Exciting game releases have come in thick and fast throughout 2019 and the pace will ramp up as we edge closer to the Christmas trading period. E3 is now in the rearview mirror and gamers are eagerly anticipating a plethora of massive new titles spread across PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac. Here are five of the hottest and most hyped titles to look out for in the second half of the year:
The Coalition’s hugely popular third-person shooter series returns for another installment on September 10 and fans can look forward to some intriguing changes. At its E3 conference, Microsoft unveiled details of a new three-player online mode called Escape, a crossover character pack featuring Terminator skins and a new teaser. There will also be a map editor for the first time, while Gears 5 will also boast new open world gameplay elements.
Former sidekick Kait Diaz steps into the lead role as she seeks to uncover the origins of the locust, although former protagonist JD Fenix will make an appearance too.
Much loved characters such as Marcus Fenix and Delmont Walker will also be in the mix, but there will be a raft of new heroes and villains to follow, plus new weapons and a much larger environment. Gears of War 4 was a solid addition to the series, but many considered it somewhat staid and unadventurous, so fans will hope to see it rejuvenated with Gears 5, which will be available on Windows as well as Xbox.
FIFA is the bestselling sports game series of all time and each new release leaves million of fans giddy with excitement. The latest instalment will hit shelves on September 27 and gamers can look forward a number of intriguing tweaks.
The AI defending system has been overhauled in order to strike stronger competitive balance and encourage more manual defending. Shooting accuracy has been improved, timed shots will no longer be a breeze to execute and you can wave goodbye to goalkeepers that behave like Superman between the sticks.
The FIFA series has made great inroads into the growing esports scene in recent years. Twenty million players took part in qualifying for the EA Sports FIFA eWorld Cup tournament before the legendary MSdossary7 stormed to victory at the Grand Final in London.
This year’s eWorld Cup promises to be even bigger and FIFA’s success within esports is only helping to boost its popularity. It is now one of the key titles for esports betting at Unikrn, and the scene is growing increasingly professional. FIFA 20 looks set to take it to the next level by fixing a number of bug bears among pro gamers, and it will be fascinating to see what the reviewers make of it and how the community reacts to the new title.
This will be Hideo Kojima’s first game after the iconic Metal Gear franchise and it promises to be utterly sensational. An epic trailer featuring Hollywood stars Mads Mikkelsen, Norman Reedus, Guillermo del Toro, and Nicolas Winding Refn whipped up untold excitement among gamers and sparked a huge amount of speculation. Kojima has a masterful ability to tantalize fans by drip-feeding clues totally lacking in context, and that only adds to the rabid anticipation.
Everything is purposefully vague. “Death Stranding is a completely new type of action game, where the goal of the player is to reconnect isolated cities and a fragmented society,” said Kojima. “It is created so that all elements, including the story and gameplay, are bound together by the theme of the ‘Strand’, or connection. As [protagonist] Sam Porter Bridges, you will attempt to bridge the divides in society, and in doing create new bonds or Strands with other players around the globe. Through your experience playing the game, I hope you’ll come to understand the true importance of forging connections with others.”
It all sounds rather philosophical, but in essence, you should expect a top-notch action adventure created by a virtuoso with a phenomenal track record, and backed by an enormous budget. It will be released to great fanfare on November 8, exclusive to PS4.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield
The long wait is over and a fully-fledged RPG Pokémon title will finally be released on November 15. Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee have been popular, but they were not enough to satisfy expectant fans. Now we finally have an eighth generation offering to look forward to and it will be interesting to see how the series’ Nintendo Switch debut goes down.
It is actually two games, but Sword and Shield will share key elements and take players to a colossal new region called Galar, which is inspired by the UK. It features buildings that look like the Houses of Parliament and a British rock soundtrack. The gameplay will feature co-operative raids and open world areas, while there will be new Pokémon and the ability to Dynamax. It promises to be a blast.
The Doom Slayer returns once more to combat the forces of hell and it is sure to result in a bloodbath. Doom was the original title that turned the first-person shooter into a star genre and it has always held a special place in the hearts of many gamers.
The 2016 Doom reboot was brilliant and it garnered positive reviews thanks to its electrifying single-player campaigns and meaty multiplayer options. It managed to take something “so resolutely 90s” and bring it kicking and screaming into the modern era with aplomb.
Doom Eternal is set to dial things up significantly. The trailer presents a retro delight, retaining the rapid pace, frenetic dynamics and non-stop action that made the original title so much fun, while also taking advantage of technological advances to improve the graphics and the gameplay.
There will be twice as many demons as the 2016 reboot and the lives system has been overhauled. It is also set to become a lot more social and connecting the multiplayer function with the single-player campaign. CS:GO has set a high bar for the FPS genre in terms of competitive gaming, but Doom Eternal could emerge as an esports contender if it cracks the multiplayer aspect and includes a high enough skill ceiling.