What I’m Looking Forward to in 2016


The New Year is here, and now that the holiday festivities are over, we can get back to focusing on the next wave of great games that will be releasing. Over the past month the blogosphere (and Internet at large) has been listing off its favorite games, moments and stuff of 2015 but why stop now? Let’s kick off 2016 with a list of games I’m most looking forward to, and some titles that I’m hoping for more information about.

Coming This Year:

Street Fighter V (February)

I’m a Street Fighter fan boy. Always have been, always will be. The mechanics required to play the game are superior to that of any other fighting game in my opinion. I’m really looking forward to the next title in the series, as I enjoyed Street Fighter IV, but I think there are some better characters in this iteration. I also love the fact that you don’t need a bunch of friends to be able to have people to play against (like we used to back in the day), you can just hook up with people online. Many fighting games die out over time, but Street Fighter tends to have staying power in that department. I hope to get this one on release.

XCOM 2 (February)

I loved XCOM back when it was a 2-D pixellated mess, and I especially loved the reboot of the series. I played the game on both console and PC, and look forward to seeing how the battles and grand strategy will play out this time. Apparently the aliens run Earth in the sequel, so you’re in charge of reforming the XCOM program and taking back earth. It’s not a huge twist, but it should be interesting enough.

Uncharted 4 (April)

I’ve talked about Uncharted 4 a few times over the past couple of years. It was announced at E3 year before last, and was on the last two of my E3: Most Anticipated lists, but it deserves a slot here as well because it’s actually coming out. The multiplayer beta was running a couple weeks ago and I really enjoyed that as well. It took the best elements of the multiplayer from 2 and 3 and ditched some of the stuff I didn’t really care for. The addition of the grappling hook adds a new element to an already vertically-minded game. I can’t wait to see how the story shakes up as well, in what will likely be the last entry into the series. I’m also hoping that we hear what Naughty Dog has up their sleeves in the way of a new series. Or perhaps we’ll be hearing about The Last of Us 2? One can only hope.

Doom (Spring)

DOOM, as it’s being called (but was at one point referenced as “Doom 4”) is sort of a reboot of the series. It’s taken the fast-paced, hip-firing action of the originals and paired that with today’s graphical capabilities. The campaign looks to be solid, carnage-filled fun, and the multiplayer reminds me of Quake III Arena. I managed to play some of the multiplayer Alpha on PS4 and it ran beautifully. I had technical hiccups when trying to play it on my PC though, so hopefully that won’t be the case once it releases. Either way it had an old school feel that was very welcoming and I look forward to it!

No Man’s Sky (June)

Provided this game goes off without a hitch, and is as grand as the vision I have of it, this will likely be my GOTY for 2016. I’ve spoken about it many times on the podcast and on this blog (it too made the last 2 of my E3 Most Anticipated lists), but it’s supposed to be out this summer. Originally I was under the impression that it was a Playstation exclusive, but it appears to be launching on PS4 and PC simultaneously. Either way it still looks fantastic and I can’t wait to go exploring. I’m torn as to which platform I should buy it on, because I’m hoping to have a PS4 with my tax return this year. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what the multiplayer situation is going to look like. I have far more friends on Steam than on Playstation Network.

Mass Effect Andromeda (Q4)

This is slated for a quarter 4 launch but it’s a possibility that the game gets delayed. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. That doesn’t stop me from being very intrigued. I loved the Mass Effect games, though I still need to get ahold of the first title, as it wasn’t ported until much later (originally an Xbox exclusive). I’m sure Bioware is going to have a whole new world with familiar ideas prepared for us, and I can’t wait to dive into another worthy Sci-Fi RPG.

Divinity Original Sin 2 (December)

I’ve honestly not played enough of the Original game, but I know that I rather enjoyed what I did play of it. Since this isn’t launching until December, I have the year to beat the original and be prepared for the sequel. I’m sure that it will be just as good. I’m a bit of a fan of the isometric RPGs of old, so I might be biased. Here’s hoping it doesn’t suck.

