2019 has arrived, and with it comes an assortment of gaming goodness to look forward to in the next 12 months. Microsoft’s exclusive offerings are thin on the ground right now, but the company has been buying up development studios left and right in anticipation of the Xbox Two, or whatever it ends up being called.
Dying Light 2
Release Date: 2019
Techland returns with a sequel to its critically acclaimed survival title, and this time its ambition is more impressive than ever. Dying Light 2 is set across yet another massive city, where you must content with the shambling undead and aggressive humans who threaten you and your friends’ way of life.
The player will need to make critical decisions throughout the story, deciding who lives and who dies while also managing resources that are spread throughout the city. The Day/Night cycle from the original returns, changing how enemies behave once the sun goes down.
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Release Date: TBA
After the runaway success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, expectations are absurdly high for the studio’s next effort. Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world RPG set in Night City, a sprawling metropolis filled with corrupt thugs, warring factions and thousands of unique things to uncover.
Having recently caught a glimpse of 48 minutes of gameplay, it looks stunning. Exploring vast, detailed environments as a fearless cyberpunk operative on the hunt for dangerous criminals and twisted organisations looks thrilling, and it’s all played from a first-person perspective.
Read our full Cyberpunk 2077 preview
Developer: 343 Industries
Release Date: TBA
We’ve yet to see a conclusion to The Reclaimer Trilogy that began with Halo 4 way back in 2012, and with Halo Infinite taking the place of Halo 6, this is the next chapter in Master Chief’s journey.
There’s very little information out there regarding Halo Infinite beyond the gorgeous reveal trailer, although we imagine it will once again focus on storytelling, multiplayer and absurdly tight first-person shooting.
Release Date: 2019
Developer: Crea-ture Studios
No, it’s not Skate 4, but Session, successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2017, promises to be the next best thing. Marc-Andre Houde of developer creā-ture Studios is a skater himself and served as a reference throughout.
Session is interesting both for the team’s obvious love for skate culture and their desire to keep it simple. The control scheme, using the left stick for the left foot and the right stick for the right foot promises to be intuitive enough to lead to cool tricks quickly, even for newcomers to the skateboarding genre.
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The Artful Escape
Release Date: 2019
Developer: Beethoven and Dinosaur
A colourful platformer with great music, The Artful Escape, previously known as The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti, will have fans of games with a strong visual identity and unique story perk up immediately.
The story focuses on Francis Vendetti, cousin to a beloved folk musician. As Francis’ very first stage performance grows near, he decides to go on a journey to find out what music really means to him.
Music is also a gameplay element in The Artful Escape. Using Francis’ guitar, you will be able to create platforms and fight enemies. Not many non-rhythm games focus in music in this way, and it will be interesting to see how The Artful Escape delivers on its vision.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Release Date: February 11, 2020
Developer: Moon Studios
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of those games people are unanimously looking forward to, since it likely means more of the same good stuff that made Ori and the Blind Forest so popular.
This year’s E3 trailer showed off Ori’s many different platforming abilities as well as some terrifying monsters. Ori’s home, the Forest of Nibel, seems to be in great danger, making The Will of the Wisps appear quite a bit darker than its predecessor.
Related: Best PS4 Games
Release Date: TBA
Rare is tight-lipped about Battletoads, a new game, rather than a reboot, following in the footsteps of the notoriously difficult NES platformer.
The teaser trailer suggests Rare have no intention of making things any easier for players. Apart from that, all we know is that it’ll feature couch co-op for up to three players and mix of side-scrolling, fighting and platforming, as suggested by the phrase “body morphing genre mashups”.
Best Battletoads Pre-order Deals
Base wins by default here (good luck finding a pre-order page anywhere else) but with a saving £10 to be had, there's still plenty to be happy about.
Release Date: 2018/2019
Since 2016, developers Rebecca Cordingley and Ben Wasser have documented every step of their journey to create Ooblets, a game that’s like a hug in these often trying times. Cordingley’s colourful design already gives you a very good idea of the tone of Obblets, but it’s the many different elements that come together which make it truly intriguing.
You will be able to manage your own farm and become a member of a small community, not unlike Stardew Valley. Additionally, you’ll collect the eponymous ooblets, small magical creatures found all across the land of Oob. You can raise and train your ooblets to use in…dance battles against their own kind.
If Ooblets manages to balance its diverse influences we expect it to be our go-to retreat from the world at large and are fully prepared for it to be very addictive.
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Developer: Infinity Ward
Release Date: October 25, 2019
Infinity Ward is returning to the well that helped redefine first-person shooters in the modern era with 2019’s reimagining of the 2007 classic. The studio is aiming for a gritty, realistic experience that aims to shock and provide the player with spectacle in equal measure. It’s a delicate balancing act, and here’s hoping they get it right.
Unlike last year’s Black Ops 4, Modern Warfare will feature a fully-fledged solo campaign alongside dedicated multiplayer and an all-new co-operative mode. What the latter will entail remains unclear, although we’re hoping for the return of Special Ops. It wouldn’t be Modern Warfare without it, and Zombies has grown tiresome in recent iterations.
Watch Dogs Legion
Release Date: March 6, 2020
If you’re tired of hearing about Brexit all the time, we’ve got some bad news for you. Watch Dogs Legion takes us to a futuristic vision of London where the referendum has transformed the British capital into a dystopian hellscape dominated by emergent fascists and bleak authoritarian regime.
Legion allows you to take control of any and all characters across the open-world recruiting them to DedSec as a supporter of the resistance. Each operative will have distinctive perks, occupying one of three classes you can customise. However, lose them in battle and they’re gone forever. This sounds like a wonderful spin on the Watch Dogs formula, and we can’t wait to play more of it.
Read our full Watch Dogs Legion preview
Release Date: November 22, 2019
Developer: id Software
After the explosive 2016 reboot, DOOM is on a resurgence nobody could’ve expected after such a long absence. Fighting hordes of demons as they spawned from the depths of hell as The Marine was bloody, satisfying and simply felt fantastic to play.
Now, we’re set to receive a sequel with DOOM Eternal. Just like the original DOOM 2, it’s Hell on Earth and your enemies leave the scorching surface of Mars in favour of our lovely little planet. Civilisation hasn’t taken too kindly to our new guests, so it’s time to kick some butt!
Read our full DOOM Eternal preview
What Xbox One games are you excited for in 2019? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.