by Mike Rose
This being Kotaku UK and all, it feels only right that we bow our heads for a moment and gaze lovingly across this dear, sweet isle of ours, pondering what video game delights we can expect to burst forth over the coming months.
UK game developers are a stupendously talented bunch, and with the recent news that tax breaks are on the way for the most British of game studios, the UK games scene can only move in an upwardly fashion from here.
So which upcoming UK-made games should you be keeping firmly in your sights? Fortunately there are quite a few. Note: This article is best consumed with a pot of tea and some digestive biscuits.
By Mike Bithell
After the overwhelming success of rectangle-simulator Thomas Was Alone, Mike "tweets a lot" Bithell is looking to carry his digital high onwards with Volume - a stealth game centred around sound (or maybe lack of it, as the case may often be.) It's a sort of modern retelling of Robin Hood, and once again you can expect the whimsical tones of Danny Wallace to lull you into a false sense of video game enlightenment.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
By The Chinese Room
First The Chinese Room took us for a stroll across an abandoned island in Dear Esther, then it swivelled around and shouted "boo" at us with Amensia: A Machine for Pigs. With Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, it would appear that this Brighton-based studio is now looking to mess with us on an "end of the world" scale. Joke's on them - BioShock already taught us the ropes of surviving Rapture.
By Frontier Developments
The original Elite was released 30 years ago. Were you even *alive* 30 years ago? I sure wasn't, but that hasn't stopped me thoroughly appreciating the gravity and scale of what Frontier is attempting to accomplish with Elite: Dangerous. This isn't a simple tea party under the stars - we're talking open-world, online multi-player, with laser-fire lighting up the many moons of the unknown. This is goosebump-territory, my friends - and if you’ve got one an Oculus Rift VR headset, you can inject deep space directly into your brain.
Sir You Are Being Hunted
By Big Robot
Robots are better than zombies any day of the week, and if you don't agree, I will fight you. The team at Big Robot knows this all too well, hence why its procedurally generated survival game is called Sir You Are Being Hunted, and not Sir You Are Being Gnawed Upon. Be warned: this first-person horror adventure will give you persistent nightmares about grinding metal, bright red LEDs in the mist, and ominous blimps.
By Facepunch Studios
If Minecraft taught us anything, it was that the world didn't start with a bang as some "scientists" may believe - it started with the widespread punching of trees. In many ways, Rust (which is on Steam Early Access right now) can be seen as the after-hours Minecraft. You'll spend much of your time running around naked, hiding behind foliage in the darkness, and being callously murdered whenever someone with a weapon spots you. It's blissfully brutal, and I can't wait to see how it's looking by version 1.0.
Not a Hero
Imagine if Vanquish, the wonderful 2010 Shooty-McSlider from Platinum Games, featured an anthropomorphic rabbit as its main protagonist, and had its 3D visuals squished such that it nearly lost an entire dimension... but not quite. This is Not a Hero from the guys who made OlliOlli, and it's described as "the greatest 2¼D cover-based indie shooter of all time ever."
It’s like Nintendo is finally giving up and making a mobile game, under the guise of a British studio called HandCircus. Sneaky! Seabeard is essentially what you get when you cross an adventure game with Animal Crossing, which is every bit as great as it sounds. Shake trees! Trade items! Shoot fish with cannons! Seabeard appears to have it all. Well, all those specific things, anyway.
Sniper Elite 3
We all hate snipers in video games - except, of course, when we're the ones doing the sniping. No wonder the Sniper Elite series is so unexpectedly popular. This time around it’s about bearing the North African leg of the second world war, crawling through the dirt of more open spaces that offer better choice when it comes to grisly sniper shots.
No Man's Sky
By Hello Games
Admit it - you shed a singular, glassy tear the first time you witnessed *that* No Man's Sky teaser. Procedural games might be all the rage right now, but has anyone ever tried procedurally generating every atom before? That's what the team behind Joe Danger is doing with this upcoming space-roaming adventure game, and we can't wait to see if they can follow up on this promise.
By Tom Francis
Tom Francis' Gunpoint was all about hacking light switches and jumping around like some kind of mutant rabbit, so obviously I’ve been keeping an eye on the dev's second project, Heat Signature. Zipping around space, attaching to randomly-generated spaceships, and rummaging through the crew’s belongings? Why, yes please, Mr. Francis, that'll do nicely.
By Splash Damage
Originally known as Dirty Bomb, Extraction is a free-to-play multiplayer shooter from the people who made Brink. There's been a wide-scale radiological attack in London, and now a whole bunch of mercenaries are battling it out through the grim remains to discover what on earth has taken place. This one's been in development for quite some time and seen plenty of iterations on the original concept, so expect numerous lessons learnt from Brink's misfires.
By Terry Cavanagh
If the incredible platformer-from-hell VVVVVV didn't make you want to find developer Terry Cavanagh and give him a stern talking to, the anger-inducing, "just one more go"-ing of Super Hexagon most likely tipped you over the edge. Cavanagh's next brain-buster is called Halting Problem, and involve pushing blocks around to move onwards. While it's currently on hold, the dev says that it's an "idea that won't go away." It's reassuring to hear that his games cause him as much grief as they do for us.
Tom Clancy's The Division
Newcastle's Ubisoft Reflections is building this ace-looking co-op shooter alongside Sweden's Massive Entertainment, and it's easily one of the most exciting next-gen games currently on the table. The United States has collapsed, and you're now part of a strategic band of soldiers tasked with keeping law and order intact amongst the raiders and the rubble. Yeah, good luck with that one.
Batman: Arkham Knight
By Rocksteady Studios
After letting Warner Bros Montreal have a crack at the Batman: Arkham series with last year's good-but-not-great Origins, Britain's Rocksteady Studios has reclaimed the reins, and is looking to get the winged wonder back on track. Batman: Arkham Knight will allow you to drive the Batmobile for the first time in the franchise, so basically we'll be grabbing a piece of this, thanks very much.
By Mode 7 Games
Are you savvy to the rules of American Foot-to-ball? If not, that's perfectly acceptable - see, Frozen Endzone may look burly and Gridiron-like, but in reality it has far more in common with Mode 7's turn-based strategy game Frozen Synapse. Plan your team's movements, guess where your opponents are going to occupy, then hit "go", and watch as your best-laid plans are reduced to mush. Both satisfying and facepalm-inducing in equal measures.