This time last year, I created a list of the video games and movies to keep an eye on in 2015. It was an interesting experiment that kept me looking back to the list, examining my early assessments, and looking at how I felt post fact. It was a fun way to give a precursor to some of the more talked about video games and movies of 2015 and then seeing how the hype was met, the hype was not met, and how certain games and movies broke through 2015 completely under the radar. So let’s give it a go again. This is the ten movies and video games to keep an eye on in 2016.
I will say before we move forward that on both video game and movie lists, I had to cut down from a list of AT LEAST 15 on each side. So even with the extended honorable mentions… There are going to be a few left off. With that being said, let’s get started.
2016 Video Game
Final Fantasy XV
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
5. Star Citizen
I’ll be honest, I have zero desire to play Star Citizen. My long-standing opinion on MMORPGs still stands and I still have zero desire to play those games that do not interest me in any way, shape, or form. However… I would be amiss to leave off one of the most talked about MMOs in some time. Whenever I cheekily made a post dubbing ‘Bivens, Nott, and Bullington’s Law: All MMO’s will fail to reach the expectations of their players upon release’ I was quick to get tons of people pointing me towards the ‘awesome’ that is crowd sourced one man love child known as Star Citizen. I am also quick to point out that the same thing happened with Elder Scrolls Online and countless other MMOs that had to go through the unplayable shit show before they were functional and good as well as the fact that the last one man ‘reach for the sky’ big video game adventure that keeps popping up in my mind is John Romero’s Dikatana. So I tend to take any pet projects by the one person driven video game designer with a huge grain of salt.
Maybe I’m giving Star Citizen too much shit. From what I have heard, the stuff released for the game is quite good. So I may be proven wrong here and I will gladly say so to everyone I meet that I was wrong and Star Citizen was the golden child on the day of its release… But at the same time I promise to vocalize my victory from every rooftop if it is the case that Star Citizen is just like every other MMO in this universe.
4. Far Cry Primal
Those of you who have followed me since the beginning will know my dislike of the video game Far Cry 3. I am still one of the few naysayers for that game and I will be on that barricade like Jean Valjean until the bitter end for that fight. Considering the fact that Far Cry 4 was more of the same… I didn’t much care for that one either for very similar reasons. I bring this up because Far Cry has had some bright moments for me in particular. Far Cry: Blood Dragon was absolutely beautiful 80’s cheese which is why I am putting my faith in the up and coming Far Cry Primal.
Far Cry Primal is another outside the box and original idea for an, admittedly on my part, diverse video game. To take the game away from the first person shooter comfort zone is a ballsy move to say the least. Even before I have had the chance to play the game, I will at least give the game balls for trying something new and different. I’ll have to see what the end product entails, but for now it is a solid up and comer for me.
3. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
This is how it ends, this is how it ends, not with a bang, but with the inevitable reboots and spin off series. It is a good thing that Uncharted is coming to an end for Naughty Dog. Not that the series was bad, just that the game was fairly well finished in what it can do and what it can give us. The first Uncharted was an introduction to a new series, Uncharted 2 was the mastering of the craft, Uncharted 3 was more of the same, and now if you do not end it with 4 then it is all down hill from here. Of course it is inevitably going to be rebooted or a spin off will be made, but for now let’s enjoy the end while we still can.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End may be the most bland item on these lists. It is the sure fire bet. You know that Naughty Dog is going to release a movie that is at least playable. Whether Nathan Drake will go out with a bang or with a whimpe and it is completely dependent on the level of ambition that the creators have in them to finish the series.
2. Mass Effect: Andromeda
It returns! The epic space adventure Mass Effect returns to our gaming systems in Mass Effect: Andromeda! I can beat around this bush all day, but no matter how many ways I take it the question needs to be asked: How is this going to go? The Mass Effect series was pretty well concluded with Mass Effect 3 and the series kind of ended on a bit of a bitter sweet note with the three copy and paste endings. Even with patches… That is a pretty rough failure to forgive and forget.
So what are we going to get out of this? While there is certainly more stories to tell and more galaxies to explore, you have to wonder whether or not they’ll fuck it up or they will have a massive resurgence in popularity. Time will tell, but for now I remain cautiously optimistic in BioWare’s abilities.
1. Dark Souls III
My number one game to keep an eye on in 2016 is Dark Souls 3. AH! Now here is a game I can really sink my teeth into. I have no idea how this one is going to go. It could end up on being amazingly good or horrendously bad and somehow it is making that much more ready for its release. You see, the original Dark Souls obviously prided itself on being INSANELY challenging. The first one was a true gamer’s experience and rewarded a player for true strategy and a dedication to the gameplay without any hand-holding. The second Dark Souls had a little more hand holding that we are used to today. Naturally, the idea of wanting money slithered into the developers minds and no matter how much you want to argue, in the battle between a niche market and mass consumerism, mass consumerism will more than likely win the battle. Bloodborne seemed to be more of the same only with more blood obviously.
