We’ve had a good year, but 2018 stands a chance to be even better. Here’s what we’re most looking forward to.
Oh, did you think it was time to rest? Did you think we’d go gentle into the night? Oh, no: we’re already girding our loins in preparation for a mammoth 2018, chock a block with excellent video games and incessant triumph.
Here are the games the VG247 team is most looking forward to in 2018, presented in alphabetical order so nobody actually stabs anybody else when their sweetie isn’t listed as number one.
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition
- Microsoft Studios: PC
- Early 2018
Since I lost my Age of Empires disc and the PC I have with a Windows 98 partitions bit the dust, I have to say: being able to play Age of Empires: Definitive Edition in 4K will be damn super.
Sprucing up the 20 year-old real-time strategy game with overhauled graphics, a remastered soundtrack, and gameplay improvements is a dream come true for some of us. Just imagine how lovely our Stone Age villages will look and how proud we’ll be when they level up to the Iron Age. Think about how magnificent will our Wonders appear, gleaming in the sunshine – before our jerk of a best friend and his units come and destroy it. It’ll be glorious. And infuriating.
The only caveat? Age of Empires: Definitive Edition is a Windows 10-only title. Will this be the spur that finally sends me careening towards W10? Very probably. Well played, Microsoft, you loveable cowboys. — Steph Nunneley, Global News Editor
- BioWare: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Late 2018
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times? After Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda, the fact that I’ve somehow managed to summon enthusiasm for Anthem means I may need to talk to a therapist about my relationship with BioWare.
But hear me out: Anthem is an all-new property and genre for BioWare, which means it can be designed around the open world, open-ended multiplayer gameplay publishers want in everything these days, instead of splicing it painfully into an existing title as with Inquisition. Moreover it comes to us from BioWare Prime, rather than Andromeda’s (now disbanded!) B-team.
Join me in this beautiful vision: a multiplayer, class-based science fiction shooter with RPG elements, right, only the story is not total rubbish that makes you embarrassed to like video games. Imagine that incredible fusion of BioWare’s writing and the gameplay of titles like Destiny and The Division. Perhaps it could even learn from the mistakes of those early genre creators and provide an actual satisfying ongoing endgame from the get go…! Oh, heavens. Cross your fingers. — Brenna Hillier, Deputy Editor
- Media Molecule: PS4
Humans have been creating and sharing art for as long as we’ve been capable of understanding intentionality in signifiers, and thanks to new technology in gaming, our capacity for storytelling, evoking emotion and opening our inner worlds to each other has never been greater. Unfortunately, hardly anybody’s doing anything really interesting with it: those that have the skills and platforms required are mostly keen on money, and there’s a huge skill, time and investment entry barrier for anyone wanting to build original, interactive worlds.
That’s why projects like Dreams, which aim to make powerful creative tools accessible to larger groups of people, are so important. What Media Molecule has shown of Dreams so far has demonstrated the breadth of possibility, but we won’t really start to see the fun until a whole bunch of diverse voices yet to be discovered get their mitts on it and realise they’ve found their medium.
Microsoft, bless it, tried something similar with Project Spark, but it was very focused on particular types of experiences and didn’t offer opportunities to really carve out your own spaces. Dreams looks like an enormous step forward and I dearly hope it lives up to expectations. — Brenna Hillier, Deputy Editor
Far Cry 5
- Ubsioft: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- March 2018
What I’ve always loved about Far Cry is the chaos, where one small spark can seemingly burn the entire game down. It’s a series that almost always gives you the right tools for destruction and madness, and asks players to juggle luck, skill and heavy weaponry and to hell with best laid plans. This is not a game for control freaks.
From what I’ve played of Far Cry 5, it’s not going to stray from the formula. It’s hillbillies, moonshine and god-fearing bible bashers are exactly what I want to knuckle up to. I’m not sure Far Cry 5’s ideas exploring religious fanaticism and beliefs taken to the extreme will work, or indeed amount to any depth, but if I get to sock a neo-Nazi in the face that’s an added bonus.
What matters is shit goes south, I run out of bullets mowing down rednecks, accidentally set fire to an airstrip, escape in a knackered pick-up truck with 10% health, and flee cackling like a twat. — Matt Martin, EIC
- Crytek: PC
- Winter 2018 (alpha)
After being dead for two years, Crytek’s Hunt: Showdown, first introduced under a different title as a Left 4 Dead-style co-op shooter, resurfaced with one of the most interesting pitches for a multiplayer game in recent memory. The core of Showdown combines elements of PUBG, DayZ, Escape from Tarkov, and Monster Hunter.
Several teams spawn at random spots in a big map, with the goal of tracking and killing a monster. You have to do that while avoiding/attacking other teams, but there’s also the fear that a group is ghosting you, waiting for you to do all the hard work and claim the glory for themselves. And loot is important, because you get to keep what you earn. If you die, everything is lost and you have to start over.
