So far, 2018 has not been a great year for Xbox One. We have had two Xbox exclusives that didn’t quite hit the mark in Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2. We’ve seen some multiplatform titles that were good but not great in Monster Hunter: World and Far Cry 5. With such a mediocre gaming year so far, you would have thought that hopes would be high for the end of the year. That’s not really the case though as we’ll only see one Xbox exclusive, a Call of Duty title that can’t even be bothered to include a single player campaign, and of course the regular annual titles from EA like their sports titles and Battlefield V. It’s not all doom and gloom though and to prove it here are 5 games that are still due to come out this year that we’re genuinely excited about.
Release Date: 28thAugust
Rebellion has a history of making great shooters. The British developer is probably best known for creating the superb Sniper Elite series, but this latest effort has more in common with their Zombie Army Trilogy. Like that game, Strange Brigade is a 4-player co-operative shooter. Instead of taking place during the second world war, though, Rebellion is taking us to Egypt in the 1930’s. This aesthetic is not only employed in the weapons and destinations but also through the excellent commentary. This voiceover is pitched perfectly and masterfully blends humour as well as salient information to help you overcome your foes. And you will welcome the advice as your enemies can be quite fearsome with mummies, assassins, minotaurs, and giant scorpions being just a few of the foes that you will have to face.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Release Date: 14thSeptember
Developer: Eidos Montreal
The rebooted Tomb Raider franchise has been doing really well recently. From the rebooted games to the return of the movie franchise, Square Enix must be really happy with all things Lara Croft. Shadow of the Tomb Raider will mark the close of Lara’s origin story that began in 2013 with the simply titled, Tomb Raider. After the frozen wastelands of Siberia, Lara is in the Mayan and Aztec jungles of South America. From what we have seen of the game, combat is playing a larger role as is underwater exploration. While main development duties have moved from Crystal Dynamics (who are busy working on an Avengers game) to Eidos Montreal, they are more than intimately familiar with Miss Croft having helped create the previous two titles. Without the rope around its neck that was Rise of the Tomb Raider’s timed exclusivity, here’s hoping that Shadow of the Tomb Raider closes of this part of Lara’s story with a bang.
Forza Horizon 4
Release Date: 2ndOctober
Developer: Playground Games
Microsoft’s only Xbox exclusive still to arrive this year is, of course, another Forza title. The dual-headed franchise has been an annual staple for some time now and this year marks the turn of the more accessible Horizon brand. The biggest issue with the Forza Horizon series is how to live up to and improve over the last entry. Forza Horizon 2 was a great game, but somehow the third entry in the series managed to outdo it. So, how are Playground Games going to defy expectations again and make Forza Horizon 4 even better than its predecessors? Well, the significant new addition this time around are seasons. This isn’t a timed multiplayer event like in Fortnite, Overwatch, or Diablo but actual seasons. Each week, the season of the world will change. So, one week you will be playing in Summer, the next in Autumn, then Winter, and Spring, before going back to Summer again. This doesn’t just affect the weather that you will be racing in though. There are areas that will only be accessible during certain seasons. There may be an island in a lake that you can only reach once the water has frozen over. Add to this a map that includes most of the United Kingdom, the already gorgeous Forza visuals, as well as the genre-leading handling model, and you have a game that we can’t wait to get our hands on.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Release Date: 26thOctober
Developer: Rockstar Games
Arguably the biggest game of 2018 is Red Dead Redemption 2. Any title from Rockstar is likely to gain this accolade but the prequel to 2010’s cowboy epic takes it to a whole other level. This is probably the most anticipated game until Rockstar themselves release Grand Theft Auto 6. The superstar developers could have put out anything with the name Red Dead Redemption 2 and watched the profits come rolling in but in true Rockstar fashion, they have tried to make an even deeper game with a world so realistic you may need to see the doctor to make sure you don’t catch cholera from playing the game. Visuals are on another level with the developers surely performing some sort of witchcraft to eke out so much power from this generation’s hardware. While we still have no idea how the multiplayer/online component of the game will work, it’s safe to assume that it will consume the lives of many gamers in the same way that GTA Online has.
Just Cause 4
Release Date: 4thDecember
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Where Red Dead Redemption 2 may allow you to experience the ‘old West’ in an incredibly realistic way, sometimes we just want to blow stuff up in crazy and creative ways. This is where Avalanche Studios’ Just Cause series is perfect. Whether it’s seeing how many goats you can attach to a helicopter, tying together two cars that are travelling in opposite directions, or launching explosive canisters at a building to demolish it, Rico Rodriguez is free to do whatever you as a player want to do in the game world. Rico is once again tasked by the CIA to help liberate a country, this time from a paramilitary group in the fictional South American country of Solis. Of course, this is just the excuse for you to wingsuit around blowing up every military installation that he can find. As well as standard enemies, it seems like Rico may also be threatened by giant weather events this time around with a huge twister featuring prominently in the game’s trailer.
Well, those are the five games of 2018 that we are really excited about. What games are you still really anticipating? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.
Founding Xbox Enthusiast member and serious guitar player. Basically, Steve rocks. Need we say more?