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As always there are a ton of announcements, re-announcements and updates to watch. But only a rare few truly know to entertain or even amaze us. In this article, we try to explain why these particular titles will make great games this year or next. In alphabetical order, these titles will be 4 the players this year.

Battlefield V [EA DICE]

Battle Royale in Battlefield V is happening. We learned that at E3 this year. Maybe they were spurred by rival Call of Duty’s similar reveal a month ago. More likely, they were just waiting to show it off. But like Call of Duty, the game mode addition is obviously being done on the fly, later than much of the rest of the game. That means the focus at the scene was on Battlefield V‘s other major new game mode: Grand Operations. We didn’t quite see a redefine Battlefield, but as has long been the case, it looks hectic and fun. Although I’m not sure about the main characters and game modes, and I hoped for a modern day setting, I will probably give it a try.

Command & Conquer: Rivals

In Rivals, players will face off against their opponents in an attempt to destroy their enemy’s base before they themselves are destroyed. In order to expedite the matches, players will battle over two to three control points on the game’s various maps. If a team controls the majority of points when the timer reaches zero, then a missile will be fired at their opponent’s base.

Players will also be able to build decks where they’ll be able to select their commanding general, what units they want to bring into battle, and what special weapon they want access to. Once in the game, players will need to build harvesters and gather Tiberium in order to make barracks, vehicles, and tech units. Combat plays out in a sort of rock, paper, scissors style where players have to react to their opponents moves properly in order to maintain dominance.
The Alpha pre-registration is now available for Google Play Android over at the game’s official site, but Command & Conquer: Rivals will also be making its way to iOS devices at full launch.

Concrete Genie [Pixel Opus/ SIE]

From the studio who brought Entwined to PS4 in 2014, Pixel Opus is making a magical-looking game featuring a boy named Ash who can paint trees, stars, friendly monsters and more on the walls of buildings in the seaside town of Denska (after mr. Maurice Sendak). I have to admit, this is shaping up way better than I ever envisioned; there’s a good balance between raw creativity and purposeful progression, which should please both artists and those looking for a more traditional game experience.

This footage is from early in the game, but it shows how easy it is to create beautiful scenes. You’ll also design creatures who will accompany you along the way, and they’ll help you to solve puzzles and even request certain items in each scene.The more Ash explores, the more things he can draw, and the more ways his drawings can interact with each other and with him. Sometimes a monster wants to give him a high five. Other times it wants him to draw it some apples to eat. Drawing in the world and seeing scenes come to life looks great. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and it would be cool if Sony released a Concrete Genie Collector’s Edition as well.

Control [Remedy Entertainment]

Legendary storytellers Remedy made history with Max Payne, Alan Wake and Quantum Break and are now back with Project 7 or Control as we now know the official title.

The plot behind Control is purposefully confusing but involves a secret U.S. government agency called the Bureau of Control which the main character Jesse Faden (Beth Wilder from Quantum Break) has suddenly found herself the director of. The bureau is implied to be a sort of larger scale X-Files, caught in a struggle with an entity, or entities, known as Hiss – which has corrupted many agents and infected the reality-shifting innards of the bureau’s main offices. Remedy was purposefully vague when describing the plot and the nature of the New Weird genre seems to demand no less. Previous Remedy games have generally been very linear but Control is a Metroidvania, with Jesse learning various psychic powers as she progresses and engaging in side quests and backtracking where necessary.

Control seems to have everything going for it: a unique premise, excellent visual design, and a break away from the linear structure that has constrained the company’s previous work. Control might not be the most high-profile game to have been unveiled at E3 but it was definitely one of the most exciting.

Destiny 2: Forsaken [Bungie/ Vicarious Visions]

Everyone knows that Destiny 2 fell off track a bit after the game’s release. Although it sold incredibly well, players were leaving the game en masse. The Forsaken expansion for Destiny 2 is attempting to rectify that, and from what was shown at E3, they’re on their way to doing just that. Not only does Forsaken up the stakes with the death of Cayde-6, but it introduces a brand new game mode called Gambit. Gambit is a mix of PvE and PvP and creates the perfect balance between the two. This mode seems near perfection and will bring players back to the game.

The looming death of Cayde-6, one of the most beloved characters in the franchises, ups the stakes for the game dramatically. Destiny has never killed anyone off of that stature before and it will be fascinating to see how it plays out, as there is no character that can truly take his place. Can’t wait for September 4th…

Hitman 2 [Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment]

According to WBIE’s press release on the newest Agent 47 saga, Hitman 2 “takes players on a global adventure across a mix of bustling international locations, including a vibrant Miami setting with the colourful ambience of an in-progress motorsport race bringing a new backdrop to the series. From sun-drenched streets to dark and dangerous rainforests, each intricate location provides multiple paths to discover and unparalleled game depth.”

Since Hitman 2 is being sold in a Standard (€59.99), Silver (€79.99, includes the first DLC and adds a new location, sniper map, and new outfits and weapons) and Gold (€99, includes both planned DLC packs) Editions, this means the game will no longer release in an episodic format, which may prove a smarter change considering how easy an “episodic” game can get lost in the sea of games as a service…

Just Cause 4 [Avalanche Studios/ Square Enix]

Just Cause 4 is the latest entry in Avalanche Studios’ open-world franchise, which focuses on massive destruction and player creativity. Just Cause 4 adds extreme weather, including blizzards, tornadoes, lightning and sandstorms. New vehicles include wrecking balls and car transporters. Players will have the ability to use more grapples and boosters to cause more goofy mayhem, binding vehicles and enemies together and sending them into the sky.

