PC gaming's future rides on these 10 unreleased titles
10 unreleased PC games
The future of the PC will be defined by ever-evolving technology that ranges from faster video cards to virtual reality headsets. There is no better way to demonstrate that technology than through high-end video games. Here are 10 games that will define what that future might look like.
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Star Citizen stands as one of the most ambitious projects in game development right now. Part space combat simulator, part first-person shooter and all taking place in a dynamic, open universe, Star Citizen will see players through a truly massive multiplayer game experience.
Supported entirely through crowdfunding, the game represents the cutting edge of PC technology, including Oculus Rift virtual reality support, and is frankly promising a lot. Developed by Chris Roberts, famous for seminal sci-fi PC hits like Wing Commander and Freelancer, Star Citizen promises players an entire universe to explore with impactful decisions.
Whether players choose be a combat pilot, mercenary or pirate, there will be whole galaxies in which they can live out those fantasies. It's just a matter of getting into the cockpit and finding what's out there. Well, that and delivering on the whole thing.
- Release date: 2016
Left 4 Dead 3
The first Left 4 Dead by Half-life creator Valve injected new life into the zombie craze by throwing four players together to survive hordes of the undead. Cooperation is essential to survival, especially with a raging crowd of cadavers to keep everyone on their toes.
Let's admit it, no matter what's in store for PC gaming in the future, zombies will no doubt be a part of it. So, why shouldn't Left 4 Dead 3 help usher that in, if not elevate the genre even further? A new cast of characters, a new setting and more zombie types could kick things off with a bang – but surely Valve has more interesting ideas up its sleeve.
- Release date: TBA
Heroes of the Storm
Blizzard has a knack for taking a popular genre, broadening its appeal and releasing a runaway hit that ends up redefining that very scene. MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas), a genre that Blizzard inadvertently helped create through a player-made game mode within strategy staple Warcraft 3 years ago, have been a craze for quite some time.
Today, genre leader League of Legends holds claim to the lot of MOBA players. But Blizzard hopes to snatch back a piece of that action with Heroes of the Storm, a MOBA featuring characters from Blizzard's diverse collection of games, all pitted against each other.
It faces stiff competition in an already crowded market, but Blizzard is known for pulling golden rabbits from its hat. So, it wouldn't be surprising if Heroes of the Storm becomes as synonymous as its rivals and further entrench this game type into the PC gaming pantheon.
- Release date: Out in Beta
Few games are as meaningful to PC gaming as id Software's Doom. The seminal game, released in the 1993, defined first-person shooters. Now, as we look to the future, Doom is poised to make a return.
Although details are scarce, the new Doom promises to take the first-person shooter experience to the next level. The studio also looks to keep the new Doom to its hardcore roots by omitting regenerating health or cover to hide behind.
A demo for the new Doom was shown on a decked out PC when it debuted at id's annual Quakecon convention in 2014. This suggests that, like the original did over 20 years ago, the new Doom will push PC gaming fidelity to new heights. We're looking forward to more gory details being revealed soon.
- Release date: TBA
While the gameplay of Fable Legends - wherein a villainous player lays traps and monsters to combat a group of heroic players - might be a novel concept, that's not why the latest entry in Lionhead Studio's renowned adventure series will define PC gaming. Assuming that Microsoft follows through on its promises, Fable Legends will be among the first games to kick off a unified experience between Windows and Xbox.
This includes cross-platform communication, multiplayer, and streaming games from the Xbox One to Windows 10. In short, if you're playing Fable Legends on a Windows 10 PC, you'll be able to play the game with folks on Xbox One, and vice versa.
Whether this unified future will become more than a gimmick remains to be seen. But if it takes off, then the walls that separate PC and console gaming could finally come down all over.
- Release date: 2015
No game pushes the graphics envelope the way Epic Games's Unreal Tournament series does. The latest entry is a fast-paced shooter with cutting edge visuals achieved in Epic's new Unreal Engine 4 - surprise. But more importantly, the new Unreal Tournament could change the way we look at video game development.
While more and more studios are relying on crowdfunding to help make their visions come true, Unreal Tournament could be the first crowd-developed game. Unreal Engine 4 recently became free to use, and the small team working on the new Unreal Tournament is eager to see what the community can do with it for the upcoming game.
This project includes community-created levels, weapons, and characters. If successful, Epic could herald a new era of PC games made (in part) by the playing public.
- Out in pre-alpha, release date to be announced
The game that launched a thousand memes, and fostered an irrational distrust of cake, should absolutely be a part of the next generation of PC gaming. After all, there's still plenty of testing to be done in Valve's creative, puzzle-shooter world.
Fans are ready to face all-new challenges put forth by the villainous AI GlaDOS, especially after a custom Portal level was used to demo the HTC Vive during GDC 2015. Portal in virtual reality? Yes, please.
Most of all, it seems like it's about time for a special crossover with a certain long-awaited release. You know what we're talking about…
- Release date: TBA
The fan frenzy for Valve's would-be third installment in the Half-Life series has taken on mythic proportions, and for good reason. Not only did the previous game end on a cliffhanger, but Half-Life releases have often preceded a seismic shift in PC gaming.
Half-Life 2 heralded the start of both Valve's Source engine and Steam game service. Now, with Source 2 announced, and the company's major push for SteamOS, it might be time for Gordon Freeman to return and shake things up again. Virtual reality support will almost certainly be featured, but who knows what other surprises might be in store for gamers and the scene at large.
- Release date: TBA
If you own an early Oculus Rift, the one game that you absolutely must try is EVE Valkyrie. Katie Sackoff, who played the space pilot Starbuck on the Battlestar Galactica TV show, was completely blown away by how realistic the experience was.
She's not alone. Featuring phenomenal graphics, larger-than-life capital ships and fast-paced multiplayer space combat, EVE Valkyrie is a PC exclusive that could pave the way for the future of virtual reality games.
- Release date: First half of 2016
Minecraft for HoloLens
The original Minecraft rocked the gaming world when it first released years ago, and it could do it again with an iteration that redefines player interaction. Microsoft surprised the world with the announcement of the HoloLens, an augmented reality headset and wearable Windows 10 computer.
The device's debut trailer teased a Minecraft game using a living room as the play space. This could become a reality not only since Microsoft owns the rights to Minecraft. A demo of Minecraft using HoloLens was offered during the company's reveal event in early 2015.
Unlike the full immersion of VR, HoloLens displays digital graphics over the real world. Potentially, this could allow you to build a Minecraft world anywhere, manipulating blocks in the same way you would LEGOs. This could lead to a seismic, technological shift in the way people play games.
- Release date: TBA
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