Looking ahead in 2016 – 10 Sports games scoring

No gaming year is complete without a few sports games. Outside of the usual routine from EA with their Madden/FIFA/NBA/PGA licenses (which aren’t on the list because there’s little info on what they might be planning on them other than knowing we’ll see them like clockwork), EA’s also expanded into the UFC with a new title this year.

But there are also a number of other developers bored with the usual sports tropes and are looking to shake things up with their own unique perspectives such as Psyonix’s Rocket League which will finally make it over to the Xbox One or the newest, gravity defying installment for the TrackMania series by Nadeo.

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.

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 – Team Ninja (PS4, PS Vita)
February 25, 2016 (JP)

What is it?
The newest entry of the beach vollyeball spinoff on the Xbox from 2003, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, featuring the women of Dead or Alive in swimwear as they compete across various islands in activities ranging from climbing to foot races and, of course, volleyball. Word was that it being “adjusted” for Western audiences until news came down on Team Ninja’s Facebook page that plans for that release were canceled.

Dirt Rally – Codemasters (PS4, Windows, XBO)
April 5, 2016

What is it?
The physical release for the Windows version and the first official release for both the PS4 and the Xbox One of the rally racing game. The title features realistic physics, weather conditions that can adversely affect the track, and official venues from around the world such as Lydden Hill in the UK along with a stable of licensed cars. Players can go solo or race in multiplayer. It originally launched as a digital download on Steam on December 7th and since then has racked up a considerably positive response from its audience and from critics.

Distance – Refract Studios (Linux, OS X, PS4, Windows)
Q1/Q2 2016

What is it?
A group of DigiPen graduates are putting this racing game together as the spiritual successor to their student project, Nitronic Rush. And thanks to a successful Kickstarter, it was tentatively heading to PCs in 2013, pushed into 2014 with Early Access that December, and looks slated for a 2016 final release including one for the PS4. It features a mysterious city with a secret history and loading up your car with enough jumping, twisting, and acrobatic abilities to make Speed Racer green with envy allowing players to drive on nearly everything from roads to buildings. Multiplayer is also going to be built in along with editing tools.

EA UFC 2 – EA Canada (PS4, XBO)
March 15, 2016

What is it?
The next iteration of EA’s UFC series will feature a number of improvements over the first game in addition to improved visuals. A “physics-driven hit reaction and knockout system” promises to do away with samey falls making that final blow that much more memorable and unique to your match and play style. Better defensive options, grappling, and other enhancements leave it up to fans to decide whether it’s all hype or a meaningful move forward for the series.

Gran Turismo SPORT – Polyphony Digital (PS4)
TBA 2016

What is it?
Other than the usual spiel of updated graphics/physics/tire gloss, SPORT is a separate, non-numbered iteration of the GT series that promises to be as accessible to newcomers as it will be challenging for veterans. It will also bring two FIA championships to the online portion of the game where players can either participate as reps for their country or actively spectate and cheer on the racers.

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – Sega Sports R&D (Arcade, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U)
February 18, 2016 (JP)

What is it?
Like clockwork, another Olympic-themed game featuring Mario & Sonic along with a host of other familiar characters such as Princess Peach or Tails in various competitive mini-games based off of the actual sporting events.

MLB The Show 16 – SCE San Diego Studios (PS3, PS4)
March 29, 2016

What is it?
The next iteration of the popular MLB The Show baseball franchise from Sony. A trailer was released discussing the changes made to the game since MLB 15 featuring improvements to the visuals, a slo-mo feature for key moments in the field (which is completely optional to use), and better transitions between animation cycles. Three new features are also included which will be detailed later along with six classic baseball stadiums like Forbes Field.

Rocket League – Psyonix (XBO)
February, 2016

What is it?
Already available on PCs and the PS4, it will make it out to the Xbox One in February bringing with it all of the soccer car mayhem that made it such a huge surprise hit for Psyonix whose merits include, according to Eurogamer, a list of uncredited work on titles like Mass Effect 3 and Gears of War.

Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo – Milestone S.r.l. (Steam, PS4, XBO)
January 29, 2016

What is it?
Off-road racing game featuring eight different rallies, fifty car models, twenty manufacturers, fifteen different game modes, and tons of car customization. The game is being made by Milestone, veterans of racing sims with a huge resume that includes the WRC rally series along with bike racing sims such as MotoGP and SBK.

TrackMania Turbo Evo – Nadeo (PS4, Windows, XBO)
Early 2016

What is it?
The newest entry in the popular arcade racing TrackMania series from Nadeo featuring customizable looks for the cars (200 international flags are available), the track builder tool, four different arenas for four different styles of racing, and all of the fun from the previous entries’ gravity defying, speed punching action. The focus on the game are the extreme stunts (you can literally be dropped into the start of your race from a helicopter) and fast racing. There are also a number of online features including “Double Driving” where two players control one car. I’m not sure how that works, but it’s going to be in the game. From the teasers and interview vids, it already looks like it could be a lot of fun.


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