A futuristic, film noir-style story set in crime-ridden Detroit - guaranteed to bewilder you and test your morality.
With a new year means tons of new gaming titles to look forward to! Now that 2018 is finally here, some of the best upcoming games are just around the corner.
The previous year witnessed 12 spectacular months of gaming. Take Resident Evil: Biohazard, a fresh take on the beloved franchise that echoed Guillermo Del Toro’s sadly unreleased Silent Hill game.
Or Horizon: Zero Dawn, the gorgeous product of splicing Avatar with Tomb Raider and again with Terminator. We can’t forget titles like Cuphead, a hand-drawn game in the style of 1920’s Disney cartoons – with the savage difficulty of Dark Souls.
But what gems lie ahead of us in the coming year? Already, 2018 looks set to be bigger and better than ever before for the industry!
With so much to choose from, let’s check out the top upcoming games to look out for!
Monster Hunter World ~ 26th January (Xbox One, PS4)
The Monster Hunter series has quickly become one of the largest game franchises in all of Japan – and for good reason! The action/adventure/RPG hybrid has been beloved by fans since its first appearance back in 2004.
The world is magical, beautiful and filled with dangerous monsters of all shapes and sizes. The player is tasked with slaying or trapping these monsters in order to help the civilians of the world. This is what the gameplay quests revolve around, as well as gathering loot and resources through exploration of the world.
Like most RPGs, you’ll start off with a blank slate that can be customised to look however you want. You’ll also be a novice hunter with very little chance of surviving against any reputable monster.
It will be your job to slowly build your weapon arsenal and fighting ability until you can best any of the weird and wonderful beasts in the land. Whether that be flying dragons or even feathered T-Rexes!
Monster Hunter will look better than ever, as now it will be available on PS4, Xbox One and eventually PC. This affords developers much more freedom for creative flare in world making and game mechanic design.
It also allows players to experience the game on a much grander scale. For instance, they can now jump into other hunts mid-game. So you can save your friends if you need to or vice versa.
Moreover, it will have worldwide multiplayer, allowing you to be in a huge community of hunters and fellow adventurers.
However, its complexity and difficulty are somewhat similar to Dark Souls, perhaps not as dark. After all, hunting monsters isn’t meant to be easy.
A Way Out ~ 23rd March (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
One of the creative minds behind the highly acclaimed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons brings an entirely new and unique game. Josef Fares has written and directed this dual-protagonist story, A Way Out, with some signature narrative and game mechanic choices.
For those unfamiliar, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons gave players control of two characters. Both are controlled independently and simultaneously with the analogue sticks. This gives players an opportunity to carry out unique but difficult puzzles and platforming.
A Way Out carries on this idea. However, this game can’t be played in single player. So it will take the bravery of you and a friend to tackle this cinematic, story-driven adventure.
You’ll play as two prisoners, Vincent and Leo, trying to escape from jail to live the rest of their lives on the run. Leo is “brash, cocky and quick to use force” whereas Vincent is “calm, cool and in control”.
These contrasting characters usually give you and a friend two ways of going about missions: loud and fast or slow and sneaky.
The cooperative aspect of the game is put to use in difficult situations where teamwork is essential. For instance, whilst one player is being held up with a gun, it is up to the other to find out a way to save him.
But the puzzles aren’t often easy or obvious. They’ll take all the cognitive skill of you and your partner to figure out.
If you liked Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, or the idea of you and a friend embodying a pair of outlaws – this may be the game for you.
Far Cry 5 ~ 27th March (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Ubisoft trades the exotic East for a taste of rural America in their new action-adventure, first-person shooter Far Cry 5.
It’s a fresh change from luscious plant life and mountain ranges to vast farmlands and forests. But one that is sure to be as beautiful, detailed and deadly as previous Far Cry locales.
Of course, players will have free roam over the open world of Hope County, Montana. Exploring on foot or in various vehicles such as trucks, ATVs, and for the first time ever, planes!
Far Cry‘s signature outposts will feature in the game. Whereby the player must liberate outposts by killing off all enemies present in whatever fashion they choose. One difference is that the outposts will be much more difficult to find.
In fact, the whole game will be more difficult to navigate. No longer will it drag players from location to location by objective and directional markers.
Instead, Creative Director Dan Hay has opted for an “anecdote factory” approach. Players will be dropped randomly in a location with little clues as to where to go. They can then share their anecdotes of where they’ve been and who they’ve killed to create a social web of knowledge.
