With 2018 in the books it's time to start looking at what 2019 has to offer, and it certainly looks like we're in for quite a ride over the next 12 months, as January kicks off with the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3 and the highly anticipated Resident Evil 2 Remake. In this article, we take a look at what we know about the first six months, but keep in mind that some additional games are likely to be scheduled in and one or two titles might slip from the intended release dates or release windows.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (Switch) - January 18
We had all but given up on seeing another No More Heroes, but the Nintendo Switch is something of a comeback machine, so perhaps it shouldn't surprise us to see Goichi 'Suda51' Suda and Travis Touchdown at it again. Read more in our recent hands-on preview.
Resident Evil 2 Remake (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - January 25
The second game in the Resident Evil series is often regarded as the best - or at least one of the best - survival horror game in existence, and we've been awaiting the remake for some time since Capcom started teasing it a few years back. We recently got an extended look at the game and you can read our impressions for more on what promises to be an early horror highlight of 2018.
Kingdom Hearts III (PS4, Xbox One) - January 29
It's been a long and winding road from various spin-offs, bonus chapters, and re-releases between Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts III, but now the time is finally here for Sora to finish the storyline that has been a decade and a half in the making. Prior to E3 last summer we got to play the game properly and from what we can tell there's every reason to think Tetsuya Nomura and his team will deliver.
Trials Rising (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) - February 8
You need some serious skills to excel at Trials, and with Trials Rising RedLynx are looking to usher in new players better while making sure the competitive element runs like a red thread through the entire game. Most hilarious is perhaps the tandem co-op mode that's going to require some proper collaboration and communication or you'll no doubt crash over and over. For more on Trials Rising, check out our E3 impressions.
Crackdown 3 (PC, Xbox One) - February 15
The road to release for Crackdown 3 has been troubled, and to be honest after having been blown away by the destruction-filled demonstration as the game was announced at Gamescom in 2015 we've been less enthused every time we've seen the game. We're still holding onto the hope that something good will come out of this though, and our most recent text on the game is from Gamescom 2017.
Dead or Alive 6 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - February 15
Team Ninja prepares to serve up another helping of voluptuous hand-to-hand combat with the sixth main entry in the Dead or Alive series. Said to be easier on beginners while putting emphasis on the trademark visuals, this marks the first new main entry in the franchise in more than six years. We got our hands on the game at E3, where we got to try out the new Break Gauge feature and decide for ourselves whether or not the "sexy" had been toned down.
Far Cry: New Dawn (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - February 15
It caught us a little off guard when Ubisoft announced a direct sequel of sorts to Far Cry 5 at The Game Awards in December. Set in the aftermath of the cataclysmic events that ended Far Cry 5, New Dawn offers a postapocalyptic survival take on the Far Cry formula. Our favourite part of the new game are the Expeditions, which lets you go on "snatch and grab" missions to our locations in America. For more on New Dawn our meaty first look will provide you with what you need.
Metro: Exodus (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - February 15
We've been tremendously impressed with Metro: Exodus, the third game in the Metro series, inspired and based on Dmitry Glukhovsky's novels. Offering a less claustrophobic experience, we're now treated to a road trip across the wasteland as Artyom faces new threats. This new world features changing weather conditions, day and night cycles, and as Artyom travels time will pass and seasons change. For more on the game read our combined impressions from the E3 and Gamescom demos.
Anthem (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - February 22
Bioware's new massive shared-world action game looks like it could be the next big thing to eat up our time as it launches in February next year. It's the first new Bioware property since Mass Effect, and while it's a step away from Bioware's RPG roots, it's still said to offer their award-winning narrative touch and world building. We weren't thoroughly convinced by the EA Play demo this summer, but have since seen more and have warmed up this brave new world Bioware are proposing.
Dirt Rally 2.0 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - February 26
The sequel to what is possibly the best rally game of all time looks set to offer more along the same lines, as a more nuanced weather system and degradation of tracks aim to push the realism and challenge, while the game adds the Rallycross World Championship to its garage of content. We got an early look at the game around the time of its announcement, so check there for more details.
Total War: Three Kingdoms (PC) - March 7
The Creative Assembly returns to take on China in the next historical entry in the long-running Total War series. Based in part on The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (and Records), Three Kingdoms offers more of a character focus than previous entries, as there will be duels during the actual battles and the personalities of the various commanders and principal characters will make up much of the intrigue of the campaign. We got our hands on Total War: Three Kingdoms back in August, and came away impressed.
Devil May Cry 5 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - March 8
Another long-awaited return this spring is that of Devil May Cry's Dante, and while he's not been completely absent it sure has been a long time since the fourth numbered game in the series. He is joined by Nero and new addition V in what is a trio of playable characters for this game. Offering its signature skill-based and elegant hack n' slash action, Devil May Cry 5 is certainly a game fans have been waiting for. We went hands-on with the game at Gamescom and found it visually "amazing" with "fast-paced combat" and "responsive controls".
