A new year will always bring new resolutions, but for the gaming community a new year will always bring the same thing: high anticipation for the upcoming year’s video games. It is no different here at First Appearance, so let us regale you with the games that have us on pins and needles, secretly wishing these games were already out and in our systems. This list is for games we know are coming out this year, but stay tuned as we will be providing a top ten list for our list of games we wish/hope will arrive 2017.
Revealed last year at E3, Arkane Studios showed off a unique and frankly, very trippy trailer for this upcoming first person shooter. You play as Morgan Yu, a member aboard the space station Talos I, attempting to piece your life back together through clues you have left for yourself. All the while, you are trying to battle and contain the impending evil that seems to be slowly taking over the station and yourself. Why are we excited for Prey? First, we really like Arkane Studios and what they have brought to the table in the past, most notably, the Dishonored series. As well, working with publisher Bethesda is a major tip of the hat in their direction just due to the fact that Bethesda is a studio that takes pride in its games and they are truly devoted to the gaming community. Their decision to take on this project should make any fan of this pairing excited and ready to board the derelict station. Our second reason for staying hyped is we still do not know a lot about the game. While that seems backwards for most of us gamers, not knowing everything is part of the fun. Too many video games/movies are releasing trailers or information that essentially gives away so much that we do not necessarily need to play or see the product (I’m talking to you Batman v Superman!!!) If Arkane continues to keep the lid on this project and slowly release tid-bits of info here and there, people will want to see what the deal is with this game, us included!
9. Red Dead Redemption 2
Another game that makes us wish for an actual release date and praying that release date were already here is RDR 2. The teaser trailer that was given a few months ago had all of us here perk up like meerkats ready for dinner. While not a lot of detail has been given, just seeing the blood-red background of the closing day and seven figures walking from the sunset to the camera was all we needed. Our longing to strap on our six-shooters and take the law back into our own hands is something we have missed and Rockstar obviously sensed that. Why are we excited for RDR 2? Well, aside from the fact that in order to pass the time from the first Red Dead to the second, Mark is continually walking around and shooting us with his twin Nerf six-shooters and yelling, “Yeeha!” RDR gave us a world that was beautiful and yet, simplistic. It gave us a representation of life back in the wild west and we loved it. Saddling up, taking a direction that was not quest based, and just immersing ourselves in the game was perfection on a level we had not experienced in a long time, especially with that soundtrack! If Rocksteady can replicate and even add more to it, then we will be ready to mount up and ride fast come fall 2017.
8. Persona 5
Oh, April 4th, why are you not here!?!?! Famed publisher Atlus is finally (we hope, we are not sure we can deal with another delay) allowing the rest of the western world to return to school with a rag-tag group to once again dispel the world of all its evil…and have some relationships while we do it. Hailed as one of the best JRPG’s on PSP, Persona 4 Golden won a ton of accolades and really pulled the gamer into this unique, quirky, and totally engaging world; western gamers are hoping for a repeat performance in April. Why are we excited for Persona 5? First, the Persona series seems to be one of the last titles that is sticking with the turn-based gaming. While many of us are adapting to RPG’s taking a more action approach, Persona is continuing to stick to its roots and allow games to take their time and enjoy their decision making. It probably does not sound like a big deal to a lot of people, but when you play Persona, there is a lot going on within the battle, and sometimes it can be sensory overload. Secondly, Persona does a really great job of making gamers care for the people they interact with in terms of the relationship meter. It is made even better by trying to juggle which relationships you wish to progress further as you delve deeper into the game. Again, there are not too many RPG’s these days in which we feel we can connect with on an intimate level like our school chums, and so we are ready to once again to make our decisions and our friendships matter!
7. Mass Effect Andromeda
Bioware is typically a name synonymous with great games from Dragon Age to Baldur’s Gate to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. It is hard though to think of a series from Bioware that has more name recognition at this point than Mass Effect. The sci-fi action RPG took us along on a fantastic journey with Commander Shepard and his crew of interstellar compatriots to vanquish the Repears waiting to harvest all of human life. Many of us here at First Appearance believe and place ME 2 within their personal top ten games of all time due to the combat, music, action, choices, direction, and improvements from the first game. Why are we excited for Mass Effect Andromeda? Well, we ARE excited and probably would have this higher on our list, but the problem that has us biting our nails is…well, Mass Effect 3. ME 2 is so close to absolute perfection and playing through ME 3 really made us feel like we took a nose dive off of cloud nine. However, from what we have seen with gameplay and trailers, Andromeda seems to be the rebirth we have been desperately looking for because at the heart of it, Bioware created a really unique and complex universe in which gamers cared about these characters. It is time we go back and see what the outcome of the events from Shepard’s saga has had upon this universe. As well, we get to drive the Mako once again…yeah, we missed it. Hurry up, March 23rd!
6. South Park: The Fractured but Whole
You have to Matt Stone and Trey Parker props, 20 years of South Park is quite an accomplishment and to add to that, their first game, The Stick of Truth is a favorite of ours. The thing we loved was the humor and that it felt like we were playing an episode of the show. Despite the fact that combat system was very lack-luster, it was the story and the jokes that kept us playing through with all of our favorite miscreants. Why are we excited for Fractured but Whole? While Stick of Truth took us through the fantasy realm, Fractured is utilizing the superhero genre to wet our appetites and there are a lot of people out there who want to create their own South Park superhero and once again experience another immersive episode of this small town. As well, we want to see how Stone and Parker up the ante with their over the top logic and humor that we have been fans of since day one. I still have uncontrollable fits of laughter when I think about how I earned the uncomfortable “Perverted” trophy and my mother walked in wondering what the hell I was playing and after hearing about three seconds worth, quickly slamming my door, and screaming to my father that I was, “one f*&ked up kid!” Totally worth it.
