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Sea of Thieves
Resident Evil 2
Three years back Capcom released a remaster of the first Resident Evil’s remake, with HD graphics, and improvements across the board. Needless to say, it was a success, proving that good concepts are timeless and you can make a buck even from games that are in their late teens. It should be no surprise, then, that Resident Evil 2 was also slated for a remake. The fruits of this process are going to come to us on January 25th, so it’s just around the corner.
Capcom has teased new character designs, some of which were more contentious than others in the minds of the series’ fans. What I think everyone can agree on, however, is that taking these gratuitous shoulder pads away from Leon drastically improved his chances of being taken seriously. Given that this time around RE2 is ditching the fixed camera in favour of a more action-friendly, over-the-shoulder one, having your field of vision obscured by Games Workshop’s idea of what a police uniform looks like would have been frustrating.
If the camera change sounds like a questionable decision leading to a more action-oriented playstyle, don’t be afraid—you’ll still be very scared. Capcom is dedicated to keeping the game’s atmosphere intact, and it’s still going to be a horror experience through and through.
Kingdom Hearts III
Kingdom Hearts III has a special place in the… well, hearts of many a console player. An unlikely crossover of Disney and Final Fantasy worlds is something that’s as bonkers as it is evocative, and it’s great fodder for stories, too. Honestly, seeing Donald and Goofy go on adventures as companions of a kid with a mighty big key is like the best kind of fever dream. It’s fanfiction come to life. All of which makes the release of the third main game in the series such a big deal.
The last one came out in 2005! Since then, Disney has given us an absurd number of movies, including the megahit Frozen (regardless of anyone’s opinion of the movie, it was EVERYWHERE). As for the Final Fantasy series, since 2005 FF has jumped from XI up to XV, so that’s a lot of content to draw from as well. It would probably be a good choice to play the first two games (at least) before jumping into the third one, because the relationships between characters, plot and world specifics etc. are likely to be somewhat impenetrable to newcomers.
Like the Winter, Crackdown 3 just keeps on coming, and when it finally comes people won’t really know what to do with that fact. By the time of its release, it’ll have been nine years since the previous Crackdown. It’s not Kingdom Hearts’ fourteen, but that’s still a lot. Crackdown 3, like the previous games of the franchise, is going to be an over-the-top action game with tons of powerful weapons and an equally powerful protagonist. The players take control of Agents trying to restore some semblance of order in the city of New Providence after a terrorist attack disables power all around the world.
It’s going to have a neon-illuminated slick urban SF aesthetic, ridiculous action sequences, transforming vehicles, and superpowers of the “Flying Brick” variety. Better still: Terry Crews is in it! What more do you need? Honestly, the game has been long in the making, and delayed several times, but it looks just the right kind of entertaining to fill the void Agents of Mayhem could not.
Hopefully it’s worth all this waiting, because the premise (and promise) is delightful.
BioWare’s upcoming open world’em-up is certainly an odd direction given the studio’s general proclivities. Perhaps emboldened by the jetpacks in Mass Effect Andromeda, the Canadian studio chose to create a game where propelled flight appears to be the default mode of transportation, and it is enabled by complex, high-tech exoskeletons called Javelins. It’s basically going to be an Iron Man simulator.
From what we know, it’s going to feature a hub (called Fort Tarsis) from which Freelancers (player characters) will deploy in their suits to complete quests from whoever hires them. That’s about as specific as the marketing materials have been so far. The antagonists will include bandits (with their own suits, too), wildlife, and weather itself in the form of regular unpleasantness and catastrophic events called Shaper Storms. The titular Anthem appears to be a massive terraforming device which has since been claimed by nefarious forces and used for… evil? Certainly for something harmful.
There’s no telling what the game is going to play like, but it certainly looks great, Javelins are distinctive, and it is certainly going to be interesting to see how BioWare manages to handle 3D movement on such a scale after years of being bolted
The Metro franchise ended up pretty popular and well-reviewed. Books by Dmitri Glukhovsky were a huge hit, and the games developed by 4A Games with cooperation with the author followed suit. The games fell neatly into a niche left by the S.T.A.L.K.E.R franchise, so it’s no surprise it lived long enough to see the third instalment arrive in 2019. Metro: Exodus‘ plot takes place two years after the event of Metro: Last Light. The story is going to span one year, during which the returning protagonist Artyom, his family, and friend or two will travel across Russia.
The game is going to feature both linear levels and a semi-open world depending on the mission. There’s going to be some crafting involved, and enough threats to make the journey more interesting than Artyom would probably have liked. It’s going to launch in late February, so if you’re lucky you may play Artyom’s journey through snow-covered Russia while your own town is snowed under. That’s immersion!
Devil May Cry 5
It’s been long time coming, but it’s finally here. Six years after the divisive reboot DmC by Ninja Theory, and eleven after the last mainline release (not counting remasters) comes the conclusion to the story of Sons of Sparda. Oh dear, it’s going to be bombastic.
If you’re not familiar with the franchise which singlehandedly created a genre, here’s the gist: a roguish swordmaster kills demons with style. DMC is a series of famously hard games, and they put priority on being stylish while you kill demons. Diversify your attacks, don’t get hit, make all your attacks connect. The better you are at this, the higher your grade at the end of each mission, and the greater the spoils.
Devil May Cry 5 is going to bring with it three playable characters, an upgraded graphics engine, and, hopefully, a satisfying story. Some may say that stories in DMC are pointless, which is fair, but they are also enjoyable and quite engaging and don’t take themselves more seriously than is necessary for the plot to work.
Either way, DMC 5 is shaping up to be a total blast and a good farewell to Sons of Sparda. I’m certainly eager to see how it plays out.