Happy New Year! Well, perhaps it’s a little late for that, seeing as we’re more than two full weeks into January. But please do excuse our tardiness, we’ve been tremendously busy putting together this enormous list of our most anticipated games of 2019. And my, what a glorious platter of gaming treats there is ready to be served up over the coming year. If there are any you think we’ve missed, please let us know in the comments below!
Here’s to your health, cheers! Now let’s get on with it…
TBA 2019 – Switch
Map Schwartzberg: I put a lot of hours into Animal Crossing: New Leaf, so the idea of having a new, streamlined experience on the Switch seems like heaven. My boys are now old enough that they’ll likely move into my little hamlet and we’ll (hopefully!) work together to make it a wonderful place. Animal Crossing sticks out because so many games are interested in exciting and titillating players that’s its nice to lay back and enjoy more leisurely pleasures while paying a large mortgage to a cute and cruel raccoon.
22 February 2019 – PC, Xbox One, PS4
James Keen, Esq.: Anticipation is probably the wrong word to describe my feelings regarding Anthem. Anxiety would be more apt. I actually have no real interest in Anthem, and my worry is that I’m not the only one who feels that way about EA’s answer to Destiny. Anthem‘s developer, BioWare, is responsible for many of my favourite games of all time. EA, however, are notoriously trigger-happy when it comes to closing studios whose games don’t meet expectations. Given the last Mass Effect game didn’t land well at all, I am a bit concerned…
Early 2019 – PC, PS4, Switch
Lucius P. Merriweather: Konami may have apparently forgotten about Contra, but luckily the Brazilian devs JoyMasher haven’t. Blazing Chrome is a love letter to the series, specifically Contra Hard Corps on the MegaDrive, and it looks utterly glorious. JoyMasher have captured the 16-bit graphics perfectly, and the gameplay they’ve shown off so far looks fantastic.
TBA 2019 – PC, Xbox One, PS4
Lucius P. Merriweather: An anime Dark Souls all about vampires? Sign me up! In Bandai Namco’s Code Vein, the world has ended, with cities destroyed by the ‘Thorns of Judgement’ and humans turned into wandering husks with a thirst for blood. A tiny band of survivors stay alive using ‘gifts of power’ in exchange for sacrificing their memories – and gaining a taste for blood. And presumably there will be plenty of revelations along the way as to how humanity ended up in this sorry mess in the first place.
TBA 2019 – PS4, Xbox One, PC
Lucius P. Merriweather: Remedy Entertainment – the folks behind Alan Wake – have come up with another intriguing supernatural thriller in the form of Control. The premise is a little bit Men in Black – a secret government agency called the Federal Bureau of Control is there to protect society from supernatural forces, as well as manipulate them for their own ends. But something has invaded the bureau’s headquarters (The Oldest House, a building that’s far bigger on the inside), and as new bureau director Jesse Faden, you have to delve into its mysteries. There’s a strong Metroidvania vibe, and I love the esoteric weirdness of the parts we’ve seen so far – like a man who can’t take his eyes off a fridge because he’s convinced something awful will happen if he does.
TBA 2019 – PC, Consoles
Lucius P. Merriweather: There was a great preview of Creaks in the latest EDGE magazine – it’s a game I’d never heard of until I read that piece. It’s a 2D puzzle platformer from Czech studio Amanita Design, and it has a wonderful line-drawn look – I’ve been trying to think what it reminds me of. Perhaps Raymond Briggs (Fungus the Bogeyman) crossed with Robert Crumb? The plot sees your character investigate a mysterious hole in the wall of house, only to discover a mysterious realm where household objects like chests of drawers become terrifying creatures when the step out of the light. Reminds me a little of that crazy book House of Leaves. Definitely one to watch.
TBA – PC?, Xbox One?, PS4?
James Keen, Esq.: You might have heard of this one already. It could possibly come out in 2019. Maybe. Please?
