Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


Our 10 Most Anticipated Shooters Of 2017

by Matt Bertz on Jan 21, 2017 at 11:30 AM

Coming off a banner year that included a smorgasbord of standout shooters like Battlefield 1, The Division, Titanfall 2, and our 2016 game of the year, Overwatch, it would be natural to expect a lot lighter field of competition in 2017 considering how many great studios are switching gears to create post-launch content or heading back to the drawing board to kickstart their next big project. But as we mined the release calendar to find the next batch of shooters, a formidable and diverse field emerged. Take a look at the 10 gun-centric games we are most looking forward to playing in the coming months. 

10. LawBreakers
Platform: PC
Release: TBD

With his “retirement” behind him, Gears of War and Unreal Tournament veteran Cliff Bleszinksi is back on the frontlines with a new studio and arena shooter. Lawbreakers follows the squad-based hero shooter craze popularized by games like Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege, but features some interesting wrinkles that could give the game its own identity. Gravity anomalies positioned in certain parts of the map or activated by character abilities can change the rules of engagement instantaneously. Each character reacts differently to the new circumstances, with some faring better than others thanks to unique tools like grappling hooks or powerful rocket launchers that can propel them more quickly. We have no guarantee LawBreakers will release before the end of the year, but expect to see it enter a wider beta at the very least.   

9. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam
Platform: PC
Release: Early 2017

A holdover from last year’s list that missed its original deployment window, Rising Storm still doesn’t have a hard release date, but it’s inching closer to release nonetheless. Since its debut with the popular Unreal Tournament 4 mod Red Orchestra, Tripwire Interactive has steadily expanded its repertoire from the gritty realism of those World War II battles to mutant outbreaks in Killing Floor. The studio's next project jumps back into the time machine to bring gamers to Vietnam. Rising Storm 2 deploys 64-player, asynchronous firefights to the jungles and rice paddies of Southeast Asia, with its iron sights trained on authenticity. Featuring a streamlined squad system, vehicular combat, and gunplay that injects a heavy dose of realism into the second-to-second action, Tripwire and co-developer Antimatter Games hope they can build off their award-winning last entry.

8. Strafe
Platform: PS4, PC
Release: Early 2017

First-person shooters exploded onto the video game scene in the mid-90s, and many look back fondly on those formative pixelated 3D pioneers. Rather than compete in the triple-A arms race with the Battlefields and Call of Duties of the world, developer Pixel Titans and Devolver Digital are going low budget with Strafe. The graphics may look ripped straight from a shareware game you downloaded off a BBS three decades ago (even the website is hilariously old school), but the kinetic gunplay, persistent gore generator that leaves your enemy’s blood splattered across the environments, and clever nods to the era make this a shooter worth watching in 2017.

7. Insurgency: Sandstorm
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: 2017

Last February developer New World Interactive announced plans to bring its tactical shooter from PC to consoles for the first time. This isn’t just a straight port, either. Sandstorm adds a story mode alongside the multiplayer action and promises much improved visuals thanks to an Unreal Engine 4 conversion (both of which are also coming to PC). To continue servicing its hardcore competitive constituency, the new version also features an eSports framework. We don’t have many details beyond that first news drop, but we’re still excited to see how Insurgency holds up when it makes the leap to console. Before Sandstorm releases, New World plans to host a beta to kick the tires on its new eSports approach. 

6. Quake Champions
Platform: PC
Release: TBA

With Wolfenstein and Doom both successfully resurrected, Bethesda tackles yet another remodeling project from the prized id Software catalog. As with Doom, id Software wants to preserve the high-speed combat traits that originally put this arena shooter on the map, while modernizing its approach with a hero-focused distribution of skills. Weapons are still scattered throughout the environment for players to seek, but each hero has a distinct visual style and special ability suite. We’re still in a waiting pattern for learning more about the various characters while id prepares for a closed beta period that “will be as long as it needs to be” but we hope to get our hands on it before the year comes to a close. The development team is currently focused on building the best competitive multiplayer game it can, but studio director Tim Willits has not ruled out a console version in the future.

