with subtle design touches. 

Best Shooter As Service: Rainbow Six Siege

What a difference a year can make. When I reviewed Rainbow Six Siege last December, I praised the stellar design of its foundational multiplayer mode but decried the poor infrastructure around it. I knew there was a brilliant game in there somewhere, Ubisoft just hadn't quite nailed it. Over the last 12 months, Ubisoft continued to hone the experience, fixing hit detection issues and other technical hiccups while delivering a steady stream of free maps and new operators players can unlock by spending the in-game currency known as Renown. Now the game has a well-earned following and healthy eSports scene, and Ubisoft just teased plans for another year of support.

Best Cooperative Multiplayer: Gears of War 4

This was another tough award to bestow. A vocal minority believed Destiny: Rise of Iron deserved the kudos thanks to its best raid to date that forced players to work together, the sophisticated cooperation necessary to obtain the Outbreak Prime Rifle, and new strike scoring system that rewards teamwork. But at the end of the day, the nod goes to Gears of War 4. New studio The Coalition erased the bad taste Judgment left in our mouths, delivered a strong cooperative campaign, and improved Horde mode with a new class system and the ability to construct new defensive fortifications. 

Best Competitive Multiplayer: Overwatch

Overwatch didn't just carve a nice niche for itself in the months after its debut. This multiplayer-focused shooter from the masters at Blizzard blew the doors wide open on an already packed and ultra-competitive genre. Like Blizzard's forays into the MMO, MOBA, and digital card game spaces, Overwatch is a master class in balance. Each hero brings distinct and useful skills to the battles, well-crafted maps keep the battles frantic, and the friendly post-game recaps and play-of-the-game highlights make for a wonderful way to wrap up a match.

Best Multiplayer Map: Hollywood (Overwatch)

Editors sang the praises of several Overwatch maps (mostly based on how their mains perform in those spaces), but the hybrid attack/payload map Hollywood got the most votes. Like many of its brethren, it has a great mix of interior and exterior cover locations, verticality, flanking routes, and choke points. It earns extra points for the light storytelling touches found throughout the map that give you a small glimpse into the wider Overwatch universe. Battlefield 1 also had a strong showing with standouts like St. Quentin Scar and Monte Grappa. 

Best Innovation: The Dark Zone (The Division)

Bold choices have become a rarity in triple-A games this generation, likely due to the immense cost that goes into making these games. One big miss could mortally wound a publisher. This is why The Division's Dark Zone is so refreshing. Don't get us wrong, it's not for everyone. Many are rubbed the wrong way when another player wipes them out and steals the hard-earned loot they were trying to extract. Developer Massive has also wrestled with finding a balance between having raving packs of PvP groups and a punishment for going rogue so severe that no one wants to even bother. But no other shooter has a space that offers the harrowing experience of sneaking and shooting your way through enemies for high-end gear, then having to announce your presence to the wider community via a flare and hoping you can extract your loot before others come to claim it as their own. 

Biggest Disappointment: Battleborn

Given the pedigree of Gearbox Software (Borderlands, Brothers in Arms) we had high hopes for the studio's new IP, which promised to remix the first-person shooter with MOBAs into a new style of game. We even put Battleborn on our cover. Unfortunately, the project did not come together in a compelling way. 

Shooter of the Year: Overwatch

If you read our Best of 2016 article, you already knew this was coming. No game, shooter or otherwise, captured the attention of Game Informer editors in 2016 like Overwatch. The refined balance, fantastic controls, and compelling cast of characters got us through the door, and Blizzard's steady stream of improvements and holiday themed loot kept us coming back for more. Overwatch is here to stay, and we wouldn't have it any other way.