This year we’ve got some truly exciting games to look forward to. It may not seem that way at the moment, no thanks to Red Dead Redemption 2’s initial (since delayed) release window scaring away the proverbial horses, but it’s a solid year nonetheless.
We still have E3 2018 to look forward to. No doubt we’ll see some interesting titles unveiled then. Though, for now, here’s our most anticipated games of 2018.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar certainly knows how to make a great game. Red Dead Redemption, to this day, still stands as one of the most innovate, well crafted open-world games of all time. Its follow-up prequel is set to launch later this year and although even now we know very little about it, we’ve got complete faith that it will be every bit as compelling as its predecessor.
The game will feature both online and offline elements, though whether or not its online segment proves to be as in-depth and as heavily supported as Rockstar’s GTA Online remains to be seen. The campaign is set to center around Arthur Morgan, an outlaw and a member of the Van der Linde gang. Might we be seeing John Marston? We hope so! No doubt we’ll learn more about this game at E3. Until then, I suspect every game launching in Q4 is beginning to feel the pressure.
Kingdom Hearts 3
This installation is a particularly interesting one, given that it’s the first game from the series to arrive on the Xbox platform. Hopefully Square has nailed a decent introductory sequence to catch players up to speed. Much like Red Dead Redemption 2, little is known about this game. Though we do know of the worlds that will feature within. In fact, we also know that one of the worlds is bigger than one whole game from the series, which is no small accolade. Many of the worlds within the game are new to the series; Tangled, Big Hero 6, Toy Story and Monsters Inc, to name a few.
Returning locations include; Hercules, Yen Sid’s Mysterious Tower and the Realm of Darkness. New gameplay mechanics include the likes of; new enemy types, traversal elements, summons, Keyblade transformations and dual attacks. The story takes place after the events of Dream Drop Distance, in which returning protagonist Sora is joined by Donald Duck, Goofy, King Mickey and Riku in their search for the seven Guardians of Light and the “Key to Return Hearts” as they attempt to overcome Master Xehanort’s plan to bring about a second Keyblade War.
This amounts to an epic quest that takes the gang to exciting locations based on Disney/Pixar properties, with characters from the Final Fantasy universe stepping in at a regular pace. Kingdom Hearts 3 is without a solid release date, but we do know that it’s set to arrive some point in 2018, most likely late Q3 or early Q4. Unlike any of the other games mentioned below, this is the only title that will significantly stand the test of Red Dead Redemption 2’s might.
Skull and Bones
Developed by Ubisoft Singapore, Skull and Bones is arguably one of Ubisoft’s most interesting releases this year. Much like Rare’s Sea of Thieves, Skull and Bones will feature gameplay that involves piracy and naval combat. Hopefully Ubisoft inject much more content than what we’ve seen from Rare’s aforementioned title, which sits as the game’s most critical downside. Skull and Bones is described as a tactical action game set in an open world environment and played from a third-person perspective.
Players will take control of a customizable pirate captain, and may choose to sail the Indian Ocean by themselves and set off on a single-player campaign, or accumulate up to five other players to ally or engage in combat with in Disputed Waters. Wind positioning can be assessed to gain an advantage in battle. Players may collect additional ships throughout the game, such as sloops-of-war, frigates and brigantines, whose weapons include mortars, broadside cannons, and rockets. Ships can be charged into with brute force and boarded. The rate of inflicted damage is gauged by the health bar.
A core component is the multiplayer mode Loot Hunt, where two groups of players are challenged in treasure hunting to further accumulate their riches. Each given ship’s crow’s nest is scalable for use as a lookout point, and spyglasses can be availed of as well. Microtransactions will be an added feature in the game, again, much like Sea of Thieves. If anything this year has the capability of kicking Rare into touch, it’s Skull and Bones. We suspect with an ETA release window of 2018, Ubisoft will reveal more at E3.
BioMutant took the gaming world by storm when THQ Nordic officially lifted the lid on it. The game promises a new take on third person combat via the martial arts style combat system and freedom of movement and agility while mixing shooting, melee and powers from your mutations. Acquiring new Wushu combat styles through progression, and learning from masters you’ll meet, constantly adds to your choices and makes sure combat never gets old.
Furthermore, BioMutant is said to house interesting and unique gameplay functionalities. This includes gear and weapon crafting spread across a wide selection of items and objects, as well as the ability to recode your genetic structure. This comes on top of a vibrant and colorful open world and an “unusual” story with an “unusual” end. There’s no denying that it looks engaging and enticing.
Once again we suspect we’ll see more of BioMutant at E3 2018 and until then, we have but a few snippets of gameplay videos and general info to go on. Experiment 101 describe the game as “kung-fu fable”, which is one hell of a comparison to make. Will BioMutant live up to the hype? We hope so. Let’s see what the rest of the year brings us, leading up to launch.
Overkill’s The Walking Dead
Now, I’m not a huge fan of Overkill. I think their work on PayDay 2, especially its port, was a complete scam. Hell, it took them an entire year to just release a patch for it and even then, it didn’t fix shit. Their upcoming The Walking Dead game on the other hand, does showcase a great deal of promise. The game is pegged as a four-player co-op multiplayer FPS action game set in Washington, D.C. as an outbreak brings the dead back to life.
In this test of strategy and endurance, players will band together with up to three friends on a variety of missions and raids, securing supplies and survivors to strengthen their base camp against the threat of both the dead and the living – by any means necessary. Each playable character has their own skill trees, squad roles, play styles and background stories.
Now they all share a common objective where survival and teamwork is paramount. The action is up-close and intense: take out enemies carefully with silent melee attack or go in guns blazing. You need to be able to improvise as nothing is certain and a horde of walkers is always right around the corner. The game is set to release this year and from what we can tell, it shows a great deal of promise and potential.
What? No Crackdown 3? No, if you ask me, any shred of hype or anticipation surrounding that game slowly died out after each and every delay. I’m not saying that it’s going to be a bad game, on the contrary it may turn out to smash expectations, but until we see the proof in the pudding, so to speak, it’s not worthy of this list.