Every year, I cautiously hope for the best when it comes to video game announcements and flashy game trailers — who knew that dubstep was still a thing?
If big game publishers are to be believed, we are in for one hell of a ride in 2016. Here are my top five picks to look out for.
- “The Last Guardian”
“The Last Guardian” by Team Ico is the spiritual successor to two of my favorites games of all time, “Ico” and “Shadow of the Colossus,” and it is finally coming out, for real this time!
To say that “The Last Guardian” made waves during E3 2015 is a gross understatement that could have only been eclipsed, and was, by the “Final Fantasy VII Remake” and “Shenmue 3” announcements.
Nevertheless, that familiar art style and desaturated color palette, coupled with the boy and his dog-thing brings me back to 2001 and has got me feeling some kind of way.
- “Persona 5”
“Persona 5” has some immense shoes to fill as “Persona 4” was so good that it got me to buy a PlayStation Vita and not regret it; no small order. The art style looks solid, but if there is no Chie then the game is going to be a hard sell for me. It’s still very much on my radar but with cautious optimism.
- “The Legend of Zelda”
“The Legend of Zelda” for Nintendo’s Wii U is another game that would be marked on my calendar if a solid release date were announced. Here’s hoping that it’s the first 3-D “Zelda” game that I actually beat. Late last year, “Skyward Sword” recaptured some of that Nintendo magic for me, and I have high hopes that Nintendo won’t let its Wii U swan song disappoint. After the dismal performance of the Wii U over the last three-plus years, It would be a crime against humanity to get Zelda wrong. Don’t be surprised if we find out that this new iteration of “The Legend of Zelda” might also make an appearance on the Nintendo NX, the company’s upcoming next-generation console, either.
- “Horizon: Zero Dawn”
New video game intellectual properties are the nectar which sustains me. I am pretty pumped that two new IPs made my list.
“Horizon: Zero Dawn” might be the freshest of the two. Developed by Guerilla Games, famous for the “Killzone” series, “Horizon” looks to move the needle in a big way for the console market. I’m hoping that they can innovate on the stale gameplay of the popular over-the-shoulder cover-based shooter genre. Is it too much to ask that Guerilla actually make a game where the player doesn’t actively dislike the main protagonist? We’ll see.
To round things out, the seemingly infallible Activision/Blizzard are ostensibly salvaging the good parts of Titan – their now defunct massively multiplayer online game (MMO) – and releasing “Overwatch,” in all its class-based, twitch-shooter, online-multiplayer splendor. And guess what guys, they’re selling it for money, bucking the free-to-play trend that is becoming more the rule than the exception. Activision/Blizzard surprised almost everyone when they announced that “Overwatch” will launch day-and-date on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, and will come with a price of $39.99 for the base version on PC while remaining at the industry standard of $59.99 for the “Origins” edition on PC and console. Despite that, I’m still very much looking forward to getting my hands on it after what I’ve seen in the beta.
2016 has a chance to be great for gamers no matter where they play. Looks like my pile-of-shame is going to definitely become a bit taller this year.
The “The Last Guardian” portion of the story was updated on Feb. 4 for clarity.