With all of our columnists off for the holiday, it’s down to just me, your intrepid editor, to keep the lights on this week here at GiN. Don’t worry about me, because it gives me plenty of time to catch up on some really cool titles that I didn’t have time to play this year, like Sniper Ghost Recon 3 and, finally, The Last of Us Remastered on the PlayStation 4. I am also exploring some games on Steam, like Kingdoms: New Lands, which I would highly recommend.
But instead of looking back, this week I want to gaze into the far future, well, at least as far as next year. These are the games that I am most looking forward to playing in the new year. Let me know if I caught all of your favorites, if you disagree with any of picks, or would like to choose a few of your own.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Seeing how much I loved the first game, with its stunning open world vistas and intense combat, waiting for the sequel has been tough. I even played the secret extra ending content, where you get play John Marston’s son and take revenge on the people who betrayed him, which was really satisfying.
The original game to me was a lot of fun not just because of the western theme, which I think is perfect for a videogame, or even the open world – I love open world games – but more so because of the main character. Marston was not a good man. To say he had a checkered past is an understatement. He was a bad guy who was slowly trying for redemption, literally talking with the devil at various points in the game, and acting as a sort of forced federal lawman. But he showed real humanity too, helping Bonnie out with the ranch and rescuing various people along the way of his epic journey.
From the very limited trailers that Rockstar has shown, it looks like we will again get to be on the dark side of gray, though whether or not we are a pure bad guy or an outlaw looking for redemption has yet to be determined. Regardless, the world looks beautiful, and we will surely be riding the dusty trails for hours on end atop our beautifully rendered steed. Happy trails indeed!
Detroit: Become Human
A somewhat rare PlayStation exclusive, we have been waiting for this one for years since it first showed its Bladerunner-like head at E3. Given that its made by the developer of Heavy Rain, one of my top ten favorite games of all time, we can certainly expect a deep and heavy, no pun intended, narrative where our choices really do change the story, for better or worse.
There are apparently multiple characters you can play in the game, which would also follow the Heavy Rain pattern. In the trailers we have seen a young woman android living in an abusive relationship with a human, and an android police detective faced with prejudice from his fellow human officers, and an android revolution that he is tasked with combatting. Talk about some tough choices ahead.
If they can get the world right, then Detroit: Become Human could be an incredible experience and an instant classic.
Far Cry 5
I have loved the Far Cry series since the very first one. In fact, the only complaint that I have is that the worlds are too beautiful. Even in the first game, I wanted to just lay around in the surf or dive into the crystal blue waters of those hidden islands. Yet the mercenaries, and later the mutated monsters, kept wrecking my fun. Just kidding. Blowing them up was good fun.
The series never really changes too much, although the setting does, from Africa to the Himalayas. You are always taking on some ruthless group who has total control over an area, attacking outposts and doing side quests while also pursuing your main objective of taking out the cartel of bad guys that stand in your way. Along that path we get to drive vehicles and boats, hunt animals, help rebels, swim, hang-glide and even fly various types of aircraft.
Far Cry 5 takes us to rural Montana, so there will be some suspension of belief that a cult could quarantine off a part of the United States for the purpose of terrorizing everyone living inside that zone. Regardless, I’m sure it will be a ton of fun, and some of the new mechanics, like the ability to hire specialized mercenaries of your own and use them to plan detailed and timed attacks, should really ramp up the fun factor.
I am putting this one down as a strong maybe. Watching Insomniac Games’ demo at E3 was pretty awesome. The whole time I was thinking that we finally have a Spider-Man game worthy of the Marvel franchise.
My only fear is that, let’s face it, most Spider-Man games have been pretty terrible. In fact, its kind of odd that Marvel has such great success in movies, yet its videogames have for the most part been pretty mediocre. This is the opposite almost of DC Comics, where the movies are generally hit or miss, but the videogames, like the Batman Arkham series or even Injustice, have been great. Can the web-slinger break the curse? I hope so.
Of all the games on this list, I have the least amount of faith in Anthem. BioWare burned me hard on Mass Effect Andromeda, giving players a game that seemed extremely empty, with a few shallow quests sprinkled in here and there. And then, to further screw over the few people like me who stuck with them, they drop all support and announce that there will be no DLCs. We may never know what happened to the Quarian ark, even though we get a distress call from them in the final scene of the single player game. It’s a snowball pitch for a DLC, yet we will probably never get it.
So, there is that, and the fact that I didn’t care for the Andromeda multiplayer. Now Anthem is all multiplayer, sort of like Destiny or even The Division. I don’t mind that, so long as I know it going in. I had a lot of fun with Destiny, and the plot of Anthem, with freelancers suiting up in powerful exosuits to explore dangerous and unmapped territory sounds appealing. For me, it may come down to how burned I still feel about Andromeda before venturing into what looks like it might be a fun new world in Anthem.
Monster Hunter: World
I have never been into the Monster Hunter franchise, though I know that the players who do absolutely love it. Time Waster Billy White and cartoonist Alia White are huge advocates of the game series, and explained the mechanics to me. You go on these epic monster hunts where you are barely able to defeat a beast, and then craft amazing armor and weapons to help you combat the next foes. Interestedly enough, even the most amazing equipment will eventually become underwhelming, so it’s a matter of knowing how long you can stretch it out before trying for something new.
The new game looks gorgeous, almost like a real hunting simulation, only for monsters instead of wild pigs or whatever. It also looks to be a good game for newcomers like myself to jump in and have a great time, with no previous experience needed.
Shadow of the Colossus (Remake)
I played just about every single game that came out for the PlayStation 2, including some that rally stunk up the place. And yet, somehow, I didn’t get to play the classic Shadow of the Colossus. This game has been reviewed and showered with high praise by everyone who has tried it. It was even the subject of a really bad movie about a guy who played the game to help deal with the loss of his family.
Personally, I always feel bad about missing out on such a grand experience, and am anxiously awaiting the remake. For me, it will be like playing it for the first time, and I will try not to panic too much when I see the first colossus slowly fill up my entire screen.
Not every one of these games will likely be a hit, but if even half of them live up to their billing, then 2018 is going to be a good one for gamers. Happy New Year everyone! May everything you play in 2018 fill you will joy and gaming goodness.