We’ve already discussed how 2015 was one of the best years for gaming in recent memory. With the likes of The Witcher 3, Bloodborne, Fallout 4, Rocket League, Metal Gear Solid V and Halo 5 there were some amazing games that dominated the market and our spare time. 2016 has a lot to live up to, but there are enough titles set for release this year that could make it another to remember. In no particular order here are some of the games that I am most anticipating.
No Man’s Sky
Since it was introduced and stole the show during Sony’s 2014 E3 conference this procedurally-generated and seemingly infinite space exploration game has gained a lot of interest. Putting the player in control of an explorer No Man’s Sky will hopefully feature seamless transitions from space into a planet’s atmosphere as you discover new forms of life and put your mark on the universe.
It’s a bold project and one that has been as exciting as it is frustrating to follow. When a game so thought captivating as this is revealed years before launch it can sour the experience. When we first saw footage of No Man’s Sky I wanted nothing more than to play the game, but now that I have seen more information slowly trickle out over the many months since it was unveiled, that initial raw excitement has dwindled.
Nonetheless No Man’s Sky could potentially be a revolutionary game and define 2016 as the year we actually got a good space exploration sim. You can expect to see No Man’s Sky flying into PlayStation 4s this year with a tentative June 2016 release date.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Also known as “that caveman robot dinosaur game,” Horizon: Zero Dawn takes an interesting angle on the post apocalyptic genre. Unveiled during Sony’s E3 2015 conference, this was one of the few games from the last E3 that blew me away on concept alone.
Set 1000 years into the future after humanity has abandoned Earth, the game seems to follow those who were left behind, now having reverted back to a tribal state. Roaming the planes in this version of Earth are robotic dinosaurs, because… technology? It will be interesting to see how these enemies are explained, but regardless of how they got there, they look great.
Horizon: Zero Dawn will feature RPG elements, in particular scavenging and crafting seem to be large parts of the game. The player’s character Aloy will be able to loot technology from the robo dinos she destroys and create weapons that fuse basic design with advanced tech.
Of course this game’s success will hinge on its story, but so far it seems to be on track as a great release and one to keep an eye on. A PlayStation 4 exclusive, Horizon: Zero Dawn is set for an unspecified 2016 release.
A game I played during PAXAus earlier in the year, Cuphead stands out for its art style alone. A brutal run-and-gun platformer styled off of 1930s cartoons, Cuphead features a series of boss battles that has the player shoot through a range of enemies.
In a convention where I played Darksouls III, Cuphead stood out as the hardest game of the weekend. Saying that, I am a big fan of insanely difficult platformers that make you want to smash your controller through a wall. Nothing beats the feeling of conquering them. Hugely stylistic, Cuphead is sure to be a massive hit and will undoubtedly be responsible for a few smashed controllers worldwide.
Cuphead’s premise is that the titular character loses a deal with the devil, leaving him to do Satan’s bidding. Cuphead will be released in 2016 for Windows and Xbox One and is available in both single player and co-op modes.
The Legend of Zelda
The first HD entry in The Legend of Zelda franchise, this open world game with the current (and original) working title of The Legend of Zelda, is said to be the largest out of any Zelda game.
An HD Zelda game with a large map will bring the franchise into new territory and hopefully make it akin to other open world RPGs such as The Witcher in terms for depth and replayabilty.
Admittedly Nintendo haven’t been doing too well at the moment, although recent games from them have been good, they have struggled to provide original content as of late. This release, although a rehash of an old and beloved franchise, could be innovative enough bring them back into the limelight.
The Legend of Zelda is being developed for Wii U and despite originally having 2015 release date has been delayed to an unspecified date in 2016.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Set during a crisis in New York City, The Division puts players in control of agents searching for clues on the origins of a viral outbreak. Putting a focus on co-op gameplay, players will be free to team up and betray those they encounter online.
The tense gameplay and sense of distrust will hopefully bring the feel of games like Day Z into a well polished third person shooter experience, which is something that I have been wanting for a long time now.
If done well, The Division could be the go on to be the online shooter of 2016 and create some amazing gameplay opportunities between friends and strangers alike. The Division will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on March 8 2016.
There are plenty more games on my radar for 2016, with this list being a handful of ones that stand out. Did I miss out a game you’re keen to play? Let me know on Twitter!