With 2016 ending strong with Dishonored 2 and Planet Coaster, it’s time for folks like me to look forward to the next year and begin to determine whether we need to prepare for an unrelenting year of AAA releases. Although 2016 had a few big hitters, it was overall a rather quiet year; but 2017 is wall-to-wall with new IP’s, sequels and revived wonders. So without further ado here’s 10 of 2017’s most anticipated releases (in no particular order):
10) For Honour
For Honour looks like a cross between Dynasty Warriors and Chivalry – but with castles. This one has been getting a fair amount of media attention over the past year and with good reason; it does look fantastic after all. Hopefully this will be able to bring a bit of gameplay diversity to a multiplayer ecosystem which has been dominated by the First Person Shooter – and a very specific style of FPS at that – for the past few years. It has been a fair number of years since I’ve properly dived into the multiplayer scene and For Honour has really peaked my interest.
9) Horizon: Zero Dawn
This is another one that’s been getting a lot of attention from the press. Horizon: Zero Dawn is an intriguing blend of prehistoric fantasy and sci-fi robots, and as much as that blend sounds like it shouldn’t work it really, really does. Guerrilla games – the same folks behind the Killzone series- have a pedigree for making beautiful looking games that show off the PlayStation hardware; but will they be able to pull off an ambitious open world without any previous experience? We will have to wait until February to find out.
8) Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Come on. It’s another Zelda and a bloody good looking one as well. We all knew it was going to make it onto the list. Zelda is one of the few franchises to truly span numerous generations. Its legacy has shaped some of the fundamental aspects of games design to this day, so whenever Nintendo announces a new instalment to the franchise it unsurprisingly generates huge buzz. There really isn’t much I need to say about this one. It’s Zelda, after all.
7) Death Stranding
Hideo Kojima’s first outing after leaving Konami is definitely going to be an interesting one. The intrigue behind the content of the game is only compounded by the litany of talent attached to it. Mads Michelson, Guillermo Del Toro, Norman Redus and, of course, Hideo Kojima himself, all seem to point towards a game that will be interesting at least. Does anybody know what the game’s about? No, Do we want to find out? Of course, Does not knowing make me less excited? Nah.
6) Mass Effect: Andromeda
Bioware has it’s pedigree in making RPG’s. From Dragon Age to KOTOR to Mass Effect, they have created some of the biggest modern role-playing hits. So it stands to reason that when they decide to add a new instalment in their most successful franchise, people will be more than a little excited. Following the famously controversial ending of Mass Effect 3, the developers have decided to branch off from the previously established worlds and characters, going so far as to put the new game in an entirely different galaxy. What they have is an opportunity to ditch what people hated and keep what they loved. We will see if that’s what they do.
5) Sea of Thieves
Pirates, Boats, swashbuckling and hurdy-gurdies. The developers of Banjo-Kazooie are creating something really interesting with this one. Seemingly a massively multiplayer pirate simulator, you and your friends will team up to sail the high seas, sink the ships of other players and embark on a pirate adventure of your own making. Between Black Flag and this, we’ll hopefuuly be seeing more piratey, 18th century type games featuring boats coming out.
4) Rock of Ages 2: Bigger and Boulder
OK, so maybe this isn’t the biggest release of the year, and maybe this is just a guilty pleasure of mine, but damn it this game looks amazing – even though nobody played the first! Scheduled in the vague slot of ‘quarter one 2017,’ Rock of Ages has you playing as the boulder of Sisyphus, romping through history smashing up lots of doors and murdering historical figures. Come on, you play as a sentient boulder, how can’t you be excited for this one?! Look, just watch the trailer. That’ll sell it.
3) Outlast 2
Outlast was lovely. Like Slender and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, it was one of the games that proved that the horror genre wasn’t dead after all, and that there was, in fact, a fair amount of money to be found in the enterprise. So naturally the sequel is not only hotly anticipated but it’s also seemingly more ambitious. Keeping what made us all love the original while ramping up all other aspects to give us some shivers and tingles. Just… please don’t invest in those god awful Outlast Diapers.
2) Red Dead Redemption 2
It’s finally happening. We have all been waiting for a sequel to Red Dead Redemption since it came out, and it’s finally happening. Whenever Rockstar plan a release in general, it comes with high anticipation and will make it onto a hundred lists like this. But the unique way that Red Dead Redemption perfectly captured the Western genre makes this game so much more exciting than their other titles. We still have to wait to learn anything about the game, but just the idea of being back in that world is wonderful.
1) The Last of Us 2
Only very recently announced and, in the grand scheme of things, very close to the original but Joel and Ellie’s story is one that people have been clamouring to get back into since the original games release. Now we have neither story details nor information about game mechanics but this is a team at the top of their game – one that has produced some of the most well-known game stories of the last generation and they’re working on an IP with huge critical acclaim. That’s reason enough to be excited.
So 2017 is looking to be a busy year for gaming, with some of the biggest and most anticipated titles coming to consoles and PC’s near you. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!