The wintry New York survival of "Tom Clancy's The Division," the suited and booted sharpshooters of "Hitman," and the classic adventuring of a remastered "Day of the Tentacle" look to make a splash in March 2016.
Four of the largest January launches consist of a brick-by-brick adaptation of Marvel's "Avengers" films (and supporting content) in "Lego Marvel's Avengers," a meticulously constructed puzzle island in "The Witness," PlayStation's proposed answer to the "Minecraft" phenomenon in "Dragon Quest Builders," and a PC version of November's Xbox One exclusive, "Rise of the Tomb Raider."
Following the warm reception afforded to predecessor "Lego Marvel Super Heroes," the crime-fighting team returns to trace out the storylines of the two "Avengers" ensemble films as well as both "Captain America" adventures, "Iron Man 3," and "Thor: The Dark World."
Game designer Jonathan Blow was hailed for award-winning action game "Braid," which helped usher in a new wave of innovative, independent games. "The Witness" invites players to explore an island full of puzzles and mazes, once which has been in development since 2008.
Now that "Minecraft" is a Microsoft property, an initial Japanese release for "Dragon Quest Builders" offers a chance to see how Sony PlayStation's voxel-style construction and exploration game has turned out. The Dragon Quest franchise enjoys its 30th anniversary in 2016 and as such developer Square Enix has a established and fondly remembered history to call upon.
Well received on Xbox One in November 2015 as a solid sequel to 2013's "Tomb Raider" reboot, "Rise.." offers greater sophistication in terms of environment, survivalist scavenging, stealth, and sneaky play as Lara Croft seeks answers both archeological and existential. At the time of writing, publisher Square Enix had announced an early 2016 release date, with PC game retailer Steam narrowing it down to January, and Amazon France briefly indicating a January 29 launch.
We pick out seven of the biggest games readying for release in February 2016: "Far Cry Primal," "Street Fighter V," "Dying Light: The Following" and "XCOM 2," as well as "Firewatch," "American Truck Simulator," and "The Walking Dead: Michonne."
Building on the experience gained from 2013's cult hit "Euro Truck Simulator 2," this freer form long-hauler provides players with the state of California to roam around in. Additional states and truck marques are to arrive via optional expansions -- with plenty of support for community contributions.
Sequel to 2012's acclaimed "XCOM," but here the once proud earth defense force is now struggling under alien occupation -- it's up to the player to mount a resistance movement. Recruits have more sophisticated training options, maps contain random elements to keep things fresh.
In strict terms an expansion to 2015's "Dying Light," but no previous purchase is needed to play "The Following." There's plenty of zombie apocalypse urban climbing and survival to be had, and new areas to explore, characters to encounter, and missions to complete. Its studio previously struck gold with the first "Dead Island."
Forest fire lookout Henry descents from his lookout tower to uncover the mysteries of the land below -- and the identity of an interloper who's been breaking into his home. A first game from new studio Campo Santo, whose staff previously worked on award-winning games like "The Walking Dead" and "Gone Home."
An interquel placed between "The Walking Dead: Season Two" and its successor, just as "400 Days" bridged the gap between seasons one and two. This time, the focus is on the origins of mysterious swordswoman Michonne.
The 1 vs 1 fighting champ returns with a bulging roster that blends old favorites with new and adds a fresh batch of special moves, counters and abilities. Controversially, "SSFV" won't be available on Xbox One, instead offering cross-platform play on PlayStation 4, Windows and Linux.
Eighth in the "Far Cry" action franchise, "Primal" takes advantage of its non-numbered status to deviate from modern-day settings and sends players back to the Stone Age, where wild beasts and rival tribes jostle for survival, giving prehistorical context to the crafting elements introduced in "Far Cry 3."
The wintry New York survival of "Tom Clancy's The Division," the suited and booted sharpshooters of "Hitman," and the classic adventuring of a remastered "Day of the Tentacle" look to make a splash in March 2016, while a retail-ready Oculus Rift VR headset is also expected to arrive before the end of the month.
Team up with some buddies to negotiate an almost deserted New York City -- abandoned apart from the looters, salvagers, and researchers living in the aftermath of a viral pandemic. A breathtaking reveal mid-2013 whose initial 2014 release date proved too ambitious.
With the stated aim of combining the best parts of franchise high point "Hitman: Blood Money" (2006) and the visually superior "Hitman: Absolution" (2012), "Hitman" promises a globe-spanning missions brief that will expand as developer IO Interactive drops new content for free to retain post-release interest.
Containing both original visuals and a spruced up look for the 23-year-old adventure classic, with a director's and creators' commentary, plus its prequel "Maniac Mansion" included as a bonus. First released in 1993, comic adventure "Day of the Tentacle" has since been frequently referred to as one of the best of its type.
The first of three major virtual reality headsets to be released in 2016, alongside the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, the Oculus Rift is also the most familiar to enthusiasts, defining expectations since its public debut and record-breaking crowdfunding campaign in 2012.
Computer games that have already pledged support for the Rift include slow motion action puzzle "Superhot," space station survival experience "Adr1ft," live gig game "Rock Band VR," Antarctic adventure "Edge of Nowhere," cyberpunk hacking suite "Darknet," cute platformer "Lucky's Journey," and sci-fi dogfighter "Eve: Valkyrie."
As for the Oculus Rift, its announced launch window is for the first three months of 2016. That time frame most likely translates to a March release for the kit as well as its supporting cast of games and apps.