This week we talk about the games we think are the most underrated. We’ll also talk about the news including THQNordic’s apology, Square Enix shutting down streaming of Left Alive, Cyberpunk 2077 at E3, and more.
In this episode of The Side Questers podcast, we discuss what games we wish we could experience for the first time again. We’ll also talk about Xbox Live finding its way to Switch, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, Oculus’ next gen headset, and more.
In the very first episode of The Side Questers podcast, we discuss our most anticipated games for 2019. We’ll also dive into Sony’s absence from E3, Crackdown 3, The Mad Box, this week’s news, and more.
In 2018, we arguably had some of the best games to come out of this console generation. We saw a number of titles like God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Celeste, and more awe critics and gamers alike. However, it’s a new year and it’s time to look forward to the upcoming releases of 2019.
What will be the games that we can’t stop talking about this year? Will we be pleasantly surprised by an indie or will a AAA title have us struggling to put down the controller? Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait to find out, but until then, here are some amazing looking games coming out in 2019.
If handling powerful weapons, flying around in versatile exosuits, and decimating vicious monsters sounds like fun to you, then Anthem may be right up your alley. Bioware’s newest game is a third-person sci-fi action game that places you in a world full of chaos and mutated monsters. You play the role of a freelancer (pilots who use exosuits, called Javelins, to traverse the world) and by yourself or with the help of a team of up to three others, you’ll take on the various challenges that are ever present on this untamed planet. Anthem releases for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One on Feb. 22.
The developers behind the mesmerizing underwater adventure game Abzu, revealed The Pathless during the 2018 Game Awards. Little is currently known about Giant Squid Studios’ newest title other than what was shown during the trailer: the main character is an archer, she has a pet bird she can use to fly, and you’ll interact with some intimidating forest beasts. Judging by the trailer, it looks like this game will be every bit as visually and stylistically beautiful as Abzu was.
Devil May Cry 5
Capcom’s beloved spectacle fighter is back with all the glorious over-the-top weapons you’d expect from the franchise and hordes of new gruesome demons to use those weapons on. Devil May Cry 5 will take the game back to its original series, being a proper sequel to DMC4 instead of a sequel to the 2013 reboot DmC: Devil May Cry. However, according to an interview with Producer Matt Walker, the development team holds DmC in high regards and plans on incorporating the best parts from both sides of the series into DMC5. DMC5 is scheduled for release on March 8 for PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One.
Sayonara Wild Hearts
Sayonara Wild Hearts is self-described as a “euphoric music video dream about being awesome, riding motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords, and breaking hearts at 200mph.” This new game, made for the Nintendo Switch, will be the first console game from the small Swedish studio Simogo.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
FromSoftware, best known for Bloodborne and the Souls games, is expanding its lineup with a new franchise, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Unlike its previous action games, Sekiro will be more of a stealth focused game that will require a strategic balance between secrecy and combat. You can expect to see this game on March 22 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Soundfall is a fast-paced twin-stick shooter that manages to fuse a rhythm game with a dungeon crawler. In addition to a story-based single-player mode, it will also offer a co-op mode with up to four players. This music-driven experience will be the debut title from Drastic Games, an indie studio created by two former Epic Games developers. You’ll be able to find Soundfall on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC later this year.
Mortal Kombat 11
Ed Boon, co-creator of Mortal Kombat, took us all by surprise by dropping a Mortal Kombat 11 reveal trailer before reading off the nominees for best sports game at the 2018 Game Awards. The trailer showed that MK11 will give us more of that brutal and gory combat the Mortal Kombat franchise is known for. In addition to the trailer, a press release was sent out mentioning a custom character variation system. The previous game had pre-set character variations, so this new feature seems like a natural step up from that. Mortal Kombat 11 will be out on all platforms on April 23.
You may know Chucklefish as the publisher for games like Stardew Valley or Risk of Rain. One of their most recent partnerships is with a small Lithuania-based developer, called Hidden Layer Games, that’s working a creepy pixelated PC game called Inmost. In this game, you’ll play as one of three playable characters that each have their own gameplay mechanics and dark story that interconnects with the other two stories.
Rage is a game that’s hard to remember, not because it was bad, but because it was just kind of ordinary and bland. It appears that won’t be the case for Rage 2. Going off the trailers, it seems as if Rage 2 really wants to leave an impression this time around by amping up the over-the-top violence, humor, and adding some much-needed color to the mix. Expect this one to come out on May 14 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Studio Koba describes Narita Boy as a “retro-futuristic pixel game,” where you play as a “legendary digital hero in an epic quest through simultaneous dimensions.” If the art style isn’t enough to grab your interest, maybe a floppy disc hoverboard, a horse made out of old computers, or cutting down enemies with a rainbow-colored techno sword will be. Narita Boy was originally scheduled for release on the Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and PC for 2018, but has since been delayed to December 2019.
