Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Release date: February 13, 2018
Genre: Action role playing game
What is it? A classic tale of village nobody rising up to kill the bad king, and make everything nice again by cutting stuff up with a sword.
What to look out for: It's a big medieval open world adventure built on freedom with numerous non-linear quests that can be completed in several different ways. While the overall aim is to drive out an invading army (who killed your parents) the skill system will let you progress however you want. Classes like warrior, bard, thief, and different hybrid types are mentioned. There's also a time limited converstation system that builds or break relationships. And, just to emphasis the 'real' nature of it all, the player will have needs like sleep and eating, while gear and clothes will degrade and require repair.
Far Cry 5
Release date: February 27, 2018
What is it? Another bout of free-form, open-world anarchy, this time in a location much closer to home.
What to look out for: Making notable steps forward in both gameplay and subject matter, Far Cry 5 could – after a couple of so-so sequels and spin-offs – be the series’ next, stand-out sequel. Moving the action to America for the first time, Far Cry 5 is set in modern-day Montana. Even more intriguingly, it might have – if Ubisoft is willing to follow through – one of the most relevant and controversial stories in recent AAA gaming.
Dealing with the very real issue of isolationist, survivalist cults, Far Cry 5 puts you up against a militant ‘faith, freedom, and firearms’ militia in control of a huge swathe of the Montana countryside. Along the way, you’ll recruit a resistance, call in gun-mounted cropdusters, ally with combat priests, and make friends with Good Dogs who will both sick enemies for you, and cheerily bring back those enemies’ guns like so many happily retrieved sticks. And for the first time in the series’ history, there will be a fully-featured character creator, meaning that you can play as whoever you want.
The Crew 2
Release date: March 16, 2018
Genre: Online racer
What is it? The sequel to Ubi racer that sees you driving, flying and boating across a huge open world adventure.
What to look out for: The second game has gone all out with its motoring action, by not only letting you drive just about every vehicle imaginable, you can also switch freely between them. If you get bored of racing you can swap instantly to a plane and soar away from the road. Then, seconds later, swoop over a river and switch to a boat. All of this is happening across a huge, open world interpretation of America, giving you the freedom to indulge just about every kind of racing, flying and boating imaginable.
Metal Gear Survive
Release date: Early 2018
Genre: Online stealth
What is it? A strange online spin-off from Metal Gear Solid 5, where Mother Base soldiers battle zombies in an alternate dimension.
What to look out for: By all rights, this should utterly, utterly suck. Konami is rapidly trying to exit the traditional triple-A games space, Metal Gear's legendary creator and iconic auteur has bitterly parted ways with the publisher, and oh yeah... IT'S A FREAKIN' ONLINE MGS ZOMBIE GAME. Yet against all odds, the Kojima-less Survive is already looking decidedly decent. The demo from 2016's Tokyo Game Show revealed a game that's undeniably erected on MGSV's building blocks - hell, its 'alternate dimension' Afghan map reuses loads of assets from The Phantom Pain - yet one that still has a few tricks of its own to deploy. Four-player co-op carnage against rampaging zombie hordes. Healing smashed limbs, Snake-Eater style. Building barricades in a way that's reminiscent of old school COD zombies. A seeming return for MGS4's threat ring. Survive may be a bizarre, somewhat shameless spin-off, but you can't accuse it of being boring. And yes, you can still Fulton sheep.
State of Decay 2
Release date: Q1/Q2, 2018
Genre: Action-adventure / horror
What is it? The unlikely but welcome follow-up to Xbox 360's brilliantly ragged little zombie game that could.
What to look out for: The first State of Decay pitted you and your community of survivors against an endless horde of undead, maintaining enough supplies to keep your group fed, armed, and defended. State of Decay 2 does seem to follow that basic gameplay formula, but now you can attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse with online or couch co-op with four friends. The E3 showing gave us a good look at the multifarious, layered, interconnecting causality systems running the game's living open-world, and mighty exciting they look too. If you're looking for a serious zombie survival game, keep at least one (possibly detached) eye socket on this one.
Release date: 2018
Genre: Sandbox action
What is it? The sequel to the cult hit superhero classic that showed street-wide jumps trump sandbox story-telling any day.
