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Our pretty fantastic looking redesign means we had to put the brakes on revealing the list of our 10 most anticipated games of 2017, but thankfully none of them came out while we were away. That said, with Japanese developers providing gamers with a stellar start to the year through Yakuza 0 and Resident Evil 7, we have even greater reason to believe the standard of titles will be just as high as it was in 2016. And that was pretty high, you guys.
Without further ado, here are GeekFeed’s top 10 most anticipated games of 2017.
10. Outlast 2 (words by Alisa Hail)
Anyone familiar with the survival horror genre knows that creating a lasting and consistent sense of tension in the player is a difficult thing for any developer. Red Barrels was able to find a magic combination of atmosphere and terrifying but somehow believable enemies, all while engendering a sense of helplessness in the player that made Outlast the type of game that could leave you wishing for a tall glass of whiskey hours after a play through. The DLC, Outlast: Whistleblower, managed to improve on not only the storytelling—which was already engrossing, and lead up to quite an unexpected twist — but also enhanced what Outlast did so well: scaring the shit out of you.
Though the game takes place in the same universe as the first Outlast, Outlast 2 features a more supernatural slant, as opposed to the sci-fi based plot of the original—at least, that is how it appears on the surface. Outlast 2 will take the player out of Mount Massive Asylum and into the shoes of a reporter who finds himself in a secluded Arizona desert town full of residents who have an apparent fondness for the occult.
If Outlast and Outlast: Whistleblower have taught us anything, we can’t necessarily expect things to be what they seem. But, we do know we will be purchasing a few packages of adult diapers and some bottles of Jack Daniels in expectation of yet another venture into whatever new demented darkness Red Barrels has crafted for us this time.
9. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (words by Alisa Hail)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the newest iteration of one of Nintendo’s longest-running and most treasured series. But, perhaps what makes this one particularly interesting—if not also a bit nerve-wracking for fans—is Nintendo’s decision to expand the definition of what makes a Zelda game.
Arguably, Zelda began as an open-world game, at least, as open world as possible in 1986. However, restricting the order in which players could discover special items necessary for completing dungeons specifically designed around those items did limit exploration. Games such as 2013’s Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds gave players the ability to explore dungeons in any order they chose. Breath of the Wild takes this even further. It is a truly open world, allowing the player to make their own path, climb mountains, raft rivers, and discover items in any order they choose.
The game also expands Link’s choices of weapons and other items further than any game in the series, so far. Though different clothing items with different abilities and effects isn’t entirely new to the series, Breath of the Wild boasts a much wider variety. Link can also gather items to make potions, cook meals, and create other useful objects. Along with vastly expanding many of the more traditional weapons, Link will also be able to pick up and use enemy weapons, along with items in the world around him such as tree branches to use in his defense.
The full depth of the weapons and items systems will only be discovered after launch, but given all we do know, this Zelda will redefine the series for a long time coming and that is why The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of 2017’s most anticipated titles.
8. Star Wars Battlefront II (words by Tom Acres)
Star Wars Battlefront was a solid start to what promises to be an exciting era for video game-playing fans of that galaxy far, far away. Known for their work on the Battlefield series, DICE was right at home in transforming some of the original trilogy’s most iconic battles into enthralling and addictive online multiplayer. Not only was it fun, but it set a new bar for authenticity when it comes to licenced games, with absolutely incredible sound and visuals. And even though you had to stump up some extra cash, the post-release support was also fantastic, culminating with new maps and modes inspired by Rogue One and a pant-wettingly awesome VR mission.
Of course not everyone was wholly satisfied with DICE’s first crack at a Star Wars game, with the lack of a campaign proving to be a major bummer. Single-player content has never been DICE’s strong point, but their work on the Battlefield: Bad Company games and, more recently, Battlefield 1 shows that engaging storytelling and mission design isn’t completely beyond them. We know Battlefront II will have a campaign of some description, and we’re also pretty sure the entire game will be based on the events, characters, and locations from the new trilogy. Later Battlefront DLC showed DICE was getting close to the dream scenario of seamless transitions from space to land combat, meaning we could get to recreate the epic finale of The Force Awakens. Kylo Ren taking on Rey on the ground, with the Resistance and the First Order troops dogfighting above? Bring it on.
