In Depth

Best new games for 2017: PlayStation and Nintendo exclusives on the way

From Gravity Rush 2 to Super Mario Odyssey, here are this year's most hotly anticipated titles

This year is shaping up to be a strong one for the games industry. Microsoft and Sony have a fair share of exclusive titles heading to consoles and Microsoft's PlayStation 4 Pro competitor is expected to be released towards the end of the year. 

It will also be a significant period for Nintendo, with the release of its all-in-one Switch, which can either be played on a regular TV or carried around using the portable touchscreen. Its controller can also be divided in two, like the original Wii, and there are rumours a 3D Mario game will follow the launch. 

Here are this year's most anticipated games.

Gravity Rush 2
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Gravity Rush 2 is a gravity-bending action adventure set in the fictional world of Hekseville. 

The title, available exclusively on the PlayStation 4, takes influences from Japanese role-playing games, combined with a design inspired by cel-shaded anime comic books. Players control Kat, the protagonist from the first game, as she tries to regain her powers following a gravity storm. 

Using Kat's gravity-bending abilities, gamers point to where they want to go and fall in that direction with the press of a button. Kat can also use her powers to defeat enemies and discover hard-to-find areas across the map.

Click here to find all the details about Gravity Rush 2.

Super Mario Odyssey 

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Super Mario Odyssey, which will debut at the end of the year on the soon-to-be released Nintendo Switch[2], sees the Italian plumber enter a world outside the Mushroom Kingdom.

The first open-world Mario game since Super Mario Sunshine takes players around locations inspired by real world places. There are also a host of new enemies that Mario can defeat using his iconic red hat. 

Being a first-party title, Odyssey is expected to run at 1080p and 60fps on Switch. Performance figures in portable mode have yet to be announced, but the quality could fall to 720p and 30fps. 

The ten biggest games coming out in 2017 

21 December

After a strong year of next-generation titles and consoles, including Forza Horizon 3 and the PlayStation 4 Pro, 2017 has a lot to live up to for gamers.

Luckily, next year is shaping up to be a strong one for the industry. Sony and Microsoft have a fair share of exclusive titles heading to consoles, with Microsoft expected to release its PS4 Pro competitor towards the end of the year. 

It will also be a significant period for Nintendo with the release of its all-in-one Switch. The console can either be played on a regular TV or carried around using the portable touchscreen. Its controller can also be divided in two, like the original Wii, and there are rumours that a 3D Mario game will follow the Switch's launch. 

Can next year's releases live up to this year's strong roster of software?

Here are 2017's most anticipated games:

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

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The Crash Bandicoot franchise returns to the PlayStation 4 next year after an absence of nearly ten years. The N. Sane Trilogy will feature remastered versions of the self-titled first game Cortex Strikes Back and Warped. 

Developer Vicarious Visions has tried to keep each remaster as close to the original as possible by using the same character designs and level geometry, only with improved graphics and lighting effects. There are also new features like a checkpoint save system and time trial events.

Gran Turismo Sport

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The Gran Turismo franchise will debut on the next-generation of games consoles in 2017, when GT Sport lands on the PlayStation 4. The racing simulator will also join the list of titles that are optimised for the PS4 Pro, boasting 4K visuals and HDR lighting effects.

GT Sport will be the first console racing game to host online championships approved by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), meaning gamers can earn an official racing licence by taking part in various in-game challenges. Fans of the series can also watch these championships online during weekends, with TV-like replay cameras and race commentary.

Halo Wars 2

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The original Halo Wars was welcomed with positive reviews from fans and critics when it landed in 2009. Next year, the real-time strategy (RTS) series returns, with Halo Wars 2 scheduled for release on 21 February. 

Instead of putting the player in the shoes of Master Chief, Halo Wars 2 will have gamers controlling hordes of soldiers and tanks to battle the Covenant. New game modes include Blitz, which tasks the player with building an army by collecting vehicles using a mixture of RTS and card-based strategy gameplay. Blitz can also be played online, with matches pitting two teams against each other consisting of three people.

Horizon Zero Dawn

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From the developers of the Kill Zone franchise comes Horizon Zero Dawn – a futuristic, third-person action role-playing game that's expected to be released on 1 March 2017 for the PlayStation 4. Like Gran Turismo Sport, the game will be optimised for the PS4 Pro by offering improved frame rates. 

Horizon Zero Dawn is set in a fictional world where mechanical beings roam the land. The player controls Aloy, a hunter on a quest to discover her place in the post-apocalyptic environment after being shunned by her tribe. As many of the wild animals are machines, all will feature their own defence mechanism and attacks. This adds a layer of complexity to Aloy's hunting missions. 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Following three years of development, the Legend of Zelda series returns in 2017 with Breath of the Wild. It's set to be released on the Nintendo Wii U in the latter part of next year, with rumours suggesting a version will be available for the yet-to-be-released Switch console. 

The game will feature a game world roughly 12 times the size of its predecessor, which will be open to the player from very early on. Link returns as the protagonist and will need to explore the world to find weapon upgrades and food. Little is known of the plot, but Nintendo has said there will be over 100 Shrines of Trials to find and explore. 

It will also support Amiibo – Nintendo's figurine franchise that allows gamers to buy models of gaming characters and transfer them into specific games. 

 Lego Worlds

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Lego Worlds is TT Games's answer to the hugely popular Minecraft series. The world-building game is already available to PC gamers through Steam's Early Access programme, with Xbox One and PS4 versions expected to appear early next year. 

The game moves away from TT Games's story-based adventures in favour of an open-ended world-builder. Lego says players will be able to "create anything you can image" using bricks, or manipulate the world using landscaping tools and drop in pre-made structures. Gamers will also be able to share their creations online. 

Mass Effect Andromeda

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The Mass Effect franchise shot to video game superstardom in a relatively short period of time, with many critics seeing the second instalment as one of the best titles of all time. Next year, the series returns with Andromeda, an entirely new story with little connection to the events of the original trilogy. 

One of the areas that developer BioWare has aimed to improve is exploration, with Andromeda featuring a host of uncharted planets similar to the first entry in the franchise. BioWare says the player will be tasked with "finding a new home for humanity". The environments are "vast" and will often need to be traversed using the six-wheel Nomad. 

Red Dead Redemption 2

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Rockstar Games remains tight-lipped over Red Dead Redemption 2. The sequel to the critically acclaimed western shooter was announced in October, shortly followed by a teaser trailer depicting the new game world. While the trailer doesn't reveal any characters or game modes, the western setting looks impressively detailed and will no doubt excite fans when it launches next autumn. 

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

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The seventh instalment of the survival horror franchise made its public debut during June's E3 event and is scheduled to be released in 24 January on PC, Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Developer Capcom has also revealed on the game's Twitter account that PS4 Pro users can expect 4K support and HDR lighting effects. 

Biohazard shifts the perspective from third to first-person, which will increase immersion for players using PlayStation's VR headset. There's also a new physics engine, which Capcom says helps the game run higher resolutions textures and increase object detail. 

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands

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Ubisoft plans to mix up the Ghost Recon franchise when Wildlands launches next year on 7 March for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Wildlands will do away with a linear campaign that is often at the core of most shooters and will instead introduce an open world. 

Set in Bolivia, players will be able to complete missions in the order they want, with certain tasks altering the stability of the game world. Similar to Crystal Dynamic's Just Cause series, the player will be able to command different cars, planes and helicopters, and upgrade their arsenal by taking on missions. 

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