I am not sure how all of this is going to work out, but Showdown is already creating a mix that combines the decision making of survival games with the hunting skills needed in Monster Hunter and the present danger of traps and ambushes in PUBG. So many things could go wrong here, but the inverse is also true. There’s potential for an experience truly unique for shooters, a genre that’s in desperate need of new ideas. This could be 2018’s PUBG, if not in sales, certainly in its effect on the genre. — Sherif Saed, Staff Writer
Monster Hunter World
- Capcom: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- January 26 (consoles), 2018 (PC)
I’ve never been one of those immense Monster Hunter nutters who gets super serious about every aspect of the series. I’d describe myself as a casual fan, tangentially interested in the series but not shackled to it – but that’s why I’m so excited for Monster Hunter World. This is the game, Capcom says, that’s designed to drag me into becoming one of those fans.
What I’ve played and seen so far seems to back that up, too. I’ve spent a good 12 hours with the game so far at Capcom events and it’s damn good stuff, seemingly a great balance between the design elements that made Monster Hunter so popular with hardcore fans and careful streamlining and reshaping of the series to help bring it to a wider, console-based, online-focused audience.
Put simply, the staff behind Monster Hunter seem to get it – and as these multiplayer RPG player versus enemy experiences get more popular this feels like the perfect time for the series to see some success in the West. I hope this turns out as well as Resident Evil 7 did last year. — Alex Donaldson, Features Writer
Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom
- Level-5: PC, PS4
- March 23
Finally, PC players will be able to fall in love with the world of Ni No Kuni as much as those who played the first game, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, on PlayStation 3. In Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom, we meet King Evan of Ding Dong Dell, and his advisor from the “real” world, Roland. Roland is the president of Ichi No Kuni (Oliver’s world in Wrath of the White Witch) and his presence in Ding Dong Dell is one of the sequel’s many mysteries.
This second chapter will include a kingdom building element, which surely has some sort of interesting plotpoint. The combat has been redesigned, and while there will still be fights out in the field, some of the battles will be more action oriented. Also, we’ll have Higgledies this time around to help us fight baddies instead of familiars. The little critters are also rather cute.
No No Kuni was an excellent game, and when you combine Level-5 with studio Ghibli’s traditional animation style and cutscenes, well, it’s safe to say we’re all in for a treat when Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom releases in March. — Steph Nunneley, Global News Editor
Red Dead Redemption 2
- Rockstar: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Spring 2018
The real fear is that Red Dead Redemption 2 will get pushed back to 2019, what with Rockstar’s long history of delays. But I’ll keep the faith. God knows, I’ve been keeping the faith for over seven years.
The Wild West is under-explored in video games and its setting and locale should be the most appealing part of Red Dead Redemption 2. Missions, quests, whatever you want to call them, will no doubt be familiar; rescues and Dead-Eye shoot outs, bank robberies and bar brawls. So far, so GTA meets The Hateful Eight.
My most endearing memories of Read Dead Redemption were exploring the rough and wild world, from bolting across the plains to trotting around the ranch listening to Bonnie MacFarlane. I remember strong characters and dusty towns, where genuinely nasty villains like Bill Williamson stood out as much as the feisty bar room dancers did. Because this real world is corny and depressing, and I’m increasingly using video games to escape. So RDR 2 is going to be my Westworld. I’m looking forward to watching the sunset and buying in to the myth of the American West. — Matt Martin, EIC
Sea of Thieves
- Rare: PC, Xbox One
- March 20
It’s like clockwork every year that I find some co-operative team-based multiplayer game that my friends and I fall in love with and play for most of the year. Usually it’s some form of shooter – games like Insurgency, Overwatch and PUBG – but Sea of Thieves excites me because it seems like the perfect non-shooter for our online shenanigans.
It probably helps that we’re all Rare fans from growing up on the SNES and N64, and there’s a strong hope that much of Rare’s trademark Britishisms will squeeze their way into this big-budget title. It also helps that it looks gorgeous – but what excites most is its open-ended, collaborative gameplay. It seems tailor-made for us to scream and shout at each other over.
As I’ve written in our Sea of Thieves previews in the past, it definitely appears to be the kind of game where your mileage will vary enormously depending on who you play with. Exactly how Rare remedies that with single-player content and matchmaking remains to be seen, but I’m very excited nevertheless – I already know exactly who I’ll be playing with, and I’m pumped to get to it. — Alex Donaldson, Features Writer
Whatever From Software is teasing
- From Software: unknown platforms
- [no release date]
I have never seen a 30-second, single-scene teaser generate this many frame-by-frame breakdowns, fan theories and speculation. We were not even sure what we were looking at, but it didn’t matter.
From Software’s name carries immense weight. It’s enough to command legions of dedicated fans willing to spend ridiculous amounts of time researching to come up with competent theories about the teaser’s content. Even the most cynical were curious to find out what it is, regardless of whether or not they’re going to play it.
I don’t think Shadows Die Twice is going to be the game’s name; it sounds more like a tagline, and the period at the end kind of gives it away. You can interpret it as a teaser for Bloodborne 2, and you can make a case for it being something completely new. Either prospect is incredibly exciting, even though we’re likely not going be playing it in 2018.
From Software doesn’t typically reveal projects this far in advance, but it seems the studio is changing its approach with a teaser so brief and cryptic. I am still hoping that we’ll get some meaty details and a proper reveal in 2018. The mere confirmation that From Software is working on another project is more exciting to me than any other game coming out in 2018. — Sherif Saed, Staff Writer
Those are our picks, but there’s plenty to anticipate next year. What games are you looking forward to in 2018?