The most anticipated games of 2017 – Gamepressure picks

FeatureJan 5, 2017 at 8:23a PSTby Draug

The most anticipated games of 2017 – Gamepressure picks

2016 has just come to an end. It’s high time we thought about what to play in 2017. Here are the top 30 picks of our editorial team.

This time of the year is the right moment not only for summaries of the past twelve months, but also for future predictions. Which means that it’s time for a list of the most interesting games that are expected to come out in 2017. Our editorial team has picked thirty games we can’t wait to see. Feel free to share the titles you are eager to play in the comments section.

The games have been sorted according to the planned launch (as much as possible, given that some of the titles haven’t got a solid release date as of yet). Closing the list are the games which may or may not appear in 2017.

Resident Evil VII: Biohazard

January 24, 2017

Resident Evil VII: Biohazard in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Capcom
  2. Publisher: Capcom
  3. Genre: survival horror
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne

Right of the bat, the first big title of the new year will have us trembling with fear for the next twelve months – in the good way… probably. Capcom is implementing a rather risky concept for the seventh iteration of their hit survival horror franchise. On the one hand, we have a return to the roots of the series, manifesting in the replacement of the overblown action in favor of heavy atmosphere and genuine fear, as well as limiting the scene to the area of a single mansion (the series’ name becomes valid once again) and reprising some classic solutions, such as save game mechanics.

On the other hand, there’s some controversy regarding the devs’ choice to implement the FPP formula. Yes, it will boost immersion and atmosphere, helping to scare the players, but it was Resident Evil’s tradition to employ TPP camera – if not in static shots then at least hanging above the main character’s shoulder. This way, the seventh installment follows in the footsteps of its non-AAA – but certainly noteworthy – competitors, such as Outlast or Amnesia. Still, is this a bad thing? Despite everything, Capcom’s latest work definitely “feels” like a Resident Evil game (even without hordes of zombies), and the demo seems to be hitting all the right buttons as well, so we can probably rest easy with this one.

  1. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

NiOh

February 9, 2017

NiOh in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Team Ninja
  2. Publisher: Tecmo
  3. Genre: action RPG
  4. Platform: PS4

From Software may be (temporarily) done with the Souls franchise, but the Souls franchise – or its spirit at least – is definitely not done with the players. One glance is enough to tell where Ninja Team had found their inspiration. Nothing wrong with that – there’s still plenty of room for more “impsoulstors” before we grow tired of them, assuming they’re as good as NiOh. There are several reasons to be interested in this game, including the developers’ portfolio (i.e. the iconic Ninja Gaiden series) as well as several rounds of alpha- and beta-tests, through which the game has proven itself to be very promising.

We are expecting some juicy action, pushing both us and our faithful PlayStation 4s to the limits and beyond. And we already know that it’s going to be a rough ride, perhaps even more so than Dark Souls. In addition, NiOh will be tempting us with a wide arsenal of tools of destruction (both weapons and spells), and a intriguing setting, marrying historical, samurai-ruled Japan with elements of myths and legends. Oh, and now that I think about it, the main character does in fact look a bit like that witcher guy, what was his name again? That’s clearly a coincidence, right?

  1. NiOh in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

For Honor

February 14, 2017

For Honor in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  2. Publisher: Ubisoft
  3. Genre: TPP action game
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne

Is there a better time for stabbing, cutting, and hurting thy fellow neighbor with swords and axes than Valentine’s Day? Well played, Ubisoft, well played. Sure, For Honor looks like a TPP clone of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare no matter how you slice it, but the idea to combine multiplayer medieval battles with the scope and budget offered by AAA-projects makes it a whole new, and sweet, deal. Now that I think about it, though, the idea to pit knights against samurai against Vikings is not that hackneyed as it may first seem.

Same as with NiOh, For Honor has already shown some of its colors through tests and presentations – we know there’s a nice game awaiting us. Perhaps the solo campaign will not be as “full” an experience as the developer is trying to convince us, but even without it For Honor remains a game to look forward to. That coming from a person who’s well entrenched in the plot-before-pvp camp. Polished combat system, spectacular moves, and quasi-historical setting are enough to assume that Ubisoft’s latest work may turn out to be a dark horse of the rivalry for the 2017 Game of the Year award.

