The lights are on
Now that a new year is in full swing, it's always exciting
to get an idea of how you'll spend it as a gamer. 2017 is full of promising
titles, so much so we've been breaking them down by genre so you can see what's
in store for your favorites. We recently showcased what's on deck for the
action and shooter genre, and now it's time to shine the spotlight on the RPG
genre. So far it looks like it's going to be a big year for RPG fans with tons
of different experiences on tap, from humorous romps such as South Park: The
Fractured But Whole, to exciting remasters such as Final Fantasy XII: The
Zodiac Age and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue. We had a hard time
getting our list down to just 10 games, and as some of you may have noticed, we
had some genre crossovers that ended up on the action list like Horizon Zero Dawn
and Nioh. These are the 10 RPGs for 2017, ranked from 10 to 1, that we're most
10. Valkyria Revolution Platform: PS4, Xbox One, VitaRelease: SpringWe fell in love with Valkyria Chronicles, naming it one of
our top 10 RPGs of last generation, so we're interested in what Valkyria
Revolution has in store. The game is a "revolution" from what we've come to
expect from the Valkyria games, taking place in an alternate time, continent,
and universe. The biggest shake-up is the gameplay; previously the series has
been focused on turn-based strategy, but now it's a straight-up action/RPG.
While changes can be scary, we're curious if they're for the better. Revolution
has you building up your base, forming relationships with your squadmates
(permadeath is possible!), and customizing your companions' A.I. and weapons to
fit certain battle roles. A bonus? Legendary composer Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono
Trigger, Xenoblade) is behind the score.
9. Cosmic Star HeroinePlatform: PS4, PC, Mac, VitaRelease: SpringSo far we've been impressed with what we've seen from Cosmic
Star Heroine in demos. This fun, 16 bit-style throwback takes cues from JRPGs
such as Phantasy Star, Suikoden, and Chrono Trigger, and comes from a two-man
team that has already made a name for itself: Zeboyd Games, the developer
behind Cthulhu Saves the World and episodes three and four of Penny Arcade
Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. The story, which is
inspired by sci-fi films such as Blade
Runner and Alien, follows Alyssa
L'Salle, a top galactic agent who uncovers a government conspiracy. The
turn-based RPG also lets you recruit characters and build up your own
headquarters in your fight.
8. The Bard's Tale IVPlatform: PC, MacRelease: OctoberThe CRPGs of yesteryear are making a big comeback! After
successfully crowdfunding Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, inXile
Entertainment (founded by Interplay's Brian Fargo) looked to see what fans
wanted next. It turned out demand was high for a revival of The Bard's Tale,
the very series that put Brian Fargo and Interplay on the map over 30 years
ago. A Kickstarter campaign raised over $1.5 million for a sequel to the trilogy.
The Bard's Tale helped define the role-playing genre, and now inXile wants to
modernize it for a new generation of gamers, keeping intact all the things that
made the trilogy special. The party-based dungeon crawler will have rich
exploration, dangerous fights, and challenging puzzles and riddles. inXile even
turned to hardcore fans for feedback along the way.
7. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant KingdomPlatform: PlayStation 4Release: TBDRegardless of how you felt about the original, you can't
deny the power and beauty of being transported to a Studio Ghibli world. That's
why we're interested in how Bandai Namco will follow things up with a sequel.
We're hoping it can only improve on the previous formula, making the combat
just as enticing as the fantastical backdrop. Not much has been revealed about
the game, but in an interview with IGN
Japan, director Akihiro Hino said the team is "giving it all their might"
and "the scale has gotten huge." Unfortunately, Studio Ghibli will not have any
involvement in the sequel, but the art style shown in trailers still look on
point - vibrant and gorgeous.
6. Nier: AutomataPlatform: PlayStation 4, PCRelease: March 7Coming off a fun and well-received demo, Nier: Automata's
release date is drawing near, making us excited to see the game in all its
glory. The original Nier captured a dedicated fan base with its fun characters
and emotional tale. Thankfully, series creator Taro Yoko, producer Yosuke Saito,
and composer Keiichi Okabe are all back for Automata, and it's also bringing in
new talent with Platinum Games heading development. One of the criticisms
lodged at the first game was its combat, so we're hoping Platinum Games can
bring the stylish action it's known for to bolster this entry.
[Click to the next page to see what made our top five....]
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.