Exciting Games Coming Next Gen | Op-Ed

Exciting Games Coming Next Gen | Op-Ed

With the next generation of consoles just around the corner, and details coming in thick and fast surrounding the Xbox Scarlett, and the Playstation 5, I thought it’d be fun to speculate on some of the most exciting games that will be gracing our screens come next generation. From huge open worlds, returns to beloved franchises of the past, to brand new IPs and beyond, this list is here to whet your appetite for what is coming next-gen. So without further ado, let’s get into some of the most exciting games (we assume) are coming in the next console generation.

10. Rocksteady’s Next Big Game

It’s been 4 years since Rocksteady Studios released the latest Batman game, Arkham Knight, and each E3, excited gamers are suitably let down when the British studio doesn’t make an appearance to announce something new. From previous rumors that were shot down regarding their next title being a Superman game to ongoing rumors regarding other DC heroes and villains, like Justice League and Suicide Squad, speculation over this highly regarded studio runs rampant throughout social media and the gaming industry.

 Before the release of their latest title, the developers at Rocksteady had stated that Arkham Knight was the end of the line for their Batman games, and as far as the public is aware, this is indeed the case. Further rumors surround a continuation of the Batman gaming franchise from Warner Bros Montreal studio, who brought us the prequel, Arkham Origins, and are apparently working on a Batman Court of Owls game potentially for release in the next year or two.

 But this leaves us with Rocksteady, who you can only assume are working on something massive, and at this point, no matter what the license – although we can assume it’s DC Comics related – it will likely release on Next-Gen consoles. With the successor to the Xbox One being officially announced for Holiday 2020, it’s unlikely that Rocksteady has a blockbuster game ready to both announce and release before the release of the next generation of consoles. Whether it’s their own take on Suicide Squad, or another take on the Batman series, something like Batman by Gaslight, this the studio could be integral in making the launch window lineup for the next-gen Playstation and Xbox console an exciting one for sure.

9. Starfield - Bethesda Game Studios

At E3 2018, Todd Howard did something that Bethesda Game Studios rarely does, and announced new games that were a long way out from completed development, by showing us a teaser for both Elder Scrolls 6, and the company’s first new IP in 25 years, Starfield, and the latter is what we’ll be focusing on in this video. We all know that another Elder Scrolls game to follow up 2011’s Skyrim is coming, and this I think was of little surprise, but the reveal of Starfield showed that many leaks over years prior had actually been correct. When they announced these games, Todd spoke about them briefly, stating that the Elder Scrolls sequel was only in very minor pre-production, but Starfield would be their next big single-player RPG.

 Still potentially years away, it seems now with the announcement of Xbox Scarlett and the next generation of Playstation consoles seemingly just around the corner in 2020, Starfield will most likely be a next generation game. As much as Bethesda Game Studios has lost some of its usual high levels of public opinion since Fallout 4’s tepid release, and then the much-maligned Fallout 76 which took a huge step back fo the studio, Starfield will hopefully be a true return to form for the once-lauded studio who have brought us brilliant titles such as Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim and Fallout 3.

 We can only hope that the studio puts their all into this title, because if Starfield is a failure for the studio, or doesn’t return to their single-player roots, Bethesda Game Studios could be in serious trouble, especially with Obsidian Entertainment also delivering a sci-fi RPG adventure in The Outer Worlds, and seemingly looking to follow this game up in the next generation with a sequel of their own, backed by the financial security of Xbox Game Studios. At this point, a 2021 release date could be a possibility for Starfield, but we’ll have to wait to see what Todd Howard and the teams at BGS are cooking up for their own science fiction story.

8. Halo Infinite - 343 Industries

Halo hasn’t been an Xbox launch title since its inception alongside the release of the original Xbox console, but it is now confirmed that the next installment of this beloved franchise will be launching alongside the Xbox Scarlett in Holiday 2020, and is also the first game from either platform holder to be officially announced as a next-gen title. Halo Infinite looks set to return to a more classic Halo art-style, and will return the Master Chief to explore a decimated Halo in deep space. We’ve seen two trailers so far, with the first being more of a tech demo to demonstrate the hard work of the team at 343 Industries in developing the Slipspace Engine which will power the Halo series moving forward, and the latter from this year’s E3 event apparently being the opening scene of the game itself.

 Gorgeous lighting and incredible detail in textures and animations show a minor tease at what the next generation of Xbox consoles can achieve, but the story, gameplay, and game-modes are all being kept under wraps at least for now. Rumors of a more open-ended gameplay style for the campaign have been swirling among industry insiders, but it’s yet to be seen how 343 will tackle the game world and satiate Halo fans. We can assume the multiplayer will be a huge focus as always, with slick combat, classic weaponry, and gorgeously designed maps, but the story of Halo Infinite will need to right the wrongs that Halo 5 Guardians created. Many, myself included, were let down by the story of Guardians, but the gameplay was brilliant, as well as the multiplayer, and the incredibly enjoyable Warzone and Warzone Firefight modes to boot.

