Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Upcoming Shooters in 2016

                There have been a couple of dry years for shooters, but this is about to change. Sequels, reboots, expansions and even new licenses are coming to treat the starved fans of this genre.
Here is a list with of the most interesting shooters that 2016 has in store. Keep in mind that there are some missing titles because they will be part of the last article from this series.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3
Release Date: Q1

                Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is an upcoming tactical FPS developed by CI Games.  It is the first title in the series to be set in an open world and with a production value worthy of an AAA title.
                We will play as Jonathan North, a retired US marine on the way to Georgia to help put an end to a proxy war and the civil unrest that might start a second Cold War.
                Taking advantage of the fully explorable open world setting Ghost Warrior 3 will feature a lesser linear gameplay allowing for different approaches. The gameplay will support different play styles with both stealth and run and gun being viable options. One of the highlights is the new navigation system which allows for parkour, repelling and climbing ledges opening new ways to better positions for engagement. There is also a hardcore vibe as objectives don’t show on the map and have to be discovered by completing intel gathering missions. Drones will be available to survey the area and scan for enemies helping to set up a much more exact tactic.
                I haven’t played any Sniper: Ghost Warrior game so far, but I enjoy playing as a sniper and the new features that Ghost Warrior 3 has made me put it on my watch list.

Release Date: Q1/Q2

                The classic shooter that has the players fighting demons on Mars is returning in the form of a reboot developed by id Software, the pioneers of the FPS genre.
                With the Union Aerospace Corporation facility on Mars being overrun by demons a lone DOOM marine is activated to put an end to this. The players will fight hordes of powerful demons with a wide variety of brutal weapons in a fun arcady shooter style.
                id Software always had a knack for technology and DOOM is going to showcase that. The game’s graphics and physics look amazing ramping up the intensity of the visceral and gory combat to eleven.
                The classic fast paced arena multiplayer will make a return with newer game modes available. Powerful weapons, verticality and unique power-ups which include the possibility to play as a demon expect those who want to test their skills against other players.
                The long waited sequel that turned into a reboot seems worthy of the series and it’s about time to fight some demons with a BFG!

Homefront: The Revolution
Release Date: May 17

                The history of Homefront: The Revolution is long, with THQ shutting down Kaos Studios, the developer of the original game, the task of making a sequel fell first on the shoulders of THQ Montreal. It was later announced that Crytek UK took over the project and with THQ filing for bankruptcy Crytek bought the rights for the game and continued working on it. At E3 2014 a partnership was announced and Deep Silver jumped in as a co-publisher. Due to Crytek’s financial problems the license was sold to Koch Media, the parent company of Deep Silver, and the development of the game was to be continued by the newly formed Dambuster Studios.
                Four years after being occupied America is in a terrible shape with a dictatorial military power treating the citizens in horrible ways. But in Philadelphia, now a ghetto, a resistance is forming ready to fight a guerilla war in the name of freedom.
                Homefront: The Revolution is an open world FPS in which the players assume the role of a fighter leading the resistance in an uphill war against the powerful occupant forces.  Ambush, sabotage, infiltration and deception are tactics needed to stand a chance in this fight. Build the resistance, recruit new members and establish bases of operation as territory is taken back from the enemy in a story driven open-ended singleplayer campaign.
For those who consider that the singleplayer campaign is not enough you can continue the fight for freedom in the Resistance mode. Team up with 3 more players and fight through 12 narrative driven co-op missions in a multiplayer mode that will be expanded with free content updates throughout the year.
                Homefront: The Revolution sounds good in theory, but the tangled development could take a toll out of this game.

ARMA 3 Apex
Release Date: TBA

                ARMA 3 new expansion will take the players to Tanoa, a tropical island with rich history and full of lush tropical vegetation and unique landmarks.
100 km2 of lively colored open world is what the new area has to offer. Fly, swim, drive or walk through this beautiful place that is about to see war once again.
                ARMA 3 roadmap for 2015 promises a lot, including a new lighting system and enhanced water visuals. At the end of the roadmap stands APEX, the first expansion of the game that comes with more content and improvements.

