Rocket Chainsaw’s Most Anticipated Games of 2017
2016 was an excellent year for high quality games, but now that the year is over it’s time to look forward to the games on the horizon. 2017 promises to be a massive year, due to a number of high profile games being delayed from 2016, as well as some absolute monster games that were announced for 2017.
2017 stands to be the year that we finally get to see the releases of Persona 5 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, both of which were announced way back in 2013. Even greater than this is the fact that we will finally be able to buy and play Nioh, the action game from Team Ninja that was originally announced at the launch of the Playstation 3 and will have been in development for almost 13 years when it releases.
2017 will also see the release of a number of sequels to major Western franchises, with Rockstar’s return to the Wild West in Red Dead Redemption 2 headlining the year. Bioware Montreal will release their first fully developed game in Mass Effect: Andromeda, previously having developed the multiplayer mode for Mass Effect 3. Even South Park will be back, with the surprise hit South Park: The Stick of Truth, receiving a super hero makeover in South Park: The Fractured but Whole.
Sequels won’t be the only thing we see with some of the most anticipated new IPs in years scheduled for release. Horizon Zero Dawn is the big one, with Aloy’s journey to discover her world’s secrets expected to be a massive hit. 3D Platformers will continue to steal our mindshare, with Playtonic’s spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie releasing during 2016. Yooka-Laylee looks to be one of the most impressive Kickstarter-funded games yet, with some solid art design and graphics.
With all of these games, plus the release of the Nintendo Switch and all the games it will bring, it’s no secret that 2017 has the potential to be one of the best years for gaming in quite some time. With so many great games to come, we voted on our most anticipated releases of 2017. Without further ado, here are Rocket Chainsaw’s five most anticipated games of 2017.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole
After some questionable releases in the past, we were never fully convinced that 2014’s South Park: The Stick of Truth would be a good game, let alone a great game. After playing the game, that opinion was turned on its head, with the game’s excellent writing, perfect replication of the cartoon’s art style and Paper Mario-esque battle system grabbing our attention. It became one of our favourite games of 2014, so the announcement of a sequel immediately caught our eyes. The riffs on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, allowing the use of our favourite superhero characters like Mysterion and The Coon, has us excited for what the sequel entails. The short demo we saw at E3 2016 further increased our anticipation of the game, and we cannot wait to see what the full game is like when it releases this year.
Many of us here at Rocket Chainsaw grew up during the years of the Nintendo 64 and Playstation 1 when collectathon 3D platformers were the pinnacle of quality gaming. Games like Banjo-Kazooie, Spyro the Dragon and Croc dominated the gaming landscape, filled with interesting stories, great graphics and fun gameplay mechanics. Banjo-Kazooie was the most-loved of these franchises, with the characters of both Banjo and Kazooie being some of our favourites of the generation and the way they were utilised in gameplay was both unique and interesting. It’s been years since we have seen a game hit the same notes that Banjo-Kazooie did way back then, but Yooka-Laylee looks to end that streak. Developed by a number of ex-Rare developers who previously worked on Banjo-Kazooie, this is the closest we’ve been to seeing a true high quality collectathon in over a decade. Trailers come and go, each showing off a new interesting world to play in Yooka-Laylee and further convincing us that the final release will be something special. We’ll have to wait until April 11th to truly find out how Yooka-Laylee turns out, but we’re incredibly excited for that day.
Horizon Zero Dawn
It should come as no surprise that Horizon Zero Dawn is one of our most anticipated games of 2017, with the game previously being listed in our most anticipated games of 2016 as well. Further outings and demonstrations in 2016, including going hands-on with the game at PAX Australia, have only continued to cement the game as our most anticipated new IP. The combination of a beautiful post-post-apocalyptic world, incredibly detailed and unique robo-dinosaur design and an interesting female protagonist has us understandably excited for the game. Our anticipation was further enhanced by seeing those beautiful graphics in person and the tight and responsive controls as we took control of Aloy and ran through the fields and took on enemies much bigger than ourselves. Everything we’ve seen so far points to Horizon Zero Dawn being an incredible game and IP, and we cannot wait to be able to play even more of the game.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
After 25 years, The Legend of Zelda has grown into one of our most beloved and respected here at Rocket Chainsaw. The franchise has grown and evolved along with us, always trying to add something new with each new release. Some parts have been well received and others not so much, but nothing prepared us for just how different The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild seems to be. Massive open areas abound, with recent trailers showing off the differing weather effects and environments we can expect to find. The art style further refines the cel-shaded and painterly styles introduced in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Skyward Sword and has created the most unique looking Legend of Zelda game to date. The introduction of crafting, durability and survival promises to shake up the Zelda formula in an unprecedented way and the new physics engine looks excellent. The introduction of some sci-fi elements to the story, including Link’s tablet and the cryo-chamber he wakes from, are another new element and were an unexpected introduction. Similarly with Pokemon Sun and Moon, we haven’t seen the Zelda formula changed this much in over a decade, and that promise of change and reinvigoration excites us more than anything else. Playing the game at E3 2016 further cemented our excitement for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and we’re counting down the days until we can finally play it.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
I will put myself on record and say that the Mass Effect Trilogy was my favourite new IP and franchise of the last generation. Bioware’s merging of RPG storytelling and third person shooter mechanics grabbed me in a way that games hadn’t since the PlayStation 1. It was so different in tone and style than anything else at the time and I fell in love immediately. While the franchise took some missteps in later games, I still walked away from Commander Sheppard’s story feeling like I had found a new series to cherish. With no real way to continue on from that trilogy, I always wondered what future games would do to keep the franchise going. Bioware Montreal’s method, a soft reboot that creates an offshoot from during the original trilogy, leaves the game open to create its own original narrative without being bogged down by the decisions of the past. There was a long wait between announcement and the gameplay reveal, but it was worth it. Mass Effect Andromeda’s combat looks to have a fluidity about it that Bioware Edmonton could only have dream of during the original trilogy’s development. The new generation of consoles means that powers look more bombastic than ever, and the level of detail seen in the environments looks incredible. The story promises to take the series in a new direction, as you find yourself in a new galaxy where you’re the alien. This new direction promises to show a different side to Mass Effect than what we have seen before, and we cannot wait to see what just how the new characters react to it.