With E3 2021 and video game publishers readying showcases for the Summer, I thought now would be a perfect time to think (and write) about what games I’m most looking forward to at this point in time. It’s not secret I absolutely love games, whether talking about them, playing them, watching them, or taking stock of my excitement for them. That being said, I had fun thinking about the 10 games I’m most anticipating right now. This isn’t an exhaustive list of course. I’m excited for a whole bunch of ’em, but if I had to really sit down and reflect on what I’m looking forward to the most – these would be it!
Even though we’ve seen or heard very little about this next game in the Fable series, I can’t help but be extremely excited about its potential. The short teaser last year had the right idea, ensuring the IP’s whimsical nature was included in the message. I was a massive fan of the original Fable on Xbox to the point that I followed and devoured piece of media about it prior to launch, including when it was still known as “Project Ego”. The prospect of a new Fable taking advantage of new Xbox hardware is a tantalizing thought.
It’s important to note that the developer behind this new title is none other than Playground Games, who have consistently put out some of the best racing games ever made with the Forza Horizon franchise. I admit that the jump from open-world racing to action-RPG might seem strange at first, it’s important to remember that talent is talent, and having a good team working in unison can achieve awesome results. Guerrilla proved as much jumping from first-person shooters to open world RPGs! Bring it Playground!
9. Playdead’s New Title
Like Fable, we’ve seen extremely little of developer Playdead’s next game outside of concept art, but honestly…I almost don’t need to see anything about it! Ok I kid, I can’t wait to finally see the damn thing, but after playing Limbo and Inside, I’m almost certain whatever they do next will be right up my alley. The art we’ve seen so far has looked phenomenal, showing an astronaut or explorer of some kind in incredibly moody scenarios. I’m a sci-fi junkie, so combining the genre with one of my favorite developers is blissful match made in my dreams. It’ll be five years next month since Inside launched…let us beseech the gaming gods to grace us soon.
Sensing a theme here? Surprise, it’s another game we know very, very little about! But that’s the fun part. While we know the slimmest of details about Starfield, it’s the potential that’s got me extremely jazzed up to finally see it. Bethesda Game Studios is one of the most talented studios in the business, and while Fallout 76 had an admittedly rocky launch, it’s now in a much better place thanks to continued support. On top of that, the team is responsible for some of the best RPG experiences I’ve ever had in The Elder Scrolls (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim) and Fallout (3 and 4).
So like I said above, my love for science fiction (space especially) and my love for Bethesda’s RPGs in the past are really making my brain buzz with possibilities. Space is limitless, and so the design decisions you could take within that are also practically limitless. Will we get our own ship and crewmates? Can we customize our ship? Can we actually fly that ship? Are towns and/or cities now planets that you land on? What’s the main narrative thread? Is there a galaxy spanning conflict going on? What’s exploration and customization like? There’s so many questions. But I can’t deny my excitement is at max for this title. Fingers crossed we see it soon!
7. The Callisto Protocol
Okay, I guess we’ll just continue the “we don’t know much!” theme going on here. But really, this is a brand new horror game set in space…by the creators of Dead Space. GIVE.IT.TO.ME.NOW. Dead Space is genuinely my favorite horror game of all time. While there’s certainly been other games in the genre that terrified me even more, there’s been so few legitimately horrific games set in space. Dead Space as a concept was so great and I subsequently immediately fell in love with its execution. From the design of the necromorphs to the spaceship Ishimura and the unique weapons you find inside, it has stayed with me to this day, thirteen years later, as the king of horror games.
To see an all new game in the works in a different universe helmed by some of those original creators…I can’t help but be filled with anticipation.
6. The Wolf Among Us 2
I’ve always been a big fan of Telltale’s games. I didn’t get started with Back to the Future or Jurassic Park, but The Walking Dead was a pretty big eye opener for me back in 2012 in just how effective games can be when it comes to leaving a lasting emotional impact. I still think about it today. But The Wolf Among Us easily climbed to the top of Telltale’s pile for me because of how damn interesting that world was. I’ve never read a Fables comic before (what the games are based off of), but The Wolf Among Us did an incredible job introducing me to that world and all those charismatic and colorful characters.
