Looking ahead in 2016 – 62 RPGs to explore

A genre close to my dungeon crawling heart! There’s no shortage of RPGs coming up in 2016 judging by the slice cobbled together here. Hundreds of hours are ready to group up, party, slay monsters, level skills, and explore new worlds ahead and it looks like the best year yet for whatever adventure you might be looking for.

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.

So let’s go exploring!


Aderyn’s Cradle – Mojo Games Studios (Windows)
http://mojogamestudios.com/game/
TBA 2016

What is it?
Open-world RPG using Unreal Engine 4 and placing the player in between an intense rivalry between four mighty gods, a world ravaged by their wars, and becoming the last hope for a defeated divinity in returning free will back to humanity. The game will feature five different worlds, a deterministic combat engine (what you hit will react specifically to where you hit it as opposed to using a scripted animation or canned response), and different classes with which to explore the fractured world and return the fallen god, Aderyn, to freedom.


Anchors in the Drift – 5th Cell (Windows)
http://anchorsinthedrift.com/
Summer 2016

What is it?
F2P RPG where Earth has been invaded by a powerful, interdimensional enemy known only as the Domain, shattering the world’s timeline and creating Remnants that float and are separated by a quantum sea.

Players take on the role of “Anchors”, special individuals with craftable abilities from different eras that are determined to take the war to the Domain by liberating these Remnants. The game promises loot, the ability to mix and match mods to create unique abilities for your chosen Anchor, and challenging encounters encouraging a lot of experimentation with those mods. It looks like monetization will involve special perks within the game such as a lifetime experience booster or keys to open special chests for exceptional loot.

It sought crowdfunding on Fig but failed well short of its $500,000 goal though 5th Cell have said that they’re moving ahead with the project anyway for a summer release in 2016.


Bravely Second – Square Enix (3DS)
http://www.jp.square-enix.com/second/
TBA 2016

What is it?
The sequel to Bravely Default. Already out in Japan, it hits Europe and Australia in February next year with a North American release hopefully not far behind. It takes place two and a half years after the first game and will use the same mechanics in a new scenario involving a “Demon King” and a new protagonist in Magnolia who professes to be a “demon king killer” from the moon, no less. It also appears to promise larger areas to explore and battle through.


Chasm – Discord Games (Linux, OS X, Windows)
http://chasmgame.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
Another successful Kickstarter, it’s a procedurally generated metroidvania RPG where Daltyn discovers that strange forces have isolated the snowy mountain town of Karthas from the outside world. Trapped along with everyone else, it’s up to him to dive into the mystery in this pixel art inspired adventure fighting bosses, discovering gear, and diving ever deeper into an adventure whose six areas can change with every new game.

It vastly overshot its initial estimate of 2014 as a release date (which is, unfortunatley, typical of most Kickstarter VG projects), but according to their updates (which anyone can read, backer or not), they were shooting to be finished by the end of 2015 leaving 2016 as a tentative release window.


Dark Souls III – FromSoftware (PS4, Windows, XBO)
http://www.darksouls3.com/us/
April 12, 2016

What is it?
The third major installment in the Dark Souls series returns to the gritty grimdark of the gothic world that FromSoftware has crafted to kill its players. For the uninitiated, its part of a dark fantasy action RPG series with brutal monsters and even tougher bosses set in a decaying world. The series is renowned for its unforgiving challenge which is often “tough but fair” mixing together twisted fantasy and terrible horrors together in one place amidst towering bosses and controller-breaking mobs. It’s a lot of fun!

Hidetaka Miyazaki (Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne) describes this as a “turning point” and the end to the Lord of Cinders arc sparked in the first Dark Souls. In the world of Dark Souls III, there are kings that have usurped the power of the gods and the player will be hunting them down. Good luck.


Darkest Dungeon – Red Hook Studios (Linux, OS X, Windows)
http://www.darkestdungeon.com/
January 19, 2016

What is it?
Successfully Kickstarted “hard-core”, turn based, dungeon crawler featuring a four member party led by the player with each member subject to the game’s “affliction system”. How you deal with a drunken man-at-arms, the sanity wrecking rants of your bard, the plague doctor’s unnerving treatments, or your highwayman’s fear of corpses is up to you but add an interesting layer asking you to manage not only the party’s inventory of loot but their mental states as well. After all, as the game designers point out, “your heroes are human”. It has been in Early Access on Steam but is slated for an “official” final release in 2016.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Eidos Montreal (PS4, Windows, XBO)
https://www.deusex.com/
August 23, 2016

What is it?
The sequel to the successful prequel, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, will take place two years after the events there had caused millions of augmented people to lose control and cause worldwide havoc. In the aftermath, augments are now seen with suspicion and persecuted. Adam Jensen is also back and thrust back into the midst of this struggle, once more on the trail of the mysterious puppet masters manipulating the world behind the shadows of this latest conflict.

