Last year’s ensemble of showcase events, conferences and conventions threw some pretty incredible titles into the running for 2018. The multitude of the games due for release this year include the likes of Red Dead Redemption, Metro Exodus, Far Cry 5, Sea of Thieves and TellTale’s The Walking Dead Game season finale. PlayStation in particular saw a rather strong exclusive line up with the likes of Days Gone, God Of War, Detroit: Become Human and Spiderman to name a few, all supposedly to see release this year. With such a myriad of titles upcoming in 2018 it would seem there’s a game for everyone to be excited for. I’ve narrowed down this diverse list of impending games into a top 5 I am in greatest anticipation of. Some of these games are yet to be assigned exact released dates but speculation has it that they should be out at some point this year. This is my opinion as opposed to general consensus.
1 – Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Hacker’s Memory (19th January 2018)
Hacker’s memory is the sequel to Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth and is the first release of this year I am in eager anticipation of. The first title in Media.Vision’s Digimon series was absolutely brilliant. Based off of the Digimon franchise, Cyber Sleuth not only flourished with a strong nostalgic sense about it but also revelled in an abundance of high quality JRPG elements. It had an engrossing story that completely hooked you start to finish and quite honestly, nothing brought me more joy than trying to obtain each and every Digimon I obsessed over back in the day. Back in April Bandai Namco Entertainment unveiled Hacker’s memory in accompaniment with a trailer that showcased a new hero, story and a whole new assortment of Digimon to traverse cyberspace dungeons and battle with. Other trailers were slowly dispersed over the duration of 2017 including a feature trailer that indicated some obscure ties to the prior title. I’m super excited to emerge myself into the Digi-world once again and see how this sequel follows up a title I undoubtedly enjoyed, also offering me further opportunity to revisit my childhood.
2- Days Gone (2018)
SIE Bend Studio’s Days Gone has no doubt been lurking on the vast majority of PlayStationers list of most anticipated games since it’s initial announcement back at E3 in 2016. The post-apocalyptic survival horror title has seen plenty more trailers and gameplay footage reveals since that has left the PlayStation community in complete awe and excitement. At the E3 2016 showcase we were teased with some awesome demo footage in which we watched a male lead trying to escape a mortifying amount of zombies. What intrigues me most about Days Gone is the fact it stands out amongst the post-apocalyptic/ zombie horde titles floating around in the market as of recent. It doesn’t seem choc-full of the more lighthearted elements we see in the likes of Dying Light and Dead Island in which you chop up masses of sluggish zombies with hand-crafted weapons, toying with them like a child on an ant hill with a magnifying glass. Instead Days Gone looks to be more of a thought inducing game, encouraging players to utilise the environment as to steer clear of the “Freakers” as opposed to confronting them directly. I can only imagine the caution, tension and general intense atmosphere this will generate as a result. After the gorgeous theatrical display as Days Gone was showcased E3 2017 in which Shawn Layden came on stage having to navigate through as actors dressed as “Freakers” that dangled from the ceiling, it’s safe to say this is quite rightfully one of the games due for release this year that I’m most excited for.
3 – Anthem ( Late 2018)
As John Warner (Bioware) initially presented the world premier of Anthem’s gameplay at E3 2017, I immediately felt it had a Crysis vibe about it which stole my attention instantaneously. I’m a total sucker for a good co-op/multiplayer title and anyone who knows me will be well aware of that. Bioware’s Anthem features an online open-world in which players can explore with their friends. The game has a post-apocalyptic vibe about it from the get go having displayed in the trailer a world overrun by nature that players must explore in exosuits. I love multiplayer titles that try to encourage a strong sense of teamwork and team balancing and it already seems as if that’s something that is to be heavily implemented in Anthem with the exosuit system. From the trailer we can depict that a player can cater their exosuit to their preferences, that then having an outwards affect on the abilities and manoeuvres that are then available to them. I can see this instigating preparation amongst team members before exploring the wild in regards to balancing teams with exosuits that will allow them to exploit the span of abilities available and consequently up their odds of survival outside of the main social hub area. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how Anthem plays and it’s the reason it’s one of my most anticipated games for 2018.
4 – “Shadow Of The Tomb Raider” (2018)
As mentioned prior, a lot of releases supposedly due this year are down to speculation as developers and publishers haven’t been dishing out exact release dates very liberally. Talk of a new Tomb Raider is definitely something I’m excited for based on”reinforced” speculation. After countless rumours and leaks throughout 2017 of a possible sequel titled “Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, Square Enix confirmed on their Twitter that “A new Tomb Raider game is coming” and details of which are to revealed at a “major event in 2018”. The devs promised in their tweet to fans that it wont be long between the new action-adventure title’s reveal and when the players will actually be able to indulge in the game hereby strongly insinuating a 2018 release date. I’ve personally always been a huge fan of the Tomb Raider series and the reboot series in 2013 reeled me in even further. The new take on Tomb Raider in both the initial series reboot title Tomb Raider and Rise Of The Tomb Raider is one I’ve taken to very warmly. The games are primarily orientated around character development, story and really generating that immersive bond between player and protagonist and it was a nice change of pace to an otherwise purely action-packed game series. I was admittedly, slightly disappointed by Rise Of The Tomb Raider as the games focus became somewhat blurred as open-world segments expanded and the story became less linear and poignant. However, I am exited to see where Square Enix steer the series in this upcoming addition as by the sounds of the title we are edging closer to the more renowned Tomb Raider image. I do hope we see a release in 2018.
5 – Metro Exodus (2018)
Metro Exodus is perhaps the game I’m in greatest anticipation of in 2018. I was honestly in total awe after watching it’s gameplay announcement trailer at E3 2017, I couldn’t deter my eyes from the trailer, I had goosebumps and as the logo signalled the end of the trailer I just thought “I HAVE to play this game”. I was so completely swayed by the E3 showcase that I figured I’d go back and play Metro Redux which included both remastered Metro games – Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light (which I’m still currently in the process of playing through). Typically I don’t take to horror titles too kindly but 4A Games Metro series won me over with it’s more prominent “atmospheric horror” vibe. The series is set as the title depicts, in the underground Metro tunnels in which humanity has taken refuge after a nuclear war. On the desecrated surface above, masses of mutated wildlife roams freely and bleed their way into the less protected parts of the underground tunnel system. In being set primarily in a dark eerie setting, Metro really generates an atmosphere of pure intensity as you play and I have no fear that the same will be said of Metro Exodus upon it’s release. From the trailer we catch a glimpse of the crippled, post-apocalyptic setting outside of the safety of the tunnels and it looks astounding and I have no doubt it will look even more glorious on the newer, more powerful PS4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles. I am well aware I am going to be cowering like a wuss as I play Metro Exodus yet, I am in insatiable anticipation of it all the same.
All in all 2018 is absolutely riddled with great releases, given dates aren’t pushed back of course. It’s almost as if you can hear the faint cries of wallets and purses as the begrudgingly await the onslaught of big releases and the cost they’ll come at. E3 and other conferences have dished out some really strong contenders for this year and although I’m slightly gutted Insomniac Games are so tied up with Spiderman (which surprisingly hasn’t made it into my top 5 most anticipated games of 2018) that there’s no talk of a new Ratchet And Clank on the horizon, there’s plenty of phenomenal titles to compensate. Our most anticipated games of 2018 was the focus of our latest podcast episode 46 and by listening you can hear what games Dan & Rebecca are eagerly awaiting the release of this year.
Feel free to comment any games you are looking forward to in 2018.