Regular contributor Emma Crematant runs the rule over the hottest games to look forward to in 2017. Buckle up!
10. For Honor
Coming in at number ten is For Honor. For Honor is an online action hack and slash video game developed by Ubisoft. In the game, players get to play as historical soldiers from different eras, such as medieval knights, samurai, and Vikings, within a Medieval fantasy setting.
For Honor is set to release February 14, 2017 on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
9. Tekken 7
Although Tekken 7 has been out in Japanese arcades since 2015, the game is finally coming to home consoles around the world. Tekken 7 is the ninth instalment of the Tekken series and the first to make use of the Unreal Engine. Two new mechanisms have been introduced in this new iteration. The first, Rage Art, allows players to perform critical attacks that deal roughly 30% damage depending on the which character you’re using, once their health bar is critical, in exchange for inactivating the normal attack power increase. The second, Power Crush, lets players continue their attacks even while being hit by the enemy, although they would still receive the damage dealt by the enemy’s attacks. As far as the game’s plot goes, game producer, Katsuhiro Harada said the game’s story will be much darker than ever before, akin to the tone of Tekken 4. It will also serve as the conclusion to the Mishima clan saga. Also, Tekken 7 will have a bit out a cross over with Street Fighter, as Akuma from the Street Fighter series will play a vital role in the story.
Tekken 7 is set to release June 2, 2017.
Prey is a first-person shooter with role-playing game elements and strong narrative. Originally in development by Human Head Studios as a sequel to the 2006 game Prey, the game fell into development hell and was eventually canceled by Bethesda in 2014.
In the game, the player takes the role of Morgan Yu, a human aboard a space station with numerous hostile aliens. The player will be able to select certain attributes of Yu, including gender, and decisions made by the player will affect elements of the game’s story. To survive, the player controls Yu to collect and use weapons and resources aboard the station to fend off and defeat the aliens.
Prey takes place in an alternate timeline where United States President John F. Kennedy survived the assassination attempt in 1963. As President, Kennedy directed more funding into the space program, allowing it to flourish. Drawn by humans’ activity in space, an alien force made up of many different species, collectively called the Typhon, appeared and started attacking Earth. The United States and the U.S.S.R. banded together to fight off and capture the Typhon. Together, they crafted the space station Talos I in orbit around Earth’s moon as a prison for the Typhon. Over time the station grew out by various groups, several different decors across the station ranging from retrofuturism to Art Deco. The United States eventually took full ownership and created research labs atop the prison spaces to study the Typhon. After a fatal incident between the scientists aboard the station and the Typhon, the United States shuttered the project.
Some years later, the TranStar corporation acquired the station. With advances in neuroscience, they were able to harness and control the Typhon, and then studied their physiology to create Neuromods that can restructure a human’s brain to give them new abilities including super-human ones. TranStar grew financially successful from sales of Neuromods on Earth. At the time of the game’s setting, about 2032, TranStar has further expanded the station to make for suitable living quarters for its staff that spend up to two years on the station between regular shuttles to Earth.
Prey releases May 5, 2017.
7. Marvel v. Capcom: Infinite
Marvel v. Capcom: Infinite will be the 6th entry in the Marvel v. Capcom series. Little is known at the moment about the story and specifics of the game, but we do know, like its predecessors, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will be a fighting game in which players compete against each other in tag team combat using characters from both the Marvel Comics Universe and the Capcom video game franchises. Infinite will feature two-on-to partner battles, similar to that of Marvel vs.Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, and earlier instalments of the franchise. Unlike past entries, Infinite does not allow players to call in assist attacks from off-screen, instead, Infinite utilizes a “free-form” combo system that allows characters to be immediately swapped to facilitate the string of combos, akin to Marvel vs. Capcom 3’s “Team Aerial Combos”. For the first time ever, Captain Marvel and Mega Man X will be included in the franchise. Only 6 characters have been confirmed for the series so far.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite doesn’t have a set release date, just a 2017 projection.