 343 seems to be working tremendously hard to win back to love of the passionate Halo community, especially with their work on the Master Chief Collection, with Halo Reach soon to launch on both Xbox Consoles and on PC for the first time. They’ve taken fan feedback into their next game as well, so it looks set to be a huge return to form for the Halo series and one that could potentially be an Xbox system seller when Scarlett drops next year. 

7. Ghostwire Tokyo - Tango GameWorks

Teased at this year’s E3 by fan-favorite Akumi Nakamura and legendary developer Shinji Mikami, Ghostwire Tokyo is the latest game to come from Tango Gameworks, the team who brought us The Evil Within 1 & 2. The cinematic teaser shown at E3 2019 gave us very little information to work with, but showed a spooky, seemingly modern-day Tokyo being struck by a rapture-like even, that causes everyone to disappear. Oni masked characters, gorgeously rendered ramen and a bow-wielding protagonist, as well as mind-melting visuals were all on parade during the game’s teaser trailer, but we know little aside from the fact that this game will be an action thriller rather than a survival horror game like Tango’s previous titles.

 At this point, without a word or even a release year, it seems pretty likely that Ghostwire Tokyo will be a next-generation title, and very well could be a launch window game for both of the new consoles. With extra power under the hood of the PS5 and Scarlett, the gorgeous visuals of the teaser could well be realized in the final game, but it will probably be a while until we see more of this game. Bethesda Softworks is the publishing giants behind Ghostwire and assumedly will show the game off more at E3 2020, where hopefully we get more of an idea of what this game actually entails.

6. Elden Ring - From Software

Although it was leaked ahead of its big announcement at Microsoft’s Press Briefing at E3 this year as well, Elden Ring was still an exciting announcement from beloved developers From Software, headed up by Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki, with consultation from Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin. Rumour has it Elden Ring will take place in a Nordic-themed open world, where the player character can ride a horse and will be tasked in taking down several kings and take their power.

 We can only assume, with the success of the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne and now Sekiro, that Elden Ring will be souls-like at its core, with crushing difficulty and tons of hardcore bosses to battle. However, it’s yet to be known exactly how this will play out in an open world. Will From Software change up their gameplay style to cater to the change to open-world game design? Will deep RPG mechanics return to the fray after the more simplified upgrade systems of Sekiro? Although there are hopes and rumors that Sekiro will get some DLC within the next year, From Software have a history of releasing games in quick succession, with Dark Souls 2, Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 releasing in successive years from 2014-2016, so Elden Ring isn’t necessarily confirmed for next-generation release. But if Sekiro does receive the DLC treatment, hopefully focusing on a deeper insight into Tomoe, Elden Ring could also be released early 2021 to coincide with the launch window of the next generation of consoles. From Software seem to usually release their games in the first quarter of the year, so Elden Ring could be a huge release only a few months after the holiday release of Scarlett. With such prestigious names behind the game, and hopefully an incredibly deep world co-developed with George R. R. Martin, Elden Ring looks set to be an amazing title.

5. Ghost of Tsushima - Sucker Punch

Since its showing at E3 2018 at Sony’s press conference, we’ve seen very little of Sucker Punch’s brand new IP, Ghost of Tsushima. But this game looks set to be a beautifully crafted, realistic depiction of feudal Japan. The game’s trailer featured some stellar gameplay with beautifully created swordplay, stealth, and even one-on-one duels which look to have considerable cinematic appeal, as well as a gorgeous color palette and a huge open world. But even though we got a good chunk of gameplay and world-building with this trailer, Sucker Punch has since been very quiet about showing anything about their latest title.

 We still have over a year to go with this generation of consoles, and considering Sony have been very quiet in regards to their first-party titles, as well as coy with an announcement of a PS5 release window, Ghost of Tsushima could very well be the final swan song within the PS4 lineup, after Death Stranding releases in November, and Last of Us Part II potentially releasing in the first half of 2020, this game could very well be the major fall release for Sony’s current console.

 However, if this title is as ambitious as its trailer seemed to be, Sucker Punch may be working tirelessly to bring this game, perhaps, to both generations of consoles, like we’ve seen before, with a more highly polished and better-performing game on the next-gen machine. But, another possible outcome is that Ghost of Tsushima is a launch title for the PS5, in the same way, that the studio’s Infamous Second Son was for the PS4. It would be a strong title out the gate for the American developers, and one that could potentially attract a lot of players to Sony’s new device.

4. God of War 2 - Santa Monica Studio

God of War made such an impressive showing when it released in 2018, garnering almost universal praise from players and critics, and earning itself Game of the Year at the Game Awards in 2018, so the development of God of War 2, or whatever it may be called, is definitely in the works. Creative director Cory Barlog has already stated that work has begun and that he has multiple follow-up games’ stories already mapped out in his head and on paper, but a sequel to last year’s biggest hit may be many years away.

