What the hell’s left to be excited about this year?

How are you ending 2016?

[Update: This post originally ran on September 26, 2016. I told you all. I told you. In this post from a couple weeks back talking about the most anticipated games left for 2016, I mentally elided Gravity Rush 2, my most anticipated game for like three years running. I caught it later that day and amended the post. Something in my mind went, “There’s no way this pure and blessed game would sully itself, coming out in such a depraved, backwards years.” And my — call it what you will: intuition, omnipotence, handsomeness — was dead the fuck on. Shortly after, Gravity Rush 2 was delayed until January 20, 2017. I knew it. Death to this trash year, or me, whichever comes first.]

The last couple years, I’ve noticed my excitement petering out going into the busy holiday video game season. I think I’m just more suited to the new-ish, busy spring season than the latter half of the year where all the Christmas gifts — Call of Duty et al — seem to be dropping. This is a simplification and there are plenty of exceptions, of course.

I do remember, though, in 2014, Alien: Isolation (October 7) being the last thing in the year I was particularly jazzed for. Same for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (September 1) last year. Sure, Samurai Gunn came out in December a few years back. And yes, I ended up liking Rise of the Tomb Raider last November. And, hey, December had Just Cause 3. So it might be me arbitrarily imposing my taste on an existing calendar.

But I was recently thinking, with Persona 5 pushed back: what the heck am I stoked for in the last quarter of 2016? Not, which games are probably going to be fine and good, but which am I longing for? Well, thanks to Open Critic’s neat major release calendar, I’ve got answers!

Mostly it’s Dishonored 2. I absolutely loved the first, which mixed BioShock-level stylization with much more coherent themes — Javy Gwaltney wrote a good thing on how it’s the best Batman game. Plus I like the stealth and creeping, though the game has surprising combat depth allowing for some wild fucking trick kills that people have put out. 

Beyond that, I am still steadily excited for The Last Guardian, even though it was delayed (again), and I am at least interested in Final Fantasy XV, but possibly not enough to give it a sniff at launch.

What are you super jazzed for as this horrible, rotten, no-good year wanes?

[Update: I’m fucking stupid because my most anticipated game for the last three years running, Gravity Rush 2, is indeed planned for December 2, 2016, and not early 2017, where my brain transposed it. Fuck every other game that is not Gravity Rush 2!!!]

Steven Hansen