In the 2014 sci-fi action film Edge of Tomorrow (also known as Live Die Repeat), Tom Cruise is drafted into defending Europe from the violent alien invaders. He’s quickly killed in combat, but at the same time becomes infected with the aliens’ time loop powers. Like an action movie version of Groundhog Day, Cruise repeats the same day over and over as he goes through a montage of getting quickly, and often hilariously, killed. He eventually learns how to fight back, teams up with an awesome Emily Blunt, and saves the world.
When playing a battle royale game, I often feel like Tom Cruise in those early moments of Edge of Tomorrow. I drop down. I run around frantically. I die, mercilessly. Repeat.
But Apex Legends feels different. Not only does it have the most well-refined systems I’ve seen in the genre, but it makes me want to double down and improve my gameplay rather than throw my hands up in frustration. For the reasons I’ve listed below give Apex Legends a try, even if you’ve been entirely turned off by the explosively popular genre so far.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Most battle royale games feature a team mode where groups can join, survive, and win together. Apex Legends is built from the group up for three person squads. Teamwork in Apex Legends is easier and more enjoyable, even when playing with random strangers.
From the very start players draft their characters together, then drop into the world together. Squads should stick together – though not too close, and many of the character abilities foster teamwork and coordination, such as Lifeline’s ability to call in a supply drop, and Pathfinder’s ability to create a zipline for quick travel.
Most importantly, squads can revive and even respawn their fellow teammates. Players enter a downed state when their health depletes and can be revived. Even if they’re killed, a teammate can grab their beacon and high tail it to the nearest respawn beacon, summoning them back to the fight. Some of my most memorable and thrilling survival stories have occurred after only one of us has been left alive to bring us back from the brink.
Should’ve Put a Ping On It
The intuitive ping system is incredibly clever. It’s the primary reason why playing with random squadmates ever has a chance of succeeding. With the press of a button, a squad mate can call out and highlight weapons, ammo, enemies, loot chests, and areas of interests. I can ping sections of my inventory to tell my squad I need ammo, body armor, or a certain weapon mod, declare an area to defend, and quickly yell out where and when I saw an enemy.
All of this is done without the need for voice chat at all. That’s particularly a huge plus for younger teens and concerned parents.
Less Players, More Action
Every match features 20 squads for 60 total players. That’s a significant departure from the 100-person matches of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite. Yet even with almost half the players, the action rarely feels big and empty. Sometimes we drop in the corner of the Swamps and never run into a person until 20 minutes later. But usually there’s always another firefight around the corner.
The diverse Canyon map is filled with military bases, shanty towns, industrial walkways, steep valleys, and open desert. The map feels like the perfect size, and strikes a great balance between moments of quiet looting, tense exploration, and explosive firefights.
Choose Your Fighter
Apex Legends takes a page from online hero shooter Overwatch in providing several unique character classes to choose from. Like Overwatch you can’t have more than one character on your team, forcing teams to balance their preferred play style. All eight current characters bring something unique and interesting, like Bangalore’s smoke bombs, Gibraltar’s dome shield (hello, Winston!), and Bloodhound’s Predator vision. Apex Legends does a fantastic job incorporating these characters and their abilities, without deviating from the core gameplay of grabbing weapons and shooting each other.
Apex Legends has been a pleasantly addictive experience. When matches go horribly wrong, as they often do, it’s over in minutes. And it takes less time than that to cue up the next match. Wait times are non-existent, and we’ve never experienced a second of lag or server issues. Releasing a complete (and free to play!) game that works right out of the gate shouldn’t be cause for celebration, but here we are.
I’ve adored my time with Apex Legends, despite having yet to win a match. I’m still Tom Cruise in the middle of figuring everything out. I die, a lot. But repeating has never been so fun.
The Fox in the Forest and Sundae Split are two small box card games from Foxtrot Games and Renegade Game Studios. Both games retail for around $15 and make for engaging alternatives to breaking out that old deck of Uno cards.
Sundae Split is for 2-5 players with a suggested age of 10+, though my seven year old was able to quickly grasp the concept with a little help. Sundae Split is a set collection game where each player is trying to make the best ice cream sundae, which is a very easy sell for kids.
Cards appear as ice cream flavors, sprinkles, whipped cream, , bananas, cherries, or the dreaded vegetables. Collecting certain cards will affect your score. Ice cream cards score the points listed on the card, as well as a bonus for each set of three flavors. Sprinkles and whipped cream cards score five points for every pair, while bananas will score a beefy 10 points, but only to whomever has the most bananas. Vegetables, however, score minus points if they find their way into your sundae.
How do you accidentally put broccoli in your ice cream? Every round one player plays the splitter. The splitter draws and creates multiple piles of cards, one for each player, with the number of cards scaling for the number of players. Players then select a pile of cards to add to their sundae, with the splitter choosing last. The catch is that some of these cards can be face down.
Most of the light strategy involves fun little mind games with your fellow players. Do you hide a banana underneath some undesirable celery? Do you leave an entire pile facedown to tempt someone with a mystery draw? The splitter rotates each round giving every player a chance to be deliciously devious.
With a little set up time Sundae Split scales well for multiple players, though if you only have two, I would highly recommend The Fox in the Forest.
The Fox in the Forest
The Fox in the Forest is a trick-taking card game for two players. It’s basically a more advanced version of the classic game of War, but with a lot more interesting strategy rather than just flipping cards to see who wins each set.
The card game includes 11 cards in each of the three suits. Each odd-numbered card has a special ability. The seven card is a treasure, and it’s worth an extra point to whoever wins it, the witch can act as a wild card, while the woodcutter lets you draw a card from the deck.
What makes The Fox in the Forest especially interesting is that winning the most amount of tricks will paint you as a greedy villain, and awards no points. Instead your goal each game is to find the perfect sweet spot – winning 7-9 of the 13 total rounds, to achieve the most points. If your opponent is performing well, you can work on playing lower cards to force them to win even more sets, thereby ensuring your own point advantage. A full match lasts until someone reaches 21 points, which normally takes about three or four games.
The Fox in the Forest also features a fun, classic fairy tale theme, with evil monarchs, mysterious witches, and friendly lumberjacks (or lumberjanes!). The painterly artwork is lovely and evocative, and the box includes cardboard number counters to keep track of points between games.
I would recommend both games if you’re looking for light, easy card games that are a bit more advanced than Uno but still very easy to teach. Sundae Split is great with kids while The Fox in the Forest is perfect for couples.
While once prolific in the 90s, real time strategy games have ebbed in recent years. Controlling multiple units while managing resources, maintaining map awareness, and researching new weapons of war is a daunting task when armed with a mouse and keyboard, and nigh impossible anywhere else.
Yet I was blown away by how well Phaser Lock Interactive’s VR real time strategy game, Final Assault, captured all the fun of a real time strategy game while streamlining all the messy bits, creating an immersive virtual tabletop wargame.
At PAX South 2019 I was able to get some hands-on time (and heads-in for VR) with the 1v1 PvP mode for Final Assault, on the Hill-512 map.
I was immediately pleased with the aesthetic and size of the battlefield. Final Assault smartly keeps the World War 2 battlefield small and intimate so you don’t have to spend any time jogging around your living room or slowly pulling yourself across the contested war zone.
The cardboard and plastic art style is very reminiscent of the classic Army Men toy soldiers, or popular miniature wargames like Memoir ’44, giving the entire game an enjoyable tabletop vibe. Several times during the demo I was so distracted by the detail of the units, animations, and buildings that I fell behind in troop deployment.
“We used train sets as references. It’s amazing how detailed those train sets can get,” says Michael Daubert, CEO, Phaser Lock Interactive. “We wanted to make it a compelling and beautiful environment. It helps as well with performance and being able to build big environments and run at 90 frames per second.”
“One of the things I like about our maps is that if you look off into the distance, it doesn’t look like you’re in a fake world. I feel like I could go look and see what’s on the other side of those hills,” says Todd Bailey, Creative Director.
There are no resources to mange nor fog of war to worry about. A single currency level gradually ticks up, creating quick decisions on which units to buy, or to wait and unlock more advance units. Supply boxes will periodically air drop onto the map, granting a quick boost of money to whoever gets there first.
“Originally we created an entire RTS game, and it was crazy. There was way too many buttons, but when we took that out, you were waiting too long for stuff to build up. When you’re in VR you want to get into the action as quick as possible,” says Daubert. “What we did is focus more on the combat itself. We took away base building and tech trees. I wanted to focus on the faster gameplay of what an RTS can be. We’ve created a happy medium between RTS and MOBA that gets the player in as quickly as possible without the mental fatigue of trying to manage everything.”
A console-based strategy game is going to live and die by its control scheme. Final Assault’s drop-and-drag system worked perfectly to quickly get units out on the battlefield and into the fight.
The clipboard UI looks and feels great. I hold my tech tree catalog in one hand and simply grab the unit I want, like a biplane or tank, and plop it onto the map. Final Assault uses the lane-based combat of MOBAs to provide an easy way of handling multiple units. If a unit is dropped into one of the main lanes on a map, they’ll automatically follow it, engaging enemy forces along the way.
Infantry will constantly spawn and push the lane, creating a constant tug-of-war. It’s up to me to purchase and deploy the right units, and set them up in strategic places. Bombers can soften up tanks, while anti-air guns will help prevent an aerial ambush, and artillery can bombard fortifications from afar.
The demo ended as I deployed my Axis forces’ ultimate weapon – a V-2 rocket. I watched in gleeful satisfaction as it physically launched from my base and soared toward my opponent’s to the warning sounds of klaxons.
I came away really impressed with how quickly I was able to grasp the controls and flow of the lane-based warfare, despite having very little VR experience. Final Assault already looks and plays great, and is shaping up to be a worthy competitive experience for any VR general.
Final Assault is coming to Steam Early Access on February 12, with a full launch later this April on Oculus and Vive. It will launch later this Summer on PlayStation VR and support cross-platform play. The final game will feature a single player campaign as well as online multiplayer PvP with 14 maps at launch, and more factions to arrive as post-launch DLC. It’s rated E10+.
The fifth annual PAX South convention took place this month in San Antonio, Texas. The convention is smaller than other PAX shows, with an emphasis on indie games and tabletop games. A few big publishers were in attendance showing upcoming games, such as Capcom with Resident Evil 2 and Sony with Days Gone. But often these shows are a great opportunity to see smaller games and meet passionate developers.
Here is our alphabetical list of the 20 most exciting indie games we saw at PAX South 2019.
A Fold Apart
Developer: Lightning Rod Games Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One Release: Spring 2019 (PC and Switch, other consoles to follow)
A Fold Apart looks at first glance like a platformer, but there’s no jumping. Instead you’ll need to fold the pages of the world to bring the partners together, who are struggling with a long distance relationship. It’s based on a true story from lead designer Mark Laframboise. You play as both characters, choosing each of their genders. Something that seems sweet from one character may be viewed differently by the other as you see both sides of the complex relationship.
Developer: VARSAV Game Studios Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One Release: Spring 2019
In a shocking twist, Bee Simulator is all about playing as a bee. Set within Central Park in New York City, the life of a bee is fraught with both beauty and peril as you collect honey from flowers, defend your turf from wasps and spiders, and be wary of the most dangerous animal of all – humans. Varsav Game Studios are all too aware of the endangerment that bees face in our world and have produced the game with a socially conscious heart. But more importantly, it’s fun to fly around as a bee and pop balloons.
Developer: Sudden Event Studios Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One Release: Jan. 31
Mario Party-style multiplayer mini-games were definitely in vogue at PAX South 2019, but Bombfest stood out thanks to its adorable wooden block art style and easy pick up and play format. Up to four players choose an adorably dressed wooden block figure and compete in small household arenas like toy boxes and play mats. Players try to knock each other out of the ring, not unlike Super Smash Bros., through a variety of bouncing, freezing, and good ol’ fashioned exploding bombs. The family-friendly style and simple controls make Bombfest particularly well suited to the Switch.
Developer: Hibernian Workshop Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch Release: Early 2019
Dead Cells meets Dark Souls probably sounds like gibberish to a number of gamers, but for the rest of you, it’s an intriguing mixture. Dark Devotion is a side-scrolling RPG with the challenging but rewarding rhythmic combat of a Souls game with a Dead Cells 2D pixel style. The dungeon designs bear the dark inspiration of eldritch and Gothic horror. I died several times during the short demo at PAX, and still I wanted to come back for more.
Developer: Terry Cavanagh Platforms: PC Release: Spring 2019
In Dicey Dungeons a typical adventuring party has been transformed into anthropomorphic dice. The six-sided heroes navigate a series of roguelike dungeon crawls acquiring new loot cards, leveling up, and rolling dice during combat to activate abilities and attack enemies. All of the character classes play very differently from each other. The Witch gets spells instead of the usual loot and uses dice to cast them, while the Robot has a neat push your luck element when it comes to rolling dice each round. The turn-based combat could easily stand alone as an intriguing solo board game, and I particularly enjoyed the whimsical characters and art style.
Developer: Ape Tribe Games Platforms: PC Release: 2019
Disjunction is a cyberpunk stealth action game wrapped in a top-down pixelated art style. It’s Deux Ex indie style, and it’s damn good. You take on the roll of three characters, each with their own stories and playstyles as you dive into the classic cyberpunk themes of corporate espionage. Enemies have clear vision cones that must be avoided – although you can certainly treat every level like a guns-blazing bloodbath if you wanted, which has repercussions for the story. I opted to use my various gadgets, including smoke grenades and a paralyzing dart, to quietly take out foes and hide the bodies. It’s been three long years since Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Disjunction is looking to fill that void quite nicely.
Evolution: The Video Game
Developer: North Star Digital Platforms: PC, iOS, Android Release: Feb. 12
Evolution: The Video Game has the quirky honor of being on our most anticipated PAX South list for the third year in a row. The digital adaption of the award-winning board game has been in development for a long time, but it’s looking better than ever, with gorgeous art and animations, cross-platform play, online multiplayer, and a full single player campaign that unlocks new AI for skirmishes. I’ve been playing the beta throughout the last year and have been consistently impressed with the updates and additions with each new patch, and very much looking forward to one of the best digital board game adaptations around.
Developer: Sirlin Games Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch Release: 2019 (Currently available via Steam Early Access)
If you’ve been disappointed by the recent trend of fighting games, either from complexity, input lag, or style, Fantasy Strike hopes to bring you back into the fold. It’s billed as an accessible 2D fighting game with intuitive one-button controls and easy to grasp mechanics, developed by a master fighting game craftsman, David Sirlin. Fantasy Strike looks and plays nice but a fighting game lives and dies by its community. Time will tell if it can pull fans away from Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.
I had yet to play a VR game I truly enjoyed until Final Assault. Slotting a traditional management-heavy real time strategy game would have spelled disaster, but Phaser Lock Interactive smartly took cues from the MOBA genre to create a much more streamlined and fun experience. Final Assault plays more like a real time miniatures wargame as you and your opponent survey the tabletop-size battlefield, dropping troops, unlocking advanced forces, and watching the destruction unfold all around you.
Developer: 3D Realms Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One Release: 2019
3D Realms is back and they brought an impressive Duke Nukem 3D clone to PAX South. Ion Maiden is a classic first person shooter done entirely within the original Build engine, which featured a pseudo-3D world with pixelated graphics and 2D models. It’s a massive nostalgia trip for anyone who lived through 90’s PC shooters, but it’s also a solidly enjoyable fast-paced action game with labyrinthine level designs full of secrets and plenty of fun weapons and enemies.
JackQuest: The Tale of the Sword
Developer: NX Games Platforms: PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One Release: January 24
The 2D action-platformer is probably the most common genre for indie games to explore. But that shouldn’t discredit the good ones, like JackQuest: The Tale of the Sword. JackQuest features a boy and a really big sword as they adventure through a cavernous dungeon. Like Shovel Knight, JackQuest nails the pixelated aesthetic and old school level design while featuring tight controls and satisfying movement and combat.
Developer: Eleventh Hour Games Platforms: PC Release: 2020 (Steam Early Access in 2019)
The traditional Diablo-style action-RPG has ebbed and flowed over the last several years, mostly relying on indie games like Grim Dawn to provide that classic loot-obsessed gameplay. Last Epoch takes the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra of design, adhering closely to past and recent juggernauts such as Diablo, Path of Exile, and Titan Quest. Last Epoch will feature multiple classes with specialties and augmented skills, an endless supply of loot drops, multiple end game systems, and a Chrono Trigger-inspired story featuring time-travel.
Developer: Bowlcut Studios Platforms: PC, Switch, Xbox One Release: 2019
MageQuit is one of the best kind of games to show at conventions: a 10-player multiplayer brawl that ends in shouts of joy and cries of defeat. Every round players draft spells for their wizards, with each round gaining a new spell to add to their repertoire. Spells are elemental-based, such as fireballs, rock walls, and air-dashes, and the too-small arenas are designed to get wizards blasting each other quickly and hilariously. MageQuit is available now via Steam Early Access, and best played with a large group of friends.
Mowin’ and Throwin’
Developer: House Pixel Games Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One Release: 2019 (available now via Steam Early Access)
Silly name aside, Mowin’ & Throwin’ is a delightfully fun competitive mowing game. Players take on the role of mischievous lawn gnomes in 1v1 or 2v2 with the goal of mowing their side of the lawn before their opponent. Power-ups fall from the sky while gnomes can chuck rocks and plant more grass onto each other’s yards. The level designs take a page from Overcooked with numerous challenges and hazards, such as rotating platforms, fences, and water.
Developer: Spearhead Platforms: PC Release: 2020
The developers behind Stories: The Path of Destinies and Omensight have their sights on a very ambitious new game, tentatively called Project Witchstone. Witchstone aims to be a massive tactical RPG that grants player freedom and meaningful choices in a fantasy world. Witchstone is still very early in development, but Spearhead is planning on a completely open development process, beginning with a Kickstarter campaign later this year.
Projection: First Light
Developer: Shadowplay Studios Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One Release: 2019
Projection: First Light is a 2D puzzle-platformer starring a shadow puppet named Greta. Greta’s primary ability is to manipulate the shadows around her using a controllable ball of light with the right stick. The shadows create new platforms for Greta to traverse past obstacles. I found it incredibly challenging to think along an entirely different dimension with the way shadows were cast from the light’s positioning, but intrigued to try more.
Developer: Long Neck Games Platforms: PC, Xbox One Release: 2019
Rezplz is another 2D puzzle-platformer with an intriguing twist – your primary ability is to resurrect your partner. The young sibling wizards start only with the ability to ‘rez’ each other, making death a means to overcome the many enemies and hazards that lie in wait. To get over a bed of spikes, for example one of them can jump in and die, while the other can use their body as a platform, then resurrect them on the other side. The death animations are hilariously macabre, and the Lost Vikings-style level designs have a lot of potential for both single player and co-op.
Splitgate: Arena Warfare
Developer: 1047 Games Platforms: PC Release: 2019
While many competitive multiplayer games chase the Battle Royale bandwagon, Splitgate: Arena Warfare is firmly fixed on the past. That could be a winning strategy when you combine two of gaming’s most beloved franchises: Halo and Portal. The old school arena shooter looks and plays great with Halo-style guns and pacing. The obvious twist is the ability to create matching portals to zip around the battlefield, creating an entirely new dimension that further rewards map awareness and quick positioning.
Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones
Developer: Cultic Games Platforms: PC Release: 2019 (A demo is available on Steam)
Most Cthulhu stories revolve around the prevention of eldritch armageddon, but Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones places you firmly in the post-apocalypse when the old gods have already wrecked havoc. The old school cRPG checks all the right boxes with stat-based character creation, an open world full of consequences and choices, and turn-based tactical combat.
ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove
Developer: HumaNature Studios Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One Release: March 1
Seeing a new ToeJam & Earl game releasing in 2019 is eye-rolling, but I was pleasantly surprised with ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove. Taking its cues from the 1991 original, Back in the Groove features randomly generated levels as our stranded alien friends try to find the missing pieces to their spaceship. The isometric levels are literally stacked on top of one another as up to four players can explore on their own pace using dynamic split-screen, avoiding enemies, finding powerups, and listening to funky tunes and remixes.
A large number of games on our 2018 list of most anticipated games were delayed into 2019 – which is all the more reason to get excited for the new year! Next year will kick off with the very long awaited sequel, Kingdom Hearts 3, easily one of the single most anticipated games of the year. From there things get a bit less friendly-family, though still exciting, with the likes of Anthem, Mortal Kombat 11, and the Division 2.
The Switch is still going strong but as always Nintendo keeps its games close to its chest. For the purposes of this list, only games with 2019 release dates will be included.
Here are our most anticipated games of 2019!
For Younger Kids:
Kingdom Hearts III
Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO Date: January 29, 2019
The Kingdom Hearts series has become a bit of a convoluted mess of a story since its original inception back in the PS3 era. But it’s also a beloved series that uniquely combines JRPG storytelling and world building with official Disney characters and settings. A lot of Disney and Pixar films have released since Kingdom Hearts II in 2005 and we’re excited to see the worlds of Toy Story, Monster Inc, Frozen, and Tangled come to life.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
Platforms: Switch Date: Spring 2019
Yoshi’s Woolly World was an incredibly delightful 2D platformer on the Wii U. Yoshi’s Crafted World looks like the perfect sequel, this time featuring a world of cardboard and paper. Levels feature a unique 2-in-1 design as you can flip them to traverse the backside to uncover more paths and secrets.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Platforms: Switch Date: January 11, 2019
Nintendo knows not nearly enough gamers bought a Wii U and experienced many of the excellent games on that system. Many big Switch games are ports of Wii U games, and four-player side-scrolling New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe was is an obvious addition to that roster. The Switch version will feature two new playable heroes – Nabbit and Toadette and combines all the levels from New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U.
Although it’s releasing near the same time as the highly anticipated third film in the How to Train Your Dragon series, the game stars all new characters: newbie dragon rider Scribbler and his unique dragon hybrid Patch. The gameplay looks a lot like Skylanders, and we mean that as a big compliment.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
Platforms: PS4, XBO, Switch Date: June 21, 2019
Mario and company aren’t the only kart racers around. If you don’t have a Switch (or even if you do) and pine for some alternative family-friendly multiplayer racing, Crash Bandicoot’s Crash Team Racing is being remastered with new tracks, karts, and online multiplayer. Better yet, the formerly PS-exclusive series is coming also to Xbox One and Switch.
For Older Kids and Teens:
Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO Date: February 22, 2019
Sure it may be “BioWare Does Destiny with Mech Suits” but none of that sounds unappealing. Anthem pits players as Freelancers who customize their own Javelin mech suits to combat the many exotic and powerful threats around the alien planet. The shared world features up to four players joining missions together. BioWare’s trademark romanceable companions won’t be a feature, but judging from the trailers the world will be full of interesting characters and events.
Civilization VI: Gathering Storm
Platforms: PC Date: February 14, 2019
Global warming and climate change are hot button topics, and Civ is diving in head first with its second expasnsion. Gathering Storm will add natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and active volcanoes. A new climate system will increase these disasters as Civs grow bigger and burn climate-destroying resources like coal and oil. Gathering Storm will also add eight new Civs and two new scenarios.
Platforms: PC, PS4 Date: August 27, 2019
One of the biggest cult classics in gaming, the original Shenmue series on the Dreamcast failed commercially with its huge budget and production, but nostalgic fans helped crowdfund this third game. Shenmue 3 became the highest-funded video game in Kickstater (over $6 million), and we’re all desperate to see if that translates into a long-awaited winning formula for this unique adventure series.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Platforms: PC, XBO Date: 2019
Ori and the Blind Forest was a stunningly gorgeous 2D action-platformer that combined tight controls, intriguingly intertwined level designs, and a gripping tale of loss, fear, and protection. The sequel wouldn’t need to change much to make it one of our most anticipated indie games of the year.
Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO Date: 2019
Like Shenmue 3, Psychonauts 2 is another infamous cult classic that is being revived thanks to a large crowd funding campaign. Game designer luminary Tim Schafer is known of many quality games over the years, but none as much as Pyschonauts, a 3D action game with Double Fine’s trademark humor and goofy characters about government agents who enter the minds of others. The surreal level designs and honest themes of mental illness should translate well into a modern sequel.
For Mature Teens and Parents:
Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO Date: February 15, 2019
Post-apocalyptic Russia has never looked so good. Metro Exodus looks far bigger and more ambitious than the previous Metro games, while still incorporating an intriguing blend of survival horror, stealth, and first-person action.
Devil May Cry 5
Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO Date: March 8, 2019
Capcom made waves this year with Monster Hunter: World, and are looking to continue that success with the fifth installment in the over-the-top action series Devil May Cry. Devil May Cry 5 unites previous protagonists Dante and Nero along with a new third character. Expect lots of hacking, slashing, and musical mayhem.
The Division 2
Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO Date: March 15, 2019
The Division was a rough yet compelling multiplayer third person shooter set in a post-apocalyptic New York devastated by a pandemic. Over the months and years Ubisoft and Massive have supported the game with excellent updates, patches, and DLC. The sequel moves from New York City to the nation’s capital in Washington D.C. Look for a beta to start up before launch.
Mortal Kombat 11
Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO, Switch Date: April 23, 2019
One of the biggest names in games, let alone fighting games, was just recently announced at The Game Awards. The trailer was horrendously bloody and violent, which is exactly what we’d expect from a new Mortal Kombat. NetherRealm Studios is one of the best fighting game developers in the world and Mortal Kombat is definitely the favorite child.
Platforms: PlayStation 4 Date: April 26, 2019
Days Gone has been in development for several years as we’ve seen E3 stage demos since 2016. It stars rebellious biker Deacon in a zombie apocalypse that’s far less urban than most zombie fiction. A smart Deacon can use the dynamic weather, day/night cycle and wildlife to avoid and distract hordes of zombies – or lead them right into other people.
It’s shaping up to be a great year, and there’s so much more we don’t know about. Look for some exciting Nintendo news in the months to come. Happy New Year!