Well it’s the new year and looking back, personally, I think 2015 was an amazing year for games. We had some massive titles release in 2015 and some little gems as well. Fallout 4, The Witcher 3, Call of Duty Black Ops 3, Assassins Creed Syndicate, Metal Gear Solid 5, Rainbow 6 Siege, StarCraft2: Legacy Of The Void, Hotline Miami 2….the list feels endless at this point. With such a good year behind us surely its difficult to top right? Well here are the top 5 games I am looking forward to in 2016.
OK so bear with me on this one. There is no official announcement of WatchDogs 2. We know its under development and with rumours flying around recently that Assassins Creed is taking (a much needed) break in 2016 I don’t find it to hard to believe that WatchDogs 2 will release in 2016. Ubisoft could easily announce a release date at E3 this year and it would make sense to fill the hidden blade wielding gap that may well be apparent this year.
Now WatchDogs wasn’t the best at release. There was the massive downgrade in graphics from what we saw at E3 and the PC was pretty poorly optimised. I had it pre-ordered and took a week off work to play that title and spent most of the time dealing with frame drops and jittery game play and even so I would love to see a WatchDogs2 get release this year. Much like the original Assassins Creed I think WatchDogs was more a showcase of what they could do. A coming together of ideas on a new IP, a taster of sorts…and that has me salivating for more hacking and batoning. There is certainly room for improvement on the original and in a market filled with sequels Ubisoft took a chance on a new IP and I would hate to see it fall by the wayside.
Unravel looked absolutely charming. Like the kind of charming that makes you a home cooked meal over a fancy dinner date. The kind of game you want to take home to your parents. It was shown at E3 in 2015 on the EA stage and has been slated for a 2016 release and I am genuinely really looking forward to it.
As someone who’s mainstay in the video game world leans more towards the action shooter vibe I saw this at E3 and stopped. I loved the look of the game. This woven little man made from red wool. The nervous guy up on stage talking us through it all, telling us how he had come up for the idea whilst on holiday by a lake with his kids and finally producing a little hand made version of the character. It was all just so wonderful. In an age of kill streaks, weapon skins and terrorist and counter terrorist sides I am an eagerly awaiting being able to puzzle away a few hours as a woollen man in a forest…well there’s a sentence I never thought I would type.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Yet another E3 2015 show stopper with a release date for 2016. The Division looked amazing at E3. A team based, open world, MMO crossover was something relatively new. My jaw dropped when the character was being shot whilst hiding behind the car and the damage from the bullets appeared to be happening realistically. Holes appeared in window panes and as the character moved around past an open door there was an amazing animation as they slid along and closed an open passenger door. It looked outstanding!
My main worry here is that as more of the game is shown off the more it’s becoming a “WatchDogs” scenario for Ubisoft. What they show at E3 isnt even close to what they will be shipping as a finished product. The Division is insanely ambitious and if it does indeed get a 2016 release, which is slated to do, I will be waiting with bated breath to see if they can deliver on their promises. Come on Ubisoft. Don’t let us down on this one.
Hitman: Absolution was a mixed bag. It looked gorgeous, had massive crowds and some relatively interesting ways and means of taking out your targets but overall it didn’t feel like a Hitman game. There were some pretty rubbish “get out of jail free cards” like the instant slow down when you were spotted so you had time to one tap the sneaky police officer/gang member/unsuspecting ice cream man in the dome and go about your mission. It all distracted from the essential core experience of hunting down your target and setting up a mouse-trapesqe series of events that all concluded in an unfortunate, lethal, accident for your intended target. IO Entertainment have promised to take the series back to basics with Hitman. The idea of endless contracts that all compile into this persistent world of assassinations is an intriguing one. IO have a habit of putting some pretty impressive technology into their games. The crowds in Absolution were immense so it will be interesting what new wonder technology they implement into Hitman.
The game is slated for a 2016 release and I am personally hoping this outing for Agent 47 is a more refined, back to its roots, sneaky sneaky affair! I look forward to seeing how the new contracts are implemented. Are they released once a month? A week? A new one every day? Do they get repetitive or is there enough variation to keep players coming back for more? So many questions, not so many answers just yet.
The Legend of Zelda
I do not own a WiiU. I haven’t owned a console for quite some time because if I can play, I can get it on a PS4 and Xbone. Which means I can get it on my PC…for cheaper and run it at higher settings. This game however might be able to get me back into console gaming. There are very few experiences like that of a Zelda game. Ocarina of Time is rightly regarded as the best game of all time. There are probably people out there who would argue Half Life is the best game of all time but OoT has it for me there. I own a 3DS and once I can find a copy of OoT and Majoras Mask cheap enough I will be playing through it again and enjoying Majoras Mask for the first time.
A new Legend of Zelda game is a big thing. Its one of Nintendo’s staples. Like Mario, Link has become the face of Nintendo to some people. A lot of care will be going into this title and from what they have shown do far it looks absolutely gorgeous. I look forward to seeing how dungeons are handled. The epic boss battles in LoZ games are always a highlight both in design and scope so I want to see how Nintendo are handling that now they have a HD console. Is it open world like OoT? Have they had to restrict anything? Its certainly a promising title and a very strong argument to get a WiiU.
The title was originally planned for a 2015 release but was knocked back and Regie Fils-Amié has now confirmed the game for a 2016 release and Regie you can be sure my body is ready. I, along with a whole lot of people are really anticipating this game and remember, horses don’t run into trees in real life.