2018 has been a pretty ho-hum year for gaming. There have been some big games, but nothing that really sticks with me at the end. Nothing that has crossed my mind into territory of something truly extraordinary. However, all of that is looking to change in 2019. As the current generation is winding down, as is typical, we are looking to get games that will define this generation. For whatever reason, consoles always show what they can really do when things are drawing to a close. I’m stoked for next year. So many releases, so much to talk about. Let’s get down to it.
10. The Pathless
Made by the same studio who did ABZU, they are back to do something 100% different. Instead of an artsy game about a beginning-to-end water level, we get to see an adventure game about an Asian-looking protagonist in a forest world. The visuals are in the same vein as ABZU, but the content is so much different. We may even have boss fights, with the only weapon our character has – a bow. This studio came out of the gate swinging, but I am definitely curious to see what this become.
9. Ghost of a Tale (PS4 Port)
A game about a cute mouse bard on a big adventure through a castle? Why yes, I’ll have some of that. This game has intrigued me since I first heard about it. The visuals look absolutely breath-taking, and the gameplay makes me think you actually are playing as a mouse. It’s cute, it’s different, and the stealth action gameplay mixed with interaction with adorable little woodland creatures is just the best. Makes me wonder if you have bigger woodland predators as bosses. We shall see.
8. Resident Evil 2 (Remake)
It’s really cool how we live in this time where game companies are remaking classic beloved games from the ground up. And they aren’t doing them in a shitty way. It’s some high quality stuff. So when I heard that a classic game from my youth was getting this treatment, I was stoked! Everything I have seen about the final product looks like it is going to mesh brilliantly with my expectations. The action is still tight. The zombies are tougher than you’d expect, making conservation of ammunition even more important. They have taken the formula they were given, removed none of the difficulty, but updated it to the current age. That’s brilliant! Not to mention, the Tyrant in the suit and hat reveal scared the shit out of me. The fact that you can’t fight this thing and can only run from it is great. Though, why don’t the infected ever attack it? That’s weird. It would be cool if I could use infected against it. That’s some neat strategy. Oh well, over-thinking. Still looks cool.
7. Man of Medan
A couple of things. First, a lot of movies have tried the horror anthology idea, but it’s always died. Never has it stuck. Second, I LOVED the predecessor to this game – Until Dawn. That game was such a great visualization of a horror concept, putting the player in the driver’s seat of a horror movie where how many people lived or died was at your control. That’s fantastic. So when I heard that this concept is being turned into an anthology, I thought that this idea is ambitious, never been tried, and could become something spectacular. It’s first part/attempt is in this game, Man of Medan. And man, I couldn’t be more stoked. It’s got it all. Atmosphere, characters that are stereotypes just like the last game, and a mysterious enemy to survive. Who will make it out alive? Well, all of them, if I have anything to say about it.
6. Doom: Eternal
You know what was awesome? The remake of DOOM! That game was such chaotic, fast-paced, always in motion action. If you stayed still, you died. If you weren’t willing to take the occasional risk, you died. An itchy trigger-finger and a desire to rip and tear were all you had against the armies of Hell, and holy fuck-balls, it was awesome! I loved that game. So when I saw that there was a sequel in development, I was stoked. The initial trailer didn’t do much for me, but then came the Phobos trailer, and I was hooked. The changes made in this game look so spectacular. I can’t wait to see what’s happened between games. What happened to the DOOM Marine when he was sent back to Hell, if Samuel lost his mind to the demons like his former protege. Lots of unanswered questions, and demons to rip and tear my way through.
5. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
When I saw that Bloodborne was not getting a sequel, I was sad. However, then I saw the latest project that From Software was doing, and holy shit was I hooked. An infinitely faster-paced game, with Japanese samurai action, a complex battle system, and the trademark punishing difficult that From Software is known for? Sign me up! With a compelling narrative about a fallen warrior with the prince he was supposed to protect stolen from him, I couldn’t be more excited. This game looks awesome. The action is so fast-paced that it is almost like a rhythm game at points. That’s perfect. It will be punishingly difficult, but that’s all part of the fun.
4. A Plague Tale: Innocence
This game really snuck up on me, but it left such a mark the second I saw it. You have a narrative-driven action-adventure game, set in Medieval France, with the backdrop of an illness and a plague of rats. I have already gathered that the infection isn’t the Black Death, but it is still a plague of rats. Now, you play as a girl who is trying to get her brother to safety, with their young guide. Puzzles to overcome, stealthy gameplay, and some really inventive use of the environment. Plus, it looks incredible. I’m not sure exactly what to think of this game, but we’ll see when it gets here.
3. Cyberpunk 2077
This game doesn’t have an official release date, but I am one of the people who whole-heartedly believes that it’s coming out in 2019. The reasons for that are many. First, the developers did a big interview about how this game is being optimized for current-gen consoles. If that’s the case, then it would have to come out next year. Otherwise, it would be ported over to the next. Next, everything I’ve heard says that CD Projekt Red is nearing completion, but are being REALLY coy about when it is being released. Some info from a Turkish publisher that hasn’t been refuted by the developer makes me think that there is more to it. And man, I cannot wait to see what this game is! The gameplay demo had my jaw dropped more than once. If I am right, then this game is likely going to bring the house down. If I’m right, of course.
2. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Neat fact about me and a girly-mate of mine, we both always wanted to be fighter jockeys. But since my head injury has precluded me from military service (along with the fact that I am a giant meaning I can’t be a pilot anyway), it’s a dream that is far away from me. However, when I heard about this game, you cannot believe how stoked I was. It got my attention in the biggest way possible. The gameplay looks incredible! The environments are amazing. The weather integration is phenomenal. The coolest fighter jet ever to exist, the F-22 Raptor, is in it. This game has everything I want. The more I learn about it, the more stoked I get. This game looks incredible, and since flight combat sim games are a dead art, it’s nice to see this genre making a comeback. The closer I get to it, the more impatient I become.
Before we get to my #1, here are a few Honorable Mentions:
- MediEvil (Remake): one of my favorite hack-and-slash games from the PS1 getting remade from the ground up. Really am loving this new push to do these games. It’s producing some of the most faithful remakes ever made, with modern sensibilities. Can’t wait to see one of my favorite derpy knights back in action
- Tales of Vesperia (PS4 Port): One of the greatest Tales games being brought to current generation console. I’m down with this.
- Panzer Dragoon (Remake): This just got announced, and I cannot tell you how stoked I am. These games are a relic. They are some of the greatest that gaming has created in terms of flight combat. Before there was Star Fox 64, there was this. I am so excited to see what they do with it.
And my most anticipated game of 2019 is…
It’s finally here. The first project of Hideo Kojima’s since he left Konami. A lot of people have been annoyed at how coy Kojima has been playing with his latest project, but not me. I am so utterly stoked. Everything I’ve heard and been told says to me that this game is going to be unlike anything I’ve played before. Everyone who is annoyed that the game isn’t spoon-feeding them what it is are so dumb, in my opinion. They should love the vagueness. It means you get to think and wonder about what it is! Is there no appreciation for anticipation? Has the endless Hollywood trailer machine that spoils everything before you get it spoiled audiences? Not me. I may not know exactly what this is, but I am DYING to find out. Norman Reedus has said to expect this early in 2019. Dying to know if he’s right.
I can feel that 2019 is going to be a hallmark year for gaming. I know it from the bottom of my heart. What about you? What are the games you are most excited for? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time, a quote,
“What’s your status?”
“My status is fucked.” – Sam Porter Bridges, Death Stranding