Looking ahead in 2016 – 24 Shooters taking aim

It wouldn’t be a gaming year without a few shooters in the mix and 2016 is going to be packed with enough of these to keep fans busy such as a new Call of Duty (which isn’t listed because there’s literally nothing we know about it other than it’s expected). There are also a few MOBA-likes in the mix this year along with one or two that are trying to set themselves apart from the rest such as P.A.M.E.L.A. and a classic revival in the form of Doom.

Like the previous lists, this isn’t the ultimate in comprehensive collections – it’s just a big slice of information cross referenced between a number of sources from Gamestop to Wikipedia, and some games aren’t here at all due to a lack of information (or even a website to reference back to) or I just had no idea that X title was out there. Any dates that are for certain regions only will be tagged (like JP, for Japan). Like always, if you feel that this list is missing a favorite or two, be sure to let everyone know in the comments.

Battleborn – Gearbox Software (PS4, Windows, XBO)
May 3, 2016

What is it?
It’s Gearbox’s first original IP since Borderlands’ debut in 2009. It’s a sci-fi FPS taking place on a world where two forces are fighting over the last star in the universe. At first glance, its 25 characters and arena-style combat make it out as a MOBA, but it also promises a single-player campaign (or co-op with four players) alongside the huge multiplayer component.

Bombshell – Interceptor Entertainment (PS4, Steam, XBO)
January 29, 2016

What is it?
An isometric, top-down shooter featuring Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison as she tears her way through four planets of alien mayhem in a bid to rescue the President. The game promises plenty of explosive action along with an upgrade system, experience point system, side quests, and creative ways with which to turn your enemies into burning plasma.

DayZ – Bohemia Interactive (Windows)
TBA 2016

What is it?
The famous (or to some, infamous) zombie mod for ARMA 2 made mega hit will apparently see the light of day as a feature complete product sometime in 2016. The massively multiplayer game pits individual players in a race for survival in a huge, open world environment filled with scarce supplies, vehicles, and deadliest of all, each other. Cooperate or compete by robbing everyone blind, it’s up to players on how to gather what they need to defend themselves against each other and the hordes of zombies looking for an easy snack.

Dead Star – Armature Studio (PS4, Windows)
TBA 2016

What is it?
A twin stick, strategic shooter (5 vs. 5 or 10 vs. 10) where players can fly ships in a top-down region of space in one of two modes: Conquest or Escape. It’s set in the Wastes, a titanic section of space where criminals and scum are thrown into to live out the rest of their short lives while lorded over by a massive Guardian AI and a red giant, the “Dead Star”, at the center and on the verge of going nova. It’s also the place of a very ancient battlefield with the hulks of massive starships left to rot in the vacuum may hold the key to escape for criminals brave enough to try and escape if they can survive the jumps through other regions being fought over by players.

Descent: Underground – Descendent Studios (Linux, OS X, Windows)
March, 2016

What is it?
A new successor to Interplay’s Descent successfully (albeit barely) Kickstarted. Using Unreal Engine 4 and available on Steam in Early Access, players can experience ship battles underground in an early slice sans any campaign.

Doom – id Software (PS4, Windows, XBO)
Spring 2016

What is it?
The new Doom promises as much kinetic violence and demonic splatterpizzas that its granddaddy had delivered at the dawn of the first-person shooter era in the early 90s. Although only a short trailer or two and a few words had trickled out on the game (as well as being reworked at least once a few years earlier), the developers have been hard at work building what they hope will be a revived classic appealing to both veterans that remember the original and a generation brought up on Call of Duty.

Gears of War 4 – The Coalition (XBO)
TBA 2016

What is it?
Tentatively slated for a release sometime in 2016, this is the fifth installment to the Gears of War franchise and the sequel to Gears of War 3. An E3 2015 trailer revealed a bit of the proposed gameplay for the new title drawing some to remark that the general atmosphere made it feel a bit like “Resident Evil” which would be symbolic as one of the inspirations for Gears’ mechanics was Resident Evil 4. Since the trailer, little else has been revealed but this will undoubtedly be a big title for XBO fans to look forward to.

