Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4 and Xbox One)
Release Date: January 24th, 2017
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is on this list for a few different reasons. The main reason for me is that it might actually be able to spook me as much as the first Resident Evil managed to. Capcom has come up with a protagonist that actually seems interesting, a regular civilian named Ethan Winters. Ethan isn’t like the usual Resident Evil protagonist, Ethan is just an every day guy with little to no combat experience as apposed to the usual S.T.A.R.S agents that usually star in Capcom’s famous horror game series.
After Resident Evil 5 I had little to no desire to play any more RE titles. The over the top explosions and the character designs had me feeling like I was trapped in a Michael Bay film. Not that that is a bad thing for some games, but for me Resident Evil should always keep in you a state of silent suspense and fear.
As far as the storyline goes for Capcom’s newest installment of Resident Evil it can be summarized pretty simply; Man’s wife goes missing, man must find wife, man ends up in horrifying plantation mansion which is home to the Baker family, Baker family might just be Evil Residents.
Horizon Zero Dawn (Playstation 4)
Release Date: February 28th, 2017
Horizon Zero Dawn is a game that I am quite excited about. I refuse to let myself look too far into the storyline because it looks to me like a game that you need to experience from an untainted viewpoint.
I have always been a sucker for anything advertised with the words “Open World” and “Dynamic Questing System” which I guess is something that this game provides. Horizon Zero Dawn is set in a post-apocalyptic world governed by giant robotic animal monster things or something like that. Which anyway you word that or cut it sounds pretty badass to me. The character you control is a huntress named Aloy who travels the world to face the world that her people fear so much. As you travel the world you will encounter different tribes throughout that will give you different quests and tasks that will help unravel the mystery of the machine run world.
Horizon Zero Dawn is being produced by Guerilla Games. Guerilla Games is best known for the Killzone Series which I believe to be the only title that they have produced in recent years. HZD was chosen by the team mainly for the risk behind the creative and ambitious design and plot of the game. I for one (obviously) hope that they can pull off this risk and generate a nice reward for themselves.
Red Dead Redemption 2 (Xbox One, Playstation 4)
Release Date: Late 2017
Rockstar’s most recent game announcement came as less of a surprise than it was a speculators wet dream. Anyone who had played Red Dead Redemption has very fond memories, I cannot think of a single person who I have discussed RDR with having any ill claims regarding the game.
In Red Dead Redemption 2 it appears that you will play from the perspective of John Marsden once again. Except this time you will be taken through the story leading up to Red Dead Redemption, this is all speculation on my part, making this game a prequel to RDR. It looks as though the game will be taking place during the time period that John was running with Dutch’s gang which should easily open the door for some very interesting story development and dialogue.
My favorite stories are all told in the fashion of a western. Red Dead Redemption was a game that I loved for every possible pixel, sound and setting that the game brought to the table. I just really hope that with this next installment Rockstar graces us all with a PC release.
Death Stranding (Playstation 4)Release Date: Optimistically 2017
Death Stranding, which was developed by Kojima Productions and directed by the legendary Hideo Kojima, is going to be Kojima Productions first title release as it’s own stand alone production company. Get this, DS received it’s game engine with help from Guerilla Games, a company with a game that is also on my list. With a cast that seems to be extremely impressive judging by the trailer. The game stars Norman Reedus as the main protagonist, Mads Mikkelsen as the main antagonist and there is even a character who is modeled after Guillermo del Toro.
As we all know there was some drama in which Norman, Guillermo and Hideo were all involved in that I do not feel like getting into. However I am very happy that they appear to be working together on what should prove to be a very interesting, original and exciting plot.
Death Stranding is yet another Open World (woohoo!) action and adventure game in which the plot revolves heavily around the concepts of life and death. The title of the game itself is a reference to the cetacean stranding phenomenon in which creatures of the sea such as whales beach themselves and die. The title alone gifts us with some speculation as to how dark or eye opening the game may be. Could it possibly be a metaphor for human nature? In that we ourselves have beached and suffocated our own species which will ultimately lead to our own demise brought upon by our own hand in which the hand belongs to us which is controlled only by our own brain which is telling our own finger to pull the trigger on our own metaphorical gun placed upon our own metaphorical temple as a whole? WHOA FAR OUT DUDE! GREAT ASSESSMENT OF THE TITLE OF THE GAME, BRO!
Nioh (Playstation 4)
Release Date: February 9, 2017
Anyone who knows me knows that I am an avid Dark Souls fanboy. I am not ashamed to admit that I am, to some degree, a glutton for punishment. I like the feeling of accomplishment when I defeat any given enemy while I am playing through a game. Now, Nioh appears to play in basically the same style and format as one of my beloved Souls games.
Nioh is an action adventure RPG developed by Team Ninja. Nioh takes place in a fictional version of Japan in the 1600s. The player takes on the role of a character named William who is a westerner sailor that has his own enemy to track has been conscripted by Hattori Hanzo who has his own agenda which just happens to cross-over with William’s goal.
From what I experienced while playing the demo it felt like a slightly easier Souls game, kind of along the difficulty level of Bloodborne. I was only able to try the 2nd demo that was released so I have no opinion on the first iteration of the game. I really appreciated the art style and fluid movements that the environment displays.
Cuphead (Xbox One, Microsoft Windows)
Release Date: Sometime 2017 (Hopefully not delayed again)Cuphead is a game that has been an idea floating within the mind of two brothers, Chad and Jared Moldenhauer, for almost 20 years. The original game was to be released by a different name and design in the year 2000 but the brothers lacked the technology to bring their game to life. Cuphead was first brought into development in 2010. The art style of the game is simply amazing in that it is designed as though it were a cartoon from the 1930’s. The main character, who if you haven’t guessed by now is the one and only Cuphead. CH as we will call him for the remainder of this article loses a bet to the devil and spends the remainder of the game attempting to pay back his debt to the old horned king of demons. The playstyle from what I can tell is reminiscent of the classic co-op side scrolling action shooters much like Contra or Metal Slug, except you are a dude with a teacup for a head. The best part is that CH has unlimited lives and you actually keep your weapons upon death, seems kind of forgiving for someone trying to pay back the devil himself. All in All this should be a refreshing throwback to quench the thirst of any gamers in need of a good couch co-op adventure.
ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove (Xbox One, Playstation 4, Microsoft Windows)
Release Date: Hopefully Mid 2017
ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove is lined up and designed to not disappoint any of the old TJ and E fans. With even more FUNK than before, 3D environments and all the beloved earthlings from the other three games there is no way that this game can let us down. As an added bonus it is being produced by Adult Swim Games.
A quick synopsis of the game’s story is all that is needed for the tale of TJ and Earl is pretty shallow, but not boring by any means. Basically the game starts off with TJ and Earl escorting a couple of familiar friends; Peabo and Lewanda on their way to Earth. Unfortunately TJ falls to his old showoff roots and decides he wants to press a button clearly labeled DO NOT PUSH which opens a black hole that tears the Earth apart which creates the levels for the game. The main goal of the game is to rebuild the ship and get back home, who would have guessed it?
For the true fans the game’s main draw was never the story, rarely ever was the case with the classics. The draw is that juicy, dank underground funk that bounces and rolls in the background. The best part is that you can enjoy this universe with four of your buddies either offline or over the internets.