Feature

Six Awesome-Looking Games I Won't Have Nearly Enough Time For

by Jeff Marchiafava on Jul 04, 2015 at 05:01 AM

Gaming is far and away my favorite hobby, but it's also extremely time-consuming. This appears to be doubly true for a new breed of upcoming current-gen games, which are leveraging the power of new hardware and the gaming community's love of open-world environments to create adventures that are poised to obliterate my free time.

The next two years look especially hopeless considering my personal play style, which usually involves a lot of aimless wandering, unplanned chaos, and obsessive collecting/crafting. It's for those reasons that I am both salivating over and fearing the following games.

Just Cause 3
Few games offer up a more fun and consequence-free sandbox than the Just Cause series. The last installment was one of my favorite games of last generation, and it appears Avalanche is super-sizing everything for the next outing. The new wingsuit looks like it transforms Rico into a full-blown superhero, and having an unlimited supply of C4 at your disposal is yet another sign that the developer knows gonzo chaos will always trump realism when you're trying to overthrow a ruthless dictator. A greater emphasis on physics and destructibility pretty much guarantees that I'll be spending an absurd number of hours orchestrating crazy explosions (and probably blowing myself up in the process).

Ghost Recon: Wildlands
The announcement of Ghost Recon: Wildlands at E3 was a surprise, but it's already made my short list of anticipated games. I enjoyed a few of the older games in the series, and am glad Ubisoft is eschewing the futuristic setting of...virtually every other military shooter on the market right now for something more grounded in reality. However, the big selling points are the four-player co-op and massive open world – coordinating and approaching missions the way you want to sounds like it's putting the "tactical" back into tactical shooter, which would be a welcome shift in focus. The big question is whether Ubisoft can fill the world with enough missions and distractions to make it worth going off the beaten path. I've lost plenty of hours roaming the landscapes in Ubisoft's Far Cry series; if Wildlands can deliver a more realistic world that's focused on co-op, it may hold my attention long after other military shooters lose their appeal.

Mad Max
Avalanche sure knows how to sink its hooks in me. The second game from the developer on this list stars one of the coolest post-apocalyptic anti-heroes of film, who seems like a perfect fit for open-world mayhem. In addition to exploring the wasteland and taking down enemy outposts, you can also completely customize your car with a variety performance upgrades and bandit-puncturing weaponry. Mad Max is yet another game that takes its combat cues from the Arkham series – the last game to ape Rocksteady's approach to combat was Shadow of Mordor, which kept me slicing off orc heads long after most gamers moved onto other adventures (which reminds me – I really need to go back and finish Shadow of Mordor). Hopefully Avalanche can nail the vehicular combat, because I can see myself spending days happily combing the wasteland for scrap to build the ultimate death machine.

Coming Up Next: Three more games destined to take over 99 percent of my gaming time...

Horizon Zero Dawn
I was never able to get into the bleak, by-the-numbers world of the Killzone series, but Guerrilla Games' new IP had me at "robot dinosaurs." It didn't take long for the announcement trailer to sell me on the prehistoric future setting, and protagonist Aloy is already more memorable than any character in the Killzone series. Horizon also reportedly puts a big emphasis on collecting items and crafting your own weapons, and some tools tease unique gameplay mechanics, such as the ropecaster's ability to tether hulking robo-beasts to the ground. Horizon promises a gigantic open world full of different tribes to discover and interact with – did I mention the robot dinosaurs?

Fallout 4
If Fallout 4 was the only game coming out in 2015, I still wouldn't have enough time for it. Bethesda has been responsible for some of my all-time favorite games, and yet I don't think I've ever finished a single entry in the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series. They are as close to genuine role-playing as it gets, and for me that apparently involves a lot of crafting, obsessively stealing everything I can get my hands on, and undertaking every mission except the main storyline. What can I say? Not everyone is hero material – some of us are content with just being wandering kleptomaniacs.

I've been keeping a watchful eye on the new additions to Fallout 4 (perhaps too watchful), and the ability to craft your own guns and build custom outposts are two more awesome distractions that will likely keep me from ever seeing credits. I have no idea how I'm going to find enough time to play Fallout 4 – maybe I'll just give up sleeping?

No Man's Sky
This one isn't even fair. No Man's Sky reportedly contains over 18 quintillion planet-sized(!) planets to explore, which are populated by unique landscapes, creatures, and plant life. A lot of the gameplay is still a mystery, but we know you'll be doing a lot of exploring and discovering. Those basic activities (which are bolstered by the knowledge that not even the developer has seen what you're seeing) kept me engrossed in MineCraft for a stupid amount of time. Exploring new, wholly unique worlds was one of the main wishes on my dream sci-fi game list, and it appears No Man's Sky is delivering that experience. We still don't know when the game is going to come out, but when it does, my social life is officially over.

What upcoming game will be your biggest time sink? Share your fears in the comments below...