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Nick's Top 3 Anticipated Games of 2016


So we’ve looked at my top 3 games of 2015, and that really shit one at the end, but today let us look forward to the coming year and what delights 2016 has in store for us in the form of electronic entertainment. This is my top 3 anticipated games of 2016. (Damn, it's February now. Really should get this series finished.)

As you may have seen before, what follows is a transcript of my Top 3 Anticipated Games of 2016 YouTube video, for those people who prefer to read articles than watch videos. If you'd rather watch this is video form instead follow this link.


Number 3

So Batman, we had a rough year together last year, didn’t we. Arkham Knight was a massive pile of poo, or at least the pc version was, the kind of poo that you can comfortably wander through if you have exactly the right boots, but after an hour or so you come to the realisation that you’re just wading in poo and it’s not as fun as said provider of poo said it would be. And you have to pay upfront for the exclusive dirt in your eyes. To say I was disappointed in Arkham Knight would be a bit of an understatement, so what I really need is some restored faith in the Batman, video game combination.

Boom! Enter the developer behind The Walking Dead and Tales from the Borderlands and holy franchise snatch, you’ve got 2016’s Batman: A Telltale Series. I’ve explained before my love of The Walking Dead which was quite surprising seen as I didn’t previously like point and click adventure games and I haven’t watched or read any other Walking Dead material. I know, shoot me! But Telltale’s story of an apocalyptic survival grabbed my attention and tugged at my heartstrings in a way I never expected a video game could. I was emotionally violated, but in a good way!? I’ve recently started Tales from the Borderlands and being a Borderlands fan, I love the game so far, plenty of in jokes, moments that have genuinely had me in stitches (and one particular moment in episode two which made me squeal like a little girl!). Taking the role of two protagonists provides for an exciting spin as we see the story unfold from multiple accounts.

So let’s just say I’m damn excited for Batman. Telltale have a proven track record of spinning gold into every series (ok, maybe not Minecraft Story Mode, but one out of six ain’t bad). There’s a lot of story to tell with Batman and there’s so much room for the adaptive storytelling to push the Dark Knight’s actions and explore the reactions and consequences of the player’s decisions. I hope they go grittier too, and really capture the grim gothic appeal of the character, let’s see some deaths and mental scarring that’s enough to put the player themselves into Arkham Asylum.


Number 2

It’s amazing how many genres I really don’t enjoy, only to later to find one game from that genre that I have a bloody good time with and then start to think how it and I could create babies together.... Or, well, at least start with a coffee. Just like point and clicks, I’ve never really been into turn based strategy games. I played a bit of Advance Wars sure, but I’ve only ever played one game of Civ, one game of Total War and never even touched Might and Magic. The first time I ever played XCOM: Enemy Unknown was before its release at a gaming convention in Manchester (Play Expo for those who are familiar with it). I remember liking the idea of the game, but thought the serious tones conflicted with what I considered to be a rather comical design of alien enemies, particularly that of the Thin Man. I finally gave the game a proper crack after picking it up in a humble bundle and I was quickly hooked. With a bit more context, I grew to appreciate the game’s art direction and revelled in commanding my unit with accuracy and determination. No man was left behind, my troops were my family, I watched them grow, I watched them fight, I couldn’t bear to see them die.

I’m hoping to relive that fantasy with XCOM 2, which is very close to release, February 5th to be exact. The interface and gameplay mechanics look to further expand on an already solid base. The setting puts a nice spin on the story, having you attacking an Earth already ruled by a prior invasion and the graphics look slick and detailed. Finally, being a PC exclusive means we’re guaranteed to not receive a shoddy port of a far superior console version (not specifically attacking the first XCOM here, just the triple AAA pc market in general), so where the first one had a few bugs and optimization problems, we should see a much more stable and user friendly platform, designed specifically for the PC. Let’s get killing whatever the hell these cool as hell snake looking things are! Look at them, they’re so cool! I wanna shoot them!


Number 1

I’m gonna hate myself for saying this bit and you’re gonna hate me too. I don’t blame you. *Sigh* My most anticipated game of 2016 is brought to us by those folks at EA Games. Oh that felt awful. It’s made by DICE too, that feels kinda bad, knowing how many Battlefield’s they’ve churned out and what they did with Star Wars Battlefront, though I blame EA more for that one. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst comes to us in May and I am really excited to finally get a new Mirror’s Edge game.

I used to do parkour, did you know that? At Uni I was the health and safety officer for the Lancaster University Parkour and Tricking Society. Now I’m unfit and I’m trying to remedy it with a new year’s gym membership. This is all your fault League of Legends. Sorry, where was I? I’ve been interested in Parkour and Freerunning since I was a teenager. I joined a group, I’ve trained in France, I even wrote an essay and an exam paper on it for my Theatre degree’s Dance and Physical Theatre unit. Yes I did dance in Theatre, shoot me! And I never get tired of watching the start of Casino Royale, wich is incidentally, my favourite Bond film.

So despite the sometimes clunky, repetitive nature of the first Mirror’s Edge, I really liked it, in fact I would say it’s easily in my top 20 games of all time. We’d never seen a game quite like the first Mirror’s Edge and for everything that didn’t quite work in the game, every stumble and trip and clumsy death, there was a whole lot more that did work. Catalyst has promised a more fluid free running experience and the decision to create an open world complements parkour’s freedom of movement with an unrestricted environment. The combat looks much tighter, addressing one of the major gripes of the original and the gameplay looks like more of the same, but much better and much slicker, which is all I really want. If the first game was an experiment, a prototype, this one should be final model, with all the bells and whistles attached and in good working order. I just wish it hadn’t taken nearly 8 years to get back out of the lab.


