By Scott McCrae
After writing up my Best Games of 2016 I thought “What better to follow up with than what I’m looking forward to this year?”
So I’m going to do that.
Obviously I will be leaving out games that aren’t coming out this year (So no Death Stranding, Last of Us Part 2, God of War or Resident Evil 2 Remake) and also no remakes (So no Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy)
8. Yakuza 0 (and Yakuza Kiwami)
Yakuza is one of the many series that I have admired from afar but never actually played. Yakuza 0 – the 6th installment in the series (not inculding spin-offs) – seems to be the perfect jumping on point for new potential fans as it is set before the first game in the series in 1980’s japan.
From an outsider perspective Yakuza as a series has always struck me as having an amazing sense of humour and Quirkinessm that is a pastiche of Japanese culture and the Japanese lifestyle in a similar vein to the Grand Theft Auto series’ approach to American culture.
I’m kind of cheating by putting two games here but what better game to follow up the prequel of the series with than Yakuza Kiwami – a remake of the first Yakuza game in the new engine and for modern consoles which is releasing later on in the year.
With both of these games coming it seems to be a good year to jump into this cult series.
The reason it is so low on this list is because Yakuza 0 comes out tomorrow at time of writing so I dont have too long to be anticipating it.
7. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard
So me, the guy who dislikes first person horror games is now very excited for Resident Evil 7.
When the game was announced this past E3 I was not keen on it. I thought to myself that it was going to be another generic First Person Jump-scare laden horror game.
But everything I’ve seen since then had me more and more intrigued to the point where I’m at now. Seeing more and more concepts about the game be revealed such as the setting, storyline and combat has me at the point where I’m stopping myself buying other games so I can buy this later this month.
Straying away from the Zombies and World spanning catastrophes of past Resident Evil games RE7 is taking a more down to earth approach, pitting you against a family of what appear to be cultists (reminiscent of the first season of True Detective), In the search for your missing wife, not much is known other than that but from the demo they put out there is a strong implication that Umbrella Corp. – The series’ staple evil corporation – is involved somehow and I’m eager to see how the story pans out.
The reason this is so low on this list is, much like Yakuza 0 this game comes out tomorrow at the time of writing so I dont have all that much time to anticipate it.
6. Tekken 7
As a fan of fighting games I’ve always had an appreciation for Tekken, Tekken 3 is one of the first games I remember playing and I’ve played every one since.
It’s pretty hard to write hype pieces about fighting games because they are inherently multiplayer experiences, so I dont have much to say about this one other than I’m excited to play a new Tekken game, looking forward to Street Fighter’s Akuma making an appearance and a cinematic story mode to debut in Tekken.
Scalebound the new Action RPG from the good folks over at Platinum Games directed by the great Hideki Kamiya looks to be…..
Oh wait its cancelled…. Never mind.
5. NieR Automata
NieR Automata is the new Action game from the good folks over at Platinum Games, a studio with an almost impeccable track record (aside from a couple licensed games but let’s ignore those), which is honestly the main reason I’m excited for this game.
I have never played NieR or any of the Drakengard games so I expect to be a bit lost when it comes to Automata story-wise but I’m nonetheless excited due to the team working on it.
The game is very reminiscent of Metal Gear Rising: Revengence – Another one of Platinum’s games and my personal favourite of the bunch. (along with The Wonderful 101) So I’m expecting the same tight action gameplay that Platinum have perfected over the ten years they have been a studio.
4. Super Mario Odyssey
When I was watching Nintendo’s Switch reveal event I was expecting a new Mario game to show up, and to be reasonably excited by it. I was not expecting to be as blown away as I was from the trailer shown at the event.
The welcome return to the Mario 64 Open-World style of game, the amazing animations and the interesting new environments shown off in this trailer had me in awe.
Even people I know who have never been interested in a Mario game in their lives are excited for this one, it looks like a breath of fresh air that the series needs.
Speaking of the environments we see some usual Mario affair like Forest and Water areas, but also never before seen styles of area like a Day of the Dead inspired map and New Donk City – a New York style city where Mario is running around with real life people looking hilariously out of place.
I cant wait to play this one at all the sickest roof parties like us millenials always do.
3. Cuphead – in Don’t Deal with the Devil
This game has been on my Most Anticipated games list for the last 2 years, so hopefully this is the last time it shows up on one of these.
Cuphead is a 2D Run-and-Gun platformer being made by indie studio “Studio MDHR”, which admittedly Is overdone at this point, but Cuphead differentiates its-self from the others with its incredible art-style, drawn in the style of early 1900’s cartoons like Disney’s Steamboat Willie or Fleischer Studios’ “Betty Boop” cartoons.
That visual aesthetic is carried over to the overall style of the game, with the bouncy look of the character designs and the music, Cuphead is looking to be a perfect fit for animation nerds.
The game also looks to be very similar to platforming classics like Mega Man in terms of difficulty and level/boss design, all of this put together makes Cuphead one of the most promising Indie Projects in the last few years.
2.Hitman: Season 2
Tight stealth gameplay, incredible amount of replayability and a great sense of humour, these are things that made the latest game in the Hitman series one of my favourite games of 2016 and with the relatively recent announcement of a second season of content for it I am eager to see what the team at IO Interactive has in store for the game.
We’re 23 days into the new year and pretty much all I have played is Hitman, I’m just continuing to have fun going through challenges and raising my mastery as well as going for all the trophies.
There is little to no info about what the second season will entail in regards to new maps, but I’m sure they will be as inventive, interesting and full of content like the first season.
Also they should totally do a wrestling show as a map.
I’m kind of breaking my own rules here seeing as this game released in 2016 in Japan but hey I can’t play it yet so I’m counting it.
This game is like Cuphead where it has been anticipated for the last like 4 years, I still remember the reveal of this game, some weird stream that announced Persona: but with Dancing, Persona: but it’s Etrian Odyssey and Persona: Fighting game 2.
And at the end of that stream it flashed on screen Persona 5: 2014 on Playstation 3.
It is now 2017 and the game still isn’t out yet here, but flash forward to 2015 when the first big trailer comes out for this game and the hype train just drove past me and dragged me by the collar. That trailer single-handedly got me hyped for this game with its style and amazing music.
So I thought, “I should probably play Persona 4 then.” So I went out and bought a Vita and Persona 4 Golden because of this trailer and I played through that game in under a month sometimes playing it all day and now Persona 4 Golden is my second favourite game of all time.
Persona 5 looks to be just as amazing. As someone who is not fond of turn based combat the rest of the game manages to pull me in that it doesn’t matter to me, the sense of style the Persona series exudes is like no other and Persona 5 looks as if it will take that to the next level, stuff like the menu design to the post battle animations is just a joy to look at.
I never usually pre-order games, or spend more than £35 on them, but not only have I pre-ordered Persona 5, I’ve gone and ordered the £80 Special Edition because I feel so strongly about this game, also big props to Deep Silver for getting the game to European regions the same day as the states, instead of the usual 8 month wait we have for Atlus games.
So looking on to 2017 and all of the amazing games lined up, Persona 5 – to me – stands tall in-front of them all to be my most anticipated game of 2017.