Coming Games of Interest — Blaugust 2023 Edition
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.
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
|Baldur’s Gate 3
|Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
|Cities: Skylines II
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.
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*