• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
firewatch-4

Mass Effect, Deus Ex and No Man’s Sky: 5 huge games to look out for in 2016

Once again our great spaceship known as Earth has finished its trip around the Sun and with it ushers in the next expansion of our beloved digital realm. From the continuation of great gaming franchises such as Deus Ex and Mirror’s Edge to the arrival of some new kids on the block like No Man’s Sky, it seems 2016 has a lot in store for us.

Here’s a list of five titles that caught our attention. Also, let me just add that this list is in no way a final say on the matter.

If you feel there are other titles worth mentioning, please add your two cents in the comments section below.

No Man’s Sky

Release Date: June 2016
Genre: Adventure survival, exploration
Developer: Hello Games
Publisher: Hello Games
Engine: Custom engine
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4

No Man’s Sky is undeniably one of the most anticipated titles of 2016 but one that also comes with a healthy dose of hype. In fact, there so much media coverage surrounding this game that I almost feel that I’ve already played it. One can only hope that there is still some mystery left when No Man’s Sky finally gets released.

Currently in development at UK-based studio, Hello Games, the creators describe No Man’s Sky as “a game about exploration and survival in an infinite procedurally generated galaxy.”

Now the open-world exploration trend is one that is only becoming more and more prevalent, and it is a term that seems to be latched on to most new games as a mere selling point. For the most part, No Man’s Sky seems live up to the idea of a truly infinite, open-world experience.

no mans sky blue space

You can wander around an undiscovered planet, mining it for resources (which are used to generate currency and upgrades) and even name the planet and its species if it has not yet been discovered before. If this starts losing its kick you can hop in to your spaceship and seamlessly transition from the planet into the great void known as space.

From here, every planet or star your eye can witness is a location you are able to visit. The vastness of this game is truly something to admire. I only wonder how long this endless universe will keep me captivated.

Oh, if you were wondering you are also to get hostile with any other players you encounter even though the chances you run into somebody in an infinite universe is rather small.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Release Date: December 2016
Genre: Third-person shooter, Action RPG
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Engine: Frostbite 3
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

As an avid and religious fan of the Mass Effect trilogy, the announcement of Mass Effect: Andromeda had me sobbing tears of joy (not really… okay, maybe a little bit).

If you somehow managed to miss the opportunity to experience these games then let me give you a little rundown.

The Mass Effect trilogy takes place in the far future. In the year 2148 humans discovered ancient but advanced technology left behind by an extinct alien race known as the Protheans. Armed with this new technology mankind takes advantage of the mass effect relay, a technology that allows humans to travel further into space than they have ever dreamed.

Fast forward a couple of decades and this is where we enter the story as Commander Shepard, a veteran soldier and hero of the Mass Effect saga. In your journey as Commander Sheppard you will travel across multiple galaxies, build relations with various personalities and fight the ever illusive enemies of the universe.

mass effect andromeda 1

Mass Effect: Andromeda will leave this saga behind and take us even further into the future, providing us with a totally fresh Mass Effect experience. The developers said we should not expect a Mass Effect 4 but an entirely new Mass Effect experience.

Andromeda will focus on your character’s transformation into a hero and will put a lot of emphasis on exploration.

Producer, Fabrice Condominas also added: “That entire aspect of exploration is not only about the geography. It’s really about the discovering of other species, human species and yourself.”

Firewatch

Release Date: 9 February 2016
Genre: Story-driven First-person adventure
Developer: Campo Santo
Publisher: Panic
Engine: Unity
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Linux, OS X

Firewatch is a title that I am very much looking forward to, specifically because it links with real life event. In this case, the game is set in the aftermath of the Yellowstone fires of 1988, the largest fire in the recorded history of Yellowstone National Park.

The year is 1988. You play as Henry, a volunteer fire lookout who has been assigned to spot any signs of fire in the Shoshone National Forest. According to the developers, Campo Santo, Henry is struggling with personal problems and has taken this fire watch job as a means of escaping these problems.

His only form of communication with the outside world is a walkie talkie, which he uses to stay in contact with his supervisor, Delilah. The game will start out with you doing mundane tasks such as dealing with teenagers skinny dipping in the river, presumably a subtle tactic to settle you within the story.

But not before long Henry realises that something is a bit off and he slowly starts entering the overarching mystery of the story. The developers have not said much in terms of the mystery but it seems that there is a mysterious presence in the forest.

firewatch game 1

The aspect of Firewatch that caught my attention is the game’s focus on choice and relationships. Every choice in the game you make will have a rippling effect on the narrative.

As one example, when searching for the skinny dipping teenagers you will be following a trail of clothes and trash. You can either choose to pick it up or not and this will apparently have a great effect on the turn of events.

Also when talking to Delilah, players will have multiple ways to respond including not responding at all. These choices will be irreversible and will affect your relationship with her.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

Release Date: 24 May 2016
Genre: First-person action adventure, platformer
Developer: EA DICE
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Engine: Frostbite 3
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Ever since I first scaled the rooftops of Mirror’s Edge’s minimalistic and stylized city I’ve been begin for another chance to get back in the nimble shoes of its protagonist, Faith. Finally, that dream came true with the announcement of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.

“What would life be like if we willingly gave away our privacy? What would our world look like if there were no governments, only corporations? Who would save us from our oppressors… ourselves? Could a young girl without any super powers be a catalyst for change?” asked Sara Johnson of EA DICE at E3 2015.

“These are the questions that inspired us as we set out to bring Mirror’s Edge to a new generation of gamers.”

mirrors edge catalyst wall run

Catalyst will act as the origin story of Mirror’s Edge’s protagonist, Faith, where you will experience her transformation “from a careless young woman to a fierce heroine.”

