I don’t think I have ever looked forward to a game more than I looked forward to Final Fantasy VII as a kid. I knew literally nothing about the story, the characters, or the combat. I just saw a commercial for the game on TV and was completely taken by it. Sometimes a game can just have a vibe that we’re drawn to, you know? I can think of several games right now that I’m pumped to play even though I know next to nothing about them. Here are my six most anticipated, most mysterious games of 2016. Maybe you share my blind enthusiasm for one or more of these.
The Legend of Zelda
I have to kick things off with The Legend of Zelda. Many of you are still calling this Zelda Wii U , but we’ve been hearing, and it seems reasonable to believe, that the newest, biggest Zelda game will find its way to Nintendo’s “NX” as well. Nintendo has been so secretive about this game; I mean, we know it will feature a huge, open world, and there will be a big emphasis on exploration, but other than that we don’t have much to go on. We’re still watching that teaser trailer, though, and the game looks great. If it’s even on par with Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword , it’ll be a huge hit. I have a feeling that we’re in for the best Zelda game ever, personally.
Persona 4 was released in 2008. Are you kidding me? If I wanted to be dramatic I could say it’s almost been a decade since we got a mainline Persona game, and that’s not okay. Even if you wanted to count Persona 4 Golden , that still came out back in 2012. We’ve been waiting far too long for a proper, next-gen Persona, but it’s almost here. What’s weird is, for how close we are to release, we’ve barely seen any gameplay footage. There is no social link footage, mere seconds of combat footage, and hardly any cutscene footage besides what we’ve seen in the trailers. Honestly, I’m such a fanboy – I don’t need to know a thing about this game. I’m going to buy it, and I’m going to love it. I and all of my personas have our fingers and toes crossed in hope that this game sees US shelves this year. As long as the localization process has already started, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Every gameplay demo and showcase of Horizon has been the exact same. We haven’t seen anything new since the game was revealed during E3. We always see our heroine make her way acrobatically down to a plain inhabited by enormous mechanical dinosaurs. She shoots some grazers to harvest whatever canister is on their backs, and is soon met by a “Thunderjaw,” a huge, mechanical T-Rex of sorts. Cue the explosive arrows; cue the tether-shots and dramatic spear thrust. I’ve seen the same snippet of gameplay across 3 different presentations, and you know what? I’d watch it again. It looks incredible, and I can’t wait to play it. Guerrilla Games is known for Killzone , and this will actually be its first RPG – but even if they screw up everything else, they could probably sell that same demo segment for 5 bucks a pop and make millions.
CD Projekt RED has a pretty insane track record, and we know that development on Cyberpunk 2077 was put on the back-burner while CDPR finished up work on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its additional content. If what we’ve seen out of the The Witcher is in any way an accurate indication of what we can expect from Cyberpunk, then the wait for this game is going to be very hard. All we’ve seen is one short teaser trailer and a possible UI image leak. We do know, however, that the same composer who worked on The Witcher 3 is working on Cyberpunk as well. All we want is a release date, but we’ll likely be waiting for a while. The official blog isn’t updated very often, so I’ll be looking to E3 for a surprise trailer or any additional information about the game.
What little we know about ReCore is enough to merit hype. The game is being developed by Armature Studio and Comcept. Comcept, as you may well know, was started by Keiji Inafune of Mega Man and Mega Man X fame. On Armature’s resume you’ll find Metroid Prime, among other well-known franchises. Between these two I’m shocked that our protagonist doesn’t have an energy rifle for an arm, but what she does have is a sweet grappling hook and a loyal robotic dog. The dog seems to be powered by a core, like all of the enemies, and at the end of the E3 trailer we see that many of the enemy cores have been changed from a hostile red to a friendly blue. How else these cores will be used and what kind of mechanical behemoths we might soon recruit to fight for us remains a mystery, but we’re already so freaking intrigued.
Mass Effect Andromeda
This is a clean slate; a blank canvas for Mass Effect fans. Shepard is no more, and we’ll be getting to know a brand new cast of characters as either a male or female protagonist. Obviously the game takes place in the Andromeda galaxy, and we’ll get to drive around the Mako (think rover meets go-kart) on some wild and hostile planets. That’s all really exciting. Yes, BioWare has had a few notable departures recently, but we don’t have any reason whatsoever to suspect that their leaving has had any negative impact on the game. The only person I’d be worried about is lead writer Chris Schlerf, but he only left very recently, and I assume that his work was already done (though the game appears to have been delayed from 2016 to 2017 – this news is just breaking at the time of writing). I’m actually not a huge fan of the first Mass Effect trilogy, which is why I can’t wait for this brand new, next-gen beginning.