Gigantic – Motiga (Windows 10, XBO)
TBA 2016

What is it?
Tentatively guessing at a 2016 release, this F2P MOBA shooter is currently in beta. Two teams of five each battle it out with their titanic guardian in the backdrop providing support. Kills empower their guardians, eventually empowering them to appear on the battlefied. Great art style though the partnership with Microsoft has apparently restricted its release to Win10 and Xbox One platforms.

Homefront: The Revolution – Deep Silver Dambuster (Linux, OS X, PS4, Windows, XBO)
TBA 2016

What is it?
The sequel to Homefront, this title changed hands towards the end of July, 2014, when Crytek sold the property to Koch Media who then passed it on to Deep Silver and their newly formed Dambuster dev team. The game has been described as an open-world shooter taking place in Philadelphia, four years after North Korean forces have taken control of the United States, and it’s up the player to engage in a series of missions to spark a revolution.

It missed an anticipated 2015 release and little information has come out on its status since then other than information about how the weather, thanks to its updated graphics engine, can dry out puddles.

LawBreakers – Boss Key Productions (Windows)
TBA 2016

What is it?
F2P multiplayer arena shooter set in a world where the Moon was accidentally split apart, disrupting gravity and violently changing the world forever. Humanity rebuilt itself and society was finally at peace until “breakers” appeared, using weapons that manipulated gravity fighting against those that tried to keep the law. It’s being developed by Cliff Bleszkinski’s company, Boss Key, with F2P and MMO heavyweight, Nexon, as the publisher.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force – Next Level Games (Nintendo 3DS)
TBA 2016

What is it?
A first person shooter take on Metroid featuring four-player co-op across a variety of missions. It will utilize the gyroscope in the 3DS to help aim and feature Blast Ball, a 3-on-3 sport where players can compete in outside of the main game. The reaction to its reveal was incredibly negative going so far as to spur a petition against it. Later interviews revealed that Samus Aran would show up in the game and that the producer was “quite surprised” by the negativity.

Overkill’s The Walking Dead – Overkill (PS4, Windows, XBO)
TBA 2016

What is it?
From the makers of Payback and Payback 2 is a first-person take on The Walking Dead. The description says “In 2016, Washington will fall – what will you do?”. Players will play as survivors in The Walking Dead universe and will employ elements of role-playing, stealth, and survival horror to enhance the experience. Little else is known other than a promised VR experience that will also be released later.

Overwatch – Blizzard (PS4, Windows, XBO)
Q2 2016

What is it?
A new, team-based shooter from Blizzard featuring a huge roster of 21 playable characters from a healing doctor acting as a guardian angel in the field of battle (and with the requisite equipment to look the part) to a genius gorilla acting as an unstoppable tank. The Overwatch themselves had brought the peace to a world on the edge of chaos, but now after Overwatch was no longer needed, new threats have arisen leaving it up to the players to decide who the victors will be.

Unlike a few of its competitors, such as Valve’s Team Fortress 2, Blizzard’s game will not be free to download – the client has to be purchased, much like how ArenaNet’s Guild Wars is sold.

P.A.M.E.L.A. – NVYVE (Windows)
TBA 2016

What is it?
A first-person shooter with RPG elements, players are placed in the role of a person freed from cryogenic sleep by P.A.M.E.L.A., the AI that runs the floating city of Eden. Something terrible has happened to its people and the AI machines that run it leaving only the overseer, P.A.M.E.L.A., to watch helplessly until now. The ambitious game boasts features such as survival aspects like eating and sleeping to stay alive, fortifying your safe shelter from what you can find, and fighting off the “Afflicted” that inhabit the once idyllic technological paradise of Eden. If you’re feeling a little System Shock at this point, you’re not the only one. And that’s definitely not a bad thing.

Paladins – Hi-Rez Studios (Windows)
TBA 2016

What is it?
At the time of this article, going to the official site above reveals virtually nothing about what the game is other than the characters and that a beta is going on. I found out more from other sources like PC Gamer instead which describes it as a F2P team-based FPS with “ability-boosting collectable cards”. It will apparently involve securing control points, destroying your opponent’s base while defending your own, mounts, and a promise of fast gameplay combat.