Final Fantasy IX PC (TBA)

Final Fantasy IX released back in 2000 on the original Playstation. One of three main-series Final Fantasy games to debut on the system, for some reason this one isn’t available on PC yet, despite pretty much every other title being on Steam already. Besides VII, this is my favorite in the series but I never got to finish it because my Playstation was stolen when my apartment got broken into. I’ve though about buying the downloadable classic version on my PS3 a few times, but now that it’s coming to PC I’ll likely just pick it up via Steam. I’m starting to toy with the idea of playing through them all, but I’d have to start collecting them from the beginning, as I currently only own Final Fantasy Tactics, and that’s it.

Dark Souls III (TBA)

Another fantastic game series that I’m too far behind on. I played through and completed Demon’s Souls, the first of the Souls games to come out as a Playstation exclusive on PS3. Dark Souls soon followed, and I own that one on PC, but haven’t beaten it just yet. I have Dark Souls II on my Steam wish list, and Bloodborne is a title I can’t wait to pick up once I grab my PS4. Dark Souls III will likely be a PC purchase just to keep that series all on one platform. As this one is still “to be announced” it’s possible it won’t release this year, but I think it will pop up. I’ll just have to dig into the older titles or it’ll end up in the backlog.

Allison Road (TBA)

This is one of those under-the-radar titles. Remember PT, the Silent Hills demo-thing? That whole deal got nixed when Konami and Kojima parted ways, but apparently the PT demo got some fan attention. Enough so, that a fan-created full-fledged game is coming, and it’s called Allison Road. Honestly, it looks equal amounts of creepy and awesome, and definitely has the same feeling to it that PT had. I just hope that they manage to keep things compelling. It’s supposed to release this year, but we’ll see.

Overkill’s The Walking Dead (TBA)

I didn’t hear about this game at all somehow. I’m a huge Walking Dead fan, including the show and the comics, but the only game that’s really hit the mark when it comes to that IP was TellTale’s two seasons that were mostly based on the comics. There have been other titles, but they were pretty meh. This one is also supposed to be based on the comics and looks more like The Last of Us, in that it’s a mixture of survival horror and gunplay. If I hadn’t been doing research for this article I wouldn’t have heard of this game at all (yet) so I’m glad I stumbled upon it.

Want More Information:

Final Fantasy VII Remake

This is the second trailer to have come out since E3 last summer, and it shows more in-game footage, but we still don’t have a total picture for the game. I feel like it’s going to be fantastic, but I’m not sure that it will make it out this year. As my favorite of the series, I can’t wait to see this in action and I hope that it holds true to the nostalgia while eliminating some of the dated annoyances coming from old-school mechanics.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Another great classic title that is being remade. Capcom has gone pretty crazy with Resident Evil remakes lately, as many of the older titles have received HD upgrades. The original had a remake from top to bottom though, and it looks a hell of a lot better than it did back in ’95. This looks to be something of the same, where it’s not just an HD (resolution) upgrade, it’s supposed to be reworked from the ground up. If they preserve the storyline but give it a new coat of paint it should be pretty good. Time will tell, but it’s likely we won’t see this one release in 2016.


The game that still remains my MMO of the future, the next MMO I plan to play, the only MMO I’m looking forward to. Crowfall. There has already been some pre-alpha testing, and it’s likely they’ll be into either deep alpha or early beta testing by the end of the year. This latest video from the devs focuses on new systems added to the game, crows and vessels, which is a brand new concept in an MMO world, and looks to tackle some of the issues present in the current crop of titles on the market. Honestly I’ve been hating on MMOs for a long time, but I still love them. I just don’t love what’s on offer (even if I dip my toes in them once in a while). Crowfall is the only game I’ve ever backed on Kickstarter, and there’s a good reason for that. They are trying new things and sound like they’re going to hit the nail on the head. I can’t wait to see what further developments occur and I hope that it meets expectations.


