Now that we’re in a fresh new year of 2018, it’s time to briefly look back on the year we’re leaving behind before setting our sights on the future. When I look back on my Most Anticipated Games of 2017 list, I notice a bit of a pattern forming in both my gaming habits and the industry in general. First, I have only played 2 of the 10 games I mentioned on my list last year: Crash Bandicoot and Tekken 7. Clearly I need to add “buy and play more games” to my resolutions list. Also, it turned out of those 10 mentioned games, one was delayed and one was even flat-out cancelled. (R.I.P. Scalebound! You were too badass for this world). That’s a sobering realization to say the least.
So, despite the odds of me playing all of these games this year is a bit slimmer than I realized, I’m opting to aim high anyway by listing off some of the games I’m looking forward to playing in 2018. Keep in mind that I’m only including games that are confirmed (or at least targeting) a 2018 release date. I’ll reserve a section at the end of this post for any games that does not have a concrete release window that I’m still looking forward to. Additionally, this is just my personal list of anticipated games. There’s a ton of awesome titles I’m leaving out, so feel free to leave a comment letting me know hat games you’re looking forward to this year.
This list is in no particular order and will include the (North American) release dates of each game in brackets wherever possible.
Kingdom Hearts III [Q3/Q4]
Kingdom Hearts III is coming, baby! After 5 years of waiting and waiting and crying and waiting we’re finally getting our hands on this game… unless they delay it into 2019. (Don’t tell Square Enix I said that, though! I don’t want to give them ideas).
Hard to think that people have been waiting around for this game almost as long as I’v been a fan of this series. I started playing the first Kingdom Hearts back in 2014 when the 1.5 Remix came out. This in order to prepare myself for this very game, which only looks better and better each time Square Enix feels generous enough to give us a taste through a trailer. Just seeing Andy’s Room from Toy Story being one of the worlds was enough to make me do a happy dance where I stood. (Thank you D23)! On top of that, there’s also San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6, the Kingdom of Corona from Tangled, the return of Olympus from Hercules, and the recently rumored inclusion of Monsters Inc. Just add Marvel’s New York City or Star Wars’ Tatooine to the equation and you have my money without question.
Mega Man 11 [Q4]
One of my favorite games of all-time is Mega Man 2, a game I have such fond memories of. I remember downloading the game off the Wii Virtual Console years ago and spending the better part of two weeks switching turns with my brothers trying to beat the game. Then one epic July night, we stood up until 4 AM defeating the final boss. The crowd went wild, and my sleep cycle was never the same.
It depresses me to know that there hasn’t been a Mega Man game released since 2010, but at least that makes the release of Mega Man 11 later this year all the more sweeter. It’s new 3D artstyle is a pretty nice touch, and the gameplay we’ve seen so far seems to hit all the right notes for one of my must-play titles of the year.
Spider-Man (for PS4) [Q1/Q2]
For those who don’t know it yet (stick around long enough and you will), Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. The only hero that comes close to that level of honor is Batman, who happens to have an extremely good series of beat ’em up/adventure games called Batman Arkham. Many consider Arkham among the best licensed video games ever made, due to many licensed games being cash-ins to say the very least; and Spidey has had his fair share of mediocre games. This fact makes Insomniac’s upcoming Spider-Man title all the more interesting to me.
In essence, this looks to simply be Spider-Man Arkham from the combat to the stealth mode. Even that awesome helicopter chase scene where Spidey is swinging the buildings comes across as Batman-esque. Then again, I don’t care because I love the Arkham games so much. Especially since Rocksteady (apparently) isn’t making Arkham games anymore, I can’t wait to get my hands on this.
God of War [Q1]
I’ll admit that while I do own the God of War Saga on PS3, I have yet to complete God of War 1. It’s been in my backlog for years. However, knowing that this game is apparently just around the corner makes me want to fast-track playing through God of War. This new game looks amazing so far and seems to be evolving the original formula for the better with a really fascinating plot to boot. I can tell Santa Monica took some notes from Naughty Dog, because I’m getting some real Last of Us vibes from the gameplay… and I like it!
