Kingdom Hearts III

Pixelkin’s 30 Most Anticipated Games of 2018

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We’ve seen lots of exciting new game announcements throughout 2017, with the inevitable disappointment when we saw ‘2018’ as the date. The new year will bring us our first full year with the Nintendo Switch, including several new game entries for Kirby, Yoshi, and even Metroid.

Several big console games have been in development for years and made last year’s most anticipated list, including Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, Spider-Man, and Detroit: Become Human. There’s all new games like Anthem and Sea of Thieves and remasters of classics in Shadow of the Colossus and Secret of Mana. And is this the year we’ll finally see the incredibly long awaited sequel that is Kingdom Hearts III?

Here are our 30 most anticipated games of 2018!

 

For Younger Kids:

 

Dreams

Platforms: PlayStation 4
Date: 2018

What is Dreams? It’s by Media Molecule, the fine folks who developed the LittleBigPlanet series. Dreams looks to build on that user-generated concept, providing even more creative freedom through multiple styles, genres, and gameplay conventions.

Kingdom Hearts III

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: 2018

Kingdom Hearts fans have been waiting for an official third entry for over a decade. This year should finally see the release of Kingdom Hearts 3, which will again feature the unique and beloved mashup between Square Enix and Disney.

Kirby Star Allies

Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Date: 2018

A new Kirby game was announced for the Nintendo Switch during E3, later titled Kirby Star Allies. The 2D platformer will feature four player co-op, and each character will possess Kirby’s signature power-copying abilities.

Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4
Date: March 23, 2018

Beloved anime film company Studio Ghibli isn’t directly involved with sequel Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom, but it still possess that same beautiful art style and story-telling that make this JRPG series so memorable.

Sea of Thieves

Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Date: March 20, 2018

One of the few Xbox One exclusives (and Win 10 PC) coming in 2018, Sea of Thieves features cooperative and competitive multiplayer within a colorful, goofy world of pirate ships and buried treasure.

Secret of Mana HD

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4
Date: February 15, 2018

Secret of Mana was recently featured as one of the games included on the SNES Classic Edition, and the classic RPG still holds up well today. The HD remaster will feature all new 3D graphics and some modernized improvements to gameplay.

Spelunky 2

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4
Date: 2018

Spelunky 2 was a surprise announcement at the Sony’s conference at the Paris Games Week. All we know about it is from this trailer, which doesn’t show any gameplay but hints that we’ll be playing as the protagonist’s daughter this time around.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Date: Fall 2018

The toys-to-life genre did not have a good year in 2017, and the future looks bleak. One of the few new games on the horizon is Ubisoft’s Starlink: Battle for Atlas. Starlink features buildable, modular starship figures that attach directly to the controller.

Yoshi for Nintendo Switch

Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Date: 2018

A new untitled Yoshi game coming to Switch was announced at Nintendo’s E3 conference. It looks similar to Yoshi’s Woolly World, but features more of a paper/cardboard aesthetic, letting you manipulate the world. It will also include two player co-op.

 

 

For Older Kids and Teens:

 

Anthem

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: Fall 2018

With cooperative sci-fi action, Anthem looks a lot like EA’s answer to Destiny 2. It’s actually being developed by RPG veterans BioWare. Hopefully it’ll end up better than Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Fe

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Date: Early 2018

Fe is a 3D adventure-platformer, and the first product of EA Originals, EA’s collaboration with indie developers. Fe emphasis exploration, discovery, and puzzle-solving within a striking forest world of shadows and contrasting colors.

Jurassic World Evolution

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: Summer 2018

The correct answer to the question, “What is the best Jurassic Park game?” is 2003’s Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. Jurassic World Evolution, developed by the makers of Planet Coaster, looks to provide more great dinosaur theme park sim action.

Lost Sphear

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Date: January 23, 2018

Tokyo RPG Factory’s followup to 2016’s I Am Setsuna is Lost Sphear, which features more solid retro-inspired Japanese RPG goodness.

