Delays in the game industry are inevitable and the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC saw more than their fair share in 2015. Developers and publishers most often cite the need for extra development time to polish a game, but the need to escape a punishing holiday release window is just as much a factor. With that said, here are the top five titles, along with some honorable mentions, that were originally scheduled for 2015 that gamers should look forward to in 2016.
Uncharted 4: Thieves End
Naughty Dog originally delayed Uncharted 4 to March 2016 before delaying it once more to April 26, 2016 this past week. The PlayStation 4 exclusive marks the final installment in the Uncharted series and both Sony and the developer want to send it out with a bang.
The development schedule of Uncharted 4 was thrown off when Amy Hennig and Justin Richmond were replaced by The Last of Us team of Neil Druckmann and Bruce Staley. Fans of the series should expect more of the cinematic action, but with bigger environments along with a multiplayer that features new elements to mix things up, such as the ability to hire AI-controlled sidekicks and mystical items.
The creators of Borderlands are taking their time to explore a new universe of crazy characters with Battleborn. The hero shooter for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC includes both a competitive multiplayer mode and a campaign. This, at least, gives the game a leg up over competing hero shooters such as Overwatch from Blizzard and the free-to-play Paladins from Hi-Rez Studios.
The Legend of Zelda
Will The Legend of Zelda appear on just Wii U or both the existing console and the upcoming Nintendo NX? That’s the question following Nintendo’s delay announcement earlier this year and Shigeru Miyamoto’s reaffirmation the game will appear on the Wii U.
Producer Eiji Aonuma explained the delay was necessary after discovering “several new possibilities” that taking the game to the open world format presented. The unfortunate thing is Nintendo has not narrowed the release date beyond 2016.
Wii U owners that can’t wait will be able to pick up The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD when it releases on March 4, 2016.
Firaxis Games smartly pushed its turn-based tactical shooter out of a crowded fall release schedule dominated by major AAA franchises. The new February 5, 2016 launch date is perfect for the PC only launch and gives the studio more time to polish its alternate future vision of what happens after the XCOM fails to stop the alien threat in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
The game is set 20 years after the events of Enemy Unknown and promises major improvements such as procedurally-generated levels along with more units.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Ubisoft’s third-person shooter for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC was delayed from 2014 to 2015 and now has a March 8, 2016 release date. The Division blew people away when first announced, but the graphics have seemingly taken a step back in real world conditions while the graphics of other games have taken steps forward.
Despite the delays and setbacks, The Division is still a fascinating game to keep an eye on with its open-world gameplay mixed with PVP combat in a dilapidated New York City setting.
Capybara Games’ rogulike game was supposed to be one of the Xbox One’s showcase indie titles, but quickly slipped from a 2015 to an unknown 2016 date. The top-down adventure game is striking in its visuals thanks to a camera pulled back far enough to make the character look small compared to its surroundings.
The Banner Saga 2
The original The Banner Saga was a fascinating journey into Norse mythology via a role-playing title with exceptional artwork. The sequel promises an expansion of the game’s turn-based combat to address complaints for the first game. And, the gorgeous artwork does return.
Lionhead Studios’ free-to-play action RPG was marketed as part of the greatest lineup of games in Xbox One history before quietly being pushed out. A delay was inevitable as November and then March came around without mention of a release date. The game’s director finally confirmed the obvious before the end of the year with the promise of an open beta in early 2016.
Dead Island 2
The first proper sequel to the original zombie co-op survival game by Deep Silver. Original developer Techland opting to go with Dying Light and Yaeger Development getting booted off the game by publisher Deep Silver in favor of an unnamed studio is cause for concern, though.
Homefront: The Revolution
Another delayed game worth watching because of its troubled history. Originally developed by Crytek as an open-world game, the property rights were sold to Deep Silver and handed over to the newly formed Dambusters Studios. It will be interesting to see if this does in fact get released in 2016.
Star Fox Zero
This was originally meant to be a holiday title for the Wii U, but was pushed back to April 22, 2016. Fans have been clamoring for a new entry in the Star Fox series for years. Reaction to the latest iteration has been mixed so it will be interesting to see how Nintendo and Platinum Games spend the extra time polishing.
[Image via Nintendo]