The Notable Video Games Of 2019

The Notable Video Games Of 2019

After such a stellar 2018 with the likes of “Red Dead Redemption 2,” “God of War,” “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” ruling the roost, next year will mark an interesting one for gaming as a handful of major titles that have been teased for years now look set to finally to make their big debuts.

Even so, the year is expected to be dominated by the announcement of new consoles from both Microsoft and Sony which are expected to be released in 2020 or 2021. Steam and Origin are getting a new rival with the Epic Games Store, and the streaming games industry will only grow in size and scale.

Some major games like “The Elder Scrolls VI,” “Dragon Age 4,” “Beyond Good & Evil 2,” “Halo Infinite,” “Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey” and “Starfield” aren’t hitting until well into 2020 or beyond but here’s a list of the games we hope to see next year:

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“Anthem”
Following the disastrous launch of “Mass Effect Andromeda” which effectively sank that great franchise, BioWare ditches single player for this stunning looking Destiny-esque online multiplayer-centric title about heavily armored freelancers on a hostile alien planet. The graphics and scale are excellent, but unless you’re really into shared world online shooters with a sci-fi tinge this won’t be for you. Questions of microtransactions also hover, especially as the developers have said there won’t be season passes or DLC. Trailer: Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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“Babylon’s Fall”
“Bayonetta” and “Nier: Automata” gaming studio Platinum Games is behind this action title set in a rich fantasy medieval world which has been reborn following a heavenly apocalypse. Not a lot is known beyond the brief trailer screened at E3, though the company have made it clear it’s coming in 2019. Expect more details soon.
Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4

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Biomutant
The first title of Swedish game studio Experiment 101, a company mainly made up of employees from “Just Cause” developer Avalanche Studios, this brings that series’ trade mark wackiness and some of its systems to this open world action RPG in which you control a raccoon-like creature in a world filled with mutated animals. There’s a ton of customisation available from mutations to bio-mechanical body parts, along with dynamic weather and numerous cast zones. The story is mission-based, features a Karma system for non-playable characters, and has a companion system for recruiting allies for fighting and travelling alongside the player in the game which is dubbed a “post-apocalyptic kung-fu fable”. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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“Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night”
Legendary game director Koji Igarashi returns with this “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night” spiritual successor – a 2D exploration-focused, side-scrolling platformer featuring RPG and crafting elements. You play Miriam, an orphan scarred by an alchemist’s curse which slowly crystallizes your skin. In order to save yourself you must battle your way through a demon-filled castle summoned by Gebel, your old friend whose body has become more crystal than flesh.
Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1, NS

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“Control”
“Alan Wake” developers Remedy Entertainment return with this similar atmospheric single player action/adventure/puzzle game. You are Jesse Faden, a troubled young woman and the new Director of the Bureau of Control – the frontline in researching and fighting against supernatural enemies like the Hiss. The Bureau’s HQ, called The Oldest House, contains shifting walls and plenty of secrets as you explore to find out more about your past and the true purpose of the bureau.
Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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“Code Vein”
Inspired by the “Dark Souls” franchise but with seemingly more of an anime style, Bandai Namco’s new project hails from the minds behind “God Eater” and plans to adopt the high pressure intense ‘Souls’ combat elements and dungeon action RPG blended with a deep story, anime visuals and a winding plot. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where vampires reign, the blood is depleting and those that don’t feed become ghouls known as Lost who will destroy everything. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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“Crackdown 3”
After multiple delays, this action game sequel is finally coming in February. Set a decade on from the previous entries, a terrorist attack from an unknown source kills power around the entire world. The attack is traced to the city of New Providence, controlled by the mysterious organization Terra Nova, and the Agency sends its super-powered agents led by Commander Jaxon (Terry Crews) to take them down. Like the original 360 titles, you have to dismantle gang infrastructure bosses and Kingpins in order to stop the bad guys. Trailer. Platforms: PC, XB1

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“Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course”
More a case of expanded DLC than a full sequel, nevertheless the celebrated run and gun title returns with Cuphead and Mugman joined by Ms. Chalice on a brand new island. There’s new weapons, new charms, and Ms. Chalice’s brand new abilities taking on a new cast of multi-faceted, screen-filling bosses. Trailer. Platforms: PC, XB1