Finally, a game that came out of left field for me. I happened to get Skullgirls packed in with a Humble Bundle, and as a result caught word of that developer’s next project, called Indivisible. The Kickstarter page had a downloadable alpha demo that was surprisingly fun and unique. The game combines platforming and turn based RPG mechanics with some elements from 2-D fighting games like Street Fighter. It’s hard to describe, but cool to play with. They were successfully funded but the game isn’t due until 2018, so I’m just hoping for more information before year’s end.

So there you have it. What games are you looking forward to the most in 2016?

Talkback Challenge #2: Early Access and Kickstarter #NBI2015

For the second NBI Talkback Challenge, the committee poses the question:

Early Access and Kickstarter: Do you support unfinished games?

A couple of years ago, my answer would have been a resounding “NO,” but times have changed. Back then I would have told you that throwing your money away was pointless. Either the project wouldn’t deliver and you’d be out your money, or you’d get access to a broken game — never to be fixed. Full of negativity, I was.

These days I have embraced both platforms, but I am picky with what I will support. I still feel like the general trend of games coming out in Early Access and then staying in perpetual Alpha or Beta stages for years is sort of ridiculous. We used to get Alpha/Beta access for free, now we pay for it. Probably the most memorable Early Access debacle for me was the $150 Landmark Alpha, but there are many more examples to choose from.

There are pros and cons to each program, and here are a few off the top of my head:

KS/EA Pros:
-Support developers making projects AAA studios won’t
-Support indie developers who can’t get big time funding
-Get access to a game before launch
-Gain backer rewards that can be worth much more than the asking price
-Provide feedback that can help shape the project

KS/EA Cons:
-Just because you backed doesn’t mean the project will be successfully funded
-Some developers tug at nostalgia strings to get your money
-Some projects are scams
-Some ideas will never come to fruition, even with successful funding
-Devs can sometimes go MIA after cashing your paycheck

Kickstarter is seemingly a safer choice because if the project isn’t funded, you never get charged. However, there have been projects like Godus and many others that were funded and then the developers go missing and/or stop updating the game. Sometimes small teams will finish these games up, or they will just release in a broken state, sad and disappointing.

My personal experiences with Early Access games are many, while my experience with Kickstarter is still on-going. I chose to back the upcoming MMO Crowfall on Kickstarter a couple of months ago, which is supposed to come with Beta access and a “free” copy of the game. However, development is barely off the ground and we probably won’t see the game until 2016 at the earliest. So I will have to get back to you on that one. Either way I’m still hyped for Crowfall, and look forward to seeing how it changes the stale MMO gameplay that has plagued us for years.

When it comes to Early Access, I believe the first game I purchased was Nuclear Throne. It’s a rogue-like shooter, and it’s a blast to play. It was a great game the day I got it, and it’s been consistently updated week by week since I purchased it a year ago. I’ve made a few videos of the game over the past year, but here’s a good run too give you and idea of what it’s all about:

I love it, but I don’t understand why they’ve let it stay in Early Access for so long. It felt done when I bought it, and it feels done now — but the devs keep adding weapons, characters, and tweaking things. Perhaps they are close, but it seems weird to be tagged as an EA game at this point.

Another game I picked up around the same time was The Forest, and longtime readers will know that I’ve gushed about that game time and again. It’s another survival game with various elements, and though they added in multiplayer, there isn’t any PvP to this point. It’s basically a more realistic looking Minecraft, with cannibals occupying the same Forest. I recommend it, as development has been steady and improvments have been great. I just hold off playing it too much because I’m waiting for it to be done, which is my policy with most Early Access games.

