2017 has come and gone. While we have to say goodbye to a year filled with amazing games, 2018 already has a pretty promising lineup of games. So we decided to narrow down the three games of 2018 that have us the most excited.
Much like our list of the top three games of 2017, this list was decided among the entire gaming writing staff via a vote amongst our most anticipated games of 2018. Many are highly desired sequels to beloved properties and some are fresh, exciting takes on gaming. While we can’t guarantee that the games on this list will be any good when they finally release (hello, Aliens: Colonial Marines), they none the less have us excited in one way or another.
But first, here are some honorable mentions:
3. A Way Out
Out of all the independent games coming out this year, A Way Out looks the most promising. The exclusively co-op experience looks to take full advantage of the playstyle, telling the story of two convicts as they escape prison by working together. Add to that a slick split-screen presentation and the ability for one character to take action while another is in a cutscene and this looks to be one of the sleeper hits of 2018. Oh, and you can invite a friend to play with you online even if they don’t own the game.
But what has us most excited is that the project is being directed by Josef Fares. The award-winning filmmaker turned award-winning game director has already made waves with Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and looks set to deliver a very similar yet even more ambitious title with A Way Out. He’s also the closest thing the video game industry has to a rock star, proudly yelling “f@#$ the Oscars” at The Game Awards 2017. While his passion can become unhinged, he truly knows and respects the medium of games and we honestly need more people like him.
We’ll look forward to some great co-op action when the game launches on March 23.
2. Read Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar Games haven’t put out a new game since Grand Theft Auto V in 2013. While we had plenty of remasters and updates to Grand Theft Auto Online to tide us over, fans are none the less starved for a new game taking full advantage of Rockstar’s affinity for gritty, single player action games.
It’s also been nearly eight years since the release of Red Dead Redemption. The game received near universal acclaim from reviewers for taking the open world formula and drenching it in the style of classic Western films like A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. From the slick shooting, engaging story, and lovingly rendered period setting, the game captivated the gaming audience of last generation.
And now after all this time, a sequel is being released. Details are pretty sparse so far with the latest trailer only giving hints for the storyline as well as the website promising what we’re sure will be another microtransaction-fueled cash cow of an online multiplayer component. Never the less, the hype from being the first new game from Rockstar in five years and the first new Red Dead game in eight is so strong we can taste it. We’ll have to see if Red Dead Redemption 2 was worth the wait when the game releases in spring 2018.
Fun fact: Red Dead Redemption 2 was included in our list of the most anticipated games of 2017 before it was delayed to 2018.
Most Anticipated Game – Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter World is out most anticipated game of 2018 not just because it’s the latest core entry in the beloved Monster Hunter franchise, but unlike many of the other games slated for release in 2018 we actually have some concrete features to get excited over.
Hunters have 14 different weapons to choose from as well as the new Slinger tool which acts as a grappling hook that can also shoot rocks and other items. You can also use scoutflies to help you track monsters like a real hunter. Materials gained from hunts can net you new armor and weapons which will allow you to take down bigger and tougher monsters. Up to four hunters can go on a hunt and players can drop a flare at any time to summon a fellow hunter Dark Souls style, according to VG247. Combat is also more interesting with monsters being able to detect players through sight and smell and players able to engage monsters through stealth and by exploiting weak points. Add to that a seamless transition between environment zones and a bunch of other features and you have a game long time Monster Hunter fans have been hunting for.
But perhaps the biggest reason people should be excited is that the game doesn’t have loot boxes. With it’s grind to get certain items for upgrades, the game would’ve been a shoe-in for loot boxes and other microtransactions and allowed Capcom to gain extra money in addition to the base price of the game. But Series Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto told GameSpot that the game doesn’t need that kind of system. “You’ve already kind of got loot as a core gameplay aspect without having to shove a microtransaction version of it in,” Tsujimoto said. “Our focus is on wanting to get people to play our action game and feel the kind of satisfaction that comes with the achievement you get with completing a hunt and getting rewards. We want people to have the experience that we’ve made for them rather than the option to skip the experience.” With so many games in 2017 having their gameplay undermined by the introduction of loot boxes meant to exploit those prone to gambling, the words of Tsujimoto are music to our ears.
Thankfully we won’t have to wait much longer for the game; it’s releasing on January 26 for both PS4 and Xbox One with a PC version coming out later. Soon we’ll be able to monster hunt in style without the threat of microtransactions. And that has us in anticipation indeed.