Now that 2016’s tumultuous time has come to an end, PCU is back to give you our look at what to expect in gaming, and what we are most looking forward to in 2017. The gaming roster is looking pretty good across the board, as the games slated for release in the coming year range from the staunchly independent (Cuphead), to sequels (South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Mass Effect: Andromeda), to brand new AAA titles (Horizon Zero Dawn), and we can’t wait to sink our teeth into several of these. 2017 is looking quite promising for gaming.
Therefore, without further ado, let’s jump into looking at the games that we here at PCU are most frothing at the mouth to play.
Over the past year, I’ve talked at length about how much I want to get my hands on Horizon Zero Dawn and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Therefore, I’m not going to talk about those here. The first one I do want to talk about, however, is Call of Cthulu: The Official Video Game.
I’ve been a fan of H.P. Lovecraft for ages, so ever since I saw this game announced at E3, I have been chomping at the bit for it. We even brought you a bit of information about it back in May, when we here at PCU got wind of it. From Focus Home Interactive and Cyanide Studios, this game looks spooky as hell, and has a feel that I think will do the Cthulu mythos justice. The dark setting, the eerie backgrounds, and even the almost cel-shaded look to the characters all blend together to pull this one on to my list. The thing that most concerns me, however, is that there is no solid release date for it. It’s slated for release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2017, but Neither Focus Home Interactive nor Cyanide Studios have commented on an actual date for when we gamers can get our hands (and minds) on this title.
We’ve written a few pieces on this game over the past few months, and I have to say that I am really looking forward to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
Ninja Theory introduced Hellblade in 2014 at Sony’s Gamescon conference with a spectacular trailer, to a public interested in the concept of visually exploring Senua’s mental illness. Three years later and it seems we may be seeing Senua’s story on a PS4 or PC.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is about a woman fighting herself as much as her environment after an attack by Viking invaders. The game’s development has been closely watched & advised on by University of Cambridge psychiatrist Paul Fletcher. During this process, Dr. Fletcher has been able to see how games and the gaming medium can help teach the public about mental illnesses and people who are subjects of mental illness.
I personally want to see this game come out because, while not having a similar disorder to Senua, I deal with my own chronic depression. I have dealt with this since I was young (second or third grade), and while other mental health issues have been covered extensively in film and television, some disorders haven’t been able to be presented properly. Through Senua’s experiences, Ninja Theory is trying to give us a good idea of what it’s like to deal with hallucinations. Its not a perfect representation of how visual hallucinations work, but I do believe that it’ll be an enjoyable ride and am looking forward to it.
Of the upcoming heavy hitters, the latest God of War sequel piques my interest the most; probably because I’ve been a fan of the series ever since its protagonist first slashed his way on to consoles in the early 2000s. Maybe it was the tragic, Greek mythology heavy story-line and the doomed anti-hero at its center, or maybe I just liked the option of obliterating mortals and gods alike with chain-blades. Either way, I’ve been missing Kratos in the intervening years, so the announcement of his return at the most recent E3 was a welcome surprise. As expected, the game is visually incredible, this time trading various battle decimated Greek locales for dense, snowy Norwegian forests and outfitting its lead with a more grizzled and wizened look. The camera angle is pleasantly cozier, (now third-person, over the shoulder) for an added layer of intimacy, and while the chain blades are long gone, initial previews of the world-weary god ripping through yet another mythic monster feature combat mechanics nostalgic enough so as not to be alienating in their newness. Most interesting of all is the revamped demeanor of the once steely hero. While previous entries spent a great deal of their focus on the man’s transformation into a symbol of rage and vengeance, this entry strives to humanize him, reigning in his famously violent temperament as he navigates renewed fatherhood. Family always meant something to Kratos, but it’s a rare treat to seem him actually living within (rather than mourning) one. With the trailer only offering a few scant minutes of gameplay, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where things are headed this time around, but it was more than enough to have me chomping at the bit for the fall.
Yes, so I am the one that is going to talk about Horizon Zero Dawn. There are so many reasons to be excited about this game. The biggest is simply the lack of good, new IPs that have come out so far this generation. HZD looks like it can break that mold by giving us a game with an idea that few have ever seen, and a new protagonist that we haven’t seen either. Sony and Guerilla Games have released precious few details, and that makes this risky game so much more exciting. This may be the killer title that will move many PS4 Pros, as this is one game that is promising to push the limits of 4K gaming and HDR as well. February 28th can’t get here fast enough.
The one game that I’m looking out for is Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. I’m a big fan of Tom Clancy as a writer, and have owned copies of every game to come down the pike with his stamp on it, except for Rainbow Six Siege. Ghost Recon Wildlands is an Ubisoft game, so I can’t help but feel a bit of trepidation on whether or not it will deliver on what we’ve been promised (remember the let-down that was The Division?). I like the open world and non-linear decision tree that this game is based on, and can’t wait to jump into it.
Even with my limited game time, 2017 holds some promise to me thanks to one genre: Horror games. It’s been a while since we had anything good on PC (while console got some juicy choices), but things may be turning around. Although there’s plenty of potential hits, I’ll say my most anticipated title is Friday the 13th, from new & independent publisher Gun Media.
Friday the 13th offers a new twist on the survival horror game, bringing multiple players together to reenact one of the most iconic horror franchises. Although I’m sure most players are chomping at the bit to play as Jason, even the joy of discovering how (and if) to survive is still intriguing. Here’s hoping the game lives up to the hype, and that it’s not riddled with bugs, poor mechanics, or horrible graphics.
There they are, dear readers. The games we’re most looking forward to playing in 2017. We’ll definitely revisit these as they are released, as well as give you our thoughts on what we play throughout the year. What are your opinions on these upcoming releases? Did we hit on the ones you really want to get your hands on, or did we miss any? Let us know in the comments down below!