The new year has begun and this week I’m bringing you three lists of our most anticipated titles of the coming year in film, television and video games, which will serve as a handy preview of what’s to come .
Today we start with gaming, and after such a banner year for gaming in 2023 – 2024, it’s looking a bit anemic with more eccentric titles with a lot of focus on ARPGs, Japanese titles and more.
It’s a contrast to 2023 with multiple heavy hitters, including new games “Zelda,” “Spider-Man,” “Baldur’s Gate” and Bethesda, not to mention blockbusters like “Alan Wake II” and “Hi-Fi Rush “, and disasters like “Redfall” and “The Lord of the Rings: Gollum”
2024 is a year in which Xbox seems to be making a bit of a comeback as PlayStation offers limited exclusives, while MS’s acquisitions finally seem to be paying off. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come:
“Alone in the Dark”
Although originally a major revolution in gaming, the “Alone in the Dark” franchise has struggled for relevance for years, with the most recent title dating back to 2015 garnering dismal reviews. So comes this ground-up reboot with David Harbor and Jodie Comer in the lead roles as they battle monsters and solve puzzles. This is unlikely to be a game changer, but it could be a fun adventure.
The creators of “Fallout: New Vegas” and “The Outer Worlds,” Obsidian, are back for this first-person fantasy RPG that is a sequel of sorts to “Pillars of Eternity.” Originally launched as their version of “The Elder Scrolls”, it was refined into something more streamlined and heavily focused on combat. If it succeeds this year, Microsoft could have a serious competitor given Obsidian’s track record.
“Black Myth: Wukong”
The famous Chinese fable “Journey to the West” has been adapted for games before, most notably with the underrated “Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.” Now, Chinese developer Game Science is trying its hand at this Soulsborne-style single-player dark fantasy, powered by Unreal Engine 5 and with production values from Western AAA Studios, a title that could shape the way games are developed in the country in the years to come.
“Dragon’s Dogma II”
Over a decade later, the Japanese Tolkien-style fantasy game with its richly detailed world returns. The single-player narrative action RPG is made with Capcom’s RE Engine (used in the “Resident Evil” remakes) and largely revolves around the choice and return of the original’s famous pawn mechanic to monster “Shadow of the Colossus.” climbing fights.
“The Rebirth of Final Fantasy VII”
Square Enix delivers the second part of its planned trilogy, remaking the 1997 classic “Final Fantasy VII” as a magnificent, massive epic, expanding both story structure and character development. With Midgar behind them, “Rebirth” should now really open up as the game goes much bigger than a city into something potentially rather intimidating and trickier to pull off.
Supergiant knocked it out of the park with 2020’s “Hades,” a roguelike cleverly designed around a procedural narrative in a way that forces multiple playthroughs with varying possibilities. Replacing Hades’ rather sexy son Zagreus in this eternal cycle of resurrection is his sister Melinoë whose journeys will take her far beyond Hell to explore other elements of Greek mythology.
“The Last of Us: Part II: Remastered”
Considering how great this game looks in 2020, it’s hard to see it improving – but Naughty Dog is trying to improve the graphics, accessibility features, fast loading and more – updating it to the PS5 and probably for the first time. on PC later this year. This should be worth the $10 upgrade price.
“Like a dragon: infinite wealth”
After “Yakuza: Like a Dragon”, this is the first time that the franchise has been released day and date worldwide. While part of the story takes place in Yokohama, the action partly moves to Hawaii and features a major new sub-game called Dondoko Island. The newest game’s wild-haired, red-suited protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, and the original “Yakuza” protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, team up in the tale that features several new activities to get involved in.
“Little Nightmares III”
Supermassive Games’ third entry marks the first without Tarsier Studios’ involvement and also serves as a standalone sequel to the first two. The new child protagonists, Low and Alone, make their way through The Nowhere and escape an impending threat.
“Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024”
2020’s “Flight Simulator” reinvented the iconic franchise for the modern era, but this year’s version goes even further. Charts are updated with new renderings, models, vegetation, weather and seasons. Flight types are increasing massively to cover a range of activities from aerial firefighting and rescue missions to cargo transportation, gliding, racing, hot air ballooning and much more.
