Some would say that PC gaming is going through some rough times. Humbug I say, pure humbug! In 2018 we’ve seen some amazing games come out on PC, including treats like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Frostpunk, and Dead Cells. Sure, AAA titles have long since stopped producing exclusives for PC, but I don’t see how that negatively impacted the PC gaming scene.
And believe it or not, 2019 is looking to be just as great. Now, this time I decided to do things slightly differently. Due to the huge impact of both Celeste and Dead Cells on 2018’s gaming, I’m going to feature more indie games than usual in this list, in earnest hope that they hit off. Who knows, maybe one of them is going to be 2019’s Celeste? Almost certainly!
So let’s get into it, shall we?
Upcoming PC Games in 2019
Feature PC Games releasing in 2019
After almost 2 decades of being considered an unfulfillable promise
Genre: Action-Adventure | Also available on: PS4 | Developer: Neilo, Ys Net
The original Shenmue was, and this is a fun fact, the costliest game to have ever been developed in its time. It was a thoroughly ambitious project, which made it that much of a disappointment when it turned out to be a remarkable commercial failure. Shenmue II didn’t turn that situation around (it would have never been able to in the early 2000s) and so the series was shelved for years.
And it’s a shame too. Shenmue amassed a cult following over the years, and for good reasons. It’s a series that uses QTEs in a very imaginative and innovative form that no other game really ever got. It also features an overarching storyline of epic proportions, so all the ingredients for a successful saga have always been there, it was just never meant to be. However, the creator of the series Yu Suzuki always had faith in the project and broke off from his parent company Sega. With further help from Kickstarter, he managed to resurrect the series and now we all wait with great anticipation for a return of a true classic, upgraded to 2019 sensibilities. If it succeeds, this game could legitimately change the landscape and for that reason, it’s good to look out for it.
The more peaceful kind of a coal war
Genre: City Builder, RTS | Also available on: PC exclusive | Developer: Blue Byte
Anno is a long-standing series of historical city builders, exploring the moments of most tumultuous developments in human history. As the name suggests it, Anno 1800 takes place at the dawn of the 19th century, and the precipice of the industrial revolution. By all accounts a terrible time to be a worker, but a pretty great time for building city infrastructure.
Unlike Anno 2205, which featured distinct gameplay segments for wars and development, the entirety of this game takes place at the same time, necessitating more micro-managing. Of course, industrialization, being a very important aspect of the game, will influence a lot of the game elements, from causing worker strikes (like I said, bad time) to pollution. We’ve had an excellent city builder in 2018 in the form of Frostpunk so hopefully, Anno 1800 can reach that admittedly high-placed bar.
The song of creation
Genre: Action RPG | Also available on: PS4, Xbox One | Developer: BioWare
A lot of us are very anxious about Anthem, which has a lot to do with the kind of reputation the developers have built in recent years. They are still known in the gaming industry, for better or worse, for creating deeply immersive, story-driven experiences. And Anthem seemingly does away with a lot of the studio’s conventions.
Anthem certainly attempts to create an interesting sci-fi world, with all kinds of cool lore and backstory, although for now we only really know bits and pieces of it. It’s also quite clear that BioWare has put a lot of work into making the action combat in Anthem fun and varied, through the usage of aerial movement and by giving the player multiple class-like options in the form of different mech-suits called Javelins. At the same time, BioWare opted for a limited system for in-game dialogues, which is causing a pause in their fanbase. Anthem may be a make-it-or-break-it for BioWare, so the eyes of gamers are intently locked on the game.
What is left alive tends to come back to haunt you in the future
Genre: FPS, Action | Also available on: PS4 | Developer: Square Enix
The hype for Left Alive really rides entirely on two names: the producer Shinji Hashimoto, who famously is the one responsible for the conception of Kingdom Hearts due to a chance meeting in an elevator he had with Disney executives, and artist Yoji Shinkawa, who worked on the Metal Gear series and is largely responsible for its striking style.
And that latter point certainly shows. From the trailers, we know this game to be a mix of stealth/shooter segments and fights between giant bipedal mechas. Yup, sounds pretty Metal Gear alright. The art style and direction definitely show similarities to Metal Gear as well, leading all of us fans of the series to speculate about the possibility of Left Alive being a worthy successor, if not to Metal Gear’s mechanics than at least to its style.
Dying Light 2
So, guys, we’re doing it again!
