Brent's Most Anticipated Games of 2017
Looking at the release schedule for 2017, I wonder if I should call this piece my “Most Anticipated Games of Q1 2017?” It would only make sense, seeing as most of the games on this list are slated to release between now and the end of March. 2016 featured plenty of great games, but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a year as potentially amazing as 2017. Even taking the possibility of delays into consideration, myself and many others are terrified at the thought of how expensive gaming could be this year. We’ve got dozens of major AAA games on the horizon (pun intended) — everything from big budget sequels to hotly-anticipated new IPs — and new hardware in the form of the Nintendo Switch and Xbox Scorpio releasing this year as well. Ok, enough of that; it’s depressing thinking about how bad my wallet could be abused this year. Here are my most anticipated titles of 2017:
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Tom Clancy branded games. Rainbow Six: Siege is the most appealing multiplayer shooter on the market today and, even with all of its issues, The Division still has something about it that draws me in on occasion. Ghost Recon: Wildlands looks to take everything great about the Ghost Recon series (team-based gameplay, an authentic military presentation, and solid shooting mechanics) and blend it seamlessly with the open world mechanics of Far Cry. You and three other friends can wander freely around the beautifully gritty jungle setting of Bolivia, tackling missions whenever and however you please. But be careful, how you complete your missions will directly impact the story and world around you. At this point in my gaming career, cooperative play is much more appealing than competitive multiplayer, and being able to rid Bolivia of drug cartels with friends has me hyped.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Here is the game I’m most looking forward to playing on my new PlayStation 4 Pro. While I appreciate the developers who have gone back and updated their older titles with Pro support, I can’t contain my excitement at the thought of Guerilla Games — well-known for their ability to get the most out of PlayStation consoles — finally unleashing their gorgeous looking action-RPG to the masses later next month. The story has remained under wraps up to this point, but there’s no denying that Horizon, and its post-apocalyptic world overrun by mechanical creatures, looks to be a bold new step for Guerilla Games. Add in a badass protagonist who’s a deadeye with a bow and arrow and has the ability to take down groups of cybernetic beasts with her bare hands, and there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to this new PlayStation franchise.
Scalebound, developer Platinum Games’ new action-RPG for the Xbox One, is a bit of a mystery at this point. We’ve seen gameplay (which looks incredible) at E3 and Gamescom in the past, which has given us a general ideal of the scope and scale of the game. We’e seen the game’s intense and fluid combat (which also looks incredible) in motion, and it appears to be the kind of high-octane action that only Platinum Games can deliver. Yet, we still don’t have a release date for this tale about a guy named Drew and his “pet” dragon, Thuban. What we do know is that these two will be teaming up to take down some insanely massive beasts, either by themselves or with a few other friends via cooperative play. I can’t help but wonder if Scalebound will be one of the marquee titles Microsoft will utilize to showcase the power of the Scorpio when it launches next holiday season. If that’s the case, then I don’t need any more reasons to pick one up alongside Scalebound. UPDATE: NEVER MIND
Red Dead Redemption 2
I spent a whole lot of time riding horses and doing cowboy things in Rockstar Games’ western take on the Grand Theft Auto formula. Featuring a rich story, a vast and incredibly detailed world, and an addictive multiplayer component that offered both competitive and cooperative modes, Red Dead Redemption blew me away when it was released, and it went on to be a critical and commercial success. While we don’t know much of anything about Red Dead Redemption 2 as of right now, we do know that when it comes to open world games, nobody does it better than Rockstar Games. We also know that there will be a deep online experience – if Grand Theft Auto Online is anything to go by – and I’m really hoping we’ll have the ability to play through the entire campaign with a friend (or six! A Magnificent Seven inspired story would be incredible!). I’m anxiously awaiting this year’s E3 where Rockstar Games will most certainly raise the curtain on its next massive hit.
With the exception of Allison Road and Resident Evil 7, no other horror game piques my interest as much as Outlast 2. After Outlast - and to some degree it’s expansion, Whistleblower – scared the living sh*t out of me, a new standard had been set for horror games. Red Barrel Games nailed every single aspect they needed to in order to deliver a terrifying experience. Atmosphere? Check! Audio design? Check! Well-timed scares? Check! Unrelenting tension? CHECK! I played through the Outlast 2 demo that released a few months back and, even though the setting wasn’t as claustrophobic as that of the first outing, Red Barrels is still well on their way to successfully implementing the “fear of not knowing what to expect around every corner” that we’ve come to expect from this series. I have no idea if Outlast 2 will be able to hit the heights its predecessor was able to, but even if it only comes close, this will be one hell of a frightening experience.
Sniper Elite 4
To answer your question, “Yes, I’m looking forward to the fourth installment of a game that rewards you with a slow motion x-ray view of a well placed shot to a man’s testicles from a high-powered rifle.” There, now that we’ve got that cleared up, I’ve been a massive fan of this franchise after first being introduced to Sniper Elite V2 many years ago. With the exception of Battlefield – where at least bullet drop is taken into consideration – sniping has always been implemented in more of an arcadey way in most video games. However, Sniper Elite takes pride - especially on the hardest difficulty setting - in making you earn that guilty-pleasure x-ray kill cam with an incredibly authentic sniping experience. Bullet drop, wind, and breathing must all be factored in before pulling the trigger of your trusty rifle. Sniper Elite 4 aims to build on everything that made Sniper Elite 3 somewhat of a surprise hit in 2014. Karl Fairburne may not be the most appealing protagonist ever, but there’s no doubt the guy has a knack for disposing of Nazis in wonderful, gruesome fashion. Larger areas of operation (featuring a much more luscious setting this time around), gameplay focused on stealth and finding optimal sniping locations, and the ability to play the campaign cooperatively with a friend put Sniper Elite 4 in position to continue it’s push towards the upper echelon of military shooters. Add in the heart-pounding intensity of the “No-Cross” multiplayer mode, and sniper purists will have plenty to do when Sniper Elite 4 arrives next month.
These are just a few of the games that have me hyped for 2017, and that’s without mentioning titles like Persona 5, Destiny 2, Cuphead, Detroit, and (possibly?) God of War. I honestly believe 2017 has the potential to be the best year in gaming yet, and I hope my fellow gamers are just as excited about it as I am. You’ve seen my list, now I want to see yours! I want to hear about your choices and why you’re excited for them, so make sure you sound off in the comments below!