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The best upcoming games of 2019 (and beyond)

Phoenix Point

Phoenix Point

Platform(s): PC, Xbox One
Release date: December 2019

Whether you played the original X-COM back in the day or love the modern reboots from 2K, there's just something satisfying about defending the planet from hostile aliens via tactical, turn-based battles full of sudden surprises and miraculous saves. If you're waiting impatiently for XCOM 3, you'll be happy to know that Phoenix Point - headed up by Julian Gollop, creator of the original X-COM - will scratch that same sci-fi strategy itch. In the desolate post-apocalypse of Phoenix Point, humanity has split into factions following a viral outbreak, and horrific aliens are terrorizing the wastes. As one of the factions fighting to protect Earth, you'll need to ally (or war) with other factions to bolster your forces, then take the fight to hordes of hideous, crab-human-hybrid mutants to ensure our species' survival.

GTFO

GTFO

Platform(s): PC
Release date: TBC 2019

If you often reminisce about the horrific hordes and harrowing escapes of the Left 4 Dead series, GTFO looks to be your next fix of four-player, co-op FPS. There's a heavy emphasis on suspense, as you and your squad of operatives (in employ of the mysterious Warden) explore mutant-filled catacombs. An AI director ensures that your party gets to enjoy the chills of creepy exploration and the thrills of staving off swarms of attackers in equal measure. And unlike the standard zombies of L4D, these ghoulish creatures can terrorize you from a distance with their grotesque extending necks.

Spelunky 2 

Spelunky 2

Platform(s): PC, PS4
Release date: TBC 2019

The sequel to the greatest modern roguelike has been a long time coming, and we'll finally get to explore its treacherous caves in 2019. Spelunky 2 follows the adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," retaining the same extremely addictive gameplay featuring 2D platforming and procedurally generated levels full of inventive enemies and deadly traps. If you need a break from exploring the dangerous depths on your lonesome, you can band together with friends in local co-op or the newly added online play. The new biomes look fantastic, as does the cast of fresh characters - including Roffy D. Sloth, an arboreal mammal with a greaser haircut. You best believe I'll be picking him at the earliest possible opportunity.

Biomutant

Biomutant

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: TBC 2019

Biomutant is the kind of bizarre new title that's most exciting for how refreshingly different it looks, even with its hybridization of familiar structures. You play as a fully customizable furball (of an ambiguous, squirrel-esque species) in a lush post-apocalypse, where pollution is taking hold and six animal tribes vie for control of the withering Tree of Life. This third-person, open-world, action RPG has a little bit of everything: combat that blends martial arts combos and heavy artillery that would make Rocket Raccoon drool, character customization via weapon crafting and specialized mutations, and a morality system where you decide which tribes to fight with or against. Biomutant is the first game from studio Experiment 101, which was formed by veteran developers from the Just Cause series - so you already know they've got a handle on crafting vibrant environments ripe for open-world chaos. 

Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: TBC 2020

The original Psychonauts is the kind of cult classic that's beloved by all who play it, and it set the tone for all of Double Fine's following games: fun, quirky, imaginative, and relentlessly clever. Now, after over a decade since the debut of their first adventure at Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp, Raz, Lili, and elite members of the Psychonauts are back for another mind-delving, 3D platforming adventure. Picking up where the PSVR-exclusive Rhombus of Ruin left off, Psychonauts 2 promises more whimsical, vibrant mental mindscapes to explore as Raz runs and jumps around the inner thoughts of idiosyncratic, often hilarious characters.  

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