The lead writer for Mankind Divided, Mary DeMarle, also said that all three endings from Human Revolution hold true when asked by PC Gamer as to which one the game would follow. All everyone outside of the final battle on Panchaea knows is that augments had gone berserk showing that they could be “dangerous”, shaping the world and leaving Jensen the only person outside of a few that know the truth.


Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (PS4, Vita)
http://www.bandainamcoent.com/game/digimon-story-cyber-sleuth.html
February 2, 2016

What is it?
The NA release in February will star as a player logging into a mysterious world where they run into one of two Japanese hackers who discover the secret online world of Cyberspace Eden and the Digimon that live there. They’re eventually recruited by the Kuremi Detective Agency as a part of their cyber division. It did reasonably well in Japan and hopes to do the same with fans in the West when it finally arrives bringing its turn-based battles and  Digimon-raising to the PS4 and the Vita.


Digimon World: Next Order – Bandai Namco Entertainment (PS Vita)
http://digimonworld-neo.bn-ent.net/
March 17, 2016 (JP)

What is it?
It’s a Digimon RPG game for the PS Vita.


Disney Magical World 2: My Happy Life – h.a.n.d. (Nintendo 3DS)
http://magic-castle-mhl2.bn-ent.net/
February 4, 2016 (JP)

What is it?
Life simulation game based on Disney properties. Players visit Disney-themed worlds, acquire costumes and other themed items, and do things like manage a cafe or other activities with a Disneyfied look literally living a “happy life” surrounded by everything Disney. It will also reportedly capitalize on the Frozen IP “heavily”.


Divinity: Original Sin II – Larian Studios (Windows)
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-2/description
December, 2016

What is it?
(Full disclosure: I’m a backer)
The sequel to Larian’s incredibly successful (and incredibly fun) RPG hit Kickstarter with the same pitch – help us make it a bigger game. It easily blew past its asking goal of $500,000, unlocking new milestones such as new skills, the undead as a selectable race to build your character with (the undead in Divinity’s world are as much a part of it as humans are), a new stronghold, and a gamemaster mode.

Like the previous game, it promises strategic gameplay coupled with multiplayer for players who want to co-op through the adventure together in a vast, new world filled with magic, choices and consequences, and even competition from other players. Big fan of Original Sin so I can’t wait to see where Larian takes us this time.


Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen – Capcom (Steam, Windows)
http://www.dragonsdogma.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
It’s the PC port for Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen. The game is a third-person action RPG with the unique twist that they are also able to create and hire on a companion character that will help them in combat. Not only that, but they can also make their companion a shared helper for others to hire on. I thought this was a great game with a neat story, solid mechanics, and an open world with challenging monsters. Could be a treat for the PC crowd.


Dragon Quest VII – Square Enix (Nintendo 3DS)
http://www.dragonquest.jp/dq7/
TBA 2016

What is it?
The re-release remake will finally be hitting stores outside of Japan where it was a massive hit in 2013 selling over 800k units. It will feature some similarities to DQ IX with visible enemies (instead of invisible randoms) with individual attack characteristics along with its usual staples, turn-based combat, old school monster mashing, and a huge world to explore.  A PS1 version for the West did come out in 2001 has been hotly anticipated by fans especially after Square Enix shut down a fan translation project earlier in 2015.


Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King – Square Enix (Nintendo 3DS)
http://www.dragonquest.jp/dq8/
TBA 2016

What is it?
The 3DS version (which is already out in Japan) is expected sometime in 2016 for release in the West. I played the PS2 version years ago and it was a great deal of turn-based fun with memorable characters, a great score, and a lengthy adventure filled with twists, plenty of monsters, and fantastic art direction.


Dragon Quest Builders – Square Enix (PS3, PS4, PS Vita)
http://www.dragonquest.jp/builders/
January 28, 2016 (JP)

What is it?
Think of it as Minecraft with a Dragon Quest motif over everything. In this game, players take on the role of a nameless hero who must rebuild a desolate world by gathering materials from everywhere and building what is needed. Right now, the only official release date pertains to the Japanese release and it’s unknown at this point if it will come over to the West.


The Dwarves – KING Art Games (Windows)
http://www.dwarves-game.com/
June, 2016

What is it?
Based on the popular series of novels in Germany by Markus Heitz, the game will cast players in the role of Tungdil – a dwarf raised by humans and who only knows about his heritage from books – journeying across “Girdlegard”, a collection of the Five Dwarven Kingdoms filled with danger and intrigue.

