Here are just a few of the video games that we are looking forward to playing in 2016! If you like listening more than reading, listen to our breakdown of this list on this episode of Nico Says Things!
10: Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Lego video game franchise includes some great properties, and one of the most popular being Star Wars. If you've played a Lego video game in the past decade, you already know what to expect: puzzles, collectibles, and a more humorous take of what you already love. With Star Wars Episode VIII not coming until late 2017, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story not releasing until December 2016, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens will have to hold us over once it releases on June 28, 2016.
9: Mighty No. 9
Other than it being appropriately placed on our list, Mighty No. 9 has got us excited for another reason. Mighty No. 9, a game that was funded through Kickstarter, has been called the spiritual successor to the classic video game series, Mega Man. We haven't got a proper Mega Man release in quite some time, so needless to say we are exited to see how the formula has evolved over the years, and get our hands on some responsive, challenging, and fun gameplay. The game has been marred by delays, and we unfortunately don't have a lock on a release date. So while we are anticipating the game that was initially promised to be released in April 2015, we aren't necessarily holding our breath anymore.
8: The Legend of Zelda Wii U
Outside of Mario, there might not be a more iconic Nintendo character as Link. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has been deemed one of the most innovative gaming achievements of our time, and is considered by many, one of the greatest games ever created. We have had a few more Zelda games since, but none of them has seemed to innovate and change the gaming landscape quite how Ocarina of Time did on the Nintendo 64. The Legend of Zelda Wii U, is expected to continue the Zelda legacy, while also moving into a more open world, a la western developed action games and RPGs. This game would be higher on our list, but with it's progress in production in the shadows, and the looming announcement of Nintendo's next console, this version has taken the back seat to what could possibly come with new hardware.
7: Final Fantasy XV
While Massive Multiplayer Online Games, or MMOs, have become extremely popular; the Final Fantasy series has always been known for it's ambitious, if not convoluted, storytelling and classic Japanese Roleplaying Game elements. Final Fantasy XIV, and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, were solid MMOs, but left a lot of fans wanting. Final Fantasy XV appears to be a return to the heart-and-soul of the long running series, while also implementing new gameplay elements, including a fight system reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts. There will undoubtably be story moments that will have us scratching our heads, but at least the game appears to star characters who are just as confused as we are. We are not expecting the best Final Fantasy game in the series, but possibly the most accessible one.
6: Mirror's Edge Catalyst
The original Mirror's Edge was released in 2008, and wasn't the biggest commercial success. With that being said, the excellent gameplay mechanics and art style garnered this first-person action game a substantial cult following. That apparently was enough to convince publisher Electronic Arts to fund another title in the series. The major difference between the original title and Catalyst, appears to be Catalyst's focus on story. Gone are the 2D screens and exposition (which we found pretty charming), and in are the fully acted and 3D rendered cutscenes. There was nothing quite like the original game, and here's to hoping that there are more innovations to come when Mirror's Edge Catalyst releases on May 24, 2016.
5: Horizon Zero Dawn
Though technically masterful; Guerrilla Games' Killzone series never really succeeded at becoming a household name like Halo or Call of Duty. That's not to say that the team isn't talented. We can't wait to see this new universe that they have been creating, and slay some robo-dinosaurs. This game has the potential to be higher on this list, but we have only seen about two demos that were extremely similar. We hope that there is more to the game than what we have seen, and that there isn't an untimely delay coming.
4: Quantum Break
Remedy Entertainment could be one of the best Third-Person Action game developers in the business. With games like Max Payne and Alan Wake under their belts, we know that we are getting unique gameplay, intriguing stories, and stunning visuals. The time manipulation action gameplay would have had us onboard alone, but there is also a live action television show tie-in. Oh, and as an added bonus, one of the stars featured in the game and show is Aiden Gillen of The Wire and Game of Thrones. (C'mon you didn't think you'd go through one whole article written by Nico Cuevas without at least one mention of The Wire, did you?)
Quantum Break is set to release on April 6, 2016, exclusively on the Xbox One.
3: No Man's Sky
It's actually happening. No Man's Sky has a release date (June 21, 2016). One of the largest video game universes that has ever been created, is being created by one of the smaller teams out there, that has been growing in size closer to the release, and math. This mathematically generated universe is just waiting to be explored by Playstation 4 and PC owners. While there are more "video gamey" things featured in the title, the expanse and excitement of potential discoveries alone has us salivating.
2: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Delay. Delay. Delay. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was originally scheduled to be released in March, then was delayed to April, and now has settled on a release date of May 10, 2016. Naughty Dog's previous releases have been some of the best video game experiences to be had, and no other studio knows how to optimize the power of Playstation hardware quite like the creators of the Uncharted series and The Last of Us. We can't wait to hop back into the shoes of pulp-action hero, Nathan Drake, for what should be the final time.
1: Persona 5
While Persona is not a household name, the JRPG series has grown a dedicated following, and rightfully so. It also received a resurgence of interest thanks to the re-release of Playstation 2's Persona 4, on the Playstation Vita.
What separates Persona from other JRPG series? There really isn't another game series that blends the familiar with the supernatural quite like Persona. As the hero in the Persona games, you will find yourself not just battling monsters called "shadows," exploring dungeons, and bettering you and your party members' stats. You will also find yourself going to class, spending time with friends, wooing a potential partner, and trying to just be a regular kid.
We don't have a release date for Persona 5 just yet, but once it comes out, we will have hours upon hours of gameplay to sink our teeth into.