Another year has come and gone. We’ve celebrated it, it was great, but now it’s over and time to move on. 2016 is here and holy crap have you see what’s coming out this year? I’ve narrowed down the long, long list of releases that I’m very much looking forward to into the list below (in order of expected release date), and Tom will be doing the same later today. Enjoy!

Oxenfree

Platforms PC, XBO
Developer Night School Studio
Publisher Night School Studio
Scheduled Release Date January 15, 2016

Due out in just under a week, Oxenfree is a game I’ve been tracking for a little while now, and I was hugely surprised to see it pop up on the Steam store new releases queue. Happily surprised. An adventure game/supernatural thriller that drops you into the middle of a teen getaway gone wrong, with player choice being a key driving factor of the game? I’m not sure why that would appeal to me so strongly.

XCOM 2

Platforms PC
Developer Firaxis
Publisher 2K Games
Scheduled Release Date February 5, 2016

I’m pumped to finally get my hands on this sequel to the Words About Games 2012 Game of the Year, after its delay from 2015 (#GaryWasRight). Firaxis seemingly haven’t been shy about making some changes to the winning formula of Enemy Unknown, but all of these changes look to enhance what was already a fantastic game. Bring on the aliens.

Unravel

Platforms PC, PS4, XBO
Developer Coldwood Interactive
Publisher Electronic Arts
Scheduled Release Date February 9, 2016

It’s fair to say that Unravel star Yarny and Coldwood director Martin Sahlin stole the show at E3 in 2015. Yarny was adorable, and Sahlin brought a passion to the show that you rarely see at press events any more (especially on the EA stage, oy). Luckily Unravel looks like a game to back up the hype that’s been thrust upon it in the wake of its reveal last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing how cool the puzzle mechanics play out when I get my hands on the game next month.

Superhot

Platforms PC, XBO
Developer Superhot Team
Publisher Superhot Team
Scheduled Release Date Q1 2016

I’ve been anticipating this game for years now, singing its praises whenever I get the chance due to its fascinating concept – a first person shooter where time moves only when you move. How great does that sound? I actually got to play some of it at EGX last year, and let me tell you, it plays even better than it sounds. The mechanics create an almost puzzle-like style of gameplay, and everything you do in the game is epic as hell when described to a third party. It’s been through a delay or two, but now is the time for Superhot.

Quantum Break

Platforms XBO
Developer Remedy Entertainment
Publisher Microsoft Studios
Scheduled Release Date April 5, 2016

It feels like I’ve been looking forward to this game forever, when in actual fact it’ll have been 3 years upon its release. Remedy are one of a small handful of development studios that have my complete trust. I really liked Max Payne 1 & 2, and I loved Alan Wake. Quantum Break looks to have some really solid gameplay behind it, and I have no doubt thanks to the pedigree of the developer that the story will be fascinating. This is the third (and hopefully final) most anticipated games list that Quantum Break has ended up on, and I’m super excited that the finish line is almost here.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Platforms PS4
Developer Naughty Dog
Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Scheduled Release Date April 29, 2016

Okay, here’s the thing: I paid very little mind to Uncharted 4 at E3 and the other press conferences Sony held throughout 2015. I watched the trailers and demos, and I enjoyed them for sure, but it all sort of washed over me. I had never played an Uncharted game before. Something I rectified over the Christmas break, diving into the Nathan Drake Collection. I’m now where everyone else was at during E3 – I can’t wait to see the conclusion to Nathan Drake’s story.

 

Outlast 2

Platforms PC, PS4, XBO
Developer Red Barrels Games
Publisher Red Barrels Games
Scheduled Release Date Fall 2016

Outlast is one of the scariest games of the past decade. A remarkably well crafted horror game that was bettered by its DLC expansion, Whistleblower, we don’t know very much at all yet about Outlast 2. Not that we need to. All we need to know is that it’s coming. The news that Red Barrels were making a fully fledged sequel was welcome indeed, and Outlast 2 is most definitely amongst the games I am most looking forward to in 2016.

Yooka-Laylee

Platforms PC, XBO
Developer Playtonic Games
Publisher Team 17
Scheduled Release Date October 2016

Yeah, of course Yooka-Laylee is one of my most anticipated games of 2016. I mean, it’d be weird if it wasn’t, it’s one of the few games I’ve actually backed on Kickstarter (live on an episode of the Couch Co-op Podcast I might add). What’s there not to be excited about? A group of devs from Rare broke away and formed their own studio to create the spiritual successor to their Banjo-Kazooie games. In an era where Rare has all but disappeared, this is a most welcome development indeed.

