With the new year, I thought it was an appropriate time to bring back an old feature where we ask staff a question each month and share their thoughts with you and see what you think on the topic as well. For 2019’s first, there was no more natural beginning point than asking folks what games they are looking forward to in 2019, and here is the result.
I’ll start us off with what I’m looking forward to. First up is The Outer Worlds by Obsidian; I’ve loved everything Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky have done together in the past (Fallout, Arcanum, Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines) that I’ve played, and the type of feel is right down my alley. Wasteland 3 interests me a lot because I enjoyed the second and like the deeper end of the RPG pool. On a more strategic note, both Pheonix Point and Xenonauts 2 are expected this year and they got my eyes on them. Lastly, Godhood by Abbey Games because I absolutely adore Renowned Explorers: International Society and want to see what the team does next.
Alright. Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War is one of my all-time favorite video games. I’ve been so so so excited for Ace Combat 7 since they announced it back in 2015—every time a new trailer comes out I watch it about five times. I finally got a chance to play it at New York Comic Con and I loved it. So I am very excited for the full game, and I need it in my life. Equally important, I need its soundtrack in my life, because I know that will be amazing too. Just give me endless airplanes.
2019 has a lot of games I’m looking forward to, and surprisingly they’re not all Battle Royales. While it doesn’t yet have a full release date, we’ve been told that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is supposed to release in 2019, and I’m absolutely R E A D Y for a new Star Wars game to drop—I have a really good feeling about Respawn handling this title. Following up with another EA title, I’m really interested to see what Anthem brings to the table after seeing it at E3 and gradually learning more about it. I think it has the chance to be something really neat if it’s done right!
Beyond those two, a few titles I’ll definitely pick up are Surge 2, Rage 2, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and after a play session at E3, I think I’ll give The Division 2 a shot because it played significantly better than the original game. To scratch that strategy itch as well, Wargroove has such a great art style, and it’s great fun to boot.
As pretty much all of the TechRaptor staff know at this point though, I’m absolutely JACKED for World of Warcraft: Classic, though. I dropped off in Mists of Pandaria when the raiding felt dull compared to Classic through Lich King, and so I’m really excited to play WoW again like it’s day 1. Plus, I know a good number of people returning to the game and look forward to having a good group to play with. For the Horde!
Alex Santa Maria
The way I see it, why pick one most anticipated game for 2019 when I can pick 50? UFO 50 is the upcoming compilation of 50 retro style games designed with the NES in mind. Coming from the minds behind Downwell and Spelunky among others, it’s a tantalizing chance to sift through a trove of new experiences. It’s like discovering a new retro console you’ve never played before and having the whole library at your fingertips. So yeah, while many others will be chasing after the next great open world, I’ll be satisfied with 50 smaller ones, each filled with weird ideas and 80s nostalgia.
Middara caused a stir when it hit Kickstarter back in 2015. The art and setting looked amazing, and the game promised so much content that it almost seemed to good to be true, yet the game still managed to raise over $300,000 during its campaign. Fast forward to 2019, and the game is almost in the hand of the backers who have waited years to finally play it, and, based on the teasers, how-to-plays, and unboxing videos, it looks like all of that time spent waiting is going to pay off in the end. Middara is a fully cooperative dungeon crawl RPG that promises a staggering amount of story, all set in a unique mish-mash fantasy world. This game ticks so many of my boxes that it is at the top of my most anticipated list across all forms of media, and the best part is that it’s almost here.
Funnily enough, two of my most anticipated games for 2019 have sparse details so far. The first is Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Any Fire Emblem game is going to take the spot for my most anticipated title since it’s probably my favorite game series of all time. From what we saw earlier this year, I love the art direction, and the gameplay reminds me of the Tellius games, my favorite in the series. My second choice is Animal Crossing. We have nothing to go on, but it’s been a favorite of mine since the GameCube original. The Suther brothers are Animal Crossing fanatics, so this should be no different.
