Top ten 2018 video game releases

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"Spider-Man" follows the titular hero as he balances life as a superhero and college student.

@spiderman_game on Twitter

@spiderman_game on Twitter

"Spider-Man" follows the titular hero as he balances life as a superhero and college student.

Jake Novack, Writing Editor

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2017 was a pivotal year for gaming. Nintendo thrust itself and its Switch console into the spotlight with two home run releases in “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “Super Mario Odyssey.” 2017 was also a great year for independently developed (indie) games. For example, battle royale shooter “Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds” did gangbusters on computer game marketplace Steam. Furthermore, the run-and-gun “Cuphead” wowed gamers with its 1930’s-themed graphics and soundtrack. But as players find their last collectibles on “Odyssey” and boot up their umpteenth round of the newest “Call of Duty,” they’re inevitably looking ahead to what the new year will offer. In that spirit, here are my ten most anticipated video game releases of 2018.

10. “Anthem”-Playable on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC

(Release date to be determined)

Going off of this game’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trailer, there’s a whole lot to like. Developed by BioWare, the company behind the critically acclaimed “Mass Effect” series, “Anthem” shows off impressive graphics combined with a complex loot system and sharp, cooperative shooter gameplay. But with these features, “Anthem” is eerily similar to fellow cooperative fantasy-shooter “Destiny,” which was criticized for a lack of standard content upon its release. Seeing that an executive in charge of the game labeled it as a “journey” comparable to “Destiny,” it’s being pushed further down this list.

9. “Detroit: Become Human”-Playable on PlayStation 4

(Release date to be determined)

Game director David Cage, who has mastered the cinematic-thriller genre (2013’s “Beyond: Two Souls starring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe), comes back with “Detroit: Become Human,” another third-person action adventure. “Become Human” takes place in a futuristic version of Detroit where the use of life-like androids is commonplace. Players take control of three different androids: domestic model Kara, police model Connor and android revolutionary leader Marcus. “Become Human” hangs its hat on its branching storyline, as there’s no “game over.” If your character dies, the story simply moves on with you taking control of another character. This branching narrative parlays into many different endings, similar to 2015’s survival-horror game “Until Dawn.” Considering player dialogue choices are also paramount towards completing missions in the game, “Become Human” isn’t necessarily for fans of guns-blazing action. That being said, “Become Human” takes the number nine spot as it doesn’t have a very broad appeal. As many gamers are craving  games with heavy emphasis on action (just look at the sales numbers from 2016’s first-person shooter “Doom,”) “Become Human” won’t necessarily generate much buzz upon release because of its slower style. But if you can appreciate a detailed story, “Become Human” could be a cinematic adventure few games can replicate.

8. “We Happy Few”-Playable on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC

(Releasing April 13)

I wouldn’t say that this one is meant for the casual gamer. “We Happy Few” introduces the player to Wellington Wells, a town in an alternative 1960’s England where all citizens are required to take “joy pills” that render them obedient and tranquile. The player assumes the identity of three different people in Wellington Wells–all of whom have their own motivations and flaws. The game also touts a customizable experience–the town’s population reacts differently to each of the many choices a player may make. Conform with the medication, and you’ll be relatively safe. Go rogue too quickly, and you may find yourself on the wrong end of an angry citizen’s frying pan. “We Happy Few” could be anything from an interactive movie to a first-person beat-’em-up; the game is tailored to each player’s style. However, what pushes this game down to number eight is that most of the game has been available to PC and Xbox One gamers in “Early Access” programs since 2016. So, I doubt that those who are genuinely interested in the game haven’t already played it through.

7. “A Way Out”-Playable on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC

(Releasing March 23)

“A Way Out” provides the gaming community with something that it’s definitely been lacking: a fully cooperative cinematic experience. Two players assume control of Vincent and Leo–1970’s prison inmates who work together to hatch an escape plan. Together, they later embark on journeys both big and small across the United States. What truly makes this game special is that only one copy of the game is needed for any two people to play it together online–one person could share the game with as many friends as they want. Seeing how not every gamer can afford to drop $60 for every new game that piques their interest, this is a move that should make “A Way Out” one of the most widely-played games of the year.

6. “Metro: Exodus”-Playable on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC

(Release date to be determined)

Set in post-nuclear war Russia in 2036, the follow-up to 2013’s “Metro: Last Light” is a first-person shooter with tinges of horror (not exactly a common genre blend in gaming today.) The player takes control of Artyom, who leads a group of soldiers outside the Metro–an underground bunker that hosts the remnants of the human population–to find a new life. The game is confirmed to have a single-player campaign that takes place over the course of an entire in-game year, with different endings for all the different choices the player can make. All of this, on top of being able to hunt mutated bears in a Russian forest? Should be pretty entertaining.

