‘Lost Sphear’ (January 23)
Tokyo RPG Factory, the small Square Enix studio dedicated to making old-school JRPGs like I am Setsuna, returns with Lost Sphear. You play as Kanata, a chosen youth who, with the help of two friends, attempts to stop the “White Fog” from destroying their hometown. Like I Am Setsuna, Lost Sphear has an active time-battle system cribbed from ’90s RPGs such as Chrono Trigger and early Final Fantasy games. Lost Sphear launches on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC on January 23.
‘Monster Hunter: World’ (January 26)
For the first time in a number of years, Monster Hunter is coming to a platform not manufactured by Nintendo. Monster Hunter: World, the fifth mainline entry in the action RPG, features larger worlds than ever before, seamless transitions between areas, and 14 weapon types to slay (or capture) giant monsters. Monster Hunter: World will support worldwide online co-op for up to four players when it comes to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 26.
‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’ (January 26)
From developer Arc System Works, Dragon Ball FighterZ uses a hodgepodge of mechanics from other fighting game series’ to create one of the most stylish and visually impressive 2.5D fighters we’ve seen in action. Fighting in three-person teams a la Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the game captures the over-the-top essence of Dragon Ball perfectly. You might also see some resemblance to Arc System Works’ own fighting game franchise, Guilty Gear. The action plays out ridiculously fast, but the number of combat systems in play suggests it will still be a strategic fighter. Dragon Ball FighterZ launches January 26 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
‘Shadow of the Colossus’ (February 6)
HD re-releases of games from recent generations sometimes feel unnecessary, but Sony’s Shadow of the Colossus remake seems poised to bring an old classic back to the fore. The PS2 classic, originally developed by Team Ico and SIE Japan Studio, launched near the end of the PlayStation 2’s life cycle in 2006. While visually impressive at the time, the lush, dark game world and its 16 massive beings always seemed like the perfect candidate for a full-on remake. Its scope was perhaps too grand at that time, but with the power of the PS4, exploring the mythical lands and toppling the game’s colossal giants can be enjoyed by a new generation of gamers. The colossi were meant to be stunning, and with Bluepoint Games (the team behind Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection) at the helm, it’s one of our most anticipated remakes. Shadow of the Colossus launches February 6 on PlayStation 4.
‘Sea of Thieves’ (March 20)
No one knew exactly what to expect when Microsoft and Rare announced their multiplayer pirate sim, Sea of Thieves, at E3 2015. It appeared to be a relatively small-in-scope riff on pirate culture, but as we’ve seen more of the game, it’s safe to say that Rare has something much more grand in the works. Customizable pirates can explore an expansive ocean riddled with islands to loot, enemies to defeat, and secrets to uncover. Designed with community play in mind, Sea of Thieves features a bevy of non-verbal cues to allow for easy collaboration. Not everyone will want to explore with you, though. Other pirate crews who aspire to steal your precious finds, so you better prepared to fight to protect your loot.
‘A Way Out’ (March 23)
If you watched The Game Awards, you know that director Josef Fares thinks very highly of his upcoming game, A Way Out. Perhaps for good reason, too. An EA Originals title, A Way Out tells the story of two convicts, Leo and Vincent, who team up to break out of prison and go the run. The game must be played cooperatively, either split-screen or online, as the two must work together to break out and try to reclaim their lives. From what we’ve seen so far, the game has a heavy emphasis on narrative and the emphasis on working together at all times could make for a unique co-op experience. Better yet, you only need one copy of the game to play online with a friend. A Way Out launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 23.
‘Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom’ (March 23)
Level-5’s 2013 title Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was one of the most charming RPGs in recent memory. The Studio Ghibli aesthetic, Pokémon-esque monster capturing, and quirky humor made for a great PS3 sendoff. Its sequel, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, features a whole new cast of characters, placing players in the role of usurped boy king Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum. Capturing and training and familiars has been replaced by a kingdom building management system. The whimsical art style remains, but expect Revenant Kingdom to feature more western RPG influences. Ni No Kuni II launches March 23 on PS4 and PC.
‘Far Cry 5’ (March 27)
Hope County, Montana has a problem. Radical preacher Joseph Seed has infected the congregation, turning them into a doomsday cult called Eden’s Gate. As a sheriff’s deputy, players will need to join the resistance and take down Seed before the county and its people are damaged beyond repair. That’s the premise for Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5. The series is known for its charismatic villains, but this is the first time in the series the United States will be used as the backdrop. Far Cry 5 comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 27.
‘BattleTech’ (early 2018)
BattleTech started as a board game more than 30 years ago and quickly branched off into collectable card games, and video games. The new, rebooted BattleTech, designed by the original creator of the series, will be the first game to carry the original moniker since 1994. Set in 2035, BattleTech features strategic turn-based gameplay that sees you commanding 30 mechs. Given the stature of your units, BattleTech‘s maps cover more ground than most strategy games. You’ll be tasked with maintaining a base where you maintain and customize your mech army. BattleTech is on track to launch on PC in “early 2018.”
‘God of War’ (early 2018)
Kratos, the anti-hero Spartan turned God, is a number of years removed from his showdown with his bad-dad, Zeus, and has since taken his unique skill set to Norse mythology. Part distant sequel, part reboot, God of War sees Kratos as a father to a son of his own, Arteus. From what we’ve seen so far, Kratos will have to reign in his aggression to properly teach his son how to survive in such a violent world. Whether or not Arteus wants to follow in his bad-dad’s footsteps remains to be seen, but expect the game to feature more content than previous entries. Sony has said that the game will be more open in nature, leading to 25 to 35 hours of playtime. Dad of War, er, God of War, is expected to hit PlayStation 4 in early 2018.