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New Video Games To Look Forward To

We’re only a few months away from hotly anticipated sequels like Red Dead Redemption 2, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – but those aren’t the only games you have to look forward to. There’s plenty of greatness left to go this year before we start thinking about the best new games of 2019 – and you might not have even known about some of these titles until now. Whatever your platform of choice, from your favorite console to the best gaming laptop, there are plenty of games you should keep an eye on over the weeks and months to come.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: September 14, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

Lara Croft will be struggling to survive once more in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the third and final game in the reboot trilogy following Lara’s origins. There’s a strong emphasis on stealth this time around, as Lara is greatly outnumbered by Trinity forces in the thick of a South American jungle. She also just so happens to have triggered a li’l ol’ apocalypse thanks to her somewhat selfish actions, which seems out of step with her character; hopefully this hardened iteration of Lara will eventually win us over like in the previous games.

Insurgency: Sandstorm

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: September 18, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

For a certain subset of shooter fans, hardcore simulation games like Arma 3 represent the pinnacle of the genre, giving you almost zero in-game information to recreate all the uncertainties of actual combat. Insurgency: Sandstorm is an FPS in that same vein – the sequel to a cult classic Source mod, now done up in Unreal Engine 4. Minimalism is the name of the game in this tactical shooter: there’s barely any HUD, and no hit markers or kill indicators to speak of, so you’ll often have to confirm that an enemy is down with your own two eyes. Bullets are also extremely lethal, so quick burst fire will often be fatal. Whether you’re playing head-to-head or co-op against AI-controlled militia, Insurgency: Sandstorm’s multiplayer firefights will put you in a constant state of high alert, which is exactly what some players are looking for.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One
Release date: September 21, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

Not to be outdone by the revival of Sony’s other would-be mascot in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, everyone’s favorite purple dragon Spyro is getting his very own three-pack remaster. Spyro Reignited Trilogy features the first three games in the series (i.e. all the best ones) rebuilt from the ground up with wildly improved Unreal Engine 4 visuals and a refined control scheme. We’d be shocked if this oft-requested trilogy didn’t eventually make its way to Nintendo Switch as well, so for anyone who missed them back in 1998, Reignited Trilogy will be a great way to enjoy a beloved slice of 3D platforming history.

Valkyria Chronicles 4

Platform(s): Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: September 25, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

World War 2 never looked so anime until Valkyria Chronicles came along on PS3, and Valkyria Chronicles 4 continues the saga’s turn-based tactical strategy with a welcome multi-platform debut. The story this time around follows a fledgling commander named Claude and his squad of wartime buddies, who will no doubt mature into battle-hardened heroes over the course of the campaign. You’ll be overseeing the action via the series’ trademark BLiTZ system, switching from a top-down view to move around and aim shots in third-person, and the patented CANVAS graphics engine creates a fetching watercolor aesthetic for this theater of war. Only in Valkyria Chronicles will you find a WW2-era tank that wouldn’t look out of place in a Studio Ghibli film.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker

Platform(s): PC
Release date: September 25, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

Pathfinder has long been a fan-favorite alternative to Dungeons & Dragons, but Pathfinder: Kingmaker is the tabletop RPG’s first foray into the world of full-blown isometric adventures, similar in style to contemporary hits like Divinity: Original Sin and Pillars of Eternity. On top of customizing your questing party, slaying fiends in pause-anytime combat, and making plenty of influential dialogue choices, you’ll also have to manage an entire kingdom, forging alliances that will shape the rest of the Stolen Lands. Pathfinder: Kingmaker also has quite the heavy hitter in its corner: Chris Avellone, a genre godfather who designed classics like Planescape: Torment, Fallout 2, and Icewind Dale.

Life is Strange 2

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: September 27, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

The folks at Dontnod are ready to tell another episodic coming-of-age story in Life is Strange 2, which is sure to be full of multifaceted characters, supernatural elements mixed with everyday struggles, and impossibly difficult decisions that have long-term consequences. Max and Chloe aren’t in the picture, as the choice-driven narrative puts you in the shoes of 16-year-old Sean Diaz, who must flee Seattle with his 9-year-old brother Daniel after a simple fistfight escalates into tragic calamity. If you haven’t already, you should play The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, which is like a free appetizer for this five-episode main course, and will carry over some of your decisions to boot.

FIFA 19

Platform(s): Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release date: September 28, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

EA is constantly iterating on its virtual version of The Beautiful Game, and FIFA 19‘s major new feature is the introduction of the UEFA Champions League (now that Pro Evolution Soccer lost the rights to use it). The Europa League and Super Cup competitions are also here, along with a substantial Career mode that serves as the grand finale for Alex Hunter, the star of The Journey that started back with FIFA 17. As for the footie gameplay itself, numerous tweaks are being made to give players more direct control, most notably the Active Touch System which allows you to fake trap the ball, and the Timed Finishing mechanic, where you can tap the kick button twice to fine-tune your timing.

