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103

The PC Games Of 2016

Everything to look forward to on PC in the new year.

Featured post

Strategy games

Whether turn-based or real-time, this is where you go for games about making important tactical and strategic decision. Expect orcs, men with machineguns, economic simulations and games about managing theme parks. For example…

Planet Coaster

Official site

Genre
Management
Release date
Q4 2016
What is it?
Amid the carry on that’s surrounded RollerCoaster Tycoon World’s creation, news of Frontier’s upcoming Planet Coaster – dubbed the spiritual successor to RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, also developed by Frontier – is no doubt welcomed to fans of the genre. News of player-created content, shareable via a “global village” feature sounds equally as exciting.

All Planet Coaster posts.

The Political Machine 2016

Official site

Genre
Political Simulation
Release date
Q1 2016
What is it?
Recreate the US presidential race and play as real-world candidates – yes, Mr Trump if you’re that way inclined – or create your own made-up hopefuls. You’ll canvass, fundraise, deal with the press, and set your sights on the oval office. Fun, cheap and cheerful.

The Political Machine 2016 Review (Early Access).
All The Political Machine 2016 posts.

Endless Space 2

Official site

Genre
4X
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Endless Space was an oft-interesting 4X strategy-em-up that Amplitude Studios eventually set aside and followed up with Endless Legend – a 4X fantasy game that won the coveted RPS best game of 2014 award. Now, Endless Space is back and a somewhat cryptic trailer released mid-last year sort of suggested number 2 could be in a way related to Endless Legend 2. Excitement!

All Endless Space 2 posts.

Parkitect

Official site

Genre
Management
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Parkitect is another rollercoaster-em-up that’ll help satisfy our burning urge to run small, cramped cars across huge welded lengths of steel at any cost. It’s as business simulator resonant of Theme Park and, particularly, RollerCoaster Tycoon 2.

All Theme Parkitect posts.

Citybound

Official site

Genre
Management, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Citybound is still inbound, it seems. Although developers aePlay kept up semi-regular updates via their company blog throughout 2015, actual solid, bricks and mortar images or videos – or even artwork – for their city builder have become few and far between. They’ve also recently lost a team member due to external commitments but here’s hoping more is revealed this year.

All Citybound posts.

Worms W.M.D.

Official site

Genre
Strategy, Turn-based, Multiplayer
Release date

What is it?
The archetypal artillery annihilation simulator – it’s Worms as you know and love with a cutesy new art style, neat mechanics and new features. For example, now only players housed inside buildings can actually see their interiors meaning you’ll be forced to fire blindly if you find yourself on the outside. This might be made easier by WMD’s addition of tanks. Yup, tanks. Gung ho!

All Worms W.M.D. posts.

Stellaris

Official site

Genre
4X
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Adam’s favourite game from last year’s Gamescom. Rest assured, he doesn’t offer such plaudits lightly. Made by Paradox, Stellaris is a 4X strategy game about a procedurally generated and very moddable galaxy whose features have been brilliantly explained/teased via a string of engaging developer diaries. Well worth watching.

All Stellaris posts.

Master of Orion

Official site

Genre
4X
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Reboots are clearly in fashion nowadays, and, announced at last year’s E3 conference, Master Of Orion is another 90s classic set to get one courtesy of Wargaming and NGD Studios. In standard strategy-heavy 4X procedure you’ll explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate your way through a galaxy inhabited by your race and nine others.

Master of Orion preview.
All Master of Orion posts.

Tharsis

Official site

Genre
4X, Turn-based
Release date
January 12 2016
What is it?
Tharsis is a game about exploring Mars wherein you’re in charge of the crew’s wellbeing – making sure they stay fed, watered, and sane. It has elements of FTL in its design, a board game aesthetics/mechanics in its layout and use of dice rolling respectively, and permadeath – not to mention hints of cannibalism should things got tits up.

All Tharsis posts.

At the Gates

Official site

Genre
Strategy, 4X, Turn-based
Release date
Q1 2017
What is it?
From Civilisation V’s lead designer Jon Schafer, At The Gates is a strategy game designed to recreate the mastery of the all-time genre classics. As you might expect, you start out small, beginning with a tribe and expanding outward as you strive to conquer land and whoever inhabits it. It was successfully Kickstarted in 2013 and although isn’t set for full release until 2017, we can expect to see more in the coming month.

All At the Gates posts.

Duelyst

Official site

Genre
Strategy, Turn-based, Card Game
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Duelyst is probably best described as a card game, like, say, Hearthstone, but without feeling as restricted as most other card games. It’s maybe more traditional turn-based role-playing with the addition of cards, an ultra-fast 90-second turn limit, and quicktime strategy a la Hearthstone. .It’s also free-to-play and is currently in its beta phase.

All Duelyst posts.

