2017 is upon us and with it, a plethora of amazing games are on the horizon. Unlike the days of yore, amazing games release throughout the year nowadays and we sat down to determine the ones we are most looking forward to. As with last year, these are in no particular order.
However, this year we are additionally going to highlight the games that were selected by individual contributors rather than agreed upon site-wide. For those who don’t follow us regularly, you can expect the following:
represents Seasoned Gaming and is an agreed upon selection site-wide.
represents Porshapwr individually.
represents TrebM3 individually.
Red Dead Redemption 2
This was a rather easy choice to start with. Red Dead Redemption was one of our favorite games of all-time and given GTA 5’s excellence and continued success, we can’t help but imagine RDR 2 will take the world by storm. Very, very few games get the benefit of having an endless budget and endless development schedule while having a grade A development team at the helm. Given those benefits along with the timing of the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio launches, we are expecting something exceedingly special.
Banjo Kazooie and Tooie are considered by many to be the pinnacle of N64 era platformers. While a true Banjo Threeie never came, Yooka Laylee hopes to fill that void. Developed by Playtonic Games which is comprised of many of the former Rare employees who made the Banjo games, Yooka Laylee isn’t shy about the fact that they are essentially making a new Banjo game with new characters. After a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign with limited scope, the game is now coming to all major platforms this year and we couldn’t be more excited.
Resident Evil 7 : Biohazard
After some letdowns and continued remasters, Capcom is finally taking Resident Evil back to its roots with Biohazard. All signs point to this being the return to form Resident Evil fans have been clamoring for. You play Ethan Winters, a man who is in search of his wife when he stumbles upon the Baker family mansion. Much of the game design hearkens back to the REs of old with healing herbs, puzzle solving, and resource management playing a key role. Even better, with its release being in January, we don’t have long to wait.
Super Mario Switch
We don’t know much about this one beyond a short clip shown during the Switch debut video. That said, Mario games that launch with Nintendo consoles have been some of the greatest games of all-time so by default, this game makes the list.
Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars represented one of the rare occasions when an RTS performed well on console. Halo Wars 2 looks to expand upon the formula introduced in HW1 while offering a much deeper experience both in terms of gameplay and narrative. Developed by RTS veterans Creative Assembly, Halo Wars 2 will offer a campaign that picks up after the events of Halo 5 while a new “Blitz” mode will offer players the card collecting/deck building experience that’s become hugely popular over the past couple of years. Multiplayer will once again be a large focus and the game will feature cross play between Xbox and Windows 10 users.
Injustice : Gods Among Us successfully blended modern Mortal Kombat gameplay with the D.C. universe and Injustice 2 looks to expand upon that success. It will once again be developed by NetherRealm and have the full suite of gameplay options from the original. In addition to offering new characters and stages, NetherRealm is attempting something new in a fighting game by offering RPG-like loot drops. The “Gear System” will give each player a loot drop after each match which will allow you to customize each character with over 1,000 different combinations of outfits and accessories that can alter that character’s attributes. The system sounds incredibly intriguing for a fighting game and we can’t wait to see more.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Guerilla Games is finally stretching its legs beyond the Killzone universe and bringing us a very unique open world ARPG. You play Aloy, a hunter in a world inhabited by hostile machines. According to Guerilla, as you play through the game you will learn the origins of the machines and the history of the environment you find yourself in. This is Guerilla Games’ first attempt at an RPG but we have loved what we’ve seen so far.
Cuphead took the world by storm when it was first debuted as part of Microsoft’s sizzle reel during E3. Believe it or not however, that was E3 2014. We have been waiting a long time for Cuphead now and it’s safe to say some of the luster has worn off. That said, Studio MDHR has been hard at work the entire time in creating what we hear is a much broader game than originally planned. They have also confirmed that Cuphead will release in mid-2017 so if all goes to plan, it won’t make the list again next year!
Another game that’s been in development for an extended period of time, Crackdown 3 will apparently finally release in the latter part of 2017. Crackdown 3 gained notoriety not only for being the follow up to a long dormant Xbox favorite, but also because it was the game that finally showcased “the power of the cloud” that Microsoft had been touting since the Xbox One’s launch. The thought now is that it will launch as a showcase for Xbox Scorpio in the Fall. What we have seen has been incredibly impressive so we hope they can deliver a full experience that quenches the thirst Crackdown fans have had for a sequel for years now.
Persona is a franchise that isn’t hugely popular in the West but for fans of the series, you would be hard pressed to find a game they are anticipating more. Developed by legendary RPG developer Atlus and led by the same key members of the Persona 4 team, Persona 5 released in Japan in September to tremendous critical praise. The player takes the role of a silent protagonist and the game continues to represent the picaresque style narrative that players have come to expect. Originally slated for release in February outside of Japan, the game has been pushed to April to presumably further polish the Western translation.
