Games to look forward to in 2017 Part 2

Yesterday's post was the start of my 2017 games list. Today I wanted to add onto the list and showcase some more games coming out a bit further into the year. The list started yesterday with Horizon Zero Dawn, Pyre, and Pit People. Today the list contains games that are all looking to come out in the first half of this year.

First on the list is probably the one that could be the biggest hit, but also might have the biggest chance for failure. That is going to be Sea of Thieves from Rare coming to Xbox One. I can't find any concrete proof that his game is on schedule for the first half of this year (besides Wikipedia) so it might just be on track for some point in 2017, but I'm confident we will see the final game in the next 12 months. The developer Rare has kinda been twiddling their thumbs for a long time, making xbox avatars and Kinect Sports, but it's easy to see the glint in their eye for bigger and better things. The one thing I love about Rare are their game are always about fun. From the bright colors they use, to their focus on making games playable for all ages, and Sea of Thieves looks like no exception. Now I haven't been all up on this game, so I don't know all the up to date details about this game, but I at least know what the vision is for the game. The idea is to live a pirate life, take on quests, go on fun adventures, and get treasure. While you are enjoying your pirate life, you will also be surrounded by other people living their pirate lives. It sounds a lot like Destiny, but without the RPG elements, and with a lot more backstabbing and loot snatching.

The thing I worry about this game is that it will only being fun when friends get involved. Last year the Division was one of my favorite games, and it was great when my whole friends list was playing it the first week or two of release. But once level's started to have a wider gap, and people started to drop off, the game became much more linear. With Sea of Thieves being so multiplayer focused I worry about the drop off rate after launch. While games like The Division and Destiny have been able to retain a long term hard core audience, it's hard for a casual play (Which I kinda consider myself since I just from game to game) to pick up and enjoy.

The next game on this list is Yooka Laylee, which just got a release date of 4/11/17. This game is by all accords a spiritual successor to the Banjo Kazooie games from the N64 era. It stars two adventurous animals, with different skill sets that combine to help platform and solve third person puzzles. An aft description for both games. Growing up I was blissfully unaware of the Banjo games, I was too busy playing Goldeneye and Perfect dark (Surprisingly also developed by Rare at the same time). But about the time that the modern Banjo three was looking to revive the series, I got a chance to play the HD port of the original game. That's when I learned just how amazing this game is. The varied environments and quirky characters blend well to make a game that is rich, fun, and entertaining until the end. The game does get punishingly hard later in the game, which is something I hope they address in Yooka Laylee. But the modern day game seems to want to ape everything else that made the older games fantastic. We will get to see soon how this crowdfunded game stands up to the competition.

The last game I want to spotlight today is a game I've very hyped for, but also a little nervous about. That would be Cuphead, coming to Xbox One and PC this year. This is a game Microsoft showed in a sizzle reel of games back at E3 2014. At the time Microsoft recognized the game as a standout and quickly started to work more with the dev on what is their first game. The part that games me nervous was that trailer was almost 3 years ago. Small indie games like this usually don't take this long to come out after they are announced. Back then the game was just a boss rush mode, where each level was just a new challenging boss, who was Mike Tyson levels of difficult until you mastered a pattern to beat them. With the extra time and backing from Microsoft, the game developed into having Contra like side scrolling run and gun levels. One of the reasons I'm sure this game is now pushed until Mid-2017 if that the whole thing is styled after 1920's cartoon animations. Everything looks hand drawn and picture perfect to fit in that long ago style. Adding levels and making tweaks must take a lot of time to redraw and animate those assets. I hope all the work and love they have put into this game pay off, and we all get an stellar title this year, but when it comes to game development you just never know if a vision is going to come together, especially from an unproven studio. This was the only game at Pax East last year that I wanted to play, but didn't get the chance, the line was always two hours long and I just didn't have the time.

So this takes us through the first half of 2017. The back half of the year is still a vague wasteland of possible release dates. Publishers always play a drawn out game of chicken when it comes to planting their flag during the tumultuous holiday period of October and November, so we won't know whats coming when for a while. We can still speculate what games are coming, but there will always be some surprises in store (especially as more people follow the Fallout 4 model of release a few months after announcement.) The 2017 list will continue, and then even through out some honorable mentions. Keep letting me know what games you all are looking forward to, or let me know if you are as excited about the games on my list.


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