The 'Shroom:Issue 107/2016 in Anticipation

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2016 in Anticipation

Written by: Crocodile Dippy (talk)

So 2015 is behind us, and having already covered my favourite games of the past year, it's time to look ahead towards the games that have me most excited for 2016. These could turn out to be terrible, of course, that's the big problem with hype; all the pre-release news and info may make the whole deal sound nice on paper, but it could very well turn out atrocious in action, but hey... I'm keeping my hopes up. These are the games that I feel I'll at least admire for their intrigue, creativity, or just plain silliness, and maybe you'll agree as well. So, let's be about it!

Most Anticipated Games of 2016
DarkSoulsIII.png # Dark Souls III FromSoftware Action role-playing game, hack and slash PlayStation 4, XBox One, Windows
Everyone knows I'm a complete Dark Souls fangirl. Dark Souls is easily my favourite game of 2011, Dark Souls II among my favourites of 2014, and the series' sister release, Bloodborne, was my second favourite game of 2015, so it's safe to say I really love this series. So to hear that Dark Souls III is going to be released this year, and introduce the faster paced gameplay of Bloodborne into the series, while retaining its more in-depth skill trees and grander environments, was just about the best news I could possibly hear out of E3 last year. With FromSoftware promising an even deeper degree of character cusomisation, as well as new fighting skills and weapon types, Dark Souls III seems to be making concerted efforts to build atop everything the previous two games have laid the groundwork for and intends to be the best entry into the series to date. Here's hoping it will be the best.
HorizonZeroDawn.png # Horizon: Zero Dawn Guerrilla Games Action role-playing game PlayStation 4
I have a weakness for survivalist games, and Horizon: Zero Dawn looks to be one of the most unique takes on the genre in the triple-A space. Blending the open world stealth stylings of Assassin's Creed with the action-RPG gameplay of Far Cry, Horizon is promising a dynamic hunting experience with lead character, a lady named Aloy hunting down mechanical animals and dinosaurs in a tribal post-apocalyptic Earth, which is really just the coolest damn thing. An extended gameplay trailer was shown at the game's unveiling at E3 2015, which showed a very seamless shift between patient stealth and pounding combat, but there will also be traps, explosives, crafting, and a wide range of weapons will be available to the player to hopefully create a rich variety of methods to take down your robotic prey. I'm hoping this is the challenging open world survivalist game that the triple-A industry desperately needs.
HyperLightDrifter.png # Hyper Light Drifter Heart Machine Action role-playing game Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, XBox One, Wii U, Ouya
Remember how amazing A Link to the Past was? Luckily for you, this small developer agrees with you completely, and has set out to do an action role-playing game inspired by A Link to the Past's gameplay but with a sci-fi fantasy twist and a visual aesthetic inspired by the works of Studio Ghibli. An intricate love letter to the days of 90s SNES RPGs and action-adventure games, Hyper Light Drifter promises that same explorative thrill and steady level progression that older Zelda and JRPG games delivered, but mixing it with the hack and slash gameplay of more recent RPG titles like Dark Souls and The Witcher - of course, in an indie context. Fast-paced and strinkingly beautiful, Hyper Light Drifter has the potential to be the big indie darling of the year, so keep an eye out for that if you've been disillusioned with more recent action-adventure and RPG games!
TheLastGuardian.png # The Last Guardian Team Ico Platformer, puzzle PlayStation 4
It's been 3000 years... I have been waiting for this game for so damn long, to the point where I had legitimately given up on it completely for a little while there, as I desperately cried into my copies of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus at the death of this once-amazing studio. But then they unveiled an enhanced gameplay trailer at E3 2015, and all those feelings subsided and were replaced with sheer joy, seeing the wonderful boy-and-abomination duo return to the screen! A return to the explorative puzzle style of Ico, The Last Guardian focuses on the companionship between the player character and his animal friend, as the player needs to take advantage of both of their particular skillsets in order to solve puzzles and traverse the castle, as well as avoid being harmed or captured by soldiers that seek to capture them. Definitely one for the arty farty crowd, The Last Guardian will no doubt make me feel every emotion possible all at once, so keep your eye on this if you like having your heart played with!
MirrorsEdgeCatalyst.png # Mirror's Edge Catalyst EA DICE Platformer PlayStation 4, XBox One, Windows
