The upcoming Xbox One games for 2016 and beyond

The upcoming Xbox One games for 2016 and beyond

The upcoming Xbox One games for 2016 and beyond

by March 4, 2016

The Xbox One is going strong. With a ton of awesome games in 2015 added to our game library it’s time to see what’s new. What are the next big games to look forward to? Take a look into the future to see what else 2016 and beyond has to offer. At a glance, the year looks absolutely amazing.

With a mixture of exclusives, vaunted indies, some huge returning names and some long-lost projects (hello, Final Fantasy), it’s going to be the best kind of mixed bag – a bit of something for everyone. Next year looks to hold some of the best Xbox One games we’ve seen hit the console yet. Want a sneak preview? Check out the Xbox One’s upcoming game lineup right here.

Tom Clancy’s The Division

Release date: 8th March 2016 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]

In a preview, we described Tom Clancy’s The Division as “Ghost Recon meets World of Warcraft.” Think about that for a second: a full multiplayer shooter like the games we’ve been enjoying for years, now in a brand new MMO packaging. We don’t know about you, but that sounds like one hell of a mashup.

Taking what we’ll call “the Destiny approach” with cover shooters is enough to get us interested basically – let’s hope Ubisoft’s years of work make for something worth the long, long wait.

Dark Souls 3

Release date: 24th March 2016

The Souls series has carved out its own mysterious story over past few years – from obscure RPG beginnings, through a few “best game ever” lists and finally into the worrying land of the annualised franchise. But all stories need their full stop, and it looks as though Dark Souls 3 will serve that purpose.

It should hopefully be a fitting send-off – creator Hidetaka Miyazaki is back in the director’s orthopedic office chair, and he’d been talking about special weapon abilities (a boon for those who love the intriocacies of specialised classes) and an (even more) apocalyptic storyline. What that will all boil down to is a mystery, but one thing is sure: this time, Dark Souls dies with us.

Killer Instinct Season 3

Release date: March 2016

The experiment was a success. Microsoft’s resurrection of the classic fighter as a free-to-play experience has won hearts across the world, and this third yearly expansion aims to keep that process rolling.

Rash from Battletoads has already turned up, and a retooled version of ex-costume, Shadow Jago is imminent. We know Killer Instinct 2’s Kim Wu is on her way back, but the rest of the season is practically a mystery. Lucky it’s free, then – we can try it all out before dropping our cash.

Quantum Break

Release date: 5th April 2016 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]

You got your TV in my video games! Or did we get our video games in your TV? Whatever you may think about Quantum Break, Remedy Entertainment is certainly aiming for something unique. They’ve used live-action scenes in their games before – anyone who has turned on a TV in either Alan Wake adventure has seen that – but now the gameplay will directly affect how our television sections will play out in a transmedia first. It sounds crazy, but Remedy is ready to prove us wrong.

The story of Quantum Break revolves around a time warp gone wrong, giving three people the ability to bend time to their will. Two of them use their powers for good, but of course the third is a bad egg who must be stopped. How he’ll be stopped is up to us, and our both our video game and our TV show experiences hinge on how we decide to play the game. It’s a lofty goal – but it’s also a Remedy shooter. Some things never change, and that fact will always remain a good thing.

Overwatch

Release date: Spring 2016

An FPS take on the MOBA with Blizzard’s generous approach to free-to-play and character design straight out of Pixar. Yep, that’ll get us interested. Blizzard games tend to be restricted to the PC domain these days, so it was a pleasant surprise to find that the developer’s newest project would come to consoles, too.

It’s a very different concept to the majority of FPSes on console, too, with a huge focus on which character you choose, and an emphasis on strategy and teamwork. Corral some friends and this could be pleasant new obsession.

Battleborn

Release Date: 3rd May 2016

In the distant future, every species in the universe has come to the last existing star and things aren’t peaceful. An invading, evil force is coming to claim the star and you need to defend it in FPS battle arenas using one of the game’s 25 colorful characters.

