2018 is mostly done for, and the release schedule is kind of empty for the rest of it. But guess what! 2019 hasn’t been cancelled quite yet, and with it comes an avalanche of new titles—big, small and unannounced at the moment of writing. This list right here is concerned with games which are going to be released for Xbox One. We’re going to bring you similar lists for the most anticipated releases to grace PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch as well, so you’ll have all the relevant platforms covered.
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Please note: the games come in chronological order, with the earliest releases up top, and games still waiting for a specific date down at the bottom. Don’t go up in arms because a game you’re anticipating the most is in a place you don’t like. We’re all slaves to a linear perception of time.
Resident Evil 2
Developer: Capcom | Publisher: Capcom | Genre: Survival horror Release date: January 25th | Also available on: PC, PS4
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
Developer: Square Enix | Publisher: Square Enix | Genre: jRPG Release date: January 29th | Also available on: PS4
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.
Developer: Sumo Digital | Publisher: Microsoft Studios | Genre: Action-adventure Release date: February 15th | Also available on: PC, PS4
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.
Developer: BioWare | Publisher: Electronic Arts | Genre: Action role-playing Release date: February 22nd | Also available on: PC, PS4
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 to the floor.
Developer: 4A Games | Publisher: Deep Silver | Genre: First-person shooter Release date: February 22nd |Also available on: PC, PS4
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
Developer: Capcom | Publisher: Capcom| Genre: Spectacle fighter, hack’n’slash Release date: March 8th| Also available on: PC, PS4
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.
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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Developer: FromSoftware | Publisher: Activision | Genre: Action-adventure Release date: March 22nd | Also available on: PC, PS4
After destroying the entire industry’s ability to come up with original analogies, FromSoftware comes with a new game, this time seemingly more interested in “action” than “RPG”, so we know it’s not the next Dark Souls or Bloodborne. If the new action-focus isn’t enough, gone are the fantastical worlds. This time you’re going to die a lot in the 16th century Japan, a time also known as the Sengoku period. You will be playing as a predefined character, a shinobi left for dead and without a hand. There isn’t going to be any character creation, so don’t go in expecting to make Toucan Dan.
What’s quite funny is that Sekiro is the second, after DMC5, 2019 game with a protagonist who got his arm chopped off and replaced with a prosthetic. The combat system is also going to be interesting. Sekiro is apparently going for more realism than most games as far as killing enemies goes. Instead of chopping off arbitrary hit points you’re going to try to force an opening in your enemies’ form and exploit it for a single killing blow. Makes sense.
Developer: Avalanche Studios | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks | Genre: First-person shooter Release date: May 14th | Also available on: PC, PS4
The first Rage was a fairly interesting concept which fell kind of flat. Eight years later another attempt is being made with Rage 2. What can we expect? Definitely a more diverse palette. The first trailers for Rage 2 were a flurry of colours, from face paints to car markings and vibrant explosions. There’s no trace of the drab brown-and-grey boredom that dominated shooters around the start of this decade.
Rage 2 is going to look alive, if nothing else. Moreover, driving comes back, of course, as does a large selection of weapons including boomerang-like wingsticks you might remember from the first game. There’s also a special state called Overdrive, which leads to more damage, better rewards, grants your weapons new abilities, and makes you much more efficient in justice-dealing in general. On the story front, it all begins thirty years after the events of the first game, so whoever is left from that storyline is now probably old, wrinkled, and grumpy. The players are going to control one ranger Walker, who, seemingly bereft of a roundhouse kick, needs to resort to weapons to deal justice.
Developer: Snapshot Games | Publisher: crowd-funded | Genre: Turn-based tactics Release date: June | Also available on: PC
You’ve probably heard of Firaxis’ XCOM games. Both are great, but XCOM 2 (With War of the Chosen) is simply amazing. Well, they are kind-of tributes, kind of reboots to Julian and Nick Gollops’ game from the mid-nineties called UFO: Enemy Unknown (X-COM UFO Defense). Now Julian Gollop returns, with two decades of experience, and insight gained from Firaxis’ production to deliver his own take on the modern form of the genre. And let me tell you, it looks sick as hell.
The aliens looks freaky like Lovecraft’s nightmares and they adapt to counter your tactics. Your soldiers get to target specific parts of their bodies (remember Aimed shots in classic Fallouts? Kind of like that).
The game seems to have a much more horrific atmosphere, more akin to the opening mission of XCOM: Enemy Unknown than anything else Firaxis has given us in the franchise. Disturbing game about tactically reclaiming your world from alien horrors who would conquer it? A robust faction system influencing your overall experience? Sign me up! Of course Phoenix Point wouldn’t be complete without soldier customisation, because what’s the point of playing this kind of game if you don’t feel gutted when your favourite, carefully designed toon is getting killed?
Skull & Bones
Developer: Ubisoft Singapore | Publisher: Ubisoft | Genre: Action Release date: TBA | Also available on: PC
Skull & Bones is Ubisoft’s upcoming piratical game. Apparently they took a look at AC4: Black Flag and finally realised that what this game needed was more piracy and less Assassin’s Creed faff. They couldn’t retroactively correct that mistake, so they set out to make a new game based on naval warfare, being a cool pirate, black flag flapping in the wind. And this time we’re even going to be able to make our own character instead of stepping into the boots and face of one designed by the developers.
Obviously ship management is going to play an important role, and we’re at least going to be able to choose a class of vessel, and the type of cannons it’s going to use. Even the release date is unknown, other than that it’s supposed to come in 2019. Nevertheless, a new Ubisoft is a welcome sight for sore eyes.
All we need is patience
They are so close we can almost play some of them already (but not quite, not really), but like with gifts, we need to be patient until the green light is given to rip and tear into the packaging to enjoy the contents. What game are you waiting for in 2019? Is it one of those we’ve written about, or something else entirely? Which game is going to keep your Xbox warm in the meantime? The comments section is open for you.