With the end of the year rolling in, and gamers trying to squeeze in just a few more hours of play time from this year’s titles, it’s as good a time as any to look ahead at the games being released in 2016. From AAA titles to indie games, and from sequels to new IPs, 2016 has a ton of titles to look forward to. The following six are at the top of a lot of gamers’ lists.
The 2012 reboot, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, was such a massive success that it’s no surprise Firaxis Games decided to pick up right where they left off. Fans of the series, and gamers getting their first taste of the tactical gameplay alike, spent hours upon hours ridding the world of the alien menace. The most interesting point about the sequel is that it takes place 20 years after the events of XCOM, but in a timeline where humanity lost the war.
Unfortunately, console gamers are going to have to sit out this fight as XCOM 2 is strictly a PC release. Every alien enemy type is getting a huge visual upgrade and power boost, so players are going to have a harder time than ever ridding the world of the alien menace. Fans of the series won’t have to wait long, with XCOM 2 slated for a February 5 release. Maybe you can even use the game to prepare for the Independence Day sequel.
Untitled Telltale Batman Game
Telltale Games had a very good 2015 with the back to back smash hits Tales from the Borderlands and A Game of Thrones. By taking on the Batman franchise, Telltale is following a tough act–the highly successful Arkham game series by Rocksteady. Not much is known about the game, other than what was said by Kevin Bruner, Co-Founder and CEO of Telltale Games:
“This iteration of Batman will give fans a first-hand opportunity to dive deeper into the complex life and mind of Bruce Wayne, the duality of his own identity, and the struggle of responsibility in saving a city overcome with corruption and villainy.”
This would be an excellent opportunity for the dialogue options to all be based on one of the many Batman portrayals throughout the years, where players can choose to play as the campy Adam West version, gravelly voiced Christian Bale version, or the often imitated, never duplicated Kevin Conroy version. A release date has yet to be announced, but this game should be on everyone’s watch list for 2016.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
This third-person shooter was announced by Ubisoft way back in 2014 at E3, but stayed under the radar until earlier this year. Tom Clancy’s The Division follows the story of a pandemic that is sweeping the country and devolving everything to chaos. Out of this mess, a covert tactical unit known as the Strategic Homeland Division is activated, and it’s their job to figure out what caused the outbreak and how to stop it.
The game has a lot going for it, including a fully destructible open-world, day, night, and weather cycles, loot, and the team-based gameplay that Destiny has made so addictive. With what seems to be a fully fleshed out plot, The Division seems set to overtake Destiny as the go to multiplayer RPG/shooter when it releases on March 8.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of Quantum Break is how it will have a live-action TV show that will work in tandem with player choices from the game to progress the story. The protagonist, Jack Joyce played by Shawn Ashmore, will have his story told through gameplay where he has the power to freeze time.
Paul Serene, played by Aidan Gillen, is the antagonist and his story will be told in the TV show, where his power to see into the future allows him to make decisions based on what he sees. The TV series will total four episodes and only run for about 30 minutes. This expanding into other forms of media could be the next step in gaming or just a gimmick that goes nowhere. Gamers will be able to decide for themselves when Quantum Break releases on April 5.
Star Fox Zero
It’s been ten long year since the last installment in the Star Fox franchise. In the meantime, Fox McCloud has popped up the the Super Smash Bros series, but Star Fox Zero takes him back to into the cockpit of his Arwing with his loyal wingmen Falco, Peppy, and–ugh–Slippy.
The team will be able to pilot their classic Arwings, but also the Landmaster tank, helicopter-esque Gyrowing, and raptor-shaped Walker. In order to take advantage of the Wii U’s gamepad, the screen will function as an in-cockpit view to assist with aiming. More than anything, Nintendo is banking on the nostalgia tied to the franchise to make sure Star Fox Zero is successful. I know I can’t wait to take on Wolf O’Donnell while Slippy whines at me in his annoying little brother voice when the game releases on April 22nd.
No Man’s Sky
The main appeal of No Man’s Sky is that while it’s easy to describe, it’s hard to understand. It’s an adventure/survival game where you travel the universe exploring and discovering new planets and lifeforms while trying to work your way to the center of the universe. That was the easily understandable part; the part that’s difficult to grasp is how the rest of the game is populated and played.
While the game does have a multiplayer component, nothing concrete about it has been detailed. Players can interact with pirates and traders, but again details about specifics are scarce. This has been an ambitious project from developer Hello Games and the mystery surrounding the game has built up some serious hype. It will be interesting to see if No Man’s Sky can live up to the hype when it releases in June.
These are just some of the awe-inspiring games that will be making the wait over the course of the next 12 months more unbearable. Think we missed an important title? Disagree with one of the games on this list? Let us know in the comments below!