Well, a few people have replied to it, but it looks like it only has one nomination so far, so I’ll second Tacoma, which like Gone Home before it did a fantastic job of taking actual, meaningful advantage of the interactivity offered by video games and applying them to narrative structure.
Not, as many games do, by offering a branching, alterable storyline, but rather by giving the player the flexibility to impose their own perspective. Where Gone Home offered a passive approach to this, uncovering its multiple layers of story through pure environmental investigation, Tacoma adds an extra twist by allowing you to play through encapsulated moments of time, following different narrative threads at your leisure, listening in on multiple conversations and their branches in an attempt to understand just what is going on in any given scene, just what is driving different characters. It is, effectively, the ultimate game for a nosey parker. Which, conveniently, it turns out I happen to be.
It’s not quite perfect - a few particular niggles with the way Clive Siddiqi’s character is handled in particular, both in terms of stereotypes (British person as stuck up arseholes is a pretty boring trope, and padding out the Britishness by having said character keep photos of Tower Bridge and have a mother submit work to the Tate seemed a bit much), and glaring cultural oddities (referring to university as ‘college’ and having photos of ourselves as "college [American] footballers’? I mean, I know this is the future, but that seems a little far-fetched…) - but aside from that it does a great job of telling a story of the relationships between people, both in and out of a particularly stressful situation.
In the end I think I preferred Gone Home’s more personal, gentler storyline to Tacoma’s dramatic overtones, but as Gone Home is one of my personal games of forever, that’s very mild criticism. The character dramas that play out are endlessly compelling, and I love the way the game encourages players to uncover every little bit of backstory and characterisation, not through an endless trail of logs to read (though there are a few, of course - this is a sci-fi narrative, of course!), but by following and listening in on conversations, paying attention to the environment and, of course, raiding people’s lockers.
In all, between this and Prey it’s been a pretty good year for games set on space stations!