We’re wrapping up Loresworn Games of the Year Week with a countdown of our Most Anticipated Games of 2017! If you’re just now joining us, be sure to check out Games We Didn’t Get To in 2016 (But Wish We Had), and Games of the Year!
While 2016 was a great year for some of my staple genres, like strategy and RPGs, we didn’t get a first-person horror game in the same class as my 2015 Game of the Year, Soma (though the surreal Layers of Fear does deserve a shout-out). There’s a fair amount of buzz around freshmen developers LunarSoftware and their upcoming Routine, described as “a first person Survival Horror set on an abandoned Moon Base designed around a 70s vision of the future.” I find its retro art style quite appealing, and the fact that we know so little about the scenario has me very excited. Horror games should give you as little information as possible ahead of release so you can go in with a genuine sense of confusion and unease. I can’t wait to close the shades, turn off all the lights, and turn up my around-ear headphones to get the piss scared out of me by this one in March.
2004’s Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines remains one of my favorite RPGs of all time, and we haven’t gotten a vampire game anywhere close to as good in the 12 years since. Remember Me and Life is Strange devs Dontnod are taking a crack at it next year with Vampyr, a semi-open world skulk through a fictionalized version of London during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. The fact that feeding is a mechanic that really matters has my hopes up. The best vampire games are the ones that capture what I think of as the “vampire lifestyle”, portraying weaknesses and needs alongside all the flashy superpowers. And of course, me being me, I love the historical setting. The time period they’ve chosen is perfect to explore the themes inherent in the metaphor of vampirism.
3. Resident Evil 7
My two favorite Resident Evil games are the original Resident Evil and Resident Evil 4… for completely different reasons. The former was a great horror game. The latter was a great action game. Unfortunately, every main series RE game since RE4 has gone the action route, losing touch with the franchise’s identity and failing to live up to the template they’re trying to copy. The fact that RE7 is swerving hard back into the horror space has me very excited. The trailers we’ve seen so far suggest they’re going for a super fucked up, claustrophobic, Hills Have Eyes/Texas Chainsaw Massacre kind of vibe. Though I suspect that, like with all good Resident Evil games, there’s a lot we’ve deliberately not been shown hiding beyond the first act that will dive head-first into the mythology we’ve all come to love exploring. I’ll definitely be sleeping with one eye open in 2017, and that eye will be fixed on Resident Evil 7.
2. Torment: Tides of Numenera
Making a return from my Most Anticipated Games of 2016 list (where it sat at #4) since it didn’t, you know, come out this year, Torment remains a shiny object of unknown properties and origins floating just out of reach. Here’s what I said about it this time last year:
Especially after finally knocking out Wasteland 2, the idea of an inXile-helmed spiritual sequel to Planescape Torment has me practically drooling. Brian Fargo and Co have proven they can make an excellent, balanced, and fun to use turn-based combat system in a modern engine, and that was possibly my only concern about Numenera. What I was never concerned about the least bit was the writing. Chris Avellone. Colin McComb. George Ziets. Monte Cook. Patrick Freaking Rothfuss, are you kidding me? If this doesn’t turn out to be one of the best-written RPGs in years, that will have been its own title to lose.
1. Mass Effect: Andromeda
The second game returning from my Most Anticipated Games of 2016 list, last year’s #2, has jumped up to the #1 slot by biding its time and deciding to come out in a year without much exciting happening on the strategy front other than a billion Paradox expansions. Since I’ve been actively trying to avoid marketing materials for this one so I go into the experience as unspoiled as possible, my thoughts from last year haven’t changed much:
What is there to say, really? Andromeda will be more of my generation’s defining, interactive space opera. More of the franchise that brought video games closer to a quality, big budget movie or TV series than they’ve ever been. More of an expansive, engaging sci-fi universe that stands unflinchingly beside the likes of ‘Wars, ‘Trek, ‘Gate, and Galactica. It’s more Mass Effect. And if I need to explain why I’m excited about that, you just haven’t been paying attention.
Continue to D.M.’s Picks (Coming soon!)
How Did Our Picks From Last Year Stack Up?
T.J.’s Most Anticipated 2016 List:
10. Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 3 – Only one episode released in 2016, will be considered for 2017 awards season
9. StarCraft 2: Nova Covert Ops – “Pretty disappointing”, Did not make any awards list
8. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – T.J.’s #2 “Game I Didn’t Get To But Wish I Had”, D.M.’s #8 Game of the Year
7. Dark Souls 3 – T.J’s #7 and D.M.’s #3 Game of the Year
6. XCOM 2 – T.J.’s #8 Game of the Year, D.M.’s #3 “Game I Didn’t Get To But Wish I Had”
5. Hearts of Iron 4 – T.J.’s #2 Game of the Year
4. Torment: Tides of Numenera – Did not release in 2016, back on the list as #2 Most Anticipated Game of 2017
3. Total War: Warhammer – T.J’s #1 Game of the Year
2. Mass Effect: Andromeda – Did not release in 2016, back on the list as #1 Most Anticipated Game of 2017
1. Stellaris – T.J.’s #6 Game of the Year
D.M.’s Most Anticipated 2016 List:
10. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – T.J.’s #2 “Game I Didn’t Get To But Wish I Had”, D.M.’s #8 Game of the Year
9. Stellaris – T.J.’s #6 Game of the Year
8. XCOM 2 – T.J.’s #8 Game of the Year, D.M.’s #3 “Game I Didn’t Get To But Wish I Had”
7. Dark Souls 3 – T.J’s #7 and D.M.’s #3 Game of the Year
6. Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 3 – Only one episode released in 2016, will be considered for 2017 awards season
5. Quantum Break – Did not make any awards list
4. Uncharted 4 – D.M.’s #2 Game of the Year
3. Torment: Tides of Numenera – Did not release in 2016
2. Total War: Warhammer – T.J’s #1 Game of the Year
1. Mass Effect: Andromeda – Did not release in 2016
That concludes Loresworn’s second annual Games of the Year week! We have a lot of awesome things planned for 2017 other than just playing and writing about the games mentioned above… so be sure to follow @LoreswornOrder on Twitter to keep up.
From all of us at Loresworn, thanks for an awesome second year. Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and here’s to an epic 2017! We’ll see you in January.
-D.M. Schmeyer, T.J. Hafer, Chloe Elizabeth, Brianna Hafer, and Kaycee the Lore Dog