Happy 2019 everyone! Last year gave us some real gems though if I’m being honest, 2019 is quickly shaping up to be potentially even better. How is that possible? Well, let’s take a look.
Just like those game industry analysts with their 2019 predictions, I also like to look ahead at what this year brings. So, as I do each and every year, I’m busting out the GamerCast. Basically, this is my not so subtle rebranding of the “FutureCast” segments that weathermen use to show you what the weather is going to be over the next few days.
I don’t actually have a degree in meteorology, however, so I prefer to deal in video games. Instead of looking at the weather for the next week, I’m putting together a forecast for all of the games confirmed to be launching and others hopefully arriving sometime in the next 12 months. Of course, if there’s something you’re excited about that I missed, let me know in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for quality games.
So, it’s time to dust off that crystal ball and have a sneak peek into the future to see what’s coming out in 2019. Full list after the jump…
The Obvious Names
BioWare’s next big franchise, Anthem is the game that many are hoping restores the developer in the eyes of EA and the community after the mess that was Mass Effect Andromeda.
Unlike many of its previous titles, Anthem seems to be a third person shooter first, and an RPG second. Players have a massive open world to traverse, four different classes (called Javelins here) to customize, and a brand new story to delve into. As a fan of loot shooters like Destiny and The Division, I’m looking forward to dumping some hours into this one.
As a fan of the franchise, I’m kinda of at a loss of what to think about this latest entry. I’m glad the franchise is back, though it’s been delayed a ton, doesn’t have that “next-gen” sheen that new games are expected to have, and it’s launching free on GamePass. Not that the last part is a problem, but the track record for Xbox first party games added to it in 2018 wasn’t great with Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 launching to less than stellar reviews.
I’m really hoping for the best because the first Crackdown (and even the second to an extent) was super addicting as you took your agent from normal dude to ass-kicking super agent. If the game can at least hit those same highs while offering a few “next-gen” features like destruction, then I’d call it a win.
Ghost of Tsushima
With the PS5 rumored to be on the horizon, this may be the last year that Ghost of Tsushima could launch for the PS4. Is this ultimately a PS5 game? It’s hard to say especially when you factor in that Sucker Punch has been working on this for the past couple of years. It should be ready in 2019, right? Finally? Please?
The game itself takes place in 1274 on the island of Tsushima, Japan. Kublai Khan and his Mongolian Empire are expanding destroying everything in their path. As the last surviving Samurai on the island, you take it upon yourself to protect what remains. The trailer was in-engine but didn’t show off any gameplay. We’ve seen super impressive gameplay already with a lush, vibrant open world, and stellar samurai action. Again, I really hope this is a 2019 game because I want to get my hands on it so bad.
The Last of Us 2
Kind of in the same boat as Ghost of Tsushima in the fact that it’s been in development for a while and I was pretty confident that this was a game coming at the end of 2018. Clearly, I was wrong.
The game itself still seems pretty mysterious and I feel like outside of a few really violent trailers, Naughty Dog hasn’t said too much about it. Ellie, now older than when we last saw her, appears to be the lead protagonist now, though the world doesn’t seem to be any better in the years that have gone by. It’s not confirmed but the sequel appears to be less focused on the zombie-esque Infected, as many gameplay moments have shown off human enemies trying to survive following the collapse of society.
Devil May Cry 5
I’m not a mega fan of the franchise and in fact, it was Ninja Theory’s DmC that actually got me into the franchise. I know for some of you franchise veterans, that’s a major red flag. Even though it’s looked down upon when compared to the more classic entries, it acted as a sort of gateway game, getting me interested in the franchise.
So yeah, I’m pretty excited for Devil May Cry 5, especially now after having played the demo on the Xbox One. The combat is fast, crisp, and fun which is a major component to this series. I can’t comment on how Dante or V will play, though using a motorcycle as a melee weapon and summoning demon animals certainly leaves an impression. Thankfully, Nero continues to fit the style nicely with that classic witty sarcasm and acrobatic combat one would expect. I like the addition of specialized arms that he has access to, with the demo providing a look at two different types. I may not be a DMC combo master, but this is a game I’m very much interested in.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
Surprise, surprise, The Division 2 is right around the corner. Is it just me or has Ubisoft been particularly quiet since its big reveal at E3 2018 last year?
Either way, the sequel picks up seven months after the first game in Washington D.C. with the infection quickly burning itself out. In its place is a growing tension between different factions, threatening to tear the important city apart. What impresses me most about The Division 2 is the laser focus by Massive Entertainment to fix most of the issues that people had with the first game. DLC will be free, 8 person Raids will be available, and there will be more things for players to do in the game, including the endgame aspects as well. On paper, The Division 2 already sounds like a winner. Here’s hoping the end result matches all of the pre-release marketing.
Games We Don’t Know Much About But I’m Optimistic About
Mortal Kombat 11
I mean, this one is a no-brainer for fighting game enthusiasts. Normally, I’d include it above, but as of this very moment, we really don’t know anything about the game outside of Dark Raiden, Scorpion, and Shao Khan being playable.
Plenty of rumors have been circulating since it’s surprising reveal a few weeks ago at the Game Awards. I’ve heard things like time travel being a factor, the elder gods getting involved, and a massive character roster that includes
classic klassic and newcomers alike. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait too long for answers as not only does the game launch in April (a NetherRealm staple), but there’s a community reveal event happening in a few days on January 17.
Gears of War 5
As I wrote about in the past, I thought the ending to Gears of War 4 left things in a very interesting spot. I won’t spoil things here, but if you’re curious, go have a read.