Lone Echo II
Developer Ready at Dawn received a heap of praise for it’s VR title Lone Echo. The game was considered a must-play experience for its incredible immersion and storytelling. Lone Echo II will be a direct sequel and will take place shortly after the events from the first game. Like Lone Echo, Lone Echo II will also be an Oculus exclusive.
Man of Medan
After the success of Until Dawn, everyone was excited to see what Supermassive Games would do next for the franchise. Unfortunately, there’s no information about a proper sequel to Until Dawn. The good news, however, is that Supermassive will be working on a series of other standalone cinematic branching horror games they call The Dark Pictures Anthology. Man of Medan will be the first entry in the Anthology and it looks to be exactly what fans were hoping for. Unlike Until Dawn, Man of Medan will be a multiplatform title and will be available for Xbox One and PC.
Days Gone is a PS4 exclusive that’s an open world zombie apocalypse game set in the Pacific Northwest. You play the role of Deacon St. John, a bounty hunter who will need to use his guns and his brain to survive threats both zombie and human alike. The most notable features of Days Gone are the massive hordes of “Freakers” that can come after Deacon at any given moment, the dynamic weather system, and the ever-changing hazards in the world. Days Gone has an April 26 release date.
Control is Remedy Entertainment’s new mind-bending sci-fi action adventure game. In this story, you are part of an elite secretive agency based in New York called the Federal Bureau of Control. Control has been taken over by an otherworldly threat and it’s up to you and your new found powers to solve the problem. Combat involves not just shooting, but also using your powers to turn the entire surrounding environment into your weapon. Control will be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
Yoshi is back for another adventure and this time he’ll be making his way through a world that looks like it was made in an arts and crafts store. Yoshi’s Crafted World‘s cardboard cutout diorama-like world is a new art style for the series, but that not the only important change. This new game will also introduce a perspective-shifting feature that will shake up the traditional left-to-right side-scrolling gameplay. Yoshi’s Crafted World is a Nintendo Switch exclusive expected to land on March 29.
Kait Diaz will be the star of this newest iteration of the Gears of War franchise. With the help of JD and Marcus Fenix, you’ll be tasked with uncovering the origins of the Locust. Revealed back at E3 2018, the trailer showed that this game will not only offer a wide variety of distinct locations, those locations will also be full of color. A pleasant change from the persistent grey tones that plagued the previous games. Gears 5 will be playable on the Xbox One and PC.
BioShock Infinite is a game that has been divisive since it was released. It seems there are many people who are high on it and a similar number of people aren’t as high on it, but still applaud it as an accomplishment for Irrational Games. So, was the highly-anticipated Bioshock Infinite able to reach the lofty expectations many fans had put on it?
Not only does it live up to the expectations, but it actually manages to surpass it. Sure there’s some fun combat and special power-ups to use, but that’s not where this game shines. What makes BioShock Infinite an exceptional game is its story and its ability to handle different topics and issues in a way that has rarely been done in games before. It touches on a variety of topics like nationalism, politics, and ideology, but the way it handles much more difficult issues like racism, religion, sexism, xenophobia, and poverty is what makes this game captivating.
Welcome to Columbia, a deceptively utopian city in the clouds. Columbia is a city that’s comprised of a cluster of floating islands governed by a man named Zachary Hale Comstock. These flying land masses are a technological marvel that is modeled after a perverted vision of America that never existed. Comstock’s moral beliefs shape Columbia to its very core and as such, most citizens of Columbia idolize Comstock to near godly levels.
Columbia is no simple rehashing of the underwater city of Rapture; it is something completely different that has a life of its own. The city is so important to the story that, in a way, it could be considered a character itself. At first glance, Columbia gives the appearance of an actualized utopia, but beneath its breathtaking exterior lies a city marred by publicly demanded racial purity, political dismay, and revolution.
In Bioshock Infinite, you assume the role of Booker DeWitt, a private investigator and veteran of the U.S. Calvary. Booker is indebted to the wrong people and has been given one last chance to clear his debt. For the debt to be forgiven, Booker must travel to the floating city of Columbia, retrieve a girl named Elizabeth, and deliver her to an unspecified group in New York. The job almost sounds too easy given the gravity of Booker’s situation, but once you step foot on Columbia, you find out that this mission is more than Booker bargained for.