Stars Beyond Reach

Official site

Genre
4X
Release date
March 2016
What is it?
Those responsible for AI War and The Last Federation, Arcen Games’ upcoming 4X strategy game sees you crash land on a foreign planet with next to nothing to your name. You’re then expected to assimilate with the locals, learn their native tongues, explore, build and do whatever needs doing to get back on home soil.

All Stars Beyond Reach posts.

Chronicle: RuneScape Legends

Official site

Genre
Card Game
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A collectable card game that’s based on the RuneScape universe that has unsurprisingly been compared with Blizzard’s PvP-focussed Hearthstone on occasion. Unlike Hearthstone, however, Chronicle places far greater distinction on its single-player elements which bleed into RPG territory. It’s similar, yes, but not quite the same.

All Chronicle: RuneScape Legends posts.

Hex: Shards of Fate

Official site

Genre
Card Game
Release date
TBA
What is it?
After settling its once overhanging lawsuit in September, Hex now stands on the precipice of becoming something rather special. The Kickstarted card game is not only the first card-trader of its kind in that it’s an MMO, but it also have scope to fuse the prettiness/slickness of the likes of Hearthstone with the intricacies of the time-tested Magic The Gathering.

Hex: Shards of Fate preview.
Hex: Shards of Fate preview.
Hex: Shards of Fate feature.
All Hex: Shards of Fate posts.

Ultima Ratio Regum

Official site

Genre
Early Access, 4X, Roguelike
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
The roguelike created by developer Mark Johnson in 2011 that he took on as full time project in 2014. In scope, it could be massive – even bigger than it’s already becoming – perhaps similar to the aforementioned Dwarf Fortress. The last year and a bit has seen castles and cathedrals, procedural people, cities and fortresses and coins added. 2016 will undoubtedly bring more.

Ultima Ratio Regum interview.
All Ultima Ratio Regum posts.

RollerCoaster Tycoon: World

Official site

Genre
Management
Release date
Early 2016
What is it?
RollerCoaster Tycoon World’s development has been volatile to say the least – it’s had three different sets of developers and has been pushed back on a few occasions due to bugs and other unfortunate occurrences, such as complaints following open testing. Atari remain assured things are on track for a timley and successful release this year.

All RollerCoaster Tycoon: World posts.

Westport Independent

Official site

Genre
Management
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Hauntingly – although apparently entirely coincidental – similar to the real world goings on that have engulfed the British press over the past few years, Westport Independent is about censorship and the complicated relationship the media often shares with the political spectrum. It looks sort of like Papers, Please too which only adds to its potential.
All Westport Independent posts.

Blitzkrieg 3

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy
Release date
March 2016
What is it?
The third instalment to the real time strategy Blitzkrieg series which is based on the events of World War II. You’ll take control of one of three factions: Axis, the Western Allies, and the USSR. Although DLC is expected further down the line, an MMO component is expected to come free of charge surplus to single player.
Blitzkreig 3 preview.
All Blitzkrieg 3 posts.

Salvaged

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A dual-screen outing which has you tracking the movements of your crew via first person perspectives as they clamber around a monster-ridden ship, and a separate top-down view on a touch-activated device like, say, a tablet. This could go either way: it could be a fantastic idea or a disappointing gimmick. Here’s hoping it’s the former.

All Salvaged posts.

Nantucket

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
A beautifully hand-drawn strategy game set years after the events of literary classic Moby Dick. It’s sentiment, on the other hand, might be a little less wonderful as Nantucket tells its tale of Ishmael’s revenge – you’ll guide him and crew across the Seven Seas to hunt whales. From what we’ve seen so far there’s plenty in the way of systems and strategy to complement the game’s lovely art style.

Call To Arms

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy, Early Access
Release date
Q1 2016
What is it?
A spiritual successor to one of Jim’s all-time strategy favourites: Men Of War. Old war is out, this time round, with modern warfare taking the shape of two factions and over 20 vehicles. You’ve also got the option to play god as you command your entire troop from above; or perhaps you’d rather fight individually from third-person, on the ground level. Call To Arms arrived on Early Access in July of last year to which the devs said then: “We estimate the game to be in Early Access until Q1 2016.”

Call To Arms interview.
All Call To Arms posts.

Plague Inc: Evolved

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Plague Inc: Evolved is Stephen King’s The Stand-meets-28 Days Later where you design, manufacture, and unleash devastating chemical weapons of mass destruction upon the world with the intention of killing the world. Sounds grim because it is but it’s also strangely addictive and compelling strategy game. Still lurking in Early Access but expected to escape to full release this year.

Plague Inc: Evolved preview.
All Plague Inc: Evolved posts.

