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103

The PC Games Of 2016

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

Featured post

Survival games

Survival games have survived and thrived over the past year, as more have tumbled into early access and hope to reach the finish line over the next 12 months. If you want desert islands to search, dinosaurs to tame, zombies to barricade against, and many, many broken and unfinished games to contend with, then these are for you.

7 Days To Die

Official site

Genre
Shooter, Survival Game, First-Person, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Still in its alpha phase on Early Access, 7 Days To Die hasn’t been the fastest of development processes, but it has been an enjoyable one due to attentive dev blog posts and updates. It’s another zombie survival sim but places greater importance on crafting and scavenging instead of blundering and butchering. Definitely one to watch.
7 Days To Die preview.
All 7 Days To Die posts.

DayZ

Official site

Genre
Shooter, Survival Game, Online, First-Person
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
The once mod, now standalone zombie survive-em-up feels like it’s been around for a long time. In the last year we sort of expected it to enter into its beta stages and while that wasn’t the case, it is something that’ll likely happen in 2016. When it does, expect new features and the possibility of an engine overhaul. Recently teased plans to introduce predatory animals to its desolate world.

DayZ preview.
DayZ feature.
All DayZ posts.

Sheltered

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
A lovely pixelated post-apocalyptic survival game that’s went from strength the strength since embarking on Early Access last year. Besides the obvious threat of nuclear fallout radiation, angry factions, temperamental nomads, and fires can now ravage your humble underground abode. Expect substantial updates this year.

All Sheltered posts.

Stranded Deep

Official site

Genre
Survival Game
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A Castaway-meets-The Beach type endeavour that sees you stranded on an isolated desert island with only you, yourself and you for company. You’ll need to hunt food, build shelter, and craft transport if you’re to survive this survival sim. John returned to it towards the end of last year and, while he still had fun, noted some basic issues needed refined, re-tuned or fixed entirely. The developers had hoped to have it out of Early Access by now, so it’ll be interesting to see how it fares in full release whenever that may be.

Stranded Deep review (early access).
Stranded Deep video.
All Stranded Deep posts.

The Long Dark

Official site

Genre
Survival Game
Release date
Q2 2016
What is it?
A wonderfully stunning open world survival game about surviving a plane crash and then braving the Canadian wilderness. The last 12 months has seen many impressive updates arrive at its snow dusted door, not to mention an uber stylish teaser trailer for its upcoming story mode.

The Long Dark video.
The Long Dark preview.
The Long Dark feature.
All The Long Dark posts.

Darkwood

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
An unassuming top-down survival nightmare with hints of surrealism that oozes style. There’s not been an abundance of new information coming from developers Acid Wizard of late, however they have recently announced a new recruit who’ll help flesh out Darkwood’s story. RPS horror man Adam said: “My internal organs are swimming in terror-juice.” Yuck.

Darkwood preview.
All Darkwood posts.

Eternal Winter

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
What could be more terrifying that freezing your arse off in a perpetual wintertime? Nothing, according to Eternal Winter which is a less-obvious game of survival against the elements in lieu of scary monsters and zombies and what not. Rely on your four huskies to whisk you around in the snow and scavenge to survive.
Eternal Winter review (early access).
All Eternal Winter posts.

Proven Lands

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
It’s Don’t Starve meets The Sims meets Terraria meets Starbound. Proven Lands is about scouring an alien planet with the company of an AI storyteller who shapes your overarching experience. “Archaeology” is said to play a part which if implemented with any degree of depth will be a welcomed and nuanced take on the scavenge to survive genre formula.

All Proven Lands posts.

Rust

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
The project that followed Garry’s Mod for Facepunch Studios is a survivalist sandbox ruled by the community – much like its spiritual forerunner. Given the vast and continued input provided by the game’s community, it’s quite difficult to say exactly what RUST is. Each player could, can, and often does have a wholly different experience to another. In essence: you’ll make of it what you will.

Rust preview.
All Rust posts.