6. Horizon: Zero Dawn
Horizon:Zero Dawn is an action/adventure role-playing game developed by Guerrilla Games (Killzone series) and published by Sony. The plot revolves around Aloy, a hunter and archer who lives in a world that has been overrun by robots. (Sort of like Planet of the Apes… but with Robots) Humans now live in separate tribes, as robots roam the earth. Having been sheltered her entire life, and her tribe shunning her, Aloy sets out on a journey to discover the dangers that kept her shelter for so long. The graphics on this game look ah-mazing, with an option to play in 4K. The gameplay looks absolutely incredible with the use of ‘ranged, melee weapons and stealth tactics.’ And the game itself flows beautifully.
Horizon:Zero Dawn is set to release February 28, 2017 for PlayStation only.
5. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Resident Evil 7 is the eleventh entry in the popular Resident Evil franchise. In this game, you play from a first-person point of view as civilian Ethan Winters. Not to give too much of the plot away, but your main objective is to survive and fight your way out of the clutches of the ‘Baker’ family, and off Dulvey plantation, while finding clues and information behind the disappearance of your wife. The game focuses more on horror than action, opting for a more traditional survival horror experience, very similar to that of Outlast, than its Resident Evil predecessors. Resident Evil staples like puzzle solving, resource management, healing herbs, and item boxes have remained intact for this sequel. PlayStation 4 users can play the game start to finish via VR by utilizing the PS VR headset.
Resident Evil 7 was released on January 24, 2017.
4. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is will be the tenth installment in the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon franchise. Uniquely, it will be the first Ghost Recon game to feature an open world environment! It’s said that the game will move away from the futuristic setting introduced in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and will instead feature a setting similar to the original Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon. Ubisoft has described it as one of the biggest open world games that they have ever published, with the game world including a wide variety of environments such as mountains, forests, deserts and salt flats. A closed beta will be open for the game on February 3, so head over to Ubisoft’s website RIGHT NOW if you want to try to get squeezed in. And you will want to get squeezed in. Much hype is surrounding this game, and Ubisoft is building it up to be one of the best games released this year.
As far as the plot is concerned, “The game is set in Bolivia, which has become increasingly unstable as the Santa Blanca drug cartel gains more power and influence to the point where Bolivia has become the world’s largest producer of cocaine. The rise in power of these drug cartels concerns the United States Government, as Santa Blanca’s influence has begun to spread beyond Bolivia. As a result, the United States Army dispatches an elite special operations unit called “the Ghosts” to destroy the cartel and reveal the connection between Santa Blanca and the local government.”
Ghost Recon Wildlands releases across all consoles March 7, 2017.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is another open-world action-adventure video game on our list. Developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U, it is the 19th main instalment in the The Legend of Zelda series and the first original game in the series developed with an HD resolution. That’s right, Nintendo is finally starting to step up their graphics game. The story is set in Hyrule (of course) and follows amnesiac protagonist Link, who awakens from a 100-year slumber to a mysterious voice that guides him to defeat Calamity Ganon. For the first time in a main Zelda game, voice acting is going to be a staple in a Legend of Zelda game, with many voice acting roles present throughout.
It appears as if Hyrule is now in a ruined state, and you, as Link, have to survive off of the land while on your journey to defeat Calamity Ganon from awakening and destroying the world. You can find various items in the world, including weapons, shields, clothing, and food that can be eaten or cooked to restore health. Weapons break after excessive use, but many have multiple uses; for example, tree branches can be used to light fires, and shields can be used as makeshift snowboards. This installment will have an open-world environment much larger than the overworld in Twilight Princess, with less emphasis on defined entrances and exits to areas. Similar to the original The Legend of Zelda, the player is placed into the game’s over world with very little instruction, and is allowed to explore freely at their own pace. I’m super excited for this game because I’ve always been a Nintendo and Zelda fan, and I really can’t wait to try the New Nintendo Switch out!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will release March 3, 2017.
2. Injustice 2
Injustice 2 is the sequel to 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us. Developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Injustice 2 retains numerous gameplay mechanics from Gods Among Us, including environment interaction, stage transitions, clashes, and character traits. The trait system, like before, provides a temporary buff or ability that compliments each character’s playstyle. The super meter, which allows players to execute enhanced special moves and unlock powerful “super moves” when fully charged, also returns. New to the series, players can now expend meter to perform an evasive roll maneuver or escape an enemy’s combo early.
