The Upcoming Shooters in 2017

by on January 13, 2017

 

                A new
year means new games and a series of articles is in order to talk about what
2017 has in store for the PC gamers. I’m going to start with shooters as it is
the least represented genre but well concentrated in a group of interesting games.
As usual, these articles include the most expected games and
those I find promising, but not all the games confirmed for 2017.
Rising Storm 2: Vietnam
Release Date: Early 2017
                Now
that Killing Floor 2 is out of Early Access, Tripwire Interactive can focus
more on their partnership with Antimatter Games for Rising Storm 2: Vietnam.
                Antimatter
Games is a studio formed from the team who developed the original Rising Storm
so there is no reason to worry. The developers aim for an authentic recreation
of the Vietnam war featuring an asymmetric conflict between the conventional US
army equipped with advanced military technology and the Vietnamese guerilla
forces. Helicopters will reign over the skies as Vietnamese forces hide in the
lush jungles using the defender’s advantage to set traps and lure the enemies
in. The maps and game modes will range from smaller squad against squad
conflicts to a full out war with up to 64 players. Communication and
coordination will be crucial and there will be no unlocks to distract the
players from the tactical gameplay.
Rising Storm 2: Vietnam is another
game returning to the roots of military online shooters before they got riddled
with arcade elements and tons of unlocks. It won’t appeal to everyone, but
those who appreciate gameplay above anything else, might be in for a treat.

 

Sniper Ghost Warrior 3
Release Date: April 4
The third installment in the Ghost
Warrior series by CI Games is switching from the classic formula with levels to
an open world environment featuring a proxy conflict and a civil war in
Georgia. The new change goes hand in hand with a gameplay that allows multiple
approaches. Players can use drones and vantage points to scout providing
tactical information that can be vital in completing objectives either by
sniping, sneaking around or running and gunning through outposts swarming with
enemies.
The gameplay and world design look
intriguing and the CryEngine powered graphics are not too shabby despite
showing some lack of animations polishing, but I can’t shake off a feeling of Far
Cry despite the more tactical approach. On April 4th we’ll find out
if Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is an evolution of the series or a streamlined game
appealing to a wider audience.
Strafe
Release Date: Q1
                Pixel
Titans are turning back time to the early 90s when shooters like DOOM and Quake
were some of the most popular games. Strafe is using pixelated graphics and an
action packed gameplay to bring an homage to the birth era of shooters.
                At its
core Strafe is an old school style FPS preying on the nostalgia of older
gamers, but with a bunch of newer features and mechanics designed to create
possibly endless entertainment options. As the players board the spaceship
Icarus, they will be entering procedurally generated levels filled with more
than 20 different types of enemies ready to be blown into pieces with a wide
upgradeable arsenal while players are kept on their toes by roguelike
mechanics.
                Strafe
looks like an action packed shooter meant to trigger nostalgia while
entertaining players with its fast-paced gameplay or Oculus Rift support and
following after DOOM’s great comeback, it might just succeed at that.
Prey
Release Date: Spring
                Prey
wasn’t the revolutionary shooter everyone expected it to be, but we remember it
fondly for its troubled development and cool portal mechanics or puzzles.
Bethesda Softworks has scratched the sequel made by Human Head Studios handing
the IP to Arkane Studios to revive it in a System Shock fashion that looks
right up my alley.
Players will take the role of
Morgan Yu, a human part of an experiment meant to change humanity forever,
waking up aboard the Talos I space station which is now overrun by powerful
alien entities. With an altered DNA that gives him tremendous powers, Morgan
has to fight the horrific creatures that threaten life as we know it.
The game is melting together FPS with a RPG progression to
create a gameplay with multiple options setting a solid platform for creative
fun in the style of Arkane Studios, but this time using the great elements
defined by System Shock.
                The
combination of CryEngine powered graphics, Arkane’s talented gameplay
designers, Shock-esque elements and a story that has Chris Avellone as writer,
makes Prey one of the most promising games of this year. Hopefully the
performance problems of Dishonored 2 won’t follow Arkane as it will be a great
shame to ruin another game.
Get Even
Release Date: Spring
                More
than three years have passed since The Farm 51 announced their new First Person
Shooter, Get Even. The only game on this list with horror elements, Get Even
features the story of Cole Black, a man who awakes in an asylum with few
recollections about his past. Using a technology fused with his head that
allows him to read and replay memories he travels into his own mind to find the
truth about himself.
                The
gameplay trailer isn’t very informative but it does showcase some gorgeous
almost photorealistic environments. We also go to see some thrilling moments as
Cole Black tries to uncover what went wrong and why he is haunted by the memory
of a teenage girl with a bomb strapped to her. The long wait is almost over and
this spring we will be able to see with whom and why we have to get even.
Battalion 1944
Release Date: TBA
                Historical
settings are making a return for First Person Shooters and after two games set
in WWI it was only natural to pay a visit to WWII theaters. Battalion 1944 is
an infantry based multiplayer shooter in the likes of Medal of Honor and the
first two Call of Duty games.
                Battalion
1944 promises a competitive oriented experience rooted in the player’s skill
without weapon unlocks or overpowering perks. Players can partake in seasonal
competitions on a global scale to earn cosmetic rewards and prove their worth
in battle fighting in classic modes like Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch or
Domination.
The developers at Bulkhead Interactive want a lasting game
and they don’t plan on overlooking the graphics. Being powered by Unreal Engine
4, Battalion 1944 will provide realistic and beautiful environments that stay
true to the era.
                Over
10,000 backers helped this project become a reality raising three times the
initial goal and proving there is a living interest in the almost abandoned
WWII. Battalion 1944 is a great looking and promising title with a potential
eSports future. We’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.
Star Wars Battlefront II
Release Date: TBA
                A while
back the CFO of EA, Blake Jorgensen, confirmed that the 10 years deal struck
with Disney will bring many Star Wars games including a few iterations of
Battlefront. EA DICE’s remake of Star Wars Battlefront was a financial success,
but the players didn’t stick with it for long. The lack of gameplay depth and
the design choices meant to differentiate the game from Battlefield took away
from the appeal and replay value, but things are about to change or so we hope.
                The
main addition to Star Wars Battlefront II is a singleplayer campaign, something
I stated many times I find unnecessary in a well done multiplayer game, but the
fans asked and EA DICE is delivering. Following on the requests of the fanbase,
the sequel will have a skirmish mode which will allow players to fight in
offline battles against AI enemies like in the older games. The last confirmed
information states that Battlefront II will have bigger and better worlds,
including battles from the latest movies.
Not much is known at the current
time, but changes are made based on players’ feedback which could be good news.
My only hope is that Battlefront II moves away from the arcade elements of the predecessor
towards the Battlefield approach of the older games made by Pandemic Studios
and LucasArts, but not without trying to innovate.
Insurgency: Sandstorm
Release Date: TBA
                Sandstorm
is the Unreal Engine 4 remake of New World Interactive’s Insurgency that is not
ignoring the PC market despite targeting the current gen consoles. The remake
will stay true in gameplay to the original game while bringing new features
including an eSports framework and a new story mode. It’s no surprise that New
World Interactive tries to make Insurgency an eSport, the game has all the
right elements and therefore a huge potential for competitive play. The
surprise is the new story mode which will have a squad of characters going
through some rough battles during the 2003 Iraq invasion.
                Not
much else is known at the current time aside of the fact that Sandstorm is going
to be published by Focus Home Interactive. I enjoyed Insurgency tremendously
and I’ve always felt it was held back by the technology behind it. Unreal
Engine 4 is going to positively affect the experience and the few screenshots
stand as proof.
LawBreakers
Release Date: TBA
Cliff Bleszinski is returning with
LawBreakers, a fast paced First Person Shooter mixing Unreal Tournament with the
increasingly popular hero shooters.
The game is set in a dystopian
future where players will fight to protect the law or take side with those who
break it. The players will choose between one of the four symmetrical roles for
each faction to battle on gravity defying maps that favor fast movement and
skill.
                LawBreakers
is catering to the needs of old school fans of arena shooters with an
unforgiving gameplay leaning towards eSports that reminds me of Quake 3 and
Unreal Tournament.
Squad
Release Date: TBA
                Squad
is the next big modern warfare simulator that’s going to contest ARMA 3’s
supremacy. Made by the people behind the Battlefield 2 and ARMA 2 Project
Reality mods, Squad is targeting the same playerbase of hardcore warfare fans
which don’t shy away from role playing a soldier.
                Developed
using Unreal Engine 4, Squad has some pretty neat visuals for a game born out
of crowdfunding, providing some of the most realistic combat effects I’ve seen
in a game of this type. Explosions and particle effects in general induce the
feeling of a real war and the illumination casts its colorful play of light and
shadows over the vast maps with a gameplay changing result. The gameplay itself
is pretty hardcore with few HUD elements, slower movement or animations and a
difficult shooting that requires more knowledge from the players. The combined
arms warfare requires strategic planning and tactical execution as every
resource is valuable and wasting them will put the team on the losing end of
the battle.
                Squad
is still in Alpha stage and awaits the introduction of air support and
specialized ground vehicles as well as many other gameplay mechanics and
features that were promised in the Kickstarter campaign. But the game is on the
right track with a solid base gameplay and features that continue to evolve
through the commitment of the developers and the feedback provided by the
players.
2016 was a surprisingly good year
for this genre but 2017 doesn’t want to be outdone. While this list is
dominated by multiplayer games, there are shooters fitting everyone’s taste
including some interesting singleplayer adventures. This article is showcasing
a pretty solid gaming year for shooters, but just wait to
see the other genres!
Nodrim