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Byline: with Steve Wollaston

WITH the gaming world still waking up from a festive slumber, here are some of the titles I expect to be well and truly waking up 2016.

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA (WII U) ANYONE who knows their gaming will know what a massive release this is.

The Zelda games have been an iconic part of the Nintendo stable of titles for decades, selling 67 million units worldwide and becoming a massive part of the industry in the process.

They are role-playing adventure games of the highest quality with gripping, immersive storylines, endearing characters and plenty of excitement.

Expected early this year, you know it's going to be incredible.

MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA (PC/PS4/XBOX ONE) THE epic and sprawling space RPG Mass Effect thrilled gamers between 2008 and 2012 and now it's looking to do the same in early 2016 with a new protagonist and three years of production. Expect this to be one of the must play adventure games of the year, and one that will keep you occupied for long days and nights.

NO MAN'S SKY (PC/PS4) DUE out in June, this is perhaps the most eagerly anticipated release for the coming year, and certainly the most hyped.

Promising to be the first trulyopen world adventure, this epic space odyssey will see gamers trying to reach the centre of a seemingly limitless universe populated by an expansive cast of characters.

It is a bold and beautiful project and one I'm really excited about.

STREET FIGHTER V I HAVE grown up with Capcom's finest fighting series and in the next few months we will see the fifth game in the franchise. The fifth real rebuild of the game that is, there have been dozens of spin-offs.

This will once again be accessible for beginners and a true challenge for experts.

Stunning next-generation graphics and gameplay are promised, along with a mouth-watering mix of characters new and old.

MAFIA 3 (PS4/XBOX ONE/ PC) I'M still mourning the loss of HBO's Sopranos from our TV screens, but at least this lets me get a fix of the dark world of the mafia.

Set in 1968 New Orleans, this April release sees you trying to exact revenge on the mafia for wiping out your own crew. It promises to be a gritty empire-building slice of American gangland crime.

QUANTUM BREAK (XBOX ONE) DEVELOPED exclusively for Xbox One, Quantum Break, out in April, will aim to blur the line between television and gameplay, integrating the two into one seamless experience.

The game marries the cinematic action of intense gameplay with scripted storylines, creating a world where each has a direct impact on the other.

CAPTION(S):

| Fans of the The Legend Of Zelda series have much to look forward to

| Quantum Break, left, and Mafia 3, right, both look likely to offer cinematic thrills to gamers

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 24, 2016
Words:479
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