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Opinion

Ones To Watch In 2017 - PC & Nintendo Exclusives

Cute and cuddly, to bloody and brutal.

Nintendo platforms and Windows PCs are drastically different in the kinds of exclusive games they receive. The last few generations have seen Nintendo’s own franchises keeping people interested in their platforms, while PC exclusives have always been third party, but have shifted much more towards strategy and the twitchiest of twitch shooters.

Looking to 2017, Nintendo’s big reveals will come in just a couple of weeks, and it’s hard to pin down exclusive that have yet to be announced. I’ve picked out five PC exclusives, on the other hand, that are worth keeping an eye on and aren’t likely to find their way to Sony or Microsoft consoles any times soon.

Let’s dive in.


Nintendo

While Wii U support has effectively stopped outside of indie titles and Zelda, the 3DS is still going strong. Early on in the year we have the promising port of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King – you can read our initial thoughts here – as well as the 3DS port Poochy & Yoshi’s Wooly World and the new 2D platforming Pikmin game. Monster Hunter Stories is also in the works, adopting a more cartoony art style than the more realistic games we’ve seen.

For those wanting to know more about the Nintendo Switch and the many rumours surrounding it at this time, I’d suggest pulling an all-nighter to catch the January 13th Nintendo Direct might not be the wisest thing you could do. We will of course have more information as we hear it. Incidentally though, if the GameCube Virtual Console rumour is true – Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door are the two games I desperately want to see.

Very few games have been confirmed for the Nintendo Switch, and only one has been officially confirmed as a first party title. It’s a ruddy big one though.

From what I’ve seen of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, we could be in for one of the more ambitious instalments in the franchise’s history. Zelda games have had open worlds, but something about Breath of the Wild feels more “open world” than ever before.

A lot of this is down to the fact that you can now craft weapons, meaning that resource gathering is a major part of the gameplay rather than relegated to picking up bombs or arrows. Weapon degradation isn’t the most popular of accompanying mechanics to crafting, but it seems to be handled fairly here. With a striking art style that is beautiful to look at, this certainly seems like the biggest game of Nintendo’s roster.


PC

With regards to the PC, there is a lot of crossover in terms of the games found. With Microsoft renewing their interest in supporting the PC market by bringing their own games from the Xbox platform, as well as companies across the industry embracing cross-platform play, there’s never been a better time to own a gaming PC.

Two platforms for VR on PC available – Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and there are some companies that are backing one platform over the other, though VR games have been dealt with in a separate list. What we’re focusing on here are the games currently announced solely for PC in 2017. Sadly this means I can’t gush about MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries as that launches in 2018.

With the huge success of Overwatch and how it popularised the idea of the Hero Shooter, id Software clearly see a gap in the hero shooter market and revealed Quake Champions – a spiritual successor to the wildly popular Quake III: Arena. From what we’ve seen, the game combines the fast-paced FPS Arena shooting with the Hero characters.

In order to successfully capture some of Overwatch’s pie, two things definitely need to happen. Firstly, the characters need to be charismatic. Going off the template with Quake III: Arena’s combatants, there is certainly scope for this to work, but the genre sells on having great personalities.

One area that Overwatch is weak on is the gameplay mode variety. Sadly, this is also what I felt let Doom down with its multiplayer mode, but with a bit of time back in the labs of id Software, they can hopefully come up with several modes to keep things fresh and original. I feel that this is where Quake Champions will either make it or fail miserably. One to keep an eye on, certainly.

When the original appeared a few years ago, it was such a novel concept: a Tactical RTS where turns play out simultaneously, forcing you to plan and double guess what your opponent will do. It’s the game that put Mode7 on the map, delivering an original idea in such a stylish yet minimalist way.

Frozen Synapse 2 looks to deliver a more grander scale game, that still has the solid Tactical RTS gameplay, but expands the idea of forming alliances with factions and treaties; all together with a more advanced take on the minimalist art style and a ton more particles to dazzle the eyes.

Accompanying all of this is a soundtrack courtesy of nervous_testpilot – the creator of the wonderful soundtrack to the original. The sample found in the trailer for the sequel is just as captivating and the hope is that it will be a phenomenal companion to a phenomenal sequel.

I don’t normally go for horror games, though I’ve obviously dabbled with a few for TSA. However, despite being billed as a horror game, I’m morbidly fascinated with Ebb Software’s Scorn – a Kickstarter project with the first part of two being released in 2017. I’ve not personally Kickstarted this title, but even so, I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

Inspired by HR Giger’s designs, the game looks to be a visceral FPS experience with more flesh than an overstocked abattoir. It’s frankly disturbing, but not in a way that repulses me too much from the footage seen. The fact it isn’t another weaponless horror game means that it’s got its work cut out to keep the player unsettled, and yet curiosity is the overpowering feeling I get.

The game doesn’t sound like it’s going to be an easy romp either, going off the blurb on the game’s webstie. No HUD, a grizzly world full of mazes and hideous creatures, and limited item management that forces players to fight or hide are all features. It’s a risky strategy, for certain, but it certainly takes great advantage of the Unreal 4 engine.

Relic Entertainment have seen a lot of change since the last Dawn of War game. Having moved from THQ to Sega as part of their parent company’s sell-off, the developer have mostly focused on Company of Heroes 2 and the expansions that came out for that game.

Base building returns to the series, along with the Requisition points that allow for a greater flow of resources into your base. One thing that was shown off at E3 was that Space Marines have the ability to drop units onto the battlefield that were built in space in a move called “Deepstriking”. Cover is also a major deal, as it has been in lots of Relic Entertainment’s games. So far, very familiar to those who played the original.

That isn’t to say that the more hero focused sequel doesn’t get to shine a little bit as well. Hero units feel important with skills that require tactical timing and placement to cause the most damage. With some amazing destructible cliff faces and cover, as well as some impeccably designed units, the tabletop game may have a new RTS adaptation worth playing.


Those are just some of the games on both Nintendo and PC platforms we felt the need to highlight. Are there any we’ve missed that are exclusive to both those platforms? Sound off in the comments. Who knows, there may be an upcoming hidden gem worth looking into!

3 Comments
  1. Avenger
    Member
    Since: Oct 2012

    Zelda and DoW 3 are highlights for me. Zelda especially looks like the change of pace I need in an open world adventure. Fingers crossed for a decent showing by Switch.

    Comment posted on 27/12/2016 at 12:15.
  2. Andrewww
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    I’m not interested in any of the Nintendo stuff, and I usually try to ignore the PC-only games, as that’s not the platform I play on. But I already came across Scorn. Of course, Giger and designs inspired by him still rule, so I very much hope it’ll make it some day to PlayStation.

    Comment posted on 27/12/2016 at 20:18.
  3. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    There’s also Ever Oasis, for 3DS. A squad-based action RPG of sorts, with lovely art. It’s another new Nintendo IP, and made by Grezzo who did the Zelda 3D remakes and a few Streetpass games.

    Comment posted on 28/12/2016 at 22:00.

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