It survived a successful Kickstarter and is getting help from the author himself and looks like it could be on track to meet its estimated release date with an Alpha having made recently available to backers. KING Art has already gone through two other Kickstarters, both successful with two solid games behind them.

According to the Kickstarter, the game will feature fifteen companions real-time combat (it says to think about an RTS like Warcraft 3 and its hero characters) with “tactical depth” along with a host of side quests and some kind of crowd tech allowing vast mobs react to things such as a body being thrown through them, jostling each other with shoves, and essentially opening the door to new tactical directions for your battles.


Earthlock: Festival of Magic – Snowcastle Games (Linux, OS X, PS4, Wii U, Windows, XBO)
http://www.earthlockgame.com/index.html
TBA 2016

What is it?
Successfully Kickstarted, this is a turn-based RPG taking place on a world that has stopped spinning leaving one half of the world in eternal sunlight and the other in darkness. The player will lead a party of adventurers in a quest involving wacky weapons, ancient secrets, harvesting magic on a farm, combat combos, and crafting in a vast adventure. Curiously, the game offers a package deal that includes access to two additional ‘volumes’ following the finished game (which is still being developed).


Eitr – Eneme Entertainment (Windows)
http://eitrthegame.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
A 2D, isometric action RPG inspired by “Path of Exile, Dark Souls and Diablo”, players are cast as a Shield Maiden from Norse mythology whose fate has been altered by the mischievous Loki before entering the world. Yggdrasil, the World Tree, has been poisoned and it is up to her to save it and the nine worlds linked through it before all is lost.

The game already boasts impressive pixel art, an interesting action-based combat system, and a unique leveling mechanic that asks whether you want permanent upgrades or choose to have powerful perks from the gods via the favors you gain.


Elysian Shadows – GyroVorbis (Android, Dreamcast, iOS, Linux, OS X, Ouya, Windows)
http://www.elysianshadows.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
Another successful Kickstarter RPG title that will also appear on the Dreamcast, GyroVorbis’ title appears out of nowhere as a love letter to the 16-bit console RPGs of the 90s but with more modern touches such as dynamic audio, shadowing techniques, day and night mechanics, and even fluid dynamics. Story-wise, the world is “caught in constant conflict between magic and technology” until a chance discovery in an ancient ruin prompts a mystery that players will piece together.

It also joins many other KS projects in missing its estimated release date of December 2015. In this case, according to their updates on Kickstarter (which are open to all, not only backers), was due to a pretty severe setback in terms of personnel. But instead of throwing in the towel, the team has buckled down to deliver a massive update in December to tell everyone where they are and how they’re progressing. I’m tentatively pushing this into 2016, but won’t be surprised if it misses that, either.


Fable Legends – Lionhead Studios (Windows 10, XBO)
https://www.fablelegends.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
Pushed into 2016, the newest chapter in the Fable saga invites four players to play together (or one solo aided by three AI companions) as four heroes and quest for goodness across Albion in this free-to-play game. Or perhaps you want to play as the Villain, an evil mastermind who can set traps, send assassins, and generally make life finite for players or the AI in being as bad you want to be. Takes place during a time when Albion was teeming with players and despite the heavy emphasis on co-op (with one player as a bad guy) play, the content can also be played solo.

The game will rely on microtransactions, such as buying gold with real money. However, everything in the game can also be earned by the player, too, and the team has promised that you will have access to all of the additional quests that they will be pushing to the game over the course of its lifetime.


Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force – Compile Heart (PS4)
http://www.compileheart.com/fairyfencer_f/adf/
May 17, 2016

What is it?
HD version of Fairy Fencer F for the PS4 with a number of upgrades including a vastly expanded scenario and much larger maps. It will also include new characters, alternate story paths, and new difficulty levels. And instead of parties with just three characters (as in the original game), you can now build a party with up to six characters. However, it’s not a port, per se, although part of Fairy Fencer F will be in the game to ease players into its world while deluging them with a ton of new content.


Final Fantasy Explorers – Square Enix, Racjin (3DS)
http://www.jp.square-enix.com/ffex/
January 26, 2016 (JP)

What is it?
It’s a non-linear RPG said to be similar to Capcom’s Monster Hunter and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles where players can freely explore and tackle quests on their own as they gather special crystals. It has a job system, up to eight character slots, and hundreds of pieces of equipment. It even includes multiplayer with up to four players using either the Nintendo Network or wi-fi to tackle the island, Amostra’s, challenges. Is it heading to the West? I’d say that’s a possibility. As for when, that’s anyone’s guess.


Final Fantasy Type-0 Online – Square Enix (Mobiles, Windows)
http://www.jp.square-enix.com/ff-agito/info/online/
TBA 2016 (JP)

What is it?
Multiplayer, RPG hack ‘n slash action gameplay set in the same universe as Type-0.


