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New Releases: Anticipating 2016’s New Releases

/ Dec 27th, 2015 No Comments

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

We’ve reached the end of 2015 (almost), and there is nary a new release in sight. Rather than take a break, we’ll look into the new releases of the future! 2016 hasn’t even started and it’s already had more delays than anyone would like.

What was shaping up to be one hell of an early year of releases got weaker with two major releases going from early 2016 to mid 2016, and possibly even further. Still there are enough releases on the books to make a solid 2016 anticipation list.

The Witness – PS4, PC – January 26

It’s been a while since Jonathan Blow released Braid and captured the gaming world’s attention. In the time between Braid’s release and now, he and his team at Thekla have been hard at work on The Witness. The Witness is a first-person puzzle game set on a mysterious island. It is up to the player and their intelligence to solve the island’s puzzles and mysteries.

The Witness

The Witness.

The trailers released so far do a good job of hinting at how players will solve puzzles and the vibe of the game. It looks gorgeous with the island being full of color and wondrous sights. Jonathan Blow has been making regular blog posts about the game’s development and it is fascinating stuff; certainly worth checking out if you’re intrigued by the game. Going on a developer’s past is not always the smartest, but betting on Jonathan Blow to deliver something worth your time and intellect is a safe bet.

Street Fighter V – PS4, PC – February 16

Fighting games used to dominate gaming during the 16-bit era, but as games have advanced, styles and tastes have change, they have become niche. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a healthy fighting game scene, but it is largely the hardcore fans. Street Fighter has always been a mainstay of the fighting genre maintaining a healthy position among gaming even as interests in the genre have waxed and waned. Street Fighter IV and its many iterations were wildly popular last generation.

Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V.

Street Fighter V looks like one hell of a fighting game with a solid roster in place with a mix of new characters, wild cards, and series heavy weights. The post-launch characters will round out the roster nicely. Unlike Street Fighter IV, SFV doesn’t have wild DLC plans with multiple versions on the horizon (or doesn’t look that way). All of the cosmetic and additional fighters can be unlocked by playing the game and earning in-game currency called “Fight Money” (although players can purchase any unlockable content with real money too). While the co-development deal and console exclusivity was a coup for Sony and PlayStation 4, fighting game fans are the real winners when Street Fighter V comes out.

Quantum Break – Xbox One – April 5

Xbox One hasn’t been without its share of exclusives with some true gems in Sunset Overdrive and Dead Rising 3. However, none of the system’s exclusives have been nearly as intriguing and tantalizing as Quantum Break. With the talented Remedy Entertainment behind the game’s development, it made even the often confusing live action TV elements easy to swallow. The game has gone through massive changes and delays before becoming what we now know the game to be with Sean Ashmore helming the game as Jack Joyce.

Quantum Break

Quantum Break.

The gameplay footage Remedy has shown give a good idea of the ways Jack Joyce can manipulate time to create interesting action opportunities. Figuring out how to best utilize Joyce’s time warping abilities seems like a puzzle, especially with enemies that have similar powers. The TV show acts as a bridge between the different segments of the game with the game focusing on the heroes and the show focusing on the villains. Every choice the player makes at the end of a game segment will affect how the TV show plays out. Thus the events of the TV show will inform how players play the game, and the game influences the show. Whether the ambitious FMV gambit of Quantum Break pays off will have to wait until April.

Star Fox Zero – Wii U – April 22

Fox McCloud and his squad are beloved by Nintendo fans, but he hasn’t gotten the proper treatment since Star Fox 64. That is changing with Star Fox Zero with some much needed innovation and a guiding hand from Miyamoto. What made the SNES and 64 Star Fox games popular was the arcade space combat, and that returns in Star Fox Zero with better handling and controls thanks to a unique control scheme utilizing the Wii U GamePad as a cockpit view to assist with aiming.

StarFox Zero

Star Fox Zero.

The different vehicles available to the Star Fox crew across multiple games have been fun diversions, but never had the same visceral feel and fun of the Arwing. Star Fox Zero aims to fix that by expanding out the number of alternative vehicles and adding more versatility when using these different vehicles. Now during missions the Arwing can transform into the Walker, which allows for platform walking and the Landmaster can transform into the Gravmaster to allow for additional aerial maneuvers, respectively. New to series is the Gyrowing, which is a drone that can send out a small robot to hack computers and enter small spaces. Star Fox Zero may have been delayed, but it will be well worth the wait for Wii U owners.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – PS4 – April 26

Probably the most egregious offender of heavy delays is Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Just this week, Naughty Dog announced another delay moving the game’s release date to April 26. Lucky for everyone, the delays seem worth the wait because everything Naughty Dog has shown off so far of the game has been incredible.

From the beautiful action gameplay from Sony Experience 2014 demo to the wild chase in the E3 2015 demo, this seems like the most ambitious Uncharted yet. Adding to the ambitious is the revelation that the game will feature branching dialogue options for players to choose from, which is a first for the series. Only time will tell if the true finale to Nathan Drake’s story will be worth our anticipation and patience, but it is shaping up to look that way.

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Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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