Ethan's Most Anticipated Games of 2017

By Ethan McIntyre
    It’s a new year, and that means new games are on the way! One of the most exciting things about the post-holiday season for me is looking forward to all the new titles set release in the coming months. Here are my five most-anticipated games of 2017.
    Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
    I’m a big fan of the Kingdom Hearts series. I played the original games quite frequently in my youth, and I’ve greatly enjoyed the re-releases the franchise has seen on PS3. HD 2.8 will be the first game to release on the PS4, and - like the HD 1.5 and 2.5 Remixes - will feature two games and a cinematic recap of a third.
    In the case of HD 2.8, the featured games are Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance (originally a 3DS title) and Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth By Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage. While DDD is a remake of a handheld title for the home console, Fragmentary Passage is actually an entirely new game made just for HD 2.8. Set after Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (a prequel game originally released on the PS Vita and later included in the HD 2.5 Remix), Fragmentary Passage will bridge the gap between previous games and the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3. A cinematic retelling of the web game Kingdom Hearts X will also be included.
    As a big fan of the series who never got around to playing DDD, I’m very excited to complete my Kingdom Hearts collection and be fully caught up in time to play KH3 when it releases (hopefully later this year, though no official date has been given).
    Mass Effect Andromeda
    I know I was just gushing about Kingdom Hearts, but if I had to pick a favorite video game franchise, I would choose Mass Effect. I am absolutely in love with the original trilogy, and I’m beyond excited at the prospect of a new game.
    A sci-fi epic with incredible world-building and lovable characters, Mass Effect had an incredible story and fun gameplay to boot. While ME3 closed out the main plotline of the heroic Commander Shepard, Andromeda is going to start a new chapter in the universe’s history. Set in the Andromeda galaxy many centuries after the original series, it’s sure to be full of lots of twists, new races, and fascinating worlds to explore.
    While it will be a bit of an adjustment to play as someone other than Shepard - and in a whole new galaxy to boot - this is a great opportunity to add on to the already-impressive Mass Effect universe. If I could only buy one game in all of 2016, it would be this.
    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was one of my first video game experiences, and I’ve been a fan of the franchise ever since (I even convinced my wife to walk down the aisle to Zelda’s Lullaby at our wedding).
    Breath of the Wild looks to be a major shake-up of the Zelda formula. It’s an open-world game with a non-linear plot and a full equipment system akin to Dark Souls - a pretty major departure for the franchise! Still, though, if any series could pull off such a transition, it would be LoZ. The graphics look beautiful, the gameplay looks solid so far, and the game’s designers promise a world full of puzzles and dungeons galore. All of that sounds pretty good to me.