The plot is strong and expertly executed. Columbia has a society that wants to keep its racial purity, but at the same time, it’s in desperate need of immigrant labor to maintain its way of life. The immigrant laborers of Columbia – and anybody who sympathizes with them – are seen as trash by Columbia’s society and are ostracized as a result. This oppression has created a strong resentment toward the original inhabitants of the city. Tensions between the two groups could be described as a pressure cooker that’s teetering on the edge of exploding.
The desire for change guides these oppressed individuals to form a group called the Vox Populi, and their resentment fuels an inevitable, violent revolution. By the time Booker arrives in the city, Columbia is already at the tipping point. Booker and Elizabeth prove to be the catalyst that will change Columbia forever. As Booker and Elizabeth make their way through the city, you will see the very untethering of Columbia’s foundations.
Everything looks great in this game: the graphics are sharp, the scenery is breathtaking, and the environments are vibrant and brimming with color. BioShock Infinite has an almost Disney-like aesthetic to it; everything during the happier moments seems beautiful and whimsical. A perfect example of this is when you and Elizabeth wind up on a beach. The moment the music hits Elizabeth’s ears, she begins dancing almost like a Disney princess. If you were to cut this moment out and insert it into something like Beauty and the Beast, nothing would seem out of place.
The voice acting is superb, and you can tell that each notable character puts real feeling into each spoken word. This greatly helps the player to become fully immersed in the game. Courtnee Draper, the voice of Elizabeth, gives an astounding and memorable performance that draws you into every moment. Every emotion Elizabeth emotes is believable, and it’s this believability that makes it much easier to form a bond with the character.
When it comes gameplay, movement through the level feels very fluid. Combat is great and the tear system – combined with the skyline – creates fun and dynamic firefights. Most of the battle areas give the player the freedom to choose how they want to confront enemies, whether that be up close, mid-range, or long-range. The addition of special enemies, like the handyman, the crow, and the motorized patriot, forces you to actively change the way you normally attempt to dispatch enemies. The fact that the game continually forces you to change your combat strategy keeps fights from feeling stagnant and repetitive.
In Infinite, you are given special consumable powers called vigors. Vigors will send you on scary, drug-like hallucinations when first taken, but in return, you are given vigorous powers (pun intended) that you can use to decimate your foes. Vigors, when used in combination with the variety of weapons available, the surrounding skylines, and extra-dimensional tears, allows you to creatively tip fights in your favor.
Overall, this is a great game that does many things right, but unfortunately, there are also a few things it gets wrong. Each gun should have their own distinct feel in order to give the player a reason to want to use different weapons. The Vox repeater and machine gun fail to do this, as the two guns feel so similar that it’s hard to tell one from the other. Another problem is that all the guns (except for the sniper rifle) feel weak; they just don’t seem like they do as much damage as they should.
There are also a few noticeable issues in the game that could’ve been easily fixed before the game’s release. For instance, you may occasionally find that you are unable to pick up certain items like lockpicks or food. Finally, there is a minor flaw with the AI who are supposedly non-immediate threats. These particular AI were too quick to draw their guns. There were times when one would approach an area where non-immediate threats would say something like, “I’ll give you to the count of three,” but end up shooting at you anyway.
When it comes down to it, Infinite is one of those great, rare games that is unlike anything before it. It has an incredible story that begs to be told and the gameplay to accompany it. You would be doing yourself a disservice to pass up the opportunity to play this groundbreaking game.
This review is based on a retail copy of the PlayStation 3 version of BioShock Infinite developed by Irrational Games and distributed by 2K Games.
It wouldn’t be E3 without some good trailers and this year we saw some that were absolutely jaw-dropping. From expected big name titles like Cyberpunk 2077 to surprising smaller titles like Sable, these were the best trailers from the show.
Sea of Solitude
Last year, Electronic Arts introduced us to A Way Out via their EA Originals program, a program where EA assists smaller sized independent studios with their development efforts. This year, the EA Originals program and developer Jo-Mei Games brings us Sea of Solitude. Sea of Solitude is a game that focuses on how loneliness effects each of us and has the power to turn us into monsters.
During the PlayStation press conference, Sony surprised the audience with a trailer for Remedy Entertainment’s newest game Control. Control seems to build upon the time-bending game mechanics seen in the studio’s last game Quantum Beak.
CD Projekt Red has been extremely tight-lipped about Cyberpunk 2077. So tight-lipped that we’ve only received tidbits of information here and there since the game was announced. In fact, we haven’t seen a new trailer for the game since 2013. That lengthy stint of radio silence for such a highly anticipated title – and the striking visuals – may explain why Cyberpunk‘s newest trailer was all anyone could talk about at E3 this year.
