It's another year, and seemingly we're on the eve of the next console generation. Rumors are swirling about, and will only spiral more viciously in the tornado of 2019. Looking ahead to the rest of the year of what's been confirmed, it's looking shockingly bare past May. We have Rage 2 in May, but beyond, there isn't much else on the level of, say, God of War or Red Dead Redemption 2.
Both 2017 and 2018 were huge years for this console generation. 2019, in comparison, already feels like a slower year. We're not getting many huge marquee titles; and the big ones—Kingdom Hearts 3, Anthem, Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry 5—are all stuffed into the first stretch of this year. Past 2019, we know there are dozens of games already in development. A new Shin Megami Tensei for Nintendo Switch teases us; Dying Light 2, now with Chris Avellone as narrative designer, got a huge reveal at E3 last year.
But those games, and many others, are unlikely to see release in 2019. That's because in all probability, a lot of the big budget in-development games are possibly being prepped for the next generation too; cross-releasing as Breath of the Wild did on Switch and Wii U, or as even the long-delayed Persona 5 did on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The following games you may think you'll finally see in 2019, but in all likelihood, you have at least another year to wait. Sorry! Think of it like this: that just means they'll (hopefully) be extra-extra good.
Beyond Good and Evil 2
Beyond Good and Evil 2 was famously re-revealed at E3 2017, though it's come a long way from the original teaser that aired nearly a decade prior. Despite the big number two, it's actually a prequel; and despite director Michel Ancel's insistence that the open-world (or perhaps, open-universe) multiplayer game takes place "before the birth of Jade," the first game's heroine, she appeared in last year's new cinematic trailer.
When Beyond Good and Evil 2 was first revealed, it hardly had more than a cinematic teaser. When our own Mike Williams saw a behind closed doors demo, he noted that it was basically just a tech demo. It's an ambitious project unlike its predecessor in almost every way, with many planets to explore with vast cities. Last year, Ubisoft also revealed that fans can contribute art that may potentially be compensated and put into the game through HitRecord. Given the most recent gameplay video in late 2018, I'd be shocked if it were even ready for 2020.
In our Most Anticipated Games of 2019 list, perhaps the most common cry heard 'round the comments was the lack of Cyberpunk 2077. "Where is it???," many asked. Well… It's pretty unlikely that we'll see it in 2019, as much as CD Projekt Red has insisted that it is for current generation consoles and not next-gen as its bonkers gameplay demo made it seem. Cyberpunk 2077 is the follow-up project to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which is commonly mentioned as one of the best games of this generation. Will Cyberpunk 2077 knock it out of place this generation? With ambition as big as CD Projekt Red, it's definitely a possibility.
Dead Island 2
I bet you forgot this game existed! Don't worry, I did too. Apparently back in 2018, publishers Deep Silver affirmed that it remains in quiet development despite being announced five years ago. The zombie-stuffed survival-horror action-RPG was originally gearing up for a 2015 release. In 2016, it switched developers and is now under Sumo Digital, and has been moving along ever since. And Dead Island 2 has that working in its favor: when we see it next, no one will see it coming.
Death Stranding, oh Death Stranding. How the world wants thee, even if we don't even really know what it is. The mail delivery simulation starring Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, and more is still something of a mystery. Despite a number of lengthy trailers under its belt, including its first gameplay look last year, the story and primary action of Death Stranding is still unknown. That said, we've known about Death Stranding for so long that it might be second nature to anticipate its release this year. But with perfectionist Hideo Kojima helming it, I imagine we have at least another year to wait to see whatever those incubating babies are up to.
Elder Scrolls 6
Contrary to what an analyst may say, there is no way that we're getting a new Elder Scrolls this year. The trailer above was pretty much slapped together just to calm down fans were probably mad about that Elder Scrolls mobile game (which is actually coming out this year). Besides, isn't Elder Scrolls Online fun enough to tide you over into the long-awaited follow-up to Skyrim?
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
In December, Final Fantasy 7 remake producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Tetsuya Nomura both hinted that 2019 would be a big year for the project. Considering its long and rough development cycle—including the fact that Nomura didn't even know he was the director of the project early on—it's doubtful that we'll see Final Fantasy 7 in the new year. It is likely, however, that we'll see more of it. We know that it's going to be episodic in the way the Final Fantasy 13 trilogy was, so could we get a glimpse of the Midgar-stuffed first part? Maybe something beyond that, as all we've seen of it so far has been in the steamy city. The only thing that's certain is that with Kingdom Hearts 3 winding down this month and finally releasing, Nomura can finally focus his attention on one single project: bringing Cloud to HD, baby.
Ghost of Tsushima
Ever since the launch window title Infamous Second Son, the goings on at once-Sly Cooper creators Sucker Punk was a mystery. That all changed in late 2017 though, when Ghost of Tsushima was revealed with a cinematic teaser. At E3 2018, Ghost of Tsushima got more spotlight during Sony's bizarre E3 2018 presentation. In 2019, Sony's skipping E3 altogether, however, after it had already skipped PlayStation Experience in late 2018. Speculation directly points to the end of the console generation: With developers pivoting to whatever PlayStation 5 will be and other projects being seemingly far off, what's the point on focusing on the PS4 when there's already a stacked library of exclusives and third-party greats? Ghost of Tsushima, given how little we've seen of it so far, has us thinking it might be another cross-generation surprise for next-gen.
The Last of Us Part 2
The Last of Us Part 2 is a sequel in-development over at Naughty Dog, and while it's an obvious internal exclusive from Sony, as time slips by we wonder if it will stealthily be a cross-gen game (even if its recent gameplay demo was captured on a PlayStation 4 Pro). Its predecessor The Last of Us is widely regarded as one of the best games on the PlayStation 3, if not the best game on PlayStation 3. After the success of Uncharted 4, players all around are dying to hear that distinct Clicker again. It's just probably more likely a 2020 release.
Metroid Prime 4
Nintendo's favorite thing to do is make a big show of a game, and then release it within 12 months. With the Switch, that has changed—albeit slightly. We've known a Pokemon RPG was en route for some time, but we don't even know its name still. We got a short tease for Bayonetta 3 at last year's Game Awards, which followed the announcement of Bayonetta 1 and 2 ports for the Switch. Perhaps the most exciting Nintendo game news of the past couple years though is of a long-ignored heroine: Samus' grand return in Metroid Prime 4. All we got was a title card and the name, and nothing more.
For that, and the knowledge that in 2019 we're getting a new Fire Emblem, a new Pokemon, and a new Animal Crossing, we're due for a fourth big Nintendo property to round out the year of Switch exclusives. When I think back on how non-flashy that title card is, something tells me we still have a ways to go until Metroid Prime 4.
I mean, at least we're getting that weird Star Citizen single-player campaign Squadron 42 with every actor under the sun (from video game regular Mark Hamill to Gary Oldman). As for Star Citizen proper? I think that game is due for release in 2050, when the Earth will already be dead because of global warming.