2016 was a great year for games, but 2017 is going to be even more awesome. We bring you the scoop about the most hotly anticipated titles due to launch 'soon.'
The Last of Us 2
I can write about The Last of Us 2 without fanboying too excessively. Omigawsh guys, this is happening. It's really happening.
The Big Reveal
Revealed at the opening ceremony of last year's PlayStation Experience, the Last of Us 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic emotional tour de force on the PlayStation. To say that TLOU was a game about killing zombies would be to sell it short. Yes, there are zombies in increasingly horrific variants, the byproducts of a world been ravaged by an outbreak of a mutant strain of the cordyceps fungus.
So much more than its visceral presentation of gore and stealth-action gameplay, TLOU was a masterpiece in narrative video game storytelling. It was an exploration about survival, about desperation, about when one has lost that which they hold most, how far will they go to commit the folly of loving, and clinging to love again.
I Ain't Right, 'Cause I Done Wrong
Indeed, love was the theme that drove the spiraling sequence of events in the first game from start to finish. Despite having one of the most complete, heart-wrenching endings in recent video game history, it's been confirmed that a sequel to TLOU is well under way.
Set five years after the first game, TLOU 2 will star Ellie as the protagonist, not Joel, and fans couldn't be happier. During the events of the original game, Ellie was scarcely 14 years old, but she was critically acclaimed as being one of the most fully realized, and most 'real' characters ever to be featured in dramatic video game fiction.
While Joel was a savagely powerful character in his own right, Elle kinda stole our hearts, and the show, for a lot of TLOU fans.
But if love that was the emotion that drove the narrative of the original game, it's hate that will drive the second, according to publisher Naughty Dog. Apart from a cryptic, but powerful announcement trailer and accompanying panel, the developers are wisely keeping a tight lead on their jar of beans, no matter how much fans have been poking and prodding for details.
What we do know from the reveal trailer is that Ellie is now 19, sporting some sweet ink over the bite marks on her forearm, and she's pissed, seriously pissed; we've all got our ideas, of course, but we don't know for sure at whom, or why. And though Naughty Dog has confirmed that Joel will still play a central role in the game, why is his presence in the trailer eerily... detached?
This has led fans to the rampant speculation that Joel could be dead, but again, nothing is known.
With Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson reprising their roles as Joel and Ellie, and Neil Druckmann as creative director, what we can be sure of is that we're in for one hell of a ride once again through the end times.
TLOU 2 will be available exclusively on the PlayStation 4. If you haven’t played the first one, you can pick up the Remastered Edition for the PS4.
Buy The Last of Us Products
Can I Get Dinosaurs with My Robots?
The next gen game that everyone's talking about, Horizon Zero Dawn is an action RPG being developed by Guerilla Games exclusively for the PS4. Set in a world overrun by colossal, living machines (of course they're the murderous variety; are there any other kinds of giant robots?), players take control of a young woman named Aloy. She's a skilled huntress and archer who decides to rebel against her cloistered life and delve into the mysteries of her world.
Featuring a massive, open world environment for Aloy to explore, Zero Dawn is at is core a classic, Assassins-Creed-y exploration of a beautiful yet dangerous world where everything is beautiful, and everything beautiful wants to grind you into squishy free range human paste.
Powered by Guerilla's proprietary and continuously re-vamped in-house game engine called Decima, Horizon is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. In fact, gorgeous doesn't even begin to describe it: the world is gorgeous, meticulously rendered for play in third person. And of course, the combat scenes are suitably visceral and epic, with Aloy facing off against hulking, gigantic mechanical beings in battles reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus.
Not surprisingly, the giant robots are the most visually intense examples of the game's superb graphical capabilities: there are few sights like being pursued by a gargantuan mechanized T-Rex to make you feel very, very small, and a far cry from being at the top of the food chain.
Interestingly, the setting is a blend of sci-fi and fantasy: an essential element to the gameplay, and Aloy's survival beyond the relative safety of her tribe, is her ability to salvage the mechanical components left behind by her kills, using them to craft traps like tripwires, specialized arrows and explosives.
Eventually, Aloy will gain the ability to hack the creatures she encounters, transforming them into traveling companions and even makeshift vehicles. The open world promises a dynamic day-night cycle, diverse weather systems and patterns, and free roaming devoid of loading screens. Another integral part of the gameplay is the various tribes Aloy will meet in her travels, which each having their own distinct storylines and quests to fulfill.
Having been in steady production for roughly 4 years, Horizon is every bit a labor of love from the team that brought us the expertly delivered FPS Killzone Shadow Fall back in late 2013.
With its state of the art graphics, intriguing setting, and potentially killer gameplay, we're looking forward to seeing what's on the Horizon.
Horizon Zero Dawn will be available exclusively on the PS4.
Horizon Zero Dawn Products
Continuously pushing the envelope regarding graphics and storytelling, it's easy to see how TLOU 2 and Horizon rank among the most hotly anticipated games coming out 'soon,' and you can bet we'll be seeing more coverage of these two gaming powerhouses in the coming weeks. With zombies and mecha-dinosaurs on the rise, it's looking like a great year for gaming.
Product images are sourced from their respective pages on.