It’s hard to put a label on exactly what Gearbox Software (the developers behind Borderlands) is cooking up, but this FPS hybrid is much more focused on the quick fix of shooting minions, killing bosses, and experimenting with characters that have unique play styles and MOBA-inspired special and ultimate abilities. Jumping into a game is like a doing a Strike mission in Destiny. They’re contained, co-op centric missions that get you in and out without the fluff.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

Release Date: 24th May, 2016

Faith Connors has been out of the virtual parkouring picture for years now, but in the upcoming reboot, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, the heroine is making a return. But with the reboot, lots has changed from the original game.

The game is once again set in the pristine, futuristic City of Glass, which is now a full open world for players to test their free running skills. You’ve got a grappling hook, which comesat the cost of firearms – all combat is now a melee fight or a free running flight. It looks like the game Mirror’s Edge should have been.

We Happy Few

Release date: June 2016

Set in a dystopian ’60s Britain where no one is allowed to stop smiling, We Happy Few is not your usual game set-up. Nor is it your usual game – it’s stealth-survival as interested in forcing you to blend in with the crowd as it is staying out of everyone’s way.

The upshot is a game that pivots between tension and terror, while you try to stay calm and remember how to act in public depending on which class of society you’re surrounded by. One of the year’s weirdest prospects.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Release Date:23rd August 2016

Ol’ Adam might not have asked for it, but we’ve definitely been looking forward to another chance to use anatomical enhancements to destroy our enemies. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided takes place after Human Revolution, in a world where augmented humans are persecuted, ‘transhuman’ terrorism is a global threat, and Adam Jansen has signed up to a special task force to put a stop to it all.

Expect to have all of the social, stealth, and guns-blazing gameplay options available to you as you take on your mission objectives. But one thing to note: the shooting mechanics are getting an overhaul, so you can still be effective with firearms if you decide to build out your stealth skill tree.

Outlast 2

Release date: Fall 2016

Outlast’s combination of first-person horror and trembling reliance on night vision was always going to work in new contexts. The first game took us round the stereotypes of the asylum gone wrong, and based on a teaser trailer, it looks as though the sequel’s taking us into the queasy world of Satanism.

An inverted, burning cross surrounded by otherwise invisible eyes? Yep, we’re ready for some supernatural horrors to tear us to shreds. Oh goody.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Release Date: December 2016

Commander Shepard’s story is over, but there’s still an entire universe full of alien worlds and ancient mysteries to explore. In Mass Effect: Andromeda, players will be taking on the role of a new protagonist for an adventure set in the Andromeda Galaxy. From what we’ve seen so far, the game seems to take a Star Trek-style exploration approach to the story, showing a character scanning different planets from his spacecraft.

It also appears that the space adventure won’t be devoid of action. The story takes place after the events of the first Mass Effect trilogy, so we see some familiar technology and weapons. A landrover similar to the Mako is shown speeding through sandy terrain, the soldiers have personal shields, and the omni-tool can flip out an energy blade for close encounters. There’s much more to learn about Mass Effect: Andromeda, but we already can’t wait to see what Bioware still has in store for us.

Gears of War 4

Release Date: December 2016

Strap on your space marine armor and slip into your standard issue COG boots, because the Gears are going to war…again. Marcus and Dom’s stories are over, but the new Gears seems to be returning to the darker, creepy tone of the original Gears of War.

The first Gears of War 4 gameplay shown at E3 2015 follows a different pair of protagonists, JD and Kait and it certainly was dark. As in, everything is pitch black outside of anything directly in front of the Gear’s flashlights. Developer The Coalition is keeping a tight lid on any more details, but we can’t wait to see where the series goes from here.

Scalebound

Release date: 2016 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]

After an unbroken run of silky-smooth action games, we have to say we never saw Scalebound, the next Platinum game as an RPG. Not least an RPG from action genius director, Hideki Kamiya.

And yet here we are. Starring Drew and Thuban, a man and his soul-linked, AI-controlled dragon respectively, we’ll be travelling through a fantasy world, upgrading stats, evolving dragon-physiology and colecting ever-better loot. Luckily, that’s married to a combat system that definitely errs on the side of action, so it won’t be totally unfamiliar fare.

