We’re wrapping up Loresworn Games of the Year Week with a countdown of our Most Anticipated Games of 2018! If you’re just now joining us, be sure to check out Games We Didn’t Get To in 2017 (But Wish We Had), and Games of the Year!
5. Age of Empires 4
Of all the games on my list, this is the one we know the least about. We’re not sure what eras it will take place in, how much it will resemble previous AoE games, or what kind of campaign to expect. But it made my list anyway because I like almost everything Relic has ever done and we’ve waited a long time for one of the RTS genre’s fabled elders to make a comeback. Age of Empires 3 wasn’t really my thing, but I’m hopeful that the team behind Company of Heroes and Dawn of War can make something that feels new and modern while remaining reverent of what made the series great in the first place. And if they want to borrow a little – okay, a lot – from Rise of Nations, I wouldn’t mind that either.
4. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
The march of retro-stytle isometric RPGs continues, and I’m still loving every minute of it. Deadfire looks great in many senses of the word. The increasing visual fidelity of the worlds coming out of Obsidian, inXile, and their like gives me hope that we may not be too far away from an indie RPG in the vein of Dragon Age: Origins (which still represents the high water mark of fantasy RPGs in general, as far as I’m concerned.) The fact that we’re getting to continue the story of our Watcher from the first Pillars game is also a huge selling point for me. And who doesn’t love the idea of a swashbuckling adventure on the high seas to go after a reborn god for property damage compensation?
Harebrained Schemes has made some of my favorite games of the last few years, bringing the Shadowrun franchise back to video games in spectacular fashion. I particularly adored Dragonfall, which might be one of the best-written game plots I’ve ever experienced. Their upcoming Battletech game seems completely up my alley, being more about the business of running a mech company than actually taking the controls of one of the hulking death machines yourself. The emphasis on roguelike elements (MechWarriors will die a lot, apparently) and a main story involving neufeudal Space Politics are just the right spices to get me pumped to dive into this one.
2. Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia
I’m delighted by the whole idea of Total War Sagas, since I’ve tended to find their smaller, focused historical campaigns work a lot better than the sprawling Grand Campaigns. Thrones of Britannia is based on the engine for Attila (probably my favorite historical Total War of all time), is set in one of my favorite historical eras and locales (Viking Age Britain), and promises some very interesting gameplay with how the map and settlements are set up. After this year’s disappointing Rome 2: Empire Divided expansion, I’m really jonesing to get my hands on some quality historical Total War. And if they take some lessons from what has made Warhammer work so well (other than the elves and dragons, obviously), all the better.
1. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
Will it come out in 2018? Who knows? But assuming it does, it’s undoubtedly the game I’m most looking forward to playing in the next 365 days. Mount & Blade is really a special game. Perhaps the closest anyone has ever come to making the dream game I see in my mind’s eye when I try to imagine the perfect grand strategy experience. One of the only things holding it back so far has been low production value and a level of general indie jankiness. The increased team size and dev time for Bannerlord seems set to up the fidelity and tighten the design to a point that I’m scared by how much it’s likely to suck me in, how many hundreds of hours of productivity will be lost. A part of me hopes it gets delayed long enough for me to somehow become independently wealthy, because I’m not confident I’ll be able to hold down a job once this game gets a hold of me.
Honorable Mentions: Sunless Skies, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Vampyr
5. God of War
If this game does to Kratos what Logan did to Wolverine, it’s going to be nothing short of a brilliant game. What an interesting, respectful way to undertake a reboot. What a ripe, rich world of myth and legend it is exploring. Bring God of War on.
I’ve been waiting years for a good Spider-Man game utilizing new advances in design and hardware. This one has me itching with anticipation.
3. Read Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption is one of the very finest games ever made, and Rockstar is known for producing incredible quality. This seems like one of the best bets out there to be 2018’s game of the year, provided it isn’t delayed.
Folks who know me know I love a good urban fantasy [insert novel plug here]. Vampyr takes on the genre with an interesting historical setting and appears to offer intriguing gameplay possibilities. Vampires are as played out as any staple in the genre, but are still compelling engines of story if done in creative and interesting ways. Vampyr looks to deliver that.
I’m still on the BioWare bandwagon. I enjoyed Inquisition and Andromeda much more than most, it seems. And with the legendary developer’s best and brightest working on a new IP that sounds absolutely awesome, this will be a day one purchase for me. I mean, come on. Jet packs!
How Did Our Picks From Last Year Stack Up?
T.J.’s Most Anticipated 2017 List:
5. Routine – Did not make any awards list
4. Vampyr – Was not released in 2017. Back on T.J.’s Most Anticipated list as an Honorable Mention and newcomer to D.M.’s list at #2
3. Resident Evil 7 – Neither of us played it. T.J.’s #5 regret of 2017 and D.M.’s #4.
2. Torment: Tides of Numenera – T.J.’s #5 Game of the Year
1. Mass Effect: Andromeda – T.J.’s #3 Game of the Year
D.M. did not publish a Most Anticipated list for 2017.
That concludes Loresworn’s third annual Games of the Year week! Be sure to follow @LoreswornOrder on Twitter to join us for new adventures in 2018! We’ll see you in January.
-D.M. Schmeyer, T.J. Hafer, Chloe Elizabeth, Brianna Hafer, and Kaycee the Lore Dog