The Upcoming Action Games in 2016

by on January 18, 2016

                I’ve
wrote about the adventure games and RPGs coming in 2016. Now let’s see the
genre that over the years has combined elements from both adventures and RPGs.
This is a list of the most attractive action games that have
been announced to come in 2016:
Resident Evil 0 HD REMASTER
Release Date: January 19
                Last
year we got to relive the Resident evil that started it all in a remastered
format. This year we get the remastered version of the prequel, 2002 Resident
Evil Zero.
                CAPCOM
is taking us back to a time when Resident Evil games were more about survival
and horror and less about being zombie shooters.
                Resident
Evil 0 HD REMASTER will present, again, the events starting in July 23 1998
when a train owned by the Umbrella Corporation was attacked. Following up on
that the Bravo team of STARS is sent to investigate a series of cannibalistic
murders outside of Raccoon City. As the Bravo team helicopter crashes in a
forest, the field medic Rebecca Chambers teams up with former marine Billy Coen
in order to survive and unveil the horrifying mystery of the murders.
                This HD
remaster not only takes us back to the series’ origins but it does it with enhanced
visuals featuring high-resolution textures and full HD support. The sound has
also been remastered and comes with 5.1 surround support.
                I’m up
for classic games remastered versions if they are properly made and the
Resident Evil HD REMASTER was a success so I’m pretty sure this game will
follow on its footsteps and deliver a visually enhanced experience that will be
appealing to older and younger gamers alike.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Release Date: January 28
                The
XBOX One timed exclusive is coming to the other platforms earlier than anyone
was expecting it. Maybe due to the fact that it didn’t sell that well or maybe
the developers remembered that the fans of the series are not tied to a gaming
platform. Either way, Rise of the Tomb Raider is coming to the PC on January 28
and if you managed to stay away from media related content of this game you
might be in for a treat. For me, on the other hand the story’s ending has
already been spoiled, reminding me (not like I forgot) why business practices
like this one are terrible for the gamers.
                Rise of
the Tomb Raider is the sequel to the 2013 reboot of the series which features a
less sexualized and more humanized Lara Croft, a big step in the series and for
the video games industry. The game follows on the footsteps of its predecessor
delivering an experience closer to a survival rather than a full action game.
Lara Croft will continue her
journey of uncovering the supernatural mysteries of the world. This journey
will take her to Siberia and its harsh winter in a race to find the Lost City
of Kitzeh before the Trinity organization. Outnumbered and outgunned, Lara will
have to resort to guerilla warfare.  In a
battle for survival she will be forced to hunt animals, scavenge resources and
craft her own weapons.
                A
feature that is returning in its full splendor in this sequel are the tombs,
which were highly undeveloped in the previous game. The tombs will be bigger,
much more dangerous and filled with puzzles and secrets worthy of the world’s
best tomb raider (in the making).
                Rise of
the Tomb Raider is the opener for the AAA releases of this year and despite the
ugly business model I’m waiting for Lara’s return.
Dying Light: The Following
Release Date: February 9
                Dying
Light was a tremendous success for the Techland studio which abandoned Dead
Island to work on this new and improved version of… Dead Island.
                The
Following is a story based expansion which comes as part of the Season Pass
package for Dying Light (would be nice if this catches with other developers).
The expansion will take the players to a countryside area outside Harran afflicted
by the contained zombie outbreak. The protagonist Kyle Crane will meet
mysterious characters, fight zombies and explore the area taking advantage of
his parkour skills and an upgradeable dirt buggy ready to run over some
zombies.
The expansion will be content rich with new weapons, quests,
skills, enemies and much more to provide an improved experience of the same
length as the original game.
                Dying
Light was a big surprise for me in 2015. The game was improved over numerous
content updates and The Following is going to top that with some welcomed new
content.
Far Cry Primal
Release Date: February 23
                Far Cry
2 is one of my favorite FPSs because of its impeccable game mechanics that are so
important to this genre. But over the years Far Cry went a little more on the
story department and a lot less on those particular game mechanics. Either way,
the series has been a great success for Ubisoft and a new Far Cry game was
imminent.
The modern setting with crazy warlords has been overused and
a change in landscape is coming with Far Cry Primal which is set in the Stone
Age.
Takkar, a seasoned hunter and the
last living member of his group, has to survive the harsh condition of the
Stone Age (around 12,000 years before present). An unkind time when sabertooth
tigers, massive elks and wooly mammoths roamed a world that has the man at the
bottom of the food chain. But with his newfound taming skills, Takkar will rise
in power and get to lead his own tribe.