Dishonored 2

Release Date: 2016

The supernaturally powered master assassin, Corvo Attano, is back, ready to feed guards to hordes of rats and make enemies shoot themselves in the face. More than a decade after the events of the first game, Corvo has taken the young Empress Emily Kaldwin under his wing, after shes dethroned by an as of yet unnamed force. In order to defeat the usurpers, Corvo and Emily team up as the master assassin instructs his new protege in the arts of sneaky-sneak, stabby-stab.

Players will have the option to play as either Emily or Corvo, with each character having separate powers at their disposal. You can expect Corvo to use his classic blink, telekinetic, and mind control abilities, but Emily’s powers appear to be completely new. She seems to be able to transform into an ink-y shadow-like form that can, more than likely, dismember enemies in brutal fashion.

Crackdown 3

Release date: 2016

Well, Crackdown 3 might secretly be the most exciting game in the world. The return of the superpowered open-world, third person shooter was always going to be exciting, but it comes with some very modern tricks up its latex sleeves.

A full single player campaign will hark back to the past, but a co-op mode, set in an entirely different city, uses the power of the Xbox One’s cloud servers to allow for full destructability. By which I mean you can knock down buildings into other buildings, exploding things willy-nilly, without a hint of performance drop. You have to see it to believe it. We have. We believe in Crackdown 3.

Sea of Thieves

Release date: 2016

D’you remember the days when Rare turned around and said things like, ‘our next game is about a forgotten character in Diddy Kong Racing who now swears and fights turds’? OK, Sea of Thieves isn’t quite that much of a departure, but it’s a classically Rare-like step into the unknown.

A cartoony, pirate-themed MMO, it will apparently allow players to craft their own stories as they join a crew, grab a ship and, presumably, brutally attack unsuspecting passers-by. There’s not much more than a trailer to go on right now, but Rare’s pedigree is enough to pique our interest.

Yooka-Laylee

Release date: 2016

Perhaps Rare’s newest just isn’t quite Rare-y enough for you. Allow Playtonic – a studio made up of ex-Rare staff from the good old days – to provide your old-school, new-look fix. You might recognise the two-names-in-one title or the walking animal-flying animal combo as just a tad Banjo-Kazooie-esque. Here’s the spiritual sequel you’ve been waiting for.

This Kickstarter smash has the vibrant colours, platforming focus, even the seaside postcard British humour (there’s a snake called Trowzer – we’ll leave that one to you) of ’90s Rare. Let’s hope it matches up in quality, too.

DayZ

Release date: Q1 2016

DayZ may never be truly finished, so the idea of having an actual full game release date for its incoming console version is almost laughable – but we at least know when it will hit Xbox Preview, and continue its slow metamorphosis from army game mod to world’s premier survival experience.

You join a server covered in bloodthirsty zombies and, usually, even more bloodthirsty human players, then attempt to live for as long as possible. Scavenge, build, ambush, run, feel very, very bad about our species. All in a day’s work.

Unravel

Release date: 2016

Unravel’s an unusual mid-point between out-and-out indie game – it’s a classic puzzle-platformer with a message of love at heart – and AAA project – it’s being funded by EA and looks absolutely astonishing at times. It’s already one of 2016’s most interesting prospects, and we haven’t even played it yet.

Starring Yarny, a (slightly creepy) woollen doll who travels across the world, using his own infinitely extending yarn body to traverse the outsized human-made obstacles in his way, from trampolining off of taut strings to tying himself onto windswept leaves. If the challenge lives up to the looks, whis will be special.

Mafia 3

Release date: 2016

Lincoln Clay is the anti-gangster, a Vietnam vet bent on wiping out the mob in his town. Set in 1968 New Orleans, this isn’t just a strange story for a gangster game, but a strange location, too. And that’s what makes it so interesting,

The last game in the series was criminally underrated, despite having one of the most interesting stories going in last-gen. Perhaps that was because people mistook it for a straight “Wise Guy makes it big through murder” storyline. There’s no doubting this has a better hook.