Needless to say, Gears 5 picks up after that point and this time seems to ditch JD and his dad, Marcus in favor of, in my opinion, the more interesting COG, Kait Diaz. She’s on a journey to discover her family’s origins, a quest that JD isn’t happy about, potentially hinting that either the two will come to blows, or perhaps the current ruling body will attempt to get in her way. Microsoft hasn’t said much on Gears 5 to this point, so there’s certainly a chance it won’t make 2019, but I’m definitely curious to see where the story goes in this one. I’m assuming combat will largely be the same stop and pop gunplay from past games.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
My mind goes to wonderful places when I think about this game. The creators of Titanfall (and classic Call of Duty games like Modern Warfare 4) working on a story driven Star Wars game with former God of War 3 director, Stig Asmussen leading the project. I mean, that sounds amazing on paper.
Outside of a slight tease last year at E3 2018, we really don’t know much on the game. A recent rumor suggested that the game is launching later this year, takes place 5 years after Revenge of the Sith, and features plenty of cameos from other Star Wars properties. As a major fan of the Titanfall franchise, I can’t wait to see what Respawn is cooking up in this new action game.
Metroid Prime 4
Nintendo did a very un-Nintendo like move during E3 2017 when it totally revealed the logo for Metroid Prime 4. The game was so early in development that literally nothing could be shown, so Nintendo revealed the logo to get the crowd hype for what’s to come. Traditionally, they’re a company that won’t reveal anything until its good and ready but with the Switch having launched a few months before, it’s understandable that they wanted to keep the system and its fans riding high.
After a surprise no-show from the game at last year’s E3, I think it’s more than safe to assume that Metroid Prime 4 will be launching sometime this year and will be heavily featured at E3 2019 alongside the new Pokemon Switch game.
Core Pokemon Game (Switch)
A game that Nintendo has said is coming in 2019 and aims to provide that classic core RPG challenge that some thought was missing from the new player friendly Pokemon Let’s Go. Granted, we’ve seen and heard nothing about the title so there’s not too much to go on at the moment. Expect to see plenty of this game at E3 2019 though, along with Metroid Prime 4.
See Last of Us 2; Ghost of Tsushima.
There’s still a lot I don’t know or understand about this game. It’s from Hideo Kojima so for many of you, that’s really all you need to know. I was kind of expecting it to launch last year, but it missed that window so now I’m assuming it’ll launch in 2019…or in 2020 as a PS5 launch title. Who knows.
Don’t ask me to describe this game because I legit can’t. Norman Reedus is in it and he’s playing a guy who delivers things with a baby attached to his suit or is potentially inside of him? There’s a weird/mysterious lady, invisible aliens/creatures and Guillermo del Toro and Mads Mikkelsen also play a part in the story as well. Got all that?
I mean, we know it’s coming, it’s only a matter of time and when. Recent leaks and or rumors have helped fuel that fire as well. I’m guessing the core gameplay loop of first-person RPG shootin’ mixed with plenty of lootin’ will be intact, and while retaining that cel-shaded look, I’m hoping Borderlands 3 attempts to push the technology further than what Crackdown 3 looks to be achieving.
I honestly don’t know where Gearbox is planning to take things with this third mainline entry, though I hope character customization is a bigger part and we get more unique classes instead of potentially remixing the ones we’ve already seen before.
See: 2, The Last of Us; Stranding, Death; Tsushima, The Ghost of.
Seriously though, this is another game that could go any which way. Microsoft basically teased it out without providing any sort of new details. Sure, it could be a late 2019 release but it could also be the premier, flagship title for the next section of this post:
What’s Next for Microsoft
This is where things get interesting for both Microsoft and Sony. I believe we’re going to see movement on new hardware this year and it’s likely going to be from Microsoft. So many rumors have been floating around recently around a project named Scarlett. Many are expecting this to be a new hardware SKU, likely an Xbox that removes the disk drive and focuses purely on an upcoming game streaming service as well as digital titles.
However, Microsoft reportedly isn’t stopping there and has more hardware in development under the codenames Anaconda and Maverick/Lockhart. Speculation regarding Anaconda makes it seem that this will be the next major console (successor to the Xbox One X) coming in 2020, while Maverick will also contain updated hardware, though not as extensive as the high powered Anaconda.
I firmly believe that Scarlett could be launched as early as Fall/Winter 2019, helping Microsoft get a jump on Sony who is likely going to debut the PS5 in 2020. What better way to steal headlines and mobilize a fanbase than with one of the biggest franchises in games today: Halo. Could some of these rumored 2019 games actually be launch titles for new hardware? I could see it.
What’s Next for Sony
The PS5 has been heavily rumored for the past month now and with the wildly popular PS4 having been available now for around 6 years or so, it makes sense that Sony is likely preparing the next big thing. While I don’t think the hardware will be available this year, I’d be surprised if we didn’t get some sort of event to showcase it in full. As I hinted at above, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see some of those revealed first party games to make the jump as launch titles for the new hardware.
What’s odd about this timing, however, is the decision by Sony to leave E3 2019. You’d think the company would use the platform, where all eyes are on them, to introduce the product. I get that they’ll hold some separate event like they did for the PS4, but still, E3 is a massive event and additional free promotion. Seems like a wasted opportunity.
Other notable games: RAGE 2, Resident Evil 2, Kingdom Hearts 2, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, Days Gone, Metro Exodus, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Bayonetta 3, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Warcraft 3: Reforged