Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands When: March 2017
I'm a bit of a Tom Clancy fan, but the recent hyper-futuristic take on the Ghosts has left me a little cold. This game seems to be walking it back a bit, eschewing the high-tech gadgets for a down to earth mission in Bolivia.
You and your team of specialists – either AI or real life people joining you for online co-op – are on a mission to topple a drug cartel in a huge open-world environment featuring vehicles and the classic Tom Clancy double punch of hyper-realistic weapons and extra-judicial murders.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole When: Early 2017
Lampooning culture's recent obsession with the superhero genre, South Park: The Fractured But Whole – a title that really makes no sense except as an excuse to say butthole – is bound to be a good time.
There are 12 classes to choose from, and as a new kid moving to the area, you'll be able to choose who you are and what side of the conflict you want to take. South Park: The Stick of Truth was an exceptional RPG that managed to capture what made South Park special while working within the expected conventions of a role-playing game. The sequel is no doubt hoping for more of the same.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildWhen: 2017, probably
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild looks like it could be the game of next year, and I haven't enjoyed a Zelda game since Ocarina of Time. The footage shows a Zelda positioned as an immersive sim, interacting with the world around you and experimenting as you would in any open-world game, but with a touch of that Nintendo magic.
It's launching on the Wii U and the Switch, so there's a decent chance it'll sell terribly, but mark my words on this: It's not going to get away - people will be stealing cool features and ideas from this for the next decade.
PreyWhen: Sometime in 2017
A sequel to 2006's Prey only insofar as it wears the original's name like a mask, Arkane – the studio behind Dishonored 2 – has been quietly toiling away on what could just be the best game of next year. This immersive sim will drop you on a space station attacked by aliens and expect you to use every trick, trap, and weapon at your disposal to escape the extraterrestrial threat.
Protagonist Morgan Yu has a bunch of extra powers up their sleeves that they can use to ensure their own survival, including one which lets you turn into a cup for some reason.
Crackdown 3 When: 2017, somewhere
Crackdown shows that with great power comes no responsibility. The original Crackdown taught me that if I could leap tall buildings in a single bound, lift a car above my head and punch with the strength of an 18-wheeler truck, I'd use these abilities to become the world's biggest prick.
Crackdown 3 looks like more of the same, really. There'll be more powers, more to explore, and separate cities for your single-player campaign and your co-operative efforts, so when Steve kills a school bus full of kids trying to protect their liberty, it shouldn't reflect too badly on your single-player efforts.