Happy New Year everyone! We did it, you guys. We survived 2016. Now as we march bravely into 2017 and the terrifying unknown, I thought it would be best to kick off the year with a short list of things I am looking forward to getting my hands on.
Now we all know there are some scary things coming this year. We don’t need to talk about what those are because we all know of what I’m talking about. That’s right, another new Nintendo console!
I’m kidding! I’m actually quite excited for the Switch, but I’m sure I’ll talk about that in due time. Right now I want to share with you ten things I’m excited about that are due to be released in 2017. Like my end of year list, this is in no way conclusive. They are not in any order, or ranking. These are just ten things I’m eager to watch, play, or read this year. Okay then, so here we go with the first blog post of 2017…
Blade Runner 2049
This one makes the list because Blade Runner is one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s here because I loved everything about the first one. I have watched it countless times, and spent hours analysing the scenes, script, and setting. It’s here because I feel like this is a sequel that could actually add to the universe it hails from, as opposed to soiling its reputation.
This movie has all the right components. It’s got a great writing team, it’s got some incredible actors, the original director is on board to lend a hand, and it’s being directed by one of the best directors working today. Regardless of whether this movie is reviewed well, or does well at the box office, I know for a fact I will be watching it many times. If on the off chance this turns out to be a complete cash-grab train wreck, then I’ll just give up on the human race, and sign up for the Mars colony program.
Doors of Stone (Kingkiller Chronicles #3)
The Name of the Wind is one of my favourite books of the last decade. It might even be one of my favourite books of all time. The story of Kvoth and his journey is one of hope, loss, and perseverance. It’s a beautifully written book. Every time I read it I am always amazed at the writing ability on display by Patrick Rothfuss. His work encourages me to try harder to be a better writer it’s that damn good.
The second book was for a lot of people not as good, but I loved it. I enjoyed learning more about the world, and hearing about Kvoth’s tale. Fans of the series have been forced to endure a gruelling wait for the third and final instalment of the series, and 2017 is the year in which our wait will end. I’m very excited to read this book, and I will be buying it day one. If you haven’t read the Kingkiller Chronicles yet, I would suggest you go grab a copy and give it a go.
Mass Effect Andromeda
This is easily one of the most anticipated games of 2017. It’s about time that Bioware took us back to the Mass Effect universe, and they’re doing it in style by taking us to an entirely new galaxy in Mass Effect Andromeda.
The original trilogy was an incredible achievement in interactive narrative and character relationships. I am really excited to dive back into Bioware’s space opera setting. I’m confident in saying that Andromeda will be one of my video game highlights of 2017.
Oathbringer (Stormlight Archive #3)
Another one of my favourite authors is due to release another one of his epic fantasy books this year. The Stormlight Archive books are enormous. Each one could double up as a lethal weapon. I have the current two in glorious hardback editions and they are some of the prettiest books I own.
I love all of Sanderson’s work, but the Archives progress has been absent for some time now, even with the writing pace Sanderson possesses. I’m very much looking forward to diving back into this incredibly rich, and diverse setting. There is a lot more Sanderson out there that is easier to get into than this particular series, but if you’re a fan of his work and haven’t given them a read, I would definitely suggest it.
War for the Planet of the Apes
The summer blockbuster season has been rather tragic in recent years. 2016 had one of the poorest summer lineups that I can remember. This year I’m sure we’ll get a fair few stinkers, and even possibly ones involving cgi monkeys, but the rebooted Planet of the Apes movies are never on that list.
The other two movies in this series are both great summer releases. They’re one of the few series that has improved with a modern reboot, and I don’t take that stroke of luck for granted. They explore interesting scenarios and still deliver on the ground breaking visuals we have come to expect from Andy Serkis and his team.
Horizon Zero Dawn
I’m quite fortunate in a lot of the things I am looking forward to this year are released in the first quarter. Playstation exclusives don’t come along all that often, but when they do they’re usually pretty impressive. Horizon Zero Dawn is from the incredibly talented team at Guerrilla Games, and it’s the first game they’ve done in a long time that introduces a brand new original IP.
The trailers for this game have really excited me, and a lot of other people by the looks of things. It’s great that Sony are starting the year with a really strong release, and I’m excited to explore this new world and discover it’s secrets, and mysterious past. If you have a PS4 I cannot imagine any reason why you wouldn’t be getting a copy of this next month.
I had the great pleasure of being introduced to the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne series, by Brian Staveley last year. It’s a great dark fantasy trilogy with some really interesting world building and a great plot line that keeps you glued to the page from beginning to end.
This year we see a new book set in the same world, but focusing on different characters, the Skullsworn. They are kind of like religious monk assassins, who fight and kill in service to their god, but they’re very good at it. They were featured in the original trilogy, and they were honestly some of my favourite side characters, so to get a book focusing on them makes me very happy indeed. I really like Staveley’s writing style so this will be an absolute must read for me this year.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Incredibly realised sci-fi universe. – Check.
Cast of larger than life characters doing awesome things. – Check.
An IP based on some obscure European created media. – Check.
Directed by an amazing cinematic visionary who loves doing this kind of stuff. – Check.
Seriously what’s not to love about Luc Besson returning to crazy sci-fi adventures. The Fifth Element is a fucking amazing movie to watch and enjoy, so I am absolutely all for this. As a bonus it’s based on some French comic I’ve never heard of, so it gets even more points for bringing someone’s work to the big screen. I can’t wait for this. Hopefully this film will be what’s needed to wash the lingering aftertaste of Jupiter Ascending out of my mind.
The Massacre of Mankind
One of my favourite books of all time is The War of the Worlds, by the legendary H.G. Wells. It has everything I want in a story, and it’s terrifying, exciting, dangerous, and utterly mesmerising to this day. When I heard they were producing an official sequel to the book, I was more than a little scared. War of the Worlds has been the subject of awful cash-grab attempts in the past, (see the Spielberg movie with Tom Cruise for reference) and I was worried this could be the case again.
Then I discovered that acclaimed sci-fi author Stephen Baxter was writing the sequel and I immediately relaxed. I’ve read a number of Baxter’s books and he is a fantastic writer, with a great sense of style and a unique voice. I loved his work with Pratchett, and I think he’s a perfect fit to continue the story of the war between human and martian.
Torment: Tides of Numenera
If Mass Effect Andromeda wasn’t enough RPG for you in one day, Torment: Tides of Numenera is out on the same fucking day. As crazy as it seems to be releasing your game on the same day as the behemoth that is Andromeda, I doubt it will bother the fans of Torment.
This game is another sequel that’s been a long time coming. It’s a spiritual successor to one of the best RPG’s of all time, Planescape: Torment. People have been waiting to dive back into the world of Numenera for a long time, and it’s going to be so much fun to explore the plane once more. I’m also excited for it because over the last few years developers have been producing one incredible CRPG a year. We’ve had Pillars of Eternity, and Tyranny. Now I feel like Torment will be the one great CRPG of 2017 and I cannot wait to sink dozens of hours into its complex storyline.
Well there we have it. Ten things I am excited about in 2017. It’s exciting that I’ll get to experience some of these in a few weeks time, and I’m sure I’ll be reviewing them all on here as time goes by. Next week I think I’ll try something new and review a board game. Hope you’re all having a great start to the year.
See you next week.