TBA 2019 – PC
Lucius P. Merriweather: Just look at that art style – gorgeous, isn’t it? This RPG has been in the works for years now, and it’s looking better and better with every preview. The game’s plot is fairly simple – you’re a washed-up cop investigating a murder – but its scope is enormous. Every situation opens up multiple possibilities, and you have enormous choice as to how your character develops – and how other characters react to you in turn. So becoming a chemical-addled drunk might see you being given the brush off by some NPCs, but it might also allow you to make unexpected insights and bring to light obscure connections in the case. And on top of all that, the music is being provided by the excellent band British Sea Power. If ZA/UM Studio can pull it off, Disco Elysium could be something very special indeed. Check out my preview of the game from last year for more.
TBA 2019 – PC, PS4, Xbox One
Lucius P. Merriweather: Red Thread, the studio behind Dreamfall Chapters, is making this Nordic thriller set in the 1920s. The plot sees a chap called Edward head to the fjords in pursuit of his missing sister, accompanied by the enigmatic Lissie, his ward. Little much else is known about the plot at this point, except that Edward may turn out to be an unreliable narrator… But based on the gorgeous graphics and the studio’s pedigree, this is one to watch. Check out the beautiful trailer.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Spring 2019 – Switch
Professor GreilMercs: Nintendo announced the next entry in the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, at last year’s E3, but we haven’t heard any news about the title since then. This will be the first console release in the beloved tactics series in more than a decade, and the E3 trailer tantalizingly showed glimpses of a whole new setting, story and characters. We also caught sight of some intriguing new and expanded mechanics, such as more open 3D exploration and units on the map representing a battalion rather than an individual during combat. The game was originally scheduled to release in the spring of this year, and if that’s still the case hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer for a closer look.
Knights and Bikes
TBA 2019 – PC, PS4
Lucius P. Merriweather: The debut game from British studio Foam Sword sees you taking on the roles of a pair of children exploring a fictional British island on their bikes. Double Fine are on publishing duties, and Knights and Bikes is already giving off some delicious nostalgia vibes with its combination of old-fashioned camping holidays and Famous Five-style adventure.
Early 2019 – PC, Consoles
Lucius P. Merriweather: I did a preview of Night Call for PC Gamer a little while back – it’s a sweepingly stylish hard-boiled film noir, but with the twist that the would-be detective protagonist is actually a taxi driver. The aim is to glean clues from passengers and investigate locations linked with a murder – but also to make enough money from fares that you can still pay your bills. Intriguing.
Spring 2019 – PC, PS4
James Keen, Esq.: Have you ever wanted to play a game as HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey? No, neither had I, but then I saw the trailer for Observation, the latest game from No Code Studios. You play as S.A.M., the on-board AI of a near-future space station. Some sort of catastrophe as befallen the station, resulting in the disappearance of all but one of the crew. Using the station’s cameras and systems, it’s up to you to work out what is happening. The limited size of the station has allowed No Code to produce incredibly atmospheric and detailed environments. Observation looks set to demonstrate that there’s nothing more dreadful than the unknown. A sci-fi/horror/puzzle game never looked so appealing.
TBA 2019 – PC, Xbox One
Lucius P. Merriweather: The developers of Ooblets claim to be inspired by Pokémon, Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, and accordingly this game features farming, amiable chatting with town folk and lots and lots of Ooblet training and battling. And just look at those adorable little Ooblets! Like Knights and Bikes, it’s being published by Double Fine, who seem to have the market for adorably twee games completely sewn up in 2019.
TBA 2019 – PC, Xbox One
Lucius P. Merriweather: Not to be confused with The Outer Worlds from Obsidian (see below), Outer Wilds is a space-exploration game with a Majora’s Mask-style rewindy time mechanic. And space banjos. There’s a diddy solar system to explore full of tiny planets, but a supernova is set to wipe it out in 20 minutes – and when disaster strikes, you’re sent back to the start of the cycle. But luckily, the things you do on each playthrough can have permanent effects as you gradually work out how to stop the sun from exploding. There’s no combat either – it’s just lots of exploring, chatting and puzzle solving… followed by fiery death.
