What do Norman Reedus and Winnie the Pooh have in common?
It’s been a banner year for video games new and old in 2018. With masterpieces like God of War and Red Dead Redemption II sweeping up game-of-the-year accolades, it’s time to look forward to the games that will captivate players in 2019 and beyond. These are EW’s 15 most anticipated games coming out (hopefully) within the next year.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (March 22)
The next game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer FromSoftware is shaping up to be just as punishing, and just as rewarding, as its genre-defining predecessors. Sekiro sets itself apart from the Souls series with stealth, vertical mobility, and a Sengoku-era Japan setting, but crossing swords with enemies using the newly developed posture and resurrection systems is as adrenaline-pumping as white-knuckle battles against the bosses of Lordran or Yharnam.
The Last of Us Part II (TBA)
All four of Sony’s 2018 E3 showings were impressive, but the extended story and gameplay preview for The Last of Us Part II was a true showstopper. Featuring both a sweet glimpse at Ellie with her new romantic interest, Dina, and a lengthy demonstration of visceral survivalist combat, the trailer delivered exactly what Naughty Dog fans needed to see.
Kingdom Hearts III (Jan. 29)
Square Enix and Disney fans rejoice. Kingdom Hearts III (just III, not Dream Drop Memories 359/3 or whatever the naming convention for the series had spiraled into), is finally just around the corner. Any AAA video game bold enough to include Winnie the Pooh has my attention.
Cyberpunk 2077 (TBA)
Cyberpunk has some big shoes to fill as CD Projekt Red’s first major release since the universally acclaimed conclusion to the Witcher series hit shelves in 2015. The dazzling neon trailer and gameplay video the company has released in recent months indicate that the IP, based on a late 1980s tabletop RPG, may just live up to the hype.
Anthem (Feb. 22)
Marking BioWare’s first foray into the squad-based MMO space and its first new IP in 10 years, Anthem is looking like an excellent destination for multiplayer action. Promising tightly designed mechanics and a full, lore-heavy story alongside 1-4 player expeditions, the game could be exactly what BioWare needs after its Andromeda stumble.
Death Stranding (TBA)
If Metal Gear Solid was Hideo Kojima being restrained by Konami, there’s no telling what the idiosyncratic auteur will get up to with the first release from his newly independent Kojima Productions. What we know so far: Norman Reedus is a deliveryman who carries really big packages while avoiding invisible shadow monsters, and he has a baby in a portable vat. Also, stars like Mads Mikkelsen, Guillermo Del Toro, Lindsay Wagner, and Léa Seydoux are lining up to make appearances.
Doom Eternal (TBA)
Doom 2016 was the epitome of guilty pleasure, unapologetic in its fast paced, demon-crunching brutality. If the mechanics of this follow-up are as buttery smooth as those in the franchise reboot, it’ll provide a much needed frustration vent for plenty of gamers.
The Pathless (TBA)
Developer Giant Squid impressed with the colorful serenity of its debut game, Abzû. For its second game, the studio maintains the gorgeous art style, but swaps a calm ocean for a lush mountainside forest landscape where a bow-wielding woman and her hawk contend with dangers including fiery beasts.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood (TBA)
There can never be too much media devoted to the idea of being extremely rude to Nazis. Youngblood, announced at Bethesda’s E3 2018 press conference, opens up the alternate-timeline franchise to two-player co-op by shifting the focus from brawny BJ Blazkowicz to his twin daughters taking out fascists in the 1980s.
The Division 2 (March 15)
The Division was an MMO that showed a lot of promise, but it fell somewhat short of expectations in the execution. With The Division 2, Ubisoft is taking another shot at bringing satisfying Rainbow Six-style squad tactics to an open-world online Tom Clancy post-apocalypse.
Ghost of Tsushima (TBA)
The new open-world samurai tale from Sucker Punch, Sony’s inFAMOUS development studio, looks outstanding. The windswept grasslands of 13th century Japan displayed in the trailer were breathtaking, and from a visual standpoint, the combat is stunning. If it plays as good as it looks, repelling Mongol Empire invaders will be a delight.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (TBA)
EA has announced a title for its upcoming Star Wars game, but precious little aside from that. It’s being developed by Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind Titanfall, for a 2019 release, and the story will follow a Padawan who survives Revenge of the Sith’s infamous Jedi-eradicating Order 66.
The Outer Worlds (TBA)
Fallout 76 didn’t exactly leave the best taste in most players’ mouths, but Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian Entertainment is hard at work on The Outer Worlds, which looks like it could satisfy that sci-fi RPG craving. The trailer, debuted at the Game Awards, combines Fallout vibes with a dash of Borderlands corporate-owned space frontier flavor.
Devil May Cry 5 (March 8)
After 11 dormant years, Capcom picks up with Devil May Cry 5 as a direct sequel to DMC 4. Ninja Theory’s DMC in 2013 was an interesting if divisive new direction for the franchise, but this upcoming entry takes the game back to its absurdly entertaining roots, with an experienced Nero and Dante battling swarms of demons as stylishly as they know how.
Dragon Age 4 (?) (TBA)
There’s a good chance this one won’t be arriving in 2019, but we can hope. No release date or even title has been announced for this Dragon Age sequel (please be a full sequel, not some weird mobile spinoff or something), but as the only Game Awards announcement to give the writer of this list literal, physical chills, it earned a place in the count. The Dread Wolf rises! At some as-yet-undisclosed point in the future!