ARK: Survival Evolved

Release date: 2016

We are now at a rate of 30,000 EAsgp/d (that’s Early Access survival games per day), so any budding craft ‘n’ kill projects really need to stand out from the crowd. So how does “game in which you can ride dinosaurs” work for you? Thought so.

ARK hit the top of the Steam charts shortly after release, a mix of classic survival mechanics married to barmy world of prehistoric creatures, mysterious sci-fi and, occasionally, dragons. It’s been updated constantly since its initial release, so we should be getting a pretty fully-formed version once it hits Xbox One – but those who don’t wait can always srping for the early access Xbox Preview version when it comes out. Choice is fun.

Final Fantasy XV

Release date: 2016 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]

It’s changed so many times that it’s a wonder it looks this good but, against all odds, Final Fantasy XV seems like it might come out just fine. Playable demo Episode Duscae showed a glimpse of the gorgeous road trip that we’ll be taking with Prince Noctis and his well-coiffed chums.

It also introduced the new combat system, pitched between classic FF and thoughtful action titles like Monster Hunter. And, in traditional style, summoning made us gawp and yell with excitement. It’s a miracle it got here, but we’re cautiously happy that it did.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Release Date: 2016

Most Ghost Recon games up to now have typically been mission-based. You’d get briefed on an objective, drop into the target zone, complete your tasks, then exfiltrate. In Ghost Recon: Wildlands, the formula seems to have changed. This time, your mission is contained in one massive, open-world environment filled with enemies to shoot, hostages to rescue, and goals to complete. Plus, the game supports up to four player co-op for some coordinated espionage action.

While Ghost Recon has always been about players choosing how to approach their objectives, Wildlands’ open world expands on the concept dramatically. Players will be able to do things like wait for the cover of night to sneak into enemy compounds, set up sniper nests to cover teammates, or hijack helicopters for a full frontal assault.

Doom

Release Date: 2016

Shotguns, chainsaws, and exploding demon brains; what more could you want from a Doom game? It looks like that’s exactly what we’re getting in the next Doom. There’s super shotguns, machine guns, rocket launchers, brutal melee kills, you name it. Even the chainsaw changes direction midway through a demon’s torso, just to add a bit of artistic flair.

The new Doom is bloody as Hell and it stays true to the spirit of old-school shooters. There’s no need to aim down the sights, because shotgun blasts spread. You pick up health packs and armor, there’s no health regen, and the enemy redesigns stay faithful to the originals while adding horrific, new-gen detailing. It looks like the perfect evolution of the series, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.

For Honor

Release date: 2016

There’s very little more ‘classic video games’ set-up than ‘big dudes in armour smash each other over the heads with swords’. And yet For Honor seems strangely new – built around competitive multiplayer and an in-depth, never-before-seen combat system.

Inspired by creator, Jason VandenBerghe’s experiences with real-life sword fighting, it’s somehow mixing the crowd-clearing hack ‘n’ slash action of Dynasty Warriors with the contemplative ‘blink and you’re dead’ duels of Bushido Blade. It sounds absolutely insane – and from the, let’s say, comfortable developers at Ubisoft, it’s a pleasingly fresh concept.

Fable Legends

Release date: 2016

Fable Legends may have Fable in the title, but it its heading in a new direction. Instead of focusing on one main storyline with branching choices, it’s now a wave-based combat game set amidst a wider story. You can take on the role of number of set heroes, in much the same way you’d pick a MOBA character. Prefer swords? Thats fine, but magic users have a place too. You’ll want a support, too – but that might mean you don’t have a tank. You four-person squad can be filled with other players or AI companions, but you’ll always need to be working together.

More interestingly, Fable Legends gives us the ability to play as the villain of the story for the first time ever. Where being a hero plays like the old Fable games, playing as a villain turns the game into a strategy game where you control an army of minions to do your bidding. Lionhead wants Fable to return to prominence, and Legends may be the game to do it – especially with it taking a very interesting approach to the free-to-play model.

