Gadgette’s 16 most anticipated games of 2016

New year, new release calendar

How many ‘New year, new me’ declarations have you seen so far this year? More than you wanted I’m willing to bet. Well, thankfully here at Gadgette we’re a little less ‘new year, new me’ and a little more ‘new year, new games.’ Now that the calendar says 2016, some of those releases that seemed like they were an age away just last month now feel a lot closer. We have a feeling it’s going to be a pretty big year for games with news of the new Nintendo NX expected, consoles finding their stride, and virtual reality being commercially released. These are just some of the releases we’re excited about this year.

16) Rise of the Tomb Raider

Image ©Square Enix

Yes, Rise of the Tomb Raider has technically been released already on Xbox One, but I want my Playstation 4 copy, damnit. I’ve heard good things about Rise of the Tomb Raider, so of course my expectations are high for this game, but they’re also perhaps a little more realistic than they are for most releases, tempered as they have been by the more more negative things I’ve heard. The PC version is set for release early this year, and the PS4 version is expected in ‘Holiday 2016’, around a year after the Xbox release. The late PS4 release has been rumoured to be a result of a desire to avoid a clash with Uncharted 4’s release on Playstation, which is fairly understandable. It’s easy to imagine the Xbox One release being so close to the release of Fallout 4 resulted in less than stellar sales for Rise of the Tomb Raider, so spreading out console launches to such a degree, whilst frustrating, could be beneficial to the title’s sales and if we want Lara to have another adventure, then we want good sales. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come out too close to Mass Effect Andromeda, because that’s a title I wouldn’t want to take on.

15) Mass Effect: Andromeda

Speaking of Mass Effect: Andromeda, it’s another of our most anticipated games. Teased since 2012, this game’s Holiday 2016 release has felt like a long time coming. Andromeda has been confirmed to take place far from the Mass Effect locations we’re familiar with, and won’t star Commander Shepherd, so things should be pretty fresh. Whatever happens, I have faith Bioware will bring us something worth losing hours to. As a gamer who loves getting lost in a game world for months at a time, I need Bioware releases to keep me going; I’ve been in a Bioware black hole before, and I’m more than ready for another one. Although one of the game’s senior developers Chris Wynn has left Bioware, fans have been promise development of the game is still going full steam ahead.

14) Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is one of those titles I feel I’ve been waiting on for far too long thanks to delays. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually an advocate for delays in games; if the developer isn’t happy, I’d much rather wait until they are before I get my hands on their game. I’m just pretty excited about this one. With the announcement that composer Solar Fields is returning to create the game’s music, and having tried a promising demo myself, Catalyst is set to be a great sequel, or prequel. Whatever it is, I can hardly remember at this point. The release date right now is May 24th 2016 for PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.

13) Horizon: Zero Dawn

Image: Playstation EU

We’ve been keeping an eye on this one since E3 2015 when it was announced. Horizon: Zero Dawn is set in a post-apocalyptic world where mankind has regressed to hunter gatherer status and machines have evolved and rule supreme. These are machines it’s probably safe to assume aren’t all that big on kindness and merriment, rather preferring dominance and destruction. You play Aloy, a skilled hunter whose agility and cunning help her to protect her tribe from the dangerous machines. We’re pretty excited to play as Aloy and enter an eco sci-fi world where machines and nature clash. Horizon: Zero Dawn will be released on Playstation 4 in 2016, with no more exact date set just yet.

12) The Last Guardian

Image: Playstation EU

Highly anticpiated but definitely not over-discussed at events, The Last Guardian is to be the latest offering from the minds behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. These games are well known for being stunning and their praises are frequently sung so the pressure is on for the developers of The Last Guardian. It’s understandable that they’re not engaging too much with fan expectations, effectively avoiding the good and the bad that can result. The Last Guardian tells the story of a young boy who makes a bond with a colossal creature called Trico that looks like it would give some damn good cuddles. The pair communicate to overcome obstacles and survive the game’s crumbling but beautiful fantasy world. The game is a Playstation 4 exclusive and the only release date given is 2016, but we can’t wait. Take as long as you need Japan Studio.

11) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. It’s a fairly ominous title. Nathan Drake will be swaggering back onto player screens from April 29th 2016. Set 3 years after the events of the last game, players and Drake are making their way back into the world of fortune hunting when they set off to find Captain Henry Avery’s long-lost treasure in Libertalia, a pirate Utopia deep in Madagascar. Cinematic, thrilling and filled with wit, the Uncharted games have always delivered high-octane adventures and fun gameplay and the fourth instalment looks like it won’t be any different.

10) The Legend of Zelda

One that will send existing fans wild, and no doubt create plenty more fans, Zelda, Link and Hyrule are coming to the Wii U. There’s not much known about the game yet, and it’s been delayed a few times but since this year is the 30th anniversary of the series and more news of the Nintendo NX is expected, its release this year seems quite likely. This could be the game that really takes the Zelda franchise forward, and we can’t wait to see what it has to offer.

9) Dishonored 2

As a big fan of the original game, I really can’t wait for the release of this one. It’s only a plus that we have a strong female protagonist in the character of Emily to look forward to. In Dishonored 2, players return to a dark Steampunk world where stealth and a mastery of one’s power is key to survival. Emily looks like she’ll be one of the best female protagonists of the year, and with word that players will see even more of the world outside of the city of Dunwall, there’s so much to look forward to.

8) No Man’s Sky

Image © Hello Games

A vast and beautifully rendered space world to explore makes a nice change from the seemingly endless hellish apocalyptic visions of earth we’ve become so accustomed to seeing. No Man’s Sky is a game that will allow players to explore uncharted solar systems, where every procedurally generated planet is different to the last. Truth be told there isn’t too much known about this game other than that, but that’s partly why I’m so excited about it; I can’t wait to play in a world that promises to be ‘truly open’ and that’ll be possible from June 2016, apparently.

7) Cuphead

I can’t wait to get my hands on this one for its visuals alone. Inspired by early 20th century animation, the game’s visuals and audio have been painstakingly created using the same techniques used in the 1930s. Players can play single player or co-op in this side scrolling run and gun game that promises tough boss battles and massive amounts of fun.

6) WiLD

WiLD is a Playstation 4 exclusive coming from the creator of Rayman, Michel Ancel’s new studio. WiLD puts players in the body of a Shaman who can in turn inhabit the bodies of animals to help him defeat a vicious canibalistic tribe. It’s an interesting idea and the lush prehistoric world being created in the game is kind of reminiscent of Horizon: Zero Dawn and Far Cry: Primal so we can’t wait to see how each game does things a little differently.

5) The Witness

Like many games, The Witness first captured my attention simply because it looks gorgeous. Fans of Jonathan Blow’s platformer Braid have been waiting years for this one, and thankfully there’s not long left since it’s coming on January 26th. Players will find themselves on an island where they must solve environmental puzzles, unraveling secrets of the locale as they go. There’s not really much to go on other than that but somehow that just makes us more excited.

4) Pokemon Go

It’s a game that’s trying to bring Pokemon into real life, of course I’m excited. With a trailer that makes this game look way more exciting and easy to use than it probably will be, Pokemon Go is attempting to bring augmented reality to mobile gaming. Even if, in the end, it doesn’t play quite as well as the trailer promises, I think Pokemon Go is an exciting step in gaming; it takes our games outside and encourages movement in the real world which is definitely a side of gaming I think is worth developing. I also want to bowl over a stranger in an attempt to capture an Eevee.

3) Yooka-Laylee

From Playtonic, this game is set to be a spiritual sequel to the Nintendo 64 classic Banjo-Kazooie, and it certainly looks like one. With a bright and colourful platform world, starring a chameleon and a bat rather than a bear and a bird, it’s easy to see the inspiration. The game is coming to Linux, Mac, PC, PS4, Wii U, and Xbox One in October, so thankfully no one has to miss out on what’s bound to be some seriously fun nostalgic gameplay.

2) Tacoma

From Fullbright, the team behind the fantastic Gone Home, Tacoma is set to be a quiet exploration game that will leave an impression. Set on an abandoned space station, Tacoma will probably be a bit bigger than Gone Home, but I don’t doubt it will be just as good.

1) Virtual Reality

Image © Sony

2016 is going to be VR’s big year. We already have the Samsung Gear, but with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Playstation VR all set to have commercial releases this year things are only going to get more exciting.

Of course, as the year goes on there are going to be so many more announcements and unexpected gems to get excited about like there are every other year, but right now, these are the ones making stepping into the unknown of 2016 more bearable.