Another year, another 12 months where we get to collectively complain about how there are too many games and not enough dollars in our wallets and hours in our days to play them. As such, it’s probably best to start looking ahead and planning what you want to prioritise in your gaming allowance of money and time for 2023. We’ve already gone over a ton of indie games that are coming out this year, but now it’s time to check in on what the Sonys, Nintendos, and Microsofts of the industry are bringing out this year.
Alan Wake II
Remedy hasn’t shown much of Alan Wake II since its original announcement during the 2021 Game Awards, but after a decade of waiting since the original game, the game has a lot to live up to. The horror sequel is set to launch this year on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage
Assassin’s Creed Mirage is the first new game we’ve got in the series since 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, but this game reportedly began as a DLC for that game before being spun off into its own thing. Ubisoft has described Mirage as a return to the more focused format that defined the series before it shifted into the RPG-style mechanics and larger open worlds of more recent entries. It will star Basim, who debuted in Valhalla as a fairly enigmatic side character, but took on a much more substantial role by the endgame. Mirage will act as an origin story for the character, and perhaps fill out new story beats that could come into play in future games, as Basim seems pivotal to the future of the franchise by the end of Valhalla. It’s set to launch on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Amazon’s Luna streaming service.
Baldur’s Gate 3
I’ve spent a lot of time in Baldur’s Gate III’s early access, but eventually I got tired of retreading old stuff as I had to remake a new save for each subsequent update. As such, I stopped playing Larian’s take on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise and vowed to return when the game was finally out. Well, after nearly three years in early access, Baldur’s Gate III will bring its complete set of dice rolls, stat checks, and interpersonal drama to PC in August. Not only will the story finally be playable from start to finish, but we’ll finally get to see the romance scene instead of being judged harshly by a mind flayer.
Dead Island 2
After nine years and three development studios, Dead Island 2 is a long time coming. The sequel was originally announced in 2014 as a Yager Development game, then got handed over to Sumo Digital in 2016, before finally sticking with Dambuster Studios in 2019, so yeah, Dead Island 2 has been in a whirlwind of development hell for the past decade. But now, it’s finally coming out, probably. So if you’ve been waiting all this time for the series’ take on open-world zombie action, it’s coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on April 28.
Dead Space Remake
If The Callisto Protocol did not scratch the Dead Space itch for you last year, the original Dead Space is getting a remake, and it’s coming out pretty soon. The reimagining of the 2008 horror game comes courtesy of Motive Studio, and will tell the original story of Isaac Clarke before he became a character who talked and had thoughts of his own, but will make him fully voiced this time around, with actor Gunner Wright reprising his role for the first time since 2013’s Dead Space 3. Whether this means there’s hope for a future for this series or if it’s just a one-stop retread of old ground is unclear, but the Dead Space remake is coming to PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S on January 27.
It’s been over a decade since we last had a mainline Diablo game, with only Diablo Immortal and its various controversies happening in the in-between. But Diablo IV is finally bringing the series’ cooperative action-RPG stylings back in a big way. While those looking for the traditional Diablo experience will find it here, Diablo IV is expanding on the franchise with a few key additions, such as an open-world structure, and the inclusion of competitive modes alongside the usual co-op dungeon crawling. The game is set to launch for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on June 6.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
After Final Fantasy VII Remake broke the original game’s story to pave the way for something new, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is coming to actually determine what that looks like. We still haven’t seen a ton of the sequel, but much of what Square Enix has shown reinforces the idea that things can and will be different in this retelling of the Final Fantasy VII story. So whether that’s exciting to you or a possible nightmare depending on how you feel about Square Enix’s Final Fantasy storytelling as of late, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will continue the remix of this classic tale on PlayStation 5 this winter.
Final Fantasy XVI
Where Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is revisiting the past, Final Fantasy XVI is establishing a new foothold for the future with a brand new entry in the anthology series. Set in the world of Valisthea, Final Fantasy XVI follows Clive, a bodyguard to his younger brother Joshua, who is in line to become ruler of the Grand Duchy of Rosaria, one of the nations in this war-torn world. What follows is the most action-oriented game yet in the mainline series, a more dark fantasy style setting and tone, and fuckin’, apparently. It’s coming to PlayStation 5 on June 22.