  1. For Honor in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Horizon: Zero Dawn

February 28, 2017

Horizon: Zero Dawn in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Guerrilla Games
  2. Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
  3. Genre: open-world action adventure TPP game with RPG elements
  4. Platform: PS4

Uncharted 4 has single-handedly stormed and won the 2016 exclusives market for Sony (assuming the term “exclusive” still means something since Microsoft began sharing their games between Xbox and PC) and it seems like the company has a similar idea for this year. This time, their main PlayStation attacker will be the team at Guerilla Games, stepping in for Naughty Dog while taking a break from their long FPS stride (e.g. the Killzone series) to create a game that may buy them a place in gaming history books.

The skeptics will probably say that Horizon: Zero Dawn is just another sandbox, the likes of which are flooding the market lately – something along the line “it’s just Far Cry Primal in TPP with a twist, nothing special”. Except it’s the twist that makes it the best candidate for next PS4s system seller. I mean, how can you not love the vision of a retrograded world of the future, where humans live as cavemen and the seat of the dominant species is taken by mechanical animals? Especially if it’s a vision as beautiful as this one? Of course, the scope of the game provides many opportunities for something to go wrong during the development, but so far things are looking bright for the new project from the Dutch team.

  1. Horizon: Zero Dawn in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Torment: Tides of Numenera

February 28, 2017

Torment: Tides of Numenera in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: inXile Entertainment
  2. Publisher: Techland Publishing
  3. Genre: old-school cRPG
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne

The last day of February will bring us one more vision of humanity’s fate in the distant future. The second one will be delivered by Torment: Tides of Numenera – a prominent candidate for the title of the RPG of the year. Given how long we’ve been expecting the constantly delayed release of this game, it’s hard to believe that we finally have a solid release date. Then again, knowing how “capricious” the team of inXile Entertainment can be, there’s no guarantee that we won’t be seeing yet another setback; for the moment, though, everything seems to indicate that our excruciating wait for the new Torment (it pains me to make this joke, really) is finally coming to an end.

The game was opened to testing in Steam Early Access almost a year ago, giving us a rather good idea about whether it really is a worthy successor to the iconic Planescape: Torment. Having completed the first act of the game in Early Access, my gut tells me that yes, indeed it is – we can expect a charmingly original, mature RPG, full of depth and brimming with the soul of its great progenitor. While we have to be prepared for some technical specks on the narrative gold, as it’s often the case with titles from inXile, I expect this one to be really something. Assuming that the first act is a good representative of the whole picture, that is.

  1. Torment: Tides of Numenera in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

March 7, 2017

Ghost Recon: Wildlands in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Ubisoft Paris
  2. Publisher: Ubisoft
  3. Genre: open-world TPP shooter
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne

Recently, I was wandering whether The Division and Ghost Recon: Wildlands shouldn’t be considered a beginning of a new Ubisoft tradition. Perhaps from now on, every March will see us playing a new open-world, multiplayer-focused shooter – be it modeled after the MMO formula or revolving around online cooperation. Honestly, as a business plan it seems to be futile in the long run, but… Who can say for sure? Perhaps the French already have a release planned for March 2018; like, I don’t know… Far Cry 5?

Sorry, got a bit distracted there. We were talking about the new Ghost Recon. The upcoming installment departs, and boldly, from the hardcore tactical nature of its predecessors, but it still looks like a solid piece of shooter for people who like to plan their actions. And also for those who’d like to see a piece of exotic setting, allegedly the biggest one Ubisoft has ever created (The Crew doesn’t count). Let’s just hope that this time Ubi takes its time to carefully consider the attractions they want to offer so that the servers remain decently populated for more than a month after the release, which unfortunately wasn’t the case with The Division.

  1. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Mass Effect: Andromeda

March 21, 2017

Mass Effect: Andromeda in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: BioWare
  2. Publisher: Electronic Arts
  3. Genre: action RPG
  1. Platform: PC, PS4, Xone

We could hardly indicate a game more eagerly anticipated by the general gaming community than Mass Effect: Inquis... Andromeda (*now playing “That joke isn’t funny anymore” by The Smiths*). This otherwise lame joke is getting more real with each new video released by BioWare. Hence, we need to answer one question: is this sandbox-ness a bad thing? As long as the game isn’t full of repetitive activities, such as conquering outposts and collecting suspicious herbs and it doesn’t give any grounds for assuming that the quality of side quests and the main storyline suffered on the account of setting the game in an open world (which was the case in the latest Dragon Age), everything should be hunky-dory.

The new Mass Effect seems to be doing a couple of things better than ever before: the character creation seems to have been improved (and remember: that’s the trademark of BioWare) and combat system polished. We’re also getting pretty exciting interstellar travels and more freedom in exploration, which (maybe except ME1) was always limited. Spiteful irony aside – if only the developers manage to create a universe and characters as captivating as in the original trilogy, I will be the first one to join the Tempest’s crew and report to the bridge as Pathfinder Ryder.

