Last year was a real mixed bag for releases, on one hand we had the release of excellent major titles such as: Overwatch, Doom, XCOM 2 and even Battlefield 1. As well as smaller games such as: Superhot, Darkest Dungeon and Firewatch. On the other hand there was No Man’s Sky, which will hopefully act as a warning against getting too excited for a game we know little to nothing about. With that said, allow me to get cautiously excited (I was too burned by Destiny to go above this emotional state) about the following three titles coming to us in 2017.
First, a criticism, it should be spelt “For Honour”. Spelling that doesn’t match my own preferences aside, For Honor allows you to step into the shoes (armoured boots?) of a Knight, Samurai or Viking in either online single player, or multiplayer modes.
The main multiplayer game mode is known as Dominion which is a four on four battle with AI grunt, the goal is to do so much murder, that the other teams morale is crushed, so that they no longer fancy re-spawning. You can also do this through capturing points I suppose. Once this is achieved the game is won once the last enemy is slain.
The main draw for me in this game is the intense, complex combat, reading your opponents moves to counter, and responding with the right move at just the right time to tip the battle in your favour. Beyond this, laying siege to castles looks a like lot of fun.
Each faction (Knights, Samurai and Vikings) consists of four classes, all of which carry their own particular advantages and disadvantages to use. All classes can be customised further in order to make your hero unique and pretty in the middle of battle.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Set in the Andromeda galaxy as the name suggests, this game takes place completely independently of the original Mass Effect trilogy. This post-Sheppard Mass Effect begins in the Andromeda galaxy due to your father being none other than the Pathfinder, his job being to guide the ark ship Hyperion to a new home for humanity – so he is quite a big deal. You will pick up as one of the Ryder twins aboard the Hyperion. Interestingly, if you choose the male character, the female twin will also exist in the universe, but not as part of your crew.
Class options have been overhauled, no longer restricting the player to classes such as Vanguard, Infiltrator etc. Instead we will be able to unlock any ability in the progression tree as long as it is an available option. This means you can carry biotic, tech and combat abilities simultaneously without the need of repeated playthroughs. Your crew will not be granted this luxury however, and are bound by more traditional class roles.
The reason I am excited for this game is mostly due to the chance of experiencing a brand new series in the Mass Effect franchise, perhaps capturing some of that original enthusiasm I had for the series during Mass Effect 1 & 2. The chance to explore the Andromeda galaxy encountering new alien races to headbutt and seduce appeals to me. Oh and shotguns mixed with biotic abilities, Vanguard all day.
Sea of Thieves
In this game you are a pirate on a jaunty pirate ship looking for treasure on the open seas, sounds great right?
Even better, in this sea faring adventure you are forced to cooperate with your team in order to meet your treasure chest hunting goals. Each team member has roles to complete, one player can not do everything, therefore success is down to the whole crew. These roles can be anything from steering the ship to navigating, but crucially you cannot both steer and navigate – communication is required, it’ll also help you avoid doing a Titanic. Set in an open world multiplayer environment, this will not just be a jolly up on a boat with your mates, you will be forced into defending your hard earned treasures from others looking to cash in from your hard work. Alternatively you could also just raid people and let them do the hard work, suckers.
What more could you want? A pirating adventure on the open sea with your buddies sounds like a great time to me. I am pretty excited to see how the multiplayer plays out in this game as it shows a lot of potential to be special, and is hopefully at least half as fun as the board game Captain Sonar seems, as gathering eight friends in a room to play a board game is a struggle, four online might be just right.