I can wholehearted say, without a shadow of a doubt or the slightest hint of wavering sarcasm, that 2017 was one of the greatest years on record for the games industry – that is, at least in terms of games that graced the digital store fronts and brick and mortar establishments, bedazzling us with their wonderfully crafted worlds and exhilaratingly-crafted, edge-of-your seat gameplay. From The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and What Remains of Edith Finch, 2017 was a celebration of best and brightest that the games industry has to offer. However, as with all things in life, this constant parade of sublime gaming experiences must, unfortunately, come to an end.
That said, even though the sun has set upon the land of bountiful digital plenty that has to bedazzled us for the last twelve calendar months, a new dawn has broken, offering up to us a ray of unbridled hope that promises to keep the procession of wonderous videogame experience marching on for another twelve months. While it is easy to look back at the past and reminisce dreamily around the fireside (or, more appropriately, the bar) of those amazing games that enthralled and enraptured us in 2017, one must not forget that 2018 to be just as great, if not more so, with countless games demonstrating the potential to rekindled the sense of wonder and joy that so captivated us all in 2017. We at Cubed Gamers want embrace this optimistic future, at least while the dazzling trailers and gameplay footage of 2018’s potential blockbuster titles distract us from the inevitable sense of disenchantment some of 2018’s games will undoubtedly cast upon us. So, without further ado, here are Cubed Gamers’ most anticipated games of 2018.
2018 promises to grace us some truly mesmerising narrative experiences, a fact has me fervently foaming at the mouth in eager anticipation like a crazy college student one the first day of spring break. For me, narrative experiences interwoven with engaging and exhilarating gameplay are the types of games that I adore, which is why I am keen to get my hands on A Way Out, a cooperative Shawshank-esque jailbreak experience written, directed, and created by the talented team behind the wonderfully emotional Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
What makes A Way Out particularly exciting to me is its cooperative nature, a feature that is rarely seen in narrative-centric games, especially those you’d consider as ground-breaking in any way shape or form. Almost all of the great narrative-based games in existence are entirely singleplayer experiences; from The Last of Us and Spec Ops: The Line to Inside and Half Life 2, the great narrative-centric games are all singleplayer experiences. This is due to the difficulty in maintaining any true sense of tonal consistency or gravitas, two common victims of any narrative videogame upon the inclusion of an additional human player.
From what I’ve seen so far, A Way Out looks to be finding intriguing solutions to this problem, and I’m excited to see if the game manages to effectively craft an engaging narrative that can be truly enjoying in the company of your best friend without having to resort to any unfortunate narrative compromises. A Way Out looks to be heading in the right direction, and if the gameplay trailers thus far have shown me anything, it’s that the development team have been able to figure out a way to craft an enjoyable cooperative gaming experience that seamlessly integrates itself with a powerful and emotional story.
Only time will tell, but as the days count down towards A Way Out’s release from its gated development prison, I cannot help but wait eagerly at the exit to embrace it with outstretched arms and welcome it.
Quantic Dream seem to get a lot of bad press with every game release. Beyond: Two Souls did seem to fall a little short in terms of credible story, and Heavy Rain was disliked for its lack of game-changing choices, but they seem to have hit the nail on the head with Detroit: Become Human.
The game takes a look into the near future, one in which we have created androids to work alongside us, but also one in which they are considered subordinates. It’s definitely a plausible idea, and one that has been implemented in numerous forms of media. After the news that Saudi Arabia has given citizenship to humanoid robot Sophia, it is closer than ever to becoming reality.
What’s most exciting about Detroit: Become Human is the weight of the choices you make. You follow three androids throughout the game, each of which can die if you make the wrong choices. Unlike Heavy Rain, where everyone had to survive until the very end, this feels like every choice will matter and we’ll actually be able to see the butterfly effect in action. From trailers and gameplay videos, we have seen just how many different choices you can make in a single scene, and how each of those choices branch out. I look forward to seeing whether that becomes the reality it claims to be, or whether most decisions are meaningless as they have been in the past.
Everything about Detroit so far ticks my boxes for a great game; it looks gorgeous, it has a compelling story, and the gameplay means it’s well worth starting multiple playthroughs. It’s one of few games I’ll be pre-ordering in 2018 and I can’t imagine regretting it for even a second.
Metro Exodus will be the third instalment in the unique survival-horror Metro series. The franchise takes place in post-apocalyptic Russia, where the air has been so polluted that the surviving humans are forced to live in the underground metro tunnels. Based on a popular series of books, both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light were incredibly unique in their approach to stealth, survival, and atmosphere.
Exodus aims to take players somewhere they never expected to go: an outside world with clean, breathable air. Part of the survival-experience in Metro involves donning a gas mask with limited functionality when exploring the Russian wasteland. The E3 2017 trailer shows a new environment that could possibly be safe for human habitation. We can see that some humans have already revitalised a large train on an old-world rail-line, so only time will tell how the game will utilise this new aspect of its world.
The gameplay shown in the trailer highlights both the terrifying dark of the mutant-ridden tunnels and the exhilarating combat in the wasteland. Both of these elements were very important in making the games as well-loved as they were, and Exodus seems to be continuing that pattern of excellent gameplay in an exciting and horrifying world. Currently, Metro Exodus is scheduled to release in the Fall of 2018. If you own a next-gen console, the Metro Redux collection offers remasters of both original games and is worth checking out.