10 of the best games still to come in 2018
As always, there were plenty of exciting announcements at E3 this year with Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony all unveiling new titles coming to their consoles soon and offering glimpses of more to come, and while some of those revealed at this year's biggest gaming event won't arrive for a year or two, there are plenty more that are headed your way before the end of the year.
With that in mind, we decided to round up 10 of the best games still to come before the end of 2018 (click on the links to pre-order your favourites in our online store...)
Red Dead Redemption 2
PS4 / Xbox One
Arguably the year's most eagerly anticipated game, Rockstar Games will finally unleash the follow-up to their wildly popular Western-themed action adventure Red Dead Redemption in October, a full eight years after its predecessor. Will it be worth the wait? From everything we've seen so far, it certainly looks that way.
Conceived as a prequel to the original game, Red Dead Redemption 2 is set in 1899 at the tail end of the 'wild west' era, this time revolving around a member of the notorious Van der Linde gang, Arthur Morgan. Details of the storyline remain scarce, but by all accounts the outlaws seem to believe their days are numbered, and a recent trailer hints that they may be beginning to question their loyalty to their leader Dutch Van der Linde, one of two characters from Red Dead Redemption set to return this time around – the other being the previous game's protagonist, John Marston.
As for the rest, we'll have to wait until the game arrives in stores on October 26th.
There have been more than a dozen Spider-Man games over the years since Atari and Parker Brothers first took a stab at bringing one of Marvel's most famous superheroes to consoles in 1982, and without wanting to single anyone out, it's fair to say that the results have been mixed. However, every glimpse of Insomniac Games' upcoming version we've seen so far has been very promising and this could be the first properly brilliant Spider-Man game since 2004's Gamecube version.
The new game is set in New York and will be a third-person action adventure that will see you swinging across the rooftops as a ruthless new gang attempts to take control of the territory under the control of Wilson Fisk, better known to most as the Kingpin. The all-new Spider-Man is set to arrive in stores on September 7th.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
PS4 / Xbox One
Surely one of the most iconic video game characters ever created, Lara Croft was nevertheless beginning to resemble a throwback to the world of nineties lad mags before being given an overdue and comprehensive overhaul by Square Enix with the launch of their 2013 reboot Tomb Raider. Since then, the all-new Lara has not only featured in a 2015 sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider, but also a similarly rebooted big screen adaptation starring Alicia Vikander.
In September this year we'll see Lara back on consoles again with the third and final instalment in Square Enix's 'reboot trilogy', Shadow Of The Tomb Raider. The developers have described the new game as a “climactic finale” that will see Lara Croft travel across South America to face down both her own demons and the shadowy Trinity Organisation, with plenty of thrills and spills along the way – not least the threat of a Mayan apocalypse. The new game is reported to feature the largest game map of any featured in the new trilogy so far, including a hidden city to uncover and plenty of side quests to get your teeth into. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider will make its arrival in stores on September 14th.
Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
PS4 / Xbox One
This year it's the turn of developers Treyarch to deliver the next instalment in the ever-popular Call of Duty franchise, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to see that the studio who delivered Black Ops I, II and III are about to unleash a fourth game in the Black Ops series, but there are a few changes afoot this year.
The biggest change is that Treyarch has abandoned the single-player campaign completely, shifting instead to a Battle Royale mode called Blackout and online co-ops. It's a decision which has received a decidedly mixed reaction from fans of the series, but Treyarch say that the number of people playing multiplayer only has increased to around 90% since the first Black Ops arrived, and there will still be the usual Zombie mode that has become so popular with the CoD community, which will include custom load-outs to increase the number of weapons options going into each game. Black Ops IIII is due to arrive in stores on October 12th.
PS4 / Xbox One / Switch
With football fans across the globe still firmly in the grip of World Cup fever, FIFA's recent DLC payload featuring all the teams from this year's tournament and the chance to win football's biggest prize might have kept FIFA fans occupied for now, but it won't be long until the new season roles around and, with it, the next instalment of the world's most popular football sim, with the 'Champions Edition' due to arrive in stores on September 25th and the standard version on September 28th.
Perhaps the biggest news this year is that, for the first time in more than a decade, the Champions League will actually be called the Champions League. The end of Konami's partnership with UEFA, which has for the last ten years meant that the naming rights to the tournament were only available to Pro Evolution Soccer, means that both European club tournaments will be called by their actual names this year (that goes for the Europa League too). There are also new tactics, a 'sweet spot' feature for spectacular shots and a welcome update to the mini-map, as well as a third and final - yes, final – instalment of The Journey. Everything else is TBC at this stage, but keep your eyes peeled for more details very soon.
