So 2017, we have a big console year ahead of us. Nintendo is following up the uneventful Wii U with the upcoming Switch which at the moment. It could be showing one too many similar habits to its predecessor, from not enough games announced, over-priced for the technology and support provided, and possibly still considered a gimmick considering it’s tablet style on-the-go gameplay.
Microsoft is going for their second re-imagination of the Xbox One with the Scorpio. With very limited information released about this update, it’s hard to say if it’ll be worth the jump from the Xbox One and S. No major game announcements beside news that some games released for it won’t work with the original XB1s.
Sony have already released their next re-work of the original PS4 so this year they will be concentrating solely on game releases, but the future is looking rosiest for them, following a Christmas period which saw them triumph as top dog in console sales. Their push of VR and 4K gaming, bolstered by a good looking list of future releases sees the current most powerful games console in the world sitting pretty at the top of the pile right.
It’s not figures and numbers that stay with us for generations to come; it’s the games. It always has been. 2017 promises some great titles for us all whether it’s an indie experience you’re looking for or an AAA multi-million dollar produced title and I decided to share some of the titles I’m most looking forward to!
One thing you need to be aware of where I’m concerned with future games, I rarely watch trailers. I read very little of what a game is going to be like. I’d much rather avoid all the hype and be pleasantly (or unpleasantly) surprised by a games release. For instance…
1. Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I know next to nothing about Breath of the Wild. I know it’s the most open world Zelda title yet, and I’ve seen unavoidable still images and very short 2 or 3 second clips which I’ve been able to skip on realising what I was about to witness. I want to know NOTHING about this game so that when I play it, I can revel in yet another no doubt stellar release in the Nintendo catalogue with no knowledge of what I’m about to get into. I’ve never been disappointed with any of the releases in the series and I don’t expect Nintendo to balls this one up either
I have played every Zelda game with the exception of the CDi titles (hence the lack of disappointment I’ve experienced!). I LOVE Zelda games and love the exploration of new worlds that the series affords you with each new release. Sure the items are usually 90% of the same ol’ gear but why fix what ain’t broken when we gain so much love from hurtling across an area through a hookshot launch?
I expect this to be an instant classic, and at the moment it’s the only reason I will purchase a Nintendo Switch. When the price goes down of course.
2. Final Fantasy 7 Remake
This game holds a special place in my heart. I still remember my mother taking me to ‘Beatties’ to pick it up on the day of release (I was 13 at the time!) and had NO idea of what to expect. I had become a big RPG fan following experiences with Secret of Mana, Illusion of Time, Secret of Evermore, and the hype surrounding
I’m nervous about the episodic releases. I hear the reason behind it supposedly being so Square Enix can keep all the original content in, but something just doesn’t smell right. I’m also nervous regarding the battle system they seem to have to go on. It all seems a bit too free to me. I’m nervous they’re going to take one of the greatest gaming experiences I ever had the pleasure to enjoy and sully the memory with a half-assed re-release.
I have avoided as much news as possible about this as I want to go in totally fresh in this re-imagining of a childhood favourite of mine. Fingers crossed SE don’t screw this up as it visually looks incredible so far.
There’s a little bit of bias here, as I actually put money into the Kickstarter for Yooka-Laylee. Hearing that a gang of the original Rare team that helped develop classics like Banjo Kazooie were making another game in a similar vein was enough to make me giddy like a very old aunt. Being as big a fan as I am of collect-a-thon platform games, this was a dream come true as I feel we haven’t seen a true game like this since what, Banjo Tooie?
Effectively, the N64 is still the king of this style of game, though some would argue that Spyro, Ratchet and Clank, and even the likes of Mario Sunshine / Galaxy could fall under this umbrella. Yooka-Laylee definitely looks to be going old school however, and I have a very good feeling that Playtonic is going to absolutely nail this release. They may even rejuvenate the platform genre for home consoles again!
I see this being a game that will offer something that feels new, especially in an industry which has grown very stagnant over the last decade what with the main focus of releases being geared toward adults. I’m ready to go batty for this.