  1. Mass Effect: Andromeda in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Q1 2017

South Park: The Fractured But Whole in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Ubisoft San Francisco
  2. Publisher: Ubisoft
  3. Genre: RPG
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne

Ubisoft strikes again – although this time aiming for a different body part. South Park once again reminds us that the French definitely have no shortage of sense of humor – there’s no better proof than this game series. With 2014’s Stick of Truth Ubisoft showed us that it wasn’t afraid to make a game that will be proud to mock everything and everyone you may hold dear, elude any genre pigeonholing attempts, and remain a particularly well-made piece of code – and not only for the fans of the animated series. It seems like The Fractured But Whole is going to repeat this achievement.

Yes, “repeat” is the key here. One of the issues some may have is the fact that the second part appears to be simply The Stick of Truth in a new set of clothes, this time a superhero costume. Expanded combat mechanics may not be enough to cover up the fact that we’re visiting the same old town, meet the same old characters, and rely on the same old gameplay formula, only under slightly different circumstances. But you know what? Who cares about that if we can unleash our inner bad boy/girl in a video game and watch them have as much fun as they want, saving the world with farts while they’re at it?

  1. South Park: The Fractured But Whole in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Syberia 3

Q1 2017

Syberia 3 in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Microids
  2. Publisher: Microids / Anuman Interactive
  3. Genre: point-and-click adventure game
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne

Here’s another game we’ve been waiting for since the dawn of time – far longer than we’ve waited for Torment, for example – and which had almost made a habit of release delays. To be honest though, if it weren’t for the legend that had grown during the 12-year-long (!) period we’ve spent expecting the new installment of this revered franchise, perhaps we wouldn’t be putting Syberia 3 on this list… which would also leave us without a single purebred adventure game on it. Has this once universally triumphant genre truly fallen this low?

Anyway, we’d sure like to see the next chapter in the adventures of Kate Walker. Doesn’t matter that Microids has abandoned hand-painted backgrounds in favor of full 3D. Doesn’t matter that the requirement to simultaneously develop a console version has forced the devs to compromise when it came to the classic point-and-click interface. All that matters is that we’re going back to that magical, icebound realm so many of us fell in love with – and that the series’ supervision still remains in the hands of its father, Benoit Sokal. For this alone, Syberia 3 is a guaranteed must have.

  1. Syberia 3 in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Tekken 7

Q1 2017

Tekken 7 in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Namco
  2. Publisher: Bandai Namco
  3. Genre: Fighting game
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne

Ah, yet another representative of a dying breed. The fighting game genre is not what it used to be anymore (it’s still better off than adventure games, though). There’s no denying it – Tekken 7 is noteworthy mostly because it’s the first major instalment in the respectable 20-years-long history of this cult franchise to be released on PC. I leave that sentence as an argument on whether the condition of PC as a gaming platform is improving or not (in case Square Enix constantly releasing new Final Fantasy games on Steam is not enough for you).

If not for the new Tekken’s revolutionary multiplatform focus, we would hardly be mentioning it, as changes in comparison to the previous iteration are relatively few. Aside from some additions to the already impressive character roster (and some innovations in the combat mechanics), the switch to Unreal Engine 4 takes the place of the most prominent difference. For the fans of the franchise, however, what’s more important is perhaps the fact that Tekken 7 brings to an end the long, vicious struggle between the members of the Mishima clan. Let’s just hope it doesn’t put an end to the whole franchise as well.

  1. Tekken 7 in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Persona 5

April 4, 2017

Persona 5 in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Atlus
  2. Publisher: Deep Silver (for western market)
  3. Genre: jRPG
  4. Platform: PS4, PS3

Yes, I know what you’re going to say... “Persona 5 has been out in Japan for almost four months now!”. That may be so, but it’s irrelevant to most of the world, since you can’t get it outside of Japan, let alone translated to some more popular language. That’s why for non-Japanese gamers Persona 5 is yet to be released, and 2017 should be considered as the year of its launch.

You may be wondering what’s Persona even doing on this list. Well, believe it or not, but among our editorial staff there’s a decent amount of people who like Asian vibes. Even after the success (bigger than what was commonly expected) of Final Fantasy XV, several of us still feel like they could take on one more, a bit more traditional jRPG. We’d be glad to once again step in the shoes of a teenager leading a double life: one as a normal high-schooler, the other one as member of a secret group that fights evil. We’re also curious if the series has retained its unique dark-cartoon-like style after having switched to a new engine.

