Last month we focused on listing our most anticipated titles due in 2018, divided per genre. However, there's an arguably even more exciting schedule of big upcoming titles that are still very much shrouded in mystery. With this article, we'll try to round them all up while shining as much of a light as possible.
For this list, we've followed two basic rules. The first one is that none of the projects listed below have gotten even a single in-game screenshot yet, thus contributing to their air of mystery that surrounds them. The second rule is that all of these titles are being developed by renown, world-class studios or by newly founded teams powered by world-class talent.
With that out of the way, let's dive into our research effort.
Avengers by Crystal Dynamics (with additional development from Eidos Montreal) is one of the very few games on the list that have their own logo. The project was announced in January 2017 as the debut title of a larger partnership between Marvel and Square Enix.
Even then the press release mentioned that more information would be available in 2018, and a reveal this year is pretty much certain. Over the past few months, though, we got confirmation that Square Enix is investing considerable resources in the game; we also know that Crystal Dynamics just hired fifteen industry veterans to work on this project, which they hope fans will play for "years to come". Between the pedigree of Crystal Dynamics (the Legacy of Kain/Soul Reaver and Tomb Raider series) and the strength of the Avengers IP, this is easily one of our most anticipated games on this list.
While The Elder Scrolls VI is still several years away, the next big roleplaying game made by Bethesda could be closer than many believe. First of all, their publishing schedule for 2018 is pretty blank at the moment as all of the other internal studios have just released a game (Arkane: Dishonored Death of the Outsider, Prey; MachineGames: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus; Tango Gameworks: The Evil Within 2). Secondly, it'll be three years since Fallout 4 in Fall 2018.
By looking at their development history, it is clear that they always take a while longer when transitioning between console generations (Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind launched in June 2002 on the first Xbox, almost four years before Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which released in March 2006 for the Xbox 360). However, their development pace quickens after that, with Fallout 3 launching two years and a half after Oblivion and then Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim about three years after Fallout 3.
It's far from inconceivable that they'd be able to release a new game later this year or in early 2019, especially since with Fallout 4 they've successfully experimented their ability to announce a game and launch it only a few months later. What could that be, though? All signs point to Starfield, a brand new IP (trademarked quite a while ago) which would be the first foray into a sci-fi setting for Bethesda Game Studios.
CAPCOM has at least two titles that fall under our criteria. The first one is Resident Evil 2 Remake; announced in August 2015, it still hasn't been properly showcased to this date which is starting to rile some fans. Between E3 and TGS 2018, the unveiling of this highly awaited remake is a sure bet, anyway. The developers didn't really provide any concrete info or even hints as to what could be changed, however you can check the latest rumors from last month on this article.
The second title is the one whose development is led by Hideaki Itsuno, the esteemed Game Designer known for games like Devil May Cry 3 & 4 as well as Dragon's Dogma. We've recently heard from Itsuno-san via Twitter when he apologized for not being able to announce the project in 2017 while reassuring fans that the project's development is "under climax" and it will be "a great game".
A reveal at some point in 2018 seems definitely probable. The only question is, then, will it be Dragon's Dogma 2 or Devil May Cry 5?
Cold Iron Studios might not ring a bell for many readers, and for good reason. It's a new studio founded in 2015 by former Cryptic Studios developers, who've worked on games like Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and Neverwinter while there. Since then, Cold Iron Studios recruited other veterans whose credits include the likes of Bioshock Infinite, Doom, Borderlands and Metroid Prime 3. In mid-January 2018, it was announced that they're now working on a new Aliens shooter game.
According to Fox Next, this will be an action-packed persistent world which definitely fits the studio's expertise. From an earlier interview with MassivelyOP, it's pretty obvious that the folks at Cold Iron are trying to inject some MMO features into an action title.
We wouldn't be at all surprised to see the game for the first time at E3 or Gamescom 2018.
With over 600 employees, Eidos Montréal is probably the biggest studio featured in this article. It's no wonder they have a lot on their plate, then, beyond just helping Crystal Dynamics with the Avengers project as mentioned earlier. To begin with, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, one of the few games on this list set to be revealed and possibly released this year, is rumored to be in the works there since the game's title was spotted in the Montréal metro.
With Deus Ex currently on hiatus, rumors also point to Eidos Montréal working hard on a Guardians of the Galaxy title as part of the Marvel/Square Enix partnership. This one shouldn't be due soon, anyway, so don't be surprised if you don't hear anything about it this year.
The incredibly successful Souls series propelled Japanese studio FromSoftware to being worshipped by millions of fans across the world. Dark Souls is getting a remaster in late May, sure, but we're really waiting to see their brand new projects. FromSoftware's latest release was Dark Souls III in March 2016, so there's a good chance we'll learn something about those this year.
Last we heard, a new Armored Core installment had been confirmed alongside a 'dark fantasy game' and a new IP. The dark fantasy game has been teased during the TGA 2017 with the tagline Shadows Die Twice. If we had to place our bets, we'd put our chips on Tokyo Game Show 2018 as a possible reveal venue.
Gearbox's latest game, Battleborn, didn't fare very well in the shadow of Blizzard's Overwatch. However, the Texas-based studio (which is now also dabbling in the publishing business, for instance with We Happy Few) is going back to its most popular IPs: Borderlands and Brothers in Arms.