Killing Floor 2
Release Date: TBA, Currently in Early Access

                I’ve played the hell out of Killing Floor 2 from the beginning of its Early Access. The horde mode FPS has returned with better visuals, extreme gore and some impressive shooting mechanics that add up to a satisfying experience of killing wave after wave of deformed monsters.
                Now taking place in Europe, Killing Floor 2 has a lot of different landscapes squeezing the best Unreal Engine 3 has to offer into stunning looking maps with great level design. The combat is more visceral than ever before leading to a fun experience either in solo more or in 6 player co-op.
Perks and weapons of the past have been remade to face an improved version of older enemies with a better AI that leads to brutally challenging fights especially on the higher difficulty levels.
And to extend the game’s lifespan a full SDK will be available so that fans can create additional content in the form of new maps, mods and much more.
                Killing Floor 2 hit a community bump with the launch of microtransactions during its Early Access, but that’s not such a big deal considering they are only cosmetics. The game still needs more content, but the core mechanics are working wonderfully! A release is expected sometime during this year, together with another game from Tripwire Interactive: Rising Storm 2: Vietnam.

Shadow Warrior 2
Release Date: TBA

                The 2013 reboot of the 1997 Shadow Warrior was ok, but despite some hilarious comedy and engaging combat it got too repetitive too fast. Shadow Warrior 2 comes as a true evolution in every possible way. With greatly improved graphics, a more dynamic combat and a 4 player co-op mode.
                The players will retake their role as the former corporate shogun Lo Wang. Five years have passed since in his attempt to destroy the darkness corrupted the world leading to a new order where humans and demons live together. Now a mercenary, Wang is drawn in a conflict between multiple parties and has to put his particular set of skills to good use in another attempt to protect the world from evil forces.
                With over 70 customizable weapons to use in a bloody combat system that takes full advantage of modern physics technology, Shadow Warrior 2 surely aims to be fun. Adding to that the co-op mode with procedurally generated maps and success and replayability are almost guaranteed.
                There’s no denying that Shadow Warrior 2 looks great. The developers seem to have put a lot of effort into solving the issues of the previous game and hopefully this will show at release.

Space Hulk - Deathwing
Release Date: TBA

                Focus Home Interactive is taking over the Warhammer universe fantasy or 40k and one of their latest upcoming titles is Space Hulk – Deathwing.
                The action takes place on an abandoned Space Hulk where a group of Terminators from the Dark Angels Chapter is fighting through hordes of Tyranids. The game campaign can be played solo or in co-op mode with up to 5 players.
The game has customizable loadouts with a multitude weapons from the 40k lore allowing the players to choose between ranged and melee, each coming with its specific perks.
                Power by Unreal Engine 4, Deathwing looks absolutely mind blowing with some extremely detailed interiors and character models worthy of the Warhammer 40k universe. The graphics manage to create the claustrophobic atmosphere of a Space Hulk but also renders the grandeur of some of its special locations.
                Space Hulk – Deathwing is one of the most beautiful looking games coming in 2016 and it might be the high quality shooter that the Warhammer 40k universe needs to break the ice and expand its popularity to other genres than strategy.

Titanfall 2
Release Date: TBA

                Titanfall was a nice concept of combining competitive multiplayer with some sort of online campaign. Despite what the numbers say (over 10 million copies sold), the execution was poorly done and the lack of content ruined a game that deserved more.
                Respawn Entertainment has confirmed that it is working on a sequel that should be released in 2016. While they are very enigmatic about this game (including its name), the developers hint at the possibility of a singleplayer campaign and other changes (hopefully for the better).
                Titanfall did some things right with slightly innovative gameplay mechanics and by bringing mechs into the mix it really set the game apart. But the price was too steep for the content and separating the community through DLCs wasn’t a good move. Hopefully the developers learned from their mistakes and things will be different with this sequel.

This list is short but if we take in consideration the few titles we received lately and the fact that a new Battlefield and Call of Duty are going to be released this year, it turns out right impressive.
2016 is a promising year for a genre that was in desperate need for more releases. If no delays intervene and these games deliver on their promises this might become a reference year for the shooters fans.

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