  1. Persona 5 in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III

April 30, 2017

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Relic Entertainment
  2. Publisher: SEGA
  3. Genre: RTS
  4. Platform: PC

The universe of Warhammer 40,000 was rather prolific during the previous year, so maybe it’s for the best that Dawn of War III should be postponed until April – this will prevent the title from sharing its glory with any other digital adaptations of the Warhammer universe (apart from Inquisitor – Martyr by Necore Games, but this RPG won’t be released before the second half of 2017). That is assuming there will be anything to share. Let’s remember that the news released thus far have been somewhat controversial at times.

Gamers are mostly complaining about the graphics, which they find too colorful for a Warhammer game. The devs’ line of defense is that contrasting colors make the battlefield more legible – still, some people are not big on this decision. Another worrying prospect is the short solo campaign and the low number of factions – there will be only three. In this case, we can find some comfort in the fact that Dawn of War III is being developed by Relic Entertainment, and those are not the sort of people who like their coffee lukewarm and their cake half-baked. Sure, they’re experimenting with the formula, but they’re not going to release a sham. What’s more, Dawn of War III is actually celebrating its heritage by emphasizing base development and delivering bigger battles than the previous iteration – so let’s not throw stones at the developers just yet, shall we?

  1. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Prey

Spring 2017

Prey in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Arkane Studios
  2. Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  3. Genre: FPS
  1. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne

Prey may turn out to be this year’s dark horse – maybe even beyond the FPS genre. It’s hard to recall one game in Arkane Studios’ back catalogue that could not be described as “magnificent” or “extraordinary”. Even if Dishonored 2 has proven to be rather conservative as a sequel and glitchy as a video game, Prey still can affirm Arkane’s status as a cult studio. There are many signs indicating that in 2017, we will get a System Shock 3 in disguise – something we have been waiting for since 1999 (no, that doesn’t mean Night Dive Studios and OtherSide Entertainment can stop working on the real third part – with regard to System Shock sequels, there’s no such thing as “excess”).

Prey and System Shock have a lot in common: a solitary survivor roams an empty space station overrun with enemy forces, uses guns and peculiar, supernatural powers (the technology of the aliens) to cope with everyday hardships, and – in spare time – likes to indulge in the only leisure activity attainable on the ship – exploration and uncovering ghastly secrets. Meanwhile, the player absorbs the disturbing atmosphere, fascinating and unnerving at the same time. BioShock would have probably been this game had Ken Levine not decided to reinterpret the classic theme and set his game in the depths of the ocean. Perhaps the cancellation of Prey 2 will not be as regrettable a decision as we have assumed.

  1. Prey in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Spring 2017

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Nintendo
  2. Publisher: Nintendo
  3. Genre: TPP open-world action adventure
  4. Platform: Switch, Wii U

Lately, there have been many doubts surrounding the potential release date of the newest Zelda. One particular piece of gossip says for example that the developers won’t be able to make it by this March, and that the glory of being the first title for Nintendo Switch will elude Zelda, leaving only the bitter taste of missed opportunity and disappointment. However, some “anonymous sources” have stated otherwise, and it’s really hard to tell who’s right. One thing is for sure – the long-awaited next chapter of Link’s adventures is coming… and has a pretty good chance of teaching a lesson to all (well, maybe not absolutely every single one) “Western” competitors in the race for the game of the year.

After all, gamers and journalists all over the world adore The Legend of Zelda series – with religious zeal in more than one case – and Breath of the Wild is shaping up to be a better, groundbreaking installment. The naysayers could possibly accuse the developers of blind obedience to latest mainstream trends exemplified by setting the game in an open world, but in the hands of adept developers such as Eiji Aonuma’s team, the open world can be one of the main assets of the game (remember The Witcher 3?). If the game doesn’t lose it’s fairy-tale atmosphere and adventure game nature, we’ll have a solid hit.

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Gran Turismo Sport

First half of 2017 (?)

Gran Turismo Sport in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Polyphony Digital
  2. Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
  3. Genre: Racing
  4. Platform: PS4

And here we have the only racing game on our list (remember: neither Electronic Arts nor Microsoft have yet announced a new Need for Speed or Forza Motorsport, nonetheless we can expect both of these to come out in 2017). You may also wonder how I came up with the date – Sony and Polyphony Digital spoke simply of a release somewhere in 2017. Well, since Gran Turismo Sport was supposed to be ready last fall and the delay wasn’t caused by a need to start developing from scratch, it would be surprising if the game needed more than half a year of additional work (still, this is Gran Turismo, we can’t be 100% sure).

Either way, after more than three years on the market, PlayStation 4 will finally receive its second (!) exclusive AAA car racing game. The console from the Japanese may rule in the realm of action games such as Uncharted, but for fans of high speed, Xbox One has (or rather: will have been) an excessively better choice. What’s even worse, Gran Turismo Sport already got some bad press by giving up on any genuine career mode and severely limiting the range of available cars in comparison to Gran Turismo 6. Despite that, the fans of realistic racing will surely not miss the new game by Polyphony Digital.

  1. Gran Turismo Sport in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

First half of 2017 (?)

Kingdom Come: Deliverance in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Warhorse Studios
  2. Publisher: Deep Silver
  3. Genre: RPG
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne

Similarly to Gran Turismo, I may have abused my power a bit by suggesting Kingdom Come will be released in the first half of 2017 specifically, but the reasoning is quite similar: Kingdom Come: Deliverance was expected to come out in June 2016. The devs have indeed taken loads of additional work by deciding that the three episodes will be part of a single game which will be released for PCs and consoles simultaneously – but will these things require more than a year of work? Doubt it.

It’s hard not to succumb to the impression that the hype has diminished a bit lately. The fact that the year-old beta is still not “water-tight” combined with the prolonged wait renders Kingdom Come a significantly less exciting game than it appeared to be just last year. Are the Czechs going to be overwhelmed with the scale of the project? Will they crumble under the challenge of creating an RPG with enormous, open world that will cater both to fans of The Witcher and Mount and Blade, while retaining historical fidelity? Personally, I still think Warhorse Studios are going to make it, and I can’t wait to play the full game.

  1. Kingdom Come: Deliverance in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Assassin’s Creed: Empire (?)

Fall 2017

As of yet, this is the only visual material from the new Assassin’s Creed – the screen supposedly shows the pause menu of its early-version.

Assassin’s Creed: Empire in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  2. Publisher: Ubisoft
  3. Genre: TPP open-world action-adventure game
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne (?)

This time, the question mark stands next to the title – we’re less sure of the name than the fact that the new Assassin’s Creed will actually come out in 2017. Even during the last 12 months, famously dubbed the “year without an Assassin”, Ubisoft still released a couple of games under this immensely popular franchise (not to mention the movie), so I’m willing to bet against anyone, dollars to donuts, that 2017 will bring us a new major installment in the series. I’m also willing to shrug off Ubisoft’s statement assuring us that they won’t hesitate to postpone the release if they’re not happy with its quality as a PR maneuver.

So what’s the official information about the new Assassin’s Creed? Well, there’s none, actually. But there are some unofficial tidbits, if you’re interested – and these suggest that the new Assassin’s Creed is something to look out for. An entirely new storyline (which in Syndicate resembled an overstretched piece of chewing gum), a new setting (ancient Egypt), more novelties in terms of mechanics, and solutions inspired by the success of The Witcher 3 give us a reason to expect a truly glorious comeback of this undoubtedly valuable series. May these tidbits prove to be true and may Ubisoft prove they’re capable of improving their policy and admitting their mistakes.

  1. Assassin’s Creed: Empire in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Red Dead Redemption 2

Fall 2017

Red Dead Redemption 2 in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Rockstar Games
  2. Publisher: Rockstar Games / Take 2 Interactive
  3. Genre: TPP open-world shooter
  4. Platform: PS4, XOne

For me, after The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, this is the second most anticipated game of 2017. First, this is the next game by Rockstar Games after Grand Theft Auto V (which originally came out in 2013) – and that’s always a big deal. Second, this is a sequel to Red Dead Redemption – to many, the game of the year 2010. With such a resume, we have a solid contender for GOTY 2017.

Besides, how many “big” Old West games have there been lately? Since Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (2013), the genre has been rather quiet (I’m not counting last year’s Hard West – it’s not the same league) and it would probably have remained this way, had it not been for Red Dead Redemption 2 (Techland is lately poking around and playing with different settings). So when planning your vacation and scheduling leaves of absence take into consideration the fact that this fall will bring us (probably) the best western-themed video game ever created. If only PC gamers were also invited to the party…

  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Star Wars: Battlefront II

Fall 2017

A screenshot from the first Star Wars: Battlefront by Electronic Arts. - 2017-01-05
A screenshot from the first Star Wars: Battlefront by Electronic Arts.
Star Wars: Battlefront II in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: DICE
  2. Publisher: Electronic Arts
  3. Genre: FPS
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne (?)