Genre: Action RPG, Survival Horror | Also available on: PS4, Xbox One | Developer: Techland
With Chris Avellone as a narrative designer, the man behind the bulk of RPG legends like Baldur’s Gate and Fallout New Vegas, Dying Light 2 is shaping up to answer one question: what if Mass Effect… but zombies?
Dying Light 2 promises a highly complex story with a multitude of choices leading to wildly different results, in addition to solid FPS-style combat with parkour elements. Dying Light is certainly adept at utilizing their zombie tropes, so it’s definitely on my personal radar. How well this ambitious goal works out, in the end, remains to be seen, but with Avellone at the helm, all of us are rather optimistic about its chances of success.
Total War: Three Kingdoms
I finally get to reenact Red Cliff without resorting to mods? Sweet!
Genre: TTS | Also available on: PC exclusive | Developer: Creative Assembly
Diving deep into both the Chinese mythical epic, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and the more historically accurate frame the legend originated from, the Total War series finally takes a stab at the Middle Kingdom. And good for them, China has a wealth of history and mythology perfectly suited to explore in video games.
Three Kingdoms will feature a greater degree of focus on the leaders than any of the previous titles, going as far as to have a dedicated mode of play called Romance (as a reference to the legendary epic, not its contents, which I’m disappointed by), where their abilities are enhanced to superhuman levels, but their various vices and virtues can be the difference between victory or defeat. A unique take on a fascinating piece of history from a veteran dev, a focus on detailed characters and an opportunity for deep strategy? Now that’s three kingdoms that should definitely engage in some romance!
‘A diggin’ we will go!
Genre: Rogue-Like, Platformer | Also available on: PS4 | Developer: MossMouth
Spelunky is a charming little platformer working in the rogue-like fashion of randomly generating areas for you to explore. Armed with your trusty pick-axe, as the name suggests, you’ll be exploring dark caves and looking for treasure. To keep you on your toes, the game uses a timer of sorts, whereby a ghost will appear if you take too long in any given level.
Spelunky holds a lot of complexity in its cavernous insides, between random areas, random items that will dramatically change your playthrough and all the little mechanical tricks you learn through your journey. Spelunky 2 promises even more of those things in addition to different characters with special traits and a multiplayer mode. One hopes that the sequel will be worth its weight in gold, just like the original.
Genre: FPS | Also available on: PS4, Xbox One | Developer: Avalanche Studios
The original Rage was a pretty ambitious project, utilizing rendering techniques never used before, which allowed for some great visuals. Visuals unfortunately hampered by Rage’s unappealing art style dominated by grey and brown. It had some fun story bits, some good characters, some interesting mechanics but it was all just disjointed and choked by this over-encompassing melancholy, highly unbefitting of the game’s name.
Rage 2, in stark, saturated contrast, does away with that melancholy, instead opting for Mad Max-esque power fantasy of, what else, raging through the wastelands. And the improvements are immediately apparent. Moreover, the game now boasts an expansive, colorful world and extensive vehicle customization. It certainly looks like a good time and there’s still a burning need for such a punk fantasy to exist.
Now with 100% less colon in the title
Genre: FPS, Survival | Also available on: PS4, Xbox One | Developer: 4A Games
Based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novels, the Metro series could be described as this generation’s S.T.A.L.K.E.R. It has that same unmistakable Slavic-Soviet feeling about it where it’s undeniably realistic, but this realism is so real in fact and conveyed in such a dreamy way that it creates a new reality of itself.
Metro Exodus continues the story where it left off, with the protagonist Artyom now trying to hitch a ride on a train Aurora to embark on a trans-continental journey for a place slightly safer and warmer than post-apocalyptic Russia (so anywhere, basically). Going back to the roots of the FPS genre seen in games like Half-Life 2, the Metro series is something very unique in today’s gaming industry, practically having a monopoly on this kind of a story.
Sea of Solitude
The studio Ghibli x Silent Hill crossover you didn’t know you need right until now
Genre: Adventure | Also available on: PS4, Xbox One | Developer: Jo-Mei Games
Published under the EA Originals program, which also gave us one of last year’s best games A Way Out, Sea of Solitude is a passion project of Cornelia Geppert. While the game is somewhat mysterious, the reveal trailer at E3 caused some stir with very striking, expressive art style and the promise of a deep, emotional story.
Sea of Solitude is much like a classic adventure game, more about exploring the world and solving environmental puzzles than any kind of combat. It’s supposed to be introspective and moving, so it’s certainly up my alley when it comes to games. In that regard, it’s shaping up to be somewhat similar to Journey and I certainly hope it has just as much of an impact as that beautiful game.
