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What’s in store for gaming in 2016?

2016 is shaping up to be a huge year for the gaming industry, and may even overshadow 2015 despite impactful releases from last year like The Witcher 3 and Undertale. Next year’s game catalog boasts many long-awaited sequels as well as exciting new properties that could shape the climate of the industry for years to come. Here’s a look at the most notable games coming out each month.

January: To kick off the year, we have several excellent RPG games coming out. The popular RPG Darkest Dungeon will be coming out of Early Access, and the cult classic Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen will be released on PC for the first time. Nintendo also brings new 3DS titles Hyrule Warriors: Legends and Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam.

February: If you like sequels and new installments of old franchises, this is the month for you. XCOM 2, Fire Emblem Fates and Street Fighter 5 bring modern installments to three of the most famous franchises in gaming history. Far Cry Primal puts a prehistoric spin on the gritty shooter series. Mojang’s long awaited side-scrolling shooter Cobalt is also set for a release sometime during February.

March: Remakes and remasters are the flavors of this month. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD and Day of the Tentacle Remastered are back and look better than ever, while Hitman reboots the infamous assassin-simulator franchise.

April: This month is all about the grim and dark, bringing the latest installment of the Souls series, Dark Souls III, and the visceral fantasy warfare of Total War: Warhammer. Sony fans will be excited by the re-imagining of the classic Ratchet and Clank as well as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, the final chapter in the Uncharted series.

May: If you’re looking for a new kind of shooter, Battleborn might be up your alley with its colorful cast of characters and ability-based shooting combat. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst re-imagines the cult parkour game Mirror’s Edge.

June: Survival and exploration fans will have lots to look forward to with the full release of the popular survival game Ark: Survival Evolved and the highly anticipated space exploration game No Man’s Sky. We Happy Few also shakes up the survival game formula with its focus on blending in with a dystopian society.

July-December: So far there have been few announcements of releases for the latter half of the year, but there are still a few titles worth mentioning. In July, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided brings back the classic series of infiltration and human augmentation. Fans of Banjo-Kazooie will see the spiritual successor to the series in November called Yooka-Laylee, which will bring back the classic 3D-platforming gameplay that’s too rare these days. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is set for a December release and should continue to define the modern computer-RPG genre.

Other Notable Titles:
Overwatch is Blizzard’s newest franchise and is set for a spring release. It’s a first-person-shooter that features a unique cast of superhero-esque characters and ability-based gameplay. World of Warcraft: Legion, the expansion to Blizzard’s powerhouse MMORPG World of Warcraft, is also set for a release by the end of the year.

Crowdfunding success Star Citizen looks to release sometime towards the end of the year. This ambitious title combines physics-based space combat and complex economics with first-person shooter elements.

The Final Fantasy series is finally getting a new installment. Final Fantasy XV will have an open-world environment and will feature new elements such as a day and night cycle and dynamic weather.

The Last Guardian is set to release some time this year. From the creators of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, this is an action-adventure game where you solve puzzles with the help of a colossal and unpredictable creature that is meant to simulate the instinct-driven behavior of a real animal.

The Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset device, is also set to release sometime this year for around $350.

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Mathew Brock

Mathew Brock