Forza Horizon 4

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Release date: October 2, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

Forza Horizon 4 looks to deliver the same fun, open-world, photorealistic racing you’ve come to expect from Playground Games, now with a heavy emphasis on the changing of the seasons. As you cruise around the UK in all kinds of high-end rides, the roads and environment will reflect seasonal conditions: icy pavement in winter, fall foliage in autumn, light drizzles in spring, and so on. And in a first for the series, Forza Horizon 4 is primarily a shared-world racing game, so the roads will be constantly be populated by your fellow drivers. You’re free to befriend, challenge, or ignore them as you see fit, but there’s definitely a push to make Forza Horizon 4 a more social racing experience.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: October 5, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

If the classic “This. Is. SPARTA!” kick didn’t make it clear enough, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes the series to Ancient Greece circa 431 BC. No matter which protagonist you choose – female Kassandra or male Alexios – your story in Odyssey will be one of redemption after you’re cast out of Sparta as a child. There’s a bigger focus on RPG elements this time around, with collectible gear, dialogue options during cutscenes, ample combat abilities to choose from, and multiple endings based on your choices. Naval exploration and warfare also make a comeback, and you can now take part in massive 150-versus-150 battles in Conquest skirmishes.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: October 12, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

Treyarch is back with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, dropping you into near-future warfare rife with heavy ordinance and intense shootouts (but without all the jetpack jumps and wallrunning). A huge change for the series this time around is the total lack of a single-player story campaign; in its place, Black Ops 4 will feature a battle royale mode called Blackout (no doubt in response to the massive popularity of Fortnite and the like). Multiplayer brings back the unique characters and abilities of Black Op 3’s Specialists, featuring a mix of soldiers old and new, while the Zombies mode chronicles three time-traveling adventures (now with AI-controlled bots if you want to play solo). Ditching the traditional campaign is quite a gamble, so we’re interested to see if Blackout mode pays off or the dedicated COD playerbase prickles at the idea of lost value. Black Ops 4 is also following in the footsteps of Overwatch and Destiny 2, as it’ll be part of Blizzard’s Battle.net platform on PC.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One
Release date: October 26, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

Red Dead Redemption 2 has a lot to live up to, so it’s reasonable that Rockstar Games wanted a generous amount of time to get this open-world, Wild West sequel just right. Set before the first RDR, you’re filling the cowboy boots of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw in the employ of familiar villain Dutch van der Linde. Morgan seems to be a rougher, thornier character compared to the stoic John Marston – but we’ll surely get to know him better across dozens of hours spent moseying across quaint plains, hunting for wild animals (now with a new bow and arrow combo!) in verdant mountain regions, and carrying out many a high-stakes train heist.

Battlefield 5

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: November 20, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

Battlefield 5 is taking the series back to its World War 2 roots, with infantry, tanks, and aircraft aplenty locked in combat across massive multiplayer skirmishes. Choose your preferred class between Assault, Medic, Recon, and Support, then master your role to turn the tide of battle one spawn location at a time. Veterans should be aware of a few key tweaks this time around: now any class can revive downed allies, so no more ignoring cries for help when you’re getting your snipe on. The classic spotting mechanic now highlights general areas rather than individuals, encouraging you to seek out enemies yourself without immediately flagging a target for death. And there’s a strong focus on Squad play in Battlefield 5, which rewards you for sticking with a designated group of men and women (including your very own customizable soldier). As in Battlefield 1, War Stories provide some single-player action, while the multiplayer does away with the traditional Season Pass in favor of Tides of War, a system modelled around Fortnite’s Battle Pass featuring limited-time events.

Just Cause 4

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: December 4, 2018

New Video Games To Look Forward To

Rico Rodriguez returns to wreak more open-world, physics-based havoc, this time in the South American wilderness of the fictional Solis. Just Cause 4 still has the frenetic third-person action you know and love, grappling hook and all, but the biggest addition this time around is an extreme weather system that tears up the environment as often as you do.  Giant twisters and severe storms cause even more chaos in a firefight, and you’ll also get the chance to run wild in arid and snowy environment in addition to the South American jungle.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

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

New Video Games To Look Forward To

Bandai Namco’s cult favorite series of flight sims is gearing up for a big comeback in 2018, bringing the dogfighting action back to the alternate universe of Strangereal for Ace Combat’s current-gen debut. The fast-paced aerial skirmishes look great whether you’re piloting from the first-person cockpit or a third-person view, and the campaign promises to contextualize the theater of war in the skies with a healthy dose of political intrigue and Top Gun-esque melodrama. Those who own a PlayStation VR get the added bonus of PS VR-exclusive missions that should ideally make you feel like you’re actually flying your very own fighter jet.

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord

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

New Video Games To Look Forward To

If you’ve not played the PC-centric Mount & Blade games before, they’re essentially For Honor on a sprawling Battlefield-sized scale. Whether on foot or on horseback, players take part in massive medieval skirmishes in a giant sandbox world, with intricate melee combat mechanics that take physics and positioning into account. Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord promises the same scope and intense dueling, modernized with a much-needed facelift of its predecessors aging visuals. Anyone with a fondness for chaotic close-quarters combat should love wildly swinging a sword and shield in this sequel’s monumental sieges, regardless of which side of the ramparts you’re on.

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