Gaming Trends of 2016: Rick Predicts!
Last year, I made some carefully considered and not at all ridiculous predictions about what would happen the games industry. Astonishingly, two of them sort of came true. Microsoft did kind of release Minecraft on your eyeballs, albeit through an augmented reality headset, and Peter Molyneux did kind of sail away, declining all interviews with press after further controversy regarding the state of Godus.
There's only one sensible conclusion to this; I am genuinely psychic. So here are some fresh pronouncements I sincerely believe will come true over the next twelve months, determined through the scientific method of writing down whatever nonsense springs to mind.
Psychonauts 2 takes place entirely in your own imagination.
Double Fine's sequel to the fantastic Psychonauts has just been successfully crowdfunded to the tune of $3.3 million; and the developers plan to use these funds to create a radical new type of experience that perfectly fits the Psychonauts theme - a game that take place entirely in the player's mind.
How exactly will Double Fine achieve this? The answer is through an exciting new technology. The game will be transmitted directly into player's thoughts via sheets of paper bound together with glue. Each sheet will have lines of texts written on them that explains what happens in the game. By performing an exciting special action called "reading", players will be able to download the game straight into their own heads, rendering the images using bespoke hardware the developers refer to as a "Mind's Eye."
Double Fine expects Psychonauts 2 to come in significantly under budget, and intends to spend the remaining money on Some Really Big Houses and A Wicked Party. We can't wait for this groundbreaking virtual experience to launch on the Kindle Fire platform in three weeks' time.
Virtual Reality triggers a new financial crisis.
Oculus' announcement that their virtual reality headset the Rift will cost $600 at launch has led to outrage, upset and fervent speculation. Some believe this spells doom for Oculus as other manufacturers like HTC and Sony move in with cheaper headsets, while others reckon this spells DooM for Oculus, as the upcoming FPS sequel will launch with VR compatibility.
Both groups are wrong. Instead, competing headsets will be even more expensive than Oculus, forcing consumers to part with huge chunks of their bank accounts no matter which way they turn. VR enthusiasts will turn out their pockets, flog their trousers, sell their legs, in a desperate bid to experience the sensation of wearing a nausea-inducing box on their faces.
This huge collective expenditure will result in a new recession, as banks crumble beneath the sheer weight of the games industry's debt. Amidst the chaos of a new wave of austerity, two distinct factions will emerge. The three major VR manufacturers will band together to form a corporate world government, enthralling its subjects in beautiful virtual worlds as they sap their bodies for vital energy in a way that is not at all inspired by the Matrix. Those who escape the VR grasp will form an anti-VR protest group named "Get Luckey", rising from the ashes.
Like the legend of the phoenix.
PTSD cases skyrocket as games become impossibly difficult
2016 will see the release of the toughest, most psychologically damaging games ever made. The trauma kicks off in February with the release of XCOM 2, featuring an expanded roster enemies including a new kind of Sectoid that triggers debilitating hallucinations in the player's mind, rendering them incapable of even the most basic bodily functions for several turns. Meanwhile, the Cyberdisc 2.0 fires sharpened CDs from the computer's ROM drive, targeting the player's shins. On Ironman mode, losing to the Xenos will cause the game to deliberately corrupt your hard drive.
The punishment continues in March with Dark Souls III, a game so uncompromising that From Software's QA testers have been seen weeping into their lunch in the studio cafeteria. The game begins by cursing the player that they can only move in infinite circles, while the controllers only registers inputs if players grip the analogue stick between their teeth. The final boss is a digital manifestation of your absolute worst fear, riding a giant wasp while being caressed from behind by the person you love most.
But the award for the hardest game of the year will almost certainly go to the latest Assassin's Creed, although that will mostly be due to the bugs.