H1Z1 is the Early Access game that I jumped into headfirst that is probably the most controversial in my collection. For some reason it split the MMO community right in two. I was super hyped for it because I have been a long time SOE (now Daybreak) fan, and the initial hype surrounding the game made it seem like an MMO designed with me in mind. I love Zombies. I love survival horror. I love PvP. I bought it when Early Access came to Steam, and I wasn’t disappointed. But then they started wiping servers and making big changes, so I decided I’d let it sit for a while. I don’t like progress that is taken away, which is why most Alpha/Beta testing hasn’t been too appealing to me. Anyway, I’m still a fan of the game and I will continue to watch its progress.

There are a handful of other games I have on my Steam list that are tagged as Early Access, though I haven’t put much time into them:

Delver is a first person pixel-art rogue-like that Doone gifted me last year. I like it, but then a bigger team put out Ziggeraut, and it completely takes the cake. Still, Delver is a great game from a one man team, and with Steam Workshop integration, people can make mods for it. I look forward to seeing the finished product.

Broforce is a game from a developer that supported the NBI last year (Free Lives), and gave us a bunch of keys to distribute. I got my hands on one and some of us NBI folk got together to play some co-op, and it is a blast. The bros are great, the nostalgia is great, the art is awesome, and there are so many EXPLOSIONS. A fully destructible environment means each playthrough is going to be different, and multiple modes add replay-ability as well. A limited free version called the Expendabros is available on Steam as well.

I won a contest run by Isey of I Has PC earlier this year in which I gained a copy of Project Zomboid, which is another zombie survival game presented in a different way. It’s isometric and pixellated, but has a deep crafting system and some brutal difficulty. I haven’t played it as much as I would like, as I need someone more experienced in the game to give me some pointers, but it’s still a game I think would be worth supporting. There is a free demo on Steam that you can try if you’re interested.

In one of many Humble Bundles I have picked up, Prison Architect was part of the package. It wasn’t one of the games I was after in the bundle if memory serves correctly, but it is a pretty well designed game. If you are into building and management sims, this game would be right up your alley. For me, it was a bit of a learning curve because the tutorial is a little light and I haven’t played too many games in this genre, but the developers are consistently updating it, and it’s worth a look if this is your thing.

Lastly, the newest addition to my Early Access library is none other than Darkest Dungeon. Many of the people on my blogroll have picked the game up, and I haven’t read a single bad thing about it, save for not being finished. Apparently there is a portion of the game that has yet to be added, and some funny quirks about the gameplay that need to be addressed. In my couple of hours playing it, I had a blast and didn’t run into anything game-breaking. I have sort of left this one to collect dust though, as I had too many other additions to my gaming library right at the same time and it’s been on the back burner. I don’t feel so bad as it’s an unfinished game, so maybe by the time I dump more hours into it, it will be closer to done.

So I guess my answer to the original question is Yes, I support unfinished games. But as you can see, I don’t have that many of them, so I am selective with those that I choose to support. There are probably quite a few other alphas and betas that I have taken part in, but I’ll leave it at this. I don’t have the inclination to dig any deeper into my media/post libraries.

Here’s some random screens from some of the above games, just because:

#NBI2015 #talkbackchallenge #earlyaccess #kickstarter

Crowfall Campaign Complete

I’ve written about Crowfall a couple of times now, along with talking about it during our Niche MMO episode of Couch Podtatoes. Now that the Kickstarter campaign has finished and the dust has settled, let’s take a look at what that means for backers.


Keep in mind, the last time I wrote about the game was 3 days before the Kickstarter campaign would end. At that point, the backer total was at 14k and they had just crossed the 1.3 million threshold. By the time funding finished, the game passed 17k backers and raked in nearly 1.8 million dollars. That’s insane, but I know this isn’t setting any Kickstarter records. Still, quite the accomplishment to go from being a not-so-well-known title a few months ago, to making almost 2 million dollars in 30 days. I think this game deserves the money though, and the stretch goals come through for most backer levels.

