Last month E3 showcased hundreds of games, reminding us about the ones we’re most excited to play. With the release dates coming closer I decided to talk about the games I most want to get my paws on.
We Happy Few
Available on: Xbox One
Whens it’s out: Available on preview (giving you the opportunity to check the game out while it’s still in development) for Xbox and Steam on July 26th.
The pitch: Set in a dystopian future where everyone is on happy pills that distort the world around you, ‘Downers’ – people who stop taking the compulsory ‘Joy’ – are hunted down. Your MC stops taking his Joy and all of a sudden the world turns against him.
Why it’s exciting: Permadeath. The creators have already said that each experience will be a new one. Each time you die you’ll start again from the beginning and likely have completely different experience depending on how you choose to play.
Available on: Xbox One, PC
When it’s out: 13 September
The pitch: You’re one of the last remaining humans alive and there are robots everywhere intent on your destruction. With a collection of robot companions, you go on an adventure across the world.
Why it’s exciting: Okay, so there isn’t that much information about ReCore but if that trailer is anything to go by, it’s going to be an emotional ride. With each robot having its own unique powers it’ll be interesting to see how they play into the gameplay and their relationship with the protagonist.
Available on: Xbox One, PS4, PC
When it’s out: November 11
The pitch: Corvo Attano is back, after getting revenge (or justice) on those who framed him for the murder of his Empress, he’s now helping their daughter Emily, who took the throne after her mother’s death. But this Emily Kaldwin is older, hopefully wiser and trained by her dad in the art of assassination in case she needs to protect herself again. Unfortunately Emily is forced to use her skills when her place on the throne is threatened.
Why it’s exciting: Dishonored 1 was all about how player choice impacts the world around you but the sequel has expanded on the original. After the opening you get to choose whether to play the game as Emily or Corvo, both of which have two very different sets of powers. You also have moral choices to consider, whether to play the game as a ruthless assassin with a high chaos rating or opt for a no killing route. Gone are the loading screens between areas which gives you even more routes to approaching your target.
Pokemon Sun & Moon
Available on: Nintendo 3DS
When it’s out: November 23rd
The pitch: If you don’t know what Pokemon is have you been living under a rock for the past twenty years? (Yes Pokemon is now twenty.) Travel to the Hawaiian inspired island Alola and collect monsters known as Pokemon which you can battle with (in the world of Pokemon it’s considered abuse not to battle them).
Why it’s exciting: Pokemon has come a long way since it was first created for the Original Game Boy in 1996, forget the blocky pixelated gray Pokemon, everything is full colour and for the first time ever your avatar will be to human scale. It’s easier to lose yourself in the world of Pokemon than ever.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Available on: Xbox One, PS4, PC
When it’s out: 6 December 2016. Update: South Park has been delayed until ‘early 2017’.
The pitch: Okay so if you’re not a fan of South Park this might not appeal but after the success of the Stick of Truth there’s no surprise a sequel is just around the corner. You continue the game as the new kid, Douchebag, except no one’s playing Fantasy anymore, they’re playing superheroes! And this time you get to team up with the Coon, Mysterion, Toolshed and Human Kite against villains like the evil Professor Chaos.
Why it’s exciting: In a mockery of latest superhero blockbusters (Batman vs. Superman and particularly Marvel’s Civil War) the boys end up split about how to market their movies. It causes a rift through the group and you have to decide whether to side with the Coon or Mysterion. It promises to expand on things that the Stick of Truth lacked, such as improving combat. After the joy that was the Stick of Truth, there’s no way the Fractured But Whole can fail.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Available on: PS4
When it’s out: 28 February 2017
The pitch: Set in a world overrun by robots, you play as a hunter/archer called Aloy as she faces corrupted robots and investigates the cause behind this. The scenery is beautifully rural and it’s an amazing contrast to see the robotic wildlife on a background of green fields and trees.
Why it’s exciting: In a world of sequels, remakes and rehashing of the same ideas, it’s nice to see something so very new. Aloy’s fighting style combines archery, melee and stealth into a unique shape. Allowing for quick action weapon change and a focus on using the right tools for the right job.
Available on: PS3, PS4
When it’s out: Depends on where you are. 15th September 2016 if you’re in Japan and 14th February 2017 for North America. Unfortunately there’s no European release date and due to issues with the publisher there might never be. Which means if you’re a long time Persona fan from the UK like me, you may be forced to import. On the brightside, at least the PS4 is region free. Update: The European release date is now the same as America!
The pitch: The protagonist is transferred to school in Tokyo and put on probation for assaulting a stalker. While there, he learns to utilise part of his inner psyche as a persona which can battle the demons in other peoples’ minds. Along the way he meets others with personas and they form the ‘Phantom Thieves of Hearts’ who steal corruption from the hearts of adults in an attempt to improve society.
Why it’s exciting: Persona follows classic JRPG style with turn based dungeon crawling but there’s a heavy emphasis on social interaction, which is necessary to develop in order to get the strongest personas. Persona 5 focuses on the evil within people and the heavily stylised aesthetic makes the game completely unique. You’ll never play another game like Persona.
Mass Effect Andromeda
Available on: Xbox One, PS4, PC
When it’s out: March 2017
The pitch: It’s been 4 years since Mass Effect 3 came out and Shepard’s journey came to an end but in the games, it’s been centuries. This time the journey falls to Ryder, a Pathfinder, who is tasked with finding a new home for humanity.
Why it’s exciting: Andromeda is independent from the original series but that’s a good thing because Shepard’s story ended. The universe is promised to be bigger, with new races and hopefully focus on the same moral (renegade/paragon) choices that influenced the ME trilogy. The only problem is that Ryder has some big boots to fill but I have hope that Andromeda will live up to the original and offer us something new (like those customisable Makos!)
Detroit: Become Human
Available on: PS4
When it’s out: TBA
The pitch: Play as one of several androids, including Kara whom after gaining sentience, escaped from the factory she was made in and Connor, an android who works for the police hunting androids like Kara down. Based on the Quantic Dream’s 2012 tech demo, Kara, it already shows an intriguing look at androids and their place in this world.
Why it’s exciting: If you think Heavy Rain or Beyond: Two Souls had a lot of choices and responses to those, then you haven’t seen anything yet. The demonstration at this year’s E3 showed just how many results you could get from your actions. This will be the most extensive choice-led game to be released with a heavy focus on story. If one character dies as a result of your choice, you won’t be met by a game over screen, instead you’ll continue the story as one of the many other playable characters. This is a game where every action matters and your choices determine the fate of all the characters.
With so many new games coming out, as a gamer we’re spoilt for choice. While these are my most anticipated games, what are you excited to play?