Games to Look Out for in 2018

Picking our most anticipated games for the coming year has become a bit of tradition here on site. As that big ol’ number at the end starts to jump up, we starting counting down until we get our grubby mitts on what lies ahead in the New Year. So, without further ado, here are out games to look out for in 20

Esler

Dynasty Warriors 9

I’ve been playing the Dynasty Warriors for longer than I care to admit, I’ve worn down countless buttons and almost perfected a technique in removing fingerprints from your thumbs by way of painstakingly fighting my way through the hardest of difficulties with any character I could muster up the courage to try out. It’s a series of big battles and even bigger personalities, but it’s largely been the same format since inception. You’d fight your way through segregated battles and traversing the many provinces of China was as simple as picking whatever fight you wanted to dive headfirst into. That all changes in 2018.

Dynasty Warriors is going open world. That’s right, you heard me. Open. World. It’s something the series has needed for a long time and with a few new faces jumping into the fray to test out the new fighting mechanics, there’s never been a brighter future for Dynasty Warriors fans. The change in direction and approach is bound to bring an invigorating new approach to this iconic hack’n’slash.

Scotch Rat

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

The Medieval Era is a fairly well explored decade when it comes to games, with titles like Total War showcasing the it well, but rarely has it been perfected within the RPG genre – mainly down the the less than immersive worlds. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare came close, but there was something missing. Something that Kingdom Come: Deliverance hopes to bring to the table.

Taking on the role of a blacksmith’s son, you’ll avenge your fallen family and besiege a kingdom in jeopardy to establishyour place in the ironclad world. To double down on the realistic approach, the developers have even consulted numerous experts and created a physics based combat system to provide the most authentic experience possible – further deepening the medieval allure. They’ve even promised a wealth of interesting character customisation options to kit out your character. It’s hard not be excited for Kingdom Come: Deliverance this February.

Shenmue 3

Let’s be real for a second: it’s very unlikely Shenmue 3 will be rearing its head in the marketplace this year, but a man can dream. In spite of any meaningful updates, I still have hope that Yu Suzuki will deliver on his promises. Shenmue deserves a closing chapter as Ryu’s journey is far from over. Personally, I am a bit concerned over the questionable character models and released screens so far, but I am optimistic. At the very least, we know of a certain editor that will be looking forward to the return of a digital Gachapon to piss away his hard earned cash.

Neil

Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life

In the space of just a year, the Yakuza series has had a considerable boost in popularity thanks to the major success of Zero and Kiwami. The former was actually my own starting point for the series, and despite the massive continuity skip from not playing Yakuza 2 onwards, I’m more than happy to jump right into Yakuza 6. Having used older engines for a decade, Yakuza 6 finally uses a more modern engine, and damn if it’s not pretty to look at; truly something only possible on PS4.

As for gameplay, don’t expect Yakuza 6 to stray too far from the norm; you’ll still be beating up thugs and doing strange sub-stories in Kamurocho, though you’ll be paying a visit to Hiroshima as a new locale for the series. The new clan feature will also be interesting; recruiting a variety of colourful characters to help you keep watch of the cities. With previous titles introducing more playable characters, like Shun Akiyama and Goro Majima, Yakuza 6 goes back to having Kazuma Kiryu as the only playable character. It is also rumoured that Yakuza 6 will be the bookend to the Dragon of Dojima’s story. When the end credits roll, expect some manly tears to be shed.

Soulcalibur VI

Ever since I picked up Soulcalibur II some 15 years ago, I have adored the series, despite the constantly declining quality of each subsequent entry. Soulcalibur V, for a litany of reasons, was seen as the nail in the coffin for the franchise. Yet out of the ashes, the series has returned with Soulcalibur VI being revealed to much merriment at Playstation Experience last year.

From the slow trickle of information and clearly younger (not dead) looking fighters, we know that SC VI takes place sometime between SC I and SC III which means some fan favourites will be making an appearance alongside some new characters, hopefully. The throwback to older games is also reflected in the way movement appears to work, with characters seeming nearly as fast on their feet as they did back in the glory days of Soulcalibur II. While there’s a clear attempt to rekindle a love for older games, the meter system from SC V remains as well as the Brave Edge system but it will hopefully be better implemented this time around. There’s also a new parry feature called the Reversal Edge that we are dying to know more about. Regardless of contentious mechanics making a return, I am happy to see another 3D fighter return to relevance in 2018.

CrashScreen

Monster Hunter: World

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Monster Hunter on home consoles—in the west, at least. The last universally accessible Monster Hunter title was Tri and Capcom have clearly been polishing and perfecting the formula with the portable version ever since. But Monster Hunter’s glorious return to home consoles isn’t the only reason to be excited.