It was also mentioned that “Faith doesn’t need any guns”, which caused some to raise their brows as gun fights were an exciting challenge in the previous games.
But it seems that the integral parts of the game, free-running (parkour) and martial arts, remain fully intact and will be experienced with an evolved splendour in Catalyst. It is said that it will be a truly open-world and free roaming experience, with no levels or loading screens, that will feature story missions, time trials, races and environmental puzzles.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Release Date: 23 August 2016
Genre: First-person stealth shooter, Action RPG
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Engine: Dawn
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

I got a pretty late start on the Deus Ex franchise and I was only a quarter way in when I realised what a travesty I had committed by not giving this game a chance. It boasted an intricate and captivating narrative that lead you though a distinctively beautiful cyberpunk world. It’s been over four years since the last instalment (Deus Ex: Human Revolution) and now we are finally on the verge of entering its sequel, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

Mankind Divided takes place in 2029, two years after the events of Human Revolution. Mechanically augmented people like the protagonist, Adam Jensen, have been outlawed from society and feared and hated by the greater public and forced to move into “Aug-only” ghettos. Eidos Montreal calls it a “mechanical apartheid.”

Our hero Jensen, of course, isn’t living in the ghetto and has left Seraphim Industries to join a newly formed division of Interpol known as Task Force 29. In truth actually, Jensen is working as a double agent for himself (typical Jensen) and is covertly investigating the task force’s ties to a secret organisation known as The Illuminati.

deus ex mankind divided 1

Jensen will have a new arsenal of weapons and augmentation at his disposal like a P.E.P.S. gun hidden in his mechanical arm and detachable nano-blades that can be used as deadly projectiles among many other death inducing goodies.

Mary DeMerle, Executive Narrative Director for Deus Ex, says that the players will determine how Jensen evolves and uses his tools. “Choices and consequences are at the heart of a Deus Ex experience” and with Mankind Divided they have taken this to the next level. Every choice you will make will determine how the story unfolds and how the game is played.

“To put it simply, we want Mankind Divided to be one of the best action RPG experiences out there.”

Of course, we couldn’t possibly list all the games we’re looking forward to in 2016, but do let us know with a comment, tweet for Facebook post what game you’re most looking forward to in 2016 and why.

Author Bio

Wiehahn Diederichs: Columnist
Capetonian freelance writer and photographer. Wiehahn is a lover of stories in all their forms, and has been an avid gamer since he took his first breath. If he is not working or gaming, he either pours his creative energy into his passion for music or plays foosball in some... More
  • Pingback: » Block Building World GameVergamet Game()

  • No Mans Sky Fan

    Well, I know I will be playing No Mans Sky for at least 100 hours ; D………..

    I am just having an epiphany wen it comes to what video games I enjoy. I actually grew up on linear and story based games IMO , overvaluing animations, Cutscenes, and resolution, and “story” and undervaluing

    …depth of core game mehanics, …Draw Distance, replayabilty, …..interactivity,
    …..freedom of player,
    …… To be able to create your truly unique own story
    …….CRAFTING!!!!
    …….BASEBUILDING!!!!’!
    RAIDING BASES!!!!! 😀 ;D

    Etc.

    But now after not playing for several years and coming back? I am in love with open ended, exploration based, create your own story open world sandbox games. : D Cuz what does ” exploration” usually mean in games? It can mean zero handholding
    , where the game tells you nothing, and you have to just figure it out, motivations…….

    why you’re playing, what you want to do, what goals will u set for yourself, etc. no tutorials play into this, no tutorials are a must for me now. I wish I played more games to warrant buying a PC, cuz all I would need is DAYZ, 7 Days to Die, and No Mans Sky, lol I’m done with story based linear or nonlinear story games. Just grew out of them I guess, anyway the author of this article is obviously biased towards story games, so that’s his top upcomimg Games mainly. My list would look a whole lot different : D

    As I’m imto nonlinear sandbox games like Minecraft or DAYZ, so fair enough. Different games for different people ; D

  • Thanks for the comment No Mans Sky Fan!

    I must admit I am definitely more inclined to indulge in narrative driven titles. That being said, if an open-ended exploration based game has the right blend of game mechanics and narrative elements to let your imagination run wild then I can certainly dig it.

    I do feel with a lot of these games though, I get totally sucked in for a while and then my interest rapidly starts to dwindle. I think I like a conclusion, the satisfaction of something accomplished. I am a great lover of fiction so story driven games have always caught my attention.

    Yes, exactly! Each to his own. Fortunately, there is more than enough titles for both of us to get our fix.

    Thanks for reading the piece and giving your two cents!

  • Lucas Shaffer

    Cant Wait for No Mans sky. the idea of the game just seems amazing to me. Some things I would like to see is a way that you could find a friend but just make it so difficult that it would take 20+ hours to do. Also I hope they create some sort of stats that can be looked at. I want to see how many planets my friends have discovered and how much stuff they have collected. If thy do make it where if I see some one I can kill them I would like that if you do team up with someone that you are not able to attack 1 person. Leave it the ability to attack 1 vs 1 or 2 vs 2. Man I cant wait for this game. I hope it doesnt suck. I did really enjoy Spore so I hope I like this game.

  • No Mans Sky Fan

    Cheers! Great reply! And exatly! Different games for different people : D

  • Pingback: Building Games Free | Clarksville Chess Club()

  • Robert Courtemarche

    Has this writer ever played mass effect? It’s “protheans” not “prometheans” and humans didn’t build the mass relay – it was already there.

  • Hi Robert, thanks for pointing out those issues. They’ve been amended accordingly.