Fire Emblem Engage
Early impressions of Fire Emblem Engage have sounded pretty mixed, largely because it sounds like people are divided on which direction they want the series to go. Whether or not you will enjoy its balance of turn-based strategic combat and social elements will largely depend on what you come to the series looking for, as many previews have said the scales have tipped to spotlight character relationships over the series’ notoriously difficult tactical combat. Others, however, have argued the opposite, and say the social links in Engage don’t feel quite as fleshed out as those found in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. So it sounds like your mileage may vary when Engage launches for Switch on January 20.
Luminous Productions’ Forspoken seems to have gotten off on the wrong foot for a lot of people, and that may still be the case by the time the game comes to PC and PlayStation 5 on January 24. But an action-RPG from the same studio that released Final Fantasy XV and with writers like Uncharted’s Amy Hennig contributing to it does at least merit some level of attention. Whether it actually works better in context than its poorly-presented ads do remains to be seen, but there’s just a lot of notable talent here that makes it worth, at the very least, keeping an eye on. We’ll see how that all turns out in the coming weeks.
Horizon Call of the Mountain
The PlayStation VR2 headset might not have a ton of super exciting games announced for it yet, but having a project under an established, beloved franchise like Horizon is a strong start. Rather than following series protagonist Aloy, Call of the Mountain follows Ryas, who wields a bow as he attempts to survive and fight the robotic wildlife of the Horizon world. Call of the Mountain will launch alongside PSVR2 on February 22.
Lies of P
If you, like many others, have been yearning for something to fill the gothic Soulsborne hole in your heart since Bloodborne launched in 2015 and was subsequently never remastered or given a sequel, Lies of P might be in your wheelhouse. While the dark take on Pinocchio received a lot of comparisons to Bloodborne when it was first unveiled, the game seems to draw pretty holistically from FromSoftware’s catalogue, rather than just being a specific homage to Bloodborne. This comes in the form of mechanics like a grappling hook, which is evocative of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and the weighty movement that feels more like Dark Souls than Bloodborne. So if you’re a fan of the studio, or just Neowiz Games’ interpretation of Pinocchio, you’ll have something to look forward to when Lies of P launches on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name
While fans of the Like a Dragon/Yakuza series won’t be getting the next mainline game in 2023, the series has a lot going on this year. The first game on this list is Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, which follows former series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu during the time between Yakuza 6 and the upcoming Like a Dragon 8. Unlike the future mainline games, The Man Who Erased His Name will return to the action stylings of past games, rather than the turn-based structure of 2020’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Like a Dragon 8, slated for release in 2024. So if you’re looking for a more traditional Yakuza/Like a Dragon experience, you’ll likely get that when The Man Who Erased His Name comes to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Like a Dragon: Ishin!
Typically, the Yakuza/Like a Dragon series is set in a fairly modern world and focuses on crime, but Like a Dragon: Ishin!, a remake of a 2014 Japan-only release, is notably a much different type of story, set in the 1800s and centered around samurai. Despite the change in setting, Ishin’s cast is made up of characters with the same voice and likeness as those seen in the mainline Yakuza/Like a Dragon games, such as main character Sakamoto Ryoma resembling mainline protagonist Kazuma Kiryu.The remake has updated several of these characters to include counterparts from the Yakuza/Like a Dragon games that launched since the 2014 original, which will likely make it more approachable to those who have played more recent entries in the series. It’s set to launch for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on February 21.
If you’re looking for a new take on the survival genre, Inflexion Games’ Nightingale is bringing an Eldritch fantasy twist to things when it comes to early access this year. Set in an alternate timeline at the end of the 19th century, the “shared world” survival game centres around rebuilding humanity’s home after a group of magic-using explorers have been trapped in a new land full of powerful, magical creatures. While the game can be played with others, Inflexion says Nightingale will also support a completely solo experience for those that just want to learn more about the world the studio has built. It’s currently set to enter early access in the first half of 2023.