Shallow Space

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy, Early Access, Space
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Inspired by classic space simulations Homeworld and Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, Shallow Space wants to leave its own mark on the ever-growing space sim genre by showing off its looks and its highly customisable ships and loadouts. Landed on Early Access late last year with very little to play with, but expect more from the following 12 months.

All Shallow Space posts.

Flagship

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy, First-Person, Space
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
A first-person take on the normally stand-offish RTS formula. Normally, you’d command crews from above, but here you’re forced to interact one-on-one and on a personal level. You’re also made to watch everything turn to shit through the eyes of a commander as you peer out through the front windshield at an army of enemies out to end you. It’s a great idea that really changes the complexion of how these games are normally played. The Feels, man.

All Flagship posts.

Clockwork Empires

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy, Management, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Set in a “Steampunk world of science, industry and cosmic horror” Clockwork Empires is a Sim City-meets-Cthulhu-type game about growing a community, overseeing some hard-working pilgrims and allowing them to thrive or die. It’s spend a tad longer in Early Access than first planned, however developers Gaslamp Games have kept on top of regular blog updates over the past several months.

Clockwork Empires preview.
All Clockwork Empires posts.

Stonehearth

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy, Management, Early Access, Creative
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A lovely looking Minecraftian-Terrarian lovechild where voxel building and enormous ambitions – be that from you in-game, or from the devs outwith – go hand-in-hand. The Early Access offering is pretty accomplished as it stands, however full release promises a multiplayer mode, extra biomes, and variable seasons.
All Stonehearth posts.

SpellForce 3

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy, RPG
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Details are REALLY thin on the ground currently on this one, but it is said to be an upgrade on previous SpellForce games, with its Wiki claiming it to have three playable races, four basic unit types and it to be more complicated – which in the context appears to be a good thing – “even compared to SF1”. You’ll know more as soon as we do!

Oh My Gore!

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy, Tower Defense
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Going on looks alone, Oh My Gore! is the quintessential interpretation of a modern pixel-favouring indie game. Going deeper, it’s a mash of genres covering RTS, regular Tower Defence and “reverse Tower Defence”, which I guess is Tower Offence? Story-wise you’re an evil god who’s been banned by the goodie gods thus bundles of bloodshed is your only obvious recourse.

Super Roman Conquest

Official site

Genre
Side-Scrolling, Strategy, Early Access
Release date
Q2 2016
What is it?
A touch reminiscent of the land battles of the original console-dwelling JRPG Suikoden in that Super Roman Conquest asks you to plan battles by virtue of considered strategy, yet does so via a side-on perspective. You’ll organise and equip your troops from a more user-friendly map interface. It’s lighthearted, but it’s fun!

All Super Roman Conquest posts.

Galactic Princess

Official site

Genre
Space 4X
Release date
Q2 2016
What is it?
A side-on and ever-so-pretty looking take on FTL whereby you pilot a pirate ship in a sandbox world. Interestingly, enemy fire isn’t all you’ll look out for: enemies can easily jump ship should they get close enough and do with little reservation. Galactic Princess was successfully Kickstarted in 2014 and all backers received access to the alpha last month.

All Galactic Princess posts.

The Mandate

Official site

Genre
Space 4X, RPG
Release date
Q1 2016
What is it?
So as to stand out from the ever-burgeoning space-crowding crowd, modern space sims appear to be merging genres whether they fit together or not. The Mandate, fortunately, chooses to combine its 4X strategy with RPG elements to its benefit. Fight interstellar rebels, individually control all members of your crew and seek to board enemy ships. All in day’s work.

The Mandate interview.
All The Mandate posts.

FAR Colony

Official site

Genre
Turn-Based Strategy
Release date
TBA
What is it?
FAR Colony is a gritty, nuts and bolts, hard-sci-fi game about the first man-man colony in space and, most interestingly, it’s split into two parts. Part is one influences part two in that the choices you make in the first in-game year determine how viable your colony is long term. You get a score that correlates with the difficulty of the sandbox strategy game offered up in part two in which you must sustain your colony.

All FAR Colony posts.

Hearts Of Iron IV

Official site

Genre
Turn-Based Strategy
Release date
Q2 2016
What is it?
The latest entry to the World War II-based Hearts Of Iron series that will lean heavily on its sandbox elements. First announced two years ago, it’s been put back on a couple of occasions as developers Paradox continue to tinker with its innards. First entry to the series since Crusader Kings II rose to prominence, thus Paradox have also states their desire to make Hearts Of Iron IV more accessible that previous instalments.
Hearts of Iron IV preview.
All Hearts Of Iron IV posts.

Twilight Struggle

Official site

Genre
Turn-Based Strategy
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Typically stylish videogame interpretation of the board game of the same name, Twilight Struggle is a game about the Cold War as it ran from post WWII right through into the early 90s. Players pick a side between America and the USSR and engage in socio-political warfare; reenacted historical events such as the Nuclear Arms Race and the Space Race.