When it comes to weapons, players will have the same amount of powerful weapons as they did in previous iterations. However, there will be a new emphasis on close-quarters combat. Melee weapons will be much more prevalent; perhaps inspired by Far Cry: Primal‘s dependence on melee.
And just as every Far Cry title should, there is a mentally unstable, ideologically driven and homicidal antagonist. This man is Joseph Seed, leader of a doomsday cult known as Eden’s Gate. He is just as menacing as any of his predecessors.
God of War ~ Q1 2018 (PS4)
Fans of this series were flabbergasted at the fifth instalment’s official announcement at E3 2016. Simply titled as God of War, this signals the franchise’s rebirth, favouring a grittier aesthetic, mature combat mechanics and an intimate narrative.
This evolution to maturity goes hand in hand with the protagonist’s (Kratos) own maturity and the inclusion of his son – possibly the new ‘God of War’.
The franchise has built up a complex narrative, loosely based on Greek mythology. It follows Kratos, who is tricked into killing his own wife and daughter. He then goes on a murderous rampage to enact revenge against the Gods and mystical beings that ever did him wrong.
The latest instalment, however, takes place many years after the events of the games before it. But as the Norse Gods who rule Kratos’ home learn his identity, his past comes back to haunt him.
No longer a story of revenge, God of War will depict Kratos and his son’s struggle to survive.
Red Dead Redemption 2 ~ Q1/Q2 2018 (Xbox One, PS4)
Rockstar Games have perfected the art of open-world games. Think back to classics like Canis Canem Edit (Bully), a game that was in equal part shocking and offensive as it was playful and hilarious.
Their latest major release, Grand Theft Auto V, won Game of the Year – twice! It’s also achieved the status as the all-time best selling game in the US.
The pressure is certainly on for Red Dead Redemption 2 to be an astounding success.
Its predecessor, Red Dead Redemption, was acclaimed by gamers and critics alike. Since its 2010 release, gaming technology has come a long way, so there’s sure to be some monumental changes and improvements.
The most prevalent change will be the story. The first game followed John Marston, a man with a blood-stain past, trying to turn his life around – like a western My Name is Earl, in many ways.
The new game, however, follows Arthur Morgan, a member of the Dutch van der Linde gang. Whose morality isn’t yet as developed as Marston’s – which will make for some interesting player choices.
Online will also be a major new addition to the franchise, though it’s still very uncertain how it would play. As turbo-powered cars, aerial race courses and devastating high-tech weapons work well in GTA V – but in the Old West? Maybe not.
Perhaps multiplayer will only be a minor feature of the game, with the spotlight on the single-player story mode. However, with Rockstar’s reputation for going above and beyond – this probably won’t be the case.
Crackdown 3 ~ Q1/Q2 2018 (Xbox One, PC)
Fans of the Crackdown series have eagerly awaited the third instalment since its first announcement at E3 2014. It was initially planned for a 2016 release but got pushed back to November 2017, and now again to 2018.
The original was a sandbox game set in the fictional location called Pacific City. You play as a biologically enhanced Agent with the task to take down criminal syndicates using your special abilities.
The more bad guys you take down, the better your abilities become. It was a simple concept, but what made it different was the non-linear freedom it gave the player. Crackdown 3 is likely to continue this level of narrative freedom.
However, the Microsoft exclusive offers something very few other games do – total environmental destruction. Both in single-player and multiplayer. Which is especially difficult considering that when a building is destroyed, every player, no matter where they are in the world needs to see the same building crumble.
Combined with an array of superpowers, high-tech weapons and vehicles – Crackdown 3 looks to be an even more insane version of Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row.
With its added freedom of being an open-world game, it’s likely to draw the attention off of games like Fortnight and Overwatch.
Detroit: Become Human ~ Q1/Q2 2018 (PS4)
Story driven games are set to be one of the hottest gaming trends of 2018. Detroit: Become Human follows this, with its original announcement back in October 2015. Director David Cage and developer Quantic Dream (best known for Heavy Rain and Fahrenheit) bring to life a script that took two years to write.
The result is a futuristic, film noir-style story set in crime-ridden Detroit – guaranteed to bewilder you and test your morality. It follows the story of three androids.
The first of these androids is called Kara who escapes from the factory she was made in and goes on to explore her own sentience.
Some may remember her first appearance in March 2012 in an emotional tech demo video from Quantic Dream. Players finally get to see what happens to this relatable robot after her assembly.