Final Fantasy XV – Square Enix (PS4, XBO)
http://www.finalfantasyxv.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
It first started out as Final Fantasy Versus XIII in 2006 and eventually morphed into what it is now as the fifteenth major flagship title of the series. Story-wise, it centers around an Noctis and his struggle to discover the truth behind the sudden fall of his kingdom and the fight to reclaim it. It will feature, as it something of a Final Fantasy tradition, an all-new battle system invested more in action and real-time decision making as has been the trend for the past few years with the series.

A demo earlier in 2015 gave players a taste of an earlier area and party companions while providing feedback to Square Enix which they, in turn, actually created into a patch for the demo – something relatively unheard of in console gaming as opposed to similarly actionable items such as that seen in Early Access development on Steam. I found the demo interesting though the initial combat system could’ve used a few tweaks (along with Noctis’ grapple ability and the camera) which the developers then patched in to make it flow a bit smoother.


Fire Emblem Fates, Conquest & Birthright – Intelligence Systems (Nintendo 3DS)
http://fireemblemfates.nintendo.com/
February 19, 2016

What is it?
The latest entry in the popular Fire Emblem series of turn-based strategy is not one but TWO games: Conquest and Birthright. Both are set in the same conflict but with their own stories and self-contained campaigns, showing the war from two different perspectives. In Birthright, players will battle against a corrupt king to reclaim the throne. In Conquest, players will battle to change the kingdom from within. It’s a great approach to a single, unifying story and owners of both will be able to buy a third scenario, Revelation, in-game as a digital download.


Genei Ibun Roku #FE – Atlus (Wii U)
https://www.nintendo.co.jp/wiiu/asej/index.html
TBA 2016 (JP)

What is it?
Also known as Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem, the crossover is a blend of elements (such as Fire Emblem characters) from both series set in a unique world. Both characters from that world and an alternate one will combine their efforts with Mirages, special beings of “immeasurable power”, some of whom want to help humanity with others wishing only its destruction.


Grim Dawn – Crate Entertainment (Windows)
http://www.grimdawn.com/
February, 2016

What is it?
Another successful Kickstarter (and a long running Early Access state on Steam), Grim Dawn’s hack ‘n slash dungeon crawling adventures are close to being finalized. A recent message towards the end of December marked the game as feature complete and was heading to exit Early Access in February.

Having played it while it was still in early access, it already felt like a fully featured game from start to its technical finish (where the content stopped) with enough moxie to sate that loot hunger players may have been nursing since Titan Quest.


Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption – TransSolar Games (Linux, OS X, Windows)
http://www.hero-u.net/
November, 2016

What is it?
The development road for this Kickstarter has been a long one, but the end could be in sight since beginning its journey back in 2012. I had even taken the game off of my lists for 2014 and 2015. But now it looks like the long awaited spiritual successor to the Quest for Glory series by its creators, Corey and Lori Cole, could be on its way to the finish line.. Rogue to Redemption will still be a 2D adventure featuring a new character, Connor, who will explore a new world as he learns the ropes at Hero-U…which just happens to be built within the ruins of a mysterious castle.

Turn based combat, adventure gaming puzzles, and a big story tying it all together make it one for adventure and RPG players to watch for. As long as it has been in production, one big plus for this project is that the makers have always kept their backers in the loop…something I wish more projects would do. There’s even a downloadable demo of an early scene from the game and another for the combat engine available on their site to try out.


Horizon Zero Dawn – Guerilla Games (PS4)
https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/horizon-zero-dawn-ps4/
TBA 2016

What is it?
Aloy, a primitive hunter, lives in a world a thousand years into the future where civilization has collapsed reducing humanity into a primitive existence hunting with bows and arrows. She hunts the giant beasts of the land, titanic dinosaurs and flying monsters, that fill what is left of the world and its ruined cities, but these aren’t flesh and blood – they’re highly advanced machines that have supplanted the natural order. What happened to humanity? Where did these machines come from? These are the mysteries that Aloy will discover as she crafts, learns new skills, and harvests her prey in a bid to not only live another day but to discover the truth.


Hyper Light Drifter – Heart Machine (Linux, OS X, Ouya, PS Vita, PS 4, Windows)
http://www.heart-machine.com/
Q2 2016

What is it?
Successfully Kickstarted, this action RPG is a loving homage to the 16-bit era with pixel art, adventure inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past and Diablo, and a story that will take players across a vast land filled with lost technology and mysteries to solve in a quest to discover a cure for their illness. The game had a huge response on Kickstarter and the release has been pushed partly because of all of the added milestones as a result alongside Alex Preston’s health concerns. It’s targeting a Q2 release in 2016.