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“Cyberpunk 2077”
After many years in development and taking on almost mythic status, “The Witcher” developers CD Projekt Red finally unveiled the lavish sci-fi RPG title earlier this year with an epically long pre-alpha gameplay demonstration and indications being that it’s almost done. The story is set in a dystopian yet vibrant sci-fi future metropolis where a mercenary takes on various jobs in and around the six regions of Night City, California which is plagued by rampant gang wars and utterly dependent on robotics. Should it lock in a release date there’s little question it’s the year’s biggest game.
Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Days Gone
‘Starkiller’ himself Sam Witwer lends his voice and likeness to Deacon St. John, the outlaw-turned drifter and bounty hunter in this PS4-exclusive survival horror game. The action is set in an open world two years after a global pandemic occurred which killed almost all of humanity and transformed millions of others into ‘Freakers’. Playing like an open world “The Last of Us,” the game offers the option of using stealth or straight up combat, a dynamic weather system, and weapons crafting. Trailer. Platforms: PS4.

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Dead or Alive 6
The fighting game series mostly famous for buxom women brawling in bikinis is trying to claw back some respectability and lose the titillation factor. Instead it’s going for a less sexualised angle that it was one of the very first to adopt back in the day – esports. It’s also trying out more realistic graphics with characters visibly taking damage during fights, and putting a lot of focus on the fighting game mechanics. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Death Stranding
“Metal Gear Solid” creator Hideo Kojima’s long awaited first post-Konami project was announced over two years ago and while there’s still no release date, some spectacular game play footage shown at E3 offers hope we’ll get to see it. The action game is set in a bleak and haunting open world that seems to be plagued by dark supernatural energy and invisible entities with the survivors using a living foetus in a jar to power devices that show these entities and potentially get around them. Still so many questions about this and not many answers, but when it hits – boy will there be talk. Trailer. Platforms: PS4

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Devil May Cry 5
Capcom’s fifth installment in the main series comes eleven years after the previous entry and six after the reboot which is being largely ignored. The gameplay will feature the return of Dante and Nero as playable characters, along with a new character named V who hires the pair to solve a series of demon attacks occurring across the world. Gameplay is said to be akin to previous entries with fast-paced stylish action and music that changes depending upon player performance. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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The Division 2
Set seven months after the first, the game shifts locales from New York to Washington D.C. during a hot summer when a civil war between survivors and a villainous bands of marauders breaks out. Following the heavy criticism lobbied at the first game, Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment have announced plans to include more game content at launch and improve the endgame with free downloadable add-on episodes every three months that will build onto the story and content and expanding the various biomes of the D.C. map. There’s also eight-player raids, but there’s no real specifics on that. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Doom Eternal
A follow-up to the 2016 reboot, players once again take on the role of the Doom Slayer, an ancient warrior who battles the demonic forces of Hell. Once again there’s an emphasis on push-forward combat where you must aggressively engage enemies in order to acquire health and ammo. There’s also elaborate weapons like The Super Shotgun equipped with a grappler called a ‘Meat Hook’, while combat includes new moves like wall-climbing and dashing. There’s expected to be twice as many demon types as in the reboot, and a new asymmetric multiplayer mode called ‘Invasion’ in which players can join others’ single-player campaigns, fighting against them as demons. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Dying Light 2
Similar to the first, the new zombie game ups the parkour of the first game while changing the nature of the undead threat – the deadly creatures are kept on the city fringes during the day but get very active at night. Players will have choices to make in the story, such as fixing the water supply for citizens, and every action will have consequences with whole parts of the city changing based on your choices. The map is reportedly four times bigger than the first and changes up the grimy slums of the first for an elaborate but decaying European city. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Far Cry New Dawn
Not a sequel so much as a spin-off of the franchise (ala ‘Primal’), ‘New Dawn’ is set seventeen years after the end of this year’s “Far Cry 5” which saw the world having descended into nuclear war. Survivors attempt to rebuild the community in Hope County but their efforts are often thwarted by a roving band of organized bandits led by twin sisters Mickey and Lou. Unlike most post-apocalyptic games, this one sees a lush colorful world in ‘super bloom’ as nature reclaims the Earth. It’s also expected to be a decidedly smaller game than the fifth which is why it’s selling for a cheap price. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Gears 5
The next entry in the “Gears of War” franchise focuses on Kait Diaz, an Outsider of Locust descent. As Kait, the player must uncover the origins of the Locust and Kait’s family. Gears of War 4 protagonist JD Fenix, Delmont Walker and JD’s father Marcus Fenix also return for the new entry which looks like it’s trying to be a passing of the torch. The Coalition, who developed the fourth full title, return for this title which will have single player, local split screen and online cooperative gameplay. The studio says that with the fourth game they stuck to formula but here intend to deliver something very different to previous entries. Trailer. Platforms: PC, XB1

