Take this! Why 2018 will be enormous for gamers

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2018 is set to bring an explosive new year in gaming – and here are the high score games that are coming up

Whether you like PC or console, you’re a newbie or an expert, or prefer old school games or cutting edge technology, there’s no doubt that gaming is now bigger than ever – and part of that is due to that piece of technology we carry around in our pockets every day.

So, if you’ve got your finger on the button, we’ve got all the intel you need right here on what’s coming up for 2018… And spoiler alert – it’s going to be a big year, so hit reload and stock up on ammo.

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch’s release in early 2017 left many players wanting as key games were slow to materialise after its initial launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild until Super Mario Odyssey hit shelves months later.

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But never fear: Nintendo will be making up for lost time in the coming year. Fan favourites will be big on Switch in the next year as veterans Kirby and Yoshi return in all-new games.

First up, Kirby will return in HD with Kirby Star Allies in the spring, with a new adventure where you can recruit your enemies to help you prevail.

Meanwhile, the smiling green dinosaur will also stage a comeback in the tentatively titled Yoshi, with more of the series’ classic side-scroller action.

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Popular roleplaying series Bayonetta will also launch on Switch with two titles scheduled for release early in the year, and the third adventure, Bayonetta 3, launching exclusively for the console later in 2018.

Old-school fans will also want to watch out for Metroid Prime 4, which continues the Nintendo series first launched in 1986. Not officially confirmed for release in 2018, the game’s long history on Nintendo consoles has caused a huge buzz among fans.

Another old-school launch comes in the form of Outlast, which will be ported to the Switch for 2018. Following clamouring from fans for more, the game’s developers have also announced an upcoming ‘Outlast-esque’ adventure, but it’s not going to be a sequel.

Other rumoured titles set to come to the Switch include Mother 3, Animal Crossing and Hearthstone, although exact release dates are yet to be announced.

PlayStation 4

Sony’s PS4 is set for a good start to the year as the hotly-anticipated flagship mythology action series God of War is set for release in the first quarter – this time with a Norse-style slant.

Popular title Shadow of the Colossus will also return to the console in a remastered 4K resolution for fans after its original release in 2005. Spidey-fans are in for a treat as the superhero gets a release on the Sony console with Spider-Man.

Expected to feature an open-world format, the narrative will follow the famed Peter Parker eight years after he stepped into the tights.

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The real world meets the virtual one as The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus and Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen take centre screen in upcoming Death Stranding.

Noir thriller Detroit: Become Human, expected in the second quarter, delves into a post apocalyptic future where three androids deal with sentience in different ways. Yet to be confirmed, but anticipated for 2018, is the follow-up to 2013’s The Last of Us. A post apocalyptic adventure, the first game was met with high praise, and expectations are equally high for the second instalment.

Xbox

With the new launch of Xbox One just before the holiday season in 2017, Microsoft has a slew of new games to match.

After selling 24 million copies worldwide on gaming platform Steam, fan favourite PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds is finally making it to the Xbox One.

The online game sees you dropped into a barren world among 99 other live online players, with the goal to be the last one standing.

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After development was delayed, a 2018 release for Crackdown 3 has finally been confirmed. Now expected in spring, the futuristic open world crime fighting action game features the same elements fans know and love, including city combat and more.

Little is known about Sea of Thieves, scheduled for launch in late March, but that hasn’t stopped gamers getting excited. Part multiplayer game, part adventure, the player gets dropped into a big world of pirate adventures. Intrigued? We are too.

Delayed more times than fans know how to feel about, Below was originally announced in 2013, and we’ve been waiting ever since. But with developer Cabybara ramping up the demos of late, speculation is building that the game will get its release in 2018.

Based on previews, you’ll have to make your way through an underground tunnel system and survive all the monsters lurking there.

Mobile

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With more powerful smartphones on the market than ever, the mobile gaming business is booming, and with it, a lot of great new titles lined up to hit the market in 2018.

Marvel Strike Force, set to launch early next year on iOS and Android, will fuel our love for the caped crusaders even more. Players will get to assemble their own super-squad from favourites including Spidey, Iron Man and Thor, and defeat foes in strategic combat.

Fantasy role-playing game RuneScape will return with a new look early in the year on iOS and Android, following the recent launch of its Old School chapter for mobile.

Players will find the familiar in-game world of Gielinor ready for conquering with an updated look.

Fans of paranormal-hunters Mulder and Scully will love the new X-Files: Deep State game for mobile platforms, launched to coincide with the series’ revival for an 11th run.

Multi-platform

Without doubt, one of the biggest launches of next year is set to be Red Dead Redemption 2, projected for release on Xbox One and PS4 in the spring.

The popular Western-style action game will follow outlaw Arthur Morgan as he wreaks vengeance across America.

On a similar note, first-person shooter Far Cry 5 will be joining the fray at the end of March on Xbox One, PS4 and PC, this time set on US soil in the fictional Hope County, Montana.

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Ensuring the year has a fighting chance will be Soul Calibur VI. The sixth chapter in the series, it’s been five years in the making and long-time fans can enjoy elements of the original storyline alongside upgraded graphics on PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Capcom’s classic Street Fighter is set to turn 30 this year, and in celebration, a 12-game bundle will be released mid-year across PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.

Expect all the early games from the original right up to Street Fighter: Third Strike with added online multiplayer modes.

Buzz has intensified around Metro: Exodus, now set for release in the autumn on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

The third instalment in the Metro series, the survival first-person shooter takes place in the post-apocalyptic former Russian Federation.

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Flying under the radar, but no less anticipated, will be Telltale Games’ follow-up for The Wolf Among Us. Initially launched in 2013 across all platforms to high acclaim, the immersive choose-your-own adventure storyline is loosely based on the Fables comic book series, and you play Detective Bigby Wolf as he attempts to find the perpetrator behind a string of crimes.

And with release dates yet to be announced for State of Decay 2, Overkill’s The Walking Dead, Anthem and Darksiders 3, there’s plenty more to come.

WORDS Camille Hogg

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