Technically Brothers in Arms was announced first, back in July 2015, but that doesn't guarantee it will release before Borderlands 3. In fact, at GDC 2017 we even got our first look at the technology that will be powering the next Borderlands game, though it was just a tech demo and as such, we'll give ourselves a pass on the first rule we talked about earlier.
Still, one of the two is overdue for a reveal and we should learn about it in the upcoming months.
Ghost Story is another name you probably won't recognize at a glance. That's fine, but know that it's none other than the rebranding of Irrational Games, the legendary studio behind hit games such as System Shock 2, Freedom Force, Tribes: Vengeance, SWAT 4, and more recently Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite.
In 2015 Ken Levine said that the project would be a sci-fi small scale open world game built on the "narrative Legos concept" to make it replayable. During last year's EGX Rezzed onstage interview, Levine added that the game includes a feature similar to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's Nemesis system, though it should be more evolved.
Ghost Story Games is perhaps the smallest studio among all those cited in this article, but it's not too far-fetched to hope for an unveiling at some point in 2018.
Obsidian is working on Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, due to launch in April on PC and later on consoles as well. However, they've recently announced a bigger roleplaying game due to be published by Private Division, the new label created by Take-Two to publish games made by top-tier independent studios. While Obsidian's latest RPGs have been isometric RTwP (real time with pause) in the vein of Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, it's likely that they'll attempt a return to third-person and action combat with this project.
Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, who've worked together on Fallout and Fallout 2 (not to mention Vampire - The Masquerade: Bloodlines), are leading development on this one. Not much is known except that fans will recognize Obsidian's signature reactive worlds and unique humor. Consider us in. None of the Private Division titles will be out before March 2019, by the way, but that doesn't mean we're not getting even a brief tease later this year.
Just ahead of E3 2017, People Can Fly (Bulletstorm, Gears of War Judgment) signed a deal with Square Enix to publish a brand new AAA shooter game for PC and consoles.
People Can Fly, which briefly became part of Epic Games between 2012 and 2015 before regaining full independence, has been working on this project since early 2016 according to the company's CEO. A release before 2019 seems unlikely, but the game could nonetheless be revealed sooner than that.
We've covered Remedy's latest company report earlier this month, as you might recall. Their focus now is firmly on P7, the cinematic third-person action game due to be published by 505 Games on multiple platforms in 2019.
The Finnish studio behind Max Payne, Alan Wake and Quantum Break is betting heavily on P7, a game that's partly self-funded. There's no hint of the setting yet, but we do know the developers are attempting to increase replayability over their previous entries by adding cooperative multiplayer elements, for instance. With the release date set for next year, unless they want to do a Fallout 4-style reveal and launch, we could very well learn a lot more about P7 in 2018.
Star Wars fans have had at least a couple good reason to be disappointed when it comes to games lately. Battlefront II had the whole loot box fiasco, of course, while EA canceled Amy Hennig's action/adventure game and closed down Visceral Games in a single move.
There is hope yet, though, in the guise of Respawn Entertainment's Star Wars game. Announced in May 2016, it's being made with Unreal Engine 4 (unlike DICE's Battlefront titles, powered by Frostbite, or Respawn's Titanfall games made with Source) by a separate team led by Stig Asmussen, previously Game Director for God of War III at Sony Santa Monica.
This game, a third-person action title set to explore a new era in the Star Wars setting, has been confirmed recently to be scheduled for release between April 2019 and March 2020. A full-blown unveiling is, therefore, unlikely in 2018 but Electronic Arts is known to drop brief teasers at their E3 conferences for games that aren't coming out soon.
We'll close our list with two Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment studios. Let's start with Rocksteady, the Kentish Town-based UK team capable of single-handedly prove that licensed games can be truly great with the Batman Arkham trilogy.
While Batman: Arkham VR launched in October 2016, it was a smaller game that certainly couldn't have occupied the entirety of the studio. Batman Arkham Knight released in June 2015, which means that it'll be three years old by the time E3 2018 opens its gates.
Fans have been eager to learn more about their new project for quite a while and Rocksteady itself has been teasing a reveal lately. While it may not be released this year, a proper showcase at some point in 2018 is practically guaranteed.
Rumors abound on what it could be, mostly pointing to a Justice League game. We also know that the studio was hiring multiplayer programmers in December 2015, so there's a strong chance of cooperative and/or competitive elements being in the feature set.
Warner Bros Games Montreal is inevitably tied to Rocksteady. Founded in 2010, it's mostly known for Batman: Arkham Origins, a 2013 prequel to the Dark Knight adventures seen in the trilogy made by the UK studio mentioned just above.
Since then they've gone completely dark, though. There were rumors of a Suicide Squad game, but it was canceled and the studio was then supposed to focus on a Damian Wayne Batman game. However, that might have been canned too according to the latest rumors and their latest project spotted via job descriptions could be an open world coop game based on one of DC Universe's most popular IPs. The bad news is that we might be in for a long wait as the earliest listings for this project are from March 2017.
That was our last secret project on this list. Which one tickles your imagination the most? Let us know in a comment.