Special Mentions

First special mention is my least anticipated game of 2016 and that game is Minecraft, on whatever platform it’s going to be released on next. Since its first release in 2011, there has been a release of Minecraft every single year. That’s twelve different versions of Minecraft over five years. We get it, Minecraft sells. Everywhere! I don’t care about it being released this year on the 3DS, the new Nintendo NX console, for Chrome-OS or hell, even the Nokia N-Gage. Seriously at this point I wouldn’t put it past them. Also, I was joking when I first thought about this, but we’ve already been informed that this year will see the release of Minecraft: Education Edition, which is a great idea, don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of using a video game as a teaching tool. I’m just sick of seeing another copy of Minecraft being advertised online, advertised in the game shops, then it’s sold and reviewed and talked about in the news and discussed on social media and on and on and on... Just for disclosure’s sake, I do actually like Minecraft, I do. Honest. I’m just sick of seeing it.

Second special mention is to a game that hasn’t been announced yet, well sort of, and no I’m not talking about bloody Half-Life 3, although I would like to see more of that Left for Dead 3 speculation we heard about a while back. No this is for Gears of War 4. I’m hoping for and looking forward to, a PC version announcement. I don’t own an Xbox One, I have no desire to purchase an Xbox One and I would like to play Gears of War again. I’m really looking forward to playing the Ultimate Edition when that hits PC and I’m hoping it does well enough to see Epic make the next instalment for us PC players too. Please Epic, gimme Gears 4!


2016 looks to be pretty good. There’s loads of other games coming out too, The Walking Dead: Michonne, Far Cry Primal, The Last Guardian, Pokemon GO, We Happy Few, Cuphead (that also looks damn good!) to name but a choice selection, plus many more games that have yet to be announced. Let’s hope it’s a good year, with less of that poor triple AAA publisher practice and more quality video games and some good ol’ steam sales. I make bugger all from making videos cash wise, I live off steam sales and humble bundles so don’t you judge!

Upvote if you like what you’ve seen and please leave some comments, I like to have a good read now and again. My final video in this series will be looking back at 2015 one more time, but in a change of normality, I’ll be putting forward my top 3 movies and I’ll be giving away a DVD of a 2015 film! If you haven’t checked out the previous blogs in this series, you can do so at the links below and I will see you next time!


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About Nick R P Greenone of us since 4:03 PM on 01.03.2012

So, I haven't edited my bio in four years. Time for an update.

I'm Nick R P Green; English; Theatre Graduate; Amateur Video Maker and Games Journalist; Former President of the Lancaster University Gaming Society. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

I've been playing video games since my parents bought a NES second hand from a friend, which I would guess is about 19 years ago (I'm now 26), and I've grown up with them ever since. Shortly after the NES came a second hand Megadrive, then quite a few years later, a borrowed PS1 and then finally, a brand new PS2, quickly confirming Metal Gear Solid as my favourite game franchise ever made. After starting college in Chesterfield, Derbyshire (I lived in Sheffield, South Yorkshire with my parents) and starting work at a Thorntons store in Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre, my first ever Xmas pay came in which resulted in my first ever console purchase (rather than my parents buying one), my PlayStation 3. Finally, after one year of University, I bought my brother's Xbox 360 off him as he was upgrading to an 360 S, and 2 and half years of being around and living with hardcore PC gamers, my first proper gaming PC. I'm now on gaming PC number 2, my first self-build too. Me and Shagohod (said I was an MGS fan) have been going places lately.

So as you can see, my gaming history is quite open, I've had a lot of experience, with lots of devices and with that has come a lot of fun and particularly at University, a lot of friendship. Joining the University's gaming society was probably the second best thing I ever did at University (the first being making out with the cute girl from the other corridor in a night club, resulting in what has now been a five and a half year fun, loving relationship. She even plays League of Legends as well!). If I could give one piece of advice to anyone going to university, particularly one like Lancaster where it is campus based with a college system, is to get involved with societies and your college. It's the best way to make friends and find people who enjoy doing things that you do, gaming in particular. I met my closest friends through LUGS, and I wouldn't trade them in for the world.

My interests in gaming are very broad, as you can probably tell by my collection of hardware. I'm a Gold League of Legends player, I've dabbled with several MMOs, I've recently got back into Team Fortress 2, and MGSV took my breath away. And with an interest in so many areas, I've grown a great interest in the gaming world and gaming journalism. My first regular viewing was the fantastically worded Zero Punctuation by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, who teaches us that even the greatest game in the world has its flaws, and talking about it really really fast is the funniest way to tell the world. Escapist also allowed me fall in love with such shows as Doomsday Arcade and There Will Be Brawl, which made me laugh, cry, reminisce and drink (drinking games, with friends, on gaming videos, is hilarious fun!). Regular viewing now consists of Jim Sterling's Jimquisition, Rooster Teeth, cjszero01, and MovieBob.

I decided a few years ago I wanted to start getting into games journalism, as I realised it was something I was very much interested in. As a Theatre Graduate, and a hopeful actor, I've always enjoyed working with live performance, and video editing has been a past hobby, editing compilations, home movies as well as camera, writing and editing work as part of my university course. So it seemed natural to follow in the footsteps of my inspirations. I've made a lot of progress in the past four years, with new hardware and editing software making my videos look and sound better than they've ever been. My regularity usually peaks during points of low employment, I worked for The Entertainer Toy Shop for over two years and saw video releases drop immensely. I'm working very low hours right now in my current job, so productivity has risen once again. Hopefully it won't dip too much when my career finds its feet.

So that pretty much all I can say about me and gaming. If you haven't managed to catch any of my videos yet, check out my YouTube channel amongst the links below, or just have a look at my blog posts for links and scripted versions. And please comment on them! I'm always on the look out for some useful constructive criticism. In my opinion, practice and criticism are the two best ways of learning!

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time!

Nick R P Green

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