Shooter games are a very popular genre, at least one of the most crowded when it comes to how many titles release each year, and 2016 won’t surely be an exception. A lot of FPS and TPS are coming in a few months and, while many of them are new iterations of renown series, others are completely new properties arriving from beloved developers. A few of them are still up in the air but heavily rumored or announced but not so defined in terms of features and direction.
It’s good to know that most of these shooter games will launch in the first half of the year, meaning that some of most anticipated titles out there will be finally on the market in the blink of an eye. Homefront The Revolution, for example, is releasing in May, Tom Clancy’s The Division launches on March 8, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is slated for August 23 after being slightly delayed a couple months ago.
Dead Island 2
Dead Island 2 was supposed to be released last year but it was suddenly delayed due to a change of developer. The studio handling it just a few months ago was Yager Developments, formed by the guys who brought us Spec Ops: The Line, but IP owner Deep Silver decided the game wasn’t going into the direction they wanted it to go (Yager is reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy since then). However, if nothing changes again, Dead Island 2 will be set in California and will feature a really colorful visual style just to resemble that. From what we’ve seen so far, the gameplay will be more focused on fire weapons than ever, although the iconic melee combat system will still be the protagonist. Sure enough, the series needs to get back to its roots after the failure of the MOBA Dead Island Epidemic and the FPS Escape Dead Island.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
The wait is almost over. Tom Clancy’s The Division is about to release and, after we had a chance to give the Alpha a try, we are even more convinced about how this game will be important in defining what’s good and what’s not next year. Ubisoft is apparently doing it right in both gameplay and graphics, with a title which is up to people’s expectations when it comes to cooperative shooting and charming locations (such as snowy New York City). A few things are yet to be understood in there, and will hopefully be clearer once the game reaches the Beta stage and even launches on March 8. For example, missions’ variety doesn’t look sky high, animations could be better when trying to get rid of an obstacle and firefights are often unbalanced, with enemies’ IA unrealistically coming all together on you and giving no other chances than die.
Call of Duty: Ghosts 2
Everything is still up in the air but there are two things we know for sure: this year a new Call of Duty will be released; this time it’s up to Infinity Ward, after Sledgehammer Games and Treyarch delivered their Advanced Warfare and Black Ops III in just two years. Infinity Ward is not the Modern Warfare studio anymore, we know that, but they managed to ship Ghosts, the first current-gen Call of Duty, so why shouldn’t they make another one?
Call of Dutys usually are announced in May and go all-in between E3 and Gamescom, and until now we don’t have any sign about this year making any difference from that point of view. We still don’t have any rumor about which is going to be the next Call of Duty but it is possible Activision wants to make a sub-franchise out of Ghosts instead of launching yet another brand in its shooter family. We’ll see and we’ll also see if this makes any difference after all.
As for Call of Duty: Ghosts, there is anything official about Battlefield 5 but we know by the recent rumors that DICE and Electronic Arts are currently working to ship it this year. The biggest part of the Swedish studio has moved onto this new challenge after they completed their work on Star Wars Battlefront, while a smaller portion of it will keep doing the job on the Season Pass content.
So, with Battlefield 4 released in 2013, it really looks like DICE should be back to the series that made it popular in the video game industry. We haven’t many clues about how it will be doing but there won’t be a new chapter in the Bad Company saga, it seems. Rumors say there will be a Japanese setting, a more personal story and an “Armageddon” subtitle which could possibly mean the war depicted in the game is global.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3
Have you ever felt like you were the only one against an entire army which plans on destroying the war just because they’re evil? Ok, then you are fine with being a sniper in completely solitary and unlikely missions thanks to the new Sniper Ghost Warrior, CryEngine powered game. The CI Games franchise is introducing a few new things in Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, such as crafting even single bullets which you can use to fire targets up or simply have more penetrating weapons. Also, the game is set in a new open world/sandbox setting where you can grab secondary missions called War Crimes and delivered by other characters you will meet throughout the main story.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
Ubisoft Montreal is ready to get back to one of its most beloved series, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, with the new game Wildlands. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is going to be set in huge sandbox environments where the players can decide each and every time their approach, both before and when they already are in the area. For the first time in the series there will be the chance to use vehicles like dune buggy and cross. More importantly, the distinctive four-player cooperative mode will be the center of Wildlands and there will always be someone to play along with us even if there aren’t friends available to join us (the AI will take those places). For what concerns story, we’ll be facing a powerful cartel in wild Mexican areas, so it will be more a matter of mud and grass than of asphalt and urban landscapes this time around.
Homefront: The Revolution
Homefront is back and is bigger than ever. Thanks to the work conducted by Deep Silver’s Dambuster Studios, The Revolution is getting the best coming from Kaos Studios’ original Homefront and what Crytek UK achieved while existing under THQ before it went bankrupt. This means that, differently from the short-lasting original game, Homefront: The Revolution is open world and set in a great sandbox where you can always choose which approach you are going to take in order to defeat your enemies. In terms of story, we still have the United States dominated by North Korean forces on several levels: somewhere the resistance has managed to get a little revenge and portions of territories, elsewhere the domination is still strong and players are called to do something to make things better and different using (of course) a lot of weapons and technological gadgets. The game will launch on May 17, 2016.
iD Software is ready to get back to one of the most beloved first person shooter games ever, DOOM. A new chapter in the long running saga, DOOM is some sort of reboot to it, with the developer (now working under the Bethesda and ZeniMax label) striving to maintain the series’ peculiar feeling while innovating it to keep the title up to pace and times. One of the most innovative things we’ve learnt about DOOM is the SnapMap mode, where players can create their own contents (from maps to weapons, etc.) and share them with the community. Then you can download all of this content from Bethesda.net, which is going to be platform-agnostic, meaning that everything going to that system is set to work on PC, PS4 and Xbox One without any distinction.
Overkill’s The Walking Dead
Coming from the minds of PayDay, Overkill’s The Walking Dead is a partnership between the Swedish studio Overkill and Robert Kirkman, the creator of the original comic saga. The game is said to be “a co-op first person shooter with elements of action, role-playing, survival horror and stealth” set in Washington, in the middle of a zombie outbreak leading to “a post apocalyptic world dominated by flesh-eating walkers”. Overkill’s The Walking Dead will release in 2016 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and a VR-experience based on the Starbreeze’s virtual reality headset Star is also in development. The title will feature a brand new story from The Walking Dead universe with never seen before characters and locations, sorry if you were waiting for something to come from the comics or even the AMC TV show currently airing.
Blizzard is trying to bring its successful mentality from the RTS and MOBA genres to the first-person shooter with Overwatch. The game, which was rumored to be free to play but definitely won’t, is also coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year and, after having spent a few months between alpha and beta, it is said to be a frantic and very fun shooter. Sure enough, the creators of Diablo and StarCraft know how to do it, and they will carry some of the elements they’ve learnt about in Heroes of the Storm in Overwatch as well – the heroes, for example, are a clear reference to the MOBA genre and something people will fall in love with (and Blizzard will monetize, too). It’s definitely been a long road since these assets were being used in the Project Titan MMORPG…