So since that post, we’ve seen the addition of God’s Reach (ruleset) and the Artifacts and Relics system, bonus parcels, VR headset support, the Infected ruleset, the Minotaur race/class, improved crafting, a tournament system, pets that are used in combat, and some other relics. Depending on your backer level, you’ll get a couple of extra goodies, but you’ll have had to spend $60+.

I’m glad that not all of the stretch goals and rewards weren’t completely meaningless fluff. New systems and character models/classes are always a welcome addition, pack animals and pets sound cool as well. The relics are whatever, I really need to find out what they do before I can comment further. I think I’m most excited for the Minotaur, because that just sounds like it would be fun to play. It’s an interesting idea to add VR support, but I’m not sure the technology is there yet for me to want to don a headset every time I log in to play an MMO. You’d be wearing it quite often if you were heavily invested in the game. Still, the goals and rewards look great. Now we just have to hope the team delivers on the vision of the game they presented, and there aren’t any fiascos surrounding the title.

That would be my luck. My first Kickstarter is vaporware. Good thing I didn’t spend $10k.

#crowfall #kickstarter #crowdfunding

Crowfall Kickstarter: 3 Days Left

With three days remaining in the Crowfall Kickstarter, there are a couple of stretch goals still in reach, and there’s been a few goals reached since the last time I wrote about the game. It happened rather swiftly too, I believe I wrote about having backed the game about a week ago, and here we are even further along.


The mounts are definitely a thing, though I didn’t spend enough to get one. Boo. They still sound like a cool game mechanic, or at least different enough in their use that they stand apart in this game. I was under the impression that the Caravans were basically fast travel stations, or some sort of public transportation, but something I read the other day leads me to believe it’s more like a public quest system, which could be cool if done properly. I can imaging escorting and protecting a caravan from other players would be exciting. Even more exciting to go attack their caravans. So I guess we’ll see how that goes.

Today the next goal was reached, and there will be a “pack pig” for all backers. This sounds like extra storage, but I’m curious if there will be more uses for him. Can you steal them? Kill them? Perhaps this information was revealed and I missed it?

Looking ahead, just under 500 more backers will get us bonus land parcels. It appears that you must have spent at least $40 to get in on that, and I believe that counts the early bird tiers that were slightly lower priced. What are parcels? Well I’m glad you asked. You can go read this lengthy update with information on that, and then tell me about it. Because I’m lazy. Seriously, It’s going to be land for your eternal kingdom and sounds like the PvE portion of the game is going to be more meaty than I once believed. It’s one part housing and one part PvE stuff, sounds like it will take some PvP (the campaigns) or some serious coin (paying someone for their supplies earned in campaigns) to expand these parcels and to be able to invite friends over. There’s much more to it than that, so you should really just go read the post from the developers.

With 1.4 million which would only really be possible with many pledges or a few very large ones, we’d see the addition of God’s Reach and artifacts. I’m starting to think that one is less realistic at this stage of the game. We might not even get the parcels, but I didn’t think the mounts would be funded either a while back, so what do I know? I really don’t have any opinions on this latter goal, haven’t really paid much attention, and I don’t think they’ve laid out much information about it just yet, as they are being realistic too.

Whatever the case, I’m really looking forward to seeing where this game goes. It’s been fun to follow to this point. I know it’s going to be a while before I see game time, but I will keep up on developments as they come in, I’m still pretty hyped for this one. Til next time.

#crowfall #kickstarter #stretchgoals

CrowFall Kickstarter Update

Obviously I’ve talked about Crowfall a bit here and there lately, and I mentioned at some point (I believe it was on the podcast) that I wanted to back this game before the Kickstarter ended. Well, you can officially count me in. I should also mention this is my first time using Kickstarter.