Just Cause 4 is set for release on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on December 4th.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle “Donkey Kong Adventure” [Ubisoft]

What’s immediately clear from the trailer is that Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is going all-out for this special adventure. First and foremost, the entire trailer is a reference to various Donkey Kong games over the years, including Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong 64, Donkey Konga, Donkey Kong Countries Returns/Tropical freeze, and more. A big surprise from the reveal trailer isn’t just that DK is going to be the star of it, or that Rabbid Peach is returning as well, but rather, they’re putting a Rabbid twist on Cranky Kong, whose walking stick is actually a crossbow.

As for DK’s attacks, he’ll apparently be using his legendary strength to do damage to enemy Rabbids, including pounding the earth and even throwing them at one another. Though we do get a glimpse of him using his Bongos to lure enemies to him for an attack. The trailer further surprises with enemies exclusive to this DLC, including a pair of shark-themed mega-Rabbids that have it out for DK’s Banana Horde. And in a move that will have fans happy, it appears the main boss of the DLC will be Rabbid Kong, and it’s clear this is a version of the character from after Mario and the Rabbids beat him.

Marvel’s Spider-Man [Insomniac Games/ SIE]

Sony took to the stage during their E3 2018 press conference and showed off a brand new gameplay trailer. It showed Spider-Man intervening in a breakout at The Raft prison. There were a ton of villains involved, including Electro, Scorpion, Rhino, Vulture, Mister Negative and another mystery character teased at the end.

It looks as though the Sinister Six will be the main team of villains going up against Spider-Man in the game. But who could the mystery sixth member of the team be? If you listen very closely to the noise they make at the conclusion of the video, my money is on Venom, the villain from the infamous Spider-Man 3.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider [Eidos Montréal/ Square Enix]

After the game’s official announcement, fans have been awaiting more information on Shadow of the Tomb Raider which came in abundance during the game’s April 27 global reveal. A new trailer, brand new screenshots, and hands-on write-ups all came together to paint an altogether clearer picture of what Lara’s next adventure will bring.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider will take Lara and her fight against the evil Trinity organisation to South America. Here she’s racing against time to save the world from a Maya apocalypse. It’s an apt area of ancient history to explore for the final game in the trilogy.

This time around, we’re seeing Lara face up to some personal demons. She’s stronger and more grizzled as a result of her previous adventures but she also has moments of selfishness and petulance which have been exacerbated by her periods of isolation.

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, we’ll see Lara face up to the fact that her actions and her fight against Trinity is about more than herself and the lives of innocent people are on the line. The outcome of the game and Lara’s final decision will undoubtedly have a massive impact on her character and any future games in the franchise.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas [Ubisoft]

All I really knew of Ubisoft Toronto’s title is that it was a toys-to-life game set in space. While the latter element appeals to me, the former does not. I’m an old man who loves to play No Man’s Sky; the idea of having to get off the couch to swap toys on a receiver isn’t one I endorse, or my kids will lose or break those plastics. More importantly, I’ve better things to spend my hard-earned cash on than expansion toy pack after expansion toy pack.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas is a robust shooter, as compelling in mid-atmosphere as it is in deep space or skimming across a planet’s surface. You use your hyperdrive to leave space for the dangerous landscape of a nearby planet, shooting at challenging enemies, uncovering unique ruins that were shrouded in mystery (and puzzles, too) and scanning nearby fauna to add to my personal journal as I do in my fav space adventure game… We’ll have to wait and see if “No Man’s Skylanders” lives up to its potential.

Super Mario Party Switch [ND Cube/ Nintendo]

In one of the most obvious game/console pairings of all time, the Mario Party series is finally coming to the Switch with the newly announced Super Mario Party. Nintendo is leveraging almost every unique feature on the Switch for the upcoming party game. Players will be able to play with just a single Joy-Con (so two pairs will get you set for a full four-player game), and the iconic mini-games will leverage the Wii-like motion controls as well as traditional gameplay.

But where things get really interesting is when you get multiple Switch tablets in the equation. Players will be able to pair off into teams, displaying content on each Switch instead of dividing up the screen for split-screen. But even cooler, players will be able to link multiple Switches together as a single, giant display, where the configuration of the consoles determines the playing field.

In an example shown in the brief trailer, players were able to move the two Switch screens in different ways to change the map they were about to play on, from a straight line to a T-formation for different strategic advantages. It’s one of the more creative ways the portable nature of the Switch has been put to use, and it’ll be interesting to see how else Nintendo leverages it across the rest of Super Mario Party.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Switch [BandaiNamco/ Nintendo]

As revealed at E3 2018, Super Smash Bros Ultimate will feature every single character that has ever appeared in a Super Smash Bros title. According to Nintendo, there will be 65 playable characters in the game including crossover characters like Sonic and Solid Snake. There are also two brand new additions to the Switch game though; the Inkling from the Splatoon series, and Ridley from Metroid.

The Inkling will be available to play in both boy and girl form (with customisable clothing and style) with the attacks being focused on the variety of paint-fuelled weapons available in Splatoon 2. As a plus, inked characters will take additional damage from attacks by the Inkling. Ridley’s abilities are still relatively unknown, though a brief appearance in the E3 Direct live stream suggests that he’ll be an aerial-focused character with dive-bomb capabilities. Classic characters like Mario, Fox and Falco have also had combat overhauls for the Switch release, breathing new life into veteran characters.

About author

Jorge Wolters Gregório

Gamer dad who loves the classics, indies, racers and the occasional shooter. Have been in the industry for well over a decade and am as enthusiastic as ever! #4theplayers