Being offered for Xbox One and PC is the unique indie game from Studio MDHR set and designed after the classic 1930’s cartoons, comes Cuphead. The story is simplistic, run and gun to pay back a debt to the devil while avoiding any and all traps in this side-scrolling adventure that will be out in the middle of 2017. Why are we excited about Cuphead? First, it’s been a good long while since a side-scrolling adventure has had us pumped. Shovel Knight and Mega Man 9 were our immediate games that came to mind, but Cuphead is proving to be one heck of a contender due to music, art style, and character design. Second, much like South Park, we ARE playing an old cartoon modeled after an amazing time period for animation. The over personified characters, motions of movement from all environments has us rapidly slapping our desks waiting to grab a buddy and live out this adorable but difficult adventure.
4. Super Mario Odyssey
Well, let us be honest with one another, there are so few Mario games that do not live up to the hype, that having Odyssey make our list should not be a surprise. Revealed last week at Nintendo’s Switch presentation, Mario Odyssey was brief but enough to make us consider the immediate pre-order of the Switch. Why are we excited for Super Mario Odyssey? The biggest part is due to his adventure not really taking place in the stereotypical Mushroom Kingdom like his games of old, but rather the environments are more “real world”. The idea is intriguing and we are excited to see what new locations have in store for us like New Donk City. Secondly, while the details are scarce at this moment, Mario’s hat will have more of a specific use in this adventure than just a flashy accessory. If the hat serves a purpose much like in the way Mario’s/Wario’s different hats gave them unique powers from their Gameboy adventures, this will certainly move from an “anticipated game” to a “shut up and take my money” game.
3. Horizon Zero Dawn
Dinosaurs. Well, not just any kind of dinosaurs, but robotic dinosaurs. That in of itself is enough reason to take on this game from developer Guerrilla Games but fortunately there is so much more being offered in this open world adventure that is set 1,000 years into the future where mankind is limited with regards to technology…plus, robotic dinosaurs are running around! Why are we excited for Horizon Zero Dawn? First, dinosaurs. Second, robots. Third, robot dinosaurs. Fourth, the game looks gorgeous and the open world aspect of running around and taking down these monsters in a variety of ways and styles is something we cannot handle but want to immediately. While the story seems interesting, it will keep the gamers glued in, our thought is that taking on a challenge that gamers are not used to will be the focal point of this action RPG coming in late February. ROBOT DINOSAURS!
Here’s the thing, for many of us especially here at First Appearance, Banjo-Kazooie was either a game you cherished or you knew enough about it to respect it as one of the best platformers of the late 90’s from Rare. When Rare broke up its team to go off to different venues, a universal gaming tear was shed and we all wanted a time machine to go back and fix the mistake of those developers separating. Yeah, Rare’s 90 team was that good with games like Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, and Banjo-Kazooie. Flash forward twenty years later and a good portion of those creators and team members are back to give us a fresh new adventure with some new characters! Why are we excited about Yooka-Laylee? Sure, this could be considered Banjo-Kazooie 2.0 but let’s be honest, a really good platformer is what we are all yearning for these days. We are desiring something with humor, easy controls, unique and fun settings, interesting characters, and a story that pushes us to the end. It seems like this game has all the earmarks and for those of us just wanting to relive the glory days and pretend that back in the 90’s we were in our late teens (sorry, Mark) and all we wanted to do was enjoy our games. This looks like the golden nostalgia ticket we have been wanting. Secondly, the open world/level designs and textures look fantastic and any game that looks good enough for us to believe we are there is always a win in our books. Lastly, we are excited because if this game does well, it means there could be a better chance for this pseudo-Rare get together to continue to push out a bevy of winners and we all feel better when we invest in a game that we know is high quality.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Oh, March 3rd, why cannot you come soon enough!?! It is probably going to sound cliché that Zelda makes the top of our list, but if we are going to talk about the king of platformers, no one has done it better than Nintendo with their iconic mascot for over 25 years. This. Game. Is. Breathtaking! Whether you are going after the Switch or dusting off that paper weight of a Wii U (come on, what else are you using it for at this point?) you and everyone else who has an interest in saving princesses and exploring the magical land of Hyrule is dying to have this in their hands right now. Why are we excited for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Fir…honestly, do we need to list the reasons? It is evident that this game is known for quality and excellence and Nintendo seems to be putting everything behind this game, and with good reason! Whether you are interested in the art, textures, music, combat, or any other quality that has continually pulled you in to playing a Zelda game, Breath will have it in spades! Skyward Sword kept us using our Wii for a little while longer but having a new game essentially miss a console generation really hurt our feelings. Yes, I realize that Breath is coming out on the Wii U, but with a poor selling console and library of lackluster games, it pretty much skipped a console. Nintendo obviously saw this and knew it had to be a headliner for their new system which is great because we have been waiting for a really, really long time. Welcome back, Nintendo et al. you are what we are salivating over most this year…so hurry up!
Unsure about our choices for our top ten most anticipated games of 2017? Let us know in the comments section and tell us what we got right and what we are completely missing!