It’s New Years Eve and that means that the end of a great year in gaming is upon us. But don’t fear, 2016 is right around the corner and that means there are new games and new technology to get stuck into over the coming months. As the current generation of consoles heads into its third year, how far will they be pushed? Will virtual reality take off or will it be a flop? Only time will tell but here is a quick look at what the team here at Gaming Respawn are looking forward to the most in 2016.
2016 is going to be the year that virtually reality finally arrives in consumers’ hands and as a player who puts a huge amount of focus on immersion, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about the prospect of virtual reality and grabbing an Oculus Rift. The jury is still out on how well these devices will adapt to gaming systems, will they require an above average PC to run or will there be a lack of proper, fully-fledged games to play? Who knows, but with Sony, Oculus and HTC & Valve teaming up, hopefully they will push each other to bring us the best experience and innovation and ensure that not only does virtual reality function, but that there are the games on offer to take advantage of it. My prediction is that 2016 will be remembered as the year of Virtual Reality.
Moving on from technology, there are a few games that I can’t wait for in 2016. It’s been a while since I heavily invested myself in a Ubisoft title, however The Division is my game to watch next year and I am eager to see just how well it manages to combine all of its different elements and play styles. It looks ambitious but Ubisoft certainly have the resources, experience and manpower to be able to pull something like The Division off. Far Cry Primal is also an interesting one and I certainly didn’t see that setting coming. As for how well the game’s style will adapt to that era of survival, I’m not sure.
Next year should also see the full release of a number of Early Access survival games such as DayZ, Rust, H1Z1 and Ark: Survival Evolved to name a few, so it will be interesting to see how they all shape up after a number of months, and in some cases, years of development.
There are two games in particular that I’m looking forward to in 2016: Dishonored 2 and Mass Effect: Andromeda. These games are sure things for me, I really enjoyed the first Dishonored and I absolutely loved the Mass Effect Trilogy. In fact, I will make sure to replay the Mass Effect games before Mass Effect: Andromeda releases in order to make it a full experience. Unfortunately, neither developers are yet to release any gameplay footage, but the cinematic trailers still looked promising.
Apparently, Dishonored 2 will allow gamers to play the game as either original protagonist Corvo Attano or a grown-up Emily Kaldwin, and both characters will have unique powers and abilities. It has also been revealed that both characters will not have their own points of view on the same overarching plot, instead they will play through the same exact missions with the plot changing accordingly for both characters. I would actually prefer it if Corvo and Emily had their own unique missions, but the game still sounds like it will be fun. As for Mass Effect: Andromeda, I don’t know what to expect. All I know is that it will take place in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy well after the original trilogy with a whole new cast of characters. As long as the same level of quality that went into the original trilogy’s fun gameplay, incredible narrative, and dynamic karmic choices can be recreated for this new game, then I’ll be one happy space explorer. Right now, I’d just like some solid release dates, dammit!
In 2016, the game I am most looking forward to is a difficult question to answer.
I’m actually quite looking forward to the prospect of being able to play Heavy Rain. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I didn’t own a PS3 during the Seventh Generation, so games like The Last of Us and Uncharted sadly eluded me. As a result, I’ve been leaping at the chance to snap these games up when they’re released on the PS4.
I know some people get annoyed at these re-releases, but those people need to understand that the PS3 was the loser of the Seventh Generation. Both the Wii and the Xbox 360 had stronger showings and that means that some of the best games from the console have never been played by some people. I always thought Heavy Rain looked great and I lamented the fact I was never able to play it, so I’m very intrigued at the prospect of finally getting to play it next year. I’m quite certain I’ll drop the cash down on the table to play this one. I’m happy for the people who made these games that the fruits of their labour now have a great chance to be seen and enjoyed by more people.
Hitman also looks very interesting, but perhaps a tad difficult for me. I’ll probably wait for reviews before deciding to part with more than 8 Bison Dollars on it.
Street Fighter V is a game that intrigues me, but I’m still on the fence about whether to get it. I found Street Fighter IV to be underwhelming, despite the incredible amount of love it got. I haven’t actually bought a SF game since that one in fact. For that reason, I’m wary of spending a decent chunk of change on the new one, especially as it looks very similar gameplay wise to IV. Again, this might be a situation where I wait to see reviews before deciding whether to go with the game or not. Capcom have hardly encouraged me to feel any different the past few years and I’m sure the game will be loaded to the eyeballs with DLC.