The Division 2
So it was technically divided into 4 parts
Genre: Action RPG, Survival | Also available on: PS4, Xbox One | Developer: Massive Entertainment
The second stab at the Ubisoft’s MMO shooter in a post-apocalyptic America, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 aims to be bigger, bolder and somehow better. Ubisoft pledged to greatly focus on the end-game side of content, which is good because that certainly is a part of The Division that didn’t pan out great.
The idea of a contemporary shooter with MMO trappings is certainly a fun one, even if the original game, as popular as it still is, didn’t manage to fully capture the essence of the idea. Much touted is also the importance of communication (mostly via terribly-scripted trailer videos) which is a staple in another Tom Clancy’s multiplayer title, so maybe this time it works well. Ubisoft at the very least seems generous with free DLCs coming promptly after release and is very committed to the idea.
Genre: Action RPG | Also available on: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch | Developer: Lab Zero Games
Indivisible is a fascinating project. Developed by people behind Skullgirls who had to fight a tough legal battle with the giant that is Konami in an acrimonious split, Indivisible being successfully funded and nearing release is something of a gaming miracle. And it’s also a good news because it’s extremely promising.
Indivisible is an action RPG (ironically) divided into platforming segments and fight sequences between your party and enemies played in turns, inspired by Valkyrie Profile. It’s also absolutely gorgeous, featuring beautiful, hand-crafted graphics. A prototype build was developed as a part of the Kickstarter funding process and it did show us that this game certainly has incredible potential. So here’s to the hope that it explores that potential fully.
DOOM Guy goes back to Earth
Genre: FPS | Also available on: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch | Developer: Id Software
After the magnificent 2016 reboot, the gaming industry regained one of its greatest treasures. Old-school and yet refreshingly new, the game turned out to be the drug that hooked gamers everywhere. And not just with extremely enjoyable combat, but also with those nice touches of characterization that turned the ubiquitous DOOM guy from just a faceless maniac into, well… an actual character.
Eternal attempts to expand in a lot of different, interesting directions. New, customizable weapons along with more enemy types to make combat more varied, new movement options like the grappling hook attached to your shotgun to make you more mobile and, of course, the invasion mechanic which will have players join your game as a demon to hunt you, to keep you on edge. Fake outrage not-withstanding, I sure want this legendary series to continue.
Resident Evil 2
Going forward, by looking backward
Genre: Survival Horror | Also available on: PS4, Xbox One | Developer: Capcom
Resident Evil 2 is getting the original Resident Evil 1’s treatment and is being fully remade for modern platforms of gaming. If you told me that back in 2014 I would not have believed you. Hell, I still barely believe it, and it’s almost here!
Not a simple remaster, but a full-on remake of one of the most classic, iconic horror games, AND it comes out on PC? How can I not be excited? Given how much work had to be put in to make Resident Evil 2 work with Resident Evil 7’s engine, this is for all intents and purposes, a completely new game. I’m not the kind of person who believes that “gaming was better in the good ol’ days”, but even still, some pieces of our legacy are certainly worth preserving and this is definitely one of them.
The Outer Worlds
From the creators of the original Fallout
Genre: Action RPG | Also available on: PS4, Xbox One | Developer: Obsidian
Ever since the announcement at 2018 Game Awards, I have been completely stoked about this game. Not just because of how cheeky the developers are about it, but because having played Fallout New Vegas, this game sounds like a splendid idea.
The Outer Worlds is an action RPG taking place in a washed-out, vaguely Borderlands-esque future of rampant corporate oppression (so you know, that’s a plus!) and filled with comedic dialogue and quirky characters. Not much is known about the combat system of the game, except that much like Fallout New Vegas, the game is played in 1st person perspective. Knowing how amazing Obsidian can be at their best, I can only be hyped about The Outer Worlds.
Gaming fit for kings.
While the consoles continue to push exclusivity, it has to be mentioned that the good old PC is, and for the foreseeable future will remain, the most flexible gaming machine one can have and for that reason will definitely remain a staple of gaming, possibly forever.
And it means you can focus on what the PC is certainly good for, first of which are shooters and as you can see we have a selection of some mighty promising FPSs. Then there are strategy games, which don’t really work on consoles that well. And finally, a selection of promising indie games that I hope can hit it off. It is worth mentioning that some of these games can be already released and available on G2A.COM marketplace by the time you read it.
So with that, I leave you. Exciting year ahead!