A new year means a whole new bunch of games to get excited about. We’ve cast an eye over the previous twelve months, now it’s time to look ahead. Carl and I didn’t really go through our picks for the most anticipated games of 2017 in much detail in the podcast. So here’s a special Top Five to rectify that…
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
I adored The Stick of Truth. It was perhaps a slightly lightweight RPG, but as a South Park experience, it was absolutely perfect. The LARPing conceit at the heart of the narrative was utterly superb, and you felt as if you were playing a feature-length episode. Its follow-up, The Fractured But Whole, trades skewering Lord of the Rings for parodying the superhero genre. Once again you’ll play the new kid in town, and once again, you’ll be able to defeat enemies with the power of epic flatulence. I can’t wait.
This is a bit of a cheat option, I know, but the Nintendo Switch is a curious thing indeed. I hadn’t thought that Nintendo could make a console announcement to provoke more questions than that of the Wii U, but they managed it with the Switch. The potential is enormous, the innovation at its heart is staggering. Whether or not it’ll work as it should, however is a whole other thing. And as for that third-party support, well, I seem to remember publishers saying positive things about the Wii U to begin with as well. Look how that turned out.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
An open-world RPG where I get to romp around hunting down giant robot dinosaurs? Erm…SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! I’m staying quietly optimistic about Horizon: Zero Dawn. It looks like everything I want from a game. Rich, new universe? Yup. Epic story? Sure thing. Cool weapons and stylish combat? Oh yes. I don’t have a PS4 Pro at this juncture, so I’m not too bothered about the 4K side of things, but as an action-adventure romp, Horizon: Zero Dawn is looking very promising indeed. It was a toss up between this and Scalebound, but given that I don’t have an Xbox One yet…Horizon gets the nod.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
I love BioWare. I loved the Mass Effect Trilogy (aside from the last hour of it) and I adored Dragon Age: Inquisition once it got going. There are precious few studios out there with such a knack for developing rich and varied characters. Mass Effect: Andromeda looked very promising at the Game Awards earlier this year, but truth be told, I don’t really care about the action that much. I want choice and consequence, I want a narrative and characters that’ll move me and make me think. I want something to rival Virmire. Hopefully, as we go off with the Ryder twins to seek out a new home for humanity, Andromeda will scratch that itch.
Persona 5 is already out in Japan, and it received a very high (but not unexpected) 39/40 from Famitsu. Boasting a brand new cast of characters, a new story of youth in revolt, and bringing the series’ trademark stylish action once again, Persona 5 is right at the top of my list. P4 was an astonishing achievement; and even better in the ‘Golden’ Vita revamp. Where other RPGs frequently look outward to scale the drama up to huge levels, the Persona series has always been more interested in smaller, more personal stories. What it means to know yourself and be able to call those around you true friends. It’s about growing up and finding yourself in the world, and it’s a series that has always resonated deeply with me.
But regardless of your gaming background, and your genre predilections, it looks like 2017 is going to have something for everyone. So, with that in mind…what are you looking forward to most of all? What are your most anticipated games of 2017?