Monster Hunter: World features a revised combat system that is far more fluid than its predecessors alongside a far more robust open world with reduced loading times and a tracking system that really brings the Hunter to the forefront of Monster Hunter. But above all else, the title has become more accessible without a detriment to the gameplay. As a niche series, you can imagine the positive impact this will have on its lifespan. It’s one of the strongest looking Monster Hunter games to date and home console fans have waited long enough for an opportunity to sink their teeth into the series again.

Quinn

System Shock

System Shock has had a place in my neural implant since 2012. Considering it’s at ages with the likes of Doom, System Shock was clearly at the forefront of emergent gameplay, storytelling, and environmental design thanks to Looking Glass. It laid out the blueprints for so many popular modern greats. However, System shock was both ahead of its time and of its time, falling victim to clumsy controls, confusing HUDs, and several glitches. All the endemic features of those days that cry out for a remake, a remake that’s almost here.

Thanks to Night Dive Studios and their successful Kickstarter, System Shock returns on all major platforms in 2018. It will be designed from the ground up, meaning that it’s far more than a simple reskin or a glorified mod. It’s a lovingly crafted remaster by fans. Let me tell you, I am damn excited to revisit Citadel Station and set about a few mutants with my lead pipe. I can only imagine how much System Shock will benefit from the graphics upgrade too. But most of all, I am looking forward to bumping heads with the greatest AI and villain in any game ever, SHODAN.

Secret of Mana

Hey, remember when Square was good? Before it became Square Enix and long before your age caught up with you. Well, Secret of Mana is back with a lovely new overhaul, looking better than ever. Harkening back to the good old days before you had to think about taxes and bills.

Secret of Mana was already a beautiful looking and sounding game back in 1993. I loved how vibrant the world was and how everything seemed to have a painterly aspect that built up the 16 bit style. Every pixel had a purpose. Even in the smallest elements, like opening a chest, there was a great depth and thought process was a great deal of fun. Nothing was ever overlooked or felt like a cheap cash in.So, come snuggle with me under the big blanket of nostalgia as we rekindle our love for one of the greatest RPGs ever made.

Mount & Blade II – Bannerlord

I have been waiting years for this sequel to 2012’s cult hit, Mount & Blade: Warband. It has been 6 years since I first drank from the skull of my enemy and it’s now tinted by the blood of all those who have fallen before me.

Warband is addictive, punishing, and, much like myself, deeply flawed. But it’s a damn good game. Slowly growing your army, forming alliances, looting villages, and making enemies all flourished in Mount & Blade. There’s nothing quite like it. You were dropped head first into a medieval world with absolutely no direction and left to work out just how you would fit in. One second you are rolling across the countryside with 200 comrades with all the money in the world, and the next you’re in a prison, penniless without your allies by your side. It’s exhilarating.

Stoogie OB

God of War

2017 was meant to be the great return of Kratos, the angriest main in gaming. He has been AFK since 2013’s God of War: Ascension, but we had a brief glimpse of a much older Kratos in 2016 with a beard and, surprisingly, a son.

Sadly, the soft reboot of God of War did not make it to home consoles in 2017, but 2018 could be its year. Since the first rumours, anticipation has built and Kratos departing from his iconic Blades of Chaos opens up numerous combat possibilities. Instead, he swings a bloodied axe at Norse mythology with renewed vigour.

With this stunning new setting comes and enticing new story, one in which Kratos raises his son, Atreus, throughout their journey. We can expect to see the former god slayer show his son the ropes while exploring his own redemption. It’s probably the most heartfelt story in God of war yet and it looks to be one of the most promising titles of 2018.

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus is one of the most critically acclaimed games of the PS2 and potentially all time. It has a strong nostalgic hold for anyone who played it and there is no better time to revisit Sony’s hit title than during the upswing of one of their most successful consoles to date.

Back in 2016, Shadow of the Colossus pushed the boundaries of artistic direction and graphic fidelity. Climbing each Colossus was an experience coated in fine detail grounded in a well realised world. But time hasn’t been kind to Shadow the Colossus. Technology has moved on and, as a result, so have our expectations.

As a game that is regularly a lynchpin in the “games as art” debate, Shadow of the Colossus could wow a whole new generation of players with some slick 4K visuals this February.

Hutch

Dragon Ball FighterZ

The Dragon Ball Z series has always been a title worthy of a great fighting game, but sorely lacked one. The early 2000s birthed the Budokai series, an open world brawler the expanded the roster and locations until it peaked with Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3. The series would soon depart from the style of the Budokai series and towards the more RPG based style of the Xenoverse series.

And just as Xenoverse usurped Budokai, FighterZ is now seizing control with Arc System Works. Players will now be treated to a classic 2D fighter with a 3vs3 spin. DBFZ stands out from the crowd with its up close, fast paced action and absolutely stunning graphics. While its roster is steadily expanding with Toriyama creating a brand new character from the ground up for FighterZ, the cast is refined down to a perfect collection of memorable fighters. Everything about Dragon Ball FighterZ has me counting down the days until release.

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