2015 brought the gaming sphere some amazing titles (“The Witcher 3,” “Fallout 4” and “Batman: Arkham Knight,” just to name a few), and 2016 is shaping up to be no different with new properties and highly awaited sequels set to publish this year. Here are our most anticipated games of 2016:
XCOM 2 – February 5, 2016
A sequel to 2012’s reboot of the “XCOM” series, “XCOM 2” has been receiving rave reviews from news outlets all over the web, throwing fuel on the hype fire that is raging over this game. “XCOM 2” is the same kind of turn-based strategy of its predecessor but with some necessary upgrades to keep it fresh and emotionally impactful. The game’s setting is that of a resistance force fighting against the occupying aliens from the previous game, so it takes on more of a guerilla tactic feel, giving your soldiers more options and gameplay twists to fight the alien scourge oppressing Earth. “XCOM 2” will be available Friday, Feb. 5 on PC only.
Firewatch – February 9, 2016
“Firewatch” is a plucky little indie game by studio Campo Santo revolving around a park ranger in 1989 Wyoming’s Shoshone National Forest. In the gameplay preview video on Campo Santo’s website, after investigating some illegal fireworks use, our protagonist Henry returns to his lookout tower to find it ransacked, and so the game’s real story begins with Henry and his supervisor, Delilah, working together to uncover the mystery. In a recent interview, the developers stated the game would take around six hours to complete. Still without a price, “Firewatch” will release for PC and PS4 Tuesday, Feb. 9.
Uncharted 4 – April 26, 2016
As revealed in a recent interview, “Uncharted 4” will be Nathan Drake’s final excursion into the wilds of our world in search of ancient treasure. Many fans of the series are eager to get their hands on this title, and I’m definitely interested to see how they wrap up Drake’s story (even if he and I have a complicated relationship that often involves me driving him off cliffsides to his death). In a first for the series, “Uncharted 4” will feature player controlled dialog, meaning we can now make Nathan choose from a variety of snarky things to say. No word yet on if Chloe will make a return to the series (the IMDB page is conspicuously sparse), but we’ll find out on Tuesday, April 26 when the game hits PS4s. Pre-orders are available at Amazon, Best Buy and GameStop starting at $59.99 for the basic edition ($79.99 for the Special Edition with the Collector’s Edition pricing unannounced).
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst – May 24, 2016
A companion to 2008’s cult hit, “Mirror’s Edge,” “Catalyst” is a reboot that will tell us Faith’s story more wholly, focusing on her origin and her motivations to fight corruption in the futuristic oligarchical city of Glass. The gameplay we were shown at 2015’s E3 looked strong, so we can only hope they’ve refined it and made it feel like a truly improved version of the original “Mirror’s Edge.” You can pre-order “Catalyst” on Amazon or at GameStop ($59.99 for the regular version, $199.99 for the Collector’s Edition) for PS4, Xbox One or PC. All pre-orders will receive the Combat Runner Kit, which will give players unique in-game items to distinguish themselves from other players in multiplayer.
No Man’s Sky – June 2016
If you’re not familiar with it, “No Man’s Sky” is an original property by indie developers Hello Games that claims infinite gameplay capabilities, a big boast from a small studio. The devs have demonstrated the procedural generation and breadth of variety the game possesses, so we’re excited to see what kind of worlds we’ll be exploring (according to lead developer Sean Murray, there are 18 quintillion planets in the game) and how different the gameplay experience will be from playthrough to playthrough. “No Man’s Sky” will release this June on PS4 and PC.
Mass Effect: Andromeda – Q4 2016
While it would be really great to get a set release date for a game like “Andromeda,” I’m not complaining if it takes them a few extra months to perfect it. The highly anticipated accompaniment to the “Mass Effect” universe, “Andromeda” takes place a long time after the events of “Mass Effect 3,” giving our beloved Milky Way some time to recover before sending pioneers to the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy. Obviously, Commander Shepard is *ahem* retired, so they won’t be making an appearance, but we will be able to take control of a new player character and chart our course into unknown territory. “Mass Effect: Andromeda” is set to release in Q4 of this year on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Dishonored 2 – TBA
One of 2016’s many sequels, “Dishonored 2” promises to be a departure from the usual silent male protagonist fare by allowing us to play as either Emily or Corvo (once you choose, you’re stuck with them, so you’ll have to play through twice to get the experiences of both), and both of them are voiced, offering unique commentary on the world around them and its goings-on. According to the developers, Corvo will have gameplay “Dishonored” veterans are used to, utilizing his original powerset to stealth or murder your way through the world, while Emily will have an entirely new way to play, focusing more on fluidity and finesse than Corvo’s brutal and often clumsy acrobatics. “Dishonored 2” does not have a set release date, but it is slated to appear on shelves this year for PC, Xbox One and PS4.
If you need something to pass the time while you wait for these titles, head over to FatWallet’s Video Games Deals page and save on new titles!