Uh-oh. I’m doing it again. Writing today for yesterday. Saturday this weekend is essentially a write-off for catching up, too. A lot is going on! Hopefully, Sunday will be a little more settled and not only can I then catch up, but I can get that buffer of writing today for tomorrow as well.

Where I’m not wasting any time, is getting to one of the post-type ideas I revisited yesterday.

Before I get to the upcoming games though… It’s probably worth acknowledging my hit rates on these posts haven’t exactly been stellar. Memory told me that a worryingly large proportion of the games that make these lists turn out turds.

Revisiting the lists again now, fortunately, that doesn’t appear to be true. There certainly have been some (Hi2U, Mr Battlefield 2042), but where my hit rate is actually so abysmal is generally just on the follow-through. Which in retrospect, isn’t exactly shocking to me, but still.

In the 2022 Edition of this post, I only had three games listed. Of the three, I only played one… And actually, that one was a bit of a turd honestly. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide. I was so excited for this one. Vermintide 1, sure, it was a little rough — but it had a lot of promise. Vermintide 2 more than delivered on that promise and had extensive post-launch support, including free expansions/DLCs later in life.

Fatshark had, for me, jumped to a position of trust.

Vermintide 2

So I think the release state of Darktide just hit that much harder. Even if you ignore the technical faults of the frequent crash to desktops, there was no coherent campaign. The ‘story’, such as it was, was a series of new NPCs telling you how little they trusted you and how you needed to ‘get out there and prove yourself’. Heck, they couldn’t even be bothered to finish the game systems before asking for people’s money. But not in a ‘This is early access’ way, no, it was under the guise of a fully launched product.

Just going through and writing that paragraph is making me angry at them all over again — so I’ll leave that there. Perhaps Darktide will be worth a revisit in a year or two. As I said, Vermintide 2 received extensive post-launch support. But I can tell you one thing for sure, I’m not likely to be buying anything from Fatshark at launch again.

Other than Darktide, I had mentioned Spider-Man Remastered (PC) and A Plague Tale: Requiem both being of interest too. I still want to play both of these, I’m just not sure when. I wasn’t free to do so at the time they came out and now they’re running headlong into the backs of other releases.

Spider-Man I have actually bought (and Miles Morales for PC as well), and last I knew Requiem was on the Xbox Game Pass, although it’s entirely possible I’ve missed that window and it has since been removed. I loved its predecessor though, and also played that one well past it’s release. So maybe one day I will actually get to it!

For now though, things I have a high degree of interest in are…

The Games of Interest — Rest of 2023

GameRelease DateGame Function
Remnant II26 JulyMultiplayer
Baldur’s Gate 34 AugustSingleplayer
Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon25 AugustSingleplayer
Starfield6 SeptemberSingleplayer
Payday 322 SeptemberMultiplayer
Cities: Skylines II25 OctoberSingleplayer

Alright, alright. I do know Remnant II is actually already out — I’ve even bought it already. But it’s probably going to be a little while before I get to it.

To explain a little further on what I mean by ‘Game Function’ somewhat — this isn’t always a direct reflection on whether or not a game has multiplayer. An example of this being that in the 2021 edition of this post, I marked Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker as ‘Singleplayer’. If you’re not familiar, FFXIV is an MMO.

But what I mean when I make the SP vs MP demarkation for these lists is whether or not it’s a game that will occupy my ‘alone time’ for gaming, or whether it is something I would play mostly (if not exclusively) in multiplayer sessions with my gaming friend group.

An example of this going in the other direction… sort of… Is the inclusion of Payday 3 here. Personally? I couldn’t really care less about Payday 3. Buuut it is hotly anticipated by two of my friends, and that’s generally enough the pull the rest of us in for a looksee, so here it is!

Remnant II — 26 July

I almost listed this one as both Singleplayer and Multiplayer. I’m pretty keen to get started on this one immediately, thus already purchasing it. I didn’t in the end, because I’d also like to be able to enjoy it for the first time alongside my friends.

Not that I think they would begrudge me having played it already. It’s no secret how much I enjoyed the first one. Annnd, from what I understand, there is even more variation possible between campaign runs now than there was in Remnant: From the Ashes.