Markus is another, who takes it upon himself to free androids from servitude. It can be assumed that he plays a key role in Kara’s escape from imprisonment.
The third is Connor, whose job, unfortunately for Kara and Marcus, is to hunt down deviant androids using advanced detective abilities.
Similarly to Heavy Rain, players won’t be greeted with a “GAME OVER” title when their characters die. Instead, the story will branch out accordingly to suit the decisions they have made. These also shape the course of the story. However, there will be a rewind option for players with regret.
Anthem ~ Q4 (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Legendary RPG studio, BioWare is back with its latest title Anthem after great classics such as the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series. Specifically, BioWare Edmonton, creators of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, will work on this project.
Anthem is a multiplayer action-RPG that puts players into a “vast open world” as a “freelancer”. They’re duty being, to leave their place of safety, “explore the unknown and protect humanity”.
A key feature of the game is the exo-suits which are called Javelins. Each player will have an array of these Javelins each providing unique perks and superhuman abilities. They are heavily customisable so they can look and play to your personal preferences.
For instance, you can equip your Javelin with a discrete sniper to pick your targets off from a distance, or even a full-on mortar to blow up crowds of enemies.
However, they’ll mainly be used for stylishly flying around worlds run rampant with wild monsters and armed alien forces. They can even venture to sub-aquatic levels, offering players a true three-dimensional sense of freedom.
EA is the publisher of Anthem, and say that they will have a form of “live service” with the game. This means that microtransactions may play a heavy part in the game. Which may be unsettling for many players, considering the controversy surrounding Battlefront 2.
However, the backlash received was monumental and means it’s unlikely that they’ll try anything as explicitly exploitive again.
Moreover, BioWare has a history of amazing gameplay paired with a rich and interesting narrative. Therefore it’s a safe bet that they will not compromise the game’s quality for extra profit.
BioMutant ~ 2018 (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
One of the more peculiar games on this list is BioMutant. It’s an ambitious open-world action RPG from some of the creators of Just Cause 3 and Mad Max. These are two games that really exploited the freedom of sandbox gaming, so it’s clear to see why they would be behind this strange creation.
The game is set in a universe totally populated by mutated humanoid animals. The protagonist is one of these mutants and looks quite similar to a fox. It’s cute and small but packs a ferocious bite that will leave enemies in a daze.
Like most RPGs, players will have the option to customise their character. However, BioMutant’s sheer amount of customization options is staggering. You can add robotic attachments, different mutations, costumes, and a vast array of weapons from swords to rifles.
Developers have described the game as a “kung-fu fable”. It can be assumed, therefore, that the story will have lots of animal characters that will convey some sort of a moral lesson. Moreover, there is likely to be a heavy amount of fast-paced combat that your abundance of loot can be used for.
This story will take place over three individual worlds, with exploration being a key component of the game. There will be multiple ways of getting around, for instance: jet skis, hot air balloons or UFOs – just to name a few!
BioMutant has the potential to become an RPG classic – an unusual, highly customisable experience for children or adults.
DAYS GONE ~ 2018 (PS4)
Zombie games lost the lustre they once had back in the days of Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead and Resident Evil. The standard, sprinting mouldy corpse just doesn’t do it anymore.
Gamers have to turn to mushroom-faced monsters (The Last of Us) or glowing-eyed maniacs (The Evil Within 2) to get their fix of fear.
Fortunately, developers SIE Bend Studio have the perfect cure for desensitization – more zombies! A lot more zombies in fact with DAYS GONE. Its original E3 release trailer showed an unprecedented volume of the undead. This will certainly add some intense pressure to the zombie/action/adventure genre.
The tone will be reminiscent of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, whilst sharing similarities with the hit show, Sons of Anarchy. However, there is very little else known about the game. Though thanks to a couple of extended gameplay trailers, it’s clear that the world is affected by day and night cycles.
If DAYS GONE were to take influence from Techland’s Dying Light, this could mean that the zombies become more deadly at night-time. Wildlife certainly will, such as wolves which have been shown to exist and be aggressive in this gaming world.
Other known features are that you’ll play as a drifter by the name of Deacon St John. He’ll be on a journey of survival with a motorbike beneath him – and possibly other vehicles.
This concludes our round-up of the top upcoming games of 2018. Throughout the year, we can certainly expect a great mix of interesting and innovative titles to play around with.
We can only hope they are heartfelt, immersive and amazing as they appear to be. Make sure you don’t miss any of these titles in the year ahead!