While it may be hard to hear, delays are sometimes essential to help meet players’ ever-growing expectations, hit the quality that the studio is aiming for, and stick the game’s overall landing. Thing is, these delays can occasionally put the kibosh on the excitement factor along the road to release. Worse still, due to the complicated nature of video game development, some projects get stuck in development hell — much akin to the film biz — and never see the light of day. With all that in mind, then, here are our 8 video game picks that we really hope to see come out in 2023. Let’s go!
Even though the Souls-like sub-genre is arguably reaching saturation point, it’s fair to say that it’s still a viable canvas that can be utilised to create tactically rich, dark and brooding action-RPG experiences. Enter Eitr, a promising indie action-adventure title that boasts all the signature hallmarks of FromSoftware’s epic series, albeit on an isometric 2D plane.
Announced at E3 back in 2015, Eitr was pegged to launch on PC, PS4 and even Sony’s beleaguered PS Vita handheld console. In addition, it was also snapped up by popular cult publisher Devolver Digital, though it now appears that the title is in the midst of development hell due to a lack of any discernible release date. Still, whether Eitr is dead or not remains to be seen, but we still have an ember of hope that it’ll one day see the light of day. Fingers firmly crossed, eh?
Sea of Stars
For those who were a big fan of 2018’s ninja action-platformer The Messenger, we may have some good news for you. Yes, Sabotage Studio is currently in the process of developing a prequel to the under-the-radar hit in the form of Sea of Stars.
Interestingly, while this prelude may be thematically in tune with its forebear — it’s a love letter to the retro classics of yore, much like The Messenger — this upcoming adventure is set to be a bit of a departure gameplay-wise as Sea of Stars is being touted as a turn-based RPG rather than a 2D action game.
Thing is, while Sea of Stars was scheduled to launch in 2022, the game received a delay into 2023, which has us wondering whether things are going to plan behind-the-scenes. Hopefully, it’s just a case of a studio needing a little extra time for polish, because we’re pretty excited to finally get our hands on this one.
Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals
2016’s Oxenfree was a big critical success earning itself numerous awards to boot. So, when Night School Studio announced a sequel in 2021, fans of the narrative mystery experience were pretty darn excited to discover what could possibly happen in a follow-up.
However, while Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals was pegged for a 2022 release, the game’s launch date sadly slipped into the next year. Per the developer’s official statement: “To make Oxenfree II truly special and add more localizations, we’re moving our release window to 2023.”
Clearly, the extra time from the delay will give the Netflix-owned studio a little more time to iron out any unwelcome kinks and ensure the much-anticipated sequel delivers the goods when it finally drops anchor in the new year.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
With the success of James Cameron’s sophomore cinematic effort making waves at theaters right now, one would presume that an Avatar title announced back in 2017 would want to hit at the same time, right? I mean, talk about free advertising.
However, while the standalone story set on the otherworldly planet of Pandora was billed to release sometime in 2022/2023, we can now safely say that it definitely won’t be hitting this year. Instead, it’s likely that Ubisoft’s sci-fi fantasy open-world experience will land in that latter timeframe.
In Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, players assume the role of a mysterious Na’vi and will be given the opportunity to explore a wholly unique area of Pandora that audiences haven’t had a chance to see yet, dubbed the Western Frontier. Of course, the greedy Resources Development Administration are on the hunt for precious resources, so you’ll be tasked with rooting them out with the assistance of a myriad of friendly flora and fauna.
Skull and Bones
If you’re more of a hornswagglin’ seadog and in the mood to do a spot of plunderin’, then Ubisoft’s other much-anticipated open-world (open-sea?) adventure, Skull and Bones, may be just what the scurvy ol’ doctor ordered.
Having received a number of delays since its original inception back in 2013, the project has gone from an Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag expansion to an MMO spin-off title to a fully-fledged AAA release. Despite such a rocky road to release, Skull and Bones is locked in for a 9 March, 2023 launch date, but there’s a small part of us which wouldn’t be too surprised if it picked up yet another delay. Cross those digits, ya filthy landlubbers!
Revealed at Gamescom earlier this year, Atlas Fallen is shaping up to be an exciting project from the Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13. Blending epic fantasy and fluid action with hulking gods that you’ll need to put six feet under, Atlas Fallen will not only boast a big open-world, but will also come toting two-player co-op to boot.
While this action-RPG is penciled in for a 2023 launch date, the game’s recent announcement combined with the reveal of the studio’s other The Lords of the Fallen reboot earlier this year gives us reason to question that specific release window. Still, we could be completely off base with that and perhaps it’ll launch smoothly without any delays at all. We’ll find out soon enough!
Another rather enigmatic and mysterious title that was revealed at Gamescom earlier this year, Everywhere is a multiple narrative adventure that gives players the ability to create their own fun in a “multi-world gaming experience.”
Details surrounding specific gameplay mechanics are quite limited right now, but the game’s official website states that it “redefines how players connect with one another and with the digital world around them.” In short, it all sounds like very grand and exciting stuff.
Right now, Everywhere has a 2023 release window, but thanks to its uniquely ambitious aspirations, we wouldn’t be too surprised if we saw this one getting a delay into 2024 and beyond. We’re hoping we’re wrong on that front, though, as Everywhere looks incredibly intriguing, for sure.
Metroid Prime 4
A list of games we hope to see come to fruition in 2023 wouldn’t be complete without Metroid Prime 4 now, would it? Yes, while technically speaking, the game has never received an official delay per se, it’s still starting to feel like the game’s E3 announcement back in 2017 was a mere fever dream. Like, did we imagine that? Can someone just pinch us and wake us up? ‘Cause to be frank: We want to play Metroid Prime 4, folks!
What may prove to be the fly in the ointment is the fact that development on the much-anticipated follow-up to Samus’s sci-fi action-adventure was restarted in 2019. That’s right, Nintendo hit the reset button on the first phase of development, which was purportedly spearheaded by Bandai Namco Studios.
As a result, Retro Studios — a US-based team with some experience with the IP — was charged with taking on the project. Of course, with such a bumpy road to release, there’s still a wee possibility that Metroid Prime 4 gets pushed out to 2024. In fact, if we were the gambling type, we’d probably bet on it if we’re being honest. But, hey, maybe we’re wrong. I guess a pessimist is never disappointed, right?
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