With the arrival of a new year comes a lineup of new games to anticipate. Despite the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 nearing the end of their lifespans, there are still a ton of great titles coming out for both consoles. The PC is no slouch when it comes to new releases, either, and the Nintendo Switch continues to truck along with a library of fantastic first-party and third-party games. Whatever system you happen to own, you’re in for a great year. These are our most anticipated games of 2019.
The first release in the Destiny series since Bungie’s split from publisher Activision, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep takes us back to the moon to discover the secrets and nightmares plaguing its surface. Like with Forsaken, you will gain access to new content such as a raid, weapons and gear, and story quests, and you don’t need to own the previous expansions in order to play it.
Cross-save support and a Steam release on PC also give players more ways than ever to enjoy the game, even if they want to start on a new platform. The stellar first-person shooting we expect from Bungie is, of course, identical regardless of where you play.
Technology is becoming so advanced that it could easily be humanity’s downfall, and in Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Ubisoft has imagined a world in which it can threaten the most elite warriors on the planet.
Set on a fictional island rather than Bolivia like Ghost Recon Wildlands, Breakpoint follows the isolated leader of his unit who is tasked with taking down a rogue soldier – played by the menacing Jon Bernthal – after he has gathered those loyal to him into a paramilitary group. The open-world gameplay and freedom of choice in missions remain intact, but with added survival elements that force you to be careful in every battle.
No, this isn’t another remake of 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. For 2019’s installment, Infinity Ward has created a reimagined take on what “modern warfare” means today, keeping a few of the most iconic characters from previous games but building an entirely new story on top of it.
Perspectives we haven’t seen before, such as a resistance fighter in the Middle East, will put a twist on the usually Western-focused series, and it aims to offer a more sobering look at the realities of war. Multiplayer, however, remains classic Call of Duty, with snappy gunplay and new modes that force you to use your full skill set in order to survive.
Obsidian Entertainment has recently been busy working on the old-school role-playing Pillars of Eternity series, but the veteran developer is also known for Fallout: New Vegas. Free from the shackles of the franchise, Obsidian has created the new The Outer Worlds, an outer space shooter that blends western and science-fiction influences together in a single-player story.
Obsidian is no stranger to deep storytelling, and with the universe it has created for The Outer Worlds, we’re looking forward to seeing how far the studio can push the medium. Despite being purchased by Microsoft recently, the game will still also come to PlayStation 4 and even Switch at a later date.
Following the release of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon as well as the first game on 3DS, Luigi’s Mansion is making the jump to Nintendo Switch for Luigi’s Mansion 3. The game will feature an upgraded vacuum, a spooky hotel setting, multiplayer, and a gooey version of Luigi who can be used to get into areas you couldn’t normally reach.
What is Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding? After watching numerous trailers and gameplay demonstrations that feature bizarre apparitions, babies in fluid-filled containers and stomachs, peeing to grow mushrooms, and zombie soldiers connected to a commander via umbilical cords, we are still completely clueless.
The game is described as a new take on action-adventure that focuses on the connections between people, and it appears to include a dimension for the dead at its core, but we are still very much in the dark. It’s undoubtedly the weirdest game Kojima has made yet, and we can’t wait to see if it all comes together.
The Need for Speed series has been struggling in recent years, failing to reach the high bar set by earlier games such as Most Wanted while also paling in comparison to newer offerings, like Forza Horizon 4.
Ghost Games hopes to get things back on track with Need for Speed Heat, which puts the focus back on street racing and outrunning the police, complete with a day-night cycle that will offer different kinds of activities. A mobile app released alongside the game also lets you customize your rides before you even enter the game, so you can focus all your energy on putting the pedal to the metal.
The Pokémon series got its first home console adventure experience with 2018’s Let’s Go games, but players will be able to get their hands on full-fledged role-playing games when Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield launch in November. The games return to the classic random encounters and wild Pokémon battles of the main series, alongside classic gyms and a gorgeous new region called Galar to explore.
Pokémon and humans work together to keep Galar running smoothly, with the region made up of industrialized sections, lush greenery, and enormous snowy mountains. Of course, new Pokémon will be available in the game, as well, as well as new forms for existing Pokémon.
DICE isn’t the only studio EA has working on Star Wars projects. Titanfall creator Respawn Entertainment, now part of Electronic Arts, is working on its own Star Wars game set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and the original film, and it will star a Jedi Padawan. Given the studio’s pedigree and the critical success that was Titanfall 2, we can’t wait to pick up a lightsaber and start slicing in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and experience the most dangerous period for the Jedi in history.
It looked like the cult hit Shenmue adventure games would never get a sequel, but with the help of fans and crowdfunding, Shenmue III became a reality. Once again starring Ryo, Shenmue III brings its bizarre mix of exploration, storytelling, and melee combat into the modern age, but without sacrificing the visual style that gave the original two games so much charm.
It’s a game being made for Shenmue fans, first and foremost, and though that makes it a bit of an oddity in 2019, that weirdness is what helped give the series its following.
All fans of the 2016 Doom reboot really wanted was more Doom, but Bethesda and Id Software went above and beyond for Doom Eternal. The ripping-and-tearing first-person shooter takes the action to several locations, including Earth itself, as the Doomslayer mows down hordes of demons.
He has access to numerous weapons, including new arm-mounted blades, and his wonderfully gory Glory Kills make a return, as well. What has been changed the most is multiplayer, which is now an asymmetrical mode that stars one Doomslayer against two demons in a round-based fight to the death.
Darksiders Genesis is the first spin-off game in the long-running action-adventure series, and as the name suggests, it takes place first chronologically. Starring the duo War and Strife, the latter of whom is playable for the first time, it shifts the action to a Diablo-like top-down perspective, and you can switch between the melee-focused War and gunslinging Strife at will.
If you want to play with a friend, it also supports cooperatively play – another first for the series – but it retains the classic mix of combat, platforming, and puzzles that made fans love Darksiders from the very beginning.
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