Gaming In 2017: ND's Top 8 Most Anticipated Games Coming Out Next Year

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'Legend of Zelda' for Wii U. (c) Nintendo

Some truly excellent games came out in 2016. So what’s there to look forward to next year? Here’s my personal list of the eight games coming out in 2017 that I’m anticipating the most.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Post-apocalyptic Zelda game? This isn’t the most anticipated title of 2017 for me; this is the most anticipated title of my life . After playing a Breath of the Wild demo at E3 2016, my hype reached completely out of control levels. Between its crafting, the massive overworld that encourages exploration and what promises to be one of Zelda ’s most intriguing stories, I can’t wait to delve into the new Zelda and put the Nintendo Switch through its paces. Nintendo, please, haven’t I waited long enough?

Release date: Sometime 2017

Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World

I really loved Yoshi’s Woolly World, a highly enjoyable Wii U title from 2015, so I’m really looking forward to the Nintendo 3DS port. Will it stand up to the high standards of fun and cuteness set by Yoshi’s Woolly World ? How will Nintendo take advantage of the 3DS software to differentiate the port from its predecessor? And most important of all - will any new yarn Amiibos be released to promote the game’s launch? Oh Nintendo, please say yes.

Release date: Feb. 3

Horizon Zero Dawn

It’s important to reward originality where you see it. Horizon Zero Dawn ’s mix of pre-historical landscape and aesthetic with machine monsters roaming the land begs a thousand questions: how can you fight these robot critters off? What happened to this world for it to have these roaming mechanical creatures yet have humans in this pre-historic survival state? Will you be able to make monsters of your own? Are there advanced humans or other species about? The gameplay looks epic, but I’m most excited for the story.

Release date: Feb. 28

Persona 5

Persona 5 will be my first entry into the Persona series despite a lifetime of people telling me that I should absolutely play the Persona series because I’ll totally love it. Will I? I guess I’m finding out in April 2017, because this stylish-looking game and its cadre of loveable delinquents seem tailor-made for some extreme hijinks. I’m also curious about how well I’ll be able to enjoy Persona 5 as my first Persona game. Will I be motivated to play the other games, which have been on my endless to-play list for years? We’ll see...

Release date: April 11

Yooka-Laylee

Everything I’ve seen about Yooka-Laylee indicates that it has the same vibrant, colorful heart that drove Banjo-Kazooie to be one of the NIntendo 64’s most memorable titles. I can’t wait to finally get my hands on this game and feel the nostalgia wave crash through me. But it’s not all about nostalgic feelings and hazy childhood flashbacks: Yooka-Laylee is an entirely new game, and I’m curious about how the makers of Banjo-Kazooie have adapted to the new state of gaming. Will yesterday’s tricks still work today?

Release date: March 2017

The Church in the Darkness

This indie game has absolutely top-tier voice talent (featuring the voices of GladOS and The Sniper) and a heady retro setting, but it’s the shifting story that will shine in The Church in the Darkness. Gameplay and narrative change every time you play, meaning that an evil power-hungry cult one play-through could become the sincere effort of principled people in the next. What will you uncover when you investigate The Church in the Darkness ? What methods will you use to uncover what’s happened to your nephew? I can’t wait to find out.

Release Date: 2017

Detroit: Become Human

It was the trailer that raised a thousand expectations, from the studio that brought us Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain. You can watch it here, but just let it be known, I’m an absolute sucker for robot stories, K2 was my favorite character in Rogue One and I’m still salty that Legion didn’t get a shout-out in the Citadel DLC.

We know that Detroit: Become Human is based in a future where mankind has enslaved artificial intelligence, only for some androids to stop doing what they’re told. We know that we can expect branching narratives in the style of Until Dawn. But we don’t know much else, and I can’t wait to dive into a promising world that explores a story centered androids, artificial intelligence and humanity.

Release Date: 2017

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

South Park: The Stick of Truth not only felt true to the rowdy spirit of South Park but actually worked as a functional, entertaining video game, so I have high expectations for its sequel which promises to feature “more than twice the amount of content than South Park: The Stick of Truth ” and is created, written, voiced, and directed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. If this second South Park game is an improvement on the first, then we’re in for a rollicking good time with these rambunctious brats.

Honorable Mentions

Mass Effect: Andromeda is not on this list because I am still super angry about the ending of Mass Effect 3 among many, many other issues I have with those games. Bioware will need to do a lot to make it up to me, so I can’t quite say I’m “looking forward” to Andromeda. But I’m waiting, and watching.

Other games I’m interested in for 2017 include Aven Colony (a sci-fi city builder), ELEX (an intriguing fantasy/sci-fi genre mix) and Ni no Kuni 2 (sequel to a beautiful and well-received game that I still need to play).

What are your most anticipated games for 2017? Any delays you’re worried about? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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