The best upcoming games of 2018 (and beyond)

Agony 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: March 30, 2018

There's a pretty easy way to figure out if the first-person horror of Agony is for you: can you stomach the sight of virtual babies being smashed into bloody stumps? If you answered 'yes', then you're just twisted enough to enjoy this harrowing trip through Hell itself. You're a tortured soul seeking out the Red Goddess, the so-called ruler of the underworld, in a desperate bid to escape eternal suffering. To do so, you'll need to fearfully sneak past demons in your meek human form as a feeble Martyr - though later on, you can possess them and use their terrible powers to your own ends.   

We Happy Few 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: April 13, 2018

We Happy Few is practically a must-play based on the concept alone, which somehow manages to blend a BioShock-style society of deranged drug addicts and the kitschy 1960s whimsy of Austin Powers into one delightfully creepy survival game. You play as one of several residents of the fictitious English city of Wellington Wells, navigating in first-person through a society where residents are forced to take a daily dose of the hallucinogenic pill known as Joy. You've refused to take your medicine and have been labeled a kill-on-sight Downer, forced to flee from the mind-altered citizens and coppers while crafting and scavenging for anything that might help you survive. All the while, you're taunted and oppressed by Uncle Jack, a live-action TV host who's like a sinister, pill-pushing Mr. Rogers. 

God of War 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: Early 2018 

Having torn the Greek pantheon asunder, Kratos (now sporting a scruffy beard) has set his sights on a new mythology to conquer: Norse. The fourth main entry in the legendarily brutal PlayStation series - God of War - drops the numbering and looks like it'll force Kratos to control his endless rage, as he raises his young son Atreus to become a hardened warrior. Don't worry, you'll still slay plenty of fantastical creatures along the way, using Kratos' new lightning axe main weapon - but expect a lot more character development and quieter moments in between all the carnage.

Wargroove 

Platform(s): Switch, Xbox One, PC
Release date: Early 2018

It seems Nintendo isn't about to revive Advance Wars any time soon; thank goodness developer Chucklefish stepped up to the plate to bring back turn-based strategy featuring delightful GBA-style sprites. The overworld map and battle animations perfectly mimic the charming aesthetic of the Advance Wars series, set in a high fantasy world full of knights, dragons, skeleton dogs, and witches. As one of 12 unique commanders, you'll wage war over land, sea, and air to establish dominance over the map, one little square space at a time. With online and local multiplayer for up to four players, custom map creation, and loads of adorable unit types, Wargroove's got everything an Advance Wars fan could ask for.  

Days Gone 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: Early 2018

If you think zombies have been done to death, well... you're right, but that isn't stopping the PS4-exclusive Days Gone. The enemies in this open-world post-apocalypse aren't technically undead - the so-called 'Freakers' are actually infected humans who have gone feral and seem eager to devour our hero Deacon (voiced by and modeled after Sam Witwer, who you might recognize as Starkiller from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed). What really sets the Freaker horde apart is just how many can be chasing you at once; there are times when they're practically flooding out of the environment, and all you can do to survive is simply run.

Crackdown 3 

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Release date: Spring 2018 

In Crackdown 3 you’re a super-cop in an open-world city, using your powers to fight crime and smash the whole place up in the process. While there’s still a story campaign to tackle, the online co-op for up to four players is where it's at, letting you and your Agency buddies tear up this futuristic metropolis in chaotic style. You'll be leaping between buildings using your jumpjets in one moment, then raining down high-tech bazooka missiles onto any poor criminals the next. The addition of Terry Crews as a playable character is the perfect cherry atop this city-obliterating sundae. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One
Release date: Spring 2018

Red Dead Redemption 2 has a lot to live up to, so it's reasonable that Rockstar Games wants a little more time to get this open-world Wild West sequel just right. Given the delay from 2017 into mid-2018, concrete details on RDR2 are relatively scarce, besides the fact that there'll be a multiplayer mode to complement the single-player story this time around. The newest batch of RDR2 screenshots tides us over while we wait with visions of lush woodlands, dusty prairie roads, and grandiose train robberies.

Detroit: Become Human 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: Spring 2018

As is the trend nowadays, Detroit: Become Human is a choice-driven adventure revolving around androids achieving sentience. Remember the Kara tech demo Sony showed off years ago? She's back as one of three playable androids in a futuristic Detroit, along with detective 'bot Connor and the aspiring revolutionary Marcus. It’s a game of staggering ambition - it took David Cage two years to write the script, and hundreds of actors have done mo-cap work for it.

Vampyr 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: Spring 2018

The last great vampire-centric game was Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, and that cult classic debuted way back in 2004 - but soon enough, Vampyr should sate our bloodlust and fill that vampiric void. Made the eclectic studio Dontnod, developers of Remember Me and Life is Strange, Vampyr casts you as the recently fanged Jonathan Reid in the Victorian-style streets of 1918 London. You have the option of roleplaying Reid as London's savior, using the doctor's powers of healing to find a cure for a deadly flu epidemic, or a sinner, hunting human prey under cover of night and serving only your eternal thirst. Hopefully, Vampyr will play like a Dishonored game starring Dracula.

State of Decay 2 

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Release date: Spring 2018

If The Walking Dead has taught us anything, it's that forging bonds between survivors and building up a community is essential to surviving the zombie apocalypse. State of Decay 2 takes those values to heart with co-op for up to four players, provided you all agree to work together instead of backstabbing one another for precious supplies. To build up your customizable encampment, you'll need to scavenge on foot or four wheels, splattering the skulls of countless undead along the way. And if someone's unfortunate enough to get bitten, their allies will have the tough choice between curing them with a limited supply of medicine, or ending their impending suffering with a bullet to the brain.

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