South Park : The Fractured But Whole
The follow up to Stick of Truth is sure to be a huge hit among South Park fans and even beyond the license, the quality of the game should speak for itself. Developed by Ubisoft San Francisco (in coordination with South Park Digital Studios), and written again by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the game has seemingly taken its time with development to ensure the product is of the quality fans expect.
Mass Effect : Andromeda
Easily one of the largest releases of the year, Andromeda will present a new look into the Mass Effect universe. You will play as either Scott or Sara Ryder, the child of Alec Ryder who is an N7 Pathfinder tasked with planet discovery for human colonization. This will be the first Mass Effect game that presents an open world to the player and to many ME fans delight, a Mako-like vehicle returns in the Nomad ND1. N7 day in November gave us a glimpse of what to expect and it was extraordinary indeed.
Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild
There are few games that generate a larger reaction throughout the industry than Zelda. Having been an icon for decades, a new mainline Zelda release is usually something to be celebrated. The Breath of the Wild is certainly the next Zelda game in that vein. Originally scheduled to be released in 2015 for the Wii U, the game was delayed to presumably be polished and released alongside the upcoming Nintendo Switch. In a first for the Zelda series, the game will feature an open world which the player can explore from the outset of the game. The game will also feature an advanced physics engine and additional nuances to gameplay such as item collection and cooking food to regain health. Zelda in a proper open world RPG? Sign us up!
Sea of Thieves
Rare is one of those developers that has a certain aura about them in the industry. While being a storied developer for over 30 years, the past several years Rare has often been considered to have been wasting their time on games revolving around the Kinect. Thankfully, Sea of Thieves looks to correct that. First shown in 2015, the game is an online co-op multiplayer game where players can work together to explore a large open world. User generated content has been discussed as well though a lot of the systems within the game remain a mystery. That said, all those who have been fortunate enough to spend time the game have come away raving about it. Because of that and the pedigree of the team, we fully expect Sea of Thieves to be a big hit.
The original Prey launched in 2006 to relative critical and financial success. While the sequel was announced, it never released (we won’t go into all the details here as to why). The Prey license is now owned by Bethesda and Arkane Studios is developing the game as more of a re-imagining of the original rather than a sequel. You play as Morgan Yu, a scientist who awakens on a space station inhabited by hostile aliens and while an FPS, the game will feature RPG elements and a focused narrative. When shown recently at the Video Game Awards, many felt it gave off Bioshock vibes which is some of the most favorable praise a game could receive in our opinion.
Initially announced during Microsoft’s E3 conference in 2014, Scalebound has long been in development by Platinum Games. Representing a departure from their pedigree with Bayonetta, Scalebound will feature RPG elements such as skill leveling and a loot system. Controlling and upgrading your dragon (Thuban) will be a focus in the game and according to Platinum, your player (Drew) can also morph into a human/dragon hybrid. Scalebound certainly seems unique and with substantial development time and top tier talent, it could turn out to be very special.
Kingdom Hearts 3
Yet another game on the list that has been in development for a very long time, KH3 was shown to the public during E3 2013 and has made numerous headlines since then. With Disney having been very busy acquiring licenses since the release of the last Kingdom Hearts, many believe those licenses will potentially play a role in KH3 such as Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel. That said, the game is set to complete the Dark Seeker saga that was started in the first two games. The Kingdom Hearts games have been very well received and fans of the series are hugely anxious for part 3 to finally release. Let’s hope it meets the long seeded, high expectations.
For Honor looks to bring fantasy sword play to games using the modern FPS model. Samurai, Knights, and Vikings are the represented factions and gameplay focuses specifically on the weighted and visceral combat swordplay presents. The game will feature a full story mode but the focus to date has been the multiplayer mode which will feature a variety of modes, unlocks, and player customization similar to what you would find in a modern FPS. Porshapwr recently posted his thoughts on the Alpha for the game which he enjoyed thoroughly and we expect this to be one of the larger releases in early 2017.
Detroit : Become Human
Quantic Dream, the developer of Heavy Rain and Beyond : Two Souls, finally presented their new game Detroit : Become Human in 2016. Fans of the previous games have an idea of what to expect as Detroit looks to follow the same style of decision making narrative from the previous games. That said, purely from a scripting and development perspective, Detroit is hugely impressive. According to Quantic Dream, the script was written by David Cage over the course of more than two years and the motion capture took over 18 months to finish as well. The game looks to have Blade Runner style themes with A.I. presenting themselves as human and likely dives into the challenges that poses for society as a whole. We’re sure Detroit will provide an experience to be remembered.