One of the most hotly anticipated new games of 2016 is Overwatch, a first person shooter from the incomparable Blizzard Entertainment company. This is a fast paced game with colorful characters that are absolutely brimming with personality. That alone may be the biggest draw, especially given the slick sense of design that successfully marries the look of American comic books with that of Japanese anime.
The control scheme is very similar to Call of Duty, making it a natural fit for anyone that’s been playing shooters over the last two decades. That said, it’s still intuitive enough even for newer players to jump right in. The violence is also very cartoony. No blood or guts are to be found, meaning even younger teenagers should be able to play Overwatch without worry. Overall, this is one that’s going to be talked about for a long time to come.
Next up, Street Fighter V is definitely a new game that will be worth keeping an eye on. While it released in a somewhat unfinished state, the game marks a new partnership for Capcom and Sony that may pay off well in the end. Consumers were put off by the $60 price that the game shipped with, but new characters and a more comprehensive story are soon to be added. Once all their cards are on the table, the title could finally fulfill its potential as the latest in one of fighting games’ most prominent franchises.
In an oddly similar vein, the Pokemon franchise debuted its first fighting game in 2016: Pokken Tournament. Developed in partnership between Nintendo and Bandai Namco Studios, the game has already outsold Street Fighter V as of the year’s second quarter. All of the most beloved Pokemon characters are present, with a fun, simplistic control scheme that anyone from kids to adults can enjoy. Much like Super Smash Bros, this is a game that is sure to become popular in competitive play as well. The leading U.S. fighting game tournament Evolution is even including it in its 2016 lineup.
Lastly, Square Enix is maintaining their dominance in the JRPG arena with Final Fantasy XV, slated for release in September. While the last several installments have failed to live up to the standard generated by earlier favorites in the franchise, XV seems to be pleasing audiences more and more with each new demo. Given their epic storytelling and constant envelope-pushing graphics, it will be very interesting to see what Square Enix has cooked up this time.