The biggest and best upcoming video games of 2018
Off the back of another terrific year for video games in 2017, the release schedule for gaming fans shows no signs of abating across 2018. Even January is packing a behemoth, with Capcom truly kicking off the year in style with Monster Hunter: World. But even beyond that we have a wonderful selection of games to get our hands on over the next 12 months. So from Western epics to virtual reality scares to comic-book capers and inventive indie darlings, here are the biggest and best games arriving in 2018.
Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition
Formats PS4, PC Released 16 January
An update to Capcom’s two year old brawler might be an unusual way to kick off the year, but this Arcade Edition is looking to make good on the brimming potential that Street Fighter V has possessed. A proper single-player arcade mode for a classic Street Fighter challenge, new V-Triggers and a visual upgrade is all released for free for owners of the base game. While those jumping in with the Arcade Edition itself will receive all of the 12 fighters added to the game since its release. You can certainly criticise the barebones initial release, but that fighting is the best its ever been, so to see it properly served is a cracking start to 2018 for fight fans.
PlatformsSwitch, PS4, PC Released 23 January
Billed as the spiritual successor to Tokyo RPG Factory’s lovely I Am Setsuna, this is another modern imagining of the classic JRPG. You play as a group of young adventurers looking to defeat the ‘White Fog’ that is engulfing their town. Chrono Trigger fans will want to keep an eye out for this one.
Platforms PS4 (PSVR) Released 23 January
A terrifying looking virtual reality prequel to Supermassive’s superb Until Dawn, The Inpatient casts you as an amnesiac ‘guest’ of the Blackwood Sanatorium in the 1950s. As you move through the asylum’s halls, you will piece together memories with the, uh, ‘help’ of the staff. As with Until Dawn, the decisions you make will shape the story. Also was the only game of E3 last year that made me shout ’f—— hell!’ in sheer terror in the middle of a crowded show floor.
Monster Hunter: World
Platforms PS4, Xbox One, PC Released 26 January on consoles, PC TBA
Monster Hunter’s enormous popularity on handhelds in Japan has never quite translated to the West despite a fervent cult following, but Capcom’s crack at taking the series mainstream is shaping up to be a beauty. It is a self-explanatory game in essence, as you chase down massive beasts with a vast selection of skills and ornate weaponry, but the details have been rather more arcane. But here everything —from weapons, to crafting, to teaming up with other hunters— is better explained and executed, allowing more players to dig into the game’s breathtaking hunts against a vast and vibrant bestiary.
Shadow of the Colossus
PlatformsPS4 Released 6 February
Widely regarded as one of the finest games ever made, Team Ico’s Shadow of the Colossus had you roaming an ethereal wasteland, taking down the giant colossi in a haunting, thrilling adventure. Its ambition rather outstripped its technical execution in 2005, however, and this comprehensive PS4 remake is looking to address some of its more benign issues. A revamped camera and control system, along with improved visuals, will hopefully improve an already outstanding game without losing any of its soul.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Platforms PS4, Xbox One, PC Released 13 February
This is a medieval adventure for those that prefer their action-RPGs to be rather more realistic than the usual fantasy fare. What begins as a blacksmith son’s tale of revenge should turn into an epic adventure across 15th century Bohemia, as players rub armoured shoulders with historical figures.
Metal Gear Survive
Platforms PS4, Xbox One, PC Released 22 February
The first Metal Gear since series creator Hideo Kojima’s departure from Konami, Survive is an … interesting spin on the series to say the least. Following the events of The Phantom Pain, part of Big Boss’s Militaires san Frontieres mercenary group are whipped away into an alternate reality teeming with zombies. Cue an open-world, co-operative survival game, a notable if not entirely original departure for Metal Gear that could go either way.
Sea of Thieves
FormatsXbox One, PC Released 20 March
Rare have been making quite the splash with its hysterical pirate simulator. You and a crew of mates team up and set sail across open seas, exploring islands, seeking out treasure and doing battle with other galleons in this shared multiplayer world. The Rare guys have looked positively giddy while showing off Sea of Thieves, and it’s a pleasure to see one of the UK’s most talented studios back to work on a passion project.