The Outer Worlds
TBA 2019 – PC, Xbox One, PS4
James Keen, Esq.: Obsidian have been making excellent, narrative-driven RPGs for a long time now. What makes The Outer Worlds an especially exciting prospect though is Obsidian’s working on this with Private Division – a subsidiary of Take Two. As a result, they now have resources to really push the boat out. This was underlined by the recent announcement trailer which showcased some terrific looking visuals, alongside a bright and breezy attitude. It looks like The Outer Worlds will play like a cross between Fallout and Mass Effect; all the more welcome given the current state of those franchises. The Outer Worlds could be something very special indeed.
June 2019 – PC, Mac
Lucius P. Merriweather: All hail Sir Julian Gollop, king of the turn-based tactic game! The mind behind X-COM: Enemy Unknown and one of my all-time favourite 3DS games, Ghost Recon: Shadow War, is back with another turn-based treat. And Phoenix Point bears more than a passing resemblance to Firaxis’s XCOM reboot, although peer a little closer and there are some neat refinements. The crab-like aliens you face adapt to your play style, for example – if you keep hitting the same weak spot on their body, they’ll gradually evolve more protection in that area in subsequent encounters. Golloping galoshes, what a clever idea!
TBA 2019 – Platforms TBA
Lucius P. Merriweather: Phogs – or PHOGS! to give it its proper moniker – is an adorable puzzle game from Bit Loom Games that I thoroughly enjoyed playing at EGX Rezzed last year. You play a sort-of stretchy sausage dog with a head at either end, and each analogue stick on the joypad moves a different head. But the genius part is that you can share a controller with a friend and solve puzzles together by coordinating your dog heads – and hilarity ensues.
TBA 2019 – PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, Xbox One
Lucius P. Merriweather: I loved the original Psychonauts, with its bizarre art style and genius level design in which you dive into the thoughts of various NPCs. Seeing the inside of the Milkman’s brain is something I’ll never forget. Psychonauts 2 has been in development since at least 2015, but it’s finally set for release later this year. I can’t wait to see what Tim Schafer and Double Fine come up with.
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw
Early 2019 – PC
James Keen, Esq.: I’ve long had a soft-spot for space sims. Recently however, these games have tended to be vast sandboxes as opposed to more story-driven predecessors like Freelancer or Tachyon: The Fringe. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw aims to buck that trend. A “sort-of prequel” to Rebel Galaxy, the game follows Juno Markev’s hunt for her husband’s killer. Promising to put fun dogfighting ahead of realistic physics, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw looks to be a colourful, space-cowboy-style romp. There’ll be lots of side quests and activities, alongside GTA-style radio stations with over 20 hours of music. The PC version will launch exclusively on the Epic Game Store – perhaps a sign of things to come? (More at rebel-galaxy.com)
Resident Evil 2 Remake
25 January 2019 – PC, PS4, Xbox One
Lucius P. Merriweather: Can you believe it’s been more than 20 years since the original Resident Evil 2 was released? My god, I am old.
We don’t have long to wait for this luscious remake to drop, and the previews so far have been utterly glowing. It seems Capcom have completely reworked the whole game, so there will be plenty of surprises for players of the original… i.e., me and my creaky old bones. CREEEEEEAK.
TBA 2019 – PC, Consoles
Lucius P. Merriweather: I interviewed Greg and Daniel from Shedworks about their upcoming game Sable last year. And yes, they do work in a shed. And it has spiders. But despite these obstacles, they’ve come up with a truly beautiful-looking game inspired by the French comics luminary Moebius. Fingers crossed the game lives up to its stunning visuals.
Sea of Solitude
Early 2019 – PC, Xbox One, PS4
Lucius P. Merriweather: When people get too lonely, they turn into monsters. That’s the quirky premise behind Sea of Solitude, and we’ll see how it holds when it’s released in a few months. We don’t know much else about the game right now, except that loneliness makes for some darn pretty-looking monsters with lovely swirly animation.