What to look out for: Well, Crackdown 3 might secretly be the most exciting game in the world. The return of the superpowered open-world, third-person shooter was always going to be welcome, but it comes with some very modern tricks up its latex sleeves. The single-player campaign will hark back to the past, but a co-op mode, set in an entirely different city, uses the power of the Xbox One's cloud servers for full destructibility. By which we mean you can knock down buildings and explode things willy-nilly, all without a hint of performance drop. You have to see it to believe it. GR+s has. We believe in Crackdown 3. Although we'd prefer less of this silent treatment. Microsoft last gave an update on the superhero sandbox early in the summer, reassuring people the game had been delayed to 2017 to ensure the final product was as polished as possible.
Sea of Thieves
Release date: 2018
Genre: Online action-adventure
What is it? An online open-world where you join fellow motley pirates, crafting your own stories as you sail the waves.
What to look out for: D'you remember the days when Rare turned around and said things like, 'our next game is about a forgotten character in Diddy Kong Racing who now swears and fights turds'? OK, Sea of Thieves isn't quite that much of a departure, but it's a classically Rare-like step into the unknown. A cartoony, pirate-themed MMO, it enables players to craft their own stories as they join a crew, grab a ship and, presumably, brutally attack unsuspecting passers-by. The brief glimpses of high seas action served up at E3 2016 point to a rollicking adventure that looks like it'll provide us with our first worthwhile pirate game since Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. Rare hasn't elaborated much on those custom story tools, and there are also rumours of first-person features, yet despite the remaining questions, our timbers are very much shivered by this ocean outlaw.
A Way Out
Release date: Early 2018
Genre: Co-op action-adventure
What is it? A split-screen co-op tale of two rogues trying to break out of prison, who reluctantly team up for mutual benefit. In other words, not exactly an Orange is the New Black buddy comedy.
What to look out for: Spearheaded by Josef Fares, the mind between Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, A Way Out going to have you control either Vincent or Leo, who both have the urge to get out. Interestingly the screen is going to be split, with one player perhaps being in a cutscene while the other sneaks around the unsuspecting NPC or takes advantage of their partner's distraction. It looks like collaboration and planning is going to be a key part of the game, and seeing as you can't play it solo it's going to be bonding exercise with either a buddy or an online stranger for many players.
Release date: Q1/2 2017
What is it? You assume the role of Dr. Reid, who’s recently been turned into a blood-sucking denizen of the night. It’s up to you to decide whether to kill enough people to become powerful beyond belief, or heal London’s citizens from the Spanish Flu and bring peace back to the city.
What to look out for: Everyone is very familiar by now with the choice mechanic in games. Pick an option, have it affect the rest of the story. Vampyr takes this one step further and puts the entire city of London in your hands. Lap up the blood of its citizens all you like, as the more iron-rich red stuff you ingest will make you more powerful and you’ll be able to use more vampiric powers. But with the Spanish flu ravaging the streets and considering you’re a skilled doctor, you can also heal Londoners. You don’t have to kill anyone - it’s up to you just how monstrous you become.
Release date: March 2018
Genre: Action-adventure exploration platformer
What is it? A side-scroller heavy with the influence of Castlevania, which will have you slashing your way past demons as you puzzle your way through an eerie mansion.
What to look out for: If you lie awake at night missing Castlevania, I have some excellent news. The mastermind behind the later 2D series, Koji Igarashi. is hiding away working on his newest game. Centred around orphan Miriam, it’s a tale about her voyage to lift the curse that’s slowly turning her skin into crystal. As would be expected, she’s not crazy about the idea of becoming a walking mineral, so she sets off to hunt down a summoner who has suffered from the same affliction for a long time. Nostalgia will hit you in the face if you’re a fan of Castlevania, as it’s got the same seamless action, gothic atmosphere, and haunted locale spelunking.
Monster Hunter World
Release date: Q1/2 2017
What is it? A big console appearance for Capcom's cult creature killing RPG.
What to look out for: More will known for appearances on handhelds and Nintendo consoles, Monster Hunter is finally coming to Xbox and bringing all it's animal tracking and weapon crafting with it. Alone, or with up to three friends, you can set out to find giant monsters before killing them and collecting all the bits. Back at base camp it's all about turning what you get into new enormo weapons and boney armour so you can go out again and kill bigger things. It's the circle of life in action.