The wait since then for the upcoming sequel has been extremely PAINFUL to say the least, but I’m persevering. I hope the team takes all the time they need to get it right. I’ll be right here!
5. Halo Infinite
Another of my favorite all-time gaming series and one I have extremely fond memories of, Halo remains one of the best sci-fi franchises in any medium. Damn is that lore rich. Anyway, while last year’s Halo Infinite demo didn’t quite hit the mark, everything the team 343 has been saying and showing since then have. I’m still unbelievably excited to get my hands on a brand new Halo.
I’m fully onboard with the new open world’ish design, the weapons, the grapple mechanic, the new weapons and vehicles, and especially some unique enemies (looking at you Brute leader dudes). I want to see where the story goes so badly, but alas, that time is coming. We’ll no doubt be seeing a hefty amount of Halo Infinite some time soon at Microsoft’s E3 show and my eyes will be glued to the screen the entire time.
4. Horizon Forbidden West
Guerrilla floored me years ago when they launched Horizon Zero Dawn. They completely knocked the ball out of the park with that game, even more impressive considering the studio was known for their gritty and grungy shooter series Killzone. To be able to pivot development from a first-person design focus to an open world action-RPG, and a fantastic one at that right out of the gate, was nothing short of phenomenal. I loved the universe the team built. I loved everything about it. The lore, the combat, the environments, the robotic fauna, the tribes, the music, and most of all, Aloy.
It’s easy to see why Aloy’s since become one of Sony’s major mascots – she’s a genuinely great lead character. She’s a charming, witty, and brave all-in-one package. It was a joy to play as her, and I can’t wait to see where the story takes her next. The time to kill some new robo-dinos is almost at hand baby.
3. The Next Dragon Age
Dragon Age is certainly another one of my favorite gaming IPs of all time. The world BioWare created in Dragon Age is overflowing with lore full of political intrigue, espionage, dirty secrets, ancient gods and some badass dragons. It pays a lot of homage to classic fantasy ideals and tropes but much of the time adds its own flair. To this day, Dragon Age Origins is rightly included in many, many people’s ‘Best RPGs Ever’ lists, and for good reason: it executed on its concept incredibly well. Most of all though, it’s the characters that always stole the show, an ability BioWare has possessed since its inception.
It’s been a very long wait since Dragon Age: Inquisition, which at the time easily won my personal Game of the Year. A lot has changed in the RPG space since then. Many teams and IPs have made significant headway into the genre. I’m psyched to see where the story leads and what the team at BioWare bring to the table with this next new game.
2. God of War Sequel
Really I mean…do I even need to say anything here? God of War (2018) is one of my favorite games of all time. Sony Santa Monica absolutely killed it. The manner in which they were able to reshape Kratos into a deep and layered character was just spectacular. The combat was top of the line, the voice acting and character performances were incredibly memorable, design (environment, level, audiovisual) was superb, and the narrative gripped me like very few games have before…
There’s honestly not much else I can say. I feel like we know what to expect. I just want more.
1. The Next Mass Effect
This is the one. Mass Effect is genuinely the best series of games I’ve ever played. I began following the series as a teenager back when it first announced at Microsoft’s X05 show. I’d been a BioWare fan for a while up to that point, getting my feet wet with Baldur’s Gate 2, KOTOR and Jade Empire. But when I saw Mass Effect for the first time, it was love at first sight. I followed the first game’s development religiously for years. I listened to and watched every interview. I soaked up every new piece of information about the world. I learned about the squad mates and different alien species. And when it finally released, I had found the best game I ever played in my life.
It might sound hyperbolic to say that, but everyone’s got a favorite right? It might be different than mine or someone else’s, but that’s perfectly fine. It’s YOUR favorite game, and you’ve got a right to that. The rest, of course, is history. The Mass Effect trilogy is still my personal favorite set of games. Seeing Liara again, seemingly older in age, brought a tear to my eye. I adore these characters like none other in the gaming space. No matter how long it takes, I’m ridiculously thrilled to see where this goes.