The Forest

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A survival game about cannibals. Right, I’m out, sorry, too scary. The Forest joins the multitude of survival games that entered Early Access towards the end of 2014 but is set apart by its gorgeous visuals, detailed environments, impressive physics engine and, yes, terrifying themes of cannibalism.
The Forest preview.
The Forest feature.
All The Forest posts.

The Flame In The Flood

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Exploration, Early Access
Release date
July 2015
What is it?
A stylish survival game about rafting your way around flooded American backwater towns that have been ravaged by catastrophe. Alongside your companion canine you’ll craft, forage and evade predators in a world where dry land poses as much of a threat as the river-swept streets.

The Flame In The Flood review (Early Access).
All The Flame In The Flood posts.

Salt

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Not the Angelina Jolie 2010 film of the same name, but the RPS Bestest Best Exploration 2014 award winning survival game. By removing all the overblown hyperbole often associated with the genre, Salt is in essence a walking simulator where you’re encouraged to explore but not dally in your search for food and water.

Salt preview.
Salt feature.
All Salt posts.

Subnautica

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Set on a foreign planet that houses whole hosts of underwater nasties, Subnautica is a survival sim that plants you in the shoes of a scientist and gives you the means to get by using your skills and expertise. A massive mid-year update to the Early Accessor in 2013 introduced a host of practical and decorative tweaks that make this well worth a re/visit in the new year.

Subnautica review (early access).
All Subnautica posts.

Draugen

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Horror
Release date
TBA
What is it?
From the Dreamfall devs who once billed it ‘Gone Home meets Amnesia.’
Inspired by Scandinavian literature, Norse mythology and Icelandic sagas, Draugen depicts a remote 1920s fishing island where all of its residents have mysteriously vanished. Enter you, on your tod, and expected to work out what’s happened. Such luck.

Draugen preview.
All Draugen posts.

Phantasmal

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Horror, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Phantasmal’s foes use an Amnesia-esque sanity draining mechanism that leaves you completely defenseless before exacting brutal murder upon your helpless self. Lovely. Add that to a roguelike procedurally generated house within which you’re expected to scavenge to survive, and Phantasmal presents a pretty darn terrifying experience.

All Phantasmal posts.

Narcosis

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Horror, VR
Release date
March 2016
What is it?
It’s unusual to see a game about deep sea exploration depict the claustrophobic elements of the vast expanse quite so well. Narcosis is about surviving in the drink as you helplessly scour for oxygen and a way to reach the surface. Add VR support to that mix and prepare to be terrorised.

Narcosis preview.
All Narcosis posts.

Project Zomboid

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, RPG
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
One of the founding fathers of early access games that was doing it before Steam made the initiative cool. Thus, Project Zomboid enters its fifth year in development as it pushes towards its 1.0 release. Last year saw the introduction of the neat Creative Mode which suggests developers Indie Stone still have valid ideas up their sleeves, if not a full release date in mind.

All Project Zomboid posts.

Starbound

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, RPG
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
The ‘Terraria in space’ comparison was always going to become misguided as Starbound added updates over the course of development. Last year’s highlights included pets, story quests, the introduction of colonisation and class structures, hoverboards and loads of new weapons. It’s unlikely to slow down this year and is increasingly becoming a game worth returning to/visiting for the first time.

Starbound preview.
All Starbound posts.

Space Pirates And Zombies 2

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Space
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Stick its awful, awful, awful name to one side and find that Space Pirates And Zombies 2 upgrades almost every aspect of its forerunner to pretty good effect. The zombie threat has been defeated but the world’s in awful state. You’ll explore space, upgrade your ship and out-survive all the others hanging on. Enemy AI has been vastly improved meaning they can do anything that you can. Good luck.

All Space Pirates And Zombies 2 posts.

ADR1FT

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Space, VR
Release date
Q1 2016
What is it?
The age-old, tried and tested protagonist with amnesia card is dealt in ADR1FT as you try to figure out what catastrophic event has wrecked your space station. Hunt for oxygen, supplies, and signs of life against dazzling visuals that make this survival adventure one that’s destined for VR-support.