“No rest for the wicked”
Moon Studios, the company behind the magnificent Metroidvania-inspired platformer “Ori and the Blind Forest” and its sequel, is going cross-platform with its new title – a top-down isometric game that aims to reinvent the genre of Action RPG and features a darker, more mature tone than “Ori.” You play as a holy warrior trying to stop a plague that appeared following the death of the king.
A fascinating survival indie game from Ironwood Studios, the story takes place in the Pacific Northwest, where the Olympic Peninsula has been evacuated and quarantined due to strange physics-defying anomalies and metallic monsters. You travel the landscape and your relationship with your station wagon is considered the most important element of the gameplay.
“Persona 3 Reload”
Atlus’ iconic series returns with a title that takes the third main game in the series and goes beyond a prettier basic graphical remake to deliver something that bridges the gap between the third and fifth games. There’s a whole new social link system, new daily activities, and more that should help bring this up to par with the “Golden” editions of the fourth and “Royal” editions of the fifth.
“Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown”
After the last few titles were in 3D and after the disastrous failure of the attempt to remake “Sands of Time”, the “Prince of Persia” franchise needs a hit. It might have it with this 2.5D title closer to the original games and one of the first titles from Ubisoft in a while that feels a bit different. He also faced harsh backlash over the trailers, much of which consisted of criticism of the prince’s appearance.
“Princess Peach: Showtime!”
Nearly 20 years after a last failed attempt, Mario’s damsel in distress, Princess Peach, finally gets another chance to lead her own game in which she and a star-shaped guardian named Stella must stop the witch Grape and his minions after they took over a theater. . The setting allows for multiple costume and personality changes – making Peach a detective, a sword fighter, a kung fu expert and much more.
“Rise of the Ronin”
“Ghost of Tsushima” meets “Nioh” with a touch of Ubisoft in this PS5-exclusive single-layer third-person action RPG from Team Ninja. You play as Veiled Edge, a ronin working for hire during the Boshin War, in the middle of the last years of the Edo period (late 19th century in Japan). You travel between Tokyo, Kyoto and Yokohama in the game which is described as a grounded version (no fantasy elements) and not Soulslike – although it will have a good difficulty.
“The Saga of Senua: Hellblade II”
The Unreal Engine 5-created title follows the award-winning 2017 title “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice”, a wonderful if slightly shorter title, here with a full-size narrative. Senua returns on a brutal journey of survival and psychosis, tackling the myth and torments of Viking Iceland. This could give Xbox the kind of cinematic PlayStation-esque third-person action-adventure game console it desperately needs, a certain irony given that the first was a timed PS4 exclusive.
“Silent Hill 2 Remake”
Noticing the success of “Resident Evil” remakes and wanting a piece of that pie, Konami is giving its giant “Silent Hill” horror franchise the same treatment by hiring “Layers of Fear” developer Bloober Team to take on the world’s most iconic game. the series. The first trailers were impressive, but the big question is when they will actually arrive – on that point the answer is unclear at the moment.
“Skull and Bones”
Ubisoft’s long-in-development and frequently revamped multiplayer title could go either way, but it offers a high-seas pirate adventure that’s less comical than “Sea of Thieves” and closer to the navigation sections of “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag”. . Its troubled development history gives pause, but could work if Ubisoft gets its ship in shape before launch.
“STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl”
Technically the fourth game in the FPS survival horror series, but the first new chapter in thirteen years. Developed, canceled and rebooted in Unreal Engine 5 and experiencing development issues due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the game is finally arriving next year and is said to feature a “huge, borderless open world and non-linear story.”
“The Outlaws of Star Wars”
“Star Wars” escaped EA’s exclusive prison, just as that company was finally hitting it big with “Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order” and its sequel. The result is this new open-world title from Ubisoft in which you play as a Han Solo-type scoundrel working in this universe’s underworld in the gap between “Empire” and ROTJ. Hopefully this will avoid overdoing the fan service.
“Always wake up the…