Kingdom Hearts III

Release date: TBA [Pre-Order it on Amazon]

If we think the wait for Final Fantasy XV will be bad, the time spent anticipating the newly revealed Kingdom Hearts III will be agonizing. We’ve waited for this direct sequel for seven years, through an entire console generation, sifting through portable game after portable game to finally get our bone. The lore is jumbled and messy, and the direction of the new game is nigh impossible to predict, but one fact remains: Kingdom Hearts III is real, and it is coming.

All we were able to pull from the teaser trailer is that Sora picks up another Master’s keyblade on Destiny Island, and that we’ll have to hang ten with a tidal wave of normal Heartless enemies in Twilight Town. At this rate, we don’t care if the first three hours of KHIII are watching Donald and Goofy dance, we’ll be playing Kingdom Hearts III, and all will be right in the world.

Cuphead

Release date: 2016

It’s not fair to judge a book by its cover – but they kind of want you to. Same goes for Cuphead – Studio MDHR wants you to notice its homage to 1930s animations the second you look at its retro combat-platformer. You will.

Nothing else has ever looked like Cuphead, meaning we want to see all of it. The fact that it looks like a more than competent take on the likes of Contra, but focusing almost exclusively on boss battles is a very nice bonus.

Tacoma

Release date: 2016

Whether you liked it or not, Gone Home made an impact. Turning the “walking simulator” into a rich, twisting, personal tale, it established Fullbright as a genuinely different kind of game developer. On first glance, Tacoma looks seems like an evolution of that original idea – but we’re not so sure that’s the case.

While keeping the detail-packed environments and methodical pace, the story of Amy Ferrier’s arrival on a space station that really shouldn’t be abandoned seems to be cutting far closer to sci-fi horror than you might expect. We’re sure there will be twists, but we’re damned if we no what direction they’ll head in.

Adrift

Release date: 2016

You wait for one slow space disaster game and two explode silently in the vacuum of your life at once. Adrift takes a similar tack to Tacoma, but in more spectacular fashion – this time your space station isn’t just empty of people, but air and, occasionally, walls. What follows is a zero-grav travel to escape safely.

While you’ll be solving puzzles and piecing together information, there’s also the constant ticking down of your oxygen to manage, exacerbated by the fact that you need to jettison the stuff to get around when “outside”. Remember all those bits where you felt like you couldn’t breathe during Gravity? It’s that feeling: the game. Have fun!

Project: Knoxville

Release date: 2016

Press Play clearly have too many ideas. After the platforming brilliance of the Max series and Kalimba, they popped back with three fully-formed game ideas and did the sensible thing – asked their fans which one they wanted to play the most.

The result was overwhelmingly in favour of Knoxville, a game-like take on The Hunger Games concept. You and fellow human players are thrust into a dangerous wilderness and have to work together to survive. That is until you want to be the overall winner and you start stabbing them in the back for fun and profit. We can’t wait to lose friends over this.

Pit People

Release date: 2016

Most studios like to specialise in a type of game, but The Behemoth take a different approach. Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers and Battleblock Theatre all played very differently, but they feel the same, with cute-gross animation styles and a focus on humour. Pit People fits right into that lineage.

It’s a hex-based strategy game centred around arena fighting (with some offbeat combat mechanics and Pokemon-like enemy caputring), but you’ll know immediately that it’s a Behemoth game – primarily because the story is a bout a space bear whose blood has broken the flow of time and space.

Inside

Release date: 2016

A game about a child in a dark world, set adrift among terrors they can’t hope to understand, but are forced to platform their way past. No, it’s not Limbo, it’s that game’s creator’s new project. Playdead announced Inside last year, and we’re still waiting to hear more.

What we do know is intriguing. It might nab the fabric of Limbo, but its taking it in a new direction. For a start, it’s in colour. It also seems to have some more stealth based elements (including having to hide in plain sight, if that screenshot above is anything to go by). We hope to terrify both the game child and our inner child soon.

