The best days of gaming are still ahead. If you need evidence of that, look no further than some of the most hotly anticipated releases. Over the next year or so, gamers can look forward to entries, in every genre, that promise action, adventure, romance, imagination, excitement and awe. Though there are dozens of promising games in the pipeline, the Tom's Guide staff has chosen a handful that stand out above the rest. Regardless of whether these games live up to their hype, they've done a great job of holding our attention until they come out.
Psychological horror meets high-concept sci-fi in Prey, a PC/PS4/Xbox One first-person shooter from Arkane, the studio behind the Dishonored series. Players take the role of Morgan Yu, who inhabits a futuristic space station in orbit around the moon. Humanity is studying a hostile alien race called the Typhon, which Morgan will have to defeat with a variety of weapons and skills. What’s real and what’s just in Morgan’s head, though, is anything but clear.
A sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War (PC, PS4, Xbox One) continues the story of Talion the Ranger. In this noncanonical addition to the J.R.R. Tolkien mythos, Talion continues his assault on the Dark Lord Sauron by gathering orcish and trollish allies to his cause. The Nemesis system, which customizes and randomizes bosses, is back. This time, though, Talion also will be able to customize entire fortresses and assign his conscripted forces to manage them.
Credit: Warner Bros. Interactive
Kratos is back, but he's just about run out of Greek gods to disembowel. Perhaps the Norse pantheon will provide a more fertile killing field as God of War moves the series north to Scandinavia. Here, the tragic hero (anti-hero? villain?) will do battle with trolls, einherjar and giants as he takes on some of the greatest monsters and most fantastic heroes from Norse myth. Furthermore, a small boy will accompany him on his adventure, acting as both sidekick and ward. For all its over-the-top violence, God of War has always provided thoughtful stories and plenty of classical insight, and this one should continue the trend.
Any comic book fan knows that while superheroes usually fight supervillains, give them even a slight provocation, and they'll take their aggression out on one another. In this sequel to 2013's Injustice: Gods Among Us, the greatest heroes of DC Comics will take one another on in a fighting game equally suited to kicking back at home or rallying at the tournament scene. Featuring characters like Superman, Batman, Supergirl and the Flash, Injustice 2 looks primed to deliver an imaginative story campaign, tightly balanced online game play and a new gear system that lets you create your own custom version of your favorite DC characters.
Destiny is part first-person shooter, part role-playing game and part massively multiplayer game, but whatever it is, it’s incredibly addictive. Destiny 2 will continue the franchise’s (admittedly messy) storyline, but the big appeal here is the same as before: tons of weapons and armor to collect, and lots of friends to collect it with. Destiny 2 also represents the first time the popular series will be available to play on a PC in addition to PS4 and Xbox One.
If there’s one thing Nintendo knows how to do, it’s make a Super Mario game. Super Mario Odyssey is a 3D platformer for Nintendo Switch in the vein of Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy. The rotund plumber must travel from world to world as he — what else? — attempts to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser once again. The New York-style New Donk City level alone looks worth the game’s price of admission.
No one makes point-and-click adventure games with quite as much emotional punch as Telltale. With Image, Vertigo and DC Comics properties under its belt, the company has now turned its attention to Marvel. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series will follow Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora and the crew on a new adventure. Chances are, both comedy and heroism will ensue.