1.) No Man’s Sky
When I first saw the teaser trailer for this game back in December of 2013, I remember thinking 2 things: what is the point to this game, and when do I get to play it? In the nearly 3 years that has passed since that time, although I still remain a little shaky on what the main purpose of the game is, the light at the end of the tunnel on when we get to play it is just around the corner: August 9th, 2016. Regardless of my hesitation on whether or not it will provide a gameplay loop worthy of hundreds of hours spent exploring the universe, I cannot shake the feeling that this will be the type of game that you have to experience for yourself in order to understand. I hope it can live up to the expectation that has been built over the years, and luckily we won’t have to wait long to find out.
2.) Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Although Deus Ex: Human Revolution did not exactly set the world on fire when it first debuted on the previous console cycle in 2011, it was still a game that I thoroughly enjoyed playing, despite its shortcomings. While I don’t expect this iteration to break the mold and set the series on fire (although that’d be awesome), from the gameplay that I have seen thus far, the level of polish and Eidos Montreal’s commitment to the lore of the universe has made me incredibly excited to continue Adam Jensen’s story. This is going to be one of those games that most will end up buying during a flash sale at the end of the year due to the busy fall lineup, and end up loving. For me, I am looking forward to seeing how the studio reacted to fan feedback, and if they doubled down on what made the first so special when it releases on August 23rd, 2016.
3.) Final Fantasy XV
After nearly a decade of development hell, title changes, and entire staff alterations, Final Fantasy XV is finally set to release on Sept. 30th, 2016. Of all the games that are hitting shelves this season, this is far and away my most anticipated. Stunning Titan battles, revised battle system, and a story that promises to be the most captivating since Final Fantasy XI, please take my money. Although it has already proved to be a very different approach to the series from the classic turn based combat system that made the franchise a household name, Game Director Tetsuya Nomura understands the faults in the recent titles and what is on the line with the launch of the forthcoming title. At this point, I highly doubt that no matter how good this game is, it will not be able to justify a 10 year dev cycle, however I cannot wait to experience what they bring to the table.
4.) Titanfall 2
The day that I heard Titanfall was an Xbox One exclusive and that an open beta was being held, I immediately went to my local GameStop to pick one up. I knew that Vince Zampella and Jason West, minds behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, founded Respawn Entertainment, and this was their first attempt at a blank slate. From the reveal trailer at E3 2013, I knew that this was going to give shooters the shot of adrenaline that they needed. I was thoroughly pleased with my purchase and time spent with the game, however I believe due to the lack of single player content and story, it caused the community to move on quickly. Titanfall 2 is already looking like it will address the issues that players had concern over in the predecessor, and giving us more frantic twitch shooting action that we loved so much in the first. With a very busy season for the FPS genre, it is going to be interesting to see if Respawn can carve themselves out their own piece of the market. Regardless, we are going to find out when it hits shelves on Oct. 28th, 2016.
5.) Watchdogs 2
After a somewhat shaky launch of the original Watchdogs due to visual expectations set by the reveal trailer, Ubisoft is hoping to knock Watchdogs 2 out of the park. With the gameplay reveal during the conference at E32016, it is vastly apparent that they are doubling down on the ‘Mr. Robot’ themed world and giving us more of what made the first memorable. During my play through of the original, despite its flaws, I enjoyed the open world and the constant feeling that I could plug into and manipulate anything. Luckily, from what I have seen of the sequel, I have a lot to look forward to. One thing is certain, it is going to be interesting to see how it is recieved by the community, and if this offers the franchise the legs that it is looking for to become the next tent pole in the deep Ubisoft lineup. We will have to wait until November 15th, 2016 to find out.