Autumn 2019 – PC
Lucius P. Merriweather: I played the bejesus out of The Settlers on the Amiga some 25-odd years ago, and now it’s back – and considerably more pretty. There have been loads of Settlers sequels over the years, but none quite matched up to the first one in my opinion, so it will be interesting to see whether the new game captures the magic of the original. The marked lack of a number after the title certainly indicates a degree of going back to the series’ roots.
The Sinking City
21 March 2019 – PC, PS4, Xbox One
Lucius P. Merriweather: Now here’s an interesting thing. Frogwares, the developers behind the Sherlock Holmes games, were originally developing Call of Cthulhu for Focus Home Interactive, but then, for whatever reason, that deal went awry and the game ended up being made by Cyanide Studio instead (check out my review of their effort here). But clearly Frogwares carried on making a Lovecraftian horror game, and The Sinking City is the result. The trailer looks intriguing, and it will be fascinating to compare this with Cyanide Studio’s rival eldritch horror-inspired game when it rolls out in March.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
TBA 2019 – PC, Xbox One, PS4
James Keen, Esq.: It’s a single-player Star Wars game, apparently. Under development by Respawn, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is slated for a 2019 release. However at this stage, there is almost nothing else confirmed about it. Not a single screenshot. Not even an official logo. Still, we’re long since due a really good Star Wars game and Respawn did well with Titanfall 2. Worth keeping an eye on for sure, but best filed under “don’t hold your breath”.
31 January 2019 – PC, Linux, Mac
Lucius P. Merriweather: I reviewed Sunless Sea for PS4 a few months back, and it ended up being one of my picks for the best games of 2018 – so naturally I have high hopes for the sequel. This time, rather than sailing a ship across an underground sea, you’re driving an interplanetary locomotive across space, because hey, why not? I’ve just received review code for Sunless Skies, so expect a review at the end of January.
TBA 2019 – PC, Xbox One
Lucius P. Merriweather: Wireframe magazine just did a massive cover feature on Tunic, and expectations for this gorgeous isometric RPG are high. There’s a whiff of Zelda about it so strong that it could knock a Great Dane out cold at 20 paces – and if even a little of Zelda’s brilliance rubs off on Tunic, it will be a fantastic game indeed.
Untitled Goose Game
Early 2019 – PC, Mac, Switch
Lucius P. Merriweather: HONK, HONK! I’m a naughty goose! HONK, I’m stealing your hat! Sorry, got a bit carried away there. You see, I am very excited for this curious take on farmyard politics from Australian developer House House. It basically boils down to being a horrible goose whose only quest is to annoy humans. And what’s not to like about that?
Untitled Project from Bertil Hörberg
TBA 2019 – Platforms TBA
Professor GreilMercs: It’s a testament to the strength of Swedish developer Bertil Hörberg’s only two indie games released thus far that one of the games I’m most looking forward to in 2019 is his current project. Gunman Clive 1 and 2 were standout retro Mega Man-style games that made a big splash on 3DS’s eShop, and Hörberg has tantalized fans via Twitter, promising that his new game will be released in 2019 and that “some things in [it] will be very very silly…” Aside from a development screenshot or two, details are scarce. But if the polish, creativity, and pure fun of the Gunman Clive games are anything to go by (two twists in the first Gunman Clive game are still among the most memorable of any game I’ve ever played), his new game will also be one you won’t want to miss.
TBA 2019 – PC, Xbox One, PS4
Lucius P. Merriweather: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed MachineGames’ take on Wolfenstein – particularly some of the bonkers plot twists in Wolfenstein II – so anticipation is high for this third game, which features B.J. Blazkowicz’s twin daughters in the starring role(s). This time we’ve moved into the 1980s, and it appears the Nazis are STILL running the show. Those damn Nazis.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
29 March 2019 – Switch
Map Schwartzberg: Yoshi’s Woolly World is amazing in that it married this wonderfully fluffy art style with a solid and scalable platformer. Yoshi’s Crafted World looks to take the undeniably cute dinosaur out of your grandma’s knitting basket and into the world of arts and crafts. What’s really got me excited is how Nintendo plans to incorporate playing each stage in a different direction and angle to open up new possibilities and reasons to go back to stages.