Square Enix has welcomed us into a world of assassination, explorers, puzzles, speed and so much more. Soon that world will be getting bigger, and personally, I can’t wait!
The game developing and publishing company held an event in San Francisco recently to showcase an impressive slate of games that included Hitman, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo and more.
The primary focus of the showcase was HITMAN, which will be the sixth installment of the series started over 17 years ago. The release of this game will be a little bit different though, as it will be an episodic game. Starting March 11, the game will be released in segments each month with a new location and mission. Beginning with Paris, locations will include Italy, Morocco and Japan as well as content updates that will include the US and Thailand.
Having had the chance to play the game at the showcase, I can say HITMAN fans should be very excited. The freedom that the player is given to play the game the way he/she wants is astounding. There are countless ways to eliminate each contract, from a silent headshot to dropping rat poison in their food. That, combined with the smooth gameplay and beautifully enormous environments, will make this one of the top games of 2016.
For those of you that are not into the idea of the episodic game, the complete disc version of the game will be released at the end of 2016.
2. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Many of you may have played this game already and are wondering why it is on this list. Well, that’s because Square Enix has some big plans for Lara Croft. The former Xbox exclusive is now available for PC and will be released for the Playstation 4 near the end of 2016!
For those of you that have not played it yet, the third installment in the reboot of the iconic franchise is absolutely breathtaking. It received several nominations for awards in 2015 and with good reason. The exciting story, incredible visuals and entertaining gameplay have made fans of the series very happy.
Playstation owners have to be excited about the opportunity to own this game in the very near future. I know because I’m one of them!
3. Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo
If you’re a fan of racing games, this one is a must. Square Enix has partnered up with Italian video game developing company Milestone to bring the intense world of rallying to North America and Latin America.
Lead Game and Technical Designer Andrea Basilio sees the challenges of bringing a game to a market that is unfamiliar with the content, but he also knows how relate it to American sports.
“Sebastien Loeb is not very popular in the US,” Basilio said. “But he is the Michael Jordan of rally.”
That’s no exaggeration. Loeb has won a record nine World Rally Championships. It’s no wonder why he would be the face of the game that is really introducing the sport to a brand new audience. And Loeb did a lot more than just let his name grace the cover.
“He gave us input on what it was like to handle a car like this,” Basilio said.
There is even a game mode that allows you to get behind the wheel as Loeb himself.
“If you don’t know him you can relive his story,” Basilio said. “You can play certain parts of his career.”
Aside from Loeb himself, the game is predicated on being as realistic and true to the sport as possible. As far as sports games go, this has some of the most realistic and vivid imagery I have ever seen. And when it comes to racing games, I have never felt more like I was actually driving the car.
“Our fan base wants the reality of rally, so we brought them the reality of it,” Basilio said.
Milestone PR Manager Daniele Caso explained that this game takes that reality to a new level.
“The elements change and impact how you can handle the car,” Caso said. “You may start on tarmac and transition to ice and it’s important that you feel that change.”
It’s not just the details of how the cars handle that Milestone focused diligently on though. The environments surrounding the tracks are 100% accurate to the real life surroundings.
“If you see a house on the side of the track, that house is really there,” Basilio said.
It’s details like this that really put this game over the top and make it a must have for racing fans. Sebastien Loeb Rally EVO is available now on PC and will be released for Xbox One and Playstation 4 in March.
4. Hitman Go/ Lara Croft Go
Square Enix also has some changes coming for one of their popular mobile puzzle games in the near future. Hitman Go will be coming to Playstation 4 and PS Vita in 2016. The popular turn-based strategy game will make a great addition to your Playstation collection.
The App Store’s 2015 game of the year, Lara Croft Go, will not be going anywhere in the immediate future, though there is potential for the game to advance to other platforms down the road.
Square Enix has a lot for gamers to be excited about in the near future. The only problem is having to wait for it all.