SUPERHOT

Release date: 2016

Time manipulation is nothing new in games. Weve dodged more than our fair share of gunfire in Bullet-time and used magic sand to turn back time on more than one occasion, but SUPERHOTs take on the matter is something else entirely.

See, time only moves when you move. Dont think thats impressive? Try the demo here and youll understand the potential of such a system for a longer game. If nothing else, youll at least be annoying your buddies by saying SUPERHOT SUPERHOT for the rest of the day.

Below

Release date: 2016

The folks at Capybara Games have yet to deliver a subpar gaming experience. They are at the top of the indie scene, and their games enchant, mystify, and entertain in ways few others can achieve. This new game, Below, looks to continue those quality experiences in ways we’ve never seen before, thrusting onto a giant yet empty island and asking us “what lies Below?” We don’t know, Capybara, but we want to find out.

We’ve only seen brief trailers for the game, but Below’s minimalistic approach to the roguelike formula has us very intrigued. We’re not sure why the camera is zoomed out so far, though. It looks like we’re viewing the events of the game from the top of Mount Everest, but we’re sure there’s a reason for it. Maybe the bosses, if any, will look that much more menacing from this far away, we don’t know. All we want to do now is answer that simple question: what does lie Below and, more importantly, when can we find out?

Cities: Skylines

Release date: 2016

For many, the main fault of the latest SimCity was an invasive business model and many, many problems. For us, it was just that we don’t get those kind of games on console these days. Enter Cities: Skylines, a brilliant city-builder, which first fixed all those problems for PC players, then went ahead and announced an Xbox One release. Magic.

This is a classic town planning sim, built to allow for realistic growth but indulge your weirdo creativity. Publisher Paradox is retooling the original for a console set-up, meaning it shouldn’t be unduly unruly to control, either.

Hyper Light Drifter

Release date: 2016

Indie games inspired by retro gaming are a dime a dozen, but not too many seem to be as competent as Hyper Light Drifter. The top-down swordsman gameplay is similar to A Link to the Past. Mix and match secondary weapons and abilities that are unlocked as you play through the game are similar to The Legend of Zelda as well. A tiny floating companion following you throughout your journey you get where this is going.

But while HLD (encouragingly) takes bits and pieces from a classic, its also noticeably unique in its own right. The pixel art and ruined sci-fi world contribute to a surefooted sense of style, while the pace of combat is a bit more punishing than your average Zelda battle. Count this as a Kickstarter were glad to see succeed.

The Flame in the Flood

Release date: 2016

There is perhaps no more trendy hybrid genre than “procedurally generated survival game” right now, but The Flame in the Flood looks to be offering more than a snappy hook. Made by ex-Bioware devs, it’s the story of a woman and her dog, travelling endlessly downstream in a world where the water never stopped rising.

Your time’s spent between scavenging for supplies, fending off wolves, tending to your hunger, injuries and warmth, then scavenging for more supllies because you used them all up doing that. With a gorgeous aesthetic and a beautiful, Americana soundtrack, it’d almost be relaxing if you weren’t fighting the effects of Staphylococcus.

Space Engineers

Release date: 2016

This is perhaps a bit reductive, but let’s go with it – Space Engineers is grown-up Minecraft. With the same open-ended approach, and bafflingly deep creation systems, it draws on the creativity Minecraft thrives on, but adds some extremely complex ideas.

It’s rooted in real-life physics for a start, with more complex mechanical ideas possible as a result. People have made everything from huge mining contraptions to models of the USS Enterprise on PC – now it’s time for console players to give it a go.

Homefront: The Revolution

Release date: 2016

A troubled series, a troubled studio – things have been appropriately tumultuous behind the scenes of this game about a fight against overwhelming odds. Picking up where the last game’s alternate history story left off, but layering in a Far Cry-like open world, can this revolution succeed?

The North Korean invaders have made Philadelphia its new US base, and it’s up to you and your oppressed buddies to liberate it, piece-by-piece. It’s a well-worn formula, but one that works – so it’ll be up to the little details to make this really shine.