Overwatch 2 PvE
2023 will mark the fourth anniversary of Overwatch 2’s announcement at Blizzcon 2019, but while the game was first unveiled with its story content front and centre, that side of Overwatch 2 has yet to actually launch alongside the competitive suite the game has now. Blizzard says it plans to start rolling out Overwatch 2’s cooperative PvE mode in 2023, which will finally start to nudge the hero shooter’s overarching narrative forward. While new heroes, balance changes, and new cosmetics have kept the game afloat for years (well, except for that whole dead era between the shift from Overwatch to its sequel), many fans have long awaited meaningful story content for Overwatch, and it will be exciting to see Blizzard finally deliver on that this year.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet DLC
The latest pair of Pokémon games has a lot to answer for in its final hours, which introduce so many new layers to the Paldea region’s lore, but provide no answers and have sparked weeks of speculation. Assuming Scarlet and Violet follows Sword and Shield’s format of releasing meaty DLCs in the year after launch, there’s still a fair bit of worldbuilding and mystery left to explore in these games. From the Scarlet and Violet Books making mention of more Paradox Pokémon waiting in the margins somewhere, to a third legendary beyond the games’ mascots, Scarlet and Violet has set the stage for more story. Pokemon fans have been theorycrafting since the games’ launch back in November, and hopefully in 2023 we see Game Freak deliver on the promise of the Paldea region’s deeper mythology.
Master Detective Archives: Rain Code
Master Detective Archives: Rain Code is the latest mystery from Too Kyo Games and Spike Chunsoft, with Danganronpa creative lead Kazutaka Kodaka at the writer’s helm. While it’s not in any way connected to the series, Rain Code does seem to draw a lot from Danganronpa’s DNA, largely because much of the creative team, such as artist Rui Kamatsuzaki and composer Masafumi Takada, join Kodaka in helping to establish the visual and audio stylings of this new game. The mystery setting leans more into paranormal elements, such as the main character being haunted by a ghost who helps him chip away at a mystery in a neon-lit city, all while he struggles with his own amnesia. Rain Code is coming to Switch this spring.
With Redfall, Arkane is taking a detour from its usual single-player immersive sims in favour of an open-world cooperative game. While it’s not the same type of game fans might be used to, it’s not lacking the studio’s signature atmosphere as it illustrates a world overtaken by vampires and drained of its life-sustaining resources. Each of Redfall’s four characters has their own set of strengths and weaknesses, and coordinating with a team is the best way to get the most out of them. That coordination will be important, as getting across its dangerous open world won’t be a simple task. Redfall is coming to PC and Xbox Series X/S.
Resident Evil 4 Remake
As it was next on Capcom’s chronological list of Resident Evil games to remake, Resident Evil 4 is a retelling of the 2005 original in which Leon Kennedy travels to Spanish village to rescue the president’s daughter. Given that Resident Evil 4 feels more modern than its predecessors and introduced fast-paced, over-the-shoulder gunplay to the series, I wondered just how different the remake would be, and the changes look pretty sizable. The visual upgrade is obvious, and the cinematic presentation is much more in-line with the modern take of the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes, but there are also mechanical changes like adding stealth systems that will hopefully make the remake a fresh experience when it comes to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S on March 24.
Skull and Bones
Ubisoft’s long awaited pirate game Skull and Bones is just about two months away after multiple delays and workplace culture issues, and at this point, it’s a question of if the game is going to be any good after all this drama. The game originated as a spin-off to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, which had pirate ship segments in the midst of its usual assassin antics, and they were a surprise hit for fans of the series. So Skull and Bones could, in theory, offer a place for those nautical adventures without having to shoehorn them into Ubisoft’s kill-’em-up franchise. We’ll see if any of that comes to fruition when it launches on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S on March 9.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Insomniac’s full sequel to its 2018 open-world Spider-Man game will bring both Peter Parker and Miles Morales together for the team-up we’ve been waiting for since the original game. Along with bringing back the old heroes, Spider-Man 2 will also bring Venom into the fold, and apparently the tone of the game will be a bit darker, according to Marvel’s own Bill Rosemann. All that being said, we’ve still not seen a ton of how Insomniac is going to iterate on Spider-Man and the Miles Morales spin-off beyond the initial trailers. So it’ll be interesting to see what Insomniac has to show between now and the sequel’s planned PlayStation 5 launch.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Speaking of games that we haven’t seen a ton of, we finally got the first proper look at Star Wars Jedi: Survivor at the Game Awards last month, and its release is already coming up real quick. More games should be unveiled and then come out three months later, in my opinion. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor reunites us with Cal Kestis five years after the events of Jedi: Fallen Order, and brings back the lightsaber-swinging action of the first game, with new twists like different weapons, stances, and force powers to explore alternative playstyles. Respawn’s latest in the Star Wars universe launches on March 17 for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S.
