The past year hasn’t exactly been a bumper year in terms of RPGs. In fact, the role-playing genre was scarce, with few games released to excite fans apart from the obvious Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3. That all looks set to change in 2016 though with a whole host of hugely anticipated RPGs set to hit store shelves and take up hundreds of hours of playtime from players across all platforms. There’s also plenty of variety on offer, from fast paced action orientated role-playing titles to the more traditional story focused examples, ensuring that there will be something for everyone over the coming months.
10. Persona 5
Persona 5 was originally due to launch in Japan, North America and other markets around the world in late 2015, however its absence at E3 led many fans to believe that the latest instalment in the series would be delayed. That turned out to be the case, though it has hardly dampened anticipation. Much like its predecessors, Persona 5 is a RPG crossed with a dungeon crawler, though it will feature some differences, including new weapons and combat mechanics, as well as an updated version of the Social Link from Persona 4.
9. Horizon Zero Dawn
Created by Guerilla Games, best known for the highly successful first person shooter series Killzone, Horizon Zero Dawn is a brand new franchise that is set to hit store shelves later in the year. It is the developer’s first ever role-playing game and will task players with taking on the role of a hunter and archer known as Aloy. The post-apocalyptic world that players will be exploring will be populated with a variety of enemies, including mechanized dinosaurs and other robotic machines.
8. Dark Souls III
From Software have succeeded in turning their Souls franchise into one of the most highly regarded RPG series currently in existence in just a few years. Loved for their incredibly challenging combat and enemies, each of the past two Dark Souls games has received critical acclaim and Dark Souls III looks set to continue on from its predecessors without changing too much, though with series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki back at the helm there is sure to be some evolution in both mechanics and storytelling. It is expected to release worldwide in April.
7. Nier: Automata
While it doesn’t yet have a firm release date, Nier: Automata is set to launch during 2016. The action RPG is a spinoff of the role-playing franchise Drakengard and is being developed by the studio responsible for Bayonetta 2, Star Fox Zero and MadWorld. The developers have confirmed that unlike other Nier games, Automata will put more emphasis on fast paced combat and action, though will retain deep RPG elements.
6. South Park: The Fractured but Whole
The first South Park role-playing game was only released in 2014 after several years of development, yet its success meant that Ubisoft were quick to get to work on a sequel. Much like its predecessor, Trey Parker and Matt Stone will be heavily involved in the creation of The Fractured but Whole, writing much of the story and aiding the studio to get the right look and tone. It is set to become available later in the year for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
5. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
Unofficially known as Star Ocean 5, Integrity and Faithlessness is the ninth title in the franchise and the first to be released for next generation consoles. Slated for a March release in Japan and a late 2016 release in other territories, it takes place in the middle of The Second Story and Till the End of Time. The action RPG with have a similar battle system that has been included in all entries of the series and more complicated cutscenes that have previously been present.
4. Torment: Tides of Numenera
Coming exclusively to PC, Mac and Linux at an unspecified time in 2016, Torment: Tides of Numenera is a role-playing game from inXile Entertainment that acts as a spiritual successor toPlanetscape Torment, which released in 1999. As you might expect from such a title, it will focus almost entirely on the plot and atmosphere, asking players to explore the world while interacting with the various characters that inhabit it. Anticipation for Torment was proven after a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign that saw the developers raise more than $4 million.
3. Mass Effect Andromeda
Very little is known about Mass Effect: Andromeda, despite the fact that it has been in development at BioWare since Mass Effect 3 released in 2012. Working as a sequel set many years after the events in that game, it will see players attempt to explore and colonize a brand new galaxy to find a new home for humanity. This will not only involve travelling to new planets but also competing against and negotiating with alien species, all while fighting against some new threat.
2. Final Fantasy XV
The latest entry in the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy XV, is set to release on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at some point in 2016. Like many of the previous games in the franchise, it will feature a large open world, an in-depth battle system and other elements incorporated from other Square Enix titles. Meanwhile, the plot focuses on a modern day world that has pitted a vast sprawling empire against a small independent nation, with the player taking control of Noctis Lucis Caelum from Lucis when his country is attacked by the Niflheim empire.
1. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Eidos decided to revisit the world of Deus Ex in 2011 when they released the prequel Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which gave players an insight into the technological advancements that were present in the initial titles. Mankind Divided will release in August for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and will continue the story two years after Human Revolution with players once again taking on the role of Adam Jensen.
It looks like 2016 will be a solid year for RPGs, all depending on how many of these actually release this year of course. Deus Ex seems interesting, and I'm glad to see that IP still going after it's return with Human Revolution. This year is looking up! 🙂