Marvel’s Spider-Man

Platforms: PlayStation 4
Date: 2018

Insomniac has been working on this big-budget Spider-Man game for awhile. Instead of being tied to any of the films, it will feature an open world design in New York City with an older, more experienced Peter Parker.

Metroid Prime 4

Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Date: 2018?

We saw only the slightest of logo teases at the tail end of Nintendo’s E3 press conference for Metroid Prime 4. There’s little chance we’ll actually see it in 2018, but any news about more Metroid is good news.

Monster Hunter: World

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: January 26, 2018 (PC version not yet dated)

With a big home console release and four player online co-op, Monster Hunter: World is posed to be the first game in the series to transcend the obtuse and challenging gameplay and welcome a wider audience.

 

Project Octopath Traveler

Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Date: 2018

Weird tentative title aside, Project Octopath Traveler features a gorgeous “HD-2D” style and gameplay inspired from classic 16-bit RPGs. It’s created by the same team at Square Enix who made the Bravely Default series.

Shadow of the Colossus

Platforms: PlayStation 4
Date: February 6, 2018

One of the biggest cult-classics from the PS2 era is finally getting an HD remake for PlayStation 4 next year. All the visual assets have been rebuilt for Shadow of the Colossus, but it will retain the same monster-scaling gameplay and poignant story.

Skull & Bones

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: Fall 2018

If Sea of Thieves looks a bit too cartoony and goofy, Skull & Bones may suit your pirate needs. We don’t know much more than the initial E3 announcement, but it will feature multiplayer co-op, and utilize the widely loved naval combat from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

Surviving Mars

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: 2018

Paradox Interactive is making some of the best strategy sim games of the modern era. Surviving Mars will be upon the success of Cities: Skylines while adding the challenge of colonizing the red planet.

 

For Mature Teens and Parents:

 

A Way Out

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: March 23, 2018

A Way Out is a much more mature offering from the developer of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. It features a purely cooperative experience as two players control a pair of convicts who need to work together to break out of prison.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Date: 2018

Castlevania auteur Koji Igarashi made headlines by raising over $5 million on Kickstarter for this new 2D Castlevania-like. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night looks utterly fantastic, and will hopefully cement Igarashi as the rightful master of the “Iga-vania” genre.

Days Gone

Platforms: PlayStation 4
Date: 2018

Sony has been showing Days Gone, an open-world zombie game, for years, and it looks more impressive each time. We should be able to explore the post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest sometime this year.

Detroit: Become Human

Platforms: PlayStation 4
Date: 2018

Detroit: Become Human‘s advanced facial features and animations make for harrowing trailers as players navigate complex dramatic moments involving androids in a near-future world.

Far Cry 5

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: March 27, 2018

The Far Cry series typically drops players into remote, exotic, war-torn locations around the world (or in the past or future). Far Cry 5 sends players into the uncomfortable evils reflected deep in the rural American heartland. I’m sure it will be completely free of controversy.

God of War

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: 2018

The eighth God of War game will drop the numbering scheme and add a new sidekick for Kratos, his own son Atreus. Added RPG elements make for a fairly big departure for the action series, as well as the new focus on Norse mythology and monsters rather than Greek.

Metro Exodus

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: 2018

The third game in the survival horror Metro series, Metro Exodus, looks far more expansive, letting you explore more of the surface world of a post-apocalyptic Russia gripped by nuclear winter.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: Spring 2018

Rockstar Games doesn’t release a new game very often, but when they do, it’s a gigantic event. The very long-awaited sequel to 2010’s open world western, Red Dead Redemption 2 was initially teased with a 2017 release date. We still don’t know much about it other than it’s a prequel and will undoubtedly be hugely successful.

State of Decay 2

Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Date: 2018

Everyone asked for one feature after playing State of Decay: what about multiplayer? Undead Labs have listened, and State of Decay 2 will combine the excellent sim-action zombie game with cooperative multiplayer.

We Happy Few

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date: April 13, 2018

We Happy Few is a BioShock-like immersive sim, set within a drug-addled British city in the 60s. As one of several playable characters, you’ll need to blend in with the citizens of the bombed-out city, who wear creepy masks and take a hallucinogenic drug called Joy.

game of the year

Pixelkin’s 2017 Game of the Year

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Sometimes our favorite game of the year comes as a complete surprise. Not this year. We proudly declare The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as Pixelkin’s 2017 Game of the Year.

Breath of the Wild was one of the most anticipated games of the year. Not only was it the first 3D Zelda since 2011’s Skyward Sword on the Wii, but it was also a launch title for the Nintendo Switch, which has become a huge success for Nintendo.

The story reinforces themes of failure and redemption. Link wakes up to a bleak Hyrule where he was defeated a century ago, guided by the spirits and voices of the past. Monsters roam free, and a malevolent force, Ganon, swirls ominously around the ruins of Hyrule Castle. You could head there right after acquiring the glider and completing the wonderfully crafted opening hours atop the plateau, or strike off in any direction and explore.

Most open world games feature post-apocalyptic hellscapes, mature writing, and violent action. But this is Nintendo. Breath of the Wild features tropical beaches, staggering cliffs, dense jungles, and dangerous volcanoes. The world still feels like Hyrule, yet it reaches that perfect compromise between expansive and densely packed with hidden secrets and treasures.

Breath of the Wild boldly breaks many of the standard Zelda conventions, most notably the dungeon design. Instead of a steady progression of marquee dungeon crawls, Link can find over 100 shrines scattered around the world. These shrines cleverly employ challenging physics-based puzzles akin to levels in Portal using the several excellent tools you have at your disposal, such as magnetizing blocks and freezing water.

Completing shrines unlocks additional health and stamina, making it an important and fun side activity and a great excuse to explore a world stuffed with things to do. Shield surf down cliffs, hunt gigantic dragons, search for ingredients to upgrade your gear, discover hundreds (!) of Korok seeds to expand your inventory, take selfies in front of shooting stars, and tackle the mini-dungeons within the four Divine Beasts to weaken Ganon’s hold.

Nintendo Switch

Breath of the Wild was the vanguard for one of Nintendo’s best years in recent memory. It’s not every year we get a new Nintendo console, new Mario, and new Zelda, not to mention well-received sequels for Splatoon and Xenoblade Chronicles.

After some very lackluster console cycles in the Wii and Wii U, Nintendo has come roaring back, and that’s good for gaming, and especially gaming families. Breath of the Wild is single-player only, but remains a wonderfully enjoyable game for the family to gather around, between the cartoony art and creature designs, the physical combat system, and the story of courage and perseverance. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is destined to enter the pantheon of all-time greatest games, and easily warrants our Game of the Year for 2017.

innerspace

Indie Flying Exploration Game InnerSpace Landing Next Month

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PolyKnight Games has announced a release date for their debut game, InnerSpace. The exploration flying game is scheduled to release on January 16, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC (Windows, Mac, Linux). It has an MSRP of $19.99.

InnerSpace features a series of hollowed planets where gravity works in reverse – it pulls outward instead of inward. Your goal is to explore all the nooks and crannies, finding ancient relics of the old world and avoiding, or engaging, gigantic monstrosities. It was built as a player-driven experience without quest markers, prioritizing exploring the water color art style with a lovely electronic soundtrack.

I played InnerSpace at PAX South last year and it was a nice, chill experience as I soared through beautiful worlds. There were also vast oceans, and the spaceship could transform into a submarine to explore them.

InnerSpace originally funded via Kickstarter in December 2014. Over 800 backers helped the campaign sneak past its funding goal of $25,000. PolyKnight Games formed from a group of college friends from The University of Texas at Dallas.

PolyKnight games partnered with publisher Aspyr Media earlier this year to help support marketing, testing, and other resources. The game has since soared past 2016 and 2017 release dates as the scope has expanded, as well as coming to consoles, and especially the Nintendo Switch.

InnerSpace will take flight on January 16, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.