Revealed during the Microsoft press conference, Sable is a stylish, desert-filled open world made by indie developer Shedworks. The game is about a young girl named Sable who sets out on a pilgrimage to meet new people and cultures. Legend of Zelda fans may be happy to hear that Sable was influenced by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Back in December, From Software gave us an extremely brief teaser that showed us a strange, bony object with a bloody spool of thread in the middle. Many people believed this was a teaser for Bloodborne 2. However, after Sunday, we all learned it was actually shot from a brand new action adventure title named Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
The Sinking City
The creepy and mysterious The Sinking City is a Lovecraftian horror game that takes place in the flooded city of Oakmont, Massachusetts. You play as an investigator trying to get to the bottom of what’s causing this disaster. The Sinking City comes out for PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One on March 21, 2019.
Ghost of Tsushima
Ghost of Tsushima may very well be the most beautiful looking game at the show this year. However, this game didn’t impress simply because it was pretty. The intriguing stealth mechanics and unique combat system also managed to catch the eye of many viewers. This will be one of those games that may convince people to get off of the fence and buy a PS4 Pro.
Skate fans had high hopes that there would be a Skate 4 announcement at E3 this year. While these fans didn’t get the Skate 4 confirmation they were looking for, Sessions could be the next best thing. Sessions will be an exclusive for the Xbox One and is scheduled to launch in 2019. Early access is slated for later this year.
The Last of Us Part II
It could be fair to say that The Last of Us Part II was the most anticipated game going into E3 and the nearly 12-minutes of gameplay presented during Sony’s press conference did not disappoint. Given what was shown, it seems that Naughty Dog has managed to improve upon the already engaging combat from the first game. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a release date.
Among the indies shown during Microsoft’s press conference was an interesting-looking isometric adventure game called Tunic. Although noticeably Zelda-like in appearance, the game still manages to maintain it’s own charming mystique. You can expect to see this title sometime later this year.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
Honestly, this trailer was so well done that it should be turned into a full-length movie. While there wasn’t any actual gameplay to be seen, the trailer did confirm that both Jade and Payj will be back in this sequel. This reveal left some people understandably confused as we were told last year that BG&E2 is supposed to be a prequel to the events of the original game.
Announced back in 2017, Transference is a psychological thriller from the minds at SpectreVision and Ubisoft Montreal. The game is centered around the Hayes family and a failed experiment where the father attempted to upload his wife, son, and his own consciousness to the cloud. This first-person narrative mystery can be played traditionally on consoles or in VR for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or PSVR.
Devil May Cry 5
Capcom revealed the newest entry to the main Devil May Cry series in the only way it knows how, with flashy and over-the-top action. According to the game’s director, Hideaki Itsuno, Devil May Cry 5 is not a reboot or spinoff, it will be a direct sequel and will take place seven years after the events of DMC 4.
Gears 5 is the next installment in the Gears of War franchise and will be focused on protagonist Kait Diaz. The most notable thing about this trailer was the variety and look of different locations within the game. The trailer showed off some new jungle and arctic environments that were full of color, a departure from the ever-present grey tones of previous games.
Sony ended its press conference with an impressive looking gameplay trailer of Spider-Man. What was shown during the trailer was nothing short of thrilling. Seeing Spider-Man swinging, punching, and thwiping his way through all forms of danger looks incredibly fun. The only bad thing about this trailer is that it makes it so much harder to wait for its September 7th release date.
It goes without saying that 2017 was a remarkable year for games. In fact, some argue that it may even be one the greatest years of gaming, period. Although last year was jam-packed with hits, 2018 may have the potential to be even better. Here are some games you can look forward to in 2018.
After a few delays, Crackdown 3 was scheduled to be the must-have exclusive Microsoft needed to help sell its Xbox One X at launch, but all of that changed when its release window was pushed back into 2018. The game is said to be extremely ambitious and “pushes the technological envelope with immersive true 4K gameplay.” Will Crackdown 3’s open-world, action adventure gameplay be enough to get people interested in the Xbox One again? Only time will tell.
Mario’s hungry dinosaur buddy, Yoshi, is making a comeback in 2018. In this new adventure for the Nintendo Switch, you’ll be guiding Yoshi through a cardboard cutout diorama-like world – a new art style for the franchise – that can switch between foreground and background perspectives. Nintendo believes this perspective shifting feature will add a brand new twist to traditional side-scrolling gameplay. The game has yet to be given an official name, but for right now, Nintendo is simply calling the game “Yoshi.”
