As we edge closer and closer to the end of 2016, one of the year’s latest and biggest event is Gamescom in Germany, and with it came 10 trailers that got a lot of gamers excited.
Gamescom trailers are now one of the biggest features of an event that started out just six years ago in the city of Cologne as a European event to show off the latest gaming developments and hardware for both consumer and industry.
While many of the major video game publishers like to tee up games that are set to release in 2017, we also get to see the final glimpses of some of the blockbuster games due for release in the final few months of the year.
With about as much pageantry as you’d expect from an industry that now rivals major Hollywood blockbusters in terms of revenue, many of them are analysed in extensive detail to find something we hadn’t known before.
But looking to the future, one game that has garnered a lot of attention is the first Metal Gear Solid game to be released by developers Konami after the departure of its creator, Hideo Kojima.
To the shock of many of the series’ fans – a series that dates back to 1987 – the latest game, Metal Gear Survive, has turned the game into a zombie survival, co-op shoot ’em up.
This would be far, far removed from a game that has often emphasised stealth and storytelling as its key features.
But, leaving that aside for now, here are 10 titles being released in the coming months to whet our appetite for all of the weird and (potentially) wonderful titles next year.
PES 2017/FIFA 17
One half of the laborious ’Wait, you play PES, not FIFA?’ gaming rivalry, PES 2017 is out on 13 September on both the PS4 and Xbox One. Changes to previous versions will largely be aesthetic after a significant lead between 2015-16, with upgraded teams and players only natural. There will probably be a patch on the first day that the game is released to update all the late summer transfers, too.
The other half of the rivalry, FIFA 2017 is changing a fair bit more in comparison to previous editions, with a new engine driving the game. EA has moved away from the previous Ignite engine to Frostbite, the same tech that powers the likes of Battlefield. The odds are, as usual, that FIFA 2017 – out on 27 September – will sport more licensed kits and leagues than its rival.
ReCore is a single-player action-adventure game that puts players in the sturdy boots of Joule Adams in the dangerous desert landscape of Far Eden. Her robodog sidekick Mack sports a glowing blue spherical core, though not all Corebots are as friendly.
To save humankind from a terrible fate, Adams must assemble a battalion of Corebots to tackle robotic enemies by removing their powerful cores, all the while exploring the dynamic world where a surprise sandstorm might reveal a new adventure.
ReCore comes from producer Keiji Inafune, who gained fame for the Mega Man series, and director Mark Pacini from the Metroid Prime series.
With Microsoft Studios as the publisher, ReCore will be available exclusively on Xbox One consoles (and for Windows 10 PC gamers). It was originally thought it would be available by now, but it’s slated for release on 13 September.
Batman: Arkham VR
Batman: Arkham VR is one of more than 50 games coming in October 2016 when PlayStation VR launches.
Every Batman fan has daydreamed about suiting up as the vigilante caped bat. The VR experience can mimic that in ways no other platform can. Imagine: you put on ‘the mask’ that is the VR headset and you are Batman.
In demos at Comic-Con International, players could see their reflection fully decked out in the Batsuit. They could train using batarangs and scanning guns, and enter the sacred space that is the Batcave via a glass elevator.
While Arkham VR has been labelled more demonstrative of the VR experience than a complete video game replete with challenging stories and full-blown action, the very notion of donning the suit is enough to thrill the fans.
Developed by Arkham trilogy creators Rocksteady Studios, Batman: Arkham VR arrives exclusively for the PS4 and PS VR in October with an MSRP of $20 – a small price to pay to be the Batman.
Six years between gaming sequels seems like quite long when many established franchises release one a year, but the release of Mafia III appears to be a major step up for the game’s publishers, 2K Games.
Having started the series with an Italian-American gangster in a 1920s American city, Mafia III takes place in a fictionalised version of New Orleans where the player takes on the role of Lincoln Clay, a biracial orphan and Vietnam veteran.
Similar to the previous games, it is set up like a sandbox game that allows the player to explore a city on their own, or take part in the missions set out by the game.
This has been popularised for years by games like the GTA series, but early comments about the game’s style and setting have revealed a rich world full of 1960s music and classic mobster culture.
The game will be coming out on 7 October on PS4, Xbox One and PC/Mac.
While first-person shooters like Call of Duty have evolved their settings from World War II to ultra-futuristic worlds, this year, Electronic Arts (EA) and the game developers Dice decided to go the complete opposite way with Battlefield 1.
While its title is confusing given the fifth game in the franchise is now called Battlefield 1, gamers will now be getting the chance to play as a soldier, tank commander or pilot during World War I.
As arguably the first mainstream shoot ’em up to be based during this period, the game has already won over many gamers who are becoming tired of futuristic settings in games, in favour of a streamlined classic style.
While little is known of the single-player campaign as of yet, the multiplayer trailers and game footage reveal a fast-paced game full of history, with a bit of steampunk fiction thrown in, too.
The game is set for release on 21 October on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Gears of War 4
Coming out on 11 October on Xbox One (and Windows 10), Gears of War 4 is a whole new storyline for the popular game, with JD Fenix (Marcus’ son) leading a troupe to save their loved ones from “a monstrous new enemy”. Gears of War 4 is actually the first iteration of the game under new developer Coalition, bidding to add increased storytelling to what is, generally speaking, a gun-toting shoot ‘em up.
With nocturnal action dominating the game, the Swarm is a constant threat, though the appearance of a war-weary Marcus as an AI throughout is sure to prove a topic of conversation among gamers.
Part of the Xbox Play Anywhere programme, if you buy the game on PC or Xbox One, you get the other version for free. As an added bonus, Gears of War 4 supports cross-play so you can play with your friends whether they’re playing on the Xbox One or PC.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
One of the longer-running franchises, Call of Duty’s next instalment comes out on 4 November but, in the months before the full release, developer Infinity Ward has been coming under immense pressure.
A trailer back in May was disliked by huge numbers of fans due to its futuristic setting – however, a similar outcry preceded Black Ops’ release a few years back, but it then went on to become the most popular in Call of Duty’s franchise.
On the zombie side of things, this Call of Duty experience gets very 80s, with David Hasslehoff and neon lights there in abundance
“We want those hardcore traditional players to feel right at home when they play this,” said Lee Ross, associate project director for this weird element.
Final Fantasy XV
The eagerly-anticipated game is the next part of the Final Fantasy gaming series, the first of which was released way back in 1987.
The single-player action role-playing game takes place on the fictitious world of Eos, which is under the control of the empire of Niflheim.
The player plays Prince Noctis, heir to the kingdom of Lucis, who is trying to retake his homeland and a magical crystal from Niflheim.
Originally due to be released at the end of September, the game’s release date was pushed back to 29 November recently, much to the upset of fans.
Its developer Square Enix said it pushed it back in order to optimize and polish it as much as possible.
When it is eventually released, it will be available on Xbox and PS4.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
South Park: The Fractured but Whole is a sequel to 2014’s South Park: The Stick of Truth.
Both games were created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the brains behind the TV series, which debuted on our screens in 1997.
Set in the world of South Park, the role-playing game, developed by Ubisoft, casts you, the player, as ‘the new kid’ who teams up with Coon and friends (Cartman and co) to save South Park.
As ‘the new kid’ you can create your own costume and craft your own unique superhero origin story and build out your superpowers. You can then team up with Coon and friends to stop the evil threatening to engulf South Park.
The Stick of Truth got overwhelmingly positive review on its release, so hopes are high for this sequel, which will be available to buy on 6 December for Xbox, PS4 and Microsoft Windows.
Players at Gamescom image via Koelnmesse/Flickr