With 2018 almost over, game developers are running out of time to release the year’s next big hit. But there’s still hope — an end of year release could bloom into next year’s smash hit to ring in 2019. As a gaming enthusiast and consultant, I have been eagerly awaiting releases from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo slated for December 2018.
2018 was a whirlwind for the gaming world. Celebrity gamers were born from the Twitch craze, with the ever popular 2017 release, Fortnite: Battle Royale, at the epicenter of the sensationalism. Gamers watched as the game zipped to the top of the popularity charts the year after its release. Non-gamers watched as the cartoony shooter-survival game burst into popular culture, with references to emotes, dances and more thriving outside of the game world. In a lot of ways, the somewhat delayed popularity of the release cast a shadow on 2018’s newer releases. With 2018 nearing its end, Fortnite has all but demolished the notoriety of the previously more popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).
But what will come of the new year? Will we greet exhilarating new action-packed successes, or will Fortnite not let up on its shadow casting? Only time will tell. The projected game release lineups from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have me hopeful that we will see a glimmer of creativity in 2019. Mark your calendars for these titles debuting in December 2018:
- Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden (PS4, PC, Xbox One)
Slated for a December 4th release, this tactical action-adventure is set to a post-apocalyptic backdrop. Gamers have greeted this theme with great praise in the Fallout franchise. But Funcom’s Mutant Year Zero release brings something fresh and new to the dusty, zombie-gook-coated table of apocalypse adventure games. Inspired by old-style table-top role playing games, Mutant Year Zero intertwines old school strategy and tactic-focused gameplay with gorgeous new age graphics. Layout is refreshing for the genre, as well; players will view their characters from an all-seeing aerial camera angle.
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)
On December 7th, Nintendo gifts old-head gamers with a Super Smash Bros. classic. All your favorite characters are back for action-packed fun sure to tickle your nostalgia bone. Well, unless Waluigi is your favorite character… in which case, Nintendo is sorry to say that the lovable villain will not be joining the party. Still, the release is something to look forward to if you’re a fan of classic Nintendo games. The graphics alone represent how far the series has come, having lived (and thrived) through the boxy beginnings of Nintendo’s early designs. Gameplay previews lead gamers to believe that the modern installment has the potential to keep up with other similar 2018 releases. Mario and his friends just won’t fade into the abyss of irrelevance — and fanboys and fangirls are more than okay with that!
- Insurgency: Sandstorm (PC)
Fans of first person shooters will want to dive into the excitement-packed sequel to Insurgency. The style and execution of the gameplay breathe life back into the FPS genre, picking up the slack for less than stellar Call of Duty releases of late. Crisp detail and fluid tactical gameplay make this December 12th release something satisfying to look forward to. Originally proposed for PC-only, the game is now rumored to be released on other platforms, such as PS4 and Xbox One. Gamers lucky enough to dabble with the Beta version of the game have fawned over even the earliest developments. Reviewers are even going as far as to deem Insurgency’s sequel as better than the Call of Duty and Battlefield series. Try it for yourself and be your own judge — you’ll probably wind up hooked on this tactical, multiplayer first person shooter in a heartbeat.
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