2016 was a good year for gaming. We saw the emergence of virtual reality to a mainstream market plus the release of some truly brilliant games. Each year we see great story telling evolve and improve so it’s fair to say that 2017 has a lot to live up to. Without further ado, here is a list of games that I am most looking forward to playing this year.
Vampyr, Fifa 18, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Kingdom Come Deliverance, Scalebound
#15 – Nintendo Switch (and all launch/early games)
Kicking off this list of my most anticipated games for 2017 is not a game, but a console. The Wii U was a big miss for Nintendo; a big, expensive mistake. There was probably a few factors behind its failure but from first impressions the Nintendo Switch won’t copy the Wii U’s lack of success. It seems to embody the essence of all Nintendo console; it isn’t groundbreaking in terms of its graphical capabilities but it is truly innovative. Nintendo always does its best work when it thinks “there’s no point in getting into a power war with Sony or Microsoft, let’s just make something fun” and when they push the boundaries, they usually deliver.
The switch is sure to come with many launch titles/games released after launch (Mario, Zelda and potentially Pokemon games) which I will list all as my number 15. The console os set for a March release (barring delays) and while I won’t be first in line, I will certainly be picking one up.
#14 – Overland
‘Make the most of a terrible situation. See things no one was meant to see. Survive – barely’ That is the tagline for Overland; a new post apocalyptic strategy game. I know what you may be thinking “Oh god, not another post apocalyptic game” but it isn’t your typical first person, open world, run around and find food game. It a top down, turn based strategy game. Think X-com but with a cartoonish art style.
#13 – Crackdown 3
Crackdown 3 is made by Reagent Games, a studio lead by David Jones who was one of the founding members of Rockstar North (creators of GTA series). I’ll be honest, I have not played any Crackdown games but everything I have heard/seen about the latest game in the series has got me excited. Every building is destructible and they are all built with full physics based supports as real buildings are. From what I’ve seen it doesn’t excite me in terms of story telling but it seems like one of those game that will just be fun. It utilises cloud gaming as it requires a ridiculous amount of computing power (buildings are stored on different servers just to prevent lag and consoles melting!)
Like I said, I doubt it will be a groundbreaking game in terms of story telling drama but if I have a few beers one night and want to play a fun game with friends you can bet I’ll be having a go on Crackdown 3.
#12 – Spiderman PS4
Oh the nostalgia. I spent countless hours as everyone’s favourite web-slinger zipping through New York city in Spiderman 2 on Playstation 2. It was one of my first experiences with a fully traversable 3d world and to this day remains one of my favourite. I can’t even begin to think how many times I climbed the empire state building to the very top and jumped off, for no reason other than because I could. So when there was a new open world spiderman game announced I much more excited than any regular 25 year old should have been.
At the time of writing this there is not an official release date but I would estimate it to be Autumn 2017.
#11 – Tokyo 42
This is a little bit of an obscure one because I don’t actually know much about it. All I know is that you play an assassin in a very minimalistly (not a word) styled Tokyo and it looks awesome. The play style seems kind of like a 3d N (if anyone played that then mad props to you) and the art style is a mash up of Habbo Hotel meets Hello Kitty with very basic animations but highly contrasting colours and I’ve gotta say, it looks awesome. There is just something that taps into the retro section of my brain which makes me want to play this game for a lot of hours.
#10 – Shenmue 3
The first 2 games of this series weren’t on my radar until I was already an adult so maybe it doesn’t have as strong a hold over me as it does with many people but I’m interested in Shenmue 3 for different reasons. It was crowdfunded and generated over $6,000,000 in financial backing which eclipses anything else in the video game catergory (other than the OUYA console) so it will be interesting to see what can truly be done with the fans behind the game. The story is a continuation of the previous titles and it will be set in 1987. Ryo Hazuki has recently arrived in China in the search for his father’s killer. It will likely be released around the winter of 2017.
#9 – Horizon: Zero Dawn
I’m a little tentative about this one. It looks gorgeous and it seems relatively original in terms of its general story. However I have a sneaking suspicion that it won’t live up to its hype. I hope I’m wrong and I will definitely be playing it to find out if I am.
#8 – Mass Effect: Andromeda
Here’s a controversial statement. I am not the biggest fan of the Mass Effect series. To be fair to the game though, I probably haven’t given it enough time and the reason behind that is because everyone tells me that I have to play it. When somebody tells me that I instantly think “No”. That being said however, I am strangely looking forward to Mass Effect: Andromeda. I don’t know what it is about it, to me it just looks more fun than the previous games. There seems to be a lot more interaction and it looks like it follows a lot less linear story than it’s predecessors. I may return to the earlier Mass Effect games and give them a fair chance before making a decision on this game but I am pretty sure I’ll be picking it up regardless.
