The best upcoming games of 2018 (and beyond)

Metro Exodus 

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

Metro Exodus is the third game in this criminally underappreciated post-apocalyptic FPS series, transporting you to the irradiated ruins of modern civilization, now teeming with mutated animals, which somehow still manage to look beautiful (in a bleak, desolate kind of way). You play as a hardened survivor slowly making your way across Russia during a harsh nuclear winter, fending off gigantic rats in abandoned subway tunnels and scavenging for supplies topside. Just be sure to keep an eye out for any radioactive bears that could get the jump on you. 

Anthem 

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

Anthem is essentially EA's answer to Destiny: a shared-world shooter that aims to fully immerse players in a gigantic sci-fi universe. You play as a Freelancer (don't call them Guardians) engaging in third-person, Mass Effect-style shootouts, armored up in your Javelin exosuit to explore and exterminate within some gigantic alien biomes. As you might expect, there's an emphasis on party play (for up to four-player co-op) and the pursuit of increasingly impressive loot, and it's promising to hear that Anthem will be penned by the writer of KOTOR and the first two Mass Effect games

Skull and Bones 

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

Sea of Thieves isn't the only open-world pirate game on the horizon - Ubisoft's Skull and Bones is also setting sail for 2018, with a much more realistic take on pirate battles on the high seas. Skull and Bones is basically Assassin’s Creed Black Flag without the Assassins, as it's being developed by much of the same team behind Black Flag, and promises a sweeping solo campaign as you vie for control over the 18th-century waters in the Indian Ocean. But the real focus looks to be player-versus-player ship skirmishes online, where each player controls their very own warship in team-based fleet battles. There will also be supernatural elements amidst all the cannon-fire, like the colossal tentacles of a terrifying kraken lurking in the deep.

Shenmue 3

Platform(s): PS4, PC
Release date: Second half of 2018 

The Shenmue series was never a huge commercial success, but thanks in part to Kickstarter and thousands of fans' hard-earned dollars (plus some generous funding from Sony), the project is fully underway. In Shenmue 3, you'll take the role of a martial artist named Ryo Hazuki as he attempts to uncover who is responsible for his father's murder. The game promises to have gameplay reminiscent of the previous titles, enabling players to take on enemies in hand-to-hand combat, upgrade combat abilities, and explore a living world full of villages, shops, and an active populous.

Mega Man 11 

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

After Capcom all but ignored its legendary Blue Bomber for years, the mainline Mega Man series is finally getting a new entry - and it's looking like a pleasant mix of old and new. Just over 30 years since the original NES game, Mega Man 11 is going fully 2.5D for a charming aesthetic that totally eclipses the lackluster look of failed competitor Mighty No. 9. You already know what to expect from this platforming shooter: new abilities absorbed from defeated bosses, colorful levels full of inventive gimmicks, and oodles of old-school challenge.  

Soul Calibur 6 

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

Welcome back to the stage of history! Fighting game fans have long awaited the return of Bandai Namco's long-running Soul series, starring weapon-wielding warriors locked in flashy one-on-one duels. Soul Calibur 6 looks to bring back the beginner-friendly, surprisingly deep fighter in all its 3D, eight-way-running glory. So far, we've seen Sophitia and Mitsurugi clashing swords again just in time for Soul Calibur's 20th anniversary, and the game looks to be recapturing the fast pace and tight feel of the timeless Soul Calibur 2 while furthering the light-trail-filled aesthetic last seen in Soul Calibur 5.

Ooblets 

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

Nothing can prepare you for the unbridled cuteness of Ooblets. It's got a little bit of everything from your favorite adorable game obsessions: the cuddly creatures and turn-based battles of Pokemon, the rich farming simulation of Stardew Valley, and the interior decorations and vibrant color scheme of Animal Crossing. Developed by a core team of just two people, Ooblets looks to be the kind of relaxing, endlessly charming town sim that makes hours feel like minutes as you maintain your farm, raise and train a herd of the titular ooblets, or meticulously perfect the feng shui of your virtual bedroom. You just know it's going to take over some players' lives in the best way possible. 

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: TBC 2018

The brash, twisted, beam katana-wielding assassin Travis Touchdown is back, and he's looking stylish as ever. Don't think of this as No More Heroes 3 - instead, it's something of a spin-off, revolving around crossovers with notable indie games like Hotline Miami. Badman, the burly father of the slain Rank #2 assassin Bad Girl, is itching for some murderous revenge on our sideburned anti-hero. But while the two are duking it out, they're sucked into the Death Drive MK-2 game console, trapping them in deadly worlds lifted from beloved indie hits. Expect Suda51 and his team at Grasshopper Manufacture to stuff Travis Strikes Again full of their trademark panache, absurdity, and over-the-top violence.  

Indivisible 

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

Back in 2015, over $2 million in crowdfunding was raised for Indivisible, and it's easy to see why: this RPG/Metroidvania hybrid has gorgeously drawn, beautifully animated visuals and inventive combat mechanics to match the captivating presentation. Made by Lab Zero Games, the studio behind the equally stylish fighter Skullgirls, Indivisible follows the intrepid Ajna as she encounters environments and monsters inspired by Southeast Asian mythology. As you explore 2.5D forests, temples, and tombs using your host of acrobatic abilities, you'll recruit party members called Incarnations (which boast some delightfully unconventional character designs). The battles themselves play out like a real-time take on Valkyrie Profile, with a fighting game twist: if you time your attacks correctly, you can combo and juggle opponents in the air for tons of extra damage. The Indivisible Prototype Beta is still available on PSN if you want to check it out, and the game's come a long way since that already-impressive showing.

Dreams 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC 2018

LittleBigPlanet is beloved for letting players create their own 2D platformer levels, but Dreams is on an entirely different scale: you can craft entire worlds down to the smallest detail. This staggeringly ambitious new game from developer Media Molecule gives you all the tools you need to shape a self-contained experience, be it a sidescroller, first-person exploration game, space shooter shmup, or anything in between. Judging from our early preview, the creative possibilities will set your imagination on fire - but if you just want to piece together a map from premade pieces or play through other people's visions, that's fine too. As with LittleBigPlanet, there will be ample ways to show off your work or sample the very best concepts that the Dreams community has to offer, which - in theory - means infinite replayability. 

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