If you didn’t play it — let me explain briefly. Not only can the areas themselves be randomly generated, which questlines or bosses you get are randomly selected from a pool of possibilities. One campaign run could, at key points, be very different from another run. Without venturing into spoilers, I will say that I already know what world you start on can vary from campaign run to campaign run in Remnant II. Nutty!

Baldur’s Gate 3 — 4 August

Another one that I was initially tempted to list as both SP and MP. Larian as Larian typically does, has included full campaign co-op in BG3. Having experienced it in Divinity: Original Sin 1 and 2, I can say they do it incredibly well, too.

But these are looooong games. Consistently getting a co-op session together for them from start to finish isn’t exactly a trivial thing, so I think I’ll be sticking to SP only. For the first playthrough at least.

I’ve owned this one through (most of) the early access period, but hadn’t played it too heavily trying to save for this very day. LAUNCH DAY. And I’m now more intrigued than ever to play a game that has other devs saying that, ‘It’s too good — please don’t expect this from other developers, it will break them‘.

… Alright, that was some pretty liberal paraphrasing. But I linked the article for the more nuanced (although supremely less amusing) take on what was actually said.

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon — 25 August

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*

I’m pretty excited for this one. I’ve never played an Armored Core game before, and I have very little idea about what is going on — but I’ve never let that stop me before and really I’m just excited to be here.

TBC whether I end up loving it as much as I do most of From Software’s work, or whether I end up bouncing off it like Sekiro. But I think Armored Core VI is unlikely to share the problem of being just similar enough to cause me issues with the controls. This thing is no doubt going to be quite different, and perhaps against expectation, I think that will make it a bit easier.

If there was one game on this list that I could wish to jump to the launch date of, it would certainly be this one.

Starfield — 6 September

Before the various delays to Starfield’s release dates, it would’ve made last year’s edition of this post.

Bethesda is a company that, of late, can evoke equal parts complaint and adoration. Skyrim still semi-regularly makes it onto my Currently Playing list (albeit in heavily modded form).

I don’t really expect Starfield to be a smooth launch. Open-world games of this nature really are. Add Bethesda magic on top of that, and it’s likely going to be a disaster.

Who knows when it will be really playable… But… Hell, for this one, I’ll probably try it out warts and all day 1 or near-enough to.

Payday 3

This is the first game ever, that I’ve included without a pretty exceptional degree of personal hype and excitement for.

The only reason it hasn’t been stripped from the list entirely is because, also for the first time ever, I didn’t otherwise have a ‘Multiplayer’ game to include in the list.

Having an upcoming MP game that has general hype and excitement in our group is just… normal. It is beyond unusual for us not to. Perhaps it’s a reflection of everything that has happened over the past year, perhaps it’s just simply an oddity of the upcoming releases that I am most excited for, but either way — so far as the friend-group MP game ‘function’ is concerned, this will be the one!

Cities: Skylines 2

Ok, so… You know how for Armored Core 6 I said ‘If there was one game I could skip ahead to the launch date for, it would be that one’? … Well, maybe I was being too hasty.

It might be this one.

The excitement builds with each feature news/video release as the game seems set to blow out even my wildest expectations. Cars will crash in Cities: Skylines 2..!! CRASH I tell you! … OK, sure, I can see perhaps this is a weird thing to get excited about, but in Skylines 1 everyone was a perfect automaton of a driver and there was never an incident.

Well… ‘Perfect’ is a stretch, they certainly did some very stupid things. Like sticking to a single lane of traffic when it was at a standstill, while other lanes remained perfectly empty.

But crashing wasn’t one of those things. And now it can be. Yay! *confetti*


This was posted during Blaugust 2023, the annual blogging event hosted by Belghast. Blaugust is an event aiming to welcome new blogger blood into the fold and revitalise those who’ve been at it a little longer.

The Blaugust Discord is still available to join in, year-round!


Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

8 Comments

Nimgimli · August 5, 2023 at 1:47 am

I’ve finally hit that state of curmudgeon-dom where I’m not really looking forward to much of anything. I still love gaming but I’m finding I love it MORE when I play games that have been out for a while and have the rough edges smoothed out and maybe even some bonus content. Mostly I mean single player games since I don’t really do much multiplayer. For MP titles of course you want to get in when the hype is high and there’s a lot of folks playing.

I am kind of excited for FFXIV to hit the Xbox because I plan to start fresh there and take advantage of the generous “free trial”. (I have it on PS5 but there’s no convenient way to create a new account and once you’ve been subscribed you can’t go back to free trial status.)

I actually thought of you the other day when I started playing Redfall :) It’s better than it was, though that’s not saying too much. But they cranked up the encounter rate so at least now you have more stuff to shoot at.

    Naithin · August 5, 2023 at 10:35 pm

    Hah, Redfall. I hope you manage to still have some fun with it then!

    In terms of favouring games that’ve been out a bit longer — I get that. With the recent batch of Day 1 (or there abouts) games I’ve been interested in having released in such shonky states if I wasn’t such a sucker for the new and the shiny I’d be the same way.

    Even with my natural proclivity to treat games as a magpie does shiny objects, I go through patches of feeling a similar level of curmudgeon-dom, and with the life changes coming ahead, may really have less choice in the matter soon anyway!

    More on that in next post though.

Rakuno · August 5, 2023 at 6:27 am

Like Nimgimli I too find myself not really looking forward to much of anything nowadays. Not because of any expectation of rough edges that will be fixed later as much as that I already have so many games to play and regret not doing so already. So I end up thinking “Well, that game is cool but will I really play it during release?” The answer is often no, so I just stick them to my Wishlist and buy it whenever I feel the itch to play that kind of game or there is a really good discount.

That said, I am looking forward to Engarde! It is a pretty fun game I got to try the demo during the last Steam Next Fest and I just loved the gameplay and sense of humor.

Possibly Armored Core VI too since I am a sucker for giant robots and this is a genre I feel is horribly unexplored in video-games. So I got to do my proper duty of supporting it. It is not because I want to cause lots of destruction and mayhem in a giant walking heap of metal, no, siree! XD

    Naithin · August 5, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    I mean, pfft, who would want to stomp around in a giant robot anyway, eh?

    But yeah, I definitely feel the pull from older games that I left unfinished more and more as time goes by.

    Still got Persona 5 to jump back and finish at some point too. Got a lot further since starting again with the PC version than I ever did on PS4, but still a lot further to go!

Jaedia · August 5, 2023 at 7:14 am

Damn, I hadn’t heard the way other devs were talking about Baldur’s Gate 3 but… fair. What I did play of it in Early Access was very good. I just didn’t want to play too much back then because it kept being wiped and didn’t have everything included yet. Not quite ready to dive in right now but glad I can when I am!

    Naithin · August 5, 2023 at 10:43 pm

    Yep, I’m in the exact same place with BG3 as you. I played perhaps 2-3 hours over the early access, and that was it.

    I loved what I played, but didn’t want to ‘ruin’ it for release either.

    And now…

    Not quite sure when to play it. xD

Frostilyte · August 8, 2023 at 9:55 am

The more I keep hearing, or reading about Remnant 2, the more I want to try it. I’m not super big on third person shooting, but it seems like everything else about it should fit squarely in my wheelhouse. I dunno – maybe it’ll be an impulse buy later in the year if I see a price I can’t refuse.

It’s also quite impressive that you managed to play through either Divinity game fully in co-op. I have a couple of friends who did, and it took them months of scheduled weekly sessions to do so. I think I’d have gone completely batty were I not able to go through it, cover to cover, in the span of 2 weeks.

    Naithin · August 8, 2023 at 7:38 pm

    Particularly if you’re likely to be playing Remnant 2 solo, I would say probably a good idea to wait for a sale. (Noting, I still haven’t actually loaded the thing myself yet!)

    re: Divinity 1 and 2, yep — it would’ve driven my absolutely batty except for the fact also had a separate SP save. We weren’t aiming to just experience it all for the first time in MP, but did try here and there to make different decisions from our SP campaigns and see how those worked out. :)

Comments are closed.