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Ghost of Tsushima
Sucker Punch, who have been working on the “Infamous” franchise for the past decade, bring that franchise’s polished completely open world and traversal style to a story set in 1274 on Tsushima Island in Japan. The game revolves around the last samurai, Jin Sakai, during the first Mongol invasion. You have to master a new fighting style, the way of the Ghost, to defeat the Mongol forces and fight for the freedom and independence of your home country. Players can switch the audio to Japanese with English subtitles in a title that’s taken great pains to be historically accurate in its details, and boast a look inspired by Kurosawa’s films. Trailer. Platforms: PS4

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Indivisible
Inspired by “Valkyrie Profile,” this is a combination of RPG, hand-drawn animation platforming with 2D Metroidvania style environments, and turn based battles that have a faster edge. Created by Lab Zero (“Skullgirls”), the game follows the story of Ajna, a girl who embarks on a global journey to discover the truth behind her mysterious powers. During her quest, she is joined by a variety of unique heroes, gaining new abilities to traverse different environments and defeat enemies encountered along the way. The game will blend Eastern and Islander mythologies and looks quite beautiful. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1, NS

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In the Valley of the Gods
Campo Santo came out of nowhere in 2016 to deliver the amazing “Firewatch”. It was a short story-driven game of simple graphics, and yet one of the most celebrated titles of that year. The company was soon bought by Valve and work is underway on this 1920s Egyptian-set tale which boasts a similar formula but this time we see human characters from a third-person view. You play disgraced explorer and filmmaker Rashida, who is taking one last grand adventure to try and document the discovery of the tomb of Queen Nefertiti (which still remains undiscovered to this day). You’re joined by your former partner Zora, whom you have a troubled history with. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Kingdom Hearts III
The twelfth installment in Square Enix’s action RPG series is both a follow-up to “Kingdom Hearts II,” and the final chapter in the Dark Seeker saga. Sora is joined by Donald Duck, Goofy, King Mickey and Riku in their search for the seven Guardians of Light and the “Key to Return Hearts” as they attempt to thwart the restored Master Xehanort’s plan to bring about a second Keyblade War. Blending Disney, Pixar, Final Fantasy and other franchises in the mix, the game has been in the works on and off for a decade and will be one of the biggest early titles of the year. Trailer. Platforms: PS4, XB1

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The Last of Us Part II
The most consistently great developer in the business, Naughty Dog, returns with the sequel to its celebrated 2013 title which aims to be even more emotional and enthralling with the developers recently stating they just worked on “one of the most complicated and heart wrenching scenes we’ve ever worked on.” This outing sees a now older Ellie who comes into conflict with a mysterious cult and the game features both Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson reprising their roles as Joel and Ellie from the original. New characters join them in this outing which will hopefully continue Naughty Dog’s essentially unblemished track record thus far. Trailer. Platforms: PS4

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Luigi’s Mansion 3
The “Super Mario Bros.” spin-off series gets a third iteration, and the first for a home console since the GameCube, albeit this time for the Nintendo Switch. As per usual, Mario’s brother sets out on ghost-vacuuming adventures in haunted mansions where he has to deal with the nasty spooks. The first one was considered one if the GameCube’s best games and this is arguably the Switch’s most anticipated non-Pokemon game for next year. As it was only announced in September, there’s still not a lot known about it. Trailer. Platforms: NS

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Man of Medan (The Dark Pictures)
British studio Supermassive Games, the team behind the PS4’s choose-your-own-adventure style slasher game “Until Dawn,” return with the first of a planned anthology franchise of similar branching narrative horror-thriller games albeit looking like it was made for cheaper. Like its predecessor, the dark story will unfold from different perspectives – in this case the five characters who each offer a unique view on the unravelling mystery. The story follows four young Americans and their tour guide tracking down a mysterious ship that’s been abandoned since WWII in the hopes of discovering treasure. What they find is much more sinister. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Metro Exodus
The third game in the series following Deep Silver’s “Metro 2033” and “Metro: Last Light,” the first-person survival horror shooter game continues its post-apoicalyptic former Russian Federation setting with players once again facing mutated creatures and hostile humans – this time beyond the confines of the Moscow city limits. The new title also includes a dynamic weather system with both seasons and a day-night cycle, and along with “Battlefield V” is one of the first titles to make use of ray tracing with the RTX 2080 cards. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Mortal Kombat XI
Following their success with “Mortal Kombat X,” NetherRealm Studios returns with this follow-up to that 2015 title and the eleventh main installment in the game series thus far. Announced only a few weeks ago, the new game uses Unreal Engine 4 which allows for better character animation along with a proper adventure mode and a new style of gameplay allowing for plenty of character customization. There’s also rumors of microtransactions being included in the game, but that’s not confirmed as yet. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1, NS