Being a backer now means that I saved a bit on what it would normally cost to buy a box of the game, and the nearest stretch goal of 13k backers is nearly here, meaning I should be privvy to a free month of VIP membership. I didn’t go for one of the big packages because well, I want to support the game and play it, but I’m not the collector’s edition type, unless we’re talking single player games with all the DLC included. So I’m cool with just getting the game and some beta access. Also, this information I’m about to speak of isn’t secret, members-only stuff, but it is interesting information and it pertains to commentary I made on the podcast about not wanting mounts in the game. Now that there’s an FAQ, I feel a little better about them. I’ll post it here (it’s brief) for your viewing pleasure.

Mount FAQ

What are mounts like in Crowfall?

Mounts are creatures that have been tamed to act as both a companion and a steed. They provide players with a method of moving more quickly around the game, and sometimes giving them the ability to transport more items.

How do I get a mount?

Players with the right skill(s) will be able to tame certain creatures they find in the world, and some of these can be ridden as mounts. Additionally, some magic items will allow the player to manifest (summon) a mount from your inventory.

What determines if I can tame a creature?

All gameplay in Crowfall requires one or more skills; taming and riding mounts are no different! Certain creatures will require higher amounts of skill to tame than others. Skill will also be required in order to keep control of that creature once you have tamed it. Increasing your riding skill will help you tame more wild creatures, which in turns allows you to increase your movement speed while mounted.

Can you tame creatures other than Mounts? What can you do with the tamed creature?

Yes. Some creatures are a pack animals. Taming them allows you to open up a separate inventory on that creature, to add and remove items from it, and to order that creature to take simple commands like “stay,” “come” and “follow me.” If the creature is a regular mount, you can ride it, have it follow you or release it back into the wild (i.e. un-tame it). With figurine mounts, you can also dismiss them (i.e. turn it back into a figurine in your inventory, for later use).

Can mounts be attacked? Do they have health? Can they be killed?

Yes, yes and yes. Mounts are creatures in the world, so they can take damage and be killed.

Will a mount defend himself, or you, if attacked?

Yes, when you are not riding on a mount, the mount will defend itself and/or its master.

Can players use creatures higher than their riding skill allows?  

No. The riding skill determines which mounts you can ride, as well as mount speed.

You said that mounts can die. Can figurine mounts die?

Yes, but figurine mounts have multiple lives. When it dies, the item takes some decay, and there is a delay timer before the mount can be summoned again. Remember that these are items, so they follow the same design philosophy as everything else: nothing lasts forever.

Can someone else take my mount?  

These are items, so they are subject to the Campaign loot rules. That means there is a risk/reward scenario whenever you decide to use a mount figurine. Be careful where you take them.

What about the Kickstarter reward mounts? Don’t they last forever?

The Kickstarter mounts will be limited in use, like normal figurines – but we WILL give you a way to get the visual appearance back, if they are lost in gameplay. Our goal is not to make these “permanent”, but rather to make them temporary, but recoverable. We do want you to be able to continue to use them over the lifetime of the game, though, to show other players that you were an early backer.

Can I get more figurines in the game? Or only through Kickstarter?  

There will be Disciplines that allow players to craft new figurines. However, the Kickstarter reward figurines have a unique appearance. Only Kickstarter backers (of the appropriate tiers) will have access to these mounts.

Can my Centaur character ride on a mount?  

No, centaurs already have a base movement speed increase and there will be some other mechanic that allows them to travel at mount speed.

I’m liking the fact that the mounts aren’t permanent, but that the backer mount will be transferable via skin, so you’ll always be able to show that off. It’s also good to know that mounts will defend themselves, and can die, as I always found it tacky to have mounted combat or mounts that disappear and reappear as combat toggles on/off. I am okay with making it another plunderable resource. I also like the idea of needing skill to tame and skill to ride. It’s also nice to know that Centaurs won’t be left behind either, and I’m now more interested in playing one. All in all I like where the game is going, and it’s good to know that funding worked. Can’t wait to see more footage and what other goodies they come up with.

#crowfall #kickstarter #mounts