Kingdom Come: Deliverance – Warhorse Studios (Linux, OS X, Windows)
http://www.kingdomcomerpg.com/
Summer, 2016

What is it?
Successfully Kickstarted, this title touts itself as a “realistic open world first person medieval RPG” set in 15th century Europe. The new king’s brother seeks usurps the throne by kidnapping him and invading with his own army.

Players will be asked to make their own choices, speak with NPCs, upgrade stats, and create their own story depending on what they choose to be. Will you eventually become a brave knight? A bard? A sneaky rogue? Will you craft weapons as a blacksmith, hunt foes for glory, or lie your way into everyone’s confidence? It’s up to you in this gritty sandbox that has seen a lot of progress and is slated for a beta early this year. You can even opt to pledge to the project on their official site or buy into a copy of the game which will give you access to the Alpha and, later, the Beta (similar to Early Access on Steam, according to the information there).

And as typical of a number of Kickstarter projects that have padded on plenty of new features, the release date has been nudged from its initial December date in 2015 to Summer in 2016. I can’t wait for this one.


Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – Square Enix (PS4)
http://www.square-enix.co.jp/kingdom/khhd_fcp/
TBA 2016

What is it?
The HD collection of Kingdom Hearts titles which includes Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and two new pieces of content expanding on the lore behind the series. It’s currently slated for release in Japan in 2016 with only the assumption that it will eventually make it over to the West sometime afterward.


Lichdom: Battlemage – Xaviant (PS4)
http://www.lichdom.com/
March 22, 2016

What is it?
The PS4 console port of the action RPG that was made available on Steam for PCs in 2014. The basic premise is that you can cast spells with either hand, mix and match effects for maximum damage and flexibility leading to some creative combos, and use those talents to wreak havoc across the game.

The game met with mixed reviews though many players found the spell crafting system to be one of its strongest suits. Also notable is that Xaviant, the developer behind the game, had earlier in 2015 dramatically reduced their staff due to the apparent inability to financially sustain a much larger studio structure. Since then, there has been little new news. The last hotfix for the PC version of the game was back in December, 2014, according to Steam.


Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam – AlphaDream (Nintendo 3DS)
http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/aUFSBNF8Q8qMdANJjENYICNGu4TbR7to
January 22, 2016

What is it?
Headed for an official release in North America, Paper Jam is the newest game to take place in the “Paper Mario” world, this time bringing in Mario & Luigi in to help Paper Mario defeat Bowser and save Paper Peach as both worlds collide.


Mass Effect: Andromeda – BioWare (PS4, Windows, XBO)
http://www.masseffect.com/
Q4 2016

What is it?
The long awaited chapter to the Mass Effect saga has very little information on it at the moment aside from a reveal trailer that drops a few hints and the revelation of where the setting will be – the Andromeda Galaxy. BioWare had also decided to drop the numbering convention emphasizing that they didn’t want to call it “Mass Effect 4” symbolizing a new start for the series. The game will also be using DICE’s Frostbite engine (following the same choices made for a game like Dragon Age: Inquisition) and will take place some time after the original trilogy.


Megadimension Neptunia VII – Idea Factory (PS4)
http://ideafintl.com/nep-v2/
TBA 2016

What is it?
Another chapter in the RPG series where consoles (like the Dreamcast) are represented by actual characters who fight to save their online world from nefarious forces out to destroy it. This iteration will feature three different dimensions where the battles will take place over different times.


Nier: Automata – PlatinumGames (PS4)
http://www.niergame.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
A new game set in the same universe as the first Nier game featuring a new protagonist and a new story involving an invasion of robots who force what is left of humanity to flee to the Moon. I liked the first game a lot, not only for its action but for the incredible soundtrack, characters, and mysterious story. Automata looks to repeat the same magic with an enigmatic hero in the form of “YoRHa No.2 Model B”, a female android, and the return of some of the staff from the first game eager to create another Nier. Combine that with Platinum’s combat engine expertise and I can’t wait to play this.


Ni-Oh – Team Ninja (PS4)
https://www.gamecity.ne.jp/nioh/
TBA 2016 (JP)

What is it?
An action RPG that looks to be set in the Sengoku period of 16th century Japan (not to be confused with the Warring States period in China) as various warlords vied for power across a shattered landscape. Players take on the role of a blonde, western samurai raised in Japan. From the early footage teased for the game, it looks like a blend between Capcom’s Onimusha series and Dark Souls set in feudal Japan.