Starfield has a lot riding on its shoulders, both as the newest Bethesda Game Studios release since 2015’s Fallout 4, and also as the studio’s first new IP in a quarter of a century. After exploring fantasy in Elder Scrolls and the post-apocalypse in Fallout, Starfield is Bethesda’s take on space-faring science fiction. While the setting is new, Bethesda has described what sounds like a very Bethesda game, with an open-world structure reminiscent of its predecessors. It will also be the first of Bethesda’s games to launch exclusively on Microsoft platforms following the company’s acquisition in 2021. So if you’ve got an Xbox Series X/S or a gaming PC that can run it, Starfield is launching later this year.
Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life
For the farming sim sickos who have been getting the most out of Stardew Valley these past seven years, going back to a 20-year-old Story of Seasons game might not sound that exciting. But let me tell you, the original version of A Wonderful Life stole dozens of hours of my life back in the GameCube era, and now that it’s getting a bit of modern polish, including same-sex relationships and a non-binary option, and will introduce new characters altogether, it sounds like a great way to re-experience a classic made better for a modern audience. It’s coming to PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and Switch this summer.
Street Fighter 6
As one of the people who really enjoyed Street Fighter V despite its problems, Street Fighter 6 has looked less like a “resurgence” of the iconic fighting series to me, and more like just a new game in the series I’ve been enjoying for several years. However, as lapsed fans who took issue with SFV have latched onto Street FIghter 6 as a return to form for the series, it’s been hard to not buy into the sentiment. Along with more fine-tuning to the series’ genre-standard 2D fighting, Street Fighter 6 is bringing a lot of new ways to play to the series, including a story mode that features exploration elements, character creation, and new control schemes to make the game more approachable. There’s a lot to be excited about in the series’ future when Street Fighter 6 launches for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on June 2.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Though it’s not technically an Arkham game, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is the continuation of those games’ storyline, and the first action game by developer Rocksteady Studios since 2015’s Batman: Arkham Knight. The cooperative game stars Harley Quinn, King Shark, Captain Boomerang, and Deadshot as they attempt to take down Brainiac-controlled versions of the Justice League. So somehow these nerds with bombs in their heads are going to have to defeat Batman, Superman, and other members of the most powerful superhero team in the world. The game will also give us Kevin Conroy’s final performance as Batman after the actor’s passing in November. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will come to PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S on May 26.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Look, what more is there to be said about The Legends of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom? It’s the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which is largely considered to be one of the defining games, if not the defining game of the past decade. We’ve only seen a handful of trailers for it, but the community is already abuzz with theories about what the next entry in the beloved franchise will bring, and after all these years of praise for Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom has a lot to live up to when it launches for Switch on May 12.
The Wolf Among Us 2
The Wolf Among Us 2 is a lot of things. It’s the sequel to a nearly decade-old adventure game set in the universe of comic book series Fables. It’s the first new game developed by the reanimated corpse of Telltale Games that wasn’t a re-release of some kind. And depending on who you ask, it’s a test of whether or not the new team can pull off what the original did before its closure in 2018. Some work has been made to bring back old talent from the original team, so it’s not as if The Wolf Among Us 2 is just being handed off to strangers who had the money to buy the licence. But in the time since the Telltale revival, the new studio has been fairly quiet compared to the previous iteration, which typically released several episodic games over the course of a year. So all the questions hanging over the team are finally about to get some answers when The Wolf Among Us 2 launches on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Dynasty Warriors developer Omega Force is taking a detour from its usual Musou stylings for Wild Hearts, which is more akin to a Monster Hunter game that incorporates a lot of the studio’s signature fast-paced, action-oriented gameplay. Even without an army surrounding you, Wild Hearts oozes the same sleek, elegant combat you’d expect from Omega Force, all while giving you a much different experience centered around fighting giant, powerful creatures. The game is coming to PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S on February 17.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
Closing out our list today is Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, which comes from Team Ninja’s Nioh team and draws a fair bit from that series. The action game will keep up the challenging combat, but will shift into a feudal China setting with a focus on Chinese mythology. The game will launch on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on March 3.
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