Also new to the series, Injustice 2 introduces a loot-dropping system, known as the “Gear System”, which offers character-specific costume pieces and equipment with status-altering effects. According to NetherRealm Studios, the Gear System uses RPG-like mechanics to reward players with loot after every match. With each loot drop, players earn gear that allows them to customize the look of their characters and strengthen their abilities, such as increasing their strength, speed, defense, health, or unlocking new moves. I personally think that this is a welcome addition to the franchise. Who doesn’t love to customize and put their own touch on the characters they’re playing with? Players can swap out various costume pieces, such as gloves, greaves, chest armor, capes, and shields, with over 1,000 options for each category. Each character will have five gear slots for equipping different costume pieces; two ability slots for equipping new special moves, super moves, or character traits; and one shader slot for altering the color scheme of their gear. The game will also include five separate gear loadouts for players, allowing them to switch between their setups at the beginning of each match.
As for the plot, it’s set “Five years after the defeat of the High Councilor, Batman and his insurgency attempt to piece society back together while struggling against the remnants of Superman’s regime who seek to restore his rule. Meanwhile, a shady new group, known as “The Society”, emerges and makes plans for world domination, eliminating any heroes that stand in their way. With several of his allies either victims of, or collaborators with, Superman’s failed regime, Batman is forced to form a new team of superheroes to combat an invading Brainiac, who puts Earth’s entire existence at risk.”
Injustice 2 releases May 16, 2017.
1. Mass Effect: Andromeda
When writing such list as these, one must try to look at all aspects of a game, and not just form an assessment from your own opinion, but from others as well. You must be impartial to a certain degree and not let your own opinions overtake that of the vast majority. And to that I say… F*** It! I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Mass Effect: Andromeda is taking the number one spot purely because I have been waiting for this game ever since the credits rolled on Commander Shepard’s final mission. Through the push backs and delays, I’ve been eagerly waiting on the edge of my seat, feaming for any news of a new Mass Effect game like a drug addict waiting for his next fix. (Hey Bioware! Y’all got any more of that Mass Effect?) So here we go.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is the successor to 2012’s Mass Effect 3. Andromeda will be the first Mass Effect game to bring the series to an open world environment. The player takes control of either Sara or Scott Ryder, both Pathfinders exploring a new galaxy (Andromeda) for new planets for humanity to colonize. Both Ryders’ appearances and first names can be determined by the player. Unlike previous installments in the Mass Effect series, where players begin each new game by choosing from six different character classes that each have their own unique set of skills, players instead have free rein to assign any skills that they want and build towards a specialty over the course of the game. For example, if the player chooses to invest solely in biotic skills, Ryder will unlock the Adept profile, which grants bonuses tailored to that play style. Points assigned to each skill can be constantly reallocated so that players can experiment with multiple gameplay approaches without having to restart their games and build up their skills from scratch again. Upon beating the game, a New Game is unlocked, which allows the player to restart the game with certain bonuses and switch to using the other Ryder, if interested.
Upon landing on a planet, the player will usually encounter quests to complete, such as taking out hostile enemy bases or hideouts, scanning for objects with useful data, or completing loyalty missions for Ryder’s squadmates. Each planet has a boss that the player may not be able to defeat at first and may need to revisit later once Ryder has sufficiently leveled up. Planets have open world elements and can be traversed using the Nomad, a six-wheeled, all-terrain vehicle. While driving the Nomad, the player has the ability to scan the planet’s terrain for resources and then deploy mining drones to collect them.
Very little is known about Andromeda’s plot other than what BioWare has released and what we can infer from the trailers. “The game takes place 600 years after the events of the first three Mass Effect games, in the Andromeda Galaxy. The player character’s intergalactic journey began during the time in which Mass Effect 2 takes place, separating the new setting from the events of the third game. The main characters are a brother and sister both embarking on the journey to the Andromeda Galaxy. The player chooses which of the two to play, but the other sibling continues to be an important part of the plot as a significant non-player character. They are the children of Alec Ryder – an N7 special forces soldier – and are designated as Pathfinders, operatives tasked with discovering new planets for the Human species to colonize. They explore an open world galaxy aboard the starship Tempest.
Mass Effect: Andromeda releases March 21, 2017.