2018 was wild for video games I mean, the last few years have had must play after must play. I threw down on new title after new title and rarely actually beat an entire game before having to rush out for the next one. I’m looking forward to a quieter year with most of the games that I am interested in launching early on(?). Giving me time to play and to actually catch up on my backlog.
I have looked over the highly anticipated blockbusters (The Last Of Us Part 2, Metroid Prime 4, Anthem, Cyberpunk 2077) and the brilliant indie titles (In The Valley Of The Gods, Spelunky 2, Ape-Out, Ori And The Will Of The Wisps) that should be dropping this calendar year. While those all look appealing, these are the top ten that have caught my interest.
Bloodstained: Ritual of The Night
(Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows PC & Xbox One – TBA 2019)
Koji Igarashi’s Castlevania games were like a major event to my friends and myself. IGA (as his fans call him) and his team’s mastery of the genre was present in each release, whether it was sticking to tried and true ideas or trying out new gameplay elements. I would bet that Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night is not going to be a disappointment considering how hard Curse Of The Moon ruled in 2018. This is a day one purchase if you dig “Metroidvania’s.”
(PS4, Windows PC & Xbox One – TBA 2019)
I love how Remedy always gives us something new AND something that grows naturally out of their oeuvre. If you have seen the trailer for Control then perhaps the floating people in rigor might remind you of the frozen people in Quantum Break. It also has that shadowy, shifty ethereal space from Alan Wake with the gun play and powers of Quantum Break/Max Payne. Venturing into all the big pulp genres – gritty cop, then horror writer, then time travel gone wrong, and now…Area 51 aliens? It does look to be a very WEIRD supernatural hero’s journey.
(Windows PC and other console versions- TBA 2019)
If you like wide open, free-roaming and sense of adventure than Sable could be the one for you. Sable reminds me of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, so I’m 100% down for that! It’s got a weird vibe so it should be interesting and it looks insane (I.E. visually stunning.)
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
(PS4, Windows PC & Xbox One – March 22nd)
The next brutal action game by FromSoftware is almost here and if Bloodborne or Dark Souls is your jam, playing as a one-armed warrior who’s seeking vengeance sounds like a fine way to spend a weekend (or longer). Im just hoping it has a well written narrative, instead of abstract exposition dumps via item descriptions. A cinematic experience more akin to the MGS series as opposed to the DS series. Show me what you got.
Untitled Goose Game
(Mac, Nintendo Switch & Windows PC – Early 2019)
What is Untitled Goose Game? Goat Simulator but with a goose? Hitman with a goose? OR … A clever mix of stealthy heist shenanigans and player-created slapstick humor where you, as a meddlesome goose, has a long list of havoc to unleash. I want to be a horrible goose!
(Xbox One- TBA 2019)
The nostalgia is REAL. The NES classic from back in the day. Battletoads was a hard as nails beat ’em up that if you played you most likely swore, threw your controller multiples times and rarely got to the end. Now that it is returning with body-morphing genre mashups, three-player couch co-op, 4K hand-drawn 2.5D graphics, and broad non-specific feature declarations I can finally achieve that level of mastery. The kind that takes many months, if not years…wish me luck.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course
(Xbox One & Windows PC – Early 2019)
Another helping of Cuphead? Slams a Jolt Cola, bring it! Sure, Cuphead is “Hard” however there’s a pretty big difference between how difficult a game is and how punishing is. A game like Super Meat Boy has short levels that will kill you repeatedly, but you always feel willing to step back in. But if you made a game that was super easy, but dying puts you back about 20 minutes of progress, it would be almost immediately controller throwing. They told me to be ready to die a lot, So I did. And yes, I want more.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man Of Medan
(PS4, Windows PC & Xbox One – TBA 2019)
An anthology based interactive horror series where each game is set in the same universe, entirely self contained, with the intention that you can play this choose your own adventure in any order that you choose. The first title, Man Of Medan, will release in 2019 with the intention to release a new game every six months. Until Dawn was a gaming highlight for myself in 2015, I hope Supermassive games really lean in on the horror tropes with this one.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
(PS4, Windows PC & Xbox One – Late 2019)
It has been stated that Fallen Order will focus on a Padawan trainee who survived the Jedi massacre seen in Revenge Of The Sith. Given that Respawn is behind the game, there’s plenty to be excited about. Some might scoff at the fact that it is another EA S.W. title but, I’m such a sucker for Star Wars and I’m STARVED for a good single player campaign. If this is a spiritual successor Jedi Knight/Jedi Academy stories and they nail the lightsaber combat, it IS an instabuy.
Ever hear of Retro Game Challenge? Or Action 52? UFO 50 is clearly winking at those old (and awful) collections of retro-tanged games. The concept seems to be “Hey, what would it be like if one of those crappy combo cartridges was actually… good?.” Fifty games in one? Even if five of them are above average, that is quite the bang for the buck. Cyber Owls for the win!
Let me know what gems I have omitted from my list in the comments and what YOU are most excited to play in 2019.
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