The best upcoming games of 2017 (and beyond)

The games to watch on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch – from blockbusters to potential under-the-radar gems.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: TBC 2017

Anyone with a penchant for deep, story-driven RPGs viewed from the isometric angle like the PC adventures of old already knows and loves the first Divinity: Original Sin, which presents a fantasy world on a massive scale with support for two-player co-op play the entire way through. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is upping the ante two-fold, allowing for four players to team up, each making their own decisions that have repercussions on the narrative and combat alike. If you're a sucker for RPGs that really emphasize the role-playing, where your character's race, class, demeanor, and actions all send ripples throughout the rest of the game, this is one to watch.

 Friday the 13th: The Game 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: TBC 2017

Dead by Daylight beat it to the 'asymmetrical multiplayer pitting a deranged killer against a team of terrified young adults' punch, but Friday the 13th: The Game has that slasher brand recognition going for it. Players take on the role of the hockey-masked, machete-swinging Jason Voorhees (voiced and mo-capped by Kane Hodder, who plays Jason in the much later sequels) or the Camp Crystal Lake counselors (up to seven cooperating to survive) that Jason will be ruthlessly stabbing and slicing. Jason will even be able to teleport around the campgrounds at will, to really drive home that sensation of running from a somehow inescapable killer.  

Tacoma 

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Release date: TBC 2017

Not to be confused with a Toyota pickup truck, Tacoma is the next project from Fullbright, the studio that made serious waves with its debut game Gone Home. This, too, is a narrative-rich, combat-free exploration viewed from first-person - but instead of taking place in an Oregon home circa 1995, Tacoma unfolds aboard a vacant space station, where memories of the former inhabitants play out via augmented-reality recordings. Gone Home set a pretty high bar, but Tacoma's eerily empty setting looks like it could be just as stirring.

Pyre

Platform(s): PS4, PC
Release date: TBC 2017

Pyre is a strange, intoxicating blend of Oregon Trail and Final Fantasy's Blitzball from the talented folks at Supergiant Games, who made waves with Bastion and Transistor. The gameplay is quite unlike those titles, though: the isometric battles unfold like a game of 3v3 basketball where everyone on your squad has a different size and speed, and you can only move around one member of your team at a time. It's almost akin to a tactical take on NBA Jam, because Pyre delivers that same sense of satisfaction whenever you slam dunk the Rukey orb into the opposing team's flame. Wrapped around that bizarre sport is a narrative-rich saga of three exiles banding together for a mystical pilgrimage.

Call of Cthulhu 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: TBC 2017

The influence of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos creeps across the gaming landscape like the black tendrils of some otherworldly Elder God, so it's about time a game used modern hardware to take those nightmarish, existentially terrifying themes head-on. Made in the same style as 2005's Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, this Call of Cthulhu reimagining is a first-person RPG that's equal parts investigation and delirium. Combat takes a backseat to critical thinking as you poke around the shadows of Darkwater, and all the while you'll need to manage your sanity meter to stave off the madness so commonly associated with Cthulhu-worshipping cultists. 

God of War 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date:
TBC 2017 

Having torn the Greek pantheon asunder, Kratos (now sporting a scruffy beard) has set his sights on a new mythology to conquer: Norse. The fourth main entry in the legendarily brutal PlayStation series - God of War - drops the numbering and looks like it'll force Kratos to control his endless rage, as he acts as the father figure for a young, as-yet-unnamed boy with latent lightning powers. Don't worry, you'll still slay plenty of fantastical creatures along the way - but expect a lot more character development and quieter moments in between all the carnage. 

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC 2017 

This isn’t a brand new Uncharted game, but its not an expansion either. In The Lost Legacy you play as Chloe who teams up with Nadine Ross (yeah, from A Thief’s End) to track down an ancient Indian artefact. Does that mean it’s co-op? Unlikely, as the pair will likely assume the same dynamic as Nathan and Sam in the main game. It’s more Uncharted, which is a great thing, and you don’t have to own the original to play. 

Days Gone 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date:
TBC 2017

If you think zombies have been done to death, well... you're right, but that isn't stopping the PS4-exclusive Days Gone. The enemies in this open-world post-apocalypse aren't technically undead - the so-called 'Freakers' are actually infected humans who have gone feral and seem eager to devour our hero Deacon (voiced by and modelled after Sam Witwer, who you might recognize as Starkiller from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed). What really sets the Freaker horde apart is just how many can be chasing you at once; there are times when they're practically flooding out of the environment, and all you can do to survive is simply run. Another PS4 Pro optimised game that promises to look incredible.

Crackdown 3

Platform(s): Xbox One
Release date: TBC 2017 

In Crackdown 3 you’re a super-cop in an open-world city, using your powers to fight crime and likely smash the whole place up in the process. We haven’t actually seen the game since 2015 but, given the ambitious nature of it, that’s no surprise. While there’s a regular single-player story to tackle, multiplayer co-op takes place in a whole different city which you can tear apart piece by piece. The Xbox is doing some fancy stuff with the Cloud to make this one of the most technically impressive games ever. Hopefully we’ll see more of it in 2017. 

Outlast 2

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: TBC 2017 

You are Blake Langermann (where do they get these names?), a freelance cameraman who visits a small, isolated village in Arizona to investigate the murder of a young, pregnant woman. What follows is lashings of the same non-combat horror we saw in the original. You have a camera to look through - and because Blake is a cameraman, expect his to be more advanced - and legs to run away with. Early trailers make this look chilling, as you’d expect. 

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