I think I’ll probably spend most of 2016 hoovering up games for my Wii U library, especially as the console itself will soon be replaced by the NX. It’s a shame that the console hasn’t enjoyed more success than it’s had, as I think there were some truly cracking games for it. Considering the simmering hatred I felt for the original Wii once the allure of its gimmickry wore off, I’ve found it a pleasant surprise how much I’ve loved its much superior offspring. Nintendo brought me back into the fold after The Gamecube and Original Wii failed to truly hold my attention. We’ll now see if they can hold onto me by making the NX my primary console, I’m not holding my breath to be honest. Even though I love the Wii U, I’ll happily accept that I couldn’t survive on just it, as its multiplats suffer so much in comparison to the other two consoles. I’m already picking up Splatoon and Yoshi’s Woolly World for Christmas and I’ll probably add Smash Brothers and Bayonetta 2 to my collection once they drop in price also. So yeah, I’ll be spending most of 2016 filling up a library for an already doomed console. That’s me in a fucking nutshell right there.
The year of the RPG, that’s what I think of when it comes to 2016. In my opinion, 2016 looks like it could be the best year for gaming and for the consoles of this gen. Being a huge fan of the RPG genre, I’ve never been this excited for an upcoming year before. We have Japanese RPGs such as Persona 5, the follow-up game to my favourite game ever, Persona 4, which I’ve poured hundreds of hours into multiple times. That’s not to mention Final Fantasy 15, a game I’ve been waiting nearly a decade for, ever since it was called Final Fantasy Versus.
For those that aren’t into Japanese RPGs, worry not because 2016 has you covered with Western RPGs such as the highly anticipated Mass Effect: Andromeda and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. 2016 is going to be hard on my wallet and I may need to consider getting a few more jobs just to afford them all as I haven’t even talked about the big titles coming in 2016 such as X-COM 2, Cyberpunk 2077, Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, No Man’s Sky and many many more.
2016 is not only the year of the RPG but the best year for gaming on this generation of consoles, you heard it from me first.
There are so many games that I am looking forward to in 2016, from start to finish. To better organize my thoughts, I will separate the games by their companies, like Nintendo or Playstation. (Sorry Xbox fans, there isn’t really anything I am looking forward to for the Xbox One).
On the PlayStation side, I am especially excited about games being developed by Square Enix. I am excited to hear more about games like Kingdom Hearts 3 and the Final Fantasy 7 remake. Both of these games will most likely not be released next year but I cannot wait to get more information on the games in the form of trailers or announcements. Another title from Square Enix is Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prolouge. This game, with an incredibly confusing and lengthy title, was recently announced for release in 2016. It includes: an HD remake of Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, which released for the 3DS in 2012, a new cinematic story not yet told in other games, and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep–A Fragmentary Passage, an all-new game that takes place after the events of Birth by Sleep from the perspective of Aqua.
I love Kingdom Hearts, so much that I have bought the same games multiple times. I already own and have played Dream Drop Distance on the 3DS but I don’t mind buying it and playing it again on the PlayStation 4. Moving on from Kingdom Hearts, I am waiting for the PS4 release of Rise of the Tomb Raider. The game already came out on the Xbox One but I don’t really care for that system so I am awaiting the PS4 release. Finally, the final game for PlayStation is of course Final Fantasy 15. Final Fantasy 15 has been in development for around nine years. I only learned about the game when it was first announced at E3 a couple of years ago and it has been an anxious ride of anticipation from there. It is nice to be able to know that if everything goes right, I will be playing FFXV in 2016, but let’s not jinx it okay?
I usually am ecstatic for everything Nintendo and while I still am, I hope there are more titles for 2016 that have not been announced. Still, there are a few games which I am eagerly waiting for. The first is actually the first three. I really want to play all three of the new Fire Emblem games. Titled Fire Emblem Fates… Conquest, Birthright and Revelation. These games are coming out similar to the Pokemon way of doing things. You can buy the version you want and each version has a different story. I am not completely happy with this way of selling a game since it makes it pricey but I hope that the games are totally worth it. Another game I am looking forward to is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess remake. It was recently announced in a Nintendo Direct and it looked great. I have already played the game but I think I have established that I have no shame in buying the prettier versions of old games. Speaking of Zelda, that brings me to my final game, The Legend of Zelda for Wii U. There are many rumours saying that the game will actually not come in 2016 and that it will instead release for the upcoming Nintendo NX. If there is any good in this world, then let those rumours be untrue. I really want a new Zelda game and I hope I get it in 2016.
