While there’s plenty of last year’s leftovers to enjoy after the holidays, going into next year holds a lot of anticipation, promise and uncertainty. Movies at max have your attention for two and a half hours, but modern video games are like orbiting the earth. They can hold your interest for 10 hours at minimum and with an endless parade of new consoles, indie platforms and triple A studios, there’s much to look forward to when separating the controversies and delays. These could easily backfire once the future becomes the present, but something’s got to stay positive in the long run. The internet is already filled with too much negativity. These are the top 10 anticipated games of 2018.
Microsoft’s efforts to improve Rare after the disastrous focus on Kinect games has been a steady climb with Rare Replay. Now can they back up their claim of surviving without their nostalgic properties?
Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves feels like what Project Dream aspired to be before evolving into the famous Banjo-Kazooie. It’s gonna need some serious Xbox Live money to cross-play with friends, but underwater looting, skeleton fencing and cannonballing is too much to pass up. For all the high sea fun, I have a bad feeling the microtransaction nature in Evolve will have a bad influence upon release. If Warner Brothers can do it, what’s stopping anyone else? A cartoony pirate game is needed since Disney slaughtered the future of the Monkey Island series by euthanizing LucasArts. Guybrush Threepwood needs a pure soul to carry on the tradition.
Not to be too on the nose, but the air has been very hostile to the point where a Twitter update can turn everyone into the vicious chickens from Legend of Zelda. Can you imagine if you held that in front of a mirror?
Far Cry 5
The notion of living in a broken down society on either side minus the consequences of reality oddly enough feels like the best escapism. Especially now that violence in video games is less scapegoated than before. I don’t think Far Cry 5 intended to make any political statements outside of its own insane universe, which has been the running theme in every sequel since two. But flying crop-dusters with gatling guns, bar fights and pyro outings? Might as well go all the way if the end of the world is upon us. It’ll be like a gritty, realistic remake of Team Fortress 2. Guess someone’s got to do something with Valve’s franchises.
Cliffhangers from long ago are now a twist of fate for those hungry for closure. After growing into adults, the fans now decide who gets the backing to finish the abandoned and neglected, like Hey Arnold and Samurai Jack. It’s too bad video games don’t get to taste this privilege. When they do, it’s like witnessing a comet: a once in a lifetime opportunity. And this meteor was a long time coming.
While Sega tries their damndest to keep Sonic on life support, six million dollars sank into jumpstarting Yu Suzuki’s long awaited follow-up to the sadly unloved Shenmue series. Open world games may be the norm compared to the year 2000, but as long as Ryo Hazuki is able to avenge his father in a satisfying execution, the quick-time-events might be worth the struggle. The jagged presentation in early trailers might be the result of its budget (six million is chump change in animation), but there’s still time to iron out the edges. Here’s also hoping an HD collection of the first two games releases before the big day. Playing a franchise in reverse is a backward experience.
When it comes to Kickstarter, the site have received mixed feedback at best with Yooka-Laylee and eternal damnation at worst with Mighty Number 9. Not helping are the fake campaigns that end up stealing people’s money by a sick individual or a corporation using said platform as a beta testing trap. It just goes to show that even the most trusted names in the industry can’t always live up to expectations. But when you’re coming from a studio who’s reputation has hit rock bottom, the only place left to go is up, right?
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
With Castlevania still in the hands of the cold, dead corpse that is Konami, Koji Igarashi took it upon himself to make a spiritual successor in the second dimension where the series has experienced it’s golden age, even in the darkest times. Going off of what little there is outside of updates, there’s hope that the Metroidvania gameplay will live on in a clone that can still stand on it’s own. If it happened with Doom clones surely it can happen here, right? Guess they got to keep the fans in baited breath. So long as Simon Belmont doesn’t have the last laugh.
Hey, did anyone play Star Wars: Battlefront 2? That single player campaign story sure felt fresh and nothing like the garbage fan fiction that everyone’s claiming it to be (sarcasm). Can we get a professional to adapt stuff like this please?
Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Final Season
Joking aside, Telltale is the go to studio for licensed point and click adventures as evident by The Wolf Among Us, Back to the Future and of course the first two season of The Walking Dead. They’re fast, keep you on your toes and gripping even when there’s little choice. Just make Clementine the main character again and we can all have a good cry at the series finale. Saltwater tears are ripe if they’re shed for the intended reasons.
