Frankie's 5 Most Anticipated Games of 2018
As I wrap up the few remaining loose ends in my 2017 backlog, it's hard not to be excited about the games coming our way in 2018! A few of my most anticipated titles from last year’s list — namely Vampyr and The Fall Part 2: Unbound — have slipped into early 2018 and, while my excitement for them remains, you won't see them re-appearing on this year’s list. One glaring omission from my list this year is Monster Hunter World. This is probably the game I'm the most excited about heading into 2018, but it seems kind of silly to plop it on this list when it'll be in my hands in just a few short weeks. So, let's dive in, shall we?!
6) Ben Boyce's Most Anticipated Games of 2018 List
Look, at this point, it's kind of obligatory that this appears on here. Likely worn out after making our lists all look like we know how to write, Ben's list seems to fall further and further into the early months of the new year — we didn't see his 2017 list until mid-February! I know it's all about building anticipation, but Boyce, I'd love for there to still be games yet to release in 2018 when your list goes up in late August, ok?? [Editor’s note: I’ll consider it.]
5) The Wolf Among Us Season 2
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC? | Developer: Telltale Games
I will stand my ground when claiming that debut season of The Wolf Among Us is the best work that Telltale has ever done on an episodic series. I knew nothing about Fables prior to playing through the last season, and, after finishing The Wolf Among Us, I came out seeking to obtain several of the franchise’s graphic novel collections to really immerse myself in this series I had fallen in love with. It's been a painful wait holding out for a second season of The Wolf Among Us. We've seen Telltale go back to well with The Walking Dead to lesser acclaim in subsequent seasons and, while other Telltale joints like Batman: The Telltale Series and Tales From the Borderlands have been very enjoyable, I've continued to sit impatiently awaiting the return of Bigby and Fabletown. Hopefully Telltale is able to stick to a strict release schedule this time around with Season 2, as The Wolf Among Us has the potential to be one of the all-time greats from this talented team.
4) Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: Warhorse Studios
Ever since I saw the story trailer for this medieval adventure around E3 time last year, I've been eagerly awaiting its arrival. It became a stalwart on my radar once Warhorse Studios’ community manager, Rick Lagnese, compared the story to that of Mafia 2 on the Original Next Level Gaming Podcast last fall — which makes sense as core members of the development team were involved in the first two Mafia games. As a first person adventure-RPG set in the kingdom of Bohemia with respect to historical accuracy, I'm very excited to see what Kingdom Come: Deliverance will bring to the table. It has the potential to be one of the first big titles of 2018.
3) Darksiders III
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: Gunfire Games
Darksiders was quite the surprise when it released in 2010. Vigil Games’ love letter to 3D Zelda games proved to be an underrated gem, beautifully meshing classic Ocarina of Time gameplay with an adult twist as players took on the role of War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The ending of that game sent chills down my spine! It was a strong debut for the series and it left me excited for the sequel. Sadly, Darksiders 2 didn't follow up on War's story but instead introduced us to the second Horseman of the Apocalypse, Death. When THQ and Vigil Games were closed down and the rights to the franchise ended up with Nordic Games, I thought Darksiders’ fate had been sealed. As luck would have it though, the series is returning! I have extremely high hopes for this next entry in the franchise as several of the core ex-Vigil Games team at Gunfire Games are heading up this hellish journey and introducing us to the third horseman...erm...horsewoman, Fury! I have some concerns with the game, but all of the footage we've seen so far is still pretty early in development and we likely have not seen all of her abilities at play. It's going to be a wonderful universe to return to this fall, and I hope fans show their support so we can eventually get that big pay-off to the ending of that very first game!
2) Marvel's Spider-Man
Platform: PS4 | Developer: Insomniac Games
Insomniac has been responsible for many of my favorite gaming experiences over the years. From the galactic adventures of Ratchet & Clank to the gritty Chimera threat introduced in Resistance, I've always found myself emotionally invested in the stories and worlds they've brought to us. Hell, I even loved what I played of Fuse. That being said, I can’t think of a better developer to hand the Spider-Man license to than Insomniac. Spidey seems like the perfect fit for the wonderful folks at Insomniac Games, as they're no strangers to telling a great story while properly balancing tone and humor. I have no doubt they'll produce the best Spider-Man game we've ever seen and, like many here, I simply can't wait to swing into action when this one drops later this year.
1) Metro: Exodus
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: 4A Games
2013 was a fantastic year for video games. While many took to The Last of Us, I'd taken that journey with Metro: Last Light. 4A's knack for atmospheric storytelling along with protagonist Artyom's hopeful personality — one that shines through in a dark, post apocalyptic Moscow — were a powerful mix as Last Light proved to be a special game in my opinion. Exodus looks to push 4A's tech to its limit as Artyom's journey continues in the dangerous world outside the Metro. This was the coolest reveal at E3 this past year, and is surely going to make holding off on an Xbox One X purchase that much harder. The stakes continue to raise as Artyom travels further and further from the comfort of the Metro, and I look forward to seeing where his journey takes us next when Metro: Exodus releases next fall.
Honorable Mention: Hollow Knight
Platform: Switch | Developer: Team Cherry
I put this in the Honorable Mention spot because it is already available on PC. However, Cherry Team's extremely well-received Metroidvania platformer will be gracing the Switch in the coming months, and I am beyond excited to get my hands on it! Boasting a unique hand-drawn art style, an incredible soundtrack, and some epic (and tough) boss battles, Hollow Knight looks like a title that I'm going to fall in love with. There's a chance that Grimm will make his way to other consoles as well once the Switch version that was promised via Kickstarter is complete and in gamers hands, so if you're Switch-less, keep your ear to the ground for more details on this title coming to PS4 and Xbox One in the future. Fellow Switch owners, I highly recommend looking into this one! It'll surely end up on your radar once you see it in motion!
There's no doubt that 2018 is going to be a banner year for gaming. In addition to everything listed above, Nintendo has a few more killer looking Switch games on the docket for this year, led by the extremely interesting, yet poorly named, Project Octopath Traveler. We could potentially see a brand new Animal Crossing or the next generation of Pokemon games as well. Pair these up with great looking titles like A Way Out, God of War, Detroit: Become Human, Ashen, and BioMutant, and you've got a great slate of both familiar and new titles to flesh out gaming in 2018. It's going to be a fun year with tons of amazing new experiences, but for now, I'm going to get back to watching that countdown timer inch closer to unlocking Monster Hunter World.