It’s a new year and a new chance to revitalize your gaming library. While winter Steam sales gave us the chance to stock up on proven classics like “Dragon Age: Origins” and “Knights of the Old Republic” for pocket change, there’s nothing quite like riding the hype of a big game release into an even bigger purchase.
2016 is looking like a year that will be jam packed with sequels and a few original releases throughout. Starting in January with the obligatory release of yet another “Assassin’s Creed,” – this time set in India – and coming to a climax with fourth iteration of the greatest series of all time: “Mass Effect.”
“Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India” – Jan. 12, 2016
In case it wasn’t clear enough that the “Assassin’s Creed” series is finally losing steam, this will be the second 2D, sidescrolling addition to the never-ending saga of hooded 17th century men killing historical figures because Templars… or something.
“India” has gotten props for its vibrant new setting, colonial India, and it’s thoughtful puzzles, so it might be worth picking up if you’re a die hard fan willing to drop $30 for a chance to continue a plot line from the “Assassin’s Creed” graphic novels, but otherwise it hardly seems worth the price.
“XCOM 2” – Feb. 5, 2016
Set 20 years after “XCOM,” a turn-based strategy shooter in which you lead a badass anti-alien paramilitary team, “XCOM 2” grapples with the repercussions of a successful alien invasion.
The sequel boasts the same strangely captivating underground base as the original, but pretty much everything else has been tweaked or outright overhauled. New classes, including a ranger with the potential to become a sword wielding assassin, a greater emphasis on hit and run tactics and fully destroyable environments, one of my personal favorite features in any game, should make for an action packed resistance effort.
“Mass Effect: Adromeda” – TBA
It’s tough to imagine “Mass Effect” without Commander Shepard, but the intergalactic stage of this three game long space opera is captivating enough that I’m willing to give BioWare a second chance.
Believed to take place in the Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way’s closest interstellar neighbor, fan theories based on the trailer released at E3 2015 suggest that “Mass Effect: Andromeda” will find our next great protagonist colonizing not just other worlds, but another galaxy entirely.
Other Titles Coming This Year
“The Witness” January 24
“Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst” May 24
“Dishonored 2” TBA
“Kingdom Hearts 3” TBA
“No Man’s Sky” TBA