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Nioh 2
Team Ninja’s hardcore action RPG builds on the 2017 first game’s formula but isn’t expected to once again follow pirate-turned-explorer William even as it remains in Japan. Those involved say it’s a “proper evolution” rather than a “dramatic change,” and this time they’re going to be doing things they simply weren’t able to implement on the first despite a desire to do so. This includes character customization and a harder core violence overall along with more satisfying deaths for players. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4

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Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The sequel to 2015’s “Ori and the Blind Forest,” this sets out on a new adventure to discover the world beyond the forest of Nibel, uncover the truths of the lost ones, and unearth the true destiny of white guardian spirit Ori. The game’s combat system has been completely refined and will offer new weapons and abilities, while the developers say they’ve really challenged themselves with the game with the difficulty level increasing in the process. Trailer. Platforms: PC, XB1

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The Outer Worlds
The creators of the “Fallout” series serve as director’s on this sci-fi RPG set in a future where megacorporations have begun colonizing and terraforming alien planets. You play a passenger who awakens early from cryosleep on a colony ship gone off course. You set out to a nearby colony to investigate the true nature of the corporations and discover the truth. The game, which has already been dubbed a “true successor to ‘Fallout: New Vegas'” albeit on a smaller scale, features several factions and a branching story that reacts to the player’s choices. The tone is also said to be both charming and funny despite the serious subject matter. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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A Plague Tale: Innocence
The one with the rats. This stealth survival puzzle game from “Fuel” developer Asobo is set during the Hundred Years War, and the story follows two siblings, Amicia and her younger brother, as they fight to survive in a war-torn France riddled with combat and rampant plague. Using light and fire and other means, you have to scare away or distract thousands of carniverous rats or re-direct them towards deadly knights engaged in the greater battle. Special weapons crafting will be required to survive and make it through the horrific landscape. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Rage 2
The sequel to 2010’s colorful post-apocalyptic first person shooter from id Software follows the last ranger, Walker, who must survive in a world inhabited by dangerous mutants and vicious bandits who emerged in the wake of an asteroid impact. Set three decades after the original, some existing characters will return but it’s mostly new and with the help of “Just Cause” creator Avalanche Studios who co-produced it, expect the title to have as much silliness and fun as that franchise. Indeed the creators have reportedly designed the game to appeal to player’s “power fantasy” and so ensure they will not feel underpowered at the beginning of the game. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Resident Evil 2
Short of maybe “Final Fantasy VII,” this is the remake fans have been clamoring for and it’s almost here. Twenty years after its release, one of the greatest games in the survival horror genre gets rebuilt from the ground up with the engine used on the more recent “Resident Evil 7” including a third-person, over-the-shoulder camera style of gameplay (as opposed to the ‘tank controls’ of the original) and reimagined cutscenes that still plan to emphasise horror over action as Leon and Claire fight it out with the undead in Raccoon City. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4

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Scorn
Ebb Software’s first-person shooter horror is directly inspired by the works of H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksinski as players take on the role of a skinless humanoid trapped in a living techno-organic structure composed of steel, flesh and bone. The player explores several interconnected regions searching for answers to this unsettling environment, using weapons with very limited ammunition and made from organic matter. Originally planned as a two-part game, the project received private funding and so is being retooled into one big game. Trailer. Platforms: TBA

