2016 was a great year for games. With great games coming out left and right, it just seemed like a perfect year. Thankfully for us, it seems 2017 may be even better. Yes, I know it’s April as of writing this, but all the same, the year is just warming up, with an amazing slate thus far. This is my list of the 10 games I’m REALLY looking forward to.
#10: Outlast 2
In 2013, a small independent game called Outlast was released. It came out to much critical acclaim, with critics praising it’s interesting gameplay mechanics (using your camera to guide your way through the map) and terrifying characters. All in all, it was a great game, with potential for a sequel. Cut to E3 2016, and our wish is granted. We caught a glimpse of some gameplay, with the game taking in the outskirts of rural Arizona. We can expect a cult similar to Jonestown, an interesting story, and of course, plenty of scares. Outlast 2 will release on April 25th.
Alright, let’s turn the clock back to E3 2014. We had some great games on display. Sunset Overdrive, Uncharted 4, and even Alien: Isolation turned out to be superb… but a little game called Cuphead turned some as well. Cuphead was an anomaly. In the middle of a display of your typical AAA action games was an indie showcase. Cuphead had a unique, Fleischer-esque hand drawn animation style, and very intuitive looking gameplay, with stylized bosses and a run and gun angle. It definitely seems like an interesting release, and after some delays, it looks like it may hit shelves this year as an Xbox One exclusive.
#8: The Walking Dead (Overkill)
Not much is known about this one aside from the IP and the developer, Overkill, but this game will likely attempt to attempt to succeed where ‘Survival Instinct’ failed. If this is anything like Overkill’s most famous property ‘Payday’, then we can expect hectic gameplay, where anything can go wrong, an amazing soundtrack, and great missions.
#7: Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar is back again with another Red Dead game. 7 years after the phenomenal Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar is be back with a prequel of sorts. The Old Gang’s back, and in all likelihood, we’re gonna have a hell of a lot of fun. Heists are incredibly likely, considering how beloved they were in GTA, as well as their place in the mythos of The Old Gang. The fact that a trailer that barely clocks over a minute has generated such enthusiasm, well…. That’s just icing on the cake. Red Dead Redemption 2 will likely be released this Winter.
#6: The Last of Us, Part 2
Okay, time for what would usually be an unnecessary sequel. Naughty Dog seemed like they had closed the book for sequels with The Last of Us. The original was a tour-de-force with amazing graphics, gameplay, and an interesting action horror vibe where every bullet counted. The ending for it seemed concrete, and honestly, I loved it. E3 2016 comes around, and Naughty Dog announces both ‘Uncharted: The Lost Legacy’ and this. The Last of Us 2. From what we’ve seen so far, we can expect a classic revenge story. The Fireflies have done something to Joel, and Ellie wants payback. We can likely expect great gunplay, action, and some amazing photo realism that only Naughty Dog can provide.
#5: Injustice 2
2013 was likely the year in recent memory for games. With bonafide classics all across the board, it would have been easy for this game to get lost in the mix, especially with Bioshock: Infinite releasing a week prior. But you’d be wrong. 2 years after the success of Mortal Kombat 9, ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ came out, and it was amazing. With an interesting, if slightly confusing story, in which Superman becomes a villain and some heroes from another dimension have to prevent it, it was an all around great experience. They made Aquaman into a genuinely cool character In Injustice 2, we’re going to see several new fighters, with Blue Beetle, Robin, and Darkseid sticking out. We can expect a great score, amazing fights and super moves, and a great cast of voices. Injustice 2 releases on May 16th.
Spider-Man is back! After the incredibly lackluster ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ in 2014, Spidey’s switching studios, going from Beenox to Insomniac, and if what we’ve seen from the trailers is anything to go by, we’re in for a fun ride. After ‘Sunset Overdrive’, they seem to be the perfect fit. Whilst what we’ve seen in trailer is Spidey just fighting your typical mooks, we can likely expect some really fast paced gameplay and, if the voiceover is anything to go by, actual stakes. Our favourite wallcrawler will likely be seen again late this year.
#3: Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
It’s not often that licensed games make an impression of gamers. It used to be that if a licensed game came out on consoles, we’d buy it, trash it, and move on. Some stuck out, sure, with the usual suspects of E.T and Superman 64, but those are bad enough to consistently rank on ‘Worst Games of All Time’ lists, to the surprise of no one. But in this day and age where every major movie release gets an app for your phone, the few major licensed games are few and far between. That’s why Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor stuck out. It provided something interesting. It provided combat that, whilst feeling reminiscent of the ‘Batman: Arkham’ series, was executed well enough to feel like it’s own thing. The Nemesis system was a great concept as well, and was executed to perfection. All they need to do is expand on this a little, and it’ll rack up GotY awards. Shadow of War releases on August 22nd.
#2: Shenmue 3
Sony’s been making some interesting decisions as of late. From taking in Hideo Kojima after he left Konami under dubious circumstances, to making ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’, a new IP from Guerilla Games, it seems that Sony wants to sell more and more by taking risks. Enter Shenmue, a franchise that’s been stagnant for 16 years, but has enough of a cult status for a 3rd game. Fans have been eagerly awaiting the next entry in the series after the brutal cliffhanger in Shenmue 2, and from what we’ve heard so far, Sony wants to deliver, and from the looks of it, they probably will. Shenmue 3 will likely release this Winter.
#1: Death Stranding
“I’m back.” Two words rose above the rest in E3 2016, and that’s saying something. In a presentation that gave us the ‘Crash N-Sane Trilogy’ and ‘The Last of Us, Part 2’, Kojima gave us something that only he could have given us. With Norman Reedus and the baby, rainbows in the sky during bombing runs, Death Stranding looks like Kojima at his finest. And with a cast consisting of Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, and possibly Guillermo del Toro himself, we can expect great performances as well. We haven’t seen much of it, but from what we have seen, we can expect Kojima without boundaries. Kojima is free. And with a creative visionary like him, this will likely lead to a game that lasts a lifetime. The current release date of ‘Death Stranding’ is currently unknown.