Nights of Azure – Gust Co. Ltd. (PS3, PS4, PS Vita)
http://social.gust.co.jp/yorukuni/
March 29, 2016

What is it?
A third-person action RPG featuring a chain system and contracted demons that can be summoned in battle to help out. Players will follow the story of Arnas, the main protagonist and who is a holy knight as well as half-monster, and her friend, Lyuritis who is considered a saint. Arnas will explore the island where no one sleeps because of the demons’ power, battling monsters as she seeks to free its people from their grasp.


Persona 5 – Atlus (PS3, PS4)
http://atlus.com/persona5/
TBA 2016

What is it?
Persona 5 is hoped to release in 2016 and the new website reveals even more the newest chapter. It will still feature high school students and the series’ traditional system of being able to blend together captured monsters to create new ones that can be summoned in battle.

The player will be a second-year high school student who is an ordinary guy by day but a “phantom thief” by night able to call forth their “persona”, Arsene, into battle after an incident awakens it from deep within them. Along with a team of other students at the same school, they all must confront the mysteries of the multi-level dungeon, Palace, and together fight the darkness hidden deep inside.

Like the previous Persona games, one can likely expect to find and capture demons along the way, merge them into more powerful persona to aid them in battle, and interact with a host of NPCs at school and outside of it to improve their social aspects — and give themselves a bonus or two along the way. Definitely on my anticipated list.


Pokemon GO – Niantic (Android, iOS)
http://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-go/
TBA 2016

What is it?
Niantic, the makers of the augmented reality game, Ingress, are developing a similar game around the Pokemon franchise. Using real-world locations, Niantic hopes to bring the same hunting fever to your neighborhood allowing everyone to catch Pokemon, use them in battles against others, and allow players to discover the world around them at the same time.


Prodigy – Hanakai Studio (PS4, Windows, XBO)
http://www.prodigythegame.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
A tactical RPG played with miniatures. It was Kickstarted and features a lore-filled backdrop of a world starving of magic with factions battling over what is left. Players pick a faction, purchase the figurines for it, and use a special board for the figures to interact with the game through. They can play PvE or go head-to-head with another player in PvP and add to their “company” by purchasing more figures at Prodigy’s official site. It’s still undergoing testing and tweaks but it looks like it might be finished sometime in 2016.


Project Setsuna – Tokyo RPG Factory (PS Vita, PS4)
http://www.jp.square-enix.com/setsuna/
TBA 2016

What is it?
It takes place on a snowy island where, according to a number of translations floating on the ‘net, a maiden is expected to sacrifice herself in order to appease the demons that beset it every ten years. However, the next sacrifice is going to be held sooner than later as the demons have become much worse, and a warrior must help her make the fateful journey. The teaser revealed an artistic, painterly look to the isometric visuals of the game, a party, and bits of a battle system and is slated for a release in Japan with a Western release hopefully not far behind.


Project X Zone 2 – Monolith Soft (Nintendo 3DS)
http://pxz2.bn-ent.net/
February 16, 2016

What is it?
A tactical RPG sequel with a crossover roster of famous characters from three different companies (Capcom, Bandai Namco, and Sega) like its predecessor. This time, Nintendo characters make an appearance such as Fiora from Xenoblade Chronicles. It, like the first game, is especially notable for the huge roster of playable characters in RPG form ranging from Dante from Capcom’s Devil May Cry series to Kazuma Kiryu from Sega’s Yakuza giving it an amazingly eclectic variety of protagonists each with their own special abilities and attacks.


Rainbow Skies – Sidequest Studios (PS3, PS4, PS Vita)
http://rainbow-skies.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
Pushed into 2016, this is a downloadable RPG following in Rainbow Moon’s footsteps in a new world. In this adventure, players can use combos to beat down monsters in turn-based battles, go on quests for loot, and even catch monsters, train them up, and add them to your party. The game will also support cross saves between the PS3 and the Vita. In August, a PS4 version of the game was also announced for 2016.

This is also another game that could do with more frequent updates to let people know it’s still alive. The last news update on the official site was in August of last year though a mod responded to a question as recently as December, so there’s that.


Ray Gigant – Bandai Namco (PS Vita)
http://www.acttil.com/raygigant/
Spring 2016

What is it?
Set in the near future where Earth’s cities are ravaged by giant monsters, a young man manages to defeat one of these Gigants with a mysterious power only to end up destroying the city he was trying to save. Falling unconscious after the battle, he was spirited away to a secret location and from there, the real battle begins. The story will be told from three different viewpoints, involve colossal monsters, and the “Evolve Tree” system.


Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale – Epics (Nintendo 3DS)
http://www.marv.jp/special/game/3ds/popoboku/index.html
February 16, 2016

What is it?
RPG featuring turn-based combat and farming as you build your farm up through quests, hundreds of unique items, optional adventures in dungeons you discover, and the multiple stories spread throughout the lives of those who live in the many towns and other places found throughout the game. It’s based on the Story of Seassons series (a farming and life sim series).