Planets3

Official site

Genre
Survival, RPG
Release date
TBA
What is it?
That’s Planets cubed, not the third entry to a series you hadn’t previously heard of. Similar to Minecraft in that its about blocks and building and vibrant colours, but different in that a pre-determined but procedurally-spun plot guides you around the world’s sprawling confines. Received $300k in Kickstarter funds in 2014.

All Planets3 posts.

Interstellar Rift

Official site

Genre
Survival, Space
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Starbound-ish in the looks department and a shit-sight more entertaining than the 2015 movie of the same name which I can’t be sure actually praises the game in any way. Typical lost in space survival fare as you explore, trade and fight for your life. You’re also expected to maintain your ship’s wellbeing and feed yourself as you go.

Interstellar Rift review (early access).
All Interstellar Riftposts.

We Happy Few

Official site

Genre
Survival
Release date
June 2016
What is it?
A weird and wonderful Clockwork Orange meets A Brave New World set in an alternate 1964 English town where everyone’s high on state-supplied medication and you, rightly, need out. Stealth in We Happy Few takes the form of pretending you are actually okay with everything, thus is a wonderfully nuanced take on the stealth mechanic. Ran a successful Kickstarter in 2015.

We Happy Few feature.
All We Happy Few posts.

ARK: Survival Evolved

Official site

Genre
Survival, Early Access
Release date
June 2016
What is it?
The pseudo-prehistoric survival sim that Alice just can’t seem to get enough of. Every update to the dinosaur out-runner-a-thon that launched in 2015 was more intriguing and entertaining than the last. It’s since developed a strong and ever-growing community, thus don’t expect the momentum to slow down this year.

Survival Evolved feature.
Survival Evolved interview.
All ARK: Survival Evolved posts.

Resident Evil Zero HD

Official site

Genre
Survival Horror
Release date
January 19th 2016
What is it?
Following the success of the original Resident Evil HD that launched on Gamecube in 2002 but launched on PC last year, Resident Evil Zero is an HD remake of the Gamecube iteration from 2003. The game’s original director is on board but seeing as Zero wasn’t quite as well received the first time round, compared to the remake, it’ll be interesting to see how it fairs.

All Resident Evil Zero HD posts.

Ashen Falls

Official site

Genre
Survival Horror
Release date
On hold.
What is it?
Still very much planted in its concept stage, Ashen Falls is a supernatural horror game about an abandoned town, a lost axe-wielding teenage girl and ghosts with oversized fire helmets and gaping hoods and twisted and bound skin – if the concept drawings are anything to go by. Again, not much to go on as yet but looks promising so far.

All Asen Falls posts.

H1Z1

Official site

Genre
Survival, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Daybreak Games’ (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) big-budget zombie survival sandbox MMO about lasting the pace amid a zombie apocalypse where everything has ultimately turned to shit. Hostile humans, hostile conditions, and hostile zombies stalk your every move.

H1Z1 feature.
All H1Z1 posts.

VR

VR Games are cool.

EVE: Valkyrie

Official site

Genre
Simulation, First-Person, Space, VR
Release date
Q1 2016
What is it?
At this stage, VR works best in games where you’re sat in a chair with your feet planted on the ground. EVE: Valkyrie, which its own developers have dubbed “Top Gun in space”, is therefore very well suited to the medium as you twist and turn and swoop and glide your way through space stations and dogfights. It’s really rather wonderful!

EVE: Valkyrie preview.
EVE: Valkyrie interview.
EVE: Valkyrie feature.
All EVE: Valkyrie posts.

Lucky’s Tale

Official site

Genre
VR, Third-person, Exploration
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A made for VR whimsical platformer that Oculus has decided will ship with every headset. In a style akin to how certain movies depict 3D – the way the tiger lashes out at the screen in the Life of Pi, for example – Lucky’s Tale has been meticulously designed with VR in the forefront of its mind. The result looks great and shows how VR could appeal to a far wider audience than first anticipated.

All Lucky’s Tale posts.

