The best games of 2016 - charting the biggest new releases to look forward to this year

 
Steve Hogarty
Follow Steve
Adrift perfectly simulates dying in the harsh vacuum of deep space

Adrift

ETA: 28 March
Available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Designed to be played with a virtual reality headset, Adrift plonks you inside the helmet of an imperiled astronaut who must solve a number of very pressing space-based mysteries. Namely, why has your space station exploded? And while we’re on the topic, is it possible to survive in space without one? Alone and riddled with explosion-induced amnesia, you must carefully navigate the wreckage while managing your forever dwindling oxygen supply.

As your tanks empty, your character begins to wheeze and gasp for air, eventually clawing at her visor as she suffocates. It’s all rather stressful, really. And when viewed through a virtual reality headset, all of this horror becomes an extremely realistic terror. Distances feel vast, space feels big, and choking to death inside a space helmet feels harrowingly authentic. Adrift is perfect for anybody who has wondered what it might be like to die alone in space, and the closest thing you’ll get to a Sandra Bullock simulator all year.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

ETA: 26 April
Available on PlayStation 4

What treasure is Nathan in search of in this action adventure sequel? A ruby egg? A diamond goblet? Nobody knows, but one thing’s for sure: he’ll kill thousands of relatively innocent men to get it, all while screaming his famous catchphrase: “My name is Nathan Drake and I will murder literally everybody for either an egg or a goblet.”

No Man's Sky

ETA: June 2016
Available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

A quite-large space game that uses some clever computer wizardry to simulate no fewer than “18 billion billion” unique planets to fly around and explore, No Man’s Sky is perhaps the most anticipated indie game of all time. Hop in your ship, scoot about some nebulae, get into space fights with other players. The universe is your oyster.

Doom

ETA: Spring 2016
Available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Portals to hell are everywhere these days, but nowhere more so than on Mars, where the dark legions of Hades spill out of dimensional rifts like nobody’s business. Doom returns to the classic hyper-violence of the original 1993 game, allowing you to plunge a chainsaw into a demon’s chest and carve him in two. Good lord.

Quantum Break

ETA: 5 April
Available on Xbox One

When a bunch of careless scientists accidentally shatter physics with their wonky experiments, one man gains the ability to freeze the world around him using his newfound set of time-bending chrono-powers. He promptly sets about using them to murder bad guys, rather than steal crisps like Bernard out of Bernard’s Watch.

The Division

ETA: 8 March
Available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

A co-op game in which you and your buddies must make daring excursions into an abandoned, post-apocalyptic Manhattan, The Division is pegged to be 2016’s multiplayer hit. In an interesting twist, the game promotes mistrust between friends by allowing them to turn on one another mid-gunfight to avoid sharing the spoils.

The Legend of Zelda Wii U

ETA: Late 2016 (maybe)
Available on Wii U

Relatively little is known about the next Zelda game. It’s coming to Wii U. It will be set in a vast open world, larger than that of any other Zelda game to date. And you can ride a lovely horse around. Ever the perfectionists, Nintendo are renowned for delaying Zelda games for bloody ages, so goodness knows when we’ll actually see this.