For our final entry in the Ones to Watch series, we come back to the biggest games console platform out there a moment. One list wasn’t enough to cater to PlayStation 4 exclusives, so here’s another one.
There is a caveat to all of this, in that while most of Ones to Watch has focussed on games we know and expect to be released in 2018, most of the games here are much more likely to be released in 2019. We still expect them to appear at trade shows and be previewed, and they’re definitely worth keeping an eye on, but don’t get your hopes too high about playing them in the next 12 months.
The Last of Us Part II
It’s safe to say that The Last of Us Part II has a lot of expectations on its shoulders. Naughty Dog’s first entry of the series became a fan favourite and one of the biggest reasons to own a PS3 in the last few years of its life. Joel and Ellie are characters that many have become attached to, and to see them back for another game will be like visiting old friend. Friends who’ve grown older, more bitter and vengeful, that is.
At the last Paris Games Week a new trailer was released for the game, but it steered clear of the main protagonists. Instead the trailer focused on some new characters with and a gruesome torture scene. That trailer did draw some criticism for its at times graphic violence, though Jim Ryan defended it saying The Last of Us Part II was a game made by adults for adults.
Hopefully we’ll get a release date for The Last of Us Part II soon.
Now for a game that we do expect to see in 2018. For the longest time we were wondering what Bend Studio was working on, and at E3 2016 the answer was given in the form of Days Gone. The game drew some comparison to The Last of Us for its tone, as well as being set in a post apocalyptic world full of zombie-like things, but as soon as we saw the game in action, the differences became clear. Days Gone has huge, full blown zombie hordes to worry about.
Days Gone revolves around the life of a biker named Deacon and what appears to be the remnants of his biker gang following the fall of civilisation. They’re try to survive the challenges each day brings in its open world, be it zombies, known as Freakers, or other humans. Players will also have to contend with the weather and the time of day when approaching different objectives, as all of these affect how dangerous the enemy is.
Again, there’s no solid release date but it is expected this year.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Despite the incessant requests from diehard fans, Square Enix long insisted that it would take years and far too much money to remake Final Fantasy VII for more modern hardware. After years of pressure, and at a time when the series was going through a rather troubled patch, they caved and announced that the remake was in development at E3 2015. Then at PlayStation Experience 2015 we got our first real glimpse of gameplay for the FFVII Remake.
Things have gone suspiciously quiet since then. We know that the remake is being released in multiple parts to try and streamline production, and it was announced in early 2017 that production was being moved entirely in house, cutting loose external help.
Naturally we hope that the first part will release in 2018, but it seems that Square weren’t lying when they said it would take a long time to rebuild this game from scratch…
Ghost of Tsushima
Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima is the most recently announced game on this list, appearing at Sony’s Paris Games Week showcase at the end of October, and finally revealing what the studio have been working on since inFamous: Second Son. It made a big impact due to its setting in Feudal Japan and with players taking on the role of a samurai.
While not the first game to cast you as a samurai, it stands out thanks to its story. Ghost of Tsushima is set on the island of Tsushima during the Mongol invasion of Japan. Players will learn what it means to be a samurai, exploring the island to discover its mysteries and to help the people as they contend with occupation, and you’ll have a pivotal role as one of the last samurai left on the island, resorting to using stealth-like tactics to take on the Mongol army.
There’s no release date yet, but with nearly four years since inFamous: Second Son’s release, we’d expect and hope that Sucker Punch are coming to the end of the game’s development.
A Hideo Kojima game is an event. No matter what else is happening in the gaming world, when Hideo Kojima has something to show the world listens. So it was the case with Death Stranding, born from the ashes of Kojima’s departure from Konami and the shelving of a new Silent Hill game, which would have involved legendary film director Guillermo Del Toro and the actor Norman Reedus.
After a starry eyed introduction to a new partnership with Sony by Andrew House, he set to work on building a new studio and developing Death Stranding, bringing Norman Reedus, Del Toro, and Mads Mikkelsen along for the ride. It’s a roster of heavyweight names to be sure, but the one teeny, tiny issue about Death Stranding is that nobody outside of Kojima’s circle really knows what it actually is. Something about ropes?
We’ve had a few strange trailers that involved babies, a naked Norman Reedus, a hiding Del Toro, and a military dressed Mikkelson. We’ve also seen a baby give a thumbs up from inside Norman Reedus’ throat.
Maybe 2018 will shed some light on the strange new world Hideo Kojima is creating, but will it be released this year? There’s a sliver of optimism on this one, as Kojima stated that the game would be released prior to the year in which Akira is set, 2019. On the other hand, his games don’t have the best track record when it comes to being released on time and coming in on budget…
And that’s all we have for you in this year’s Ones to Watch. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed our run through future games, and maybe we’ve opened your eyes to a few unexpected titles that had passed you by.