Every year there’s a new lineup of games worth being excited about. Some of these games will fly out of the gates and fulfill or even surpass our wildest expectations. Unfortunately it’s just as certain that a select few games will release and immediately flop like a sumo wrestler diving belly first into a pool a jello (you’re welcome for the visual). It’s not too much 0f a bother if it’s a game of no interest, but each gamer has games they pray don’t flop. We decided to kick off 2016 with the Updownright staff’s top games we hope don’t flop this year. Two games from each member for a total of six on our list starting……NOW!
Tom Clancy’s The Division
All aboard the hype train! Tom Clancy’s The Division is just a few months away from release, and trailers and gameplay are coming out of the woodwork everywhere. Closed alpha is currently underway and the beta launches at the end of January.
Amidst complains about the graphical downgrade of the game after every new tease by Ubisoft, my main concern is whether or not we’re looking at another Destiny here (pre Taken King mind you). The Division is basically Destiny in modern times and with more RPG-like mechanics, however the main hooks are there, three classes (if you can call them that) and most importantly – loot! I just hope that Ubisoft knows what they’re doing and don’t release a broken excuse for a game that the original Destiny was…
Mass Effect: Andromeda
The newest addition to the Mass Effect series is set to release at the end of the year, and even though all the information we have so far are limited press releases, supposed leaks, some concept art, and a few teaser trailers, I feel the hype flowing through me.
The last Mass Effect was called a ‘pretty much a shooter’ by fans, who also went out of their way to criticize the ending and for a while it seemed that Mass Effect was a no-go for BioWare, until we got that sweet announcements. At this point I’m absolutely sure we’ll be shown something at E3 this year, it’s about five months away so we can speculate freely, but my main wish for ME:Andromeda is to not be super buggy on release. Some fan service would be nice too, so here’s hoping it’s a lot different than Fallout 4 of Mass Effect 3…
No Man’s Sky
Ever since it’s announcement, I’ve tried to be only cautiously excited about No Man’s Sky. However, it seems that I have failed in my effort to contain my anticipation and now I’m expecting No Man’s Sky to be a helluva game. The rumour that it could even be a launch PlayStation VR game has me on the edge of my seat in anticipation. That said, I am scared. Scared for myself as well as the gamers around the world who are as hopeful as I am that No Man’s Sky could be a revolutionary game if it lives up to the ridiculous expectations of its fans. The success or failure of No Man’s Sky depends solely on the ability to convey a sense of adventure for dozens or hundreds of hours without feeling empty or repetitive. This will be quite a feat in a procedurally generated universe in which one doesn’t directly interact with other players and has no narrative or promise of an “ending” to drive the player onward. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m starting to think it’s 50/50 that No Man’s Sky will either be game of the year or just a neat idea that gets boring after a few hours.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
To be honest with you, I haven’t followed the development of the second installment in EA’s Mirror’s Edge series too closely. This is due in part to the fact that I’m terrified that if DICE doesn’t get it right this time, there’s little hope for a proper parkour focused action game. Sure, others have tried here and there, but the original Mirror’s Edge is THE parkour game. No other game has ever seriously entered the conversation of best parkour in a game. If you’ve played the first game, you’ll likely remember the incredible moments of jumping between buildings, slamming through doors and chasing down enemies without stopping to catch a breath. Unfortunately sometimes the player was asked to do something other than run, jump, or slide and the game became frustrating and boring. I’m terrified that EA hasn’t learned from their own mistakes and that Mirror’s Edge Catalyst will suffer from similar problems. I’m also a bit paranoid that a full length game that only contains what made the original game good might feel too repetitive. The potential of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is remarkable, and has my hopes incredibly high. Unfortunately that might just mean it could hurt more if they screw it up.
The Walking Dead: Michonne
It seems Telltale is really scraping the bucket with their games now. FIrst there was The Wolf Among Us, a very good attempt at failing to immerse me in a world of fairy tales, then there was the abomination that was Game of Thrones that Telltale decided to cash in on, then the large mistake that was Minecraft Story Mode (which Telltale cashed in on) and the moderately enjoyable Tales from the Borderlands. Obviously seeing as the ideas department at Telltale closed down some time ago it only seems fitting that they create a game about The Walking Dead and come around full circle. Which is fine, I loved The Walking Dead games and hopefully they can continue the streak of me enjoying their games alive with this one, which I have high hopes for even though I’ve never seen the TV Show, which will inevitably hinder my understanding of what the bloody hell is going on. I’m going to be cautious about this one though, the way Telltale is going I’m not getting my hopes up too much.
Why make another Banjo Kazooie game when there’s a lot more musical instruments out there? Oh yeah, this game looks fantastic, especially considering it was made by the large majority of people who were behind the Banjo Kazooie games. I have such high hopes for this game and I’ll hopefully have a review of the game as soon as it comes out. There’s something that’s so refreshing to see another platforming game come out after what feels like we’ve been drowning in FPS after RPG after Indie Game for year after year now. The game even has an N64 slider option which allows you to play in the graphical style of the N64, a nice touch there.
I’m surprised that Randy and Will didn’t have this on their lists, but to be fair, I was going to put Mass Effect Andromeda and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst on my list, but for the sake of being original, here we are. I’m honestly hoping that with the release of this game a reboot and revitalisation of the entire platforming genre comes about, because if I’m honest, it’s not what it used to be. It’s got Grant Kirkhope making the music, so if the game is as good as Alone in the Dark then at least we’ll have some fairly nice tunes to jam out to as our faith in the old Rareware crew is ruined once more.