Release date: "Spring" 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.
Release date: Q1/2 2018
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: Fall 2018
What is it? Imagine Destiny meets Titanfall, and size down the giant mechs to human-sized exoskeletons called Javelins. That's Anthem.
What to look out for: Looking to be a co-op shooter set some time after nature has reclaimed most of the planet, you're a Freelancer who ventures out beyond the safety of the walls that separate what's left of civilisation from the wilderness. You can explore both underwater and the air using your Javelin exosuit, and by the sounds of it you won't be sticking to one suit either, as Patrick Söderlund described the "unique play style" and "devastating combat" that each suit offers. Four player co-op is looking to be a significant part of Anthem , so get ready to buddy up and explore the lush wilderness with your gun-toting squad.
Skull & Bones
Release date: Q3/Q4 2018
Genre: Action-adventure piracy sim
What is it? Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag without the Assassin’s Creed, basically.
What to look out for: Land? Where you’re going, you don’t need land. Ubisoft‘s entirely sea-based adaptation of Black Flag’s hit pirateering gameplay is currently billed as a tactical action game, in which you take command of a ship and set sail to seek your fortune, build out the strength of fleet, wreck other ships and, well, wreck even more ships. It might not have the giddy, playground-pirate tone of Microsoft’s Sea of Thieves (see next entry), but with a single-player campaign as well as multiplayer, it might be a tad more versatile.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Release date: October 26th, 2018
Genre: Open-world action-adventure
What is it? Seriously? The sequel to Rockstar’s phenomenally successful Red Dead Redemption, a phenomenally good open-world action game about the wild, wild west.
What to look out for: Yee-haw! Full disclosure: don’t let the convincing cowboy impression fool you. We actually know very little about Red Dead Redemption 2, other than the fact that we want it now. Scraps of information suggest that it’ll be single player with multiplayer aspects, and has been scheduled for a 2018 release. Whispered rumours imply we might be playing as John Marsden’s son, and you’re sure to see some familiar faces as people are theorising that forming your very own band of misfits will be a big part of the game (as suggested by the early concept art). Likely set towards the end of the Wild West era (we see steam trains and brick housing in the trailer), it’s possible that the cowboys will have new struggles to contend with as they start to feel the hot breath of progress on their neck.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Release date: 2018
Genre: Card game
What is it? A fully fledged (albeit free-to-play) spin-off of Witcher 3's horribly addictive card game.
What to look out for: If you ask for it, apparently CD Projekt Red will provide. When would-be witchers began playing the tavern card game just as much (or more than) the actual open-world adventure, the devs took note and began working on a standalone Gwent game, complete with single-player campaigns and full voice acting. Soon you'll be able to enjoy a game of Gwent against other players with an entirely new interface and card animations, all outside of the grimy pubs of The Witcher 3. You'll also have a chance to frolic with fantasy cards early, thanks to Gwent's open beta, which launches on October 25 and includes a sampler of the game's new PvP mode. The final title will be free-to-play (steady) and also features optional in-game purchases (deep breaths).
Call of Cthulhu: The Official Game
Release date: TBC 2018
What is it? The first major Call of Cthulhu game in years, bringing you into the world of H.P. Lovecraft's mythos of reality-devouring elder gods.
What to look out for: Finally: a brand new Call of Cthulhu game for consoles. Cyanide Studios, a team primarily known for modern versions of Blood Bowl and Pro Cycling Manager, is making an Xbox version of the famed tabletop role-playing game. While there have been mobile tie-ins for Call of Cthulhu in the past, this is the first original console version since the ambitious Call of Cthulhu: Darks Corners of the Earth which came out for the original Xbox all the way back in 2005.