Typically when the new year comes around, I’m only excited about one or maybe two yet-to-be-released games. Of all the games that come out during the holidays, usually not many excite me, because I have somewhat different taste. But as 2016 rolls around, I’m noticing I’m looking forward to many more titles than I expected. Maybe this is because games in general are getting better? Not just in graphics, but in the art direction, concepts, world-building… It seems developers of big-budget projects are finally exercising their creative muscles, which means the biggest, most graphically advanced titles aren’t just shooters anymore. The horizons have been broadened. Now interesting concepts, stories, and emotions are more prevalent in blockbuster games, along with the best-yet graphic engine treatment. This is an exciting time! And a great moment to detail document my hopes for the coming season.
These are the upcoming games I’m most excited for in countdown order.
Third-tier: light contenders
10. Rainbow Six: Siege
This video is a faux-candid representation of online co-op that’ been organized to make the experience appear super smooth, and authentic. Obviously the real multiplayer gameplay is not going to be this nice. But I still appreciate the video for demonstrating what the developers’ intent was with this game. If the play did turn out to be actually like this, what a cool thing that’d be.
I won’t buy this, but being a fan of the rainbow games, and general hostage-rescue/espionage games, I am excited to test it out. I do like its idea.
9. Anno 2205
This is a conference video where they talk about various things, but mostly look at the world-detail here. An improvement over SimCity, correct?
As much as city-builders are a black-hole of time, I am still kind of curious about this one as it seems to be everything SimCity wanted to be, PLUS a sci-fi regime. That’s interesting to me.
8. Star Wars Battlefront
I don’t know why there’s been such an influx of “remakes” as opposed to just sequels. Isn’t it kind of insulting to the previous games? It’s like they are saying those games don’t matter anymore; they want to call a redo on the whole idea. I actually thought the original Star Wars Battlefront was excellent… It may have been a bit quirky, but that never stopped me from having a good time. But now with the new Star Wars film on its way, they decided this would be a perfect time to capitalize. And this is how they do it? Giving us a multiplayer-oriented game in the DICE engine?? Is that really what Star Wars fans deserve? I personally would much prefer an RPG set in the Star Wars universe, where you rise from a young jedi to a master…. or a sith lord! But whatever, this is the hand we’ve been dealt. First. Person. Shooter. Multiplayer… My. Favorite… Well I guess let’s make the best of it.
At first glance, this Star Wars Battlefront rendition seems pretty authentic and the idea of jumping in to one of these “historic” (canon) battles as a rebel or stormtrooper is exciting. And of course the graphics look terrific, and the sounds are legit nostalgic. But upon the Beta release, I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints and issues, and knowing myself, these are the types of things that will take enjoyment out for me. For example, I’ve heard that the fighter ships are too fast, hard to control, and don’t really add a helpful element to the battle anyway. That’s too bad, but I understand why they were made so fast — so that when you are on the ground as a trooper, the fighter ships look as close as possible to the way the battle appeared on film. It’s aesthetic, and it makes sense to me. That’s something that the original Battlefront didn’t have, so it’s a give and take.
At the end of the day, there’s only one way to decide how I feel about these things: to test it myself. We’ll see how that goes when I rent it eventually. How do YOU think this game looks?
7. The Division
This one is a case of “man, that looks like such a cool premise… so how are they going to screw it up?” Because it’s such an ambitious idea, it seems it has no where to go but down since development is likely to cut corners and/or not test all these new ideas thoroughly in order to push it out faster *cough Phantom Pain*. But here’s to hopin!
This video is another faux-candid representation of co-op, but I can see this one acting a little smoother in the end product. The premise of the game makes me think Freedom Fighters, only its a completely open version of New York rather than isolated maps. If it really works the way it appears to in this gameplay trailer, then I will be looking forward to trying it (and maybe even convinced to invest in PS Plus).
6. Uncharted 4
I have played the other ones. I generally enjoy Drake’s shenanigans. So I’m sure I will enjoy this one the same. Especially since it looks exactly the same as the others.
Second Tier: priority plays
5. Allison Road
Will this game even get made? I think probably. Right now its still in finding support mode. But if and when it arrives, I will ABSOLUTELY play it. It’s a must for me. This game challenges to be a great rendition of a style I care very much about. I’m sure it won’t reach the greatness that was P.T., but still.
If you haven’t seen the gameplay trailer yet, check it out. In the meantime, here are some words from its creator.
4. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
Mirror’s Edge is one of my favorite games, totally love it. This one will be just more of the same right? If that were the case, then sign me up. But Catalyst promises to be even more with an open world. Whether that turns out to be a benefit or not, we will have to wait and see. But either way, this one’s going to be important to me. Because the first one still is.
3. Horizon Zero Dawn
This is where things get exciting. Horizon Zero Dawn looks like its doing the thing I talked about in my intro paragraph: combining the best-yet graphics with a compelling story and a fantasy world based in originality. The playable character lives in some kind of distant future where humans are reduced to a tribal status apparently, yet the grazing animals in this world are machines… remnants of a technologically advanced “past” that turned into the downfall of organic civilization? Whatever the explanation, the motif looks very compelling. And the gameplay here looks like something I could really sink my teeth into. I just hope it has a good character-driven story to go along with all that. By the look (and sound) of the character in this demo, I think it just might.
Top Tier: first-day buys
2. Detroit: Become Human
Say what you will about Quantic Dream. Go ahead say it. But I love all their games. I think they do something that no other games do. They have a niche, and I hope they don’t stray from it. Though, I think there is plenty of room left to explore in Quantic Dream’s established style, and I don’t think this game will do that as much as it could. I think this will be only slightly more than more of the same. But that’s fine. That’s actually what I want. A new story; new options; new excitement… another Heavy Rain basically. I’m all for that idea.
Instead of adding the video for Detroit’s teaser, I’ve added the Kara tech demo from 2012. If Detroit is anything like this………
1. The Last Guardian
When it first showed up, I was beside myself. I loved Shadow of the Colossus, and any kind of release of the same nature I would be thrilled with. Team Ico once again seemed to be offering unique gameplay elements in a beautiful world with subtlety, simplicity, authentic emotional appeal, and gradual pacing. Then the leader of the squadron, Yoshida, gets fired or something, and the whole thing is put on hold, and eventually gets buried maybe never to resurface… Then this trailer shows up at E3 2015!! AHHHH. So I’m beside myself once again.
These are the kind of games that remind me its okay to like video games. Sometimes the monotony and repetitiveness has me feeling like why do I waste on this stuff? But every once in a while, I’ll play something new and feel like I’m on a legitimate adventure. The sparkle arrives in my eye, I feel dazzled and inspired, and I’m reminded that some games DO actually add to quality of life.