Hit or miss? Predicting the Metascores of 2016's biggest releases
By now, 2016 is well underway and the year is shaping up to deliver us a stream of big-name titles. Here at Bandwidth Blog, we’ve decided to play clairvoyant and predict the Metascore of the year’s biggest (upcoming) releases.
We predict some games will soar and others will sink. Read our predictions below. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Release date: 10 May 2016
Uncharted 4 is shaping up to be so good thieves are even staging cash and transit-style heists to get the game before it launches. We don’t blame them. Uncharted 4 can’t fail in our eyes. Is it the sequel to a much-loved franchise starring a lovable rogue? Check. Does it push the Playstation 4 to its graphical limits and looks spectacular doing so? Check. Does it have a newfound interest in story, thanks to lessons learned from The Last of Us? Check.
Heck, all we needed to know was that Neil Druckmann (The Last of Us) was onboard. Colour us excited. Predicted Metascore: DOOM Release date: 13 May 2016
Look, we appreciate the idea of taking DOOM back to its roots with fast-paced, run-and-gun gameplay. We even think it might make a refreshing change from the legion of pretentious shooters out there. But peel away the gore and the viscera and what’s left?
The consensus online is that the multiplayer beta was fun and frenetic, but a little empty too. That means the singleplayer campaign needs to deliver all guns blazing, but with id Software’s recent chequered history, we don’t see this wowing critics. Sorry. Predicted Metascore: Homefront: The Revolution
Release date: 20 May 2016
Homefront 2 has no right to be good. The sequel to the half-baked Homefront couldn’t have endured a more turbulent development cycle, and yet it’s finally on the home stretch.
We‘ll know soon enough whether the game will deliver a unified, consistent experience, despite having passed through no fewer than three different studios. All that chopping and changing is normally a very bad sign, but we think the decision to adopt an open-world powered by the CryEngine will stand Homefront: The Revolution in good stead.
This is a punt of note, but we’re feeling optimistic. Predicted Metascore: Mirror‘s Edge: Catalyst Release date: June 7
It’s a tad surprising that 2008’s Mirror’s Edge has received the sequel treatment at all, but eight years on from its release, Catalyst is close to completion.
You’re still in the shoes of Faith Connors, and once again battling an evil corporation, but this time in an open world. The emphasis remains on parkour movement, and DICE has removed the ability to fire guns, meaning combat focuses on hand-to-hand combat instead. That’s a bold move and it means parkour has to carry the entire experience.
If footage of the closed beta is anything to go by, Catalyst looks appropriately stylish, but disappointingly light on substance. Plus, enemy AI doesn’t look too hot. We might be wrong of course, but we’re not tipping this for major honours.
Predicted Metascore: Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter Release date: June 10
Frogwares has steadily improved with each new entry of Sherlock Holmes series, embracing new technology to turn a simple point-and-click adventure into a slick big-budget franchise. The Devil‘s Daughter builds on the template of 2014‘s Crimes and Punishments with five different cases for Holmes to solve; a Sherlock Holmes battling drug dependency and world weariness, we might add.
We love the idea of Sherlock with vices to itch, so this gets a tick in our book. Predicted Metascore: No Man’s Sky Release date: June 20
Let’s be honest: we have no idea how good No Man’s Sky will be. The long-awaited space epic is the work of the immensely talented HelloGames, led by Sean Murray, a games developer who has embarked on a promotional tour fit for a rock legend. If it all goes belly up, Sean will look like a misguided idealist and No Man’s Sky will fade into obscurity – but we somehow doubt that.
This is a space odyssey as if ever there was one. Thanks to some damn good mathematics, No Man’s Sky procedurally generates planets on-the-fly, meaning, in theory, there are a quintillion or more to explore. That’s several thousand lifetimes of gameplay at your disposal, but with so much going on, it could feel utterly hit or miss. Perhaps the worst outcome would be somewhere in between: a big, grey, drab mush of nothingness.
Alternatively? It could be the best game ever made. Predicted Metascore: Gosh, anywhere from to Darkest Dungeon Release date (PS4): Q2 2016
Darkest Dungeon is something a little different. This indie title is the work of a small studio; a hardcore role-playing game that assigns you a group of heroes you need to manage to safety. You’ll fight apparitions and enemies in traditional RPG fashion, but there’s a catch. Your troops can get worn down by stress, and if left untreated, develop incurable side-effects. Add that to the fact that your squad members are gone forever if they die, and Darkest Dungeon is shaping up to be refreshingly uncompromising.
This was released on PC recently to rave reviews. Expect a similar reception on the PS4. Predicted Metascore: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Release date: August 23
Cyberpunk is cool, and Deus Ex knows that. Pre-release footage of Mankind Divided suggests we’re getting a game brimming with Sci-Fi goodness and the odd moral dilemma to solve too.
Its predecessor, Human Revolution, was fantastic fun but a real eyesore. We’re expecting more of the same great gameplay but a new level of visual splendour. Still, we can’t help but feel there’ll be shortcomings to navigate too. Our hunch tells us that this will be a very good game, but not quite GOTY material. Predicted Metascore: Mafia III Release date: October 7
The Mafia games have traditionally been about Italian mobsters doing business (read: shooting dudes) in the early 20th century. Not so here. Mafia III ditches the ’40s backdrop for the swinging ’60s and puts you in the shoes of an African American named Lincoln Clay. That’s about as far removed from traditional Mafia territory as you can get, and yet the more we see of the game, the more we’re impressed. This might not break new ground, but with any luck, it’ll tell a damn good tale. Predicted Metascore: Gears of War 4 Release date: 11 October
Here we go again. Gears of War 3 was supposed to be the end of Epic’s series, but did anyone really believe that? In Gears 4, there’s a new threat to humanity and a new group of heroes fighting for our freedom. Microsoft is not done milking its cash cow yet.
The bad news is that series creator Cliff Blezinski is nowhere to be seen, and in his wake, Microsoft is cooking up a tribute act steeped in familiarity. There’ll be new features bolted on, no doubt, but is this going to drive the franchise forward in the same vein as Uncharted 4? That’s doubtful and this has shades of Halo 5 already, six months out. It’ll probably win points for nostalgia, but it won’t set the world alight. Predicted Metascore:
Have something to say about our list? What do you think of our predicted metascores? Be sure to let us know in the comments field below. You can be sure we’ll revisit this article later in the year once the games are out and the verdicts are in. Until then, happy gaming!