Of all games slated for release in 2019, I have high hopes for Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds, as the brainchild of Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky. I don’t expect it to be a Fallout spin-off exactly, but at least “a single-player, in-depth RPG with a lot of choice, consequence, and reactivity,” as Leonard put it last year. Other games I’m definitely interested in are: Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, as the comeback of Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Désilets; Disco Elysium, possibly the most eccentric isometric RPG ever conceived; Monomyth, whose developer I interviewed back in July; the final release of Half-Life Source port Black Mesa; InXile Entertainment’s Wasteland 3; post-apocalyptic card game Nowhere Prophet; and turn-based tactical RPG Phoenix Point.
Kingdom Hearts 3. Like many, that franchise shaped my childhood. I’m so excited that I even made time to finally play through 1 and 2’s remasters this past month.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is finally something new coming out of FromSoftware. I love the Soulsborne games, but I can’t wait to see what they’ll change thanks to a new IP. Grappling hook!
Metro Exodus is another big release for me. I’m sick of open world games, but Metro’s gameplay is different enough that an open approach could really hook me. Hoping to be surprised here.
Of all the games that we know are coming out in 2019, Metro Exodus is the game that I’m most looking forward to. If the previous games in the franchise are any indicator, Exodus should be able to offer the post-nuclear war experience that Fallout 76 failed to provide. Relatively slow-paced (if a bit stiff) gunplay, mild survival mechanics, and an actual story that is uniquely set in a spooky and irradiated Russia are features that are hard to resist. If there is any particularly notable oddity to be found with the games in the Metro series, it is that the game dialogue has traditionally sounded far better in Russian than in English.
Anthem and The Division 2 might also be interesting to keep track of, but that’s purely because open world multiplayer looter shooters have been very popular hills for developers to die on lately.
Doom Eternal should also be pretty fun, but there doesn’t appear to be a solid release date yet.
If we’re really lucky, perhaps Halo Infinite or whatever the next Dragon Age game is going to be called will be released within a year or two, but this is just wishful thinking more than anything else.
My most anticipated game of 2019? I don’t really have to think about it: Ion Maiden. The first few levels available in the Early Access version immediately won me. It has the perfect vibes, recapturing the feel of mid-90s 3D-action games I played growing up on laptops until they were steamy hot. Duke Nukem 3D’s aura is, of course, channeled brilliantly: scourged DC and its nighttime lights are Duke’s LA. The soundtrack? Perfectly trippy. This is a throwback shooter like 2018’s Dusk: it gets it. (It will have a crossbow, too.)
I pre-ordered one of the Founder’s Editions without hesitation as soon as I saw a tweet about it (I didn’t mess around). There will be several other gaming experiences in 2019 I’ll enjoy, but above it all will be sitting my big, glossy Ion Maiden box and the delicious throwback 3D-action trip dream found within.
Honorable mention: Amid Evil. I don’t know when its full release will come, but the episodes they keep updating the Early Access release with are phenomenally well-designed. It may end up being the best of the throwback shooter triad (Dusk, Ion Maiden, Amid Evil). Based on what I’ve played, I’d say it’s the most Quake of them all.
2018 is another year in the books, but all I want to do is rip and tear through 2019 until Doom Eternal is in my hands. When id showed off some gameplay at QuakeCon, I was sold. Doom was already an incredible reboot to a historic franchise, providing the perfect playground for players to achieve flow. It’s one of the most straightforward premises in video games: You’re a badass with big guns, they’re evil demons from hell. Eternal ups the ante by giving you more ways to slice, dice, and shoot demons. What more could you ask for?
For 2019, I’m most looking forward to Pokemon on the Switch, a game which we know absolutely nothing about other than that it’s main-series Pokemon on the Switch. Yes, I am one of those types of fans and no, I am not ashamed.
What games are you looking forward to this year? What do you think of various writer’s choices? Share your thoughts in the comments below!