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The 21 most-anticipated games of the year – and when you’ll be able to play them

Thought last year was good for gaming? Get ready to get blown away in 2019

Red Dead Redemption 2, Spider-Man, God of War.

Last year has seen some incredible games hit the shelves (mostly on PlayStation, we might add) – and the good news is that there’s still plenty more to look forward to.

Here, we go through some of the biggest titles coming your way in the next few months.

Ace Combat 7

Release date: January 18, 2019

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Fittingly set in 2019 amidst the fictional ‘Second Usean Continental War’, you play ‘Trigger’ who’s tasked with defending the skies from invading unmanned drones.

Sounds like a thrill a minute. 

But seriously, before you write this off, there’s plenty to get excited about. For one, it’s compatible with PSVR – and even features a few exclusive missions if you pick it up on Sony’s platform.

It’s also the first game in the series to be powered by Unreal engine – resulting in visual that look almost photo-realistic.

Add to the mix Top-Gun-style dogfights and some plenty of stunning mid-air explosions, and you’ve got a very capable combat sim.

Kingdom Hearts III

Release date: January 25, 2019

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Development for this latest RPG seems to have taken an age (concepts for the game kicked off back in 2006!), but finally Kingdom Hearts III has a firm release date.

Blending Final Fantasy and Disney characters, hack and slash combat is front and centre as returning protagonist Sora searches for the seven Guardians of Light.

It’s powered by the Unreal 4 engine, so looks stunning, and party size now caters for a squad of five players. Game on.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Release date: January 25, 2019

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Need we say more?

Capcom’s classic PS1 title is getting a full remaster treatment – with cutting-edge visuals courtesy of Resident Evil 7’s RE Engine.

Producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi told press he wanted to keep the feel of the original game, but make it more realistic.

Leon doesn’t wear shoulder pads, for example (a trick used to help add detail to his low polygon character model back in the day).

Fixed camera angles, another technique to take pressure off the PS1’s hardware, have also been scraped – replaced with a free-to-move camera.

Horror fans, don’t fret. The team has stressed gameplay will prioritise horror over action. So don’t expect to see many Resident Evil 6-inspired OTT set pieces.

Metro Exodus 

Release date: February 22, 2019

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Set two years after Last Light, Exodus blends survival with first-person shooting and stealth.

Unlike the last two games, which were linear and offered the player a fixed path – Exodus rewards those who wander off the main track.

Levels are more sandbox in design, encouraging you to scavenge for items and materials, which can be used to craft and upgrade weapons.

You’ll need an impressive arsenal, too – if you’re to have any chance against the huge monsters or highly-trained (and likely starving) soldiers out to kill you.

Graphically, it’s powered by the 4A Engine – the same powerhouse as the last two games. However, while Last Light offered glimpses of the outside world, Exodus puts the engine through a far more challenging test given that the majority of it takes place outside.

Lush woodlands and abandoned villages replace the confined, dank sewers of the first two games. There’s even dynamic weather and in-game seasons that affect the landscape.

Exodus also supports RTX, providing you have the right hardware, so – as per the last games – expect for a very impressive-looking title. As we’ve seen with RTX-enabled titles, framerate and performance takes a real hit – but rest assured, it looks fantastic with RTX disabled, too.

Anthem

Release date: February 22, 2019

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A game that seems to have been in development forever, as it keeps getting delayed.

Thankfully, EA and Bioware have settled on February for the launch of Anthem – an ambitious, multi-player sci-adventure that blends Gears of War-style shooting, with Mass Effect-esque worlds.

From what we’ve seen, the story can be tackled with friends (Think Army of Two), and sees you and three other heavily armed soldiers (wearing ‘Javelin’ suits) venture out from the safety of civilisation into a world teeming with dangerous beasts.

These Javelin suits can be fully customised to suit your playstyle. Not that any upgrade can prepare you for a ‘Shaper Storm’ – devastating, world-changing events that destroy everything in their path.

Thanks to EA’s in-house Frostbite engine, Anthem looks the part, too.

Crackdown 3

Release date: February 22, 2019

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It’s been delayed more times than we can remember but there’s still plenty of hype around Crackdown 3.

Set 10 years after the last game, you play an elite cop from the Agency tasked with tackling crime in the city of New Providence.

Similar to the fun FPS Bulletstorm, you’ll be rewarded for pulling off stylish kills – via a  “Skills for Kills” system. These can be used to increase the player’s core skills – agility, firearms, strength, explosives, and driving.

The latest trailer promised unparalleled levels of destruction – with nearly everything in the world able to be turned into rubble.

Let’s hope it doesn’t get pushed back again.

Left Alive 

Release date: March 5, 2019

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Little is known about this upcoming shooter from Square Enix, apart from that it’ll take place in mechs and feature multiple protagonists and missions.

The team certainly know a bit about mech-based action.

Toshifumi Nabeshima was the director of the Armoured Core series, while Yoji Shinkawa (from KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS) was the character designer in the acclaimed Metal Gear series.

One to keep an eye on.

Devil May Cry 5

Release date: March 8, 2019

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A welcome return to the much-loved hack-and-slash adventure.

Gameplay will see you play as both Dante and Nero – along with a new character called V.

As per the last games, the onus will be on stylish action – with a wide array of demonic weapons available to fend off hordes of demons.

Along with traditional weapons, such as Dante’s sword Sparda, DMC 5 introduces radical new additions – such as Devil Arms a pair of buzzsaw-like weapons that combine into a motorcycle called Cavaliere.

The Division 2

Release date: March 15, 2019

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Taking place seven months after the original, a civil war has taken place in Washington DC.

You, and your friends (up to eight of them) are tasked with restoring order.

