EA’s statement that gamers don’t enjoy linear games as much as they in the past may be more than a bit suspect, but it’s definitely true that open world games are something that most of us dig a lot nowadays. With the popularity of the genre seeing even previously non-open-world-series like The Witcher and The Legend of Zelda taking a stab at it, it’s not a surprise that 2018 has a slew of open-world titles waiting in store for us.
Ranging from sci-fi epics and post-apocalyptic tales to sandbox experiences in the American Northwest and horde slaying in Ancient China, they aren’t lacking in variety either. Before you wonder if DLC is required to read about them, here are the top upcoming open world games of 2018 that are likely to be a hit with gamers.
Far Cry 5
Release Date: March 27
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Just as Assassin’s Creed skipped a year to alleviate fatigue and change things up a little, the next installment of Ubisoft’s other popular franchise is coming to us after an entire year devoid of new Far Cry titles - and it’s coming with a setting unlike the ones we’ve seen before.
It’s far from a surprise now, but taking us to the Northwestern U.S. state of Montana for this trip still marks a noticeable shift from the more exotic locations of previous titles. Nevertheless, much of what fans liked about previous games remains, such as a large map with filled with various locations and outposts that can be tackled with combat, stealth or anything in between.
The two-player open world co-op that the fourth game introduced is making a welcome return too. But even if one can’t get a human friend to battle cult members with, AI-controlled Guns for Hire or even animal Fangs for Hire can be hired to help out. While having gun-toting allies sounds helpful, it might be hard to resist a buddy like Boomer the Dog once the game releases.
Release date: Fall 2018
Platforms: Xbox One, PC, PS4
With artificial-sounding voice communication in the reveal footage, a familiar general concept and gameplay that doesn’t look particularly mind-blowing, it’s hard to tell if BioWare’s new open world multiplayer game will turn out to be something truly worth anticipating until more footage is revealed. That said, the potential is certainly there, and the graphics do look gorgeous.
If you’ve played Destiny or Warframe, the idea of a co-op sci-fi shooter where players team up to slaughter enemies, customize their characters, grab loot and repeat those things for eternity will likely seem very familiar. However, Anthem does differ in the sense that it uses a third-person camera but is set in an open world (although it feels a bit less different now that Warframe has an open world area of its own). The other big difference comes in the form of jetpacks that each exosuit has, allowing players to both fly through the air and propel themselves underwater while looking cool.
There’s also the bigger focus on sci-fi, with no magic-like powers in sight so far. If you like the sound of that, then Anthem might be worth looking out for.
Release date: 2018
Satisfying combat, a large immersive-looking open world, and well-realized web-slinging? Insomniac’s new Spider-Man game sure knows which boxes to tick. Whether it knows which boxes not to tick is another question, due to the presence of quick-time events in the E3 footage - but given that those QTEs actually look far from horrible, perhaps the benefit of the doubt can be given in this case. It’s not like QTEs can’t be done well, after all.
While the latest movie incarnation of Peter Parker (and Aunt May) is the youngest yet, Marvel’s Spider-Man will feature an experienced Peter who has a career to balance with his crime-fighting duties. The story will be set in an “all-new” universe where familiar faces play “unfamiliar roles” and will have Peter dealing with his dual life and relationships. Also, Miles Morales will be in the game too.
Release date: 2018
The horde of zombies - or Freakers, as they’re called in the game - that bounty hunter Deacon St. John had to face in the E3 2016 gameplay demo for Days Gone must have looked like thrilling fun, especially with the World War Z-vibe they must have provided. On the other hand, the shooting-at-them-part might have also seemed a bit too mindless and off-putting.
Luckily, this year’s E3 footage - and the alternate playthrough - showed that there’s more to the game than just gunning down zombies non-stop. There are human enemies aplenty, who can be taken down head-on or indirectly dealt with by letting the zombie hordes overwhelm them. There are day and weather cycles that can affect the game, like changing the likelihood of running into wolves or making the Freakers stronger. There’s also stealth, tools that aren’t just guns and enemy encampments, which together make for a recipe that’s familiar but still sounds tasty.
Dynasty Warriors 9
Release date: February 13
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
2017 wasn’t devoid of Musou games, but those yearning to satisfy themselves with a new Dynasty Warriors title can do so soon with Dynasty Warriors 9. As expected, it’ll be a game about battling hordes of soldiers with ridiculous attacks in the Three Kingdoms era of Ancient China, and all 83 officers from the series will return with new costumes and newcomers Cheng Pu and Zhou Cang.
This time however, there’s an open world with various regions in which to battle in. Players will be able to take on Regular Missions and Critical Missions, with a variety of strategies ranging from "launching a surprise attack from an elevated position" to "infiltrating at night" available to them.
Meanwhile, the action system has received the addition of the State Combo System - which reacts according to circumstance - and the Interactive Action feature which allows for terrain and environmental traversal along with other interactions such as firing fire arrows at oil barrels for delicious explosions.
Release date: Spring 2018
Platforms: Xbox One, PC (Windows 10 )
The delay to 2018 might provide cause for concern, but Crackdown 3 nevertheless looks like it’d provide a whole lot of fun. From superhuman leaps and rooftop traversals to firing a rocket launcher midair and landing with a punch to create shockwaves, the act of simply running around the map and battling enemies seems like a great joy.
It’s also a little reminiscent of Saints Row 4, although it’s a bit unfair to say so since the previous Crackdown games predate that game. Fortunately, it does give off the impression of being its own thing despite the similarities and further differentiates itself with a multiplayer mode that boasts impressive dedicated server-based environmental destruction.
Unfortunately, that destruction won’t be available in singleplayer or co-op. According to Eurogamer, that’s partly so the game can be played offline, and also because the game’s about saving the setting of New Providence instead of destroying it. Even so, the game already looks fun without it, and having up to three friends to take down a criminal empire with sounds even better.