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Sea of Solitude
Dubbed a blend of Studio Ghibli, “Shadow of the Colossus” and “Silent Hill,” the story deals with a young woman named Kay as she explores an abandoned, submerged Berlin-esque city and its creature in order to reveal why said creature became a monster – an answer tied with loneliness. Jo-Mei Games is publishing this rather emotional and personal game which is pretty much the only single player only title EA will be releasing in 2019. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
FromSoftware, the creators of the famed “Dark Souls” franchise and “Bloodborne,” return with “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” which is a mythological spin on a feudal Japan era story about a left for dead shinobi as he attempts to take revenge on the samurai who attacked him and kidnapped his lord. Whether it will be as difficult as ‘Souls’ isn’t clear, but the game gives players a grappling hook for traversal and combat and has ditched RPG elements in favor of both stealth and faster combat. Also this is very much a single player game with no multiplayer planned. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Session
The Kickstarter-funded and open-ended title is being sold as a spiritual successor to the “Skate” series. Created in Unreal Engine 4, there’s no scoring system and interestingly the action unfolds in a way akin to having been shot with an old school fish-eye lens. Otherwise the name of the game here is a focus on the authenticity of skating and done in a way respectful of skateboarding culture. Balance, weight distribution and foot placement are key to playing, while the world you inhabit will evolve over time based on player feedback. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Shenmue III
Nearly twenty years on since the original Dreamcast games, “Shenmue III” continues teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki’s quest to find his father’s killer in 1980s China. Boasting big budgets at the time, and scoring both a cult following and critical acclaim, the first two games were major commercial failures and so the third has languished. Three years ago a Kickstarter campaign launched at E3 and became the highest-funded video game and the sixth-highest-funded campaign in the crowd funding platform’s history. Now it’s finally coming out but sadly won’t offer closure as those involved hope to create further games in the series. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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The Sinking City
Directly inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, this investigative adventure-horror video game is set in New England which suffers from a massive flood, making terrified citizens succumb to madness and doubt. The protagonist, Charles W. Reed, is a private investigator hired to discover the cause of the mysterious events that brought the city to the brink of collapse. The game features an open investigation system in which the outcome of the player’s quests will often be defined by how observant the players are, while tentacled Lovecraftian monsters lurk about and have to be engaged in combat at points. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Skull and Bones
A big budget AAA game set in the era of naval piracy at its height. The open world tactical action game has you playing a pirate captain who can sail the Indian Ocean by yourself in the single-player campaign, or engage in combat in Disputed Waters in co-op and multiplayer. The first title from Ubisoft Singapore, the game is said to be mostly inspired by the sailing and naval warfare sections of “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag”. However little news in the way of progress in the past year suggest a potential delay to 2020. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
“Titanfall” developers Respawn Entertainment’s title is a third-person “Star Wars” action game taking place during the Dark Times period (between the prequels and original trilogy) when the last Jedi were being hunted down. Set to be EA’s big “Star Wars” title this year rather than another ‘Battlefront’, this is not to be confused with the scrapped Visceral Games title that had “Uncharted” helmer Amy Henning on it. Those involved say the new game will be “slick, larger-than-life” and feature “groundbreaking mechanics”. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Trials Rising
Five years on from “Trials Fusion,” the physics-based motorcycle game returns and this time it drops that game’s near futuristic settings for a more contemporary global backdrop with courses set around various world environments from the Eiffel Tower in France to Mount Everest in Nepal. Players can compete against each other in local and online multiplayer, and create custom obstacle courses to share with other players. ‘Rising’ also introduces ‘Tandem Bike’ in which two riders control the same motorcycle. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Twin Mirror
“Life is Strange” and “Vampyr” creators Dontnod Entertainment return with this third-person story-driven investigation game about a journalist who returns to his West Virginia hometown to investigate a death and awakens in his hotel room covered in blood and with no memory of the night’s events. The game won’t have any supernatural elements, but players can enter the character’s ‘Mind Palace’ to discover clues and deal with his inner voice (‘The Double’) whose advice can both aid and harm his investigation. Your decisions will impact the story’s outcome with multiple endings to unlock. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Wolfenstein: Youngblood
A spin-off as opposed to a direct sequel to last year’s “Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus,” the story is set nearly two decades after the United States was liberated from the Nazis occupation in the Second American Revolution in 1961. The newest members of the Global Resistance, twin sisters Jessica and Sophia Blazkowicz, embark on a search mission to France when BJ, their father, goes missing in action. The game will be available to play in single-player and multiplayer modes for the story campaign and hails from the same developers as the main series. Trailer. Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1

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Yoshi’s Crafted World
Yoshi comes to the Nintendo Switch with this side-scrolling platformer where 3D characters are moved on a 2.5D plane and players can switch between two opposite viewpoints. The game will feature a two-player multiplayer mode, where each player maneuvers their own Yoshi through the game’s levels. Players can also walk backward in the game which will be Nintendo’s first big title of the year. Trailer. Platforms: NS

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Also Coming
Ace Combat 7, Anno 1800, Battletoads, Bayonetta 3, Bloodstained, The Church in the Darkness, Dreams, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Greedfall, GTFO, Judgement, Jump Force, The Last Night, Left Alive, Ooblets, Psychonauts 2, Spelunky 2, The Surge 2, System Shock Remastered, Team Sonic Racing, Tunic, Wasteland 3, World War Z