All Twilight Struggle posts.

Antihero

Official site

Genre
Turn-Based Strategy, 4X
Release date
March 2016
What is it?
A microscopic take on inter-city warfare, Antihero is a 4X strategy game about competing thieve’s guilds slugging it out on the cold hard streets to take over their city’s wealth. Send your agents into the concrete jungle and have them perform Robin Hood-style duties while keeping a mindful eye on rival assassins.
All Antihero posts.

Battle Brothers

Official site

Genre
Turn-Based Strategy, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Turn-based affair set in a medieval fantasy world with X-com-esque unscripted mission selection on a procedurally generated world map. Travel freely on the latter, before diving into the minutiae in tactical maps where combat takes place. Developers Overhype Studios plan to implement modding support upon full release.
All Battle Brothers posts.

Homeworld: Shipbreakers

Official site

Genre
Real-Time Strategy, Space
Release date
January 2016
What is it?
Once known as Hardware: Shipbreakers and merely inspired by the Homeworld franchise, Blackbird Interactive’s Homeworld: Shipbreakers is now fully supported by Gearbox who’ve also helped out with its funding. This has ultimately led to Shipbreakers switching from an originally slotted free-to-play model to full release which should make for a much more enjoyable end product.

All Homeworld: Shipbreakers posts.

The Banner Saga 2

Official site

Genre
Strategy, RPG
Release date
Q4 2016
What is it?
No matter how often you feast your eyes upon mere stills of anything Banner Saga-related it’s tough not to be impressed. That cracking art style returns in the proposed sequel and, from the little information available since its announcement, it seems like more tactical RPG-ing a la the original Kickstarter success.
The Banner Saga 2 interview.
All The Banner Saga 2 posts.

Total War: Warhammer

Official site

Genre
Strategy
Release date
28 April 2016
What is it?
The Total War/hammer hype train continues to push on forward as Creative Assembly’s strategic take on the Warhammer fantasy world gathers steam. It ain’t arriving till April but, typically, there’s already much talk of pre-order incentives and what DLC may or may not land first. Fret not, though, as all will be dissected here at the Hivemind as and when we receive it.

All Total Warhammer posts.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

Official site

Genre
Strategy
Release date
March 2016
What is it?
It’s orcs in space! Mostly due to the fact the spaceship spin-off to Warhammer 40,000’s real life models were never really that popular, there was never really any calls for a videogame adaptation. Until now, because, well, orcs in space! There hasn’t been an inordinate amount of footage released since it was announced last year, but what has made it to light has looked rather wonderful.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada preview.
All Battlefleet Gothic: Armada posts.

Ashes of the Singularity

Official site

Genre
RTS
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
An RTS that operates on a vast scale where there tends to be lots of things going on at once at any given time. It can be quite daunting if you let it be, but it can be rather brilliant too. Not made by the Supreme Commander team – or even Command And Conquer – but you might be forgiven for thinking so. Either way, that’s not a bad thing.

All Ashes of the Singularity posts.

XCOM 2

Official site

Genre
Strategy
Release date
February 5th 2016
What is it?
The second entry to the XCOM reboot series which is set two decades after the events of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, rather, events where XCOM lost the war (you might’ve WON the war yourself, but that doesn’t matter now, sadly). The rural and suburban screenshots that’ve surfaced thus far look lovely and Adam was really impressed with his hands-on towards the end of last year. Previously delayed but looked good for its proposed February launch.

XCOM 2 preview.
XCOM 2 feature.
All XCOM 2 posts.

Cossacks 3

Official site

Genre
RTS
Release date
April 2016
What is it?
GSC Game World’s (those of STALKER notoriety) remake and sequel to the classic now 15 years old (!). Straightforward but thoroughly enjoyable RTS-ing in 17th century Europe where a keen Sun Tzu understanding of the lay of the land will serve you well as you conquer all that lies in front of you.

All Cossacks 3 posts.

Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena

Official site

Genre
MOBA, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Games Workshop seem determined to dish out as many official licenses as humanly (or orcly) possible these days, thus Warhammer 40,000 has received a MOBA. It’s only just been let loose on Steam Early Access where it’s accrued mixed initial reviews due to its work-in-progress manner. Long term, this arguably makes the Warhammer 40K all the more worth watching as it grows into 2016.

All Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena posts.

Total War: Arena

Official site

Genre
RTS, Early Access, Free To Play
Release date
TBA
What is it?
If you’re into huge, sprawling historical battles where teams of up to ten players control different elements of the one huge, sprawling battle, then Total War: Arena is most likely for you. Each player will also control three units, each comprised of up to 100 men. Sheesh.

Total War: Arena preview.
All Total War: Arena posts.

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