There was a time when a “multi-platform” release meant that a game would come out for all available platforms; Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo (including handheld) and PC. In recent years, because the Wii and Nintendo DS launched with non traditional control schemes (the latter also comparatively underpowered) true-multiformat development became impractical, so a multi-platform release has come to mean the two “serious” consoles and PC. Despite this shrinking of the term, 2016 continues to deliver some outstanding multi-platform releases, available on PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4.
Overwatch is an insanely addictive team shooter that gives players the choice between over 20 unique and memorable characters. From a peace-loving combat droid to a Korea pro-gamer and an armour-clad geriatric knight, each character plays differently, meaning you’re sure to find a play-style that suits you, and must team up with friends and strangers to account for each character’s strengths and weaknesses. Blizzard Entertainment have even stated that all future downloadable content, including new characters and maps, will be entirely free. It’s easy to be dubious about a game with as much hype behind it as Overwatch, but it has lived up to expectations so far.
Final Fantasy XV
Having been in development for over ten years, fans are ravenous for the release of the fifteenth numbered entry in the venerated Final Fantasy series. Featuring a Kingdom Hearts–style fight system, battles are played out in real time and seamlessly integrated into the game, allowing for hectic and exciting battles to take place. Story is a vital part of any RPG and FFXV doesn’t look like it’s going to disappoint; players take the role of Prince Noctis, who, along with his friends (the game features a series first – an all male party) must travel across the land using a customizable car, and, in a nod to survival games, must eat and sleep in order to maintain optimum battle performance. With fan anticipation sky high, only time will tell if FFXV manages to meet expectations.
Hyper Light Drifter
This stunning 2D action game is a love letter to 8 and 16-bit titles of the past and really has to be seen to be believed. The pixel art, somehow simultaneously simplistic and ultra detailed, is absolutely beautiful, and incredible music direction compliments it perfectly. The story has been compared to some of Studio Ghibli’s iconic titles, and those looking for old-school style challenges need look no further than the games tight learning curve. In an era where games are becoming increasingly similar, Hyper Light Drifter isn’t afraid to stand on its own two feet.
This sequel to 2012’s stealth action title sees players return to the dark world of The Outsider, this time letting players choose between returning protagonist Corvo Attano or the now grown up Princess Emily Kaldwin. Each character will have individual powers, and given the choice between high and low chaos, the separate characters further provide immense replay value. If this sequel can be as confident and fully realized as its predecessor then there can be no doubt that Dishonored 2 will be a stand out title of 2016.