#7 – South Park: The Fractured But Whole
South Park: The Stick of Truth was incredibly fun to play. It wasn’t in anyway revolutionary but it was never trying to be either. It knew what it was (a game made in the vision of the TV show) and it pulled it off perfectly. With that being said I am excited for the follow up game. Yes, cynics and critics will say it will just be the same jokes re-skinned as something else but that is the beauty of it and that is what the fans want. It won’t be a game that requires your full focus and has you sweating with over complicated narratives. It will be several hours of dick and poop jokes. I will laugh over and over and won’t feel even the slightest shame from it.
#6 – Days Gone
“Oh god, not another post apocalyptic game” That’s the second time that I have written that sentence in this list and yes it is another post apocalyptic game. The post apocalyptic genre is a guilty pleasure of mine when it is done right. The problem now is that with Steam Early access companies put games on far too early and then they never get finished. Where as Days Gone will be a complete game when it is launched and I think it will be a pretty good one at that. With game engines now a days being as advanced as they are it is much easier to make a game that looks good and Days Gone most certainly looks good. I don’t know too much about the game as I am trying to stay in the dark as much as I can but from the E3 gameplay demo it looks very scavenger based with quite a large open world environment. The sheer number of enemies in some scenes surprises me as it will require a lot of computing power to do but hopefully if it all runs smoothly is will make for some great action sequences.
#5 – Prey
Prey is the latest title from Arkane Studios and Bathesda who previously teamed up to make the Dishonored games so Prey has a lot to live up to. You play as Morgan Yu and the trailer gives off kind of a Groundhog Day meets Alien vibe. It’s set in a space station called Talos 1 and from all accounts you are able to freely explore it to your hearts content. I imagine there will be a lot of jump scares in this game as enemies can hide as miscellaneous object (Like prop-hunt in Garry’s Mod). So as you run to pick up a gun that you can see on the ground, beware as it may be a weapon, but one that targets you rather than one that you can use.
#4 – Cyberpunk 2077
This may be a little bit of a stretch as there is no official date for the release of Cyberpunk 2077, rumours say that it could anywhere from 2017 to 2021 but that it will be on the current generation consoles and PC. It comes from the same studio as the Witcher series (CD Projekt RED) so I am expecting a brilliant game where gamer choices can change the outlook of a game.
The first teaser trailer for Cypunk dropped 3 years ago but I am still hyped for it. CD Projekt RED are comfortably in my top 5 studios and I like the fact that they’re taking their time with this game, rather than seeing all of the hype that it created and then rushing it to line their pockets quicker. I am making a prediction now; when it is released, it will be incredible and everyone will be raving about it.
#3 – Detroit: Become Human
I really enjoyed Heavy Rain. I really disliked Beyond:Two Souls. Quantic Dream seems like one of those studios that can make something very good or make something kind of poor. Which one will Detroit: Become Human be? I am both thinking and hoping it’s the former. It seems like an interesting story which we have seen a lot previously in movies ‘What is machines became self-aware’ but we have never seen it done correctly in video games and I am looking forward to see if Quantic Dream can pull it off. From early impressions it looks a lot more polished than previous games but still includes all of the clever detective elements which made Heavy Rain so fun to me.
It may not yet launch in 2017 but we should hopefully find out more within the first quarter of the year.
#2 – Red Dead Redemption 2
Finally, fans (myself included) have been crying out for this sequel ever since the original was released in 2010. Rockstar really know what they’re doing with open world games and I doubt that they will get it wrong this time around with Red Dead Redemption 2. It will be released in Autumn 2017 and you can bet that I will be there as the clock hits 00:00 to pick up a copy. I will then proceed to shut myself away for weeks, likely becoming allergic to sunlight and social interaction as I play through what is sure to be tens if not hundreds of hours of premium game play.
#1 – The last of us: Part 2
Anyone who knows me knows that my favourite game is The Last of Us. Which is doubly impressive when it doesn’t even fit into my favourite genre of games, with that being open-world rpg’s. It was, is and shall always be a masterpiece. There is a little part of me that is nervous about the sequel (especially if fan theories on Joel being a ghost in the trailer are to be believed) but I can’t not put it at number 1 on my most anticipated list. There isn’t a release date set as of yet but I would imagine that it will be around November 2017.