games / Columns

The 8 Ball: Top 8 Most Anticipated 2017 Games

October 4, 2016 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Horizon Zero Dawn

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball. With the fall/Xmas season gearing up, I wanted to take a look at upcoming games for the next year. Most of these have pretty confirmed release dates, though a few are only speculated for 2017. This is just my own personal list of games that I’m looking forward to. Let’s begin:

#8: Mass Effect Andromeda

Andromeda is low on this list because I honestly don’t know if it will come out in 2017. The other x-factor is that EA has been incredibly cagey about any details on the game, from the story, to gameplay, to characters, etc. All they’ve really shown has been an incredibly awkward trailer at E3, which involved your (I assume) party members spawn in behind you during a cutscene, which looked…bad. However, it is still the Mass Effect franchise we’re talking about here, and while Mass Effect 3 might not have been everyone’s bread and butter but I still have enough faith in Bioware for this game to hopefully be good.

#7: Agents of Mayhem

I’m a little iffy on this game also, but compared to Andromeda, they’ve at least said some things about what it’s going to be. The idea of the game is interesting, that you control a squad of three characters and you’re facing off against a criminal organization. It’s supposed to tie into the Saints Row universe, tangentially at least, so I hope they bring back a few returning characters for it, specifically Kinzie. As long as the game keeps the same writing style as Saints Row though, I’ll be happy.

#6: Vampyr

After the first two Dontnod games, I’m extremely interested in what they do next, and this looks almost like a spiritual sequel to Vampire: The Masquerade. It’s an action RPG set in 1918 London during the Spanish Flu. You have access to vampire powers like mesmerism and vampire senses. The one really cool thing is that you have to be invited into homes which is something I don’t think has been in any other vampire game before. Dontnod may have struggled with the more expansive games before, namely Remember Me, but I have faith they’ve learned and grown as a studio.

#5: Dawn of War 3

I loved Dawn of War 2 and the subsequent expansions. The focus on small army size, the first two games only having about 4 units each (give or take), with the last expansion upping that limit to around 7 or 8. Dawn of War 3 seems to go back to the earlier Dawn of War games by giving you a much larger army to deal with. You’ll still have hero units, but they will be more specialized and unique. It kind of reminds me of Warcraft 3 to be honest. I’m hoping the game retains enough of the Dawn of War 2 magic though and bringing back The Last Stand mode is a definite requirement.

#4: Tales of Berseria

I’ve always appreciated the Tales series from a distance but it wasn’t until Zestiria that I got really into it. Aside from a slightly looping naming convention (Vesperia, Zestiria), the series has generally produced well-crafted JRPGs, and Namco Bandai is generally one of the last companies producing these types of large scale console games. The game sounds a lot more dark than past Tales game, with your character having a demonically possessed arm and a lot of family strife to contend with. The game is already out in Japan and has positive reviews but it takes a fairly long time to localize those games for English speaking countries.

#3: South Park: The Fractured But Whole

If South Park had come out this year it would have been a nice shot in the arm of what is looking to be a fairly bland holiday season. Instead, it got pushed out to 2017, like about half the games on this list, which makes this Xmas season sad. With that said, even if Obsidian isn’t developing this game, it looks to copy that game’s style, aside from some tweaks to the battle system and it being more about the current setting of South Park, rather than the first game which delved deep into the show’s past. As long as you can still be a Jew character class though, I’ll be happy.

#2: Horizon Zero Dawn

This seems to be the game that everyone is waiting for who has a PS4. The post apocalypse setting looks pretty fresh, with humanity slowly rebuilding but scores of robotic animals to keep them down still. The gameplay of hunting down said robots with trapping them, using stealth, or just trying to go all out is pretty interesting also. It actually really reminds me of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, only without the partner gameplay and the forced stealth elements. The PS4 desperately needs a big, unique hit on the console, and Horizon looks to fill that gap quite nicely.

#1: Persona 5

God, February can’t get here fast enough. After the game was delayed out of 2016 a lot of people, including me, got bummed about it. But, given the extremely positive reaction it’s already received in Japan, Persona 5 is well worth it. This is my “game to beat” for the upcoming year as I love the Persona series and the amount of detail and love Atlus pours into each game. The battle system is a lot more variable this time around with the use of Persona, but also swords and guns for your main character. The style of the world looks great, being very kinetic in an anime fashion. More than that, it’s the first official Persona game in almost a decade, and that is a cause for celebration for everyone.

For comments, list which 2017 games you’re looking forward to.

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Top 8 Miniature Games

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The 8 Ball (Games), Marc Morrison