Happy new year everyone! The year of 2015 was…interesting wasn’t it? There likely just as many lows as there were highs, but I like to think that that means we have a chance to make this year even better than the last! In fact, I think 2016 could shape up to be quite the banner for the world of video games. I mean there’s just so many games to look forward to in the coming months; it’s hard to not to start getting excited already! So how about it? One last Listmas list to send of the old year and ring in the new! These are the games I’m thinking will be among the best 2016 will have to offer.
Uncharted 4: Thief’s End
The above trailer may just be a TV spot meant to hype us up for the game, but I think it actually does a good job of summing-up why Uncharted 4 is an exciting release. This is going to be the end of Drake’s story. We’re going to get to see what his lasting legacy is going to be, and what’s more, I think we’re going to get a clear picture of just who Nathan Drake is. We know is past and why he became a treasure hunter. We know who Sully is to him. We know that he loves adventure, but was growing tired of the danger even way back in the first game. However, I don’t think we ever learned why he keeps going. What is it that calls Nathan Drake to adventure time and time again, even after he’s walked away from it? It will be sad to see our journey’s with Drake come to and end, but how often to we get the chance to have a real, conclusive ending to a series and character like this? Either way, I think Uncharted 4 is going to be something quite special.
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
This is a game I never expected to see. It’s not that I dislike the game, I’m actually a big fan, but I remember this game releasing to both disappointing sales and a mediocre response from critics. Just one of those is usually enough to shut down a potential series, but Mirror’s Edge suffered both. So imagine my surprise when it not only got announced, but was set to release in early 2016. I might have been…really, incredibly excited! Rabid fandom aside, the gameplay released so far is encouraging. They appear to be working very hard to address the movement and combat issues from the original. It looks like the environment has been opened up quite a bit too. I didn’t mind the linearity of the original, but this seems like a fitting move for this type of game. Free-running should go hand-in-hand with freedom of movement right? If you’ve never played Mirror’s Edge, I recommend at least watching this one. In a word, it’s: unique.
Now this one is just plain intriguing. It has a set up one would expect for a horror game, but I’m not getting a horror-vibe from it. I’m thinking this is going to be more of an adventure/mystery with plenty to learn about both our main characters and the situation they’ve found themselves in. Then there’s the scenario: you’re a watchman in a national forest. There should normally be no one else around for miles, so it’s a safe bet that isolation is going to be a major factor in how the game plays out. I’m looking forward to seeing how they use it! Oh, and the game looks beautiful doesn’t it? I love how prevalent the color orange is in these scenes. It makes everything look like it’s basking in a glorious sunset!
No gameplay for this one yet, but just the fact that it exists (and is supposed to be due out this year) is pretty exciting! Those of you who played the original Dishonored know why more of it is a good thing. For those of you who haven’t played it, I’d say the most important reason Dishonored is popular is because it gets stealth right in a lot of ways. It’s presented as more of an option than a mandatory action. Being seen doesn’t instantly fail your mission, and your character, Corvo Attano, is a capable combatant with all kinds of nasty toys and powers at his disposal. He doesn’t need to be stealthy to achieve his goals. However, Dishonored makes stealth something that’s incredibly satisfying to achieve. It requires planning, patience, and a bit of risk-taking. It makes you feel like you really are outsmarting your enemies, and it’s an excellent feeling indeed! If Dishonored 2 is anything like the original, I think it’s going to be well worth the time for anyone who plays it!
I think I can sum up why I’m excited for this one in a single sentence. It’s a brand-new 3D platformer from the same team that brought us Banjo-Kazooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day!
I’d say ‘enough said’, but I think I should explain a bit more. Outside of Little Big Planet and the Mario series, 3D platformers are a mostly extinct genre, and there just isn’t anything being made that even resembles the 90’s classics RareWare made back in the day. There was just something special about these games. I suppose it would be apt to describe them as a structured-sandboxes. They had objectives, but the order in which you did them and how you went about it were entirely up to you. No missions to trigger, no fetch-quests to complete. No endless expanse to traverse. They were simple, imaginative, and most importantly: fun. If you’ve played Banjo-Kazooie or even Mario 64, then you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, then all I can do is recommend giving them a try. I don’t think you have to be a “90’s kid” to see what makes this type of game fun. Long live the 3D platformer!
Honorable Mention: Hunger
This one is an honorable mention because there hasn’t actually been a release date announced for it yet. Still, even though it might not be out this year, I think it deserves a mention. Hunger is a horror game, but unlike Alien: Isolation, Outlast, or FNaF, I don’t think it’s meant to straight-up scare its players. From what we’ve seen and heard so far, Hunger is a horror game in the sense of creating an unsettling and disturbing atmosphere. What I think is interesting here is that while the visuals and sound direction are indeed disturbing by themselves, it’s the character we’re given to control that appears to bring it all home. I imagine players will be spending a lot of time feeling scared for the girl character, a feeling I don’t think many other games have successfully drawn out of players before. Keep this one on your radar. I have a feeling that you’ll be glad you did.
Well, those are the game I’m looking forward to the most for
2016 this year. There are several others of course, but these just stood above the rest for me. What about you? Which games are you looking forward to the most?
(Oh, and if you’d like to learn more about Hunger, we actually wrote a piece about it early last year. Have a look if you think it sounds interesting.)