 Assumedly, God of War 2 will continue the story of Kratos and Artreus in the already developed Norse world, and the ending of 2018’s game gave a huge tease about what is yet to come, both in potential antagonists, as well as for the main characters’ arcs as well. The development of God of War took an incredibly long time, with Santa Monica Studio developing a new engine and having to create the entire world and story from literally nothing, so it would seem that the foundations have been laid for future projects to be created in possibly a shorter time, but I for one would give Cory and the team as much time as they may need to create another beautiful game to follow up from their previous masterpiece. 

3. Fable 4 - Playground Games

Rumors have been circling for years now about what is set to happen to the much-beloved Fable franchise, and Phil Spencer teased fans around the globe when he spoke about Forza Horizon developers Playground Games working on another game, but outside of their normal driving pedigree, which would be an open-world title. There are rumblings that Playground, now owned as a first-party by Microsoft in their Xbox Game Studios lineup, have a specifically RPG-focused studio working on a brand new installment of the Fable franchise.

 Playground is one of my favorite developers right now, as they’ve not skipped a beat with the Forza Horizon series, and their attention to detail, ability to create incredibly beautiful open worlds, and pedigree makes a Fable sequel after all these years from this team a very exciting prospect. With Halo releasing as a launch title for Scarlett, and with no mention as of yet of a Fable game in concrete, E3 2020 looks like the place that we’ll finally see a tease of what could be a huge boon for Xbox Game Studios and a possible system seller for those on the fence with Microsoft’s console.

 Hopefully Playground is given the resources to make this a huge hit, and hopefully, the series sticks to its roots of player choice, with the ability to choose a light or dark path and affect the world around them with their decisions. Personally, I’m super excited about the prospect of one of my favorite current dev teams working on a license like Fable, and this could be something that makes a huge impact on the industry if it does its predecessors justice. 

2. Perfect Dark - Rare/Xbox Game Studios

Alright..now I’m getting into the territory of wishlists and this title may or may not even exist or ever exist, just to set the right expectation. But a franchise that could really make a splash in the next generation of Xbox consoles would be Perfect Dark. The original game was a smash hit on the Nintendo 64, with interesting gameplay and missions complemented by a multiplayer game mode that, in my opinion, surpassed that of the incredible Goldeneye. Rare are hard at work currently implementing ongoing changes to Sea of Thieves, but in the future could return to their once-beloved franchise to be a blockbuster title for Xbox Scarlett.

 A dream scenario for me would be an immersive-sim-like shooter in the vein of Deus Ex or Dishonored, with a customizable and upgradable Joanna Dark taking on deep missions with an exciting toolset of weapons and gadgets. Bring back weapons like the laptop gun and the Farsight to really scratch the itch of lovers of the original game, and give us another multiplayer suite that could rival that of Halo or Gears in the Xbox Game Studios lineup.

 With Halo releasing in 2020, and possibly Fable in 2021, a 2022 fall release of a Perfect Dark reboot would be massive for Xbox Game Studios to keep the blockbuster releases rolling out over time. As I said, there is no concrete information that this is even in the pipeline, but I’d love to see this game make a comeback for next-gen

1. The Next Witcher - CD Projekt Red

Although CD Projekt Red is deep in development with what could well be the most ambitious game of the current generation in Cyberpunk 2077, as a follow up to the highly acclaimed and beloved Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, talk has never stopped within the gaming industry about another game in The Witcher series. The Witcher 3 wrapped up the trilogy of games focusing on Geralt of Rivia pretty tightly, especially after completing the huge expansion Blood & Wine and the CDPR devs have made it clear time and time again that Geralt’s story is done. However, with such a popular franchise in their hands, with Witcher 3 selling over 25 million units across PC, Xbox One and PS4, and later this year releasing on Switch in one of the most ambitious Switch ports yet, people love this franchise and the developers would be crazy not to expand on it further.

 CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kicinski stated all the way back in 2015 that although it’s too early to talk about another Witcher game, it would be crazy to forget about this hugely successful franchise, but despite this Cyberpunk 2077 is obviously their main focus moving forward for the foreseeable future. But if another Witcher game was to release on next-generation devices, what would it look like? Would it be set in the world of the Witcher but with more choice of class, like sorceresses, Witchers, or even higher vampires, or would it put you in the shoes of another Witcher, but perhaps even years before Geralt’s existence. A Witcher prequel of sorts dating back to the Conjunction of Spheres, or even branching out into the different Witcher schools, rather than specifically the School of the Wolf who Geralt represents would allow for a cool, Dragon Age Origins-like origin story at the beginning of the game, and could affect how the public and other Witchers perceive your character.

 A customizable character more akin to traditional RPGs would allow the player to have more choice over who they are in the story, rather than laser focusing on an already known character in The Witcher series, and if they went back into the past there are boatloads of lore to expand upon from Andrej Sapkovski’s books, as well as the previous Witcher games as well.

 This again is all speculation, but it would be incredible to see what CDPR are able to do with the next generation of consoles after they’ve blown audiences away with what they achieved with the Witcher 3 in 2015. For now, though, we’ll have to immerse ourselves deeply into the Cyberpunk world when it releases next year, and you could imagine this game making its way to next-generation consoles as well in a definitive edition of sorts. 

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Direckt Gaming

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