The lines between independent studios, “indie” developers and games that are being pushed heavily by major third party publishers are increasingly more blurred, and that’s no more true than in this list. Two of the games here are being released under the EA Originals brand. Does that make them any less independent? Whatever your personal opinion, for the purposes of this list it absolutely does not!
A Way Out
Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC – Release date: 23rd March
Putting Josef Fares’ rant at The Game Awards to one side, A Way Out is easily one of the more intriguing games set to be released in 2018. Coming from some of the same team that created the acclaimed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, this game has a similar leaning toward cooperative play, with a unique dynamic split-screen view whether you’re sat next to your co-op partner or playing over the internet. Incidentally, you can play online with just one copy of the game.
Following Vincent and Leo as they first try to break out of prison and then try to stay on the run and free while living their lives, you’ll often have to work in tandem with the other player, whether that’s giving them a boost through a window or creating a distraction. It promises to be an emotional tale and one that I’m eager to see released.
Platforms: PS4 – Release date: “Coming Soon-ish”
We don’t know a huge amount about Guacamelee 2, but given how excellent the Mexican-themed Metroidvania original was, the announcement trailer from Paris Games Week last year was a welcome surprise. With a few new moves to make use of, an increased four player co-op, and a new adventure set a thousand years after the original (not that it really matters) we can’t wait for more.
Platforms: PC – Release date: currently in Early Access
Blending a Destiny-like MMO with Monster Hunter combat Dauntless is definitely one to check out for those looking for a bit of an online fix. Its gorgeous art style and fantasy world of floating islands is one that begs to be explored, while there is a depth to the combat with hulking great big monsters known as Behemoths, who you have to carefully watch to spot the tells of their devastating attacks and to see when they’re weakened.
Read more from our hands on impressions from Dauntless here!
We Happy Few
Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC – Release date: 13th April
A bizarre and twisted take on the survival genre, We Happy Few was introduced to many through its eye catching E3 trailer a couple years ago, as the player stopped taking their Joy pills and starts to see the dystopian world for what it really is.
There’s elements of role-playing, survival, rogue-likes and more as you explore the city of Wellington Wells and try to escape the social collapse that you’ll be able to see all around you. The creepiest aspect will certainly be having to wander round and explore, seeing the grim reality while trying to pretend that you’re still taking your Joy.
We Happy Few has been in Early Access and Xbox Game Preview for quite some time now, but is heading for a full release in April, which is when PlayStation owners will get to delve into its trippy world.
Platforms: PS4, XBO, Switch, PC – Release date: 16th February
Coming back around to EA Originals and one of the first games announced on the label, Fe is a gorgeous looking adventure in which you explore, climb, glide and dig your way through a dark forest.
You play as a young cub, trying to journey through the Forest of Life and make it speak once more, as opposed to being shackled by the darkness of the Silent Ones that now prowl. Howling near to friendly creatures can bring them to your side, letting you complete certain tasks or teaching the cub new abilities for you to use.
It’s an adorable looking game, and one I’m sure many people have kept and eye on since it was announced back in 2016.
That’s all for another entry in Ones to Watch. Tomorrow we’ll be turning to a platform that’s coming up on being just one year old, but is already a firm favourite for many gamers. What’s in store for the Nintendo Switch in 2018? Well, we’ll let you know!