While 2018 hasn’t quite started yet, and there’s a lot we don’t actually know about what it will have in store for us, everyone loves a bit of unfounded excitement and hopeful speculation. We have a pretty good idea which video games are meant to be coming out in 2018, so now seems as good a time as any for the Kotaku UK staff to get a bit excited about stuff they’re itching to play in the following 12 months.
Laura, Rich and Kim sat down and each picked out three games from 2018 they are crossing their fingers will turn out well. Each of them is at the very least looking interesting from a distance, so let’s get right into it.
Rich Stanton's picks
Monster Hunter World
The big daddy! The giant kahuna! The one that has me panting in anticipation. Look, here's my legit writeup on why this is going to be amazing. I'm a joyless husk of a man but hot damn do I love Monster Hunter. If I could marry it and have little dino babies, I would, but as I'm biological matter and it merely an electronic manifestation of code this grand union will always be a dream. But I can play the game, can't I. At least I can do that.
I've always admired Media Molecule's concepts and execution, but I never loved LittleBigPlanet. I know that's on me rather than the game, because you can't but be impressed with the stuff the community has made over the years. Dreams on the other hand looks like, well, a dream. Keza did a great job explaining what it's all about, and even then I still can't quite wrap my head around it – beyond knowing that I really, really want this game in my life, and pray it's as special as it looks.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
The original game is for me the greatest thing Suda-51 and Grasshopper Manufacture has produced. There's something surprisingly heartfelt and honest beneath its schlocky otaku assassin vibe, while the refined combat and limited open world concentrated the action at just the right pitch. No More Heroes 2 was a disappointment. But so many years later the idea of returning to this world intrigues me. The game stars an older Travis, sick of the assassination game, being hunted down himself – and I'm not the sort to abandon a friend in need.
I never thought I'd see this game, it's as simple as that. I do worry that it will receive a harsh reception, because what's been shown so far looks a lot like... well, a Dreamcast era game. I won't give it a free pass if it's terrible, but that's kind of what I expect from Shenmue III – something of a time capsule, a taste of forbidden fruit. It's the game that was never going to happen, and then it did. Be careful what you wish for but, at the same time, I just can't wait to see if Yu Suzuki's still got some magic.
Laura Kate Dale's picks
The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us was an amazing end of life swan song for the PlayStation 3, squeezing every little bit of power out of the system and telling a story of support, family, and ultimately fear of loss. The game ended with a fairly major emotional twist for the pair of protagonists, so a sequel is something I am all about. Is Ellie’s immunity still a possible cure for the world? Will she find out the choices Joel made on her behalf while she was unconscious? I am so ready for not only some stellar action adventure gameplay, but some top notch emotional drama about people being the best and simultaneously the worst.
As a big fan of the Dark Souls games, but not a huge fan of medieval history as a narrative setting, I’m pretty hyped for Code Vein as it’s basically Anime Dark Souls. With more of the lore told through cutscenes rather than text logs, flowing red and black leather capes that’d make my inner 15 year old emo swoon, and some unique combat mechanics regarding draining blood, Code Vein is a game that I look at and just want to be playing right the heck now.
In BioMutant, you play a cute humanoid rodent creature, draped in cool adventurers garb and capes, who uses guns and swords to roam the world killing stuff in a fast paced action adventure style, and omg yep, that’s all I needed to know, I want this game to exist right now. How is this not the coolest idea ever for a new franchise? It’s an adorable fast-paced action assassin gunslinger samurai rodent thing. I love him already.
Detroit: Become Human
Look, I know Detroit: Become Human is probably going to be like every major David Cage game before it. It’s probably going to be a game full of interesting individual scenes, with inconsistent overall theming, and some highly mixed handling of important topics. Still, I can’t help but really look forward to the release of Detroit: Become Human.
Why am I looking forward to it? Because of hope. Every David Cage game contains moments of beauty, brilliance, and passion, and messed something up along the way to its end point. I live in hope of the David Cage game that gets it right, because if it ever happens, it’ll be something beautiful.
Also, the trailers make this look like it’ll be a short story collection rather than one grand narrative, which might actually be good. David Cage is far better at individual short stories than he is grand narrative threads, and him focusing on short stories about humanity, with the ability to branch wildly due to each story having a finite end, could make this the game he gets really right.
I really hope so. I want to believe it’s possible.
Kim Snaith's picks
Originally due out this year but pushed back until spring 2018, Vampyr has had me intrigued since it was first announced back in 2016. It’s dark, brooding, set in an early 20th-century London, and has vampires. What’s not to like?
Its developer, Dontnod, is best known for 2015’s Life is Strange and before that, the generally underappreciated Remember Me which came to PS3 and Xbox 360. While both these games have been fantastic, they’re not known to be the most polished, so how Vampyr turns out is a bit of a question mark. While it couldn’t get any further tonally from Life is Strange, it’s one of my favourite games of this generation, so I’m holding out hope that the team have it in them to turn their storytelling abilities to tales of gritty Victorian streets and cloaked bloodsuckers of the night.
Sea of Thieves
A multiplayer game about pillaging treasure and being a legendary pirate of the seven seas, Sea of Thieves didn’t particularly stand out to me when it was first announced. I’m not a fan of online multiplayer experiences generally. I’m a lone wolf, so what? But then I sat down to half an hour of Sea of Thieves action at a Microsoft event this summer — and I was hooked.
A plunderous sandbox adventure, Sea of Thieves teams you up with like-minded pirates, gives you a ship, and lets you set sail wherever you please. It’s a game about working together to succeed — someone needs to read the map while another mans the sails, for instance — but it gives a sense of freedom that not many other games manage to achieve. Coupled with utterly lovely cartoonish visuals, it’s a sheer delight to play, and I can’t wait to get lost on its islands.
Far Cry 5
Hooray, a Ubisoft open world game! No, I’m not being ironic. I genuinely can’t get enough of a good Ubi open worlder. I know, shoot me. Far Cry 5 looks a, er, far cry from other entries in the series, though. Set in modern-day rural America, it’s a dark tale about radical cults, and throws you into the shoes of a deputy sheriff sent to arrest the evil cult leader. Trailers released so far look very promising, showing a vast and rich world to explore that looks absolutely beautiful. Throw in a very grim narrative, blood and guts, and some animals to tame Far Cry Primal-style, and I’m sold.
From the looks of it, Strange Brigade is more or less Zombie Army Trilogy, but set somewhere more exotic than war-torn Germany. And minus zombie Nazis (presumably). From developer Rebellion, it’s a third-person action game that, unsurprisingly, puts silliness at the forefront. Playable solo or in co-op with up to three others, it’s framed as an intrepid exploration of the far reaches of the British Empire in the 1930s, complete with humorous British narration and a whole host of supernatural beings. Historical accuracy is obviously of paramount importance. Strange Brigade just looks like good old-fashioned fun, and a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously is just what the doctor ordered.