Allison Road

Platforms PC, PS4, XBO
Developer Lilith Ltd.
Publisher Team 17
Scheduled Release Date TBA 2016

Allison Road is probably going to be the scariest game of 2016. Its inspiration was the scariest game of 2014, which was actually a demo; P.T. The 13-minute pre-alpha gameplay demo released by Lilith (embedded above) was all I needed to see to know that I need this game in my life. I am incredibly excited to play Allison Road, and to no doubt be scared to within an inch of my life while playing it, because the world needs more properly scary horror games.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Platforms PS4
Developer Guerilla Games
Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Scheduled Release Date TBA 2016

The Words About Games best of E3 winner (which probably would have been hotly contested if anyone else had a say, but ner) – Horizon: Zero Dawn’s reveal and subsequent showing at Paris Games Week looked fantastic. I was already stopped from declaring it my Game of the Year by Tom – but you can see why I’m excited. A post-apocalyptic, open-world where you hunt dinosaur-like robots using a bow and arrow, with combat focusing on attacking various limbs. Sign me up.

Gravity Rush 2

Platforms PS4
Developer Team Gravity
Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Scheduled Release Date TBA 2016

Gravity Rush was a really cool action game for Playstation Vita from 2012 that no-one played except me (because it was on Vita). I’m super happy about Gravity Rush 2, and not just because I’m going to get to play more of this quirky, awesome action game, but because the transition to PS4 means that hopefully more people will play it. It’s always a lot easier to nerd out about something when other people have played it. Seriously, if you’ve got a Vita, get Gravity Rush (and if you haven’t got a Vita, what are you doing with your life?).

Cuphead

Platforms PC, XBO
Developer Studio MDHR
Publisher Studio MDHR
Scheduled Release Date TBA 2016

I already got my hands on Cuphead once, at EGX last year for a brief period, and now I want more. I dig everything that this game is. I dig the run-and-gun platforming style boss fights. I dig how brutally difficult this game seems like it’ll be. I dig the art style, which is reminiscent of a 1930’s cartoon. I dig the character and enemy designs. Everything. I dig everything about Cuphead and can’t wait to play it again in 2016.

Tacoma

Platforms PC, XBO
Developer Fullbright
Publisher Fullbright
Scheduled Release Date TBA 2016

All I needed to know about Tacoma was that it’s the next game from Gone Home developers Fullbright. That was enough to get me excited enough to put it on this list. Gone Home was a masterclass in narrative-driven gameplay that many have tried to emulate, with very few succeeding (much to my constant chagrin). Fullbright truly understood how to make a narrative-driven game in a way that almost no-one since has figured out, and Tacoma is very high on my list of anticipated games for 2016.

Final Fantasy XV

Platforms PC, PS4, XBO
Developer Square Enix
Publisher Square Enix
Scheduled Release Date TBA 2016

One of two games on this list that I am highly sceptical of actually playing in 2016, Final Fantasy XV has appeared on my most anticipated lists in the past. Back then I was simply anticipating a new entry into the Final Fantasy series, and one that seemed to be trying to revitalise a franchise that badly needs it. Now, after the muddled vagueries that seem to be cropping up in the games reveals, including the developers seemingly unsure how much of the game is finished, I’m also dreading it as much as I am anticipating it. Either way, I’m definitely intrigued to see what comes out of this, and desperately hope that Final Fantasy comes back with a bang in 2016.

The Legend of Zelda

Platforms Wii U (NX?)
Developer Nintendo EAD
Publisher Nintendo
Scheduled Release Date TBA 2016

Nintendo are adamant all of a sudden that the next Zelda game is coming in 2016, despite being hesitant to confirm that fact as little as 2 weeks before the Nintendo Direct that confirmed the release window. I’m personally skeptical, especially as I can’t shake the feeling that ZeldaNext is tied to the launch of the NX. While the rumours are that NX will launch in 2016, I have serious doubts. Still, a new Legend of Zelda is an automatic on a list such as this for me, and what we saw of the next one looked really, really good before its 2015 release date imploded.

 

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