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.