Although Battlefront II is yet to be officially announced, it was mentioned in Electronic Arts’ future publishing plans so many times that it’s a safe bet to include it in this selection. After all there has to be an online shooter in EA’s yearly publishing plan, which is a thing as certain and reliable as death and taxes, and it’s too soon for either a new Battlefield or the next Titanfall. Which is good, because judging from the scarce information we’ve acquired so far, we can boldly assume that Battlefront II will finally be the game the first Battlefront was promised to become.

Yes, I’m talking here about a story campaign. Waging multiplayer battles in the numerous iconic settings really was fun, but Star Wars with battles but without the story is like C3PO without R2D2 – it may do the job but it gets boring. A shame that DICE has already exploited all the major settings from the original trilogy in the first game, which will probably leave us with a new, original story intended to serve as world building for the new, reset Expanded Universe. And one more thing: here’s to hoping that EA will learn from Titanfall 2 when it comes to post-release support, and keep the expansions fewer in numbers but richer in content.

  1. Star Wars: Battlefront II in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

2017

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Vicarious Visions
  2. Publisher: Activision
  3. Genre: 3D platformer
  4. Platform: PS4

Who would have thought that a list of the most anticipated games of 2017 will in fact include a remake of a platformer (which is another genre that’s been neglected in the 21st century)? But hey, we’re not talking about just any platformer – Crash is a legend of first-gen PlayStation, and the best answer Sony had to Mario and Sonic in the history of the company. Add to that the fact that Crash has been clinically dead for the past eight years, and the downright enthusiastic reaction to the announcement of N. Sane Trilogy is hardly surprising.

Sure, we’d be even happier to hear a completely new installment is being developed – especially since the remake of Crash will be much more conservative than 2016’s Ratchet & Clanka game that breathed new life into the original. Well, at least Sony is being serious here and is going to give us modernized editions of the first three games (considered the most venerable) of the series at once. Still, not everyone is thrilled to see Crash being reanimated.

  1. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Divinity: Original Sin II

2017

Divinity: Original Sin II in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Larian Studios
  2. Publisher: Larian Studios
  3. Genre: Classic RPG
  4. Platform(s): PC

Here’s another low-profile candidate for the title of the RPG of the year. Low-profile, because Divinity: Original Sin II has neither great budget (unlike Mass Effect: Andromeda) nor dazzling 3D graphics (that even Kingdom Come: Deliverance has) that would match the studio’s ambitions. Much like the new Torment, this is an old-school Kickstarter project, aimed mainly at a small niche of players who aren’t intimidated by elements such as isometric perspective, complex gameplay, slow-paced combat and a lot of reading.

Still, the Belgian studio needs to be given some credit – for a classic RPG, their game looks really up-to-date: solid graphics, focus on cooperation, freedom in manipulating the environment, intricate quest and location design which allows as many ways of solving problems as Deus Ex – all these can make Divinity: Original Sin II a true breakthrough in the genre of role playing games. Let’s just hope that the game’s Early Access version, which made a great impression on us, is representative of the overall quality of the game we’ll get.

  1. Divinity: Original Sin II in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Elex

2017

Elex in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Piranha Bytes
  2. Publisher: THQ Nordic
  3. Genre: RPG
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne

Great authors and artists don’t have it easy: first, they’re worshipped after producing something extraordinary, they they’re dragged across the mud for not making the same thing again. This seems to be the case with Piranha Bytes – the creators of Gothic want to go for something very original and creative, but all the fans (or at least the great majority) are grumbling, moaning and asking for another Gothic (either remastered or completely new, they don’t really care). And those who are okay with a new IP still complain about certain “trademarks” of the German developer – a bit clunky mechanics, inconsistent graphics quality, crude animations, etc.

I guess I wouldn’t go as far as to call Elex another dark horse among RPGs – I’m afraid that with all these shortcomings (probably unavoidable in case of Piranha Bytes), Elex won’t compete for the main prize. This doesn’t change the fact that as soon as the game comes out, thousands upon thousands of devoted fans of “Piranhas” will storm the stores to get it and I will probably be among them. After all, it’s hard to deny that there’s a certain magnetic charm in the vision weaved by the German studio in their newest game. Seen from third-person perspective, the post-apocalyptic, open world combining swords and magic with mechs and laser guns is a breath of genuinely refreshing air in the genre. And who knows, maybe, after venting their creativity in Elex, the Germans will come back to Gothic?

  1. Elex in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

2017 r.

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: CD Projekt RED
  2. Publisher: CD Projekt
  3. Genre: card game
  4. Platforms: PC, PS4, XOne

Obviously, when it comes down to games by CD Projekt RED, we’d all much rather see Cyberpunk 2077 here and begin a great countdown in anticipation of another huge RPG by the creators of The Witcher 3, but unfortunately we still need some patience. I recommend that we try to enjoy the fact that any game from the Polish studio is coming out this year – especially since it looks rather neat. CD Projekt RED have already done a proper good job by extracting the – after all – simple minigame from The Witcher 3, adding more complexity and letting it function in its own right… who knows, maybe it will even be able to challenge Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

Perhaps the most important thing about this game is that it will let us spend more time in “The Witcherland” – slowly but steadily abandoned by CDPR. That’s why I’m looking forward for the single player campaigns in Gwent so much there’s a good chance they will allow us to participate in adventures worthy of an actual RPG, with the difference that we’ll use cards instead of combat to settle our issues. That’s enough of a reason for a guy like me, who’s generally skeptical about card games, to be looking forward for Gwent.

  1. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Pyre

2017

Pyre in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Supergiant Games
  2. Publisher: Supergiant Games
  3. Genre: RPG / arcade (?)
  4. Platform: PC, PS4

It’s high time that we put an independent game on our list. We chose the newest work of one of the most talented teams in this sector – Supergiant Games studio, which won the hearts of millions of players with productions such as Bastion and Transistor. The devs took Pyre in a different direction than the previous games got us used to. Instead of a dynamic action game with isometric view and a solid RPG layer they are working on a production that, while not devoid of RPG elements or hectic gameplay, lacks something we could call regular combat. Instead, it’s more like… team sports competition.

Still, when it comes to the games from Supergiant Games, mechanics are not in the spotlight. It’s all about the game world, narration and art style. And it seems that in this respect Pyre will be as interesting as the previous games of this dev. You have to admit that the idea of a caravan of heroes traversing a sort of underworld, here called the Downside, in search for redemption, sounds intriguing. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pyre turned out to be the 2017 counterpart of Inside in all kinds of votes for game of the year.

  1. Pyre in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Sea of Thieves

2017

Sea of Thieves in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Rare
  2. Publisher: Microsoft Studios
  3. Genre: action adventure MMO
  4. Platform: PC, XOne

These days, pirate-themed games are not as popular as they used to be – and this statement is true both in regard to developers and players. That’s why it’s so nice to announce a potential rebirth of the genre, even if instead of a classic ship simulator, combining elements of action and strategy, we’ll get a first-person MMO game focused on treasure hunting, waging sea battles and having all kinds of adventures. And maybe that’s exactly why Sea of Thieves is looking interesting – it’s going to be something we haven’t seen before.

The solid reputation of the creators is of importance, too. After all, Rare is not some random studio; it’s the team that gave us the cult Banjo-Kazooie, and isn’t known for releasing weak or mediocre games. That’s why the sea story they’re cooking up is looking very promising. Some members of our editorial team can’t wait to sail the high seas and join forces to drown them some bilge rats. You can already see what the game looks like – the dev has just launched alpha-tests.

  1. Sea of Thieves in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

2017

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Naughty Dog
  2. Publisher: Sony Interactive Studios
  3. Genre: action adventure TPP game
  4. Platform: PS4

It might seem inappropriate to sing praises to an expansion (especially when a vanilla version was already something to marvel at) but you just have to admit that the case of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is exceptional – as was the case of last year’s Witcher 3: Blood and Wine. Since Naughty Dog is planning to say goodbye to the series, The Lost Legacy might well be our last adventure with Nathan Drake (even if he’s not the main hero of the production in question). And let’s not forget that we’re not talking about a mere DLC, but a stand-alone expansion with an extensive, several-hours-long plot.

What else are we expecting from Uncharted “4.5”? Well, it will be enough if Naughty Dog delivers more of the same stuff we loved so much in A Thief’s End: being a part of exciting action sequences and a gripping story, visiting breath-taking locations and interacting with distinct, likeable characters. And if it’s really meant to be our final parting with the Uncharted series (somehow I’m not convinced that Sony will hand over to someone else a franchise so strongly associated with Naughty Dog), let’s hope The Lost Legacy will be a satisfying closure of the adventure we’ve grown so fond of.

