The last few years I’ve been doing huge lists of anticipated stuff for the coming year, but in the end that just basically turns into a preview of everything that’s coming out next year… and not so much an insight into what I, personally, am looking forward to. So this year I decided to take a different approach… and limit myself to 6.
This list will contain the 6 biggest releases from my perspective for the coming year. Sit back, relax, and enjoy my Most Anticipated of 2016!
6) Nier Automata
We haven’t seen a lot of this one, so it’s hard for me to believe it’s actually coming in 2016… but the announcement of a new Nier game was such an amazing surprise for me that it had to make an appearance on this list.
The first Nier game was such a strange experience, combining elements of a dozen different genres to create an eclectic yet strangely fitting mix. The gameplay wasn’t as smooth as you might hope, the RPG elements not as well-defined, the graphics not as polished… but the art style was unique and the soundtrack was arguably the most memorable and interesting that gaming has ever seen.
And, what is more, the developers created what they wanted to create. They didn’t restrain themselves out of fear of upsetting someone… they just created the game. As a result of that, the game turned out to be a cult classic, a unique and memorable experience.
And I loved it… so the thought of a sequel being made with a more experienced action combat developer but the same writers, composer, and art direction is a dream come true. The only reason this isn’t higher is how little information we have on the title. Is it even actually coming this year? I sure hope so.
5) The Last Guardian
It might shock you to see this so low on the list, but after so long waiting… my excitement for this one is a bit worn out. That’s not to say I’m not eagerly awaiting it, but rather that I have tempered expectations for it.
The Last Guardian has been such a long-awaited title that many had given up on it, calling it vaporware. But this title’s developers are finally almost ready to set it loose – to unleash it upon the wilds. And the strange and charming teasers we’ve seen of a young boy and his guardian companion are enough to keep this one settled firmly on this list… just not quite enough for me to give it one of the top spots.
4) Gate (Season 2)
Gate is one of those anime that just defied my expectations in the best possible way. I was expecting a pretty standard fantasy war anime here, and I got something that focuses heavily on character development and diplomacy. It feels almost like a drama taking place in a cold war, and I love it.
So it should come as no surprise that I am absolutely ecstatic at the possibilities of what could be explored within this second season that is set to start next month. I can’t wait to see what this show’s cast gets up to in the next section, and I am especially excited to see what new awesomeness Rory can showcase for us.
These top three really could’ve fallen in any order… and I should honestly call this a three-way tie for #1, but that’s a cop-out, so I’ve spent a long time debating and this is my prospective order.
3) Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 2
I am currently streaming Trails of Cold Steel and having the most incredible time of it. Falcom knocked it out of the park with this one, and XSeed did an amazing job localizing it… so why isn’t this game higher? Simple: I haven’t finished Trails of Cold Steel yet. There’s still that air of mystery to the ending… it could really let me down, and if it does… I won’t be quite as excited for a sequel. Not that I expect that to happen, but it is possible.
2) Horizon: Zero Dawn
This was among the biggest announcements of E3 and has been confirmed for a 2016 release. What we’ve seen of the game looks utterly gorgeous, with vivid post-apocalyptic scenery, stunning character models, and intricate and amazing looking robotic dinosaurs… but that’s not what has me so excited, really.
The gameplay simply looks fun. Hunting and trapping giant mechanical dinosaurs, using a bow with a variety of crazy tools, stalking your prey… it just looks like a great time. It would likely be number 1, if not for…
1) Persona 5
Ah, Persona 5. I fell in love with Persona 4: The Golden back when I played it a few years ago, so it should come as no surprise that Persona 5 is winning this #1 spot(again). The way Atlus manages to create character interactions that make you feel involved and in control despite a relatively linear overall story is simply masterful.
And they do this while creating a turn based combat system that feels exciting and action packed. It is kind of unbelievable the amount of good elements their last entry had, and the next looks like it is really taking that to the next step using more modern consoles to bring out the series’ true potential. I can’t wait to see where this entry in the series, focused on the restrictions of society, will take us.