7. Injustice 2 (words by Brianna Reeves)
In 2008, Midway launched Mortal Kombat vs DC. It was a dream come true, taking the gameplay familiar with Ed Boon and John Tobias’ creation and applying it to DC characters. The cherry on top was pitting the MK kombatants against the World’s Finest and a few of their rogues. However, succeed it did not. Because of DC’s involvement, the typically visceral and violent gameplay that put MK on the map had to be relegated to a Teen rating. The game suffered mightily. As Midway shut its doors and Ed Boon’s team was purchased by Warner Bros., fans began to twitch with wonder. NetherRealm’s first WB title brought back Mortal Kombat with a rebooted flair in 2011, and 2013 saw the arrival of Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Admittedly, not much was expected of Injustice, the DC fighter with a story mode akin to MK9’s. But the elseworld tale that turned Superman into a ruthless dictator proved to be a fascinating narrative. With said narrative came a fighting game not too dissimilar from Mortal Kombat, minus the blood and gore, of course. This time, the Teen rating didn’t seem limiting, it felt right and provided a nice break from NetherRealm’s other gratuitously violent offering.
Injustice 2 is in a prime position to up the ante. New fighters are taking the spotlight, such as Supergirl, Blue Beetle, and Deadshot to name a few, and the Gear System will make its series debut. With the Gear System, players will be able to customize their favorite heroes/villains. Additionally, this Gear will appear as loot drops to improve a character’s stats. It’s a neat addition to the series that’ll give it a unique advantage over other fighting series.
Most intriguing is obviously the way in which the story will expand. At the time of writing, very little is known. A story trailer recently dropped, but housed within it was only several teases. It’s not concrete, but it appears as though Brainiac will be the big bad. This may be a stretch, but could NetherRealm and DC be taking it an extra step further… could the Tyrant of Steel be working alongside Braniac? The two would have world domination in common, though their plans for an end game may differ. If so, Injustice 2 could be broaching uncharted territory.
6. Destiny 2 (words by Tom Acres)
Nobody knows anything about the full-blown sequel to Destiny due for release this year, but it’s hard not to extremely excited. For all it’s flaws, Bungie’s first release since divorcing from Microsoft and the iconic Halo series has proved to be one of the defining games of this generation of consoles. With some of the tightest shooting in the industry, gorgeous worlds to explore, and the ingenious move to translate MMO-style raids into an FPS environment, millions have been more than willing to forgive terrible storytelling and some lacklustre competitive multiplayer and sink hundreds and thousands of hours into Destiny.
No doubt Destiny is at its best when played with others, and hopefully the sequel doubles down on that. The original game’s expansions, especially The Taken King, offered hugely improved story missions over the base experience that made it far more fun to play alone than it had been, but teaming up with friends for strikes and raids was certainly the peak Destiny experience. Destiny 2 will deliver more of what made the first game great, and hopefully fix the remaining problems. But to take it to the next level, Bungie needs to go full MMO. Hundreds of players exploring the open areas together, picking up quests, and making the moment-to-moment action feel like more of an adventure than a grind. Publisher Activision has Blizzard under its remit these days – perhaps they can offer some advice?
5. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (words by Tom Lynch)
For those that grew up in the era of the PlayStation 1 and 2, Crash Bandicoot was likely a recurring face in many people’s video game catalogues. This former console mascot from developer Naughty Dog was a wacky and mischievous creature now tied intrinsically to nostalgic gaming memories. Whether it’s running from a boulder in the first game Indiana Jones-style, or manoeuvring past Nitro crates riding a minecart in Wrath of Cortex, moments from those games represent childhood gaming experiences to certain people. These memorable platformers may not be the cream of the crop when it comes to gameplay, but they didn’t need to be. Back then, they were the coolest thing ever.
Over the past several years, we’ve seen old platforming icons like Sly Cooper, Spyro and Ratchet & Clank be given new leases of life, and many have been crying out for Crash to make a return as well. For a while it seemed like a pipe dream, as Activision holds the rights to the character, but at Sony’s E3 press conference last year those prayers were answered. 2017 will see the return of Crash Bandicoot to PlayStation in the form of a remaster of the original trilogy (Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped).
Calling it a remaster, though, is selling the N. Sane Trilogy short, as developer Vicarious Visions is rebuilding the games from the ground up, adding a host of new features alongside a pristine new coat of paint. Progression tracking, time trials and a manual save system (halleluja) are all promised by the dev team. The N. Sane Trilogy will still feel like Crash, still look and sound as zany as Crash, but expanded and refined for the modern age. The Bandicoot lives again and we can’t wait for his return!
4. Mass Effect: Andromeda (words by Brianna Reeves)
Mass Effect 3 launched in 2012 with a splash that quickly descended into a dud in the days following its release. As fans of the series wrapped up the trilogy’s final moments, one thing was abundantly clear: choice wasn’t all it had been chalked up to be. However, the journey was a fine one, as the third game improved upon the series’ core gameplay, expanded the fascinating universe, and gave Commander Shepard one last go at love, friendship, and adventure.
