2023's Most Anticipated Games - Rob's Picks
2023 is shaping up to be one of the biggest years in video games of all time. No matter whether you play on PC, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X|S, or the Nintendo Switch, you’re going to have a lot to play in 2023. Given that, we couldn’t simply pool the team’s thoughts into one top 10 countdown of the most anticipated games, so we solicited 10 from each person to discuss. Today, hear what Rob has to say about his 10 most anticipated games of 2023.
10. Colossal Cave
Starting off with one of my more unconventional choices in Cygnus Entertainment’s Colossal Cave. I’m not a big fan of text adventures – many I’ve tried over the years tended to rely on using one’s brainpower not just to solve the puzzle in front of you, but also to decipher the right commands to tell the game how to solve it so you can move onto the next.
By taking this game from the days of text input and output, and reworking it for a modern audience, I think there’s a great opportunity to let folks try out the first adventure game ever released, and not only that… but also make it a fresh way for veterans to enjoy it as well. It certainly piqued my interest, if only because it also gives me the chance to try it out in a way which is less trying for my patience. More importantly, I hope it does well enough to inspire more developers to look at bringing back early games like this for a new audience too.
9. R-Type Tactics I & II
For many players, the R-Type conjures up memories of challenge-blasting action as you took on the grotesque horrors of the Bydo Empire. So when R-Type Tactics was originally released onto the PSP, I’m sure there were many fans who wondered WTF was happening. Myself included.
So seeing the series reissued absolutely has me excited. Not only because I’ve heard they were great games, but also because it’s nice to see tactical games offering more than the same old fantasy tropes in action.What also excites me too is that this release is planned to be both games in the series, meaning the second game will officially be localised for the first time as it didn’t see release back in the day. So they’re not genre-defining efforts, but for me, it’s the chance to check out a different take on an iconic series and see just how you can squish the challenging pace of these iconic shooters into a slower-paced framework, and still maintain an exciting experience.
8. Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown
I’m probably alone in this, but I never really clicked with many of the more modern takes on the open world driving game. In fact, I think it was only just the original Test Drive Unlimited that managed to scratch that itch for me. So seeing that after an long (and I mean incredibly long) time the series has come back in some form has certainly got me intrigued.
There are a few elements that draw my interest – from its underlying tech which implies there might be some off-road elements involved, to having an entire island to drive about, meaning you won’t be overwhelmed with things to do. I guess that’s what excites me here – the potential in being able to have an experience which is more gears to switching between either taking on the game’s core races and content or easily having the freedom to just take a car for a spin and chill out. Which is something I hope becomes more of an option in more open-world games to be honest.
7. Assassin’s Creed: Mirage
The Assassin’s Creed series was one I fell off since the trio of games involving Ezio, and though I’ve tried newer entries, they all seemed to suffer from being bogged down in the Ubisoft open world tradition of having a map overloaded with things to do. So hearing that Assassin’s Creed: Mirage is planning to do away with a lot of it certainly has piqued my interest. The potential for this is best shown with a planned return to stealth mechanics, which feels far more appropriate for the series.
To go with that is the potential for a more focused world, an offshoot of how it started out development as an expansion to Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. If this can also get rid of a bunch of the grind those later games offered, I think it’ll do a lot to keep me interested. Maybe it’s just me, but having every big-budget AAA release be one which is epic with a stupendously lengthy story and expansive world is becoming more and more tiresome. So I hope that Assassin’s Creed: Mirage manages to keep things restrained with this narrowed focus, as I believe it should inject a new spark of life into the series.
6. Warhammer 40000: Space Marine 2
The original Warhammer 40000: Space Marine was one of those action games I had a total blast with – one which ended up being way, way better than it had any real right to be. But it’s cliffhanger of an ending was one which stung, as the ideas for the follow-ups which never eventuated sound real damn neat. So the announcement that a follow-up was finally coming was truly a surprise.
I’m looking forward to seeing if Space Marine 2 can deliver the mix of close range aggressive combat and long range action the original brought in spaces, along with a story which hopefully can deliver some progression from the threads offered from the first game. Along with that, I hope the devs don’t go too far in bringing its style of action up to modern standards, as whilst it might have been a bit run of the mill back on release, I think it might be a bit fresher all these years later.
5. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
If any of the games in my list would serve as the heavy hitter, then it’s got to be The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. And not only because of its scheduled release date. Not only that but looking at how Breath of the Wild managed to inject some fresh ideas into the series also helps make this one worth looking forward to. There is the question (one I’m not sure I’m alone in asking) about whether the aging Switch hardware will allow it to truly shine to its biggest potential.
Admittedly, there’s still a lot we don’t know – if only because of the secrecy which Nintendo are carrying here, but I can’t help but see its mechanics as taking what Breath of the Wild did and building upon them, which means plenty of open world exploration, questing and everything else. I’m excited to see where Link’s latest adventure will go, and how Nintendo’s developers will take what was done with Breath of the Wild and push their design tricks further than before!
4. Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
I’d say I’m a bit of a giant robot game fan. Not quite the connoisseur that others in the Player 2 family might be, but enough of one to appreciate a good game when I see it. So when it was announced that at long last From Software is working on a new Armored Core entry, I couldn’t help but be interested. Not only because of the aforementioned appreciation of giant robots in games, but also because the approach they’ve taken with the series makes it sit nicely between the more technical games which were released on PC, and the more frenetic games for consoles.
For me, what thrills me the most is seeing the lessons FromSoft have taken from their other games of the last few years, and bringing them into a different style experience. Especially with customisation being an important part of the series, and so I’m looking forward to the potential combinations on offer! If it lives up to this, I feel Armored Core VI will make for a great experience which certainly will feel quite different in 2023.
3. System Shock
As someone who might spend a bit too much time appreciