Most Anticipated AAA Games of 2018

Most Anticipated AAA Games of 2018

It’s that time of year where every media outlet begins to look back on the year that was, remembering and celebrating the best video games we played over the course of 2017. And there were many this year, with so many games releasing each month that many of
us—myself included—wished that good games would stop coming out so that we can finally get around to playing everything.

But while we’re looking back, it’s important to remember that 2018 looks to be just as promising for those players who want to play the games that have the biggest spectacle. And while there are plenty of AA and indie games to fill out 2018, there is still more than enough tentpole releases to get excited about. Here are CGMagazine’s most anticipated games of 2018:

Anthem

Developer: Bioware
Release Date: Q4 2018
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Bioware’s first new IP since the launch of Dragon Age: Origins in 2009, Anthem represents a large departure for a company that is normally known for crafting single-player experiences. While not much is known about Anthem so far, we do know that it will feature single-player and co-operative multiplayer elements in a shared world, which players explore by equipping customizable exosuits known as Javelins. The gameplay demonstration at E3 looked impressive, and if the exploration elements look to be as freeform as they did during the demo then Bioware will have quite the game that might even give Destiny 2 a run for its money. There is no word on whether or not you’ll be able to romance anything in Anthem yet, though we can hope.

Days Gone

Developer: SIE Bend Studio
Release Date: 2018
Platforms: PlayStation 4

Days Gone would be easy to dismiss as just another zombie game, or as a clone of The Last of Us, were it not for the clear emphasis on dynamic events that SIE Bend Studio have shown at various previews. Days Gone places you in an open world that is overrun with zombies—called “Freakers” here—in the role of Deacon St. John, a drifter who travels around on a motorcycle trying to survive against the hordes of creatures that have consumed the world. Part survival horror, part action-adventure, Days Gone is certainly a notable departure for a studio that made its name creating the Syphon Filter franchise. But if Guerrilla Games showed us anything in 2017, it’s that a studio tackling something outside of their purview can create an engaging and unique experience.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Developer: Arc System Works
Release Date: January 26, 2018
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

In a year when most people thought that Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite would be the biggest fighting game event of the year, Dragon Ball FighterZ‘s debut at E3 2017 quickly surpassed it. Developed by Arc System Works—the developers behind the BlazBlue and Guilty Gear franchises—Dragon Ball FighterZ already looks like one of the most faithful adaptations of the source material in a video game yet, with stunning animations and great art design seeping through each trailer and demo for the game. While this is a new franchise for Arc System Works, Dragon Ball FighterZ features Vanish and Dragon Rush moves that resemble the Roman Cancel system found in the developer’s previous games, while also including a Ki Charge to allow players to manually increase their super meter in a style similar to earlier Dragon Ball fighting games. Set for release on January 26, 2018, Dragon Ball FighterZ has the potential to not only be one of the biggest fighting games in years, but the next great competitive title.

Far Cry 5

Release Date: March 27, 2018
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

In a series whose previous entries have taken place on lawless tropical islands, a dictatorship in the Himalayas and in the heart of Africa, Far Cry 5‘s setting of Montana is a huge departure for the Far Cry series. Playing as a sheriff’s deputy who is part of a task force sent to arrest the leader of a militaristic doomsday cult known as Eden’s Gate, Far Cry 5 would be your standard Far Cry game in every other respect if not for the move to America. You’ll still shoot, stab, and run over enemies in your fight to liberate Hope County, though the developers have placed much more of an emphasis on both close quarters and aerial combat with the inclusion of multiple melee weapons and fixed-wing aircraft for dogfights and bombing runs respectively. Far Cry 5 even has a dedicated fishing mechanic, which is one of the few peaceful tasks in a series that is more widely known for gigantic explosions and memorable villains. Whether or not Far Cry 5‘s story succeeds in handling its intriguing premise is still up in the air, but the premise alone is enough for us to be interested.

Untitled Fire Emblem

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Release Date: 2018
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Platforms: Nintendo Switch

If there’s one thing that Nintendo has proven in 2017, it’s that the Nintendo Switch is an excellent platform for its franchises. At E3 2017, Nintendo revealed a host of new games for popular franchises in development for the Switch, including a new Fire Emblem title. This will be the first home console Fire Emblem game in more than a decade, with the most recent one being the Wii exclusive Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. We will likely hear more about the new Fire Emblem as 2018 moves forward, but the prospect of playing a main series Fire Emblem game on the Switch has us excited.

God of War

Release Date: Q1 2018
Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studio
Platforms: PlayStation 4

How does Sony aim to make Kratos and the God of War franchise relevant years after its last release? Simple: By making Kratos a dad—and by shifting the focus to Norse mythology, incorporating more roleplaying elements and replacing his signature dual-chained blades with a magical battle axe that he can throw at enemies. God of War represents a marked step forward in the franchise by forcing Kratos to protect and teach his son, Atreus, in a new world that is untouched by his vengeance. More than just a child in need of protection however, Atreus can be passively controlled with one button to fight back against enemies with a bow and to assist in puzzle solving and exploration. With a new setting, new characters, new monsters, and plenty of new tools to fight with, Kratos is looking to come back with a vengeance in 2018.

Kingdom Hearts III

Release Date: 2018
Developer: Square Enix Business Division 3
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Kingdom Hearts III was originally announced at E3 2013. In the time since, the following Kingdom Hearts games and collections have been released in North America: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 RemixKingdom Hearts HD 2.5 RemixKingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter PrologueKingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix, and Kingdom Hearts: Unchained χ. The Kingdom Hearts series has long been mocked for its increasing absurd naming conventions and propensity for collections, but with the latest trailer at Disney’s D23 2017, we finally have a release window for the long in development sequel to 2006’s Kingdom Hearts II. We still don’t have many details about the story of the game beyond Sora, Donald, and Goofy’s quest to find seven guardians of light, and the handful of worlds that have been revealed over the years don’t reveal much about Kingdom Hearts III‘s overall scope. Kingdom Hearts fans have been patiently waiting for this game for years, and can’t wait to see what Square Enix will bring to the table when the game launches next year.

Metro Exodus

Release Date: Q4 2018
Developer: 4A Games
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light are two of the most memorable survival horror games released in the past decade due to an original and atmospheric setting that combines well with the tense gameplay and resource management elements of both games. The upcoming sequel, Metro Exodus, moves beyond the Moscow Metro system and into the remnants of post-apocalyptic Russia as the player guides Artyom and the remainder of the Spartan Rangers in a journey to the far east. Metro Exodus will feature a train known as the Aurora, which players will ride over their expansive journey to start a new life, but will still retain many mechanics of previous games such as craftable bullets, the need to switch out gas masks, and horrifying mutated creatures that are more than willing to tear your throat out.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release Date: Q2 2018
Developer: Rockstar Studios
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Rockstar’s long awaited and much anticipated follow up to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption was originally set to release in the Fall of 2017, and we had originally listed the game among our most anticipated games of 2017 for that reason. But the game was delayed in May 2017, pushing the release date into the second quarter of 2018. The game’s second trailer was ultimately released in September, confirming that we would be following the exploits of the Dutch Van der Linde gang as outlaw Arthur Morgan before the events of the original Red Dead Redemption. While not revealing much, the trailer was enough to whet the appetites of everyone who was looking forward to returning to the Old West.

Spider-Man

Release Date: Q1/Q2 2018
Developer: Insomniac Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4

Sony has a habit of revealing big games at E3 and then taking years to release them, filling the gap with trailer after trailer to bide time. Spider-Man, developed by Insomniac Games, is one such title. Originally announced at E3 2016, Spider-Man has been one of the most anticipated games in Sony’s lineup thanks to its aim to bring back the massive open world and fluid web swinging mechanics that made the Spider-Man games on the PlayStation 2 so popular. In this iteration, Peter Parker is a young college student who is thrust into a conflict against a new gang called the Inner Demons that is led by Mister Negative—a villain who is not among the most notable villains in Spidey’s rogues gallery. This will be the first game in Marvel’s new strategy to create compelling console games for its roster of characters, and from what’s been shown so far Spider-Man is looking to kick that strategy off with a bang.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more by Preston Dosza here and here!

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PlayStation Experience 2017 News and Trailers Roundup

PlayStation Experience 2017 News and Trailers Roundup

PlayStation Experience 2017 kicked off on December 8 with a stream highlighting several of Sony’s upcoming games that are set to launch in 2018. While there was little in the way of new game announcements, that doesn’t mean that Sony had nothing to reveal at the event.

Here’s a roundup of the most important news and trailers that were revealed during the PlayStation Experience 2017 stream.

MediEvil PS4 Remaster Announced

Sony announced that PlayStation 1 classic MediEvil is getting a remastered version on the PlayStation 4. Details are scarce, but Sony said that more details will be coming soon.

Wipeout Omega Collection Gets a PlayStation VR Mode

A PS VR mode will be added to Wipeout Omega Collection in early 2018, enabling players to race in VR through every track and mode. A new cockpit view with head tracking will also be added, as well as full 3D audio.

Monster Hunter World Gets a New Story Trailer

Monster Hunter World received a new trailer highlighting its story mode. In addition, Capcom revealed several new Mega Man themed collaborations for Monster Hunter World, which will hold an open beta on PS4 from December 9 to December 12.

God of War Length Detailed

Santa Monica Studios’ creative director Cory Barlog revealed in an interview on stage that development on God of War has entered the play testing phase, with the total gameplay time found to be between 25 and 35 hours. While there is no firm release date, God of War is expected to launch sometime in 2018.

New Donut County Trailer Revealed

Donut County, a physics adventure game where you control a hole in the ground, received a new trailer at PSX highlighting some of the more creative ways you can use a hole in the ground to solve puzzles.

Jupiter & Mars Announced

Jupiter & Mars, an underwater adventure game, was announced for PS4 and PS VR during the show. The player will control a dolphin with enhanced echolocation powers named Jupiter, as well as her partner Mars, to solve puzzles and protect marine life from the remnants of manmade machinery around the world.

The Last Guardian VR Experience Launches Next Week

A virtual reality experience that will enable players to interact with The Last Guardian’s Trico will release on December 12 for free on the PlayStation Store. The experience will last 15-20 minutes, and does require owning The Last Guardian to play.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out  Preston Dozsa’s All The Announcements And Trailers From The Game Awards 2017!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

A Grounded God of War Is What We Need

A Grounded God of War Is What We Need

God of War’s long-awaited return was one of the biggest talking points and highlights of this past E3. Kratos’ surprise reveal during Sony’s press conference was met with loud applause from ecstatic fans. PlayStation’s iconic grumpy Greek warrior is finally back, but this time he’s sporting a luscious beard. With all of the fanfare surrounding his return, the live demo being played during the conference indicated a drastic shift in tone for the long-running series. This isn’t the same God of War players have come to know and, for the most part, love. Developer Sony Santa Monica has gone back to the drawing board, in what seems like an attempt to breathe new life into one of their most popular franchises.

Read moreA Grounded God of War Is What We Need

PS Plus June Games Include NBA 2K16 and Gone Home

PS Plus June Games Include NBA 2K16 and Gone Home

PS Plus members get to celebrate the NBA finals in style with NBA 2K16, free this month from PSN. The latest in a line of critically-acclaimed sports games, players can live the drama on court and playout thier own finals in the comfort of their living room.

If basketball isn’t your thing, PS Plus members will also get Gone Home: Console Edition. After returning home from a year abroad, you notice something amiss – your family is gone. With a deeply engrossing storyline, and a development team that includes the talent of Steve Gaynor (BioShock), this is a fantastic game to add to your library.

Check out the full list of free PS Plus games below:

NBA 2K16, PS4
Gone Home: Console Edition, PS4
Echochrome, PS3
Siren: Blood Curse (Episodes 1-12), PS3
God of War: Chains of Olympus, PS Vita
Little Deviants, PS Vita

God of War III Remastered (PS4) Review

God of War III Remastered (PS4) Review

Remastering old games is almost as common a practice in the industry as cranking out sequels these days. Every time a new system comes out, all of the games you just bought for the old one get ported over, giving players the opportunity to pay for them all over again. On a certain level it’s irritating, on another level there’s no denying that the old games look prettier. So, it really comes down to how much you value graphics and reply. The latest one of these assembly line digital scrubjobs is God of War III. It’s a bit of a weird one given that the original title came out a full five years ago, back when the PS3 was new and Justin Bieber was merely annoying rather than a monster. Yet, there’s no denying that it’s one of the great titles in the hack ‘n’ slash genre, and it now looks better than ever before. The only question is whether or not the remaster is actually worth picking up for those who have already played it. Well that really comes down to personal preference.

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There is absolutely nothing added to the story or content of God of War III. The changes are purely cosmetic. This sucker now glistens in 1080p allowing each and every flying entrail to shimmer in glorious detail. The game also now pumps out at a consistent framerate of 60fps, so those entrails also splatter as smoothly as possible. Lighting effects have also been updated, which look gorgeous in such atmospheric levels as the fiery Hades. Given that this game was designed and sold on delivering massive scale the likes of which gamers had never seen before, there’s no denying that the digital facelift makes a beautiful game look even better. In fact, all you really need to do to spot the difference is check out the cutscenes, which have not been updated and look a little flat and underlit by comparison. The only other new addition is an in-game camera that will allow players to take snapshots of Kratos mid-decapitation if such a thing is remotely appealing to you.

As for the game itself, well, it’s still pretty great. The opening battle that picks up immediately after God of War II’s cliffhanger remains an astounding bit of game design (and really shows off the spiffy new tech specs). Combat remains as delightfully satisfying as ever. Essentially, it’s a button masher, but it’s one of those button mashers so well designed that you genuinely feel in control of the action at all times, even when your finger are just smashing out of instinct. The quick time events the series helped popularize aren’t quite so prevalent these days, so they are no longer quite as annoying as they were in 2010. Besides, there’s no denying how satisfying it is to feel as though you tore a horn off of an ancient Greek beast and shoved it into it’s eye-socket, even if two seemingly inconsequential buttons were all it took to get there.

Given that the rerelease of the game is presumably an attempt to draw new players to the series, it was kind of an odd choice to release part 3 solo. Sure, the original PS2 titles would be somewhat laughable to kids reared on HD, but God of War 3 dives straight into the third act of an ongoing story with very little attempt to catch up new players.  Back in 2010, this wasn’t really a problem, as the series was obscenely popular and most players knew what was up. Now, I’d imagine this thing would be insanely confusing without some quick Wikipedia reads to clear up confusion. However, the story is also likely the weakest element of this particular title, so it’s not like knew players will miss much if they just dive in and deal with the confusion. Likewise, Kratos’ one-note hyper-tough personality hasn’t gotten any more interesting. He’s a pretty dull hero who does little more than growl and snarl, but at least the action is vicious and consistent enough to make it all worthwhile. The static camera also hasn’t been improved at all, leading to some confusing blind spots and awkward fights. Never enough to kill the game, just enough that it’s a surprising no one involved with this remaster bothered to take the time to address the issue.

There really isn’t that much else to say about this game. I mean the title pretty much covers it. This is God of War III Remastered alright. It’s the exact same game, just a little bit prettier. As a straight-up brutal brawler, the game remains an absolute blast and there’s absolutely nothing like it in the current generation just yet, so, in a slow gaming season there is definitely fun to be had by tucking in with this old friend. Yet, at the same time, there really is nothing beyond slightly better visuals to bring back old players who already beat this thing many moons ago. Ultimately, if you’ve never played God of War III, but love gory mash em ups, then sure, run out and get this thing immediately. However, if you wore out this title back in the PS3 era, there’s really not much here that demands a revisit. Given that the game was developed so long ago, it’s not as if the 1080p facelift is as dramatic as it was for something like GTA V or The Last Of Us (which were designed with a sneaky next gen upgrade in mind and almost didn’t’ feel finished until the remaster). Nope, this is just a slightly prettier version of a previous generation title. It’s fun, but probably unnecessary for anyone other than graphics snobs and the few gamers left who have yet to finish up that wacky Kratos’ wild ride.
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Sony’s E3 Press Conference Line Up Apparently Leaked

Sony's E3 Press Conference Line Up Apparently Leaked

It’s nearly a month until E3, but it looks like all the cats are out of Sony’s bag for their press conference.

A source has apparently leaked all of Sony’s announcements for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita.

Some of the supposed announcements include a trailer and announcement for God of War 4, a 3 minute Uncharted 4 presentation that shows Nathan/Francis gameplay, and a new MediaMolecule title.

All of the titles and descriptions can be read here.

Again, this is just a rumour, but the legitimacy of it seems pretty good (well, except for The Last Guardian actually coming out) considering the site that broke this is a pretty well respected mostly PlayStation site.

Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 (PS3) Review: Great Addition to the Family

Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 (PS3) Review: Great Addition to the Family

Let’s get this out of the way. In this game, you get to play as Dracula.

Everyone wants to play as the monster. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but there’s evidence that gamers enjoy playing as the other end of he Gothic human/inhuman duality. Legacy of Kain is the first example I think of; the cult-hit action platformer starring its immortal and damned titular protagonist and his quest for redemption (maybe?). It’s an example we should keep in mind, as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 has a very similar premise.

And that’s fine.

It’s not like this is new for the franchise. The original game was oft compared to a hash of God of War style action games with Shadow of the Colossus climbing elements. Those return in this game, save that the protagonist of the series has graduated from being a devoted holy warrior to a cynical and tormented vampire.

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Lords 2‘s story begins with Dracula on his throne, drinking from his cup of blood, as holy warriors break down his door. What follows is your defense of his castle, fighting knights and a giant magical siege mecha (because why not). These over-the-top antics are pretty common throughout, and the sheer absurdity of the army of demons and steam-punk mecha is contrasted by Dracula’s grim, cynical bravado. He’s surprisingly subdued, especially when he echoes the famous “What is a man?” line from Symphony of the Night‘s opening, albeit with a quietly dismissive tone. The shirtless, blood-whipping bloodsucker with a bone to pick with God is a departure from the bombastic evil of the previous Castlevania games, and while it can be somewhat disappointing, his cinematic depictions of dark power reach ludicrous levels, especially at the end of boss fights. While his quest to stave off the vampire hunters and the literal army of Satan is melodramatic, it’s not pretending to be otherwise. The voice acting is good, with some actually powerful scenes and writing that deserves credit for the attention put into it. It seems to accept its campiness without trivializing its narrative, and while you see a lot of it coming, it’s still well-done. It also summarizes the last two games in the opening, bringing us up to speed.

The gameplay is, in a word, entertaining. Combat is challenging, with multiple enemies flying in all directions with a variety of different weapons and tactics. Dracula has a plethora of powers at his disposal, and the dynamic they have with each other well-balanced. A player who practices can decimate enemies while maintaining his health with Void Sword and breaking guards with Chaos, and the game rewards switching moves with easier accumulation of energy and mastery experience. All of the different abilities have different uses for both map progression and combat, and synergize well. Quick-time events are part of the game, as well, though they are well-implemented, amounting to a timed button touch and rarely killing you outright if you fail. You can even turn them off, causing the game to automatically complete the actions. In the end, I kept them on, because they were simple enough to not become cheap but kept me thinking about the combat strategy.

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What impressed me about this is the attempt at variety. Stealth sections, the bane of character action games, are quite common here, and every one is decidedly different, with several ways of progressing. One of them took me several tries and required a lot of planning and quick thinking to mitigate noise, but I enjoyed it even when I actually died once (none of the stealth sections are instant-kill, giving you more chances to fight). There are several unique challenges presented to you as you play, some of which are somewhat useless (assembling a puzzle to open a door, for example, doesn’t really add to the gameplay), but most of which served to make the combat fresh. The bosses are rarely gimmicky, but even the simplest ones are engaging as you learn their moves and combine different abilities to take them down. The fights are some of the better ones I’ve enjoyed, and their designs are eye-catching, with even staples like Medusa getting a particularly cool redesign.

This design philosophy extends to the game’s two areas. The indulgently anachronistic gothic city of the modern era threw me off at first, and I was concerned that setting this kind of game in that time period would throw off the dynamic. In practice, the city’s grim, demon-ravaged atmosphere mixes fairly well. Dracula’s castle, the second area you explore, provides a more traditional Castlevania experience with deep, rich colours and a mixture of immense decadence and crumbling horror. Both have secrets and side-areas, as expected of a Castlevania game, and accessing these out-of-the-way sections are worth returning to if you require a later power to access them. The graphics are impressive, even if they occasionally develop a blocky haze around the edges, a product of the stylized colour palette.

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I never once got bored with the exploration, even by the end of the game, and climbing about and jumping is responsive and easy. Aside from a somewhat counterintuitive swing animation on the chandeliers (which actually doesn’t throw you off in terms of actual jumping), and one errant bug I found where I had to restart from a checkpoint due a grate refusing to give me a button prompt, the game is never a chore to get through. Luckily for the latter, the checkpoint system is quite forgiving, though you’ll need to ensure you get any upgrades or secrets again.

I recommend this game if you want to enjoy a beat-em-up. If you liked Legacy of Kain, you’ll enjoy this, and it’s actually more diverse and less buggy than those games were. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it uses the elements well. It’s a good buy and you’ll get good play out of it, and there’s a new game plus if you’d like.