It already looks like next year is going to be full of tantalising prospects with heavyweight franchises returning (Mirror’s Edge, Deus Ex, and, perhaps most importantly, Mass Effect) and established developers going in new directions (Far Cry going back to the Stone Age and Killzone devs Guerrilla Games delivering Horizon Zero Dawn, a third-person open-world primitive humans vs robot dinosaurs type thing). Not to mention the smaller titles that have already piqued my interest, with the charming yarn-based adventure Unravel and Firewatch foremost in this category, the latter game placing you in the shoes of a fire lookout in Yellowstone National Park who gradually discovers he may not be as alone as he thinks.
Personally though, there are only two games that I will definitely buy next year, contrasting titles that neatly illustrate the rich diversity of today’s gaming landscape. The first of these is the concluding chapter of what has arguably been the defining franchise of the PS2 and PS3, an epic saga made by a team of hundreds that has become notorious for its technical and storytelling excellence, and which stars the two most famous videogaming voice actors. It promises the globe-spanning locations, spectacular set pieces and quick-fire dialogue for which the series has become famed, as well as an unprecedented level of emotional development for its leading man.
The other must surely be one of the most ambitious projects in the history of game development, 13 blokes in Guildford attempting to create a universe full of planets, plants and alien animals and then allow players to run around in it, naming discoveries and unravelling a yet to be revealed story. This tiny studio has already survived a flood and is currently hard at work using the wonders of procedural generation to create hundreds of variations on their base fauna, planets, starships and creatures, all to create a practically endless game world of 18 quintillion planets whose full majesty would only be revealed through many lifetimes of play. Most amazingly, the more that’s shown of the game (whether on the main stage of E3 or on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), the more it looks they’re actually going to pull it off.
For those who’ve failed to pick up on these subtle clues, I’m talking about Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and No Man’s Sky and I’ll be amazed if both aren’t in the running for 2016’s Game of the Year.
The rise of OSX gaming… In reality, 2016 has me looking forward to Metal Gear Online finally coming to PC as well as the official launch for Overwatch. I also can’t wait to see what this year has in store for esports. Especially when it comes to TSM’s new LCS line up.
In 2016, the game I am most looking forward to is Final Fantasy XV, but that is because next year it would have been originally announced 10 years ago and each year it has accumulated more anticipation. Part of me is still a little hesitant about it definitely being released next year, even if in a few months’ time they officially give a 2016 date, no doubt they will easily find a reason to hold it back yet another year. After I played the beta it reaffirmed my excitement for the game and I think the idea of having a group of just four guys is great, as it will introduce a unique feel to the game by seeing how a group of ‘lads’ act together. The whole thing just looks beautiful and seems to be big, I just hope it’s a fuller open world than XIII.
I still feel like I need to mention some of the other games I’m hotly awaiting, as they were really in an unwinnable fight. The major one is Yooka-Laylee, any other year it would likely have been my number one. What can I say, most of the developers at Playtonic Games made my childhood so it felt like a safe investment, then again I’ve been wrong before. The game looks like Banjo-Kazooie which is all I needed and I’m sure this is another duo we’ll be remembering for some time. I have my utmost faith in them.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is yet another game that I’m hyped for and I was so close to being able to play it, until they decided to hold it back until May. I suppose it’s better they do, I’d rather wait longer for a fixed game than one filled with bugs as most releases are lately. I adore this series and hope this isn’t going to be the last, if you haven’t played the first, go play it now.
There are a few others I’m stoked for, let’s call them honourable mentions. Zelda is one of my favourite franchises; however, I feel hesitant about it definitely coming out next year. Until it’s 100% I can’t willingly say it’s my most looked forward to, as I would be setting myself up for disappointment. Mass Effect is a series I have only just played and I enjoyed every moment of it. Mass Effect: Andromeda coming out next year has made me much more excited than it did when it was announced. The last one of my seemingly bottomless excitement pit, is Halo Wars 2, the first gave my friends and I hours of fun; although I wasn’t really the brains of the operations, more of a sheep following the orders.