4. Red Dead Redemption 2
We all loved the prequel. I’ve never heard a bad word said about it. It took what we loved about GTA San Andreas, ignored GTA4 for the most part, and wrapped it all up in a wild west setting. We took off as John Marsden for our own twisting adventure through the prairies of America and Mexico and what a tale it was.
For YEARS fans have screamed for a PC port. It never came. Information about a sequel was non-existent up until October 2016 when finally, Rockstar Studios unveiled the first teaser trailer and images for the game. I now plan on avoiding all news and info up until the game’s release as I did with the latest Grand Theft Auto release as I took so much more from GTA5 knowing barely anything about it. Give it a try, avoid the rumours, the trailers, the still shots, and just head into the game blind when it’s released. It’ll be an awesome experience in a world with very few surprises anymore.
Have you seen this game?? Imagine if Betty Boop and Popeye teamed up to take on the Devil himself in a run ‘n’ gun shooter sharing similarities with Castle Crashers, Mega Man and Metal Slug. Even there it’s hard to nail the comparisons down as there are very few games that look like this, at least since the first level of the infamous Mickey Mania
It looks to be your standard platform game until the bosses come along, and boy are those bosses big. With a wide variety of characters such as skeletons, vegetables, and battles which take place in the sky using planes,
I love the look of this title and am hoping it’s not TOO difficult as I think my wife could enjoy this but only if it’s accessible enough for her. She enjoys a cartoony looking game, she played through all of Borderlands due to how it looked. Playing this on the big-screen in all of its visual splendour will be an awesome experience, and if you haven’t seen this in action yet, I implore you to go check out a trailer; this was one game I WAS happy to view the trailer for!
Possibly the least known title in this list, it’s a game which I took a dive into (no pun intended) when I spotted it on sale during the Steam 2016 Xmas Sale. It’s a Minecraft-Lite game set mostly underwater, whilst above water you see very little aside from the mass of a wreck which was the spaceship you had been travelling on before it crashed onto this alien planet.
Under the waves, however, you’re greeted with an absolute cavalcade of beautiful pastel colours and wondrous sea-life which is either going to leave you alone or try and open a hole in your ass. Some of the sea life is so large you can actually ride it, walking around on top of it whilst it goes about its daily chores.
The game is in early access at the moment so it’s not at its cleanest state right now, but with a full release planned closer to the summer, I think this could become a sleeper hit. I’ve loved exploring the depths so far, and if you’d like to get lost in a new different kind of world, why not stick your head under the water?
7. Hello Neighbor
OK, I take it back, this is likely to be the least known about game here. We’ve all seen those movies where the new neighbour has moved in next door, but something doesn’t seem quite right about them… are they hiding something? Are they mass murderers?? ARE THEY GOING TO LOOK AT YOU WHEN YOU’RE LOOKING AT THEM?
This game will allow you to be the suspicious mind in this scenario. Curious about what your neighbour might have hiding in their basement, you need to figure out the best way of unlocking the secrets downstairs whilst avoiding the grasp of your new buddy over the road. The coolest thing about the game, however, is that if the neighbour catches you, and you go back to try again, you’ll find they have learnt from their previous experience and have started to take extra measures against you. Boards will be hammered into window frames, chairs propped against door handles, bear traps set in places they expect you to attempt to break in, etc.
It’s not the best looking game in the world, but a lot of the greatest games of all time aren’t. It is, however, an intriguing idea which I think will be a blast to play through, and with various houses to take on, the game should offer some replayability for those of us who enjoy breaking into our neighbour’s homes. It’s also nice to give a small indie studio a shout-out here, they need more love from us!
8. Days Gone
State of Decay was a zombie open-world title that didn’t get anywhere near as much love as it deserved, while the lesser rated Dead Rising series continues to make all the noise. And it’s a shame as State of Decay is an excellent game. Days Gone looks to be a lot of the same but ramped up to the max.
The game looks to be a mix between State and the Last of Us, with the openness of the former, and the fear of the latter. The action is laid on thick with masses of fast hordes of the undead chasing you. Very much like Left 4 Dead actually, rather the slow shambling zombies you’d find in Resident Evil. Remember the scene in World War Z where the zombies continue to build and build themselves up the wall to reach the top? That’s what we’re talking about.
