Christmas is just a few days away, and soon after it will be 2016! It has been a heck of a year for gamers, and the future continues to look bright! Looking ahead, there are a few titles that stand out more than the rest. Below are a list of titles that I am personally excited for:
1. Quantum Break
If you haven’t been paying attention to this, listen up; This Xbox One exclusive has the potential to truly shake-up how story telling can be handled in a mixed media world. Part Time-Cop and Part TV series, this abitious title comes from Remedy, the same minds that brought us Alan Wake. Despite what what Sam Lake states in this video, Quantum Break will be released April 5th, 2016.
From the hilariously destructive minds that brought us Borderlands, Battleborn is Gearbox’s rendition of taking that concept and applying it in to a MOBA platform. The gameplay will be much faster paced than Borderlands, there will be multiple game modes, and there will be 25 different playable characters. Yes, 25 completely different characters, each with their own specific playstyles and skill trees. Things are about to get messy! Battleborn is set to release on May 3rd, 2016.
3. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
I was fortunate enough to pick this game up a few years back as a digital download during an EA Sale on my Xbox 360 for only a few bucks. While it was shorter than my typical preference of games, it was solid in virtually every respect! The visuals were beyond stunning, even by today’s standards on current gen. The free-running was absolutely seemless, easily the most mobile experience I’ve had in a game, let alone from an FPS perspective. The only major drawback was the combat was extremely clunky, but I will chalk that up to the fact that the game was intended to be played with actual combat being the absolute last resort. Running away and finding escape lines was by far the preferred tactic of Faith, the game’s protagonist. Be on the lookout for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst on 24th May, 2016.
4. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided takes place after the events of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. We once again take on the role of Adam Jensen, a cybernetic (or not) agent who is hell bent on beating the crap out of a few particular political rebels while dodging the Illuminati. This is all set in a mostly yellowed cyberpunk world complete with computer hacking and a huge emphasis on stealth tactics. While this entry in to the series looks like it will be more accommodating to action gamers, there will still be less direct options for those who choose a stealth or conversation based approach. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is set to be released 23rd August 2016.
5. Mass Effect: Andromeda
Little is known about the chapter in the Mass Effect Universe, but we do know this: Mass Effect 3 ended fairly definitively, and that Mass Effect Andromeda will not feature Commander Shepard. Worth noting that the Andromeda Galaxy is the closest star system to our own Milky Way, and Shepard makes allusions to the player being an explorer travelling ever forward, while still looking back. Twitter Friend Ashe puts together a pretty awesome breakdown of the main trailer. Mass Effect: Andromeda is set to release during the Holiday season of 2016.
6. Dishonored 2
Melding elements of Horror, Steampunk, the Supernatural, and Assassinations, Dishonored came out swinging back in 2012. Looks like the empire is in dire need of a hero again, and this time you’ve got two master assassins to choose from; Corvo and his new protege, Emily. Look for plenty of new abilities, mechanizations, automatons, and political intrigue in this sequel! To be released in 2016.
7. Final Fantasy XV
As someone who grew up during the “Golden Age of RPGs” back when Square Enix was still Square Soft, Final Fantasy has been a staple in my gaming diet. Sadly, during the early 2000s I had moved away from Nintendo having a brief stint with Playstation and ultimately falling with the Xbox. This means that my time with the later half of the franchise’s history has been spotty, and I haven’t even picked it up since the disaster of FF-XIII. However, this trend has been primed to change with the announcement of FF-XV. Although this iteration is definitely going to be action based, thus moving away from any form of turn based battle mechanic, I’ve got this itch that’s telling me that it’s going to be great. As always, this game is going to have the most stunning visuals and symphonic melodies as you wander through this neo-fantasy world. Final Fantasy XV is due out sometime in 2016.
8. Kingdom Hearts 3
Sticking with Square Enix for a moment, Kingdom Hearts is a beloved game for Disney and RPG fans of all ages. For those of you who may not be familiar with the franchise, imagine playing a beat-em-up style game with just the right amount of button mashing and tactical strategy set in a series of worlds from Disney movies. We are not talking “inspired by” or “based on” here, either! It is an actual partnership between the two studios to bring an action game developed by Square Enix in collaboration with and licensing from Disney Animation. Players will take on the identity of Sora and battle the forces of darkness with a Keyblade, all the while being backed up by your favorite Disney characters. No final date has been set for it’s release, but it is expected to be in 2016.
So there you have it! My personal list of games to keep an eye out for in the coming year! Of course, there are many others coming out depending on your play style, such as The Division, Scalebound, or Dark Souls 3, or even one of the annualized releases like Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed. This is just a sampling of my own personal list for what I will be spending most of my gaming time on.
Sound off with your list for 2016 in the comments!
Happy gaming and see you next year!