Four Picks for 2019

First thing’s first – ‘Merry Christmas’ Everyone!
Or, if you’re reading a little later then ‘Happy New Year!

Speaking of which, I thought I’d write a mini-post about the games I’m most looking forward to next year, so without further ado allow me to dive straight in…


Afterparty

Studio: Night School Studio
Platforms: PS4, XBox One, PC
Release Date:TBA

You’ve died, gone to Hell and the only way to escape is by going on an all-night bar crawl through the satanic town and drinking the Devil himself under the table.

So basically, a graphic adventure game based around partying through Hell looking for the way out by the developers of Oxenfree. Seriously, where do I sign up!?

The only question remaining is what to drink whilst playing.


The Last Night

Studio: Odd Tales
Platforms: XBox One, PC, Mac
Release Date: TBA

When the trailer for The Last Night arrived during E3 2017, it made a huge impact on the gaming community. It managed to fuse together a pixel art-based, retro aesthetic with multi-layered, 2.5D cinematography and drape a Blade Runner inspired neon tapestry over the whole thing.

I love it when an indie developer comes along and shakes the industry with something truly unique, as the larger franchises simply can’t afford to take risks in the same way. I still remember seeing that 2017 trailer as if it was yesterday. It looks incredible, clearly inspired by games such as Flashback, but there’s one thing troubling me…

We just haven’t seen much more since that trailer 18 months ago.


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Studio: FromSoftware
Platforms: PS4, XBox One, PC
Release Date: 22nd March

We should be afraid. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a brand new IP from the developers of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and from the released screenshots and trailer, FromSoftware seem to be sticking to what they do best. This means complex one-on-one combat and more-than-likely dying. A lot.

It’s tempting to immediately try and find comparisons with the Dark Souls games, but Sekiro looks like it may take more of a departure from these than Bloodborne did for example, which borrowed many of their mechanics and ‘rebranded’ them. Character creation, equipment upgrades and even the unique multiplayer aspect; all elements that are synonymous with FromSoftware’s back catalogue, are being dropped for Sekiro.

Presumably, this is to make way for a much ‘purer’ fighting system, which apparently revolves around attacking an opponents balance and poise, before landing a single, fatal strike.

I’ll need to clear my gaming calendar at the end of March, and maybe take up some meditation in the buildup.


The Last of Us Part II

Studio: Naughty Dog
Platforms: PS4
Release Date: TBA

And finally, one of the most anticipated games currently in development. The sequel to Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us.

I’ve been slightly critical of The Last of Us (see my previous post ‘The (Un)importance of Story‘). I guess I didn’t feel that the quality of the gameplay held up to the same ground-breaking standards as the narrative, script and character development, and so my hope is that there is a little more complexity for Part II , other than the basic stealth mechanic.

Having said that, Naughty Dog are experts in crafting beautiful narratives. By the time The Last of Us Part II is released, it will have been more than five years since we first met Joel and Ellie. It’s about time we had a catch up…

3 thoughts on “Four Picks for 2019

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