Coming up next: Some high-profile sequels and our most anticipated action game of 2017...

5. Call of Duty Next
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: Winter

Last year’s Call of Duty entry, Infinite Warfare, was one of the most divisive entries in the series’ history. We enjoyed the science fiction campaign, but it left many wanting a more classic experience tied more closely to the Modern Warfare lineage. We don’t know which direction the next entry will take, but know Sledgehammer Games is up to bat. This studio started the trend of moving the Call of Duty series into the future with Advanced Warfare, and after protagonist Jack Mitchell drops villain Jonathan Irons (Kevin Spacey) to his death off a skyscraper, he remarks the war against Atlas Corporation is far from over. Does that mean we should expect an Advanced Warfare 2? Not necessarily, as Activision unceremoniously dropped the Ghosts story arc in the middle of a far bigger cliffhanger. 

4. Splatoon 2
Platform: Switch
Release: Summer

Given the small install base of the Wii U, we expected Nintendo to port over well-received games like Splatoon. The Big N decided to do us one better by announcing a sequel to its family-friendly shooter. From our brief hands-on time, it seems like Splatoon 2 builds on the small but solid foundation of its predecessor, with fast-paced action and accessible controls. New weapons like the Splat Dualies (think dual-wielding pistols), fresh arenas just dying for a coat of paint, and both local and online multiplayer support make this the competitive shooter to watch on the Switch. Nintendo also teased a steady stream of post-release content to keep Splatooners coming back for more. 

3. Star Wars Battlefront 2
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: Fall

The feature-light DICE reboot rubbed many Battlefront purists the wrong way, but found success anyway, with more than 14 million players joining the intergalactic fray since its launch in 2015. The sequel promises to expand on the the paltry offerings of the original with a full single-player campaign built by newly formed Motive Studios in Montreal. We don’t have many details on the game yet, but EA CFO Blake Jorgenson confirmed on a recent earnings call that Battlefront 2 will have content based on the new movies and feature “bigger and better worlds.” Since the next Star Wars movie doesn’t launch until December 15, we expect most of the settings to come from the existing new universe, including The Force Awakens

2. Ghost Recon Wildlands
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: March 7

After toying with the military technology of the future for several installments, Ubisoft’s tactical shooter series is going another direction. The first Ghost Recon game to feature an open world, Wildlands doubles down on the freeform tactical combat of the original games. With the Santa Blanca cartel acting with impunity and seizing more power as its cocaine trade grows, the Bolivian national government and international aid groups are at a serious disadvantage. In response, the U.S. sends up to four deadly clandestine spec-ops soldiers to map out the cartel’s infrastructure and dismantle it by any means necessary. The prospects for cooperative play excite us considering there is no tether keeping the players together, but in the lead-up to its March release, we’re still waiting patiently for Ubisoft to unveil Wildlands’ competitive multiplayer options. We hope to learn more about that soon, because time is running out.

1. Destiny 2
Platform: PS4, Xbox One
Release: 2017

Outside of a confirmed 2017 launch window, we have very little hard information about the sequel to Bungie’s successful shared-world shooter. We know the masterminds behind The Taken King, arguably the best of the Destiny content drops, are leading this project. We also learned that two more development teams – High Moon Studios and Vicarious Visions – are working on the Destiny brand as well. Over the course of our many conversations with Bungie, we know the studio is keenly aware of the original’s shortcomings, like poorly implemented storytelling, a need for larger open worlds with more interactive NPCs, and a more consistent flow of post-release content. We hope the sequel shores up those weaknesses, picks up the unresolved narrative threads, and finally makes the leap to PC. 

What shooter are you most looking forward to in 2017? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Be sure to check our our most anticipated adventure, action, MMORPG, and role-playing games lists as well.