A Way Out
Platforms PS4, Xbox One, PC Released 23 March
This terrific looking prison break adventure is directed by Brothers creator Josef Fares. While it shares some ideas with that game, it is an altogether more gritty project for the eccentric director. You play as convicted criminals Leo and Vincent, planning their escape from a high security penitentiary. It is designed to be played in split-screen co-op, but the twist is that you won’t always be together and the story can unfold for each character separately. Despite this, it will be key for players to work together, taking on different roles across the prison to aid the escape plan.
Far Cry 5
Platforms PS4, Xbox One, PC Released 27 March
Ubisoft’s bolshy open-world FPS heads to the American north-west and the oppressed Hope County, Montana. Overrun and controlled by Eden’s Gate, a heavily armed militia big on religious zealotry, you must work to liberate Hope by working with local freedom fighters. It’s shaping up to have the usual raucous action and experimentation the Far Cry series is famous for, but it is the parallels between the game and the real life rise of the far-right in the States that intrigues the most. Ubisoft have played down the political parallels, but how it plays out will be fascinating nonetheless.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Platforms PS4, Xbox One Released Q1/Q2
The epic cowboy sequel is almost certainly 2018’s most feverishly anticipated game, with Rockstar’s expert deployment of info snippets and trailers whipping the internet into a frenzy every time. But as expected Red Dead Redemption 2 is looking the real deal, with players taking on the role of no-good outlaw Arthur Morgan, a member of the brutal Van Der Linde gang. Keen RDR fans will recognise ‘Dutch’s Gang’ as the former associates of John Marston, which he was tasked to take down in the first game. A prequel, then, which we expect to feature Rockstar’s peerless open-world construction, dark and detailed storytelling and a host of authentically Western activities to get stuck into. Yee-haw.
PlatformsPC Released Q1/Q2
A twisted, gothic action-RPG seems a far cry from Dontnod’s last game -the splendid teen drama Life is Strange- but Vampyr’s attempt to draw moral quandary from the undead is just as fascinating. Here you play vampiric doctor Jonathan E. Reid in 1918 London, torn between satiating his needs and keeping his patients alive as a flu pandemic grips the city and mutated vamps stalk the streets.
The Crew 2
Platforms PS4, Xbox One, PC Released Q2/Q3
The Crew was Ubisoft’s intriguing but ultimately flawed persistent online racer which had you charging across the United States in a variety of road-churning vehicles. This follow-up looks to build on the unfulfilled promise, adding a far wider variety of vehicles including planes, bikes and boats.
PlatformsPS4, PC Released Q3/Q4
Will we finally see it this year, or is Yu Suzuki’s long-awaited third chapter of Ryo Hazuki’s quest for revenge destined for development purgatory? The martial arts epic, a sequel to two of the most loved adventures of all time, was Kickstarted in record time but so far we have only seen one teaser. Nevertheless, the arrival of Shenmue 3 will be a fine day; we all have Lan Di’s butt to kick.
Skull & Bones
PlatformsPS4, Xbox One, PC Released Q3/Q4
Skull & Bones is a wonderfully simple pitch; take the superb sea-faring combat of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and turn it into a rip-roaring multiplayer skirmish. Take your boat out onto the high seas, raiding ships, blasting away at fellow pirates and doing your darnedest to escape with the booty. There is a single-player campaign to get through too, but it is the multiplayer that intrigues. Ubisoft are best known for their open-world hijinks, but some of their best games of recent years –Rainbow 6 Siege, For Honor– have been quietly revolutionary competitive rucks. There is no reason Skull & Bones can’t follow in their wake.
Platforms PS4, Xbox One, PC Released Q4
Right down to the deliciously portentous single word title, it’s safe to say Anthem is EA’s answer to Destiny; a shared world sci-fi shooter with a ton of upgrades at your fingertips. But do not underestimate the pedigree and ambition behind this potential new behemoth. Mass Effect creators BioWare are on development duties, building a shape-shifting world in which your ‘Freelancer’ can battle beasts and bad guys. Classes are separated into different heavily-armoured exosuits or ‘Javelins’, from the hulking colossus or more balanced Ranger. Expect plenty of familiar themes, but BioWare are too talented a studio to expect a simple retread.
