A happy new year to our readers! There are some exciting looking games on the 2017 horizon, with plenty making up a schedule that is almost certain to topple last year's releases. With any luck, there will be few disappointments from the main courses set to arrive over the next 12 months, but what is it the Cubed3 team is most looking forward to? Selecting from currently announced and confirmed titles to launch this year, here are our picks.
Nier: AutomataI have no idea what a Nier is. All I know is this game is made by the creators of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. If it's going to be as combo-centric, frantic, and stylish as those games, I can't wait to play it. If it's got a dramatic story, that's reason to replay it in anticipation for DMC5.
Platinum is a consistently solid action game developer. The director, Yoko Taro, is anything but consistent. I'm really interested in how the final product will turn out.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildFor months now, Nintendo has been teasing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as a sort of reinvention of the Zelda franchise. What little we've been shown seems to support this, bringing classic Zelda elements and breathing new life into an otherwise overly formulaic series. Barring further delays, 2017 will finally give us a taste of the new Zelda, and the hype couldn't be higher.
While I'm not a big fan of 3D Zelda games, this entry looks very fresh and exciting.
Yooka-LayleeDecades ago, Nintendo revolutionised the platform genre with Super Mario 64, providing a new benchmark for the industry. With Banjo-Kazooie, Rare managed to not only reach that benchmark very shortly after, but also injected it with huge levels of character and charm. While there have been many solid 3D platform games over the years, few come close to the humour, mayhem and creativity of Rare's N64 platformers. When Rare was sold to Microsoft, and seemingly gave up making those sorts of games, a great loss was felt. Now, a new company, made from ex-Rare staff hopes to bring us back to those days with Yooka-Laylee, giving us the classic Rare feel, but with modern gaming standards. It's hard to imagine a fan of the genre not looking forward to this.
Persona 5Persona 5 remains elusive for yet another few months, but everything shown so far shows so much promise that I'm just about dying to finally get my hands on this game.
NiohThis game is what Dark Souls should have been, with deeper equipment customisation and more attacks, even adding stances and combos to the mix. Hopefully, the enemies won't have insane tracking or clairvoyance as to what attack you'll perform.
A Dark Souls-esque samurai game sounds like an awesome concept. Hopefully it doesn't turn out to be a disappointment.
Supergiant Games always managed to create strangely beautiful settings with extremely unique and interesting gameplay experiences, and Pyre looks like no exception. The concept looks absolutely stunning and like nothing else out there right now, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what they put out.
Shenmue IIIShenmue III would probably be more hyped if so little hadn't been seen of it. Only just recently entering full scale production, it seems clear this long-awaited sequel will slip into 2018—and most fans will probably be completely fine with that if it means getting the continuation of Ryo Hazuki's journey that they have been wishing for. Still being officially labelled as a 2017 title, though, of course Shenmue III has to go on our list, for this is something some people have been waiting over a decade for, and have personally pumped a lot of money into its funding.
Ni no Kuni II will hopefully be out this year. While Level-5 has definitely put some interesting stuff out during the past few years, I'm still longing for their return to a longer JRPG experience.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Danganronpa V3: Killing HarmonyDanganronpa's last saga ended on a slightly off note with the resolution of the Danganronpa 3 anime, so I'm hoping that V3 has a more contained story arc, hopefully one with better resolution than the first or second games.
Mass Effect: AndromedaMass Effect: Andromeda has been said to return to a style more similar to Mass Effect 1, with more weapon and armour personalisation, exploration of many planets, and, presumably, more side-quests than Mass Effect 3 had, with good character development and moral choices. Sign me up.
With its exploration, trading, and combat, Elite: Dangerous offers much for various types of players. I can't wait to see how the story is affected by me, and whether or not the factions are ideologically deep or merely affect the playstyles with superficial benefits or disadvantages.
While I'm not sure how faithful its survival is to that of the classic instalments, or whether or not it'll have evolved, the game does look frightening. Some of the encounters remind me of RE3's Nemesis. It's claustrophobic too, which imbues a sense of helplessness. RE7 is worth checking out.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
2017 is looking to be a year meant for reimagining old series, and Capcom's Resident Evil is no exception. The series has reinvented itself several times, and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard promises another such reboot, returning the franchise to its horror roots and featuring a first-person perspective for the first time in main series' history.
The first Gravity Rush was an ambitious title held back by a number of issues. I have every reason to believe that the sequel is not just going to blow the original away, but it'll also be the best superhero/open world game of the generation.
Gravity Rush 2
A proper new entry in the Crash Bandicoot platformer series has been a long time coming, and although not a completely original entry, this remake of all three PlayStation games comes hotly anticipated. Having been so long since the PS1 days, this should feel like a totally new set of titles, bringing back the tough platforming and item collecting Crash fans loved—and if it proves to play as good as it looks, perhaps a new game won't be out of the question in the near future.
Crash Bandicoot: The N-Sane Trilogy
Sonic ManiaNot since the 16-bit days has a new Sonic the Hedgehog game looked this promising.
Following the runaway success of Life is Strange, Dontnod Entertainment has a bright future ahead of it. Rather than hastily slap together a sequel, the studio is focusing on Vampyr, which looks like it couldn't be further from their earlier work in terms of both theme and gameplay. Time will tell if they can follow the success they found with Life is Strange, but at the very least, we can hope for a phenomenal storytelling experience.
Somewhat surprisingly, the post-post-apocalypse scenario hasn't been touched on much in the gaming industry. Guerilla Games' Horizon: Zero Dawn is easily the most high-profile title in the genre of late, besides being one of the studio's only ventures outside of the Killzone series, and just might be one of the biggest games of early 2017.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
NetherRealm will always be one of the biggest names in fighting games, and in 2017 will follow up on the highly successful Injustice: Gods Among Us with Injustice 2. Featuring a continued storyline and new and returning characters from the DC universe, it is sure to be a hard-hitting 2017 title.
Indie developer Red Barrels had a hit on its hands with Outlast. The game's sequel has been a good while coming, but the footage so far, as well as the interesting decision to move the game from a dank asylum to an open desert, could just make for one of 2017's best horror titles.
Which games are you most looking forward to picking up in 2017? Share your thoughts below.