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If this year’s E3 showed us anything it’s that even though the current console generation is winding down, there’s no shortage of games coming out. Of course not all of those have a 2019 release date but some do and those are the ones we’ll be focusing on here. Bad news for people with their ear to the ground in The Last of Us Part II rumour mill. Good news for those that have waited three years for a new DOOM. So, here are 9 games to look out for in 2019 from the Nazi killin’ to the New Weird.
BJ Blaskowicz has gone missing so his two daughters Jessica and Sophia armed with their mother’s wits, father’s jawline and both’s love for, you guessed it, killin’ Nazis set out to find dear old dad. Designed as a smaller game compared to The New Order and its sequel The New Colossus the co-op oriented Youngblood will hopefully take a more nuanced look at axing Nazis. While the Wolfenstein reboots should be lauded for allowing players to blow up, boot and butcher Nazis in an era that sees such an act as controversial they were lacking in terms of their supporting characters. Sure Anya and Set Roth were cool but others like Sigrun and Bombate left a lot to be desired. Either way the more Nazi killin’ the better!
Control doesn’t really look like any game, ever. Sure the photo realist character designs might translate across genre but other than there isn’t much to compare it to. Developer Remedy are known for their out-there attempts at both storytelling and gameplay. Some like Alan Wake have worked better than others such as Quantum Break. Control looks to be their magnum opus for this generation. Playing as Jesse Faden, the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC), players must explore the FBC headquarters – the Oldest House.
The Oldest House is a shifting, massive, brutalist skyscraper that bends reality to its whim. It looks like House of Leaves on mescaline. Searching for her brother Jesse must contend not only with the shattered reality of the Oldest House but also with the inter-dimensional force known as the Hiss. Packed full of frenetic combat, absurd architecture and challenging puzzles Control is guaranteed to be one of the strangest, if not the best, games this year.
OK even I’ll admit that the trailer for the new Blair Witch game didn’t look too far removed from the likes of the Outlast series – a franchise directly inspired by Blair Witch. Still with the original film having just turned 20 this couldn’t be a cynical cash grab, could it? Always a possibility but I doubt it. Considering it’s from the same studio, Bloober Team, that made the OK game Layers of Fear and the critical darling Layers of Fear 2 I’d say that Blair Witch is in good hands. I’m fine with a terrifying walking simulator as long as it’s packed with juicy, juicy lore.
While parts of the Borderland games have aged like milk in the sun others have aged like fine wine. Admittedly the humour of these games was always something people would love or hate but it’s unique cel-shaded look, frenetic combat and the bajillion guns made up for the likes of Clap-Trap and Tiny Tina. To a lot of games these days less is more but to Gearbox Studios more is more. A whole lot more.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Only three things are certain in life: death, taxes and a new CoD every year. Like clockwork the series has gone from peak to pit all while maintaining its stranglehold on modern gaming. A re-imagining of the Modern Warfare that came out 12 years ago this game seeks to refocus the CoD series often jingoistic view of war and the people that fight it. Whether this will work out or not is up for debate but I don’t doubt that its moment-to-moment gameplay, graphics and multiplayer will be wound as tight as a crouching tiger’s tail.
The Outer Worlds
For years we have wandered in the darkness. For nearly a decade we have been clamoring for an RPG as detailed, as rich and as funny as Fallout: New Vegas. Although the Fallout series has been struggling with it’s own identity and legacy since it switched to the Action RPG formula Fallout: New Vegas proved that if it tried to could dominate.
Now the New Vegas developers Obsidian are back with The Outer Worlds. Although set in space and not in the irradiated Mojave it displays the same sardonic sense of humour, great combat and sumptuous world that made its spiritual predecessor so famous. Packed with player choice from customisation to story to morality along with a beautiful world full of vibrant colours light years away from the drab dustiness of the Mojave.
The enigma that is Death Stranding consistently confounds expectation, genre and the limits of game design. Video game auteur Hideo Kojima has created something that won’t be defined until it’s in players’ hands and even then it’ll probably take a while to get to grips with. Full of star power from The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus to French indie darling and Bond Girl Léa Seydoux to video game VA legend Troy Baker Death Stranding promises performances as compelling as it’s wide, lush world. While the philosophy and most of the games features are still a mystery it’s quality is not.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
What makes a Star Wars game? Is it light-sabers? The Force? Forest Whitaker? If it’s all three then boom you’ve got Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Outside of its objectively bad demo at E3 Fallen Order sounds incredibly exciting. It’s Metroidvania-like attitude to exploration, abilities and story is a key selling point here. It’s rare in a AAA game that you get to explore a game world at your leisure and at length. Most big budget games are always pushing you forward. It’s likely that Fallen Order will as well but the benefit of deciding in which you’re pushed is part of the appeal.
“Rip and tear until it is done.” With those immortal words DOOM sent you into blood drenched science labs, the arid deserts of Mars and the bowels of hell itself. Wading through a the corpses of your foes blowing demons limb from limb with shotguns, plasma guns and your own hands. In 2016 DOOM came back and it left a lasting, bloody impression.
This year DOOM Eternal releases in November capping off an exciting, innovative year for games. As with any sequel Eternal has taken its predecessors formula of bones, blood and bullets and made it bigger, better and bloodier. Full of gory detail, overpowered weaponry and lots of disgusting demons to shoot in the face DOOM Eternal wants to keep players playing in perpetuity. The simple fact is that this is DOOM and who wouldn’t want more of that?