Aztez

Release date: 2016

When we first watched Aztezs combat teaser trailer, we didnt know if we were watching a side-scrolling brawler (as it was advertised) or a new monochromatic 2D fighter. We saw a few red gushes of blood, but we didnt see any health bars or time limitsjust what the heck is going on with this game?

We didnt have to wait long to find out: Aztez is indeed a 2D brawler, but it also contains some strategy elements that keep it from being a mindless experience. Players will have to control and manage the lead characters empire in a few strategy sections of the game that may have some folks feel like theyre playing Risk. The art style drew us in, but the combat kept us watching and wanting more of this Aztez as soon as we can get it.

Gunscape

Release date: 2016

Gunscape coming to Xbox One is a massive undertaking. Not because the system cant handle it, but because what Gunscape allows us to do with our first-person shooters is unlike anything the Xbox has seen before. Normally this sort of thing is left to the PC players of the world, so to see this find a new home with Xbox is encouraging.

Why is this such a big deal? Gunscape is the LittleBigPlanet of first-person shooters: we build everything from the ground up, including arenas, co-op challenge maps, and even a full campaign with or without an accompanying story. First Project Spark, now Gunscape all we need now is an Xbox One version of Fighter Maker and RPG Maker, and the Xbox One can be our own personal creation station!

Earthlock: Festival of Magic

Release date: 2016

Within a ruined world where powerful magic and advanced technology have fallen by the wayside, archeologists and scavengers comb through countless ruins searching for remnants of the past. Caught up within the conflict between the worlds most powerful nation and those looking to bring it down, you and your partys quest for peace spans this world past its prime.

But that could be the premise for any RPG – what makes Earthlock: Festival of Magic unique? Its turn based combat admittedly takes a cue from the past, but a pairing system where one character is the attacker and another the defender turns party management into a whole new experience. Additionally, players magical ammunition is grown within a home island, meaning that keeping your attacks strong will require a bit of a green thumb. Its like someone mashed Final Fantasy and Harvest Moon into one package, which is fine by us.

Halo Wars 2

Release date: TBC

Halo Wars has long been the forgotten piece of the Halo puzzle, an RTS that harked right back to the series’ roots – before Combat Evolved, Halo was going to be a top-down strategy game, don’t you know. It lived up to the series’ other achievement, too – it made a traditionally PC-centric genre feel at home on a console controller.

All of this is to say that Halo Wars 2 has more to live up to than you might think. Luckily, developers Creative Assembly are the team to do the job – cutting your teeth on Total War proves some strategy expertise, and its work on Alien: Isolation displays a slavish dedication to much-loved source material. We’re ready for a second war.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Release date: March 2017

There’s been a pleasing trend of late – the creators of Japanese classics we’ve been crying out for have suddenly realised that it’s only the trademarked names of their creations holding them back. Now we’ve got the likes of Mega Man and, in this case, Castlevania popping up anew in everything but name.

Bloodstained aims to bring back the grand spirit of the never-bettered Symphony of the Night, mixing 2D adventuring, gear-gating and RPG progression with a weird-horror backdrop to make for something familiar but, crucially, not open to being sued.

Cyberpunk 2077

Release date: 2017

And you thought The Witcher was big. CD Projekt RED has already confirmed that its next game is “far, far bigger” than Geralt’s last hurrah, another open-world RPG taken from an unusual source – in this case a pen and paper role playing game last heard of in the last decade.

Details are short, as you might expect from a game initially announced 5 years before its release, but the original Cyberpunk games are replete with cybernetic augmentations, corp-hacking, high tech weaponry and cool, cool 1980s sunglasses. Expect all of that, and more.

Dead Island 2

Release date: ????

We thought the trouble was over. After Techland’s series was handed to Spec Ops: The Line creators, Yager, we played demos that preached a new, ultra-silly direction. Apparently, that wasn’t satisfactory – publisher Deep Silver didn’t like what Yager was making, and dropped the developer it had instated.

Now, we don’t know what to expect. The game is officially on hold, but not cancelled, so only time will tell what’ll come of the First Person zombie smasher.

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