If you’re reading this, congratulations! You made it to 2018 safely, and while there’s a good chance it’ll be another tough year out in reality, we’ll at least have some new video games to look forward to. After polling the rest of the staff and getting some room temperature takes around the internet, I’ve compiled a list of twelve new video games to expect in 2018 that have the promise to help get us all through the year.
Couple of notes on the creation of this list:
- As some of these titles do not have solid launch days, you will see references to financial quarters, which are not always equivocal to a calendar year and can impact release dates, and some mentioned games may not even see the light of day in 2018.
- To qualify for this list, a game needs to have had some gameplay showcased either publicly or to the press. It must also have some actual indication of actually coming out in 2018, barring delays. That’d be why The Last of Us Part 2 isn’t on here.
Without further ado:
Monster Hunter: World
January 26th (PlayStation 4, Xbox One); Autumn 2018 (PC)
The latest in Capcom’s long running franchise about hunting large creatures promises to significantly increase the area to explore and the scale of the titular monsters. By applying years of small advancements to the classic Monster Hunter formula on top of a new engine and presentation while putting a renewed focus on working with others online has created the most exciting looking entry to date.
Sea of Thieves
March 20th (Xbox One, PC)
It’s a bit of an unspoken truth that Rare as a developer has needed a bit of a win. Despite having been sidelined for most of the generation as Microsoft’s test kitchen for Xbox One games, Rare seems to have found some new life in this pirate simulator. Designed as a shared experienced between players, Sea of Thieves rewards player’s teamwork and capacity for betrayal in equal spades with adventure and loot. What may end up being the sell for many though, is a return of Rare’s trademark goofy charm and animated character designs to lighten the mood.
Far Cry 5
March 27th (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
On the one hand, Far Cry 5 appears to be more of what’s come to be Ubisoft’s Far Cry brand: wild adventures, tons of violence, and crazy vehicles. On the other hand, Far Cry 5 trades its international (or prehistoric) environments for something a little more close to home. Pitting the player against a loose caricature of the Alt-Right taking over a small town has already proven to be a controversial choice, and one that we’ll likely see talked about all year. The real question is whether or not Ubisoft plans on publishing a game worth that controversy.
God of War
Currently expected in Q1 (PS4)
Kratos trades the Greek mythology for Norse and goes full dad bod, complete with the fatherhood part. Meant to serve as a soft reboot of the series, God of War rebuilds the franchise’s iconic combat from the ground up while coming up with a new story and motivation for the raging warrior Kratos. Now with a son to protect and guide, Kratos will have to consider what his past and demeanor is actually leaving behind while his son discovers who his father really is.
Kirby Star Allies
Currently expected between Q1 and Q2 (Nintendo Switch)
Who doesn’t love Kirby? Nintendo’s joyful pink puff makes their first appearance on the Nintendo Switch in a new side scrolling platformer. This time around, Kirby will progress by turning enemies into friends and combining powers to progress. Thanks to those same friends, Star Allies becomes a drop in and drop out co-op experience with very little changes to the classic gameplay design of Kirby games. There’s still a lot to see of this one, but all that really matters is that King DeeDee got a head start on his New Year’s resolutions and is now shredded.
Currently expected between Q1 and Q2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
The long delayed Vampyr has a simple premise: players take the role of Dr. Jonathan Reid, a man who is turned into a vampire and must now reconcile his new life in the shadows with his life’s work. Players will be left with the decision on how, who, and when to feed, and all those choices promise to not only impact the story, but Reid’s own ability to progress. Vampyr also leans on more classical vampire lore for its mechanics, Reid can only enter a home when invited, for example. For old school horror fans, this looks to be quite the experience in man and monster narratives.
Currently expected between Q1 and Q2 (PS4)
Another exciting PlayStation exclusive, Spider-Man looks to do for superhero games this generation what the Batman Arkham series did last gen and blow our expectations away. Interestingly, the team at Insomniac has chosen a path that brings Spidey back down to the street level, pitting him against a rising criminal element in a story written by long time Amazing Spider-Man writers Dan Slott and Christos Gage, with the help of Jon Paquette to make things fit the way games work. Leaning on the comics hasn’t stopped Insomniac and Sony from getting creative, from the distinctive change to suit design to dramatically changing Mary Jane into a Lois Lane-esque journalist that will be playable at “key” moments of the story.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Currently expected in Q2 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One); PC Sometime in 2055
In the highly anticipated follow up to Red Dead Redemption, players will fill the shoes of another member of the Van der Linde gang and return to the vast wild west. Outside of an expected online mode that Sony has paid out for exclusive content for (calling it now: Red Dead Online, with something to take the place of Shark Cards), that’s all anyone really knows about this game. Even so, the name and developer’s reputation precede them and the expectation to deliver is at the maximum.
Currently expected in Q4 (PS4, Xbox One)
Anthem is clearly meant to be EA’s answer to Destiny, but with the added storytelling clout of BioWare. Players are tasked as high powered adventures, equipped with customizable armor and sent to explore ruins and surrounding areas on various missions, some designed explicitly for multi-man teams and…okay, so far all that’s been show is the bits that look a lot like Destiny. However, eyes are on this one for BioWare’s promise of a better story mode than the competition. That having been said, recent events involving other EA games and microtransactions may put Anthem’s on a similar path to the one Destiny 2 has been on as of late.
Mega Man 11
Currently expected in Q4 (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC)
If you had told me a couple of months ago this game existed at all, I wouldn’t have believed you. And yet, here we are: a new entry in the classic franchise right in time for the Blue Bomber’s 30th anniversary. Mega Man 11 brings a new art design to the iconic battle platformer and even teases new abilities such as a super mode. Most notably is now when using a Robot Master power, Mega Man himself will change form, allowing for more than just a color change when in action and opening up worlds of possibilities.
Kingdom Hearts III
Scheduled for 2018 release (PS4, Xbox One)
Jury’s out on whether or not 2018 is indeed the year the now 15 year old Kingdom Hearts saga actually concludes, but what’s the harm in hoping? While Kingdom Hearts III hasn’t been in development nearly as long as people really think, the time it has been in the oven so far looks to be well spent. We’ve already seen things that were once only the stuff of fan dreams (Toy Story? Facing the Greek titans? Hundreds of Heartless at once?) and since this a Tetsuya Nomura game, there’s a good chance we haven’t seen even close to what will actually comprise the game’s story. If this actually makes it into our hands this year, no doubt the results will be mind blowing.
Scheduled for 2018 release (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Go ahead and add this one to the list of games I didn’t expect to see another entry of anytime soon. While it’s hard to debate that SoulCalibur as a franchise has seen better days, there are plenty of fighting game fans who have longed for a return to form for this series. With the director of Tekken 7 leading the charge and a plan to reset the lore, there’s a glimmer of something exciting again in the clash of legendary swords. Is it too soon to start a wish list of guest characters?
While there’s plenty of reasons to keep your eyes on these games, what might be more exciting is that this barely scratches the surface of what’s coming to our consoles and computers in 2018. The year promises to again be full of games for all kinds of tastes and play levels. What are you excited about this year? Let us know in the comments!