2017 is having one heck of a stellar game year thus far, with a lot of key releases coming this past month alone, like Injustice 2, DiRT 4, WipEout: Omega Collection, Tekken 7 and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. And we're not done yet, as we'll see key additions to franchises like Star Wars: Battlefront, Call of Duty and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War down the road.
But let's take a close look at 2018. As you may know, a few games have been delayed to next year, and some have become key announcements for earlier in the year. Next week's E3 event will no doubt stack the deck with a number of new announcements as well, so we'll have even more to look forward to. But, right now, there's a lot to get excited over.
So let's take a look at five key releases that will help define the gaming year that is 2018. It's still a ways off, but well worth waiting for, especially when it comes to sequels that will truly define what their series are all about.
Visceral's Star Wars Game
Of course, Electronic Arts and DICE are going all in with the Star Wars franchise this year with the long-awaited follow-up to Battlefront, with its expanded multiplayer options and its all-new single player campaign. But next year will be just as interesting, as we're likely to learn more about the publisher's next Star Wars project. It'll be more adventure-based, with the team at Visceral (Battlefield: Hardline, the Dead Space trilogy) handling development, and Uncharted's Amy Hennig putting together the story. Will it be anything like the cancelled Star Wars: 1313 project, or will we see something entirely new? Whichever way it goes, we're excitedprevnext
Kingdom Hearts III
There's still a big "maybe" hanging over this particular Square Enix sequel. Actually, two. Maybe we'll see it at the end of this year. But, then again, maybe we won't see it until 2019. But we're betting on a late 2018 release for this one, if only because Square doesn't want to leave its fans waiting too long. Kingdom Hearts III has been highly anticipated since its initial announcement a couple of years back, with a tease at gameplay improvements and new Disney locales that will be included this time around. Square's team is no doubt building this one up to be an incredible sequel, and maybe – again, maybe – 2018 will be the year that it truly shakes things up.prevnext
Here's another game that could very well be on the map for a late 2018 release – but, then again, we said the same thing for The Last of Us Part II – and if it does arrive, it'll certainly be worth it. Death Stranding will mark the return of Hideo Kojima in a big way, with his first original game production outside of the Metal Gear universe, and it definitely looks like something that truly defines him, with its weird yet awesome setting. Not only that, but it'll be star-studded, featuring the likes of The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus, along with director Guillermo del Toro and a particular favorite actor of ours, Mads Mikkelsen. And who knows who else we'll see in the production with the inevitable trailer coming next week during Sony's presentation. Oh, yeah, we're all over this one.prevnext
Far Cry 5
Announced a little while back, Ubisoft's first big title for 2018 promises to change the course of the Far Cry saga as we know it. Rather than taking place on a tropical island and forcing you to take on the usual set of nutballs, Far Cry 5 instead takes place in Montana, where you're up against a diabolical cult leader and his followers, who will stop at nothing to retain their idea of peace. The game offers a ton of options within its open world environment, and the idea of getting into dogfight battles or leveling a cult camp with a runaway truck sounds pretty damn good to us. We'll have to wait till February for this one, but our excitement is already building up for Far Cry 5.prevnext
Red Dead Redemption 2
Of course, it'd be absolutely silly of us to not mention the latest project from Rockstar Games. Sure, it's been delayed a few more months than expected, but that will allow the developers to make this game just as good – if not better – than the original that preceded it several years ago. We're expecting hours' worth of gameplay out of this one, whether it's getting into shootouts with our friends, chasing down someone on horseback, playing some cards, or engaging in quick draw events where you can prove you're the mightiest gun in the West. You know how they say "some things are worth the wait"? Red Dead Redemption 2 is certainly amongst them.prevnext
BONUS: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Here's another title that could very well evaporate into some kind of 2019 release, as Igarashi-san and his team are still hard at work on it. But there's also a very good chance we'll see it around Halloween-time in 2018 – the perfect time to get into a Castlevania-esque adventure. The early demo we played a few months back left us with high hopes over this one, as it'll be an open-world side-scrolling adventure similar in spirit to Symphony of the Night. But this one will feature better visuals, along with a few gameplay tropes that shift it slightly away from the usual Belmont tropes. Old-schoolers are feverishly awaiting this title – and we're right there alongside them.
What games are you looking forward to in 2018?prev