We’re about to enter into the New Year and all the games that await us in 2017. We’re filling with hope and excitement for what these games can be. Some are sequels to franchises we already adore, some are brand new titles we’ve never seen before. Without any doubt, these are our Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2017.
10. Halo Wars 2
The original Halo Wars was a surprisingly functional console RTS, and did a great job in expanding the lore of the Halo universe. It wasn’t without its faults, but it at least proved that an RTS could still work on a gamepad. With Ensemble Studios handing the reigns over to Creative Assembly, Halo Wars 2 looks to not only improve the original’s formula, but also introduce some interesting new modes that stand to subvert the RTS genre itself. The PC counterpart will still most likely be the definitive way to play, as a mouse and keyboard will probably always provide more precision and functionality than a gamepad, but it’s going to be nice to fill the genre hole within the Xbox One library when Halo Wars 2 drops on February 21st, 2017.
9. Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves is a game with a lot riding on it. Developed by Rare (of Donkey Kong and Banjo-Kazooie fame), Thieves represents what might just be a return to form for the studio after their rocky acquisition by Microsoft. Pirates and open-world multiplayer go hand-in-hand, and there’s a lot of precedent in older games for fun gameplay opportunities. We’ve seen ship battles before in single player experiences like Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, but being able to band together your own motley crews to sail the ocean blue (along with the potential to create your own storylines and adventures) is just way too tempting. You and your friends might be able to make Pirates of the Caribbean-length storylines based on nothing but your own imaginations, becoming as feared as Blackbeard and Captain Kidd in a high seas bloodbath. Time will tell how it works out-but please, please Rare, make it work out well.
So, I don’t know about you, but Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie are near the very top of my favorite games of all time. In the age of oh-so-many platformers (Super Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, the list goes on), the unlikely bear-bird duo stood out as some of the best the genre could offer. With the shooter genre having taken the throne as the premiere genre in gaming today, the platformer has been mostly relegated to the indie scene in the form of arthouse 2D side-scrollers (Rayman, Inside, Outland), hence why it’s so exciting to see the key creative talent behind the Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country series deliver a brand new 3D platformer in Yooka-Laylee. The early impressions have been overall positive, and it’s great to see a Kickstarter not only gain so much support, but also shape up so nicely. Here’s to hoping the lizard-bat duo can live up to their anthropomorphic forefathers.
7. Tales of Berseria
Tales of Berseria (the latest entry in the ever-popular Tales franchise) is already out in Japan, but those of us in the West have been waiting with bated breath for the game’s English release, and there’s good reason why. Berseria brings the series its first solo female protagonist, a dark story of loss and revenge, some of the most beautiful graphics the franchise has ever had, a return to classic Tales world maps and gameplay styles, and a sense of real adventure with its ocean-centric setting. Some people might be miffed at the changes from the previous title (Zestiria), and I can understand why if you’re a fan of open world settings and their particular style of combat. Don’t fret too much over the changes, though-the game serves as a distant prequel to Zestiria (sort of like Phantasia and Symphonia did) so there’s still plenty of things for Zestiria fans to enjoy story-wise. Plus, there’s pirates. Pirates make everything cooler.
With Dark Souls 3 being one the best games of 2016, it’s no wonder that gamers everywhere would be craving that fix again. Ni-Oh looks set to offer the brutal, unforgiving and visceral nature of the Souls games, but with enough pedigree of its own to offer a brand new experience.
If the previous beta has been anything to go buy, Ni-Oh looks set to be a beautiful game. The fluent combat system and unique setting provide gamers with something refreshing and a needed addition of variation to the AAA industry. Hopefully Ni-Oh can retain the brilliance of what has been seen so far without compromising the hauntingly beautiful aesthetics and gameplay its set to deliver.