Edited by: Cameron Allan
By: Anthony Amura
2016 is shaping up to be another kick-ass year for gaming, with some exciting new IP’s like No Man’s Sky, as well as the return of some tried-and-true fan favourites like Mass Effect and XCOM. Need to get up to speed on what’s coming up in 2016? We’ve got ya covered. Here’s 10 games coming out this year that look like they’re going to kick some serious ass.
1. Tom Clancy’s The Division (Ubisoft, March 2016)
This newest game from the Tom Clancy brand war-chest, The Division is Ubisoft’s answer to the meteoric success of Destiny. Unlike Bungie’s RPG Shooter, Ubisoft’s new entry into the genre appears to take place right here on planet Earth, and likely has some heavy, real-world, geopolitical undertones. Being a Tom Clancy-esque super-soldier and grinding for loot in a dystopian, semi-post apocalyptic future sounds nothing short of awesome.
2. NHL 17 (EA Canada/EA Sports, September 2016)
You can bank on a September 2016 release date, but you can’t always bank on quality in yearly releases for any game, and NHL is no exception. Nonetheless, the updated rosters and player profiles are why gamers continue to buy a new version every year. As a Buffalo Sabres fan, I can’t help but be excited for next year because, kinda like the Leafs, it’s pretty difficult to do worse than the 14/15 season, which most of the stats of NHL 16 are based on. Hopefully, the NHL dev team out of Vancouver can squeeze in some new or returning features as well. It also wouldn’t hurt if the build-a-pro-like online mode made a return, in place of the current, select-a-generic-class mode.
3. Fable Legends (Lionhead Studios/Microsoft Studios, 2016)
Fable games always seem to find a way of disappointing their fans, but they can still be pretty awesome. Fable Legends, touted with cross-platform Xbox One and PC cooperative style play, ended up getting it’s beta delayed into 2016. This type of cross-platform play is not all that new to Microsoft, who pulled it off with the mediocre Xbox 360/PC shooter version of Shadowrun. Even if this Fable game manages to disappoint somehow, I have a feeling it’ll still be a lot of fun to play co-op in my living room from both the couch on my Xbox One and from my PC, at the same time.
4. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Square Enix, August 2016)
It’s been about five years since the last Deus Ex and in that time, few games have been able to approach Human Revolution’s versatile design philosophy. Everything you do in a Deus Ex game seems to matter somehow, and the story still somehow manages to seamlessly flow, despite your choice to outthink, or outfight, your way out of sticky situations. With the power of the current generation of consoles, Mankind Divided has the potential to be a gaming masterpiece.
5. Doom (id Software/Bethesda Softworks, Spring/Summer 2016)
Bethesda’s reboot of Doom appears to be a straight-forward type of affair, much like the original. Space Marine shoots aliens with big f-ing guns, nuff said. Well, it’s almost that simple. For those of us old enough to remember, Doom wasn’t only one of the first shooters, but it also had an awesome multiplayer. It’s my hope that Bethesda hasn’t forgotten about the multiplayer portion of the game, but besides that, the fast-paced, gory, splatter fest known as Doom, looks to fill a gap between Call of Duty and Gears of War and fill another one in our hearts.
6. The Elder Scrolls 6 (Bethesda Softworks, TBA)
Bethesda is notoriously close-lipped about their big franchises Fallout and Elder Scrolls, but all signs point to a possible late-2016 release for their yet-to-be-named Elder Scrolls 6. Traditionally, it seems that Bethesda likes to keep their major fall release announcements under wraps until E3, but it is more than possible that we could see a new Elder Scrolls in 2016. If not, I’d settle for an Xbox One version of Skyrim (if I can stop playing Fallout 4 for long enough that is).
7. XCOM 2 (Fraxis Games, February 5, 2016)
Even though, it’s already out, I needed to share my excitement none the less. Fraxis Games’ reboot of the XCOM series continues with the invasion of XCOM 2. Will all of the members of your squad survive to purge the alien threat from Earth? Well, probably not, because XCOM is notoriously hard. Expect everything Fraxis did right with the last XCOM game to only get better, especially after several large expansions. And also, remember not to get attached to your soldiers.
8. No Man’s Sky (Hello Games, June 2016)
I’ll have to admit, I’m equally skeptical as I am intrigued by this title. At the core of No Man’s Sky’s mechanics is the exploration of a huge, literally infinite, procedurally generated universe. When I think of “procedurally generated,” I tend to think of the first Diablo, and it’s mostly randomized dungeon design. I have a feeling No Man’s Sky will be one of those games you just have to play in order to understand, and we’ll have to wait till June to see how it all shakes out.
9. Mass Effect: Andromeda (Bioware/EA Games, December 2016)
The original Mass Effect trilogy was an ambitious project that I was sort of amazed to see come to fruition. While Commander Shepard’s story has sadly come to an end, it left us with the wonderfully rich Mass Effect universe we all know and love. Andromeda will be the first game to branch out from the relatively narrow scope of Shepard’s campaign. Hopefully, Andromeda is the first of many more installments in the Mass Effect universe, because saving the galaxy (or another galaxy, as the case may be for Andromeda) never gets old.
10. Battletech (Harebrained Schemes, 2016*)
Set in the year 3025 within the Classic Battletech universe, and branded as a “tactical mech combat game,” Battletech may get an alpha or beta release this year. Few things are closer to my heart than the classic Battletech universe. In my youth, I read somewhere around three-dozen Battletech novels (turbo-nerd status confirmed). It’s a hugely rich universe that too frequently gets boiled down to “giant robot tanks.” Harebrained initially created a kickstarter , and has collected almost $2.8 million dollars to fund the project! They have reached “stage 4″ status,” which means the finished game should have PvP multiplayer. While the game is currently listed under “pre-development,” some of the bigger features could presumably take years to add.