God of War
After a long successful career of killing Greek gods, Kratos has decided to take his god killing talents to the realm of Norse mythology. This time around, however, Kratos is no longer the rage-filled murder machine he once was. In a departure from the previous games in the franchise, this new entry will introduce us to a more mature, fatherly Kratos who possesses a greater degree of emotional depth. In addition to location and personality changes, the tone of the story is expected to be darker while combat will be more intimate but just as brutal.
There have been plenty of Spider-Man games, but sadly, not near enough good ones. Hopefully, Insomniac Games will be able to buck that trend with their new Spider-Man game, which will be an exclusive for the PlayStation 4. Each trailer since its reveal at E3 2016 has looked promising, placing an emphasis on improvisation, unique environmental interactions, and other intriguing mechanics. It’s probably safe to say that many Spidey fans are eagerly waiting for this new web-slinging adventure.
Blood & Truth
Blood & Truth is an exciting new action first-person shooter for the PSVR. From the same team that brought us The London Heist, Blood & Truth is a game that’s inspired by action movies like John Wick. Complete with a full story, big set pieces, and realistic movement, London Studio wants this to be the must-have VR game people have been waiting for.
Dontnod Entertainment is best known for its narrative-driven Life is Strange series. However, many people forget that the studio’s first game was a sci-fi action adventure game called Remember Me. So it’s unsurprising that many people were surprised when Dontnod announced that its next game would be an action role-playing game called Vampyr. In Vampyr, you step into the shoes of Dr. Jonathan Reid, a Victorian-era surgeon and researcher, who has recently been turned into a vampire. By picking and choosing your victims, you’ll help shape the fate of London’s future.
Red Dead Redemption 2
At this point, it seems like Rockstar Games has mastered the Spaghetti Western genre. Red Dead Redemption 2 welcomes us back to the Wild West as players take on the role of an outlaw by the name of Arthur Morgan. Arthur Morgan is a part of the Dutch van der Linde gang, the gang John Marston (protagonist from Red Dead Redemption) tried to escape from. Despite its title, RDR2 will be a prequel to the previous game in the series.
Announced back in 2012, Cyberpunk 2077 is an open world RPG under development by CD Projekt Red. The game temporarily took a back seat to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but now has the studio’s full focus as they go full steam ahead with its development. Aside from a few developer diaries and various statements, CD Projekt Red has kept mum on the project for the most part. What we do know, however, is that this title will supposedly be the studio’s most ambitious game to date. That’s pretty impressive considering CD Projekt Red’s pedigree.
Firewall Zero Hour
If you took the strategic and quick-thinking gameplay of Rainbow Six Siege, then put it in virtual reality, you’d essentially have Firewall Zero Hour. Although details about the game were scarce after its reveal at PlayStation Experience last December, this 4v4 VR tactical FPS looks like it could be a promising addition to the PSVR line up.
Detroit: Become Human
Any game with David Cage at the helm is going to garner attention, and Detroit: Become Human has been no exception. Developed by Quantic Dream, Detroit: Become Human has stirred up early excitement with its compelling choose-your-own narrative gameplay set in the city of Detroit in the near future. Through the divergent lives of three androids, you’ll discover what it means to be human from the outside perspective of a machine.
Bioware’s A-team has been hard at work on their next big hit, an online action RPG that has drawn comparisons to the likes of Destiny. Not much is known about the title yet, but there was a lot of excitement surrounding the reveal trailer last year. After the whole loot box fiasco with Star Wars Battlefront 2, hype for Anthem has cooled down a bit to a cautious optimism as many gamers have some lost trust in Electronic Arts. This game looks promising, so hopefully, it won’t be bogged down with the same microtransaction problems that plagued Battlefront 2.
If you’re into psychological thrillers and own – or plan to own – a VR headset, this may be just the experience you’ve been waiting for. Made by Ubisoft and SpectreVision (founded by Elijah Wood, Daniel Noah, and Josh C. Waller), Transference lets players dive into the corrupted memories of a fractured family in order to discover a concealed truth. The game is described as a dark, thrilling mystery that contains multiple branching narrative paths which are determined by the choices you make.
Nintendo has been on a roll lately with titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Snipperclips, and more. They’ll look to continue that success with a new game called Project Octopath Traveler. This unique looking JRPG will feature eight different playable characters that will each have their own branching paths and distinct stories. To achieve the game’s striking art style, the developers used a mix of CG, pixel art, and what they call “HD-2D” visuals. Like many of the games on this list, we’re still waiting on a firm release date.