The game also looks visually fantastic, I’m just concerned that the ‘open-world’ feature becomes massively watered down with nothing to do but roam. If this becomes GTA5 but with zombies, I’ll be a happy chappie. I have faith. Bring on the horde!
Oh, and we have another stupidly named hero; Deacon St. John. Who thinks this rubbish up??
9. Sea of Thieves
Rare were untouchable in the 90s. With classics like the Banjo-Kazooie series, Goldeneye 007, and of course, the Donkey Kong Country series, these guys were putting out awesome titles on such a regular basis. Of course, the turn of the millennium came along, Microsoft came along waving the big bucks, and things all went a bit tits up. With very rare few circumstances, the games just haven’t been happening for them.
So it’s a nice surprise to see a game like Sea of Thieves be developed by them as it feels very far removed from what we’re used to from these guys. An open-world sea-faring adventure which can be played with other players and it looks GORGEOUS. There’s an odd combination of cartoon-like characters, land, and ships supported by a sea which is truly something to behold with its realistic nature.
Battles on the sea look very interactive, with you not just dealing with the movement of the ship, but also actually getting around the ship to fire some cannons yourself, fly the sails, and just take in a breath-taking starry-skied view. On the surface of it, the game reeks of Rare, I just hope it plays more like the 90s classics rather the torrid 00s we had to endure.
10. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
I’ve never been a fan of the Tom Clancy games. Not sure what it was, they just never ‘clicked’ with me. Maybe I just preferred the faster paced CoD series (back when it was good). However, the scope has always been an alluring feature for me in games, and what Ubisoft have planned with Wildlands looks to be nothing short of stunning.
Set in the country of Bolivia, the game looks HUGE. It’s rare we see a FPS grab itself such a free environment, with the Far Cry series being the closest example of such a game. Not only will you find yourself losing yourself in it, but there’s also 9 different types of environment you can find yourself adventuring through, such as deserts, forests, and snow covered mountain tops. Gamers love to get lost and we’re definitely going to be doing it in Wildlands.
Otherwise, it looks to be a fairly safe spec ops tactical shooter on paper. Use drones to scan areas you’re about to attack, ride bikes and helicopters to get yourself around the vast game-world, and take part in countless side-missions which will allow you to build / destroy relationships with the locals whose land you’re doing all this damage in. I’m expecting a lot of fuss from this.
So, in conclusion…
I’m a very hard chap to please when it comes to games these days. We don’t have enough innocent fun anymore, and I believe that is reflected in the titles I have picked out. There’s not a lot out there that feels like the games I used to know and love, and I’m concerned the industry is forgetting about the gamers who were there when this thing really took off. Gaming takes itself too seriously now, and it’s alright having super-realistic graphics, but if the game they’re attached to plays like crap, who cares how many frames a second are being displayed?
However, I’m optimistic with that bunch above. Sure, some are a little recycled, and a couple of sequels thrown in, but I genuinely believe these are the titles which will afford us the most fun this year. We really need a big year for gaming as it’s been quite a stagnant period since this current gen began. Developers need to stop being so worried and follow the indie studios out there who aren’t afraid to try new things, and who are pushing the boundaries of what can be expected from games. Maybe VR will be the catalyst that starts igniting the creative spark in the developers out there?
Either way, it’s the first time in a long time I’ve been excited for what the future holds. I’m an old-timer who frustrates the younger generation with my claims that ‘it was better in my day’ (it was though). If I’m feeling good about what’s around the corner, that can’t be a bad thing, and I might actually start forking out some real cash for a game again soon! And let’s be honest; 2016 blew. 2017, be ye’ our saviour.
Oh, and I’m very aware of Shen-Mue 3, Crash Bandicoot Remake, Super Mario Odyssey, Kingdom Hearts 3, Mass Effect, et al. Take from 2017 what you will, and I hope your purchases bring you the joy we gamers deserve from our media of choice!