With next-generation consoles rumored to release later next year, some might refrain from looking forward to current-generation releases this year. However, there are some highly anticipated sequels and new titles set to release in 2019 — potentially the last big releases of this generation’s consoles.
“Gears 5” and “Halo Infinite” are the most anticipated of the Xbox One exclusive titles. Both follow rather disappointing titles unable to live up to the standards of their predecessors, “Gears of War 4” and “Halo 5: Guardians.” Fans of both franchises are wary of these 2019 releases. There is very little known about the direction “Halo Infinite” will be taking, but news of a new game engine by the name of Slipspace, as well as the return of Master Chief as the main character of the story, there may be hope yet.
“Gears 5” looks to bring a familiar feel with a splash of colour as opposed to the greyish and gritty look the series has gone for before. The new addition also features a female lead, something “Gears of War” hasn’t attempted before. Although 343 Industries is a shadow of its former self and the third person cover-based shooter format of “Gear of War” hasn’t had much success in the past few years, these long awaited sequels look hopeful.
“Ghost of Tsushima”
The two most anticipated Playstation 4 releases have had recent setbacks in development, but so far rumors are that both “Ghost of Tsushima” and “The Last of Us Part II” will be released late 2019 or early 2020. Ghost of Tsushima takes place in a war-torn Japan where the player takes control of one of the last surviving samurai. Not only are the graphics absolutely brutal and stunning, but the gameplay is very reminiscent of a mixture of “For Honor” and “Bloodborne.” However, creative director Nate Fox has said that it won’t be as difficult as “Bloodborne” and the rest of the “Dark Souls” series.
“The Last of Us Part II”
“The Last of Us Part II” has been highly sought after since the first games release in 2013. This post-apocalyptic zombie story of the bond between Joel, a father who lost her daughter in the outbreak, and Ellie, a little girl who could be immune, will pick up five years after the ending of the prior game. The original pushed the Playstation 3 to the limits and the new one seems to be no different, containing surreal graphics and gameplay. This being said, fans are worried the gameplay seems too cinematic and choreographed which either means that the given footage isn’t a proper depiction of game mechanics or “The Last of Us Part II” may be the most dynamic game the Playstation 4 has ever seen.
“The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening”
The Nintendo Switch has surprisingly had some of the best games the industry has seen so far. The remake of the Game Boy classic “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” and “Pokemon Sword and Shield” are both confirmed to be released in 2019. “Link’s Awakening” originally came out in 1993 and is one of the best games to be released on the Game Boy, but it is outdated graphically. The remake looks to update the game both the graphics and perspective, getting rid of the top-down look for more of a 3D one. The game naturally looks more animated but the biggest change is the tone derived from the look of the game. The original “Link’s Awakening” had its charm but was also darker while the remake is extremely adorable and cartoony. It is disappointing that this is Nintendo’s next step, especially since “Breath of the Wild” was incredibly innovative, but fans still look forward to seeing their childhood comeback with a facelift.
“Pokemon Sword and Shield”
“Pokemon Sword and Shield” are coming to the Nintendo Switch in classic Pokemon form. Naturally the two games will feature similar gameplay with slight differences in Pokemon options and story. With familiar gameplay to prior Pokemon games, the biggest change for the new generation is the beautiful and expansive Galar region and the third-person style from Pokemon Sun and Moon with beautiful graphics.
Regardless of console choice, there are a lot of editions to the gaming industry that push the graphical capacities of their respective consoles, contain innovative gameplay mechanics, and follow up the legacy of longstanding franchises.