Most Anticipated Roleplaying Games of 2019 – Choose Your Adventure
Let’s face it, the confirmed list of roleplaying games coming in 2019 isn’t the most exciting we’ve had to write in recent years. That’s mostly because heavyweights like Cyberpunk 2077 and Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord don’t have any solid release windows yet, which formally disqualifies them for the purposes of this list. Of course, if one or both of them unexpectedly turned up this year, the outlook for roleplaying games fans in 2019 would dramatically improve. Even without those titles, though, there are still a great number of adventures to get lost in, from methodical turn-based tactical RPGs to fast-paced action adventure types.
Kingdom Hearts III (January 29th)
We now know that finished copies of Kingdom Hearts III do in fact exist after a small fiasco regarding Xbox One copies getting out of the manufacturing/retail chain late last year. No matter whether you’ve been playing since Sora’s first steps off Destiny Island back on the PlayStation 2 or finally got into the adventure with the recently released Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far collection, fans have been waiting for this Disney x Square Enix story to reach its conclusion for a very long time now. While intentionally floaty by design, Kingdom Hearts has some of the best gameplay in an action JRPG and its fans are looking forward to many all-night sessions of bashing up heartless with Sora’s new Keyblades.
Anthem (February 22nd)
The technical prowess of Frostbite coupled with the artistry of BioWare folks delivers a stunningly beautiful game with Anthem, though it’s the action side, being able to fly around the world with the mechanized Javelin suits, that really sets it apart. Anthem is also expected to have a Bioware styled story told through a dialogue system (lighter than usual with its two choices) and a set of companions that accompany the player character in the plot.
That’s in addition to the main focus of the game, the cooperative and highly replayable action RPG gameplay which will evolve over time in a manner not unlike Diablo III, Warframe or Destiny.
An indie game funded via Kickstarter, Hellpoint is a ‘dark sci-fi’ action roleplaying game clearly inspired by the Souls series. The nameless protagonist finds himself on a space station in orbit around a super-massive black hole, which affects the sanity of the inhabitants of the station in different ways depending on the orbit’s current position. The strategic action combat is highly customizable, thanks to Hellpoint’s ‘power crafting’ system.
The game will also feature multiplayer, both local (split-screen) and online. Keeping up with the tradition of Souls games, you’ll be able to either help or attack other players. Similarly, there will be the opportunity to devote your character to a certain Cult, which is bound to come with both risks and rewards.
The Outer Worlds
Seeing Obsidian Entertainment come back into the limelight is fantastic news for any roleplaying games fan. Pillars of Eternity has been receiving rave reviews, but what about those that want something a bit more actiony? The Outer Worlds looks like it’s the updated take on Fallout: New Vegas fans have been asking for for years, without the obvious Nuka-Cola corporate branding, and that makes it arguably the top title in many RPG lists for 2019. Chris Avellone might not be attached to writing the project, but Kathryn Starks already has a pedigree for penning the works of Tyranny and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire and has proven she can design something truly engaging when paired together with Obsidian Entertainment. Furthermore, this is the first game Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky have directed together since Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, and before that, they made Fallout and Arcanum.
From the writers behind Torment: Tides of Numenara and Wasteland: Director’s Cut, Wasteland 3 moves from the post-apocalyptic cityscapes to the great state of Colorado (which is not only ruined and demolished in the game but also frozen, apparently). The addition of vehicles, environmental dangers and synchronous/asynchronous multiplayer are the proverbial icing on an already solid tactical RPG cake. The developers at inXile Entertainment have also promised a deep and engaging story (where players will begin as the lone survivor of a Ranger Squad called Team November) that will unfold through a revamped dialogue system, with the Ranger base as a core element of the narrative. Last but not least, the action system of this turn-based game is said to be more fluid.
The Swedish developers at Experiment 101, purchased by THQ Nordic a while ago, impressed everyone with Biomutant. There’s nothing quite like it when it comes to the setting, a ‘post-apocalyptic Kung Fu fable’ in a world of anthropomorphic animals. The protagonist’s goal will be to either save the world in turmoil (due to a plague that’s slowly condemning the Tree of Life to death) or perhaps even doom them. Biomutant’s freedom extends to every aspect of the game, from crafting to character progression and play style as players can mix shooting, melee (martial arts style) and mutant powers as they please.
The Surge 2
Deck 13 has announced plans to massively expand its action RPG, The Surge, with this year’s sequel. The environment will be that of a devastated city, with a ‘larger and more ambitious’ level design filled with increased verticality that players can freely explore with their character (a player created one, not Warren, though he’ll be featured in some capacity in The Surge 2).
The signature limb targeting system has been enhanced, too, while a new blocking system now lets you parry attacks coming from different directions provided that you’re quick enough.
There are more potentially interesting roleplaying games than we could possibly add to this list. However, the following titles required at least a mention.
For its part, Nintendo has several roleplaying games scheduled for 2019. The first one is Fire Emblem: Three Houses, a tactical turn-based RPG due in the Spring on Nintendo Switch. Then there’s TOWN, a new IP from Game Freak where players will have to save the village from rampaging monsters, and the untitled Pokémon core RPG (also from Game Freak).
Another game coming from the land of the Rising Sun is The Legend of Heroes: Cold Steel III, expected to hit Western shores at some point in the Fall season as announced recently, continuing the story right from the ending of the previous installment.
Last but not least, the highly anticipated indie title Indivisible is due in the coming months.