Unlikely Games for 2016

One morning just before Christmas I was in full-on pre-Xmas deadline panic. I had a seemingly never-ending article due in and no end to it in sight, plus the usual pre-Chrimbo anxiety about unbought presents and uncooked turkey. But despite being pressed right up against a deadline, I just had to take some time out to write an article that popped into my head almost fully formed during the cycle to my office.

I’d been reading about the plot of the Halo 5 and was thinking about how trite it all was – Master Chief on the run, yadda yadda. I started thinking up where on earth they’re going to go next with this series, and the answer was blindingly obvious – now Master Chief is on the run from his inner demons, like the plot of the sixth series of an increasingly desperate prime-time drama that’s in danger of being cancelled.

Then I started thinking about where other increasingly hackneyed game series could go next, and the answers popped up fully formed: a Fallout game set in Slough, an Assassin’s Creed game all about Desmond, a Call of Duty game set in a playground, a Metal Gear Solid pachinko game on mobile… (sadly that last one is a distinct possibility).


I quickly jotted this all down as soon as I got into the office, then rigged up a couple of amusing screenshots in Photoshop before sending it off to the Kotaku UK ed to see whether she’d be interested in publishing – and to my surprise, she was. It’s not really the kind of thing Kotaku usually go for, but she decided to put it up between Christmas and New Year to “see how it does”.

The jury’s still out on that one, as although the article gathered lots of shares and comments, not all of them were exactly positive. One wag penned this particular bon mot:

what is this trash page? who ever wrote this needs to be slapped

I think that’s the first time someone has ever called for me to be ‘slapped’ on the basis of my writing – but at least the article generated some heated responses. I particularly liked all of the Slough-bashing, e.g.:

If you’ve played Fallout then you already have a good idea what Slough is like

I feel kind of bad for taking the p*** out of Slough so much… but not that bad. I mean, have you ever been there?

Here’s the article, please share and comment, and maybe I’ll be allowed to let loose my dubious humour on Kotaku UK in the future… Or at least be allowed to write for them again.

5 Games That Definitely Won’t Happen in 2016