How many times can you reincarnate a franchise before it starts to get stale? Poor Spider-Man has been overcooked to the point where he’s burnt to a crisp on direction. Then again, when Sony owns your film rights things are bound to go off the walls for better or worse. Unlike the convoluted movie timeline, Spidey’s game record has seen the reverse Sonic effect in 3D: the chance to expand in new areas compared to the 2D outings. Pair him up with the studio that spawned an endless arsenal for a space cat and you’ve got the potential recipe for the definitive adaptation.
Going back to my Spider-Man Home Coming review, I quoted Rob Walker in saying there will never be a movie to fully encompass the best parts of the web-slinger’s source. Each one has their own slice of the pie, but they’ll never come together. An open world with high definition graphics? Two Peter Parkers for one adventure? Family struggles alongside signature humor? Villains with stand out designs and hardcore powers? This could finally lead to that elusive goal as long as it doesn’t turn into the repetitive garbage of Spider-Man 3 or The Amazing Spider-Man 2. There’s plenty of licensed shovel ware at home with the E.T. cartridges in New Mexico.
When a franchise lies dormant for almost a decade, there’s a tendency to look back and find out what’s changed when making a new installment. Trends in this industry are like updates to your phone: they happen a lot and keep companies guessing when concerning the general public. On an off topic question, what happened to that bloody corpse at the end of God of War 3?
God of War
With the entire Greek pantheon dead fans were left asking What’s left to slay? when the trailer dropped. Toning down Kratos after his quasi-finale rampage is a stark but welcome experiment to expand on his one-dimensional rage meter after meeting his son. But who knows where the father son trip will lead to past the giant snake that may or may not kill you. After all these years, it’s the same world after all.
Some combinations are a great case of never judging a book by it’s cover. Obvious parings like Alien vs Predator are like chocolate and peanut butter. But sometimes teaming two franchises can lead to confusion at first sight. Who’d have thought ultra-stylized battle mechanics of a JRPG would fit in with the Mickey Mouse Club, outfits and all?
Maybe it’s the Disney fan in me, but being able to fight alongside Woody and Buzz Lightyear is one of the many reasons to stop Xehanort’s evil plan, whatever it is in this convoluted plot. While it might be delayed for whatever reason, going back to the roots of the first game with home console power will more than likely highlight the theme park summons. Being the final installment to Sora’s saga, wasting time in repeated worlds will get annoying really fast. Do we really need to go back to the Olympus Coliseum? There’s more than one world to hold a gladiator match in.
What’s bigger than a world of pirates or gods looking to have your head? How about one where you become a god by taking on nature itself.
Monster Hunter World
Admittedly I’ve never played a Monster Hunter game because I was busy with other RPGs at the time. But with this one jumping to current consoles, there’s enough advances in technology to encompass a whole new experience. And perhaps the best way to be introduced to the series. It’ll be like a remake of Shadow of the Colossus-Oh wait.
Darksiders 3, Kirby Star Allies, Mega Man 11, MediEvil Remastered, Metroid Prime 4, Super Meat Boy Forever, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, Detroit: Become Human
The past half decade has seen indie developers triple in order to escape the dark side of corporations, even if it means re-mortgaging their homes. Game development risks increase overtime and poor sales can lead to liquidations. Just ask the grim reaper’s touch itself, EA. Rarely are there triple A studios that can make a profit and produce hit after hit over the years without breaking their trust to fans. You’d have to be a mad genius to juggle all three. But then, we are talking about Rockstar and Naughty Dog, who are anything but predictable.
Tie: The Last of Us Part 2 + Red Dead Redemption 2
Redefining their genres and winning many game of the year awards, both The Last of Us Part 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2 are the embodiment of excitement and caution. One’s a prequel that possibly has more potential as a straight sequel. The other is a sequel to what many consider a self-contained story. Yet somehow their parents have some notion to keep the story going one way or another. There’s no gameplay footage from either side which already set the bar so high in Zombie survival and open world westerns: on the go crafting, slow-motion lock on and a wheel of arms to make you a one person army. Even their DLC side stories were just as addicting at only half the price. So, no pressure you two.
This is TheCinematicBandicoot and while it might be cheating to not have a tie breaker between these two champs, it goes to show how much hope for the best in 2018 after enduring the usual worst of last year. It’s too bad we won’t see any of the deleted monster in the Shadow of the Colossus remake at worst. That idea was practically gift wrapped for Fumito Ueda.