Image Credit: GameSpot
Image Credit: GameSpot
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The holiday rush is over, which means most fans of video games have settled into a time of long, wintry hibernation when we catch up on everything we missed.

Eff that. There’s a whole new year of video games to look forward to. Some stuff we haven’t seen, and won’t see for many months, but we know they’ll be big. Looking at you, Call of DutyDestiny and Madden. Others we’ve seen a lot of and have talked about at length.

That’s not what we’re about right now. Everything listed below is almost certain to be coming out in 2016, and the anticipation for each and every one has us perched on the edge of our seats. Even with a mountain of killer games to get through from the current year 2015 kicked all sorts of ass it’s never too early to get hype for what’s next.

Abzû


Release date 2016
Platforms PlayStation 4, PC
Abzû is proof-positive that games don’t need guns and violence to be compelling. Swimming around and interacting with marine life in beautiful settings is more than enough. Games that deliver a meditative experience are rare. Flower did it. Proteus did it. We expect Abzû to do it as well.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles:India

Image Credit: TwinFinite
Image Credit: TwinFinite

Release date Jan. 12, 2016
Platforms PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, PC
This one’s a bit of a cheat, as Ubisoft has two Assassin’s Creed Chronicles games coming in 2016: one set in India and another in Russia. Both strip the series down to its core focus on platforming and throat-stabbing, allowing players to rewrite history in gorgeous 2.5D environments that hearken back to the glory days of arcade gaming.

Below


Release date 2016
Platforms Xbox One, PC
Take the stiff challenge of Dark Souls and mash it together with the lo-fi aesthetics of The Legend of Zelda and you’ve got Below . Capy Games has been polishing this one off for ages, but it’s looking likely that we’ll finally see it launch in the new year.

Cuphead


Release date 2016
Platforms Xbox One, PC
It might look like one, but this isn’t some lost Disney cartoon from the 1930s. Cuphead borrows the visual splendor of classic, hand-drawn animation and pairs it with a combination of shooty shooty arcade action and reflex-dependent fighting game sensibilities.

Firewatch


Release date Feb. 9, 2016
Platforms PlayStation 4, PC, Mac OS, Linux
Firewatch, Henry is a lone-wolf fire lookout in 1989 Wyoming. His only link to the world is a radio, and the woman named Delilah whom he reports to. We’re not sure where the story takes these two, but we can’t wait to explore the beautiful landscape.

Hitman

Image Credit: YtImg
Image Credit: YtImg

Release date Mar. 11, 2016
Platforms PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
The Hitman series was reborn in 2012 with the release of Absolution, which effectively turned each level into an assassin’s playground. The 2016 iteration, titled simply Hitman, seems to carry Absolution’s ideas forward with even more of a focus on variety and creative problem solving.

Quantum Break


Release date Apr. 5, 2016
Platforms Xbox One
Quantum Break is certainly ambitious, fusing third-person gunplay and puzzle-solving with non-interactive, live-action “episodes” featuring familiar Hollywood faces like Shawn Ashmore and Dominic Monaghan. It also comes from the team behind the Max Payne and Alan Wake games, so you can expect tight, fast-moving gameplay to go along with what looks to be an engrossing story about time manipulation and science gone wrong.

Batman: A Telltale Games Series

Image Credit: ZiffDavisInternational
Image Credit: ZiffDavisInternational

Release date 2016
Platforms Unknown, probably everything
Who knows what Telltale is cooking up for its recently revealed Caped Crusader series? We’re just happy to know that the team behind Tales from the Borderlands and The Wolf Among Us now gets to play around in Gotham City.

Unravel


Release date Feb. 9, 2016
Platforms PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Unravel is an indie darling in the making. It’s a gorgeous 2.5D puzzle game where you guide an adorable yarn-thing named Yarny through a series of environments by unspooling its body and using the excess yarn to loop, swing, pull and climb. It’s both charming and eminently playable, the perfect mix to please a mainstream, all-ages crowd.

Tom Clancy’s The Division

Image Credit: UBI
Image Credit: UBI

Release date Mar. 8, 2016
Platforms PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
It’s easy to write off Tom Clancy’s The Division given the extended development time and multiple delays. But there’s something about this vision of post-apocalyptic New York City and the seemingly hook-y action-RPG gameplay that gives us hope. If The Division can stick to its 2016 launch and really plant the landing with a deep, absorbing experience, it could leave a lot of people happily surprised.

[Mashable]