Skull & Bones [Q3/Q4]
Avast, me hearties! It appears there be more than one online multiplayer pirate game sailing the seven seas this year. But I say there can only be one, and me gold dubloon is on Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones… yarr!
This caught my eye during last year’s E3 and quickly became one of my favorite games at the show. And yes, I realize that compared to Rare’s Sea of Thieves this game may seem a bit more limited. However, while I am looking forward to both games, I can’t help but be a little more intrigued with this one. To me, the thing I want to do most in a pirate game is enter sea battles. That appears to be Skull & Bones’ bread and butter, so naturally I’m all over it.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night [Q1/Q2]
I love me some good old 2D Castlevania, wich makes me all the more grateful that the original creator of the series went the way of Inafune and Kickstarted a spiritiual successor. Yes, I know that referencing Mighty No. 9 is probably a bad correlation given how that game turned out, but not every Kickstarter game is necessarily doomed to failure. I for one am cautiously optimistic in Igarashi’s indie project. From the looks of things so far, I’m expecting at least a middling sidescroller and at best an excellent callback to classics like Symphony of the Night. Here’s hoping for the best.
I was very satisfied with the gameplay footage shown off at E3 of Anthem. Surprisingly so. For a game I had no clue whatsoever about prior to the show, Anthem blew me away with it’s stunning graphics, and extraordinarily fun looking gameplay. This is a game where you enter large robotic suits to blow away monsters, zoom through the game’s large environments, and even fly. Sounds like a great way to spend a night off. As long as EA refrains from riddling this game with controversies, microtransactions or both, we should be in very good hands.
A Way Out [March 23]
Another huge surprise for me at E3, A Way Out is a strictly co-op game telling the story of two prisoners working together to bust out of jail. I really like that concept, and the gameplay footage shown definitely makes it look like something up my alley. This goes double for the fact that this game supports online multiplayer for those who don’t have someone as nerdy as you on standby to play this with. So loners rejoice! If you’re into story-based action games this may be something you should put on your radar.
I’ll be honest. This game so far looks like a combination of The Last of Us and Dead Rising 3. Be that as it may, that’s a pretty good combination to make as evidence by the footage we have so far. For a zombie game it appears to hit every note just right: gritty action, character-driven narrative, strategic ways out of most situations, and beautiful open spaces. In addition to all of that is the inclusion of a motorcyvcle for fast traveling (and pretending to be Daryl from The Walking Dead) and a zombie bear. A fucking zombie bear is in this game! Where do I sign up?
We Happy Few [April 14]
Finally, let’s talk about something a little less action-packed and incredibly fascinating. We Happy Few, for the uninitiated out there, takes place in a world where the world takes a daily dose of “joy” pills in order to always be happy; or at least give the illusion of happiness. One man quickly finds out that the drug only hides a disturbing, authoritarian truth. Fascinated so far? Take some time and look up this game, because the world created by Compulsion Games is worth your time. Hopefully the game won’t disappoint.
This list is already filled to the brim with awesome-looking titles, which is why I had to leave a lot out. So, here are a few leftover games that barely made the list, including ones I’m not certain will come out in 2018, that I still have my eye on.
- Shenmue III [Q3/Q4]
- Red Dead Redemtion 2 [Q2]
- Shadow of the Colossus [February 6]
- The Last of Us Part II
- Pokemon (for Nintendo Switch)
- Final Fantasy VII remake
- Metroid Prime 4
- Detroit: Become Human [Q1/Q2]
- Sea of Thieves [March 20]
- Nintendo Switch Virtual Console (not a game, I know. But still)
What are some games you’re looking forward to in 2018? Feel free to let me know in the comments below, because I love hearing about awesome new games. Here’s hoping 2018 is a good one for gaming! (This time, I’ll actually try to get all the games I’m excited for… I’m holding myself to that)!
I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!