Kingdom Hearts 3
It’s a pretty safe bet that Kingdom Hearts 3 is actually the most highly anticipated game of 2018 and it certainly should be. The road to Kingdom Hearts 3 has been a long and trying one as fans have been anxiously waiting more than a decade to check back in with Sora and the gang. Kingdom Hearts is one of the move beloved game franchises of all time and it takes place in a universe filled with the most beloved Disney characters and worlds of all time, which makes the wait for Kingdom Hearts 3 feel even longer.
Fortunately, last year’s D23 gave the world the gift of a new trailer that shows Sora, Donald, and Goofy back together again as they explore the world of Toy Story. The trailer delivered on nostalgia but also showed off combat and featured Sora hopping inside a mech toy to mow down toy-sized Heartless. The Kingdom Hearts franchise features one of the best narratives of all time and the adventure is finally slated to continue in 2018.
Red Dead Redemption 2
It isn’t often that a game is so highly anticipated and pretty much guaranteed to be so amazing that other developers are publicly expressing how happy they are that their own new titles aren’t in the same release window. Red Dead Redemption 2 was originally slated to release in 2017 but Rockstar delayed the release after explaining that they wanted a little more time to fine tune the game. Ubisoft CFO Alan Martinez was happy to hear about the delay saying that it would help make for a more “positive” fiscal year for Ubisoft and opens up a “better window for the launch of some of our games.”
It’s a comment that serves as a reminder of just how strong the fan base is for the first title and how eager new players seem to be to find out what all the hype is about. Outside of a few gorgeous screen shots from the game, some teaser images that were shared on Twitter, and just general fan knowledge about the first game that gives some sort of an idea about what direction a sequel game would go in, there actually isn’t much information about Red Dead Redemption 2 just yet. But sometimes just knowing that the first game was spectacular and being forced to wait roughly eight years for the next game is all you need to know to be excited for a franchise’s return.
Far Cry 5
It’s only been two years since the last Far Cry game but the anticipation for the next addition to the series is still at an unwavering high. Where Far Cry Primal took us back to a much earlier time, Far Cry 5 has a more modern setting that brings the action adventure game to America for the first time. Ubisoft made the bold decision to deal with more serious subject matter this time around by diving into cults and racism. Far Cry 5 will offer players the opportunity to explore a sprawling landscape with evil brewing in its shadows. A doomsday cult known as the Project at Eden’s Gate is ready to launch a violent takeover of Hope County and players will find themselves joining forces with other residents in the county in order to form the Resistance.
God of War
This year marks a particularly bright one for many gamers as Kratos is back in action and this time he has a new title — father. Early preview trailers for the new God of War focused on Kratos training his son and preparing him for an unpredictable and intimidating world. But God of War comes with just as much mystery as it does excitement that everyone’s favorite god-killer is returning. While the new God of War is said to be a true sequel to 2010’s God of War III, it’s hard to ignore the game’s departure from Greek mythology as it dives into Norse mythology instead. While this opens doors for new characters and lore to fill the universe, it will be interesting to see how the mythology shift will be addressed in the game or if it will be ignored completely. Either way, there are plenty of reasons to be eager for the new God of War to hit shelves this year.
Last year wasn’t a great one for the BioWare crew but 2018 has one shining glimmer of promise that could make up for all the mistakes Mass Effect: Andromeda made. Anthem is a Destiny-esque game that features a jaw-droppingly beautiful world that is just waiting to be explored. But in the midst of all the beauty, various dangers reside and wait for careless players to make the wrong move.
In Anthem, players will control jetpack-equipped Javelins. There are a variety of different Javelins in the game so people with different play styles can find the best option for them. This also means that Anthem will likely provide tons of opportunities to emphasize the importance of teamwork and executing a well-coordinated strategy. It will be interesting to see how well Anthem is received when Destiny 2 still remains fairly popular and has more DLC on the way. Anthem could be the game that snatches much of Destiny 2’s player base or it could be a game that fumbles in the shadows of Bungie’s popular sci-fi first person shooter.
Have you ever wanted to step into the bright crimson and blue spandex of Spider-Man and sling your way around New York City in an Uncharted-esque adventure? Even if you haven’t, taking one look at Marvel’s Spider-Man will surely change your mind. Sony Interactive, Insomniac Games, and Marvel have all joined forces for the upcoming Spider-Man game that will give players the ability to freely roam around the city as their favorite web-shooting super hero.
When you aren’t exploring, you can fight crime around the city and engage in what appears to be a pretty fun combat system. Previews of the game showcased combat that looks very similar to the likes of Batman: Arkham Knight but in a more vividly colored environment that offers more variety in terms of how you can interact with your current setting to punish bad guys. The upcoming Spider-Man title easily had one of the most impressive gameplay trailers of E3 2017 so it’s no surprise that gamers are eagerly waiting to see if the final product will live up to the hype.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
If there was an award for the most highly anticipated fighting game of 2018, it would have to go to Dragon Ball FighterZ. Bandai Namco stole all the shine from Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite during last year’s E3 with the upcoming 2D Dragon Ball Z fighter and early responses to the game’s beta have been very positive so far. While the combat can be pretty fast-paced and intense at times, the mechanics really seem to capture the type of battles that unfold in the anime. From teleporting across the screen, sending out devastating projectiles, and sending your opponent crashing through mountains in the background, Dragon Ball FighterZ is poised to finally give the franchise the traditional fighter it always deserved.
The 2017 Game Awards served as the backdrop for a very special and exciting announcement. It was then that Soulcalibur VI was finally confirmed, causing a major stir throughout the FGC. With Dragon Ball FighterZ also releasing this year, Bandai Namco is poised to have a strong start to 2018 with two of the most hyped fighting games under its belt. There isn’t necessarily a ton of information available yet for this title but early trailers have already revealed familiar faces like Sophitia and Mitsurugi. Soulcalibur VI will also be rendered in Unreal Engine 4, which means fans should expect the new entry to boast the most detailed graphics and fluid gameplay that the franchise has seen yet.
Microsoft’s open world action-adventure game boasting destructible environments has seen several delays already and fingers are crossed that Crackdown 3 will finally hit the shelves in 2018. Crackdown 2 felt like a bit of a disappointment as a sequel to the first game, which has left a void in terms of a proper sequel for Crackdown. Crackdown 3 is a game that will have some serious pressure on its shoulders upon release but hopes are high that it will exceed all expectations. Crackdown 3 is one of the most highly anticipated Xbox One exclusives slated to release in 2018, which means a successful launch would mark a much-needed victory for the franchise’s return and for Microsoft overall.
Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter: World allows players to dive into a living, breathing ecosystem that serves as a fantastic reminder that this universe existed long before the player arrived. There is something particularly refreshing about a world that feels immersive but doesn’t feel like it was constructed solely based on the player’s existence in it. Monsters in this world may attack each other rather than focus on you and your party, and the environment around you may actually hold the key to how you should best take down a challenging monster.
So far Monster Hunter: World simply looks like it’s bringing back everything you’ve always loved around the series but adding on a far more immersive environment, more beautiful landscapes than ever before, and meaningful quality of life changes like the added tweaks that make the switch between multiplayer and solo play less of a headache. This is definitely one to look out for in 2018.