PlatformsPS4, Xbox One, PC Released Q4
The critically-acclaimed series based on Dimitri Glukhovsky’s novels reaches its third instalment. We rejoin young Artyom in a post-apocalyptic Russia, fleeing Moscow and heading East across the nuclear wasteland. Metro has been lauded for its stressful, oppressive challenge as you must contend with the uninhabitable surface with makeshift equipment, surviving the toxic air and fighting off hostile mutants.
PlatformsPS4, Xbox One, PC Released TBC
Intriguing action-RPG coming out of Sweden, Biomutant has you playing a racoon-esque creature in a world under threat by natural disaster. A poisonous oil is threatening the Tree of Life and you can decide its fate by teaming up with a selection of tribes with their own intentions. Customisation and choice is the aim of the game then, with you able to design your own racoon at the outset. Physical attributes will influence skills and traits, while you can ‘mutate’ your character as the game progresses, changing both appearance and abilities.
Platforms Xbox One, PC Released Spring
The oft-delayed Crackdown 3 should finally make it out this Spring. What should have been a marquee title for the launch of Xbox One X was pushed back for further polishing. Understandably that has lead to some consternation over the quality of the game, but f the extra time can recapture the skyscraper-bounding supercharged hijinks of the first game, we are willing to keep the faith.
PlatformsPS4, Xbox One, PC Released TBC
A series we thought was sadly lost, the brilliant Darksiders returns in this unexpected sequel. As we work our way through the reimagined Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, this time we get to play as Fury, a whip-wielding mage and sister of the first game’s War. We have yet to see the game in the wild, but the series legacy of ferocious combat, comic-book storytelling and Zelda-esque adventuring should stand it in good stead.
Platforms PS4 Released TBC
The stress levels look off the charts in this ambitious open-world survival horror. You play as Deacon St. John, a rough and ready biker trying to survive in an America overrun by ‘Freakers’, zombie like nasties who move in packs. Taking down Freakers one by one seems easy enough, but a lot of the time you will be barrelling away in terror from relentless swarms, using the environment to thin their ranks or slow them down. Have fun.
Detroit: Become Human
Platform PS4 Released TBC
We do have our concerns over Detroit, David Cage’s android yarn, with a recent trailer that explored domestic abuse and infanticide suggesting the divisive French creator had bitten off more than he could chew. Then again, that Detroit is sparking such debates makes it a game to keep an eye on. Whichever way it goes, expect plenty of overwrought storytelling, genuinely wrenching choices and outstanding visual prowess.
PlatformPS4 Released TBC
This extraordinary creation tool from the makers of LittleBigPlanet has been dropping jaws for a while now. It’s finally scheduled to reach the most creative bunch of all this year: you lot. But —as is often the questions of titles like this— what do you actually do? You control an imp which must make its way through a series of ‘dreams’, opening gateways by manipulating the world and inhabiting its denizens. This series of abstract puzzles is more of an introduction to the creative side, in which almost anything can happen. Rather than only selecting from pre-fabricated objects, you can sketch and create to your heart’s content.
Platforms PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC Released TBC
The first game from EA’s new indie program, Fe looks to be a whimsical, inventive and heartfelt game about a young fox trying to save his forest home. To battle the threat of ‘The Silent Ones’, Fe can sing to other creatures in the forest in order to gain their help and improve his own abilities. There is also an ecosystem at work between the flora and fauna that Fe must use to his advantage.
God of War
Platforms PS4 Released TBC
Kratos’ long-awaited return looks to be the biggest departure for the God of War series yet, as gaming’s grumpiest Greek moves to icier climes and becomes a Dad. This time he will guide his charge Atreus against the beasts of Norse mythology, with a greater focus on narrative and exploration. The staple of God of War, that ferocious combat, looks as brutal as ever however, as Kratos and son smash and slash their way through a diverse bestiary with a selection of bone-crunching weaponry.