The Division 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - March 15
The Division enjoyed something of a rollercoaster ride from enormous hype to a troubled launch, finally redeeming itself through updates and new content. In March next year, the shared-world shooter returns and this time we're set to go into Washington, DC, a capital that's seen better days. Expect to learn more about The Division 2 very soon, but for now you can read up on our early impressions from E3.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - March 22
With the Dark Souls series seemingly finished and no Bloodborne 2 confirmed, the next challenge that From Software is dishing out is Sekiro, even if it should be said that the game is very different from the two aforementioned action-RPGs and perhaps owes as much to the old Tenchu games. Sekiro is a ninja seeking vengeance on a Samurai who kidnapped his lord, and features elegant combat and stealth action. We absolutely adored what we got to play of it during E3 last summer, and on that note you can read up on our impressions if you like.
Mortal Kombat 11 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - April 24
Another game shown at The Game Awards in December was Mortal Kombat 11 - a fairly expected announcement as Netherrealm has alternated between DC fighters and Mortal Kombat in recent years. We don't know much about the game yet, but a full reveal is expected very soon.
Days Gone (PS4) - April 26
When it comes to games that have suffered delays, Days Gone is in good company in the spring of 2019, having seen numerous ones since first being shown at E3 2016, bewildering us with scenes of zombie hordes the likes of which we'd never seen in a game before. Since then we've played it on occasion, and perhaps the hype has died down a bit, but we're still eager to find out how Sony Bend's ambitious project turns out. Here's our most recent look at the game.
Team Sonic Racing (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) - May 21
We're big fans of the first two Sonic racing titles developed by Sumo Digital, and to be perfectly honest both PS4 and Xbox One are long overdue a quality karting game (Switch is obviously well catered for). The team mechanic makes things a bit different and perhaps there will be more friendliness on the couch as a result, but even if you'll miss out on some griefing this one should hopefully help recover some of the hedgehog's reputation.
Rage 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - May 14
A marriage of id Software's frantic brand of first-person action and Avalanche Studios' expansive open-world is what's on offer as Rage returns this spring. It's a little troubling that Just Cause 4 came with a plethora of technical issues when it launched, given the same technical foundation is being utilised here, but fingers crossed Rage 2 will deliver the ferocious action we've been promised. Here's what we thought when we first laid eyes and hands on it, but rest assured we'll soon have further impressions for you.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) - Spring
Putting a potential release date on Koji Igarashi's long-awaited crowdfunded Castlevania successor is a bit like trying to catch a live chicken while wearing high heels. That's to say, it's a bit risky. We're hopeful Bloodstained makes it out this spring after several developer switches and what seems like anything but a smooth development. The good news is that WayForward is involved to bring this game to completion, which gives us hope it will turn out well in the end.
Dreams (PS4) - Spring
With the beta for Media Molecule's Dreams finally out the door we expect it won't be too long until the full creative experience sees release. We're still having some trouble grasping exactly what Dreams is, simply because it can be anything and everything, but we're confident Media Molecule will come up with something just as special as they have done in the past.
Fire Emblem Three Houses (Switch) - Spring
The next major Fire Emblem game is tentatively scheduled for release this spring, and we cannot wait to see what it offers. Traditionally a handheld series these days, Fire Emblem feels like a perfect fit on Switch. We expect to learn much more about this game soon, perhaps through a dedicated Nintendo Direct.
Twin Mirror (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - Spring
Dontnod really rose to fame with the episodic narrative adventure Life is Strange, and while this title is developed by sister studio Dontnod Eleven, it shares the episodic structure, but seemingly little else as we will delve into a dark story as investigative journalist Sam returns to his hometown in West Virginia. We're not sure just when the first episode lands, but it would make sense to launch it outside of the busy fall schedule so why not this spring?
Yoshi's Crafted World (Switch) - Spring
After Kirby and Yoshi have both been subjected to some crafty yarn and wool adventures, the material of choice for Yoshi's Crafted World is cardboard. A marriage of Yoshi's Woolly World and Tearaway, then perhaps. Nevertheless we're happy to see the hungry dino return for what promises to be another well-crafted (sorry) adventure on the Nintendo Switch.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) - Spring
After two very good Wolfenstein titles starring BJ Blazowicz from Machine Games we're now getting a bit of a spin-off chapter starring his twin daughters (yes, there's co-op) in Youngblood. There's no firm date, but we suspect this intriguing new Wolfenstein chapter - perhaps best seen as a healthy snack to keep us going in between the second and inevitable third main title from Machine Games - will land this spring.
Crash Team Racing: Nitro Refueled (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) - June 21
It wasn't exactly a well-kept secret and given the massive commercial success Activision has enjoyed with the Nsane Trilogy, and remaking Crash Team Racing was a no-brainer. Unlike most other Mario Kart clones at the time, this one was actually really good, and hopefully it can be updated and modernised in a way that keeps what made it special while still allowing it to be measured against the likes of Mario Kart 8: Deluxe.
BioMutant (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - Summer
BioMutant offers an eclectic open-world adventure that has shown promise since it was first unveiled back at Gamescom 2017. It may look like a game made by a much bigger team, but an ambitious title that has been inspired by the likes of The Legend of Zelda and Pikmin, just to name a few influences for the game being made by a team of about 20 people. Will they deliver something good enough to be measured against the genre greats? We're hopeful. We visited the studio when the game was first unveiled for a first look you may want to read...
We'll be back with a look at the second half of 2019 and all those pesky "sometime in 2019" releases very soon...