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October 11, 2015 | by  | in Games |
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Hype Sequence Initiated: Looking ahead to gaming in 2016

Holy shit, it’s the last gaming page for the year? We’ve had three different section editors, a lot of mostly meaningless opinions, and a whole bunch of games that probably should have been reviewed but weren’t. Since we still filled a page pretty much every week, I think we can call that a success.

There has been a lot of stuff that has gone down in the gaming scene this year so far, but it’s fair to say it was nowhere near as controversial (and therefore interesting) as 2014 was. Some games were good, some games were shit, and everyone got angry at least once. Mostly at Konami, because Konami is a terrible company.

2015 is not over, however, and there’s still a lot of shit to come. Since I’m not one for dwelling on the mistakes of the past, let’s instead look forward to the next year of tasty digital morsels, because the hype trains will only keep going faster.

  • Virtual Reality is set to be the biggest technological innovation to sweep the gaming world. Mind you, they said that about motion controls, and they’ve mostly fallen flat. Still, we’ve actually seen that the tech works and how fun it can be, with the Oculus Rift consumer model being set to release in the first quarter of 2016. Valve’s collaboration with HTC for SteamVR may prove to be fruitful as well, since Valve don’t do things by halves (except maybe customer service). Even console peasants can get in on the VR action, with PlayStation VR (formerly Project Morpheus) set for a release sometime next year. New tech is always exciting, and I certainly hope virtual reality will be a game-changer.
  • There are still a few big games set to come out in the next two months, just in time for Christmas. Undoubtedly the biggest has to be Fallout 4, the long-awaited next instalment in the legendary series of action RPGs. Embarrassingly, I haven’t had the pleasure of playing other Fallout games, but I’m excited by the prospect of exploring the wasteland as much as any fanboy. Star Wars Battlefront looks pretty awesome as well, though considering how badly DICE screwed up the launch of Battlefield 4, I’m not getting my hopes up too high. There’s also the open-world insanity of Just Cause 3, which should be nothing but pure joy from the looks of the footage we’ve seen so far. Xbox owners can also look forward to Halo 5: Guardians, while I sit here and grumble over how there hasn’t been a main-series Halo game on PC in years.
  • Beyond the dawn of the New Year, there’s still a lot of anticipating to do. Four triple-A series will have new instalments launch within mere weeks of each other during February and March—Deus Ex, Hitman, Mirror’s Edge and Uncharted. That’s a lot of money right there. There are still plenty of games we don’t even know the release dates of yet, but are sure to be exciting nonetheless. The procedurally-generated space exploration game No Man’s Sky has been endlessly hyped up since its announcement at E3 2014, and it will be an accomplishment if it is even half as good as the hype suggests. In addition, there’s going to be a new Dark Souls, a new Street Fighter, a new Ratchet and Clank, a new Tomb Raider, and HOLY SHIT DOOM 4. ACTIVATE HYPE THRUSTERS, THIS IS GONNA BE GOOD! Well, as long as they’re actually finished and not broken pieces of shit…

So, um, yeah, I’m pretty excited for the year coming up. I look at the list of upcoming releases, and all I see is the potential for the next period of gaming’s history to be pretty damn great. It’s easy for a lot of people to write gamers off as a bunch of whiny children who complain about every tiny detail when they’re not insulting one another, but that’s because we just want to enjoy our hobby and have fun.

As important as I think games can be as an artistic medium, much of the industry is just that: an industry, looking to make money from us, the consumers. If business matters and executive decisions get in the way of our enjoyment of a game, then we’re not going to be too happy. All you really have to do to let the industry know you won’t stand for bullshit is vote with your wallet, and while it can be hard to do in the face of incredible hype, it can be done. Support the good, reject the crap, and have fun while doing it.

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