Guide to the games of 2017

Action and FPS (continued)

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The Evil Within 2

Release date: October 13, 2017
Developer: Tango Gameworks
Link: Steam page

Is this an action game, or a survival game? We're going with action game, but spooky. Sebastian Castellanos returns for another round of gore and horror, the poor guy. No one believed his version of the events of the first game, and he's been kicked off the police force and has slipped into alcoholism, even as he continues on a quest to unearth the truth of his experiences and find his daughter, Lily. With Shinji Mikami at the helm once again, we can expect plenty of bizarre and twisted locations, characters, and story twists, plus no small amount of scares 

Crackdown 3

Release date: November 7, 2017
Developer: Reagent Games
Link: Official site

The latest in open world orb collection is due this year, no longer an Xbox exclusive. In earlier entries, you jump, punch, and shoot your way around a big city, collecting power orbs that upgrade your jumping, punching, and shooting powers. It’s a simple loop, and Crackdown 3 likely won’t stray far from supersoldier sandboxing. The re-reveal at E3 2017 came with the welcome surprise that Terry Crews is now in the game, and though it showed suspiciously little city destruction in singleplayer, the developers said that promised mayhem will be part of the multiplayer experience.

Agents of Mayhem

Release date: August 15, 2017
Developer: Deep Silver Volition
Link: Steam page

Set in the Saints Row universe, Agents of Mayhem is essentially a rebranding and reboot of the series. It’s got a more cartoony look than the rest of the Saints Row games, and a near-future pseudo-superhero setting somewhat reminiscent of Overwatch. Although developer Volition is calling it a “sister game” to Saints Row, it doesn’t look too far off from its sibling. The over the top action and adult humor we’ve come to expect is still there, but the new direction has given the studio a chance to branch out from other pre-existing conventions of the series.

Quake Champions

Release date: 2017
Developer: id Software
Link: Official site

The newest game in the Quake series, Quake Champions is a fast paced arena shooter. New to the series in this game is the addition of, you guessed it, champions who each have unique abilities. There was initially a sense of trepidation when the idea was announced, given Quake has always been seen as a 'pure' FPS experience, but the first gameplay trailer released showed it still looks as fast and lethal as the series has ever been. Still, we’ll have to wait and see if that’s really the case when we actually get our hands on it later this year.

Tokyo 42

Release date: May 31, 2017
Developer: SMAC Games
Link: Official site

As the self-described “lovechild of Syndicate and GTA 1,” Tokyo 42 is a stylish sci-fi take on isometric open world mayhem. The camera takes a much higher perch than typical, turning your character into a tiny blip on the screen, but retains the arsenal and abilities you’d expect from a big budget open world romp. Use stealth or go in with weapons drawn in a colorful take on future Tokyo sometime in early 2017.

Squad

Release date: 2017
Developer: Offworld Industries
Link: Official site

Squad has quickly become one of our favorite multiplayer shooters, and steady updates has helped the game change a lot over 2016. Big puzzle pieces like vehicles and logistics have finally snapped into place, and developer Offworld is planning for a final version release during 2017. We particularly love how Squad emphasizes voice chat and teamwork, which makes finding a good squad a magical experience filled with friends and swearing.

Insurgency: Sandstorm

Release date: 2017
Developer: New World Interactive
Link: Official site

Insurgency is a reliably great time for shooter fans looking for something a bit grittier than Call of Duty, but not quite as coarse as Arma. With Insurgency: Sandstorm, the game is jumping to a new engine, new visuals, and adding a storyline. Is it an expansion? A reboot? Don’t ask questions while we’re trying to aim.

Overkill’s The Walking Dead

Release date: Second half of 2018 (delayed)
Developer: Overkill (Obviously)
Link: Official site

We were really hoping to sink our decaying teeth into this new Walking Dead shooter made by Overkill, the folks behind Payday and Payday 2, in 2016. Some business things happened in an official business capacity (or something—we don’t really understand how business works), and Overkill’s Walking Dead got pushed to late 2017 to make time for a global release in Asian and Western markets.

Hopefully the delay and infusion of cash will help the game shine, because the last Walking Dead FPS we got was a total load of bum.

TimeSplitters: Rewind

Release date: 2017
Developer:  Cedar Interactive Arts
Link: Official site

This fan-made, multiplayer focused TimeSplitters game (which has Crytek's blessing) is still alive, and according to the latest teaser below, the team is now aiming for a release this year. We wrote a little about Rewind all that way back in 2013.

Hello Neighbor

Release date: Summer 2017
Developer: Dynamic Pixels
Link: Official site

Alfred Hitchcock described the difference between surprise and suspense in terms of a bomb: if a bomb explodes, that’s surprise;  if you can see a bomb about to explode, that’s suspense. Hello Neighbor is so damn thick with suspense that we get ulcers from watching the trailer.

The Darwin Project

Release date: Fall 2017
Developer: Scavengers
Link: Steam page 

Another new entry into the popular battle royale genre, The Darwin Project will launch first for Xbox but arrive on PC as well. It's as much about surviving a freezing environment as it is about battling other players, and the trailer shows not just weapons like arrows and axes but powers like energy shields and invisibility. The demented game show looks like it will support 8 players rather than the typical dozens like other battle royale games. 

Panoptic

Release date: 2017 (Early Access)
Developer: Team Panoptes
Link: Steam page

One player, the eye in the sky ‘Overseer,’ wears an HTC Vive headset and surveys a complex structure of stairs and platforms. Another person plays as the ‘Challenger’ on a regular monitor, running and hiding from the Overseer’s gaze as they attempt to escape a prison. It’s a creative, asymmetrical use of VR for multiplayer.

Styx: Shards of Darkness

Release date: March 14 2017 (Out now)
Developer: Cyanide
Link: Official site

In the realm of fantasy-stealth-goblin games, Styx: Master of Shadows was one of the best. While sneaking, stealing, and assassinating to your little goblin heart’s content, expect to use a lot of potions to create controllable clones of yourself, set acid traps, and turn invisible. Plus, the fantasy setting and stark, fire-cast lighting looks excellent. We called it a satisfying stealth experience in our review.

John Wick Chronicles

Release date: February 10, 2017 (Out now)
Developer: Starbreeze Studios
Link: Steam page

It’s fitting that one of the first really interesting VR games for the HTC Vive is John Wick, a movie famous for looking like an FPS video game. John Wick Chronicles was timed to come out with the second John Wick movie. Sadly, it's not going to make you feel like Keanu.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3

Release date: January 27 2017 (Out now)
Developer: CI Games
Link: Official site

A modern military shooter sequel that blends the long-range marksmanship that you'd expect from the title with stealth and action approaches supported by lots of Clancy-style gadgets. Maps are large with lots of defensive positions to bypass, camps to raid, and security systems to manipulate.
 

Far Cry 5

Release date: February 2018
Developer: Ubisoft
Link: Official site

Far Cry's back, and it's traded the jungle and desert and Himalayas for Hope County, Montana. Here's our first look at Far Cry 5, which is scheduled to come out in early 2018. We thought Ubisoft might be angling for that holiday release, but instead Far Cry 5's likely to be the biggest game of next February.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release date: Spring 2018
Developer: Rockstar Studios
Link: Official site

Rockstar has done it again: announced a highly-anticipated game without mentioning whether or not it will come to PC. The original Red Dead Redemption never came to PC, but this feels more like a repeat of GTA V than that.

Assuming we’re right, we seem to be looking at a Magnificent Seven approach to the western—or at least, there are seven riders conspicuously featured in the debut teaser. Rockstar is also touting multiplayer, which will presumably look something like GTA Online, but with people running you over with trains instead of cars.