PlatformsPS4, Xbox One, PC Released TBC
Laser League from OlliOlli developer Roll7 could be the breakout multiplayer hit of the year. Teams of two scuttle about the Tron-esque arena, setting up spinning lasers to wipe out the opposition. It’s a game of quick thinking, while various power-ups keep things interesting. Has been favourably compared to other competitive gems Towerfall and Nidhogg.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Platforms Xbox One, PC Released TBA
The brilliant, inventive and pad-crunchingly challenging Ori and the Blind Forest was one of 2015’s very best games. This sequel to the Metroidvania-style adventure has Ori, the White Guardian Spirit, returning for another go through the hostile forest. We expect the same pinpoint platforming, sharp combat and smart puzzling that made the first game such a treat. And hopefully some new tricks too.
Overkill’s The Walking Dead
Platforms PS4, Xbox One, PC Released TBA
While the current muddled season of The Walking Dead TV show has had many zombie fans gnashing their teeth, Overkill’s long-awaited co-op FPS shows there is plenty of life left in Robert Kirkman’s deliciously bleak post-apocalyptia. Kirkman himself is heavily involved in bringing new characters and storylines to life, while the developers have inventive co-op pedigree with the excellent Payday series.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
PlatformsTBA Released TBA
In a twist to the usual announcement schedule, late last year the official Tomb Raider Twitter account tweeted that a new Tomb Raider game was well on its way, starting its journey ‘at a major event’ in 2018. It also promised that it wouldn’t be long to wait between reveal and release. An interesting gambit in these days of long lead times and marathon marketing campaigns. Nevertheless, it is widely expected that this new Tomb Raider will be the long-rumoured Shadow of the Tomb Raider, a full-blooded follow-up to the stunning Rise of the Tomb Raider. An outstanding second outing for Crystal Dynamics’ Lara Croft reboot, any improvement to that game’s punchy, versatile combat and acrobatic exploration is well worth getting excited about.
Platforms PS4 Released TBC
The web-slinger is back in vogue after his successful appearances in the Marvel cinematic universe, which is excellent timing for Insomniac’s excitable open-world interpretation. But this is a game taking a leaf out of the comic-books, rather than marking itself as a movie tie-in. It features an older and more experienced Peter Parker as Spider-Man, eight years into the job and working to take down a new gang threatening New York. Excitingly for comic-book fans, in particular, a teaser also showed current Spidey incumbent Miles Morales. Insomniac described his appearance as ‘more than a cameo’. Along with the news players will take control of Mary-Jane at certain points, this game looks to be properly exploring the Spider-Man universe. As well as providing the undeniable thrill of web-swinging around NYC and duffing up bad guys.
State of Decay 2
PlatformsXbox One, PC Released TBC
The original State of Decay distinguished itself from the usual zombie video game horde by focussing on leadership, resource management and simply surviving rather than tearing your way through scores of the undead. If there was a criticism, it was that its reach exceeded its technical ability. But following that success, Microsoft look to have invested big in this sequel, which should see a notable improvement on an already fascinating survival horror.
Platforms PS4, Xbox One, PC Released TBC
Strange Brigade is Sniper Elite developer Rebellion’s rambunctious co-op shooter that is straight out of the pages of a 30s British adventure book. You take control of one of the titular Strange Brigade, intrepid explorers such as a Maasai warrior, Oxford scholar or bolshy mechanic with a shotgun. Each has their own skills as you journey to the most uncharted corners of the British Empire circa the 1930s. It is funny, fast-paced and a lot of fun as you charge around exploring sun-baked ruins and give mummies a jolly good thrashing.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
Platforms Switch Released TBC
We weren’t sure if we would see Goichi Suda’s boisterous malcontent Travis Touchdown again, but the slick-haired, laser-sword wielding goofball seems to have found a new home on Switch. This is a ‘new start’ for the character, according to Suda, as he finds himself sucked into a video game console, playing through a selection of six retro-themed games while locked in battle with the vengeance-seeking Badman. It sounds bonkers. Which is just how we like it.