  1. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Vampyr

2017

Vampyr in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
  2. Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
  3. Genre: RPG
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne

Here’s the thing about Dontnod Entertainment. On the one hand, after the incredible success of Life is Strange in 2015 (many players dubbed the game the “conqueror” of the Telltale Games school) it seems fitting to anticipate another smash hit. But let’s not forget that the debut of that team – 2013 Remember Me – although creative and captivating to many players, was by no means a masterpiece. So let’s remain cautious when it comes to Vampyr and just say that it’s another dark hors…, I mean, it might be the bes… Let’s just say it’s shaping up to be a decent RPG and leave it at that.

Who am I kidding, though? Everyone who’s been waiting for the last 12 years for a continuation of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is right to hope for a solid spiritual successor in the form of the work by Dontnod Entertainment. Dark, heavy atmosphere and playing as a vampire hiding among humans in London at the beginning of the 20th century – this brief summary alone sounds enticing. And if we add an open-ended plot, shaped mostly by the choices of the player made with regard to the reins he puts (or not) on his bloodlust… Make it all work, Dontnod, and Vampyr may become your passport to the gaming panteon.

  1. Vampyr in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Shenmue III

December 2017 (?)

Shenmue III in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Ys Net
  2. Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
  3. Genre: action adventure game
  4. Platform: PC, PS4

To be honest, I’m not convinced that this game will show up by the end of the year; after all, it’s only beginning its development stage. But the December release date is so far the “official” one, so why not put Shenmue III on our list? Nobody can deny that it’s an anticipated production – and has been for a long time… Nostalgia of the players can be a powerful driving force, as best shown by Kickstarter, where the new work by Yu Suzuki is right now the unquestionable record-holder (almost $6.7 million has been collected).

What can we expect from Shenmue III fifteen years and two console generations after the release of the last installment in the cycle? First and foremost let’s hope that Yu Suzuki will start the new adventure with a solid reminder of what the series was all about (since the plot, from the very beginning, revolves around the revenge of the main protagonist, Ryo Hazuki, against the murderer of his father). Plus, it would be nice if the third game in the series kept the biggest assets of its predeecessors: a living open world, compelling plot, and polished melee combat system. The question is if the crowdfunding money is enough to pay for all these things…

  1. Shenmue III in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Final Fantasy VII Remake

2017 (?)

Final Fantasy VII Remake in a nutshell:
  1. Developer: Square Enix
  2. Publisher: Square Enix
  3. Genre: jRPG
  4. Platform: PC (?), PS4

Perhaps it’s a little bit far-fetched to put this game on our list, because Square Enix never confirmed its intention to release the game in 2017. Stil, it seems probable. After all, we found out about the remake (or rather Remake) of Final Fantasy VII one and a half years ago, after who knows how much time of secret development, and the dev was finally free of Final Fantasy XV in November. Taking all this into consideration, it might a probable scenario that we’ll see the revamped adventures of Cloud Strife before Christmas this year. It would be nice; it’s high time one of the most (if not the most) prominent Final Fantasy game got some well-deserved polishing.

What could spoil the anticipation for some of the fans is the fact that turn-based mechanics will be replaced by the same dynamic pace that came with FF XV. Surrounded by controversy are also some of the announced changes concerning the world creation and plot, especially the plan to divide the game into episodes. Still, the fans of FF VII will probably pounce the revamped version the moment it comes out. What’s more, thanks to the changes (mostly the graphic ones) gamers who had steered clear of the franchise so far might finally give it a try. I know I will.

  1. Final Fantasy VII Remake in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

2017 (?)

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord In a nutshell:
  1. Developer: TaleWorlds Entertainment
  2. Publisher: TaleWorlds Entertainment
  3. Genre: a mix of RPG and strategy
  4. Platform: PC, PS4, XOne (?)

The last item on our list has been presented so many times and captured the imagination of players to such an extent that, in theory, it could be released any moment. And what about the fact that it’s not ready yet? No biggie. After all, the first Mount & Blade was also somewhat incomplete when we got it, but it still managed to win the hearts of players, the love only growing stronger with subsequent patches, both those official and fan-made mods.

Anyway, the wait should be over soon. Some time ago we could hear that Bannerlord was coming out in Steam Early Access as soon as 2016. Assuming that the plans of TaleWorlds studio didn’t undergo any serious changes, we should be able to revisit Calradia somewhere in the first quarter of 2017. The players will finally find out what it’s like to have exciting adventures and wage battles in the new–old, more beautiful world, whether the fresh solutions in terms of sieges, diplomacy or crafting work out, and – last but not least – what it’s like to mod the game using the new tools from the devs. Let’s only hope we won’t have to wait until version 1.0 for all these features to be available.

  1. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord in Gamepressure Games Encyclopedia