SaGa Scarlet Grace – Square Enix (PS Vita)
http://www.jp.square-enix.com/saga_sg/
TBA 2016 (JP)

What is it?
The newest installment in the long running SaGa RPG series from Square Enix will feature five party-member battles. SaGa is known for having sizeable rosters of characters and the tough decisions on getting them on your side in the first place. Little information on the actual game is out but it has almost been more than ten years since the last SaGa saw a release outside of Japan (with SaGa Frontier 2) and with trademark registrations for the game reported in both the US and Europe, it seems likely that it could be arriving in the West sooner than much later.


Salt and Sanctuary – Ska Studios (PS Vita, PS4)
http://www.ska-studios.com/salt/
TBA 2016

What is it?
A 2D, side scrolling action RPG with hand drawn graphics set on an island somehow isolated from a worldwide war. Weapons can apparently be used one-handed or paired with other pieces of equipment like shields or offhand weapons like crossbows. Or wielded in two-handed configs for added power. Equipment also has weight that can affect rolling and stamina.


Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final – Atlus (Nintendo 3DS)
http://megaten4f.jp/
February 10, 2016

What is it?
Taking place in the same universe as Shin Megami Tensei IV, this post-apocalyptic RPG where angels and demons now tread the same world as humans do in 2030. Having died and come back to life thanks to the intervention of a demon, the protagonist returns to a world where a powerful threat endangers both Angels and Lucifer in the form of deities belonging to the “Polytheistic Alliance” led by the seemingly benevolent Krishna. It will also feature multiple endings.


Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues – Portalarium (Linux, OS X, Windows)
https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
From the creator of Ultima, Richard Garriott’s successfully crowdfunded Shroud of the Avatar seems to be channeling all of his experience into a vast, CRPG promising an extensive, 40-hour single-player experience (per episode, I’m guessing…the current game is focused on being Episode 1 of a proposed five episode arc) and an even bigger multiplayer environment with finite housing, player driven economies and cities, and the potential to quest through the adventure with everyone available, with friends, or solo. It’s also not billing itself an MMO despite having a number of features associated with that genre. Instead, it wants to call itself a “Selective Multiplayer Game” leaving it up to the player.

A classless system allows players to craft their character in any direction they choose along 20 different skill trees while keeping to the ethical quandries and consequences their actions may have on the quests they take part in. If you want to see how it’s turning out, it’s also in Early Access on Steam. After a few years in development, it looks like it’s finally targeting a 2016 release.


Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness – tri-Ace (PS4)
http://www.staroceangame.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
It’s the fifth major title in the Star Ocean series (and the ninth game in the franchise overall) taking place between Star Ocean: The Second Story and Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. It will feature an action-based battle system similar to its predecessors where a player can control an execute commands for a single character or give orders and switch between other members of the party. I thought the battle system in Last Hope, the previous game, was really good.

But the story and the characters in that game…the less said about those pieces the better. I’m “hoping” that this iteration will finally bring together tri-Ace’s usually solid combat mechanics with a much better story. Although Japan will get both a PS3 and PS4 version, only the PS4 version will make it to the West.


Stash, No Loot Left Behind – Frogdice (Windows)
http://frogdice.com/stash/
April, 2016

What is it?
It’s an online, multiplayer, turn and grid based RPG inspired by Dungeons & Dragons including SSI’s “Gold Box” adaptations of AD&D to Planescape: Torment. Players will have housing, be able to craft items, and participate in the story unfolding in that world and affect the world through their actions. It was also successfully funded on Kickstarter more than once (see below). Its ambitious plan also promises to have plenty of monsters, mounts, and of course, chests overflowing with loot.

The bizarre thing about this KS project is that it launched a third crowdfunding campaign (according to this article on Cliqist, the first failed, the second was successful, and so is the third which was used to draw more people in and where the estimated release date above comes from). Instead of making a PayPal option, Indiegogo, or other alternative, Frogdice decided to hit up KS again as a PR move (the third “campaign” only asked for $1,000).


Stranger of Sword City – Experience Inc. (PS Vita, XBO)
http://ihoujin.jp/
March 22, 2016

What is it?
Dungeon crawling RPG set in a mysterious city that you have apparently crashed into through a portal. Now you must try and survive by aligning yourself with those you choose to trust, battling through trapped dungeons or loot while avoiding perma-death in a dark, gritty world. The game was initially released in Japan for the doomed Xbox 360 there and will see its first Western release on the PS Vita. It will also be made available later on the Xbox One – in Japan. Why? I do not know.


