CHENNAI : Making a video game is difficult. It often takes years. Decades even, if we agree that GTA VI’s development process began back in 2014. But this is understandable. Games have several moving parts. Building out a component in a game requires several iterations, which makes it almost impossible to gauge completion timelines. They rarely meet their scheduled release dates. It is probably one of the reasons I have never been a videogame anticipator. But I will make an exception this year, because there are quite a few games that I hope do not miss our collective radar.
Hades II | Early Access in Q2 2024 | PC
A direct sequel of its hit chaotic successor, this rogue-like dungeon crawler is now to star a new protagonist — Melinoë, the Princess of the Underworld. An immortal witch, she possesses powerful magical abilities with a slew of new weapons. I’m still having a lot of fun playing the original game. With permadeath stopping Hades from ever escaping the dungeons — it is reassuring in that you could potentially play this game forever, and still encounter consistently new and convoluted dungeon maps on every replay.
Eastward: Octopia (DLC) | February 2024 | PC, Switch
Octopia is not a separate game by itself. It is, however, a significant update to a favourite game of mine — Eastward. Eastward was an emotional, heart-warming, and ridiculously fun adventure of a young girl, and a hardworking miner, as they use a frying pan to fight monsters in dungeons. In Octopia, they live a relatively peaceful existence, the memorable characters settled in a farm. Here, they just make friends with their neighbours, go fishing, build a playground, and grow crops around their house. I suppose this will have to do for me now, till another major Stardew Valley update comes around.
Little Nightmares 3 | To be announced, 2024 | PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Switch
I love a good puzzle game, and I can safely promise by the Little Nightmares series. A game best played with a companion, Little Nightmares 3 assures of a brand new platform adventure game where we would potentially face “our childhood fears”. While the games are fairly tiny in terms of total gameplay time, and have simple puzzles — it’s actually the world and the atmosphere that draws you in. And if I am to set anything by the gameplay stills of the new installation, it looks every bit as good as the previous ones. While 2024 doesn’t seem as big as 2023, there are still other games that didn’t quite make my list — so don’t forget about Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, Tekken 8, and Final Fantasy, which are all set to release this year.
Star Wars Outlaws | To be announced, 2024 | PC, PlayStation, Xbox
I missed out on Star Wars Jedi Survivor last year, but I won’t be doing the same with Outlaws this year — as it is set to be the first fully open-world Star Wars game. Placed between the stories of “Empire Strikes Back” and “The Return of the Jedi”, Outlaws is an action-adventure game featuring scoundrel and outlaw — Kay Vess. There is a certain degree of exhaustion with the amount of galactic exploration games at this time — given that a similar-looking Starfield released a few months back, in 2023. But I am led to believe that Outlaws and Starfield have nothing more in common than both having spaceships. Outlaws appears to have a very different set of gameplay mechanics, and the fun aspect of being set within the Star Wars galactic universe.
Rise of the Ronin | March 2024 | PS5 exclusive
Rise of the Ronin looks like a gritty, more modern version of Ghost of Tsushima — and I am genuinely excited for this game. It also helps that console exclusives lend a little more something to a gameplay experience. A single-player action RPG, the game is set in the 19th century, promising combat in authentic period firearms. It also features a multi-choice system which changes the game’s outcome based on decisions made in crucial story points.
(This economics graduate spends her leisure time preparing for the zombie apocalypse)