Could 2018 be as solid a year as 2017? Possibly not. But you couldn't piss off a gardener as a goose in 2017, there wasn't a new Mega Man game, and most people thought Telltale had forgotten about The Wolf Among Us entirely. And that's just some of what we can look forward to this year.
The Wolf Among Us: Season 2
Still my favourite of all the Telltale games, Bill Willingham's Fables comics always had far, far more material to mine than what Telltale used in the first Wolf Among Us. It's doubtful that Telltale will actually go over the plot of the books themselves, but there are plenty of locations and battles that would make for a fascinating narrative, especially several series in once the Fables find themselves at war.
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition
It feels like an eternity since Age of Empires 2 HD was released. And hey, if you're going to remaster any of the games from the series, AOE2 was the one to do.
But that was five years ago. AOE1 has been sitting in the works, waiting, almost rotting away. We were supposed to get a remaster last year, but that was delayed, and then delayed some more.
I'm mostly interested in the re-release just for the chance to play through the campaign. AOE multiplayer has a lot of tricks and pathing quirks (not unlike Brood War, but not as intense) that can make it a tad frustrating to play for those accustomed to modern AI. But going through those historical campaigns is always fun.
The makers of OlliOlli are making a sports title where you set up walls of lasers to trap and defeat enemies.
Hyper Jam is due out early this year, barring any delays. I've been waiting to add it to my couch co-op game night staple, because the prospect of a multiplayer top-down Hotline Miami is a pretty good thing to have in your party staple.
I first saw Fe at Gamescom last year, and it seemed like ... well, the opposite of what you'd expect in an EA presentation. Chilled. Colourful. Relaxing. Contemplative. Certainly not a natural fit alongside Need for Speed and Battlefield.
The basic premise is that you're a little woodland creature, trying to save a forest from invaders. A lot of the gameplay I saw was unguided, with few UI prompts or directions to help. That seems like the right kind of direction for a game that, at heart, is all about wandering a forest. Which reminds me of a dream I used to have a lot as a kid.
Star Citizen: Squadron 42
This is more of a plea, an ideal, than an actual expectation by this point. I've pretty much abandoned any interest in the persistent universe for now, simply because I have little expectation that it'll be ready within the next two years.
And that's OK! When it's ready, I'll come and check it out. But as an original backer of the Kickstarter campaign, I bought into Star Citizen because my brother and I loved Freelancer. That's what I wanted, and that's what I'm hoping Squadron 42 will deliver on.
If it actually ships this year.
I'm one of those people that really, really enjoyed Shadowrun Returns even though Dragonfall was really, the better game. But it still showed that Harebrained Schemes are good at putting together games with turn-based systems, which augurs real well for BattleTech.
And you can see that in the gameplay above: it's coming along real nicely. Again, I think I'll enjoy this as a singleplayer venture more than anything else. But playing around with big mechs nonetheless, especially in a strategy context, makes the kid in me very, very happy.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Imagine a medieval Skyrim with no magic and about the same level of jank. That was my brief experience with the game, which is due out in February. It's one of those games where you have to make allowances: there's going to be bugs, especially with large open-worlds, and the writing and voice-overs aren't going to be the main drawcard. It's the major medieval-style battles, but with a higher level of fidelity and technique than in, say, Mount & Blade.
But the prospect of running around, swinging a sword and defusing regicide sounds pretty fun. Alternatively, I might end up getting so frustrated at everything that I just end up yelling at the screen. It'll be worth checking out either way.
Mega Man 11
Last year wasn't a good time to be a Mega Man fan. Hopefully 2018 is much improved: not only is the legacy Mega Man collection coming to Switch (which seems like a perfect game on the train) but there'll be a new 2D platformer towards the end of the year. That'll be on the Switch too, which seems a perfect platform for killing those nostalgic vibes.
I grew up with ducks. Some of them were like this.
I need this game in my life.
It's also worth remembering that there's some first party Nintendo titles that might crop up. We don't know what's happening with Smash or Pokemon Stars, and if either of those drop this year that could be incredible. Plenty of indies also come out of nowhere, although so far it's hard to beat an arsehole goose running around pissing a gardener off.
What games are you most looking forward to this year?