A new year brings a host of exciting new games and it looks like 2016 will be no exception. From triple A titles to inventive indies it looks like this coming year will have a host of games for everyone, no matter your genre preferences. With this in mind the Player2 crew were asked to name one big budget and one indie title that is set for release in 2016 and explain why these titles are so appealing to them. These are those very explanations. Welcome to the Player2 New Year Wishlist.
New Year Wishlist – Part 2
Stephen del Prado
AAA – Dark Souls 3
With Bloodborne my personal GOTY of 2015, I can’t help but feel optimistic for Dark Souls 3. After some hands-on time with it at PAXAUS 2015, my main take away was just how much of Bloodborne had seeped back through to it’s spiritual predecessor – it was still Dark Souls, but felt tighter, faster, even more terrifying somehow. I also expect Dark Souls 3 to provide more incentive for multiple playthroughs and characters when compared to Bloodborne due to the wider range of skills and equipment the Souls titles offer. Given their track record, no doubt FROM Software also has some excellent DLC plans up their sleeve just in time for 2016 GOTY deliberations around November/December.
Indie – That Dragon, Cancer
I know this is a very early title for 2016, but when I thought about other upcoming indie releases, nothing came to mind that was as personal or narratively challenging as That Dragon, Cancer. Having heard rumblings of its development for some time, my interest further piqued after an onscreen appearance in GameLoading: Rise of the Indies by designer Ryan Green. While the cubist visual design won’t appeal to most, nor will the short running time (around 2 hours of play, according to the official website), That Dragon, Cancer is something I haven’t experienced before which is generally what I enjoy about indies.
AAA – Uncharted 4
… what’s that? You were expecting at least a paragraph? Look, mate, there’s only two ways this goes down; I either keep it short and sweet or I wax lyrical until I have the highly-anticipated fourth installment to the Uncharted series in my hot little hands.
So just don’t okay?
Look, I’m sorry, that was probably harsh, but I’m just nervous, you know? The Uncharted series is my jam, it resurrected my childhood love of gaming, but it’s hurt me before. Drake’s Deception, the previous instalment, was a hot mess, beautiful but chaotic, so I’ve got a lot invested in A Thief’s End being the end the series deserves.
And I know there are a lot more criticisms than that to potentially be made (the gameplay can be formulaic, the storyline linear, don’t even get me started on the gulf-like discrepancy between Drake’s character and his actions) but they matter little to me. I like taking down waves of enemies like I’m ticking boxes on a list. I like progressing through a game the same way I would devour a good book. And I love Nathan Drake (and all the other characters), despite his near-genocide levels of murder.
So bring it on, A Thief’s End. I’m sure we’ll have a grand ol’ adventure together. Let’s go out with a bang.
Indie – Thimbleweed Park
From the makers of Maniac Mansion. Written by (half of) the writers of Day of the Tentacle. Featuring the influences, and satirisation, of Twin Peaks, the X-Files and Stephen King.
If you aren’t excited for the release of Thimbleweed Park by now then I just don’t know what to tell you.
An old school-style point-and-click game by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, I’ve been following this game’s development since it was first announced on Twitter. 15 months and one successful Kickstarter later, Thimbleweed Park is so close I can taste it, like a damn fine cup of coffee. Keep this one on your radar, it should be goooooooood.
AAA – Street Fighter V
Wow the eSports guy who really loves Street Fighter is really looking forward to Street Fighter 5! Stop the presses, this is shocking news! Sarcasm aside you may like to know why I’m looking forward to this title so much.
Essentially the new Street Fighter is looking to change a bunch of things. Firstly, it’s designed from the ground up to be more of a service. Gone are the days where I’ll need to buy four copies with minor add-ons or enhancements as well as forking out extra for DLC. The designers have also looked heavily at this title to exist in years to come, this means solid and stable online play as well as a mechanical focus on this being an essential eSports title.
The beta has had its ups and downs, many changes have been made and I for one am hoping that they find all the problems and fix them before this one launches in one month. Thus ensuring a solid and stable day one launch!
Indie – Cuphead
At EB Expo we recorded a Podcast where other writers brought this title up. For those wondering, Cuphead uses side-scrolling gameplay where the entire game is one boss battle after another! As a lover of all things Retro gaming, this hit me all in the right spots and to top it off, the art style alone is enough to market and sell this game. If you’ve ever watched some old school Disney cartoons (and we mean VERY old school) then that’s exactly what’s in store for you when you load this little beauty up!
The battles in the demo we played were quite challenging and if it weren’t for the line behind us waiting patiently for their turn, I felt I could have said “ok … one more try, let’s go” until they kicked us out of the venue. I expect many controllers will be thrown and screams of joy will be had when this one launches this year.
AAA – Quantum Break
This was a hard choice as I want to yell my hype for Xcom 2 from the rooftops but with that being released in about 2 weeks I went for something a little further down the track. Quantum Break is the latest title from Remedy, the talented mob that brought us Max Payne 1 & 2 and the chronically underrated Alan Wake. It is this reason more than any other that I am super excited to see what they have coming next. The gameplay looks to be a combination of the gunplay from Max with the story from Alan Wake and a touch of super power fueled mayhem thrown in for good measure. I am also very interested to see how the game works in conjunction with the TV show that tells the opposite side of the story. The show (and game) have a great cast of well know faces so if there is a good script to back it up it should be a solid bit of sci/fi fun at the very least.
Indie – Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn
Look I know you all think I am mental but I am really looking forward to Shaq Fu. Not because I think it is going to be a special game, in fact if we get anything more than a solid beat em up then I will be surprised, but I just want to live in a world where this sort of game exists. Shaq himself has given numerous hilarious interviews about how the first Shaq Fu was an abomination and how this new take is going to be amazing. Of course those interviews are nothing but PR but they are PR sold by a celebrity that knows how to say crazy things and keep a straight face at the same time. In a time when a lot of indies are tackling serious issues like cancer, alcoholism and war I am glad there is still enough room for a crazy celebrity endorsed Final Fight style game to make it to our systems. Sometimes all I want is some stupid over-the-top fun and Shaq Fu looks to deliver that in spades.