Games We Wanna Play in 2018! - PART 2
Last week we shared some of the 2018 video games that were on our 'looks pretty sweet' radar, if you missed it you can see it here. However, there is far too much good stuff heading our way, so here we have the handy second installment looking at the other games that we've got our beady eyes looking out for in 2018. ENJOY...
JENNY LECLUE (TOM)
When you live in the digital world (no, not Digimon) it’s impossible to miss gorgeous looking games on Twitter. Jenny LeClue is one of those titles. It has a lovely colourful hand drawn style that immediately grabbed my attention. In particular, I love their use of scale in environments, where sometimes they make the playable character teeny tiny, and the backgrounds HUGE! It makes for some incredibly striking scenes.
With that in mind, I was pretty excited to play their teaser demo last year (I think it’s still available from their website) and it didn't disappoint. As well as looking great, I was struck by how slick it all was. From the (genuinely) funny dialogue, to the snappy UI and camera work, the game oozes charm and style. The game is billed as a explorative adventure game, so it’s basically right up my street. It’s a yes from me!
DARK SOULS REMASTERED (ALEX)
I've come at the Dark Souls series all wrong.
I played Demon Souls on the PS3 and didn't get it, spent an hour or so getting squished in lots of different ways. I threw my pad away in frustration and wasn't really interested in trying that or the follow up Dark Souls Series.
Cut to 2016 and I was at EGX Rezzed with Adam Turnbull, an animator at our studio at the time (now animating up a storm at Riot Games). He was pretty excited about the upcoming release of Dark Souls 3 and took part in a timed competition (he had to navigate a bit of a level and defeat a boss in 20 mins) to win an official T-Shirt. In short, it was pretty exciting to watch so I thought I'd give Dark Souls 3 a whirl myself.
Man, I got bitten bad. Something just clicked and I 'got' the game structure and realised I was just playing it ALL wrong the first time around and that you're not meant to play Dark Souls the way you play other games (which is an pretty ballsy move for a big budget game). Since then I've been working my way back through the series (and sister title Bloodborne) but haven't had the chance to play the first Dark Souls game so the recent announcement of the Remastered version had me get a little agitated at the prospect.
One of the things I really like about these games is the implied narrative and background lore. The game just throws you into these rich worlds, doesn't explain ANYTHING and then you glean little bits about the world and events as you go, as if you were gradually unearthing an archaeological find.
To be honest by the end of each game things often aren't much clearer, but it's that ambiguity that makes these game worlds so intriguing.
KENTUCKY ROUTE ZERO - ACT 5 (DANNY)
Somewhere between a narrative heavy point ’n’ click and a surreal tone poem, KR0 is certainly like nothing else out there. Numerous scenes from its various past episodes have lodged themselves in my consciousness like low-poly compulsions. The dialogue is circuitous and sardonic, nothing makes any sense. But if you just surrender, give yourself over to the bizarre mixture of US folklore and Murakami-esque magical realism, then…maybe then…you’ll find Route Zero.
The much anticipated final episode is finally imminent. While I don’t expect it to provide any revelatory new gameplay or answers – those aren’t really KR0’s bag – I’m sure it will feature more bizarro characters and locations, haunting reflections on identity and obsession. And of course, a memorable ‘end’ to the journey Conway and his pals embarked on back in 2013.
RETURN OF THE OBRA DINN (TOM)
If you’ve not played Papers Please, stop what you’re doing now, download it and come back here in a couple of hours when your mind has been blown. You’ll also the understand why I’m excited to see what Lucas Pope has been up to since then.
ROTOD is a completely different game experience. For a start, it’s a 1-bit black and white game which is not your average art style. The gameplay looks to be more murder mystery/detective with you trying to work out the fate of the crew of the Obra Dinn (a 19th century ship), but this is done with flashbacks and exploration so the whole thing looks very minimalist, kind of like Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Essentially, it’s not very mainstream, but that is exactly what excites me. Whatever the game ends up being like, it’s clear it will be in one man’s image without any compromise. It will be different, unusual and provocative - qualities I think we should all demand more of.
PROJECT OCTOPATH TRAVELER (ALEX)
I saw the trailer for Octopath Traveler last year and it put am great big stupid grin on my great big stupid face...just look at how freaking cool it looks!
It's basically 2D pixel art characters truckin' around in a 3D pixel art textured world with a bucket load of camera effects to make it sing. In some ways not too dissimilar approach to The Last Night which is also looking particularity saucy. It's always nice to see games push the boundaries and try new things in non-realistic visuals and there is definitely something here that I found instantly ultra appealing.
The game-play itself looks like it might not be much new but I'm happy to be surprised and will have my fingers crossed and buttocks clenched that that it lives up to the visuals.
THE LAST OF US 2 (TOM)
So this one is a no brainer right? TLOU must be one of the most loved games out there at the moment, and deservedly so. Aside from smaller indie (and so more experimental) experiences, I don’t think any game has ever moved me as much. Without doubt it took Interactive story telling to a whole new level/medium, combining some brilliant script writing with industry leading character art.
Unfortunately now comes the tricky 2nd album. How do you follow a game that achieved global acclaim on every level? Well, one good starting point is to be a studio with a track record for quality titles. Have Naughty Dog done a bad game in the last 10 years? Err.. no. Another way is to continue to evolve your engine and workflow to push character performance. It was pretty special in Uncharted 4, so TLOU2 should be off the hook. Finally, look at the story - there are so many places the sequel can go to pull on our heart strings once more. I for one have no doubt it’s going to be amazing.
...and that is your lot!
I'm sure we'll have missed a few gems, and will discover plenty more along the way. If you think there is other things we should be looking out for then feel free to leave us a comment on Twitter or FB.
Thanks for reading,
Alex & Tom (& Danny)