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2016 Preview – What we’re looking forward to playing this year



tap. the action pixel. 2016 video games. @theactionpixel.

tap. the action pixel. 2016 video games. @theactionpixel.

The first few weeks of the new year are always quiet in terms of new releases and it’s a good thing too in 2016. The end of 2015 saw a slew of massive open world games which have been sucking up The Action Pixel’s free time to such an extent that we’re still trying to tackle our backlog. Assuming we ever see the end credits of ‘Fallout 4’ or get round to giving ‘Just Cause 3’ a go, what will we be playing in 2016?

Let’s take a look:



Firewatch 1

Dev: Campo Santo 

Release Date: 9th February

Format: PS4, Linux, Windows, Mac 

Looking set to become an indie darling along the lines of ‘Gone Home’, ‘Firewatch’ is only weeks away and already fans of the ‘First Person Exploration’ genre are salivating with anticipation. Look at the artwork, just LOOK AT IT:

Firewatch 3

Suffice to say that this game is going to be stunning courtesy of British artist Olly Moss but the very limited trailers also indicate a tense, unsettling plot. Lets hope ‘Firewatch’ can deliver.



No Man’s Sky

No Mans Sky 1

Dev: Hello Games

Release Date: June 2016

Format: PS4, Windows

No Man’s Sky is on this list based on potential alone as it still hasn’t been in the hands off too many gamers though previews have started to leak out. By now we’ve all heard the stats: the sheer size of the galaxy, the overwhelming number of worlds to discover, the inconceivable number of lifetimes it would take to explore every inch of the game. But all of it…ALL OF IT…will be pointless if ‘No Man’s Sky’ isn’t fun to play. We have faith though that this will be a real gem though, ‘Hello Games’ inspires us with their passion for what is clearly a labour of love for them and Sony seems to be putting a lot of resources behind this project so the big wigs over there clearly like what they’ve been seeing. Time will tell, but if this come close to the hype then it’ll blow away our expectation of what a game can be.

No Mans Sky 2



Legend of Zelda Wii U


Dev: Nintendo EAD

Release Date: TBD 2016

Format: Wii U

We don’t need to tell you why you should be excited about a Zelda game…it’s a Zelda game, you’re gonna be excited no matter what. Besides the fact that it looks as good as it does, it’s been so long since we’ve had a mainline Zelda release that we thought Link had hung up his little elf hat. All that being said however, we’re a little bit wary of this because we’re not entirely sure it’s coming out this year or if it’s even coming out on the Wii U. Let’s not forget that details of Nintendo’s new console the ‘NX’ will be announced soon probably for a 2017 release. Doesn’t it make sense for them to launch the NX with one of their most beloved franchises in Zelda? It does make sense to us which is bad news for Wii U owners who will definitely feel short changed.




Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End


Dev: Naughty Dog

Release Date: April 26th

Format: PS4

From Naughty Dog, the crown jewel of Sony’s gaming empire, the anticipation for Uncharted 4 couldn’t be any higher. Nathan Drake is back for one last action adventure romp though the Indian Jones-esque hijinks the series is famous for is tinged with a darker tone this time around. Yes the game has been delayed a couple of times now but this isn’t a bad a sign as it would be for other developers. Naughty Dog famously delayed ‘The Last of Us’ on PS3 and that turned into arguably the greatest game of the generation. We hope Naughty Dog’s tenure on the ‘Uncharted’ series ends with the quality title Nathan Drake deserves and we’re sure it will because Naughty Dog are gaming’s postmen…they always deliver.

Uncharted 2



Crackdown 3


Dev: Reagent Games

Release Date: TBD 2016

Format: Xbox 1

Don’t sleep on Crackdown because it could be revolutionary. A third person sandbox shooter that’s doing something a little bit different on the multiplayer side of things, Xbox is opening up this game up to borrow processing power from the Microsoft cloud which should provide the title with whopping 20 x the computing power of the Xbox One. It translates into a multiplayer experience that’s 100% destructable and we mean ONE HUNDRED PERCENT…everything you can see can be destroyed. If Reagent can pull this off it will open the floodgates to modern consoles borrowing cloud based infrastructure to process aspects of their games and from there… the sky’s the limit. We’ve got our beady eye on this one.




Final Fantasy 15

Final Fantasy 15

Dev: Square Enix

Release Date: TBD 2016

Format: PS4, X1

Enough is enough Square Enix, we mean really! You’ve had ‘Kingdom Hearts 3’ in development for what feels like most of our lives, ‘Final Fantasy XV’ has also been simmering for years and years and now you’ve announced a remake of ‘Final Fantasy VII’…COME ON! FINISH A GAME! Of the three big hitters for Square Enix, Final Fantasy XV seems the most likely to come out this year and indeed the game director has recently come out and promised he’ll try really really hard to make that dream a reality. At one point in time Final Fantasy was the undisputed king of the RPG but it’s not even in the conversation for that title these days. Maybe Final Fantasy XV can make a bid for the crown again… if it ever comes out.

Final Fantasy 15 2



Mass Effect: Andromeda


Dev: Bioware

Release Date: December 2016

Format: PS4, X1, Windows

Speaking of the king of RPGs…step forward Mass Effect series. Ok, so the ending of  ‘Mass Effect 3’ left a sour taste in the mouth of the majority of fans but this somewhat major blip aside, Bioware’s seminal series has delivered some of the most truly memorable moments in gaming over the last eight years. Bioware are keeping very tight lipped about ‘Andromeda’ and  there hasn’t much in the way of trailers or even screenshots but that doesn’t dampen our excitement a bit. It’s Mass Effect and we want more of it.




Xcom 2


Dev: Firaxis Games

Release Date: 5th February 2016

Format: Windows, Linux, Mac

Console owners collectively cried when it announced that the sequel to the much lauded XCOM would be exclusive to personal computers but format aside, if this can recreate the formula of a fun, engrossing story married with addictive turn based strategy gameplay Firaxis could have another winner on their hands. We look forward to naming our soldiers after our friends and then sending them headlong into battle to face their inevitable deaths. Don’t pretend you haven’t done it too.




Gears of War 4

Gears of war 4

Dev: The Coalition

Release Date: TBD 2016

Format: X1

The other big Xbox franchise, Gears of War famously put the cover into third person cover based shooters. Much like ‘Halo 5’, ‘Gears of War 4’ is being handled by a new team who have an overwhelming legacy on their shoulders and what must be a lot of pressure to live up to their vaunted predecessors. ‘Halo 5’ was a good game but it hardly set the world on fire so here’s hoping ‘Gears 4’ will renew interest in this flagging franchise and bring back the sheer fun the team shooter had in spades during its heyday.

Gears of war 42


Horizon: Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero dawn

Dev: Guerilla Games

Release Date: TBD 2016

Format: PS4

And the award for dumbest name goes to…..
Joking aside, it’s great to see Guerilla Games of ‘Killzone’ fame, doing something a little bit different and let’s be honest, it looks like a hell of a world they’ve built. ‘Horizon’ is a third person action game with a strong RPG vibe but it’s really the visuals which have stopped us in our tracks. Though ‘Killzone’ was feeling stale towards the end, it always had strong mechanics so we’re not worried about that side of things at all. Here’s hoping ‘Zero Dawn’ will kickstart a brand new franchise for the Playstation eco-system, why? Because ROBOT DINOSAURS!

Horizon zero dawn 2


So that’s a little taste of what’s to come in 2016. Let us know which you’re looking forward to most or if there’s a critical title we’ve missed off the list.

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