Sword Coast Legends – n-Space (PS4, XBO)
https://swordcoast.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
The console port of the PC RPG, Sword Coast Legends, the game based in the Forgotten Realms’ Sword Coast and which some believed to be another spiritual successor to an “old school” party-based adventure game. It was a claim that a number of players, especially on Steam, have said that it isn’t. The cool reception among both critics and fans included comments leveled at elements such as the thin veneer of the 5th Edition D&D rules that it is supposed to be based on to the “clunky” campaign creation tools.

On the other hand, it has also received positive feedback from players that took it more as a fantasy RPG than as a successor to anything, enjoying the combat system and the single-player campaign. Opinions seem pretty split over the game.


The Technomancer – Spiders (PS4, Windows, XBO)
http://www.thetechnomancer-game.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
An RPG that takes place after 200 years have passed following the first attempts at colonizing Mars. The protagonist, Zachariah, seems to be on the run from – a group of someones – amidst ramshackle huts to huge underground cities and broken down facilities on the surface. Very little information on the actual backdrop to the game or why you are there so far, but it looks intriguing as a sci-fi RPG. From the makers of Mars: War Logs boasting crafting, romance, and a solid combat system based around three different styles.


Torment: Tides of Numenera – inXile Entertainment (Linux, OS X, Windows)
https://torment.inxile-entertainment.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
(Full disclosure: I’m a backer)
Carried over from last year’s list, this was Kickstarted in 2013. Torment is based in Numenera, a world created by longtime RPG tabletop veteran, Monte Cook, whose project was another successful Kickstarter. The game boasts itself as following the “thematic legacy of Planescape: Torment” promising both philosophical and ethical tests of the player’s choices in a post-apocalyptic Ninth World where the ruins of advanced civilizations that have come and gone on Earth become the dungeons of the age with their technological miracles providing the magic. It is where someone has found a way to cheat death, skipping time by using other bodies, only in your case as one of these castoffs, you want to find out why.

The game has consistently posted updates on their progress and despite the delays, looks like it’s finally aiming for a release sometime in 2016.


Trillion: God of Destruction – Compile Heart (PS Vita)
http://ideafintl.com/trillion/
March 29, 2016

What is it?
Trillion, God of Destruction, is determined to consume everything in his path. Even the demons that have been living a peaceful life of evil in the underworld. Enter the player as the last Overlord who must find a way to defeat a boss that literally has a trillion hit points. While the god sleeps, the player must train, strengthen their weapons, and even find time for a bit of romance with “6 Deadly Sins”.


Valkyria: Azure Revolution – Media Vision (PS4)
http://portal.valkyria.jp/azure/
TBA 2016 (JP)

What is it?
The first of a new story arc that takes place in the Valkyria setting established by the Chronicles series which started on the PS3 with the next two installments bizarrely released as PSP exclusives (the third never making it out of Japan). Azure has been described as being more “RPG” than the kind of tactical RPG that the series started as featuring new characters in a world with some parallels to WW1, albeit with a heavy emphasis on steampunk and technology based around “magicite” ore, a miracle resource entire nations would wage wars for. It’s the first for the PS4 and will debut in Japan but it’s also hoped that it will eventually land in the West, something that I’d very much like to see.


Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr – Neocore Games (OS X, PS4, Windows, XBO)
http://www.neocoregames.com/w40k-inquisitor/
TBA 2016

What is it?
An RPG based on Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40k ‘verse. According to PC Gamer, it’s billed as a “persistent sandbox action-RPG” as one of the human Empire’s Inquisitor’s who gets wrapped up in a “grim and secret war”. Apparently the open-world sandbox part will unlock after the core campaign is completed allowing players to presumably wander about and continue adventuring in whatever corner of the galaxy the game will take place. The developers, the makers of the Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, already have a bit of experience in this sort of thing under their belts, so seeing what they can do with 40k will be interesting.


World of Final Fantasy – Square Enix (PS Vita, PS4)
http://worldoffinalfantasy.square-enix.com/
TBA 2016

What is it?
RPG with chibi-styled characters in a world inhabited by classic monsters and characters from the Final Fantasy series. Players take on the roles of Lann and Reyne with mysterious powers in their arms and the ability to shift between chibi forms and their “true forms” as well as battle and befriend monsters to help them in their quests.


Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana – Nihon Falcom (PS Vita, PS4)
http://www.falcom.com/ys8/
TBA 2016 (JP)

What is it?
The newest entry to the Ys action RPG series sees Adol washed onshore a mysterious island (again) where he discovers other survivors. In addition to building a settlement, Adol will also be confronted by the mysteries of the “cursed” island of Seiren and seek to discover the truth behind the pale girl he sees in his dreams there. Always great to hear a new Ys game coming out, so here’s hoping that it also makes it to the West sooner than much, much later.

 

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