                Due to
the massive change in setting, the new Far Cry will not feature guns instead
the players will have to rely mostly on melee weapons and bows to fight their
way through. As an action adventure and a Far Cry game, Primal will offer a
huge world to explore. The world of Oros will provide numerous and marvelous
open world locations including glacial mountains, taigas, swamps and towering
forests.
                This
new change might be good for Far Cry. Survival games with a prehistoric setting
like ARK have been extremely successful and Ubisoft seems to wants to appeal to
those interested in such a setting with a well done singleplayer game.

 

Hitman
Release Date: March 19
                The
history of new Hitman comes as a reminder of what developers wouldn’t do to
sell their products. Initially Hitman was supposed to be a game with a normal
release this was followed by an option to purchase the game in parts.
Ultimately Hitman is going to be released in an episodic format spanning from
March to May and with exclusive content for PS4. Such practice is hard to go
uncriticized, but this article is not about that so I’ll let the subject go
(for now).
                The
players will reprise their role as Agent 47, an elite assassin, and travel to
various international locations to eliminate contracted targets. As before the game
won’t be story driven and will focus mostly on the gameplay experience.
                The
game will retain the level design concept of the previous titles in the series
offering small sandbox-like maps so the players can go nuts with the multitude
of available options for assassinations (this sounds so wrong).
The contracts mode from Hitman: Absolution will make a
return with revamped mechanics and will include tons of targets and special
events in which players can compete against one another.
                It
feels like Hitman is coming back to the series’ roots. The gameplay trailers
have shown complex game mechanics and felt less arcady which is a good thing.
Aside of the suspicious business model Hitman could actually be a hit.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
Release Date: March 24
                The
only other title that DICE worked on until recently, Mirror’s Edge was a well
received game with a cult following. Fans have been waiting for years for a
sequel and after it was teased through Battlefield 4 maps, DICE had finally
something to show at E3 2015.
                Catalyst
is not a sequel but a reboot in which the players will get to experience a much
more story focused campaign that has Faith Connors in the middle of it.
                The
innovative parkour gameplay is going to return in an enhanced version to be
used in an open world environment which allows for free roaming, arcade
challenges and even puzzles.
The combat has been changed completely and Faith can’t pick
up guns anymore. Now she has to rely on her agility and swift melee attacks to
deal with the enemies that threaten her life.
                The
game is developed using the latest version of Frosbite engine and it looks
beautiful following the same primary color artistic design that made Mirror’s
Edge so unique.
                This is
going to be a jumpy year with games like Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and Dying
Light: The Following and I’m glad that we will be able to enjoy a bigger
diversity in gameplay.
ReCore
Release Date: Spring
                Originally
said to be an Xbox One exclusive, ReCore, the action adventure from Comcept and
Armature Studio is coming to PC as well.
                The
players will take control of young woman who is one of the last remaining
humans on a planet under the control of robots set on the destruction of the
human race. The protagonist has to befriend a group of robots each with unique
abilities to help her in a dangerous journey that could lead to the salvation
of mankind.
                I wish
there was more to say about this game, but at this moment there are little to
no details about it except for the E3 2015 presentation video which hints at some
of the game’s mechanics.
Dishonored 2
Release Date: Q2
                A
sequel to Dishonored was imminent and at E3 2015 it was officially announced.
The big twist of Dishonored 2 is that players can take either the role of the
previous protagonist Corvo Attano or play as the empress Emily Kaldwin.
                15
years has passed since the events of the original game and the empress Emily
Kaldwin has been dethroned by an otherworldly usurper and forced to become an
outlaw. She takes on the path that Corvo followed years back and becomes an
assassin in order to retake her throne.
                The
gameplay was the best part of Dishonored and the sequel will feature the same
level of complexity combining action elements with stealth and allowing the
players to choose their own playstyle. Going through the game without killing
anyone is entirely possible, but no doubt there will be enough gadgets and
skills to help those in search for action.
                Dishonored’s
biggest flaw was its weak story and while it compensated for that with a solid gameplay
it wasn’t enough. If Dishonored 2 can deliver an enhanced gameplay with a
better story (now seen from two perspectives) it will have the potential to
reach greatness.
Below
Release Date: TBA
                Below
was one of my most anticipated games in 2015 but it went dark and I haven’t
heard anything about it for a long time.
                The
action adventure game with rogulike elements will take a tiny warrior to
explore the depths of an island. Exploration, survival and a brutal but fair
combat with permanent death awaits those brave enough to descent into this
mysterious place.
                Below
has been in works for years and the developers are working now on improving the
game and fixing its bugs for a problems free release.