PS4 / Xbox One
First unveiled in May this year, EA Dice will bring the 16th game in the long-running Battlefield series to market later this year and Battlefield V will set the action in World War II. EA Dice have made a number of tweaks this time around, with a greater focus on party-based mechanics and scarcity of resources, getting rid of many of the abstractions to make for a more realistic experiences. One example is the 'Final Stand' at the end of each game, in which you'll be limited to one weapon, a limited supply of ammo and no respawns.
There are also some new multiplayer modes including the campaign 'Tides of War', 'Royale' and 'Grand Operations', the latter being an expanded version of the 'Operations' mode introduced in Battlefield 1, focussing on matches across multiple stages. Battlefield V is set to be unleashed on October 19th.
PS4 / Xbox One
Unveiled at this year's E3 after a few cryptic teasers, Fallout 76 is the ninth instalment in the Fallout series and is essentially a narrative prequel to the games released so far which, like the others, takes place in alternate history timeline. This time the action is set in the year 2102 – 25 years after the nuclear war that devastated the planet – in the state of West Virginia, where you'll emerge as one of the survivors housed in a fallout shelter known as Vault 76. Many of the details of the storyline are still being kept under wraps, but we do know that because of the game's setting there will be no super-mutants, however there are some newly evolved monsters such as the Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster, both of which are taken from local folklore.
We also know that there will be no 'human' NPCs – all other humans you encounter will be other players – however there will be other ways to glean information and clues including robotic NPCs, terminals and holotape recordings. Beyond that, Bethesda have also revealed that fast travel will be a feature, and that players under level 5 will not be killed in PvP, a measure introduced to prevent 'griefing' (Bethesda have also said that private servers will be introduced at a later date, although game director Todd Howard says these won't be available for launch). Fallout 76 is set to make its arrival in stores on November 14th.
Nintendo put on a pretty impressive display at E3 this year, bringing Fortnite to its latest console and announcing a string of hotly-anticipated games, not least a new version of its much-loved beat-'em-up Super Smash Bros., but this title and many others announced will take a little longer to arrive on the market and most of the big titles announced are likely to emerge next year.
Not so with Octopath Traveler though, which is set to arrive on Nintendo Switch this month. The new turn-based RPG from Square Enix has a unique look which the developers describe as “HD-2D”, combining the feel of other 2D role-players like Final Fantasy IV with the much more impressive graphic capabilities of the Switch. Playing as one of eight adventurers, each with their own specialities and skills, you'll traverse the game's open-world environment amassing currency and defeating enemies. The game is due to land on the shelves in stores on July 13th.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey
PS4 / Xbox One
Following on from the back-to-the-beginning storyline behind Assassin's Creed: Origins, which took us all the way back to Cleopatra's reign in Egypt, the next instalment in Ubisoft's long-running franchise heads even further back in time – 431 BCE, to be exact – and the kingdom of Ancient Greece. Players will be given the option of male or female protagonists (Alexios or Kassandra, depending on your choice), both of whom will begin as a Spartan mercenary and descendant of King Leonidas I. Set during the Peloponnesian War that pitched the armies of Athens against those of Sparta, you'll be given a choice of which side to fight for an aim to help your armies to victory.
The new instalment makes some additions and improvements to the 'Hitbox' combat system introduced in Origins, including the ability to use on of four special attacks that range from remaining down arrows on your enemies to a trademark Spartan kick that can boot your opponent of a cliff, or just clear some space on a crowded battlefield. There are also multiple game endings that depend on your actions and choices, as well as a notoriety system that'll see you hunted down by mercenaries for offences such as killing or stealing from NPCs. The game is scheduled to arrive in stores on October 5th.
Forza Horizon 4
Few racing games have captured the imagination in recent years in quite the same way as the Forza series, thanks in no small part to their habit of outdoing themselves in the stunning visuals department with each and every instalment. This year Playground Games have kicked things up a gear with the introduction of dynamic seasons, adding another layer of incredible detail to the game and making Forza Horizon 4 and even more tantalising prospect.
As if that wasn't enough, this year's game is set right here in the UK and there are a series of well-known streets and landmarks – such as Edinburgh's Princes Street and Scott Monument - which have been painstakingly recreated for one of the most realistic street racing experiences ever.