The Most Anticipated Games of 2016 – Part 1

The Banner Saga 2 - Jon Fisco

The Banner Saga was one of my favorite games of 2014. It was also the first game in a long time that ended on such a ridiculous cliffhanger that I haven't been able to stop thinking about it for the past 2 years. Is the world going to end? Who survived? What happened to that dragon thing? Why is the art so damn pretty? All of these questions were left unanswered (except that last one) and that still gnaws at me on the regular. I want answers, but more than that I want more Banner Saga. It is, simply put, the best tactical turn-based RPG I’ve played since Final Fantasy: Tactics Advanced.

Dark Souls III - Mark Steighner

Ever since I imported my copy of Demon’s Souls, From Software’s games have had me hooked deep in all their challenging goodness. What was most impressive about Bloodborne--my favorite game of 2015--is how the environment told the story and deepend the mystery of the lore, and from the looks of previews, Dark Souls 3 will continue that aesthetic and approach. From Software’s games are unique, and I appreciate that, too. No other developer has quite captured the Souls games’ ability to simultaneously frustrate, teach, and reward through its action and exploration.

XCOM 2 - Brian Tyler

I’m getting mine out of the way early this year (in fact, it's already here, but I was anticipating it OK), which means that the rest of 2016 can be a well deserved surprise. What’s not a surprise? That XCOM 2 is shaping up to be exactly the sequel that one of my pics for 2012 GOTY deserves. Having lost in the remake means that humanity is the guerilla force this time, striking at the alien menace and hoping to drive them from the face of the planet. Will this campaign go any better? Survey says: probably not. But perma-death has never been so much fun.

Fire Emblem Fates - Hiram Mojica

I decided that this year I’ll stop putting games that I’ve been putting on my most anticipated over and over again. So goodbye, No Man’s Sky. Let someone else write about you! But after Awakening turned me on to the whole Fire Emblem series, I couldn’t wait to hear what the team was doing next, and while it’s weird that it’s 3 games that have to be bought separately, that’s also A LOT MORE FIRE EMBLEM. It’s also interesting that the 3 games are going to have slightly different mechanics, characters, story… that’s exciting, and I can’t wait to spend too much money on it.

Torment: Tides of Numenera - John K

A few years ago a new era began in PC gaming.  The immensely talented minds that brought us games like the original Shadowrun, Fallout and Planescape: Torment turned to crowdfunding and the isometric PC RPG was reborn.  We have Kickstarter to thank for Wasteland 2, Shadowrun: Dragonfall, and Pillars of Eternity.  There is one more game yet to come from that initial Kickstarter wave, and that is Torment: Tides of Numenera.  inXile Entertainment, fresh off the success of Wasteland 2, has been working on the spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment for a long time.  The wait appears to be nearly over, and by all outward appearances, the game looks very faithful to the 1999 classic.  The screenshots and gameplay videos that have been released look beautiful, and inXile bought themselves a lot of goodwill with Wasteland 2.  I am ready for another epic old school PC RPG, and it looks like this one won’t disappoint.  

Ratchet and Clank - Jonathan Miley

When I finally picked up a PS3 in 2014 I was disappointed by many-a-title that I was sure I would love. *AHEM* Uncharted *AHEM* But there were also several titles that caught me completely off-guard and I fell deeply in love with. None of them more so than Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time. At this point I’ve played at least some of ALL of Insomniac's Ratchet games (which excludes the PSP ones) and I could not be more excited for a new entry in the series. It’s hard to express my joy right now, I mean, these are literally the closest thing the games industry has to Pixar. The genuinely funny jokes, the beautiful visuals, and incredibly strong message of friendship are likes breathes of fresh air compared to the rest of the market. And I can’t wait to breathe deep once again.

Horizon: Zero Dawn - Eric Woods

There are so many games coming up it’s almost impossible to pick just one to highlight. After all, many of my favorite games from 2015 hadn’t even been announced when the year started. That said, Guerilla’s Horizon: Zero Dawn has stood out to me since it was announced thanks to its unique premise and fascinating world. I love dinosaurs, I love robots, and I’ve even enjoyed Guerilla’s output pretty consistently, so this one seems like as sure a thing as I could think up. It’s not quite the prehistoric dinosaur survival game I’ve craved since 2005’s King Kong - because it has robots instead of dinosaurs, and that might just be even cooler.

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