In 2018, gamers experienced many outstanding video game titles that pushed both franchises and the entire industry in exciting new directions. Consider “Red Dead Redemption 2,” with its massive open world and some of the greatest theatrical graphics in video game history, or perhaps the latest installment of “God Of War,” where fans of the franchise were pleasantly surprised with the game’s balance of an emotional narrative along with the usual gore.
Those are just a couple of the most significant examples of the success that the video game industry saw in 2018, but it’s a new year, and a new year means new games to come. In 2019, it looks like the world of video games will follow in a similar vein to the previous year, which consists of titles that improve already existing series and harp on the nostalgic strings of long-loved franchises.
Here are a few of the video games that gamers such as myself are looking forward to this year.
1. “Kingdom Hearts III”
This one’s been in the making for quite a while. The official development for “Kingdom Hearts III” was announced way back in 2013, but concept writing and design for the game started even earlier in 2006, right after the second “Kingdom Hearts” came out. At long last, the third edition to the franchise is planned for release in late January.
The “Kingdom Hearts” series is a classic action role-playing game that combines the journey of Sora, the game’s protagonist, and the world of Disney, including Goofy, Donald Duck and even King Mickey as characters. Not only that, but the setting in which their journey takes place is almost entirely based on cities or kingdoms found in many Disney films. In the past, the game has featured worlds such as Olympus from “Hercules,” and even 100 Acre Wood from “Winnie The Pooh,” and both should be re-appearing in “Kingdom Hearts III.”
Gameplay will be identical to previous games, consisting of a hack-and-slash fighting style, which tends to be a hallmark for fantasy games like “Kingdom Hearts III.”
The third installment to “The Kingdom Hearts” franchise follows Sora and the Disney gang as they split up into two separate teams, attempting to both stop Master Xehanort while searching for the “Key to Return Hearts” and seven guardians of light. The plot may end in an ultimate battle between Sora and Master Xehanort and serves as the last episode of the saga.
2. “Resident Evil 2”
A remake of the 1998 Playstation classic, “Resident Evil 2” is scheduled for release on Jan. 25. You play as Claire Redfield, a college student in way over her head, and newbie cop Leon Kennedy as you attempt to survive through a zombie apocalypse and escape Raccoon City.
Capcom released a remake for the first “Resident Evil” for the GameCube way back in 2002, and when that proved to be successful, developers at Capcom contemplated creating another remake for “Resident Evil 2.” However, the creator of the franchise didn’t want to disturb the development of the fourth game in the series, and plans for the remake were put on the backburner until 2015.
The main differences between the 1998 and 2019 versions are in gameplay and graphics improvement. In the original version, the game uses tank controls, which is basically when one joystick controls the movement of the character. The disadvantage to this is that you have no control of the perspective of the screen, and the controls generally feel stiff. This is also why many shooter games today require one stick to move, or strafe, your character while another controls which direction you look, which is how the new version of “Resident Evil 2” will operate.
3. “Mortal Kombat 11”
The 11th installment in “Mortal Kombat” is set to release on Apr. 23, 2019, and follows “Mortal Kombat X,” which was released in 2015. Extreme violence is the name of the game, so if you’re not into gory punches and brutal, bone-crushing cutscenes, you might want to shy away from “Mortal Kombat,” because it only seems to get bloodier with each edition. The grotesque bone breaking in the cutscenes of “Mortal Kombat X” even became popular to use as a meme back in 2015 because of how over the top they were, but hey, fans love it.
Gameplay will be virtually identical to every preceding “Mortal Kombat” game, but that’s where some of the appeal lies for fighter games. Consistent controls and perspective are crucial, whereas the variety of playable characters and storyline are equally important. Not to mention, the ability to crush your friends in hand-to-hand combat while playing as Scorpion or Dark Raiden.
4. “Fortnite: Save The World”
Sometime in 2019, “Fortnite” will finally be a full game with the “Save The World” game mode. The popular format practically everyone knows of at the moment is the “Battle Royale” mode in “Fortnite,” where players go head-to-head with each other using a smorgasbord of weapons in order to be the last individual or team standing.
Although fun and addicting, the battle royale in “Fortnite” was not Epic Games’ original plan when they started developing. Initially, the main game was supposed to be a sort of co-op, zombie apocalypse survival game, and many gamers pre-ordered “Fortnite” with the expectation that this would be the biggest element of the game. However, as the “Battle Royale” mode became so popular, Epic started focusing their efforts on updated that aspect of the game rather than focusing on the story mode.
Finally, although with no specific release date, the story mode is set to arrive later this year, and will hopefully be a refreshing change from the typical player-versus-player dynamic that the battle royale has been dishing out for the past year and a half. It will be interesting to finally experience the cooperative game mode that the developers initially wanted to put out and see how it stands up to other zombie survival games.