Paragon – Epic Games (Windows)
TBA 2016

What is it?
A third-person shooter that is another MOBA. It will have unlockable cards to enhance your chosen hero’s abilities, 5vs5 matches across a variety of environments, and plenty of action. It’s slated for Early Access in the Spring of 2016 and Open Beta later in the summer.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 – Popcap Games (PS4, Windows, XBO)
February 23, 2016

What is it?
The sequel to Garden Warfare, this third-person shooter introduces new classes, a new game mode, and boasts 24-player online multi or 4-player co-op in two different modes. There’s also a campaign to free Zomburbia from zombies as well as pushing the fight forward into space and even the moon . Owners of the first game will also get a bonus in the form of being able to import and unlock most of the characters.

Shadow Warrior 2 – Flying Wild Hog (Linux, OS X, PS4, Windows)
TBA 2016

What is it?
Taking place five years after the events of the first game, the sequel will return players to the world of Lo Wang. After the first game, those events created a strange world where demons and humans live side by side. Lo Wang himself lives in the “shifting wildlands” as a shadow and far beyond the grasp of Zilla’s “cybernetic metropolis”. As usual, a simple job goes tragically weird and soon he finds himself facing off against a cult leader, a new drug called Shade, and alongside a “brilliant young scientist”. Big fan of Flying Wild Hog’s work on Shadow Warrior, can’t see how they ramp things up with the sequel especially with the co-op.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 – CI Games (PS4, Windows, XBO)
Q2 2016

What is it?
Prevent a new Cold War by traveling to Eastern Europe in a bid to eliminate anyone that might threaten the peace. Like the previous games, staying in cover, taking your shots from extreme distances, and getting away without a trace to survive will the be the usual tricks. But the addition of a drone that you can call on for additional surveillance is a new advantage that could change the game along with a number of other enhancements from physics affecting bullet travel to the enemy AI.

Space Hulk: Deathwing – Streum On Studio/Cyanide (PS4, Windows, XBO)
TBA 2016

What is it?
Taking place in Game Workshop’s Warhammer 40K universe, it sounds like players can choose to be a Space Marine equipped with the righteous weapons of the Empire or a Librarian wielding the powers of Psykers, both part of the elite Deathwings. It looks like players will be raiding Space Hulks, titanic, abandoned warships derelict in space potentially filled with valuable relics and more often than not, horrors like the Genestealers. Points can also be earned and spent on skill trees to improve your chances of survival.

Star Fox Zero – Nintendo (Wii U)
April 22, 2016

What is it?
It’s not a remake, prequel, or even a sequel to any of the Star Fox games according to both Nintendo and legendary designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, who is one of the directors for the game. Like its predecessors, players will go in as Fox McCloud and blaze their way across space and other worlds using his transformable, flying Arwing until making it to a climactic confrontation with Andross. Gameplay will be broken up into episodes with side-missions treated as “late-night programming” asides, much like a television show.

Superhot – SUPERHOT Team (Linux, OS X, Windows, XBO)
TBA 2016

What is it?
A first person shooter featuring stylized, 3D graphics where time moves only when you move that started out as part the 2013 7 Day First Person Shooter event. It then went to Kickstarter in an effort to become a full fledged game and was successfully funded. Superhot twists the FPS formula with a novel gameplay mechanic where accuracy is far more important than reflexes. Even bullets will hang in space, moving at glacial speed, until you start moving around, allowing you to plan your shots and perform impossible chains of one-shot kills while trying not to accidentally trap yourself between enemies’ shots.

An update in December on their Kickstarter hinted that they were close to announcing a release date in addition to all of the polish they were performing, so my best guesstimate is that it looks like it might tentatively release sometime in 2016.

Umbrella Corps – K2 (PS4, Windows)
TBA 2016

What is it?
A competitive multiplayer-only shooter set after Resident Evil 6 pitting players as opposing mercenaries on the trail of Umbrella’s secrets around the world to sell to the highest bidder or simply for sport. Interestingly, it’s also built using the Unity engine. There’s no real story in the game or any pretense to a campaign. It also had something of a tepid response from the public when it was first revealed with press commentary ranging from cautious praise to being an “unnecessary” entry to the series.

Warhammer: The End Times – Vermintide – Fatshark (PS4, XBO)
TBA 2016

What is it?
It’s a port of the online co-op shooter set in the Warhammer Fantasy ‘verse for the PS4 and the Xbox One. It takes place during the “End Times” and players must battle an invasion of rat men through a storied set of stages in an effort to stop them, L4D style.


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