Tomb Raider -> Watch Dogs
Shipwrecked and inexperienced, a 21-year-old Lara Croft is physically and emotionally tested as she escapes her captives and explores a mysterious island near Japan. The reboot maintains elements that popularized Tomb Raider, such as puzzles and platforming. However, there will be a greater emphasis on survival (you'll find your own tools, weapons and other essentials) as well as combat (no more lock-on aiming). The developers are also striving to achieve more of an emotional bond between players and Lara over the 12-plus-hour campaign.
Total War: Rome II
In its second trip to ancient Rome and its eighth entry to the Total War franchise, The Creative Assembly hopes to make the game more accessible while ramping up the depth. For instance, although Rome II will have a larger map and bigger battles than ever before, but that's being balanced with new features such as a tactical overhead view that helps you keep track of encounters. So far, three playable factions have been revealed: the Roman Republic (which is divided into three families), Carthage (also split into three political powers), and Macedon.
It's not every day that you get to play a triple-A game for free, but that's precisely what Crytek wants to deliver with its upcoming military shooter. Developed with CryEngine 3, Warface will reportedly pack top-notch graphics and physics along with "immersive and fluid second-to-second" combat. There'll be both PvE with massive boss fights and competitive PvP for a more traditional FPS experience. As with most free-to-play titles, Warface will likely sell cosmetics, weapons, maps and other content for real cash. A closed beta began on January 17.
With a team of role-playing veterans who have more cash than they expected, hopes are high for Brian Fargo's decades-overdue sequel to 1988's Wasteland, which is credited as being the spiritual ancestor to Interplay's Fallout series. Wasteland 2 will take place in the southwestern US shortly after the events of the first game, which was set nearly a century after a nuclear holocaust, and players will control a seven-person party, including four highly customizable player characters and three non-player character with unique personalities and agendas.
Ubisoft's upcoming open world hackfest is set in a fictionalized version of modern-day Chicago, which is one of many cities hooked into CtOS (Centralized Operating System), an Orwellian supercomputer that controls all of the city's technology -- including that of its residents. Although an overarching plot hasn't been detailed, the story follows hacker Aiden Pearce who can use CtOS to accomplish missions by, for instance, jamming phones, manipulating traffic lights and other city infrastructure, as well as uncovering personal details about NPCs.
Some last minute mentions: Warframe (seems unique for a F2P shooter), Prey 2 (we hope it resurfaces), The Witness (new project by Braid's Jonathan Blow), Clockwork Empires (polished Dwarf Fortress-like title by Gaslamp Games), Don't Starve (next title from the Mark of the Ninja guys), The Elder Scrolls MMO and Neverwinter (high hopes, low expectations on both), Dota 2 (so widely played already it seemed pointless to include), Dark (neat vampire stealth action-RPG), and End of Nations (a rare genre: F2P MMORTS).
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