There are only a few days left of 2018 and it’s fair to say the year has been fantastic for gaming. Throughout the year, a number of phenomenal titles were released
including Red Dead Redemption 2, Celeste, and also Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Considering how amazing 2018 has been for the industry, a lot of iconic titles and perhaps even some major announcements may be required during the course of 2019 if the year is going to be looked back on in future as superior to 2017 and 2018, respectively.
With 2019 just around the corner, there are a number of great games that are scheduled for release that I’m looking forward to. With that being said, the following piece looks at the five video games that I am anticipating the most for 2019. This isn’t exactly surprising, but this blog post is purely made up of my own opinions, so chances are you’ll agree and disagree with some of my choices.
5) Pokemon: Generation 8
Opening up the list is a game that technically hasn’t even been announced yet. When it comes to the Pokemon franchise, the only real information we know about the newest instalment in the series comes from an announcement that was made at a Nintendo Press Conference in Japan earlier in the year. The highly praised Pokemon Let’s Go
Pikachu and Eevee titles were announced for November 2018, while it was also stated that another Pokemon game would be released in either Q3 or Q4 of 2019.
In regards to Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, the titles offer fans a more simplified and easy approach to the franchise with the adventure and new features of the
game being adapted with the suspected aim of drawing in a younger audience into the franchise. Levelling up Pokemon is very easy, the catching system is influenced by Pokemon Go, breeding was removed, and the game doesn’t require a lot of time to complete either.
As previously mentioned, it was confirmed that a core-RPG game would also be coming to the Nintendo Switch following the launch of the Pikachu and Eevee titles. While
there hasn’t been a lot of information shared, it’s widely believed that the latest title will initiate the eighth generation of the franchise as opposed to expanding on generation seven.
Pokemon was one of my favourite games to play as a child and for years I wanted a play a proper Pokemon RPG game on a more advanced console and wider screen like a TV or monitor. Thanks to the success of the Nintendo Switch, along with the Pokemon Sun and Moon titles making me fall in love with the franchise once again, I’m beyond excited to see what Nintendo and Game Freak have in store for the Pokemon franchise when the new game launches later into 2019. I just hope it can be even better than the aforementioned Sun and Moon through both the narrative and difficulty.
4) Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
Coming up next is none other than Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, a kart racing game developed by Beenox that will be a remastered version of Naughty Dogs’ original title, Crash Team Racing. Following on from the success of Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy, many fans (including myself) were desperate for another remastered Crash title such as Crash Bash, Crash Twinsanity, or by far the most popular option, Crash Team Racing.
Just like with the aforementioned N-Sane Trilogy, the game will be completely enhanced from the ground up with reports that the game will also include new tracks, characters, kart customisation, and most importantly, online play. Similarly, with the original Crash Bandicoot games, I absolutely loved playing both Crash Team Racing and also its indirect sequel Crash Nitro Kart when I was younger and can’t wait to play the remastered version of the former title.
Following on from Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is Media Molecule’s latest ambitious and unique game, Dreams. The game follows on from their LittleBigPlanet vision and tagline of “Play, Create, Share”.
I first learned about Dreams all the way back at E3 2015 when it was originally announced and was instantly drawn in due to the beautiful art style and uniqueness the game holds. I absolutely loved playing LittleBigPlanet when I was younger, and I imagine I’ll have similar feelings to Dreams when it hopefully releases next year.
Unfortunately, the game has suffered numerous setbacks since it was announced, but I guess that’s been a good thing too since it gives them more time to get things right. An early-access beta was finally released in the middle of December, after a two-year delay. However, due to a non-disclosure agreement, nothing about the beta can be broadcasted or shared publicly yet. As of speaking, the only information we do know comes from various live streams and trailers.
While it is technically a game, Dreams seems more like a game engine which enables players to create essentially whatever they want. To put this into perspective, Media Molecule literally recreated parts of LittleBigPlanet in Dreams. Dreams is the type of game that could be seen as revolutionary if they get their formula absolutely right. The power that they are giving the players in this ambitious title is both inspiring and incredible, while I’m not exactly a creative guru myself, I’m looking forward to seeing what I can make in Dreams as well as playing the various games that other people make. In short, I’m very excited to see what the future
holds for this game.
2) Death Stranding
Coming just short of the top spot is Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding. The game will be the first from the highly praised video game designer, Hideo Kojima, since his split from Konami Digital Entertainment. Kojima is most known for his outstanding work with the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Originally, Kojima had been working on the latest instalment in the Silent Hills franchise along with The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus and director Guillermo del Toro. However, following the cancellation of the game, the trio teamed up in early 2016 to produce a completely new game that’s exclusive for PlayStation, which we now know as Death Stranding.
While Norman Reedus has teased a release in the first quarter of 2019, I’d take that information with a pinch of salt. However, a 2019 release does seem very likely, considering all of the various teases and information that has been given. This list would be a tad awkward if the game actually makes its release in 2020 instead.
Despite the popularity, there’s still not a lot that is known about what’s really happening in this game. Each trailer that has been released makes the game seem that much more confusing, yet, at the same time, it gives me so many more questions and makes me want to know more about what’s happening. Why is Lea Seydoux eating bugs? Why is there a baby inside Norman Reedus’ body, and giving us a thumbs up? And speaking of babies, what purpose do they play in this game? They feature quite regularly.
Aside from those previously mentioned, the game will also feature Troy Baker, arguably most known for playing Joel in The Last of Us, Emily O’Brien, who has featured in some Telltale Games’ titles like Guardians of the Galaxy and Batman: The Enemy Within, and many others.
The art style for the game looks amazing and the motion capture from the trailers looks very good too. While I am a little bit worried that the story will be a bit too complicated to understand, I trust Kojima and am excited to play Death Stranding whenever it does eventually release.
1) The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episodes 3 and 4
Last but not least, I just had to include Telltale Games, or Skybound Games now… I guess?, The Walking Dead: The Final Season as my most anticipated game for 2019.
While seasons two and three had its highs and lows, the Final Season returns to its roots of season one and I’ve been loving it so far. I guess my reactions prove it
While I know a lot of people discredit The Walking Dead following the direction the games took in season two and season three, and for what it’s worth, I definitely agree with some of the arguments made, it doesn’t change the fact that I absolutely love the franchise and Clementine is quite easily one of my favourite video game protagonists of all time. The Final Season feels like a massive breath of fresh air for a variety of reasons, season fours narrative is easily superior to what we got in seasons two and three, the art style is fantastic and is arguably the best its ever been, and most importantly, it actually feels like choices play a part in the story again.
Following Telltale Games’ closure and treatment of staff back in September, I was pretty worried the franchise wasn’t going to be concluded due to the pretty obvious circumstances at hand. Thanks to the legend that is Robert Kirkman along with the staff at Skybound Games, Clementine’s story will be concluded in the first two-quarters of 2019 and many staff were employed to help finish off the game.
Like I said before, The Walking Dead one of my favourite game franchises of all time and I’m both excited and in a way upset for Clementine’s story to come to a proper conclusion.