Welcome to part two of next year’s cross-platform wish list, which, unlike part one, features game’s which still haven’t got a confirmed release date. Hopefully for all our sakes none of them will be featuring in this article next December, though the Star Wars: Battlefront series hasn’t had the best luck in making release dates. Or the games being finished. Which in actuality should probably see it fit in with most of Ubisoft’s upcoming releases no matter what.
The chance to bash zombies in California looks far too good to pass up, at least if you believe Yager Development’s particularly brilliant first trailer for Dead Island 2. It doesn’t feature any actual gameplay mind you so perhaps we shouldn’t get too excited quite yet. Set several months after the first title it seems that the zombie infection has spread to America from the original (dead) island off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Offering four playable characters as well as co-operative and competitive multiplayer the game looks to be aiming for the traditional sequel standby of ‘bigger is better’ – and who are we to argue?
Currently pegged for quarter two of next year, the action horror game could turn out to offer an interesting new take on the zombie outbreak, especially with Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager Development at the helm. Or, it could just be about bashing zombie’s heads in. Either way, we should know by next summer when it’s likely to arrive for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Just Cause 3 is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the third entry in the open-world series and looks to benefit hugely from the technological jump to the new generation of consoles. Whilst developers Avalanche haven’t created a map any bigger than that found in Just Cause 2, they’ve radically altered the verticality of the landscape, with it now including both tall mountain ranges as well as underground caverns, whilst also improving the player’s ability to ascend and descend these areas.
For those players returning to the franchise you’ll be glad to know that both the parachute and the grappling hook will be returning with you, with Avalanche focussed on retaining the series’ penchant for mayhem and unbelievable physics. Rico Rodriguez will also be returning in the main role, though with no definite release date we could be waiting a while for this one.
Amongst the most anticipated game’s of next year, MGS V: The Phantom Pain is a full length title which follows on from the bite-sized prologue MGS: Ground Zeroes. With series director Hideo Kojima at the helm players will have huge expectations for this new instalment which follows mercenary leader Venom Snake. Featuring locations in Africa and Afghanistan, and utilising the new Fox Engine, the game should be the most visually striking entry in the series so far.
Kojima is certainly looking to envelop players in his world, with The Phantom Pain seeing the return of Peace Walker’s base-building feature, which allows your home base to grow and expand, and offers the development of exciting new hardware. Enemy AI has also been improved, with repetition of similar tactics resulting in the computer learning them and subsequently exploiting or responding to them.
The only issue I can foresee is that unlike the other releases included here The Phantom Pain will be releasing on both the new generation of consoles as well as the previous generation. The danger of course being that those entries will hold back the potential of the game on new hardware. If however they can develop both to a high standard it looks like everyone will be able to enjoy Snake’s continuing mission at some point next year, whether it’s on 360 and PS3 or Xbox One, Ps4 and PC.
Here’s the big one, at least as far as I’m concerned. The first fruits from EA’s deal with Disney to make Star Wars games sees DICE taking on the task of creating a new-gen Star Wars: Battlefront game, something which players have been hankering after ever since Star Wars: Battlefront 3 was cancelled. The new game will be a reboot for the franchise rather than a sequel to the earlier entries, and with DICE’s success with the Battlefield franchise they seem like an excellent choice to realise the potential that the Star Wars universe has for action based video games.
Unfortunately all we’ve seen so far is a teaser trailer, but the possibilities that the new generation of consoles offer to a Star Wars: Battlefront game are genuinely exciting. With a current placeholder release for ‘Holiday 2015’, Star Wars: Battlefront could be the perfect Christmas present for all those console owning Star Wars fans, particularly if you just play repeatedly on the Hoth level for a few weeks.
A darling of the original next-generation marketing furore, the game was announced at E3 back in 2013, but is so far still unconfirmed for release next year. Both gameplay and cinematic trailers have showcased a post apocalyptic America which has been decimated by a disease, and focusses on just how easy it would be for the real world to follow suit.
The action gameplay has so far looked solid, with an emphasis on effective team play within a massively multiplayer open world. Alongside the third person gameplay, players can also utilise a drone being controlled by using a tablet, allowing them to stay involved even when they’re away from their consoles. Both societally aware and impressively attractive utilising the Snowdrop engine, The Division could well be one of the must have games of next year.
Six years have passed since the last Rainbow Six console title and a lot has changed in that space of time. Siege will mark the eighth instalment in the series, and Ubisoft will be hoping that despite the franchise’s time away there is still room for its realistic tactical first-person offering. Utilising the AnvilNext engine and featuring destructible environments the game will certainly look the part, but series stalwarts may not be totally taken with the heavy multiplayer focus.
Ubisoft Montreal has said that the hostage rescue scenario seen in their latest E3 trailer is indicative of the rest of the game, with all of the game’s combat being urban/interior close-quarter battle. The trailer was certainly impressive, showcasing a good array of tactical choices, and if you’re able to put together a reliable team, Rainbow Six: Siege could well offer a great alternative to the more gung-ho first person shooters out there.
Come back tomorrow, where we’ll be switching our focus back to the indie games coming our way in 2015