Job Simulator

Official site

Genre
VR
Release date
TBA
What is it?
One of the first games to be announced on the SteamVR headset, Job Simulator takes the monotony of the 9-5 rat race and plants you bang smack in the middle of it. It’s fun, tongue-in-cheek and not to be taken overly seriously. Although comical, it does perhaps show where the medium could head in recreating scenarios outwith spaceship and fighter jet cockpits.

Job Simulator preview.
All Job Simulator posts.

Eagle Flight

Official site

Genre
VR, Action
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
What was once an Ubisoft flight simulation prototype is now an actual game being made for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Eagle Flight is exactly how it sounds – it’s a game designed purposely for VR about soaring, gliding and swooping your way across the skies; and weaving and waving in and out of buildings to your heart’s content. It won’t be for everyone in that it’s quite limited in scope, but it looks fantastic nevertheless.

All Eagle Flight posts.

Valiant

Official site

Genre
VR, Multiplayer, Melee fighting
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Valiant is a melee fighting simulator designed for VR where you’ll fight enemies upon horseback, engage them in arrow fights, or challenge them to jousting duels. It’s in its early stages so naturally looks a little rough around the edges, but looks to pack quite a punch.

Darknet

Official site

Genre
VR, Puzzle
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A VR-exclusive cyberpunk hacking game that asks you to “enter cyberspace” to solve its puzzles. Darknet’s trailer seems to show you clearing out the bank accounts of unknown individuals which might suggest you assume the role of an antihero. Either way, puzzle games often demand vast amounts of concentration, thus doing so strapped to a VR headset sounds intriguing.

All Darknet posts.

Chronos

Official site

Genre
VR, Third-person, Action-RPG
Release date
March 2016
What is it?
An upcoming atmospheric RPG with VR support. Tour around an ancient labyrinth, meet weird beings, fight bad guys, uncovers myths and secrets. How Chronos will incorporate VR remains to be seen, besides mention of the “level of immersion, scale and detail” as “incredible” on the game’s website.

All Chronos posts.

Edge of Nowhere

Official site

Genre
VR, Third-person, Action-adventure
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Very pretty looking third person action adventure game about an explorer who quickly discovers the foreign land he’s happened upon doesn’t want him to be there. Expect strange creatures and ever stranger goings on as he tried to escape. The next game from Sunset Overdrive developers Insomniac Games.

All Edge of Nowhere posts.

VR Sports Challenge

Official site

Genre
VR, Sports
Release date
Q1 2016
What is it?
Sanzaru Games’ VR Sports Challenge was available to play at last year’s E3 conference and is essentially Wii Sports for VR. Ice Hockey was the only sport on show in Los Angeles back in June, however Sports Challenge plans to include nine sports in total come full release. While Wii Sports handled its motion-sensor setup with aplomb, utilising VR is naturally a very different one so it’ll be interesting to see how this one works out.

All VR Sports Challenge posts.

The Climb

Official site

Genre
VR, First-person
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Absolutely stunning virtual reality first-person climbing simulator for those unafraid of heights. In development by Crytek, The Climb whisks you away to an idyllic setting in a tropical climate, presents with you a craggy limestone cliff face and ask that you don’t look down. Using the technology’s motion controllers to simulate hand movements appears to work as you never seen your feet on screen.

All The-Climb posts.

Loading Human

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person, VR
Release date
TBA
What is it?

A sci-fi exploration adventure game that’s set in the distant future. It’s a bit cryptic at this early stage, but the game’s site says you are granted “the life of Prometheus, a pilot that will travel across the galaxy to retrieve the quintessence, the most powerful energy source of the known universe in order to save his father.” Walking simulators that place onus on exploration are cut out for VR, thus Loading Human will almost definitely be one of the first in a very long line.

Loading Human preview.
All Loading Human posts.

Get Even

Official site

Genre
First-Person, VR
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
There’s not much to go on as yet with regards to how VR will be implemented in upcoming first-person adventure-cum-shooter Get Even, besides the fact that the protagonist uses virtual reality devices in-game to jump between alternate realities. What the developer’s video logs seem to suggest, is that this process could be emulated in reality as the player switches between normal play and VR headset play. This is a really interesting idea and one which we’ll be keeping an eye on.

All Get Even posts.

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