With all of the above, Mass Effect: Andromeda has plenty to live up to and a lot to prove. A new BioWare team is behind the wheel, as the series leaves the Milky Way and travels to the unexplored Andromeda galaxy. There, players will experience a new tale with one of the Ryder twins (Sarah or Scott). The mission? To establish human settlements and give the species a chance to thrive elsewhere. In the midst of the narrative, loyalty missions are making a return and romance options will likely, once again, lead topics of Mass Effect discussion.
Along with gameplay alterations being introduced and the upgraded Mako, the series is looking to be as fun as ever. Unfortunately, the developer hasn’t been too keen on showing off much, but that could be a good sign. BioWare has the advantage of surprise. Yes, Mass Effect is familiar; however, a different setting and protagonist means this new team leading the charge can, in many ways, make the series their own. Hopefully, this is shaping up to be an adventure that would make Commander Shepard proud.
3. Detroit: Become Human (words by Tom Lynch)
The idea of branching narratives driven by player choice in video games has become a framework you immediately tie to developer Telltale Games. Since the release of The Walking Dead: Season One in 2012, that approach has been the recurring formulae in their games. However, that style of game dates back further to the work of Quantic Dream. The PlayStation associated developer released the critical hit Heavy Rain in 2010 that is still regarded as one of the PS3’s best games. It tells a thrilling narrative painted as a neo-noir in which the player has to unravel the mystery of the Origami Killer. On a gameplay level, it relies heavily on quick-time-events and having the player interact with objects in the world, but it’s the multitude of endings and ways the story can play out that gives Heavy Rain its merit.
Quantic Dream’s next game, Beyond Two Souls, once again was an interactive film with a myriad of possible outcomes, but many felt it lost touch with the consequence of choice and became too enamored with its supernatural nature. Fast forward a few years and it looks like Quantic Dream is back on track with their latest project, Detroit: Become Human.
What originated as a PS3 tech demo, Detroit revolves around several playable androids set within a futuristic world that mass produces androids to serve different purposes. Of course though, it won’t be so black and white. From early trailers and a profoundly moving E3 demonstration, the game looks set to present questions about the inhumanity of manufacturing androids and what happens when they begin to show emotion outside their programmed function. For instance, in the aforementioned E3 demonstration we see an android negotiator tasked with apprehending a fellow android who has taken their masters hostage, questioning why he was designed to be a servant. Combine these provoking themes with Quantic Dream’s trademark choice driven game design and filmic interactive storytelling, and Detroit has the potential to be one of PS4’s must-play games. Let’s hope that it comes out this year then.
2. Horizon: Zero Dawn
Guerilla Games’ track record doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. The Killzone series is known for pushing the boundaries of graphics technology on PlayStation hardware, but they’re otherwise bland and mostly uninteresting shooters that do little to set themselves apart from the competition. It’s quite something then that their latest game looks so impressive, and that it looks so completely different.
It’s hard to believe that Horizon: Zero Dawn is the work of the same team that has spent more than a decade committed to bleak, desolate, and exceedingly grey sci-fi shooters, set against an extraordinarily uninteresting backdrop with boring characters and almost non-existent storytelling. Horizon had most of the gaming community on board after one piece of concept art, with what can be most simply described as a robot-dinosaur roaming across a gorgeous and vibrant landscape.
The more we’ve seen of the game since then, the more we’ve all become sold on it. Interesting and dynamic combat with a whole host of options at the player’s disposal, creative enemy types, a huge and diverse open world, dozens upon dozens of missions and quests, and an enticingly mysterious post-apocalyptic world. One thing that isn’t surprising is that it looks as visually stunning as it does, with each and every piece of footage further bolstering its claim to be 2017’s best looking game. But the best thing about Horizon? It’s out in a just a few weeks time.
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
Okay, so Horizon looks like it’s going to be a pretty awesome open world game. And the likely return of Assassin’s Creed, the impending arrival of Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and – of course – Breath of the Wild are compelling signs that 2017 is going to be an excellent year for fans of the genre. All of these are likely to pale in comparison to our most anticipated game of the year, however, because the kings of the open world genre are back with the sequel to what many people will you is the best game of last generation.
Expectations could not be any higher for Red Dead Redemption 2. Its predecessor boasted one of the most incredibly well crafted worlds of any game ever made and filled with a countless array of memorable moments, well written characters, and stunning vistas. John Marsten’s tale was one that nobody who experienced it will ever forget, with an endgame that will go down in gaming history as one of the greatest of all time.
It was also Rockstar’s best playing title to date, with satisfying gunplay and what is still the best horse-riding in the medium. Iterative improvements in these areas are to be expected, but what’s always most exciting with Rockstar is the world they set out to create. It’s worth noting that this will be the first game from them built from the ground up for the current generation of consoles, and having seen what they achieved with a mere Xbox 360 with Grand Theft Auto V, it’s almost scary to imagine the scale and detail with which the Wild West will be recreated this time round. Bring it on.