Ben’s Most Anticipated Video Games of 2018

Last year was one of the best in video game history. From fantastic sequels like the series savior Resident Evil 7 to original instant classics like Horizon Zero Dawn, 2017 gave us some of the most outstanding games ever produced. Luckily, 2018 looks like it might be just as great, maybe even better! Here are the upcoming releases that I’m most excited for, so far:

Update: I will be adding my thoughts on the games listed when they release and adding new games as the year progresses, so make sure to bookmark this page and check on it every once in a while!

 

Honorable Mention: Final Fantasy VII Remake

2976152-ff7r_4
Cloud has aged AMAZINGLY well.

Platforms: Playstation 4

I’m totally cheating with my honorable mention because Final Fantasy VII Remake probably won’t be out until 2020, but there’s no way I’m not going to bring up a full-fledged remake of my favorite video game of all time on a list of games I’m eager to play. With the addition of standard qualities seen in today’s games (like voice acting and human beings with semi-realistic proportions), Final Fantasy VII Remake will hopefully instill the same awe in a new generation of gamers that it did in me two decades ago. And to the people who keep telling me that Final Fantasy VI was better: I don’t see trailers for your remake anywhere…

 

Destiny 2: Forsaken

destiny-2-gambit-maps-2
Destiny 2 doesn’t need to be bigger or better, but I’ll take it!

Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

In September 2015, Bungie released a massive add-on for the first Destiny called “The Taken King.” It dwarfed the two previous pieces of DLC, and made Destiny almost feel like an entirely different game. Bungie seems to be following the same pattern with Destiny 2. After two fairly small additions, Curse of Osiris and Warmind, the third looks like it will revolutionize Destiny 2 as we know it. New ways to customize your weapons and load-outs, different abilities and super attacks for each of the nine playable subclasses, a new(ish) villain working with a strange version of a classic enemy faction, another raid, and a western-themed revenge story involving the death of a fan-favorite character have me eagerly awaiting the Destiny 2: Forsaken. I wasn’t initially planning on adding any DLC to this list, but anyone who played Destiny before and after The Taken King can tell you why Forsaken has us Destiny players hyped.

 

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu/Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee

pokemon_letsgo_switch.png
Yes, I’m almost 30 and still love Pokémon.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

I’ve loved Pokémon for almost 20 years, but I thought I was done with any new entries in the series after barely playing Pokémon Sun and Moon. However, Game Freak’s newest versions look like they’ll evoke some serious nostalgia (being quasi-remakes of Pokémon Yellow) in long-time fans, and also give us something we’ve wanted since the early 2000’s: A new game on a home console. That’s enough to draw me back into Kanto at least one more time.

Also, learning that Let’s Go players can transfer their Pocket Monsters from Pokémon Go makes me feel slightly less ashamed for playing the mobile game as long as I did…. And maybe still do…

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The rebooted Lara’s third adventure.

Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

I wasn’t too big a fan of the Tomb Raider franchise until it was rebooted in 2013. Once it was, Lara Croft’s new origin story quickly became one of my favorite games from the last console generation. The sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider built on the reboot’s success, and I have no doubt in my mind that developer Square Enix will craft another awesome adventure for gaming’s greatest treasure hunter.

She’s way better than Nathan Drake! Yeah, I said it!

 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Smash Bros. Switch eye
My eyes got slightly wider than this Squid kid’s when I heard a new Smash was on the way.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

I honestly don’t care if this is just a port of the Wii U version on The Switch (which has Captain Falcon) or a whole new game with an updated roster (that includes Captain Falcon), I will always welcome more Smash (and Captain Falcon) into my game collection. Each iteration of Nintendo’s crossover brawler franchise holds some of my favorite gaming memories, and it’s highly unlikely that the newest entry won’t create a few more.

E3 Update: Nintendo not only announced the full title at E3, but also revealed the roster of a whopping 65 characters that includes everyone from the previous games. Pichu, Toon Link, Solid Snake, Cloud Strife, and every other fan favorite will return for what may be the best Smash yet.

 

Anthem

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You had me at “exo-suits”

Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

After the extremely disappointing Mass Effect Andromeda (or “BLANDROMEDA,” amirite?), Bioware is changing gears with their upcoming title, Anthem. Will a game that combines the cooperative monster slaying elements of Monster Hunter, power armor akin to Halo/Starcraft/Warhammer/whatever, and an open world narrative similar to Destiny be enough make us forget about Andromeda? Only time will tell for sure, but I think that it’s very likely. And even if Anthem doesn’t bring back all of Bioware’s old fans, it will most certainly create new ones. As someone who was never too keen on Dragon Age or Mass Effect, this is the most hyped I’ve been for a Bioware game in a long time.

Update: Anthem has unfortunately been pushed back to 2019. Hopefully Bioware uses that time to make sure their newest product lives up to the excitement it’s created in new and old fans.

 

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

Travis Strikes Again No More Heroes 3.jpg
I’ll play almost anything from the wonderfully twisted mind of Suda 51.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Grasshopper Manufacture is known for games that are equal parts great and bizarre, and the first two No More Heroes (along with Lollipop Chainsaw) are the greatest and most bizarre of the bunch. The first installments of the series follow protagonist Travis Touchdown, a wrestling fan armed with a laser sword he bought online, as he clashes with a bunch of eccentric, colorful assassins. The badass goofball isn’t just fighting more killers this time though. Travis and Badman, the father of an opponent Travis killed in the first game, are forced to compete with each other (and work together during co-op segments) when they get sucked into a video game. While that premise makes Travis Strikes Again sound like a sequel, director Goichi “Suda 51” Suda has said it’s more of a reboot for the series than a continuation of Travis’ story so far. If you haven’t played the previous NMH games, it looks like 2018 will be a good time to jump in.

