Posted Thu Dec 31, 2015 at 07:00 AM PST by Brian Hoss
Staying ahead of delay.
It's very nearly 2016, and we've spent some nice time reflecting on the 2015's best and brightest with both Game of the Year and Most Outstanding Games of 2015. Turning forward to the Most Anticipated Games of 2016, and I can't help but recall, well, last year. Whether it's 'Uncharted 4' or 'The Legend of Zelda,' some of 2016's most promising titles were at one time on the docket for 2015.
And that unfortunately has me extra wary of exciting games that likely won't make a 2016 date. Even within the games that seem solidly set for 2016, there are titles like the 'The Last Guardian,' which almost seem destined to be forever teasing.
And while the next 'Assassin's Creed' or 'Call of Duty' or even 'Destiny' remains unannounced, we've still got plenty of games to look forward. (And eventually, I'll be able to look back on this list and marvel at those 2015 hopes.)
'Quantum Break' is right at the top of 2016 games to worry about. 'Mass Effect Andromeda' is a game that seems much more likely for 2017. The new 'Hitman' may have rebounded by adjusting the content model. 'Star Fox Zero' could be an impressive return for the franchise. 'Mirror's Edge Catalyst' has been fun in demonstrations, but will its openworld design surpass the charm of the original? 'DOOM' has also been really fun to play so far, but what about a campaign? 'Persona 5' could be huge, but it's been a long time since the PS2 days. 'Dishonored 2' may come in 2016, and then again, it may not. 'Horizon Zero Dawn' has a striking style to it, as does 'ReCore.'
That's right, one of 2015's eagerly anticipated games looms large in 2016, and that's even after another recent 6 week delay has pushed it to late spring. 'Uncharted 4: A Thief's End' will be Naughty Dog's proper debut on the PS4. With more story emphasis than ever before, there are lots of people looking forward to seeing how Drake's story ends.
There are Telltale Games, and there are 'Batman' games, but 'Batman: A Telltale Games Series' (working title) seems a potentially wonderful marriage of gaming. At the very least, it won't be an 'Arkham' themed Batman, which should mean it can do more than just endlessly focus on the Titan-infused Joker.
Once again, it's hard to put a certain year for release of 'The Legend of Zelda.' It's the one game where it seems that Nintendo could hold it until the NX is ready, and then do a dual platform release a la 'Twilight Princess.' For now, the new game looks beautiful, and with some 'Xenoblade' openworld magic, the outlook is promising.
Show after show, this game has been compelling, but as with an unsettled date for 'No Man's Sky,' the worry is beginning to creep in. Will all of those planets provide enough flavoring one to another? That aside, this is an exclusive to watch.
I already have strong affection for Yarney, the sad little walking yarn hero of 'Unravel.' The game itself, with its impressive physics and fun puzzles will be a delight when it hits.
With several public betas now finshed, 'Street Fighter V' seems well on its way to a successful PS4 and PC release. (With cross play even!) From there, a game full of favorite characters and wonderful move interplay is there but with a little danger of being overshadowed by fight money and DLC. Still, this is easily one of my most anticipated games of 2016.
Again, shifting dates has been worrying for 'Tom Clancy's The Division.' Fortunately, a recent Xbox One beta has been well received. Hopefully, the dire NYC setting of 'The Division' will see something that is a step ahead of 'Destiny.'
The Coalition Studio is working to bring back 'Gears of War.' The return of 'Gears' (and to the Xbox One no less) will be an event. For myself, I want a spectacular campaign.
Though there have been one or two big delays, I still think 'Deus Ex: Mankind Divided' will be one of the year's most important titles. The world that the game works from, and the gameplay model, makes it a likely standout.
Could it be? Could it really actually be a playable game? That's basically where 'The Last Guardian' stands in 2015. As with so many other lost projects, this mythical title has a strong curiosity to it, and that's even after the E3 2015 demonstrations.
For one thing, I'm very confident that 'Dark Souls III' will release in the first half of 2016. Beyond that, this is the first 'Dark Souls' title to target this new gen. ('Bloodborne' not withstanding.) As ever, recapturing the tension and wonder of 'Dark Souls' and 'Demon's Souls' has to be the goal.
Well, on to 2016. I should stress how tough the choices here were with iconic franchises and new IPs battling it out, but still leaving the impression that they won't make release in the next year. Ultimately, it will likely be some kind of dark horse or two not mentioned here that will capture players across genres and platforms.
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