Don’t expect too much to change, gameplay wise – although developers Massive Entertainment have promised to include more content at launch and improve the endgame.

The Division 2 also features raids, which can be tackled by up to eight players – in contrast to the original’s four.

A beta is set to drop a few weeks before launch, which will help paint a clearer picture about what to expect.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Release date: March 22, 2019

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If you enjoyed Bloodborne then you’re going to like the look of FromSoftware’s latest hack and slash adventure.

In, Sekiro, you play a shinobi on a revenge mission against samurai who attacked him and kidnapped his lord.Rather than wearing enemies down via health points, in Sekiro it’s about causing a foe to lose balance, then delivering one killer blow.

Remember Bushido Blade? You get the idea.

Days Gone

Release date: April 26, 2019

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This PS4 exclusive seems to keep getting delayed – but thankfully, SIE Bend Studio seems to have settled on a date.

In Days Gone, you play as Deacon St. John, as he battles to survive a world infested with Freakers.

It’s powered by Unreal 4, and features hundreds of zombies on screen at once.

There’s also a dynamic say and night cycle, which affects zombie behaviour, while RPG-style dialogue choice means you’ll have to make some very tough decisions.

We can’t wait.

FIFA 20

Release date: September, 2019

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Need we say more?

Rage 2

Release date: TBC, 2019

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During the first few minutes of a Rage 2 demo, I decapitated three baddies, reduced a handful to a bloody mess and blown off a spiky-haired assailant’s legs.

By the end of the play-through, which lasted around 15 minutes, I’ve killed more people than John Rambo.

Not that Rage 2 is your average corridor first-person shooter. Far from it, in fact.

ID Software, best known for their brilliant FPS Doom, have teamed up with Avalanche – the developer behind the eccentric, open-world Just Cause series.

The result is exactly what you’d expect – a vast world, that’s free to explore, backed up with ID’s tight, frenetic and fast-paced shooting mechanics.

Mortal Kombat 11

Release date: TBC, 2019

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The gory fighter is back again for another bout – and it’s looking more brutal than ever.

MK11 is now powered by Unreal 4 – making for some eye-wateringly realistic visuals.

The game features a roster of new and returning Klassic Fighters, while the cinematic story mode continues the epic saga.

The Last of US: Part II

Release date: TBC, 2019

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Arguably the most anticipated game of the year, Naughty Dog’s latest zombie epic looks absolutely spectacular.

Little is know about the story, other than you’ll be playing Ellie for at least some part of the game.

Roll on next year.

Death Stranding
Release date: TBC, 2019

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Renowned games director Hideo Kojima returns with an action game – although the trailers raise more questions than asnwers.

Death Stranding has a star-studded cast including the Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus and Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen.

Set in an open-world, it explores the connection between life and death, with the protagonist Sam being hunted by two different villains, whilst avoiding rain that ages everything it touches… ominous.

Cyberpunk 2077
Release date: TBC, 2019

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OK, it hasn’t been confirmed for this year but Cyberpunk2077 could still sneak its way on to the Christmas 2019 roster.

With an incredible open-world, vast levels of character customisation and a dynamic storyline, CD Projekt Red is pulling out all the stops to deliver one of the most complete gaming experiences we’ve seen.

As an RPG played completely in the first-person you’ll be able to immerse yourself fully in the environment with player choices affecting how the world perceives you.

Doom Eternal
Release date: TBC, 2019

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The highly anticipated sequel to 2016’s DOOM reboot.

Demons, gore and skull crushing are going to be commonplace when you once again play as the Doom Slayer crushing the forces of hell as they begin to invade Earth.

Chainsaws, rockets, plasma rifles and your fists will make the slaughter-field rain with blood.

Doom Eternal is coming to Switch, PS4, Xbox and PC and we can’t wait.

Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order 
Release date: TBC, 2019

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Developed by Respawn the team behind the amazing Titanfall 2, Jedi: Fallen Order has the potential to be incredible.

The game will be set in between Episodes 3 and 4 when the last few Jedi are being killed off by the Empire.

That’s all we know for now, but watch this space.

Biomutant 

Release date: TBC 2018

<img class="size-thesun-article-image wp-image-5147420" alt="With colourful graphics, a vast open world and a seriously cute lead character, THQ Nordic’s latest adventure could be very special." src="https://www.dreamteamfc.com/c/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/12/bio.jpg?strip=all&w=960" alt="" width="960" height="540" />

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<span style="font-size: 16px">With colourful graphics, a vast open world and a seriously cute lead character, THQ Nordic’s latest adventure could be very special.</span>

The world has been struck by a natural disaster, and the Tree of Life has been polluted. Your job is to save it.

Borrowing from hardcore RPGs, you’ll need to learn complex melee and ranged attacks to defeat an array of large and small foes.

Thankfully, there’s a weapon crafting system, where ability points can be spent on upgrading gear.

To reach specific areas, you’ll need to equip items suitable to the area or borrow vehicles, such as jet skis and air balloons. There’s also a dynamic weather system that affects enemy behaviour.

A Plague Tale: Innocence 

Release date: TBC 2018

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If you hate rats then you may want to skip this part.

You play as Amicia and her little brother Hugo, both orphans and on the run from the terrifying Inquisition.

Along the way you need to survive supernatural swarms of rats that appeared with the great plague infecting across cities and countryside.

The technology is incredible – with thousands of the creatures appearing the screen at once.

Dying Light 2

Release date: TBC 2018

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Dying Light remains an incredible game, so we can’t wait to get our hands on the sequel.

Expect upgraded visuals, more freedom and a branching narrative as you set out to survive a zombie-infested world.

Better get the parkour practice in.