Cosmic Star Heroine (PC, PS4, PS Vita)
Release date: 2014
There's just something about the pixelated art style that makes an RPG an instant must-have. Cosmic Star Heroine is a Kickstarter success that comes from Zeboyd Games (the developer that made hilarious Cthulhu Saves the World) and it's inspired by legendary 16-bit titles like Chrono Trigger and Suikoden.
You play as a government secret agent Alyssa L'Salle in a sci-fi world. Basically, she's saved the day a dozen times over (all in secret), but then she discovers an evil conspiracy within her own government, gets outed as a spy, and is on the run as she tries to escape the villainous organizations that now know her identity. Cosmic Star Heroine looks to have everything to make us immediately interested: turn-based battles, awesome retro visuals, and Chrono Trigger-style multi-character combos.
Cyberpunk 2077 (PC, PS4, XBox One)
Release date: 2014
CD Projekt Red has built up such a stellar reputation with the Witcher series, so as soon as we heard it was developing a new RPG (in a dystopian future no less), we just couldn't help being excited about it. The game is based on the tabletop RPG series Cyberpunk, taking place in a future world where robots look like people, but they have really spiky spikes that come out of their arms.
If the epic trailer is any indication, Cyberpunk will be just as jaw-dropping visually as the Witcher series and won't shy away from mature themes--like blowing the robot brains out of a very human-looking robot. There haven't been many details since the release of the reveal trailer, but we'll be sure to have share any information on Cyberpunk 2077 as soon as it's available.
Wasteland 2 (PC)
Release date: TBD
The Kickstarter-funded Wasteland 2 totally looks like a Fallout game, right? Well, yeah, probably because the original Wasteland was the game that inspired the now blockbuster Fallout series in the first place. The original creators have started making a sequel, putting you in charge of a ragtag group of survivors as they wade through the dangers of the desolate, post-apocalyptic world.
You control a group of fully customizable Desert Rangers, allowing you to modify their skills, weapons, equipment, and appearance as you see fit. Once they're suited up and ready to go, you can take them out into the wilderness to fight enemies in the XCOM-style, turn-based combat system, taking on quests to level up your characters.
Pillars of Eternity (PC)
Release date: 2014
Obsidian is working on another fantasy RPG, and it looks an awful lot like the old Baldur's Gate titles it once worked on. But thats in no way a bad thing. Pillars of Eternity is set in a brand-new world with its own mythology and characters, but you can expect many of the typical fantasy tropes. You'll create your character from a variety of race and class choices, gather companions, and venture out into a world full of magic and creepy monsters that want to eat your manflesh.
The game's mechanics are heavily influenced by the tabletop RPG rules of old, taking into consideration combat rules like roll-to-hit and strength-based character inventories. Pillars of Eternity definitely has an old-school vibe to it. So if you're looking for a game thatll give you a blast from the past, Obsidian's upcoming adventure might be right up your alley.
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited (PS Vita)
Release date: Summer 2014
If you missed 2011's Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten on the PS3, here's another chance to experience the vampire Valvatorez's story on the go. An exclusive to the PS Vita, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited includes all of the DLC from A Promise Unforgotten and brings in additional scenarios and character backstory to the core campaign.
The developers have also included cameos from the fan-favorite Disgaea games' characters, added newcomers to the story, and increased the number of skills and abilities you can earn. Sounds like as good a reason as any to revisit one of the best entries in the series.
Torment: Tides of Numenera (PC)
Release date: 2015
Torment: Tides of Numenera is a spiritual successor to the classic RPG Planescape: Torment. With some rather large shoes to fill, the developers at inXile Entertainment Kickstarted the project to create the heavily story-driven experience. You'll explore the fantasy world of the future. That's right, it's so far into the future that things have gone medieval again. The game will be played from a 2.5D isometric perspective and will focus on character interaction and exploration rather than combat. Also, all of the RPG staples seem to be making an appearance, like character customization and leveling, plus there's a dialog tree system in place that we're assuming will work to branch out plot lines a la Mass Effect. If Torment didn't sound awesome already, the game's pedigree alone is enough to warrant excited anticipation.
At least we have cutscenes to watch on YouTube
So...yeah, theres everything thats slated for the next year or so across all consoles. It would've been so easy to add heavy hitters like Persona 5 on there, but games like that are just so far off its not even worth it to get your hopes up. There are definitely some surprises on this list though, and some unsung games that deserve a bit of hype with them. And of course we always have our beloved pre-release cutscenes to watch over and over again, because damn they're gorgeous.