The first Mirror's Edge was a game I admired more than I actively enjoyed, since I found its pristine environments and unique atmosphere to be harmed by its somewhat messy execution of first-person parkour platforming, which always tends to be a bit of a mixed bag for me. But I'm always open to the possibility of improved sequels, and Mirror's Edge Catalyst looks to be just that, with an open-world, improved combat, removal of guns to emphasis a steady melee flow, and an even more gorgeous colour contrast in the environments, which all suggest a more developed experience. Or at least, I hope to God that's what it means. With the developers pointing towards a desire for an ongoing, seamless flow in gameplay, alternating smoothly between parkour and combat in a large, free-to-explore world, including a multiplayer facet where your actions in your game can affect the world in another player's game, this may very well be the title that sells me on first-person parkour.
NoMansSky.png # No Man's Sky Hello Games Sandbox, action-adventure PlayStation 4, Windows
I had No Man's Sky on my 2015 in Anticipation section last year, but as it turns out it's been delayed for 2016, so um... here it is again! A lot of what I said back then still stands; this is a game where harping on about its "grand scope" is actually relevant to the game rather than a meaningless buzz phrase spouted out by out-of-touch executives to hype up their games. With an almost limitless amount of worlds for the player to explore, and a huge emphasis on exploration and survival in the vast in-game universe, No Man's Sky looks to, at the very least, be a wonderfully ambitious game that I'll no doubt admire even if it turns out to be a disappointment. Gunning for a mid-year release, if all goes well, No Man's Sky will hopefully be as interesting to play as it has been to watch so far.
Persona5.png # Persona 5 Atlus Turn-based role-playing game, dungeon crawler, social simulation PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
This was another I featured in last year's Anticipation section, but that one was far more of a cheat since we knew basically nothing about Persona 5 at the time. But now we do, and let me tell you, it's looking damn fine right now. Following through the dungeon crawling turn-based combat of previous entries, Persona 5 is introducing a more action-packed exploration mechanic during dungeon segments, including traversing more complex terrain and dashing between cover in stealth segments, which seems to be in place to support the cat burglar motif that Persona 5 is running on. Combat is continuing with the Persona system - figures of the character's psyche that allow them to tap into powerful beings and elementals to aid them in battle - but also employing more rudimentary weapons like guns and melee weapons. Social interaction elements are still in place, although altered in a thus far undisclosed fashion, and the story seeks to explore themes of societal disenfranchisement and disillusionment, as the protagonists turn to unsavoury, rebellious acts to break free of their restrictive boundaries. Really looking forward to this one.
PokkenTournament.png # Pokkén Tournament Bandai Namco Entertainment Fighting Wii U
Dude. It's Pokémon... but with Tekken gameplay! You can fuckin' piledrive a grey muscle-bound monkey thing with a yellow electric rat wearing a wrestling costume... what the hell else do you want?!?!
RivalsofAether.png # Rivals of Aether Dan Fornace Fighting Windows
Rivals of Aether has been around in Early Access for a while, but it's planned to be released in its full version sometime this year, and I'm definitely looking forward to that. Rivals of Aether is the fighting game that Nintendo refuses to make; a platform-based fighting game focused on advanced techniques and competitive balance rather than having the most characters and stages to play in. While I don't consider myself the most proficient of fighting game players around, seeing professionals rock the hell out of the competitive techniques that Sakurai actively works towards dumbing down or outright removing in Smash Bros is uplifting to me as someone who enjoys watching competitive games, and the premise and thematic design behind the game - with eight characters representing the four elements in different capacities - is in itself of appeal to more casual players who just want to play a quirky fighting game. Can't wait to see how they build on this in the final released version.
YookaLaylee.png # Yooka-Laylee Playtonic Games Platformer PlayStation 4, XBox One, Wii U, Windows
It's almost destiny that Yooka-Laylee happened to end up last on this list in alphabetical order, because no doubt, this is the most anticipated game for many a person on this Wiki. After an insanely successful Kickstarter campaign, the blokes behind the beloved classic Banjo-Kazooie are finally returning to their roots with the release of Yooka-Laylee at the tailend of this year, featuring the same sort of collectathon-style platformer gameplay of the Banjo-Kazooie games, but with a modern visual polish and a competitive multiplayer aspect, which will be great for me and my brother to deliberately sabotage each others plays. What can really be said at this point that hasn't already been said? This is the revivalist throwback that those of us who grew up in the 1990s have been dying to see again, and it's an absolute pleasure to have the real Rare team back to work on something they genuinely love... of course, if it turns out to be shit, I'll shove jiggies in my eyes and cradle my copy of Banjo-Kazooie in my arms as I wait for the sweet embrace of death... Have a wonderful year, everyone!


The 'Shroom 107
Staff sections Opening Statement
The 'Shroom Spotlight
Sub-teams Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing
Specials Dippy's Top 10 Games of 20152016 in AnticipationUltimate Character TournamentZelda Memories
Closing Statement

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