10 Anticipated Games to Keep on Your Radar in 2017
With 2016 coming to a close, it’s time to try desperately to buckle down and play through some of our backlog of games, before playing a bunch more for Christmas and steam sales to leave until next year. Backlog or not however, we always look forward more to what we don’t have, that’s why advertising through hype works, and 2017 is already looking like a fine year for gaming by any means. Let’s take a look at the big anticipated releases that the future holds, for 2017 and possibly beyond.
Resident Evil 7
I struggle to call myself a Resident Evil fan, because while I do consume a fair portion of the varied franchise, it’s more an interest of enjoyment than being a solid series fan. The world and its stories draws me in more than most of the gameplay itself, and largely since the fifth title, it’s been little more than a silly co-op experience to do with friends, because let’s face it, that’s all it’s become recently. Which is exactly why the new title interests me so much, because it’s different.
I know many of the hardcore older fans are unhappy more and more with each new title, and in the past that’s been pretty understandable at times. With seven though, this is a direction the series needs to try, has to try, if it ever wants to stop being a joke, Resident Evil 7 needs to bring something different to the table and prove it can be good. I don’t want the games to lose their cheesy charm or identity, but for the first time in a long time I’m legitimately interested, and I want to see how this pans out.
Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy
It’s been so long since most of us have played a Crash title, too long since we remember the good old days on the PlayStation 1. I never really expected the Australian bandicoot to make a return (though we did at one point speculate) but I’m definitely happy to see the recently revealed N-Sane trilogy making its way to the PlayStation 4. The trilogy will contain a fully remastered version of the original three titles, arguably the best ones, as the nostalgia drive is kicked into max with all the old levels and enemies back in shiny new graphics and better hardware.
I would bet that the new return of the old games and the recent Skylanders crossover is Sony’s way of testing the waters once again of the old boy’s popularity. They might even bring him back properly in a full new title if the game sells well. So show a little love for the guy, he’s earned a comeback.
One of my favourite titles growing up was the Banjo-Kazooie franchise, I spent many hours collecting notes and jiggy’s, putting up with those awful N64 controllers. Sadly, the franchise didn’t really have a happy ending after Microsoft bought Rare, and squandered them away to make Kinect titles of all things. Lucky for us though, former big names behind the beloved series left to form their own studio and quickly began work on the spiritual successor to the bear and bird in the form of Yooka-Laylee. A colourful platformer like those of old with interesting characters, great sound tracks and a whole new adventure to go on. It’s set to release early 2017, and that day is eagerly awaited by many.
This is definitely a personal entry, but it’s my list so deal with it. The third main title of the Danganronpa series was announced for a Japan release window early into 2017, and while there is no word on a western migration for the title, it’s possible we’ll see the cult classic late into the year. Though the titles certainly have a large fan base behind them, this is probably the most obscure entry in this list, as visual novels tend to be treated as somewhat outside the main course of the genre feast.
Those who have played the Danganronpa games know that it has earned a place alongside the more popular games such as the Ace Attorney franchise, as each title has you uncovering a series of brutal murders through trials and investigations within the game, all by a group of students forced to a play a killing game to survive. As always there is a new cast of character, new theories on who will survive the story and more mysteries to be solved about what exactly happened after the previous titles. Every game continues to expand the surprisingly large universe behind the franchise and for any fan of the series, this will be eagerly awaited with the coming releases of 2017.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
I, like many others, wasn’t really satisfied with the ending of Mass Effect 3. I know there are people out there that will defend it and go on about it being alright in its own way, but it was just disappointing, hugely so. Bitter ending aside, the rest of the trilogy until the last fifteen or so minutes was amazing, and the idea of continuing the franchise both excites and worries me. While we may never be truly satisfied with the events of Shepard’s galaxy, we can just forget that old slum and move somewhere new!
The Andromeda galaxy apart from sounding much better than our one, because come on, is largely uncharted territory, humans haven’t managed to ruin everything here, most of the smaller alien races from the trilogy may never make a full return, as put best by the newer trailers we are the aliens here. The gameplay itself looks like a huge revamp on the pacing of the old ones and I felt like Bioware took a lot of lessons away from Dragon Age Inquisition to weave in some new and old elements with the approach they’re taken to the world and mechanics. It will be interesting to see how the new games shape up, what Bioware does with lessons from the past, and just what direction the story of this new galaxy is headed in. Luckily we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
It feels like it’s been far too long since I’ve bought any Nintendo game that wasn’t on a handheld device, because it has been too long. The last console I owned from the mascot giants was the Nintendo 64 for God’s sake. I plan to change this with the new Zelda game though, because while not the only reason, I can’t wait to play Link’s new adventure in the Elder Scrolls series, I mean, Breath of the Wild.
It may not be revolutionary compared to other open world games on the market, but it does look like it meets the exact criteria it needs to, which is to be fun, a new direction for the series and Nintendo’s own take on a much more open and free feeling exploration of Hyrule then they’ve done in the past. Add this to the promise of what the Switch might bring and Nintendo maybe creeping a toe slightly out of their comfort zone more and more lately, and it’s giving me a lot of hope for this and even more new Zelda titles in the franchise.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption is yet another game I never expected to see on this list, but one I have no hesitation with anticipating. Seemingly well removed from the events of the first game, be it before or after, we don’t have much to go on yet beyond the return to the wild west and the promising of gun slinging adventures in some kind of magnificent seven style story it would seem. Beyond that it’s hard to say what else to expect, but if the first title and Rockstar’s record is anything to go by, I can’t see this being anything but a great title to spend many, many hours in when it’s in our hands.
I’m not sure what I can say about Persona 5 that I haven’t already. Anyone that follows my work knows I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. Even despite the recent delays however, I’m happy to wait if it means more polish, English voices and a bigger and better release for when it does find its way west.
The well-loved cult hit series that is Persona will soon be returning with a new cast, new story and new a revamped approach to bringing back the best elements of the past titles. This time we’ll be placed in the shoes of the Phantom Thieves, a more anti-hero approach than the best games as the new main and the rest fight, steal and sneak right into people’s hearts, quite literally. This promises to be one of my favourites of 2017 and I expect good things upon its release.
The Last of Us: Part II
I have no idea when this one will come out, but by God is everyone excited for it. Those who are waiting with baited breath will largely fall into two camps, the people dying for a sequel because if it’s good there should be more, and the people who thought it was a perfectly contained experience and continuing that threatens to ruin the original ending and story. I am in the latter camp of the two fans.
While the idea of a new The Last of Us title in the franchise excites me greatly, The Last of Us was such a perfectly wrapped up story, with a truly ambiguous ending for the characters we knew and loved after all the struggles and trials they faced. Seeing the results of everything that happened is frightening because it could just be a lackluster follow up to a story that was told so well, and ended even better, because it ended on their terms and was completely unapologetic about following that vision. I trust in Naughty Dog though, one of few companies I do these days. Be it for business or creative love, I can’t see The Last of Us: Part 2 being anything but amazing, I just hope it doesn’t fall short.
Does anyone know what on earth Death Stranding is about? No, not really. Something involving metaphoric and symbolic attachments to the meaning of life and death, possible extra-terrestrial beings, something involving black tendrils. Is it the apocalypse? Cthulhu? Worse, it’s a Kojima plot. I do mean that in a good way of course, because Kojima makes some weird stuff, and I’m on board for something different from that man’s mind after so many years on the Metal Gear series. Even though we know very little about how it will play, the general story or even the basic mechanics we can expect, I’m sure it will at least be more interesting and different than most of that year’s competition, when it does finally release.