 

GTFO

GTFO game
How was everyone involved with choosing the title “GTFO” not asked to do just that?

Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

Aside from displaying a laughably bad title, the first teaser for 10 Chambers Collective’s new survival horror game hit all the right notes for me. A four-player cooperative game in a genre that hasn’t had many remarkable entries (aside from the amazing Resident Evil 7) in quite a while would be enough, but it may also be the closest thing we’ll ever get to a decent version of Aliens: Colonial Marines. I’m still mad at Gearbox for botching a game with such a great premise (and not completely focusing on Borderlands 3), but GTFO just might fill the void in my gamer heart left by all that wasted potential.

 

Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter World
I can’t wait to turn that thing into a pair of boots!

Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

I’ve always admired the Monster Hunter series from afar, but I was never able to get into it. The previous entries were always released at times (in the US) when I was busy with other games or on consoles I didn’t have/want, but I’m really making an effort to keep my schedule open this time around. I recently played the beta for Monster Hunter: World, and I loved it! If that’s any indication of things to come (which it probably is), slaying giant beasts with friends online might be one of my favorite things to do next year.

Update: After roughly two hours of monster hunting and four and a half hours of NOT monster hunting, I gave up on my journey through Monster Hunter: World. While the action was intense, there was too much grinding and fighting the same monsters again and again in between new encounters to keep me invested… And that’s coming from someone who played Destiny, a game known for its grinding, for three years.

 

Shadow of The Colossus Remake

Shadow of The Colossus Remake
I hear he looks bigger in person.

Platforms: Playstation 4

Like the Monster Hunter series, time and console-based circumstances kept me from playing Shadow of The Colossus and its Playstation 3 remaster. Team Ico’s 2005 giant-slaying epic is widely regarded as one of the greatest video games ever made, and I’m looking forward to finally seeing what all the hype was about. Amazingly, I’ve managed to avoid hearing or reading any spoilers from the game’s story, so there’s a good chance that the remake will astound me like it did with its first fans 13 years ago.

Update:  Lauren and I agree that Shadow of The Colossus lives up to its prestigious reputation. If you haven’t played it yet, you’re missing out on something truly special.

Check out our Shadow of The Colossus co-review here.

 

God of War

God of War 2018
Not the usual father/son dynamic.

Platforms: Playstation 4

Oh how I’ve missed Kratos, the perpetually pissed off demigod. After -SPOILERS FOR THE GOD OF WAR SERIES- killing off virtually every Greek monster, hero, and deity ever, the Ghost of Sparta now aims to murder the legends of Norse mythology in the series’ fourth main entry. However, Kratos’ next adventure looks pretty different from his previous outings. The insanely violent hack-n-slash combat our favorite Godslayer is known for appears to have been toned down (although it still looks ridiculously brutal), and now seems fairly reminiscent of Naughty Dog’s third-person action adventure titles, Uncharted and The Last of Us. While this change may upset some, it has made me even more excited. Santa Monica Studio realized that their beloved series needs to change with the times, and I respect that… As long as I still get to rip the head off of, tear in half, or straight up obliterate almost every single living thing in my way.

Update: God of War breathes new life into one of my favorite video game series with a new mythology, gameplay style, and a narrative that manage to put it above God of War III, which was the best in the series until this point and one of my favorite games ever.

Read my full God of War review here.

 

Spider-Man

Insomniac Spiderman
I’m diggin’ the new suit.

Platforms: Playstation 4

The people at Insomniac Games understand what made Rocksteady’s Batman trilogy such a huge success, and it looks like they’re aiming to give Marvel’s Wall-Crawler the same treatment. Fluid combat with huge action set pieces, an original story that isn’t tied to any other property, and an open world to explore are the hallmarks of Batman’s greatest gaming adventures. I’m betting that soon enough they’ll be Spidey’s too. And in all honesty, I’ve been DYING to web-swing around an open map of New York again since 2002’s Spider-Man 2 game.

E3 Update: Sony showed a strong gameplay demo during E3 that has only built up my excitement for Spider-Man. The combat, open-world navigation, and character designs all look absolutely incredible. Waiting three more months for this game will be torturous.

 

The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us Part II 2
Gaming’s greatest heroine.

Platforms: Playstation 4

If I was asked to explain why I love video games, I’d probably bring up Naughty Dog’s 2013 masterpiece more than a few times. The Last of Us helped prove that video games are one of the best platforms for storytelling. It’s a prime example of how the narrative, characters, and emotional impact of a video game can match the best of any film, television series, or book. Joel and Ellie’s journey is as close to perfect as any tale could be, and I can’t wait to see what awaits them in the sequel. Players are mainly controlling Ellie this time around, and I’m looking forward to seeing how she’s changed since we last saw her. Is she still the optimistic and caring girl we got to know in the first game, or has her time exploring the world (well, what’s left of it) made her colder like Joel? Has she found new friends, or given up on connecting with others after so much loss? And most importantly: Will she ever see those giraffes again?

E3 Update: Like Spider-Man, The Last of Us Part II got a great deal of exposure at E3. With our first look at gameplay, my expectations are even higher now. The combat, argubly one of the weaker elements of the original, looks super smooth and totally intense. And with the gameplay’s shocking violence bookend by sequences of happiness and serenity, it’s crystal clear that the people at Naughty Dog still know how to tell a powerful story. The lack of a release date has me concerned that it may not be released in 2018, but if the end product is as advertised, it’ll be worth the wait

 

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