So with all that being said, are we going to get a game that is known for its challenge or are we going to get a game that is pandering to the masses. The jury is still out at this point, but if there is anytime for the creators of Dark Souls to fuck up, now is the time.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Free State of Jones
5. Suicide Squad
I spent a great deal of time working on this list. While video games I was able to begrudgingly make a list of 5, for movies I hit gridlock at 15. Ultimately, I had to say which movie I wanted to talk about the most at 5. Ultimately I decided that Rogue One was going to be a solid Star Wars spinoff, Deadpool was going to be Deadpool no matter what I say, and DC has burned me too much in their attempt at copying Marvel Studios to put a lot of faith in Batman v. Superman. That leaves me with number 5 on this list that is a mystery wrapped in an enigma; Suicide Squad.
I know that a lot of people are looking forward to Suicide Squad, but I keep looking at the teasers not sure what to think. I cannot help but feel that this movie is going to be an absolute disaster wrapped up in Hot Topic apparel. This feeling of dread is not helped by Suicide Squad’s release date. You see, Suicide Squad is being released August 5th. Now! Here is a little lesson on movie release schedules in case you are unaware. You see, there are two months out of the year where the powers that be dump their abject failures. The first of which is January. It is just after the end of Oscar Season, we are hitting the Holiday blues, and the coldness tends to keep us more indoors then going to the movies. The majority of movies released during this time tend to be absolutely terrible. This is why you see a whole lot of October’s Halloween rejects like The Forest popping up in January. The SECOND month that is filled with abject failure is August. May-July is summer blockbuster season where you see your big, loud, and fun movies. This is the time you release your Independence Day, Mad Max: Fury Road, and so forth are released. However, August tends to be the summer blockbuster dumping grounds. This is when people are getting ready to get back to school and the hot weather is out the door. Last year, August gave us such gems as The Fantastic Four and No Escape. There are sometimes some strong cases, but typically the ‘good movies’ of August are not the blockbusters like Suicide Squad.
The point is that this movie is a mix of two things: huge amounts of hype AND a big dark cloud looming over it. At this moment, I have no idea how to call it… And that is what makes it so much fun. I can’t wait to see how this goes. Whether or not the ones faithful will love or loathe this movie.
One of the more ‘quiet’ movies on my list, Snowden is an intriguing movie. Obviously made about the NSA whistleblower who went into hiding, Edward Snowden is an interesting case in American History and naturally, at some point, a movie was going to be made about him and his life. The one thing that I am wondering is… What level of sleaze are we going to get? Talking about the faults of American History and the people who bring about those faults is a touchy subject. This situation completely depends on what kind of movie we are going to be presented with. Are we going to get the story of Edward Snowden, are we going to see him painted as a savior or are we going to see him painted as a traitor? Only time will tell, all I hope is that the movie is accurate to history and shows a decent story for one of the more prolific whistle blowers.
3. Independence Day: Resurgance
Let’s talk about the squeal that was 20 years in the making. Roland Emmerich will always be remembered for his loud and bombastic popcorn movies. Most of them were absolutely terrible, but at the same time you couldn’t help but enjoy them as glorious guilty pleasures. 2013 saw the last time Emmerich released his typical disaster movie and now we have the pleasure of dealing with the sequel complete with Jeff motherfucking Goldblum. This is the case of a movie that I feel has air of: ‘hmmm let’s see what happens.’
At the worst, this movie is going to be silly fun. However, the movie Independence Day did not exactly lend itself to a sequel. The aliens seemed pretty well fucked by our best drunk rednecks, their remnants crashed on our planet, and their mother ship completely demolished by the tandem of Smith and Goldblum. I guess this is an instance where you can just throw more aliens at us… But all things considered, I called this one a pretty well done piece of 90’s cheese. I am going to see the sequel, but until that moment comes this summer I will still be left asking… why?
2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The legend continues! Can you believe that the last Harry Potter movie was released 5 years ago? The last book popped onto shelves nearly 9 years ago. You feeling a little seasoned yet? Time keeps chugging along and now we are getting into movies that expand the mythos. I’m personally REALLY looking forward to this movie. As a fan of the series, I do love some good mythos building as much as the next guy as long as it is done correctly. At its best, we could see the Harry Potter Universe expanded on the silver stage and could potentially mean more and more classic series akin to the Marvel Universe… Well okay, maybe not to THAT extent, but still enough to keep the world going.
So far, everything about this movie looks good. It has the style of the original series, David Yates returns as the director, and we have amazing leads in Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston. This may be the movie I have the most faith in to be a solid holiday movie of 2016.
1. Captain America: Civil War
Could it be any other? When it comes to nerdom and the exception of a rabid minority who will not view them, most nerds still get their kicks from the Marvel Studio movies. Overall, they are loud and bombastic popcorn movies that are well made and their for our enjoyment. I like them, cool if you don’t, but I’ll still be in the theaters enjoying them all the same. I find it odd that we got Age of Ultron as the last ‘Avengers’ movie, though the more ‘Avengers’ plot like Civil War is starting as one of the Captain America movies. Eh, whatever makes them happy.
Out of all the movies coming out in 2016 and believe me there is a lot of them. Civil War is the one that the general consensus among comic book movie nerds is the one that everyone wants to see. While some may be more pumped about Doctor Strange, Batman v. Superman, and so forth. It is Captain America: Civil War that is carrying the hype train into 2016.
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