A Look Ahead: Gaming in 2017

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As with any other year, 2017 means a brand new year for gaming. We’ve got a brand new console, a supped up console and some big name titles all due for release this year (as of right now). So let’s take a look at some of the most anticipated releases in 2017 as well as some things to look out for going into the year.

 

Nintendo Switch

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Nintendo’s new console, formerly known in development as the NX, is due to release in March. Still not much is known about the Switch other than its basic functions, but there will be a presentation for the Switch on January 13th so stay tuned for that.

Project Scorpio

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Microsoft’s counter to the Playstation 4 Pro, codenamed Project Scorpio, is slated for release late in 2017. We got a sneak peak at Project Scorpio at last year’s E3 and we’ll likely find out everything there is to know about it at this year’s Xbox press conference at E3. It’ll definitely be interesting to see just how powerful this version of the Xbox One is and how it compares to the Playstation 4 Pro.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

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Platforms: PS4

If you’ve been on this journey, then you know how damn exciting this game is. Finally, after 11 freakin’ years, we’re one step away from Kingdom Hearts 3. Kingdom Hearts 2.8 will slide the final pieces into place to set the stage for what will be my most anticipated game of all time when it releases on January 24 (worldwide). Oh, and both Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix are due to have their PS4 versions released in March. If you’re a newcomer to the series, that means you’ll be able to play the entire series on Playstation 4 this year. And if you’re like me, that means you’re about to put in a full Kingdom Hearts series replay leading up to some potentially huge Kingdom Hearts 3 news at E3 this year.

Halo Wars 2

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Platforms: Xbox One, PC

The original Halo Wars was decent and entertaining enough for me. I played it and I enjoyed it but I’ve never been a huge fan of the Halo series in the first place. This has been a long requested sequel and fans of the original game are likely excited to get back into it.

Horizon Zero Dawn

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Platforms: PS4

I’ve been exciting for this game since it was announced at E3 in 2015. The concept is really cool and I like the way the game looks, but I’m also not getting absorbed in any level of hype. I’m definitely looking forward to play it when it releases, but I could easily see this game being a 8-12 hour meh experience with a crappy story. I’m skeptical, but excited.

Yooka-Laylee

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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, WiiU

I am one zillion percent biased here. 3D Platforming is my all time favorite game genre and I’m so incredibly disappointed that it’s basically vanished from the gaming world. I’m praying that this game doesn’t flop because I’ve been excited for it since I backed it on Kickstarter a couple years ago. I think Yooka-Laylee has some real potential to bring the entire genre back in combination with the next game on this list.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

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Platforms: PS4

CRASH BANDICOOT. Talk about an absolute classic. Playstation teased us with Crash for a couple years before announcing at E3 last year that the entire trilogy would be remastered and we got our first look at it during PSX earlier this month. It’s not even just a straight HD remaster, they rebuilt the game from the ground up and it looks fantastic. This game better be outstanding and do my childhood justice because it might be my last hope at similar treatment for my all time favorite game series, the original Spyro the Dragon trilogy.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

This is definitely my most anticipated game of the year. Even with the horrifically terrible ending, the Mass Effect trilogy was one of the best story experiences I’ve ever had in gaming. I played the hell out of it and I’m excited to start up a series replay soon leading up to Andromeda. I’m definitely cautious going into it but I’m very curious to see what Bioware has cooked up for us this time.

Red Dead Redemption 2

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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

The only reason Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t my most anticipated game of the year is because I’m not convinced it’ll even release this year. I know it’s planned for the end of 2017 but I’ll believe it when I see it. This game just reeks of Rockstar coming in with a delay announcement towards the end of spring/beginning of summer. Either way, I’m damn excited for any piece of information I can get about it right now.

Scalebound (Cancelled as of 1/9/17)

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Platforms: Xbox One, PC

Scalebound is definitely my boom or bust game of the year. I really like the concept and I’m a big fan of dragons, so it immediately caught my attention when it was announced. But I can also see some real potential problems with it when it comes to gameplay, performance and entertainment value. This is definitely the game I’m most skeptical of going into the year but I’ll be keeping my eye on it. Maybe I’ll be surprised.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The only reason this game is somewhat anticipated for me is because South Park: The Stick of Truth was actually a decent game. I like South Park and the game was surprisingly good, albeit incredibly short. Definitely curious to see how it goes.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Platforms: Nintendo Switch, WiiU

Now we get to the star of the show. I’d be willing to bet that this is the game most people are looking forward to this year and for obvious reasons. It’s The Legend of Zelda, it’s open world and it looks really good from what we’ve seen so far. This is likely going to be the Switch’s big launch title and based off Nintendo’s history of wonderful preparation for hardware sales, I’m sure it won’t be difficult to find at all. Good thing it’ll be on the WiiU too.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The only reason this game is on my list is because I want to see if EA can correct all the mistakes from the series’ latest installment. It’s well documented at this point that EA butchered Star Wars Battlefront and pretty much killed what was a great series. I want to see how they handle the series moving forward. Are we getting Clone Wars content? Will there be a complete single player campaign? Will there be an offline mode? Will the original game’s content be included? I was so excited when EA brought the series back but they sure as hell failed to deliver on the previous title. As great as the visuals and sound were, it was nowhere near a finished game and even buying it at half off felt dirty. And you can’t even play it anymore outside of a free weekend unless you bought the DLC, which makes up half the game now.

 

As with any other year, there’s a lot of upcoming titles I’m looking forward to hearing some more about this year. CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077, I still don’t know what the hell Kojima’s Death Stranding even is, the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII remake, Pokemon’s potential return to a main console, the upcoming third entry to the rebooted Tomb Raider series and so much more. And it doesn’t always get much of the spotlight, but every year I get excited for what new and unexpected surprises we’ll get in the form of indie games. There’s always a couple small scale games that’ll knock your socks off that you never saw coming, and they’re the best.

Between consoles, games due for release, games close to release, games in development and new games that we don’t even know about yet or know very little; there’s a lot to look forward to in gaming this year. 2017 should be another great year for gaming and there’s a nice blend of new IPs, new series installments, sequels and classic remasters coming up. Hopefully this gave you some idea of titles coming up that you either didn’t totally know about or served as a reminder for titles you may have forgotten about. On to the new year.

 

@Sixchr

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