5. “Kingdom Hearts 3”-Playable on Xbox One and PlayStation 4

(Release date to be determined)

In this highly-anticipated sequel to 2005’s “Kingdom Hearts 2,” players once again control characters from both Disney and “Final Fantasy” properties. Main character Sora teams up with Goofy and Donald Duck, among other Disney mainstays, to fight “physical embodiments of darkness.” With quick, third-person combat in iconic Disney settings like Olympus from “Hercules” and Andy’s room from “Toy Story,” “Kingdom Hearts 3” should be a revamped inclusion to an immensely popular franchise. Seeing how this game has been 13 years in the making, it should make waves upon release.

4. “God of War”-Playable on PlayStation 4

(Release date to be determined)

Judging by the insane fan reaction this title got upon its 2016 announcement at E3, fans of the series were more than ready for a follow-up to 2010’s “God of War III.” Greek demigod Kratos, having destroyed seemingly all of Olympus through the first three “God of War” games, now finds himself living as an ordinary man in the lands of the Norse gods. Along with his young son Atreus, Kratos fights creatures of all shapes and sizes with the same third-person combat that made the original trilogy so popular. With the inclusion of his son, 2018’s version of Kratos should be more emotional and complex, adding another yet another layer to a standout story. With astounding visuals and a powerful score to boot, “God of War” should be a huge success for developer Sony.

3. “Spider-Man”-Playable on PlayStation 4

(Releasing June 30)

About time a video game does the web-slinger justice. Coinciding with the huge momentum the character has following “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and his inclusion in the “Avengers” franchise, “Spider-Man” follows the titular hero as he encounters the villainous tycoon Kingpin, along with the Inner Demons, a mysterious street gang led by the ominous Mr. Negative. Players also get to experience life without the mask: both Peter Parker and his girlfriend Mary Jane Watson will be playable characters. The game’s combat mechanics take cues from the smash-hit “Arkham” series of Batman games, with flurries of punch/kick combos to unleash on thugs. And with a massive version of New York City to explore, “Spider-Man” can be the first strong open-world Spidey game since “Spider-Man 2” back in 2004.

2. “Far Cry 5”-Playable on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC

(Releasing March 27)

The “Far Cry” series has usually taken players to faraway, mystical lands–“Far Cry 3” had the tropical Rook Islands while “Far Cry 4” was set in the Himalayan nation of Kyrat. “Far Cry 5,” however, sends gamers to a less awe-inspiring setting: Montana. But what the game loses in natural landmarks, it makes up for with a stellar story. Gamers can create their own character (a first for the series) and lead the resistance against Eden’s Gate, a fanatical religious cult that has overrun fictional Hope County. Players can recruit members of their small town, along with companion animals from bulls to bulldogs, to take down vicious cult leader Joseph Seed. The game also encourages the use of numerous countryside vehicles like ATV’s, which adds another dimension to a game already jam-packed with features. No mission is forced upon the player, as Hope County can be sculpted however each player sees fit. With so many different things to do and places to visit, “Far Cry 5” can enthrall gamers for hours on end.

1. “Red Dead Redemption 2”-Playable on Xbox One and PlayStation 4

(Release date to be determined)

When Rockstar makes a game, they go hard. 2013’s “Grand Theft Auto V” took console and PC gaming by the throat, and in 2010, the original “Red Dead Redemption” did the same, telling the epic tale of cowboy outlaw John Marston. It may have a huge act to follow, but “Red Dead 2” looks like it has everything it takes to encompass its predecessor. “Red Dead 2” is a prequel to the original, with the player controlling Arthur Morgan–a Western outlaw working for gang boss Dutch van der Linde. The game’s two trailers are immensely impressive, boasting beautiful graphics, pulse-pounding heists and an enthralling new protagonist in Morgan. The game is also said to include a regularly-updated multiplayer mode to the scale of “Grand Theft Auto V,” because what’s the point of the Wild West if you can’t form a cowboy posse with your buddies? Based on the only two glimpses of the game we’ve seen so far, we are going to get what Rockstar does best: an expansive single-player mode made for the movies, combined with an option to roam about the game world with your friends in tow.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Top ten 2018 video game releases”

  1. Kris on January 23rd, 2018 1:54 am

    I’m definitely ready for Kingdom Hearts 3! It’s been such a long time coming, and from what I’ve seen the graphics look amazing! I’m happy they left most of the functions to match the other games. It would have been a little disappointing if they decided to upgrade it too on the very last game. Another game I’m really looking forward to this year is Nova Nukers. It’s a competivie multiplayer that has a really unique stage/world map, and a lot of interesting weapons to go along with it. It really caught my eye because I haven’t seen a lot of games with a spherical stage design, and I’m curious to see how it’s going to work out in a multiplayer setting.

    [Reply]

  2. Franky on March 22nd, 2018 7:09 am

    Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute.
    Hoping to resolve the matter with a blockade of deadly battleships, the greedy Trade Federation has stopped all shipping to the small planet of Naboo.
    While the congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, to settle the conflict….

    [Reply]

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