For Honor
Release Date: TBA
                First
shown at E3 2015, For Honor is another game from Ubisoft that looks really
great (at first). Initially presented to be an online only action game focusing
on 4v4 combat on a battlefield filled with AI combatants it was recently
announced that For Honor will also come with singleplayer campaign worthy of an
AAA game.
                The
graphics might look amazing (waiting for that downgrade), but the selling point
of this game is the action combat system which pits samurais, knights and Vikings
in a battle to death. The combat is visceral, fast paced yet tactical allowing
the players to choose the direction and power of their weapon swings and
control the blocking.
                The
idea behind the game sounds amazing, with a competitive multiplayer and a
campaign that should add value for money. For Honor’s only downside is in the small
number of players facing each other in a match, but that might lead up to a
lesser chaotic gameplay with teamwork and fights that will better highlight the
combat system.
Ghost of a Tale
Release Date: TBA
                The
action-adventure indie game from SeithCG was on the list of games to come in
2015, but it was postponed and is going to be released this year.
                The
game takes place in a medieval world inhabited by anthropomorphized animals.
Mice, rats, crabs, badgers, hawks, spiders and many other animals are part of
this peculiar world lore which also contains various undead creatures.
                A few
centuries after the mice have been banished as traitors in the War of the Green
Flame, the minstrel mouse named Tilo is thrown in jail by the rats. Tilo has to
escape from his imprisonment and from the surrounding lands and uncover
mysteries long forgotten.
                Ghost
of a Tale takes inspiration from video games like Dark Souls and Legend of
Zelda and from movies like The Secret of NIMH, Robin Hood and The Dark Crystal.
Its charming fantasy world, loveable protagonist and the action adventurous
gameplay make it a game to follow.
Hellblade
Release Date: TBA
                Described
as an indie AAA, Hellblade is an upcoming action game from Ninja Theory with a
story based on Celtic myths and an investment in technology that looks to put
AAA tiles to shame.
                Senua
is on a personal journey through the underworld which was born from a psychotic
manifestation of her mind. Senua is suffering from a mental illness that
affects the world around her not through hallucination but in a physical way. To
deal with problems created by her own mind, Senua is well trained in the art of
combat and ready to take on any enemy through a well balanced combat system
focusing on one-on-one fights.
                Ninja
Theory has a pretty good experience with action games (DmC: Devil May Cry) and
the development diary videos show a lot of effort put into this game to look
and feel as best as possible. I would like to see some more gameplay footage,
but I can’t say I’m not intrigued about Hellblade’s premise and the way it plays.
Mafia III
Release Date: TBA
                Mafia III
is an upcoming third person action shooter developed by Hangar 13 under the 2K
Games banner.
                As a
debut title for the Hangar 13 studio and the third installment in the series,
the most surprising thing about Mafia III is how different the game is from the
previous titles.
Mafia III is still a game about mafia set in an open world
environment. The footage shown so far presents an extremely action oriented
game featuring a lot of combat including melee, finishing moves and a cover
system.
                After
his friends are murdered by the local mob, Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam War veteran,
seeks to revenge them by starting a criminal organization. With the help of his
allies, including Vito Scalleta (Mafia II protagonist), Lincoln will drive out
the Italian mob and take New Orleans for himself!
                I
enjoyed the Mafia games despite not being very fond of the subject, but I’m not
sure what to say about Mafia III. This is a great chance for the Hangar 13
studio to make itself known and maybe some good will come out of this.
Shadwen
Release Date: TBA
                The
creators of Trine take upon the challenge of making an action stealth game.
Shadwen is a ruthless sneaking game where a slight
failure will get the female protagonist captured by the ever vigilant guards.
                Shadwen
is an assassin on a quest to kill the king which is forced to take with her an
orphan girl by the name of Lily. In her journey Shadwen is has to decide
between killing guards and finding another way to deal with them in order to protect
Lily’s innocence.
                The
game will focus on physics based action stealth gameplay in which the players
will be able to use the environment at their own advantage in order to sneak
around or take out the guards. Another neat mechanic will be the ability to
control time allowing to stop Shadwen mid-jump and preventing her from being
detected. Players will also be able to rewind time in order to execute things in
a different manner taking advantage of the knowledge gained from previous
failed attempts.
                After
the troubled launch of Trine 3 I hope the indie studio Frozenbyte will manage
to recapture the love of their fans with this interesting take on the action
stealth sub-genre.
                The
long list of action games designed to make this year entertaining is coming to
an end.  I probably only scratched the
surface here as there  are more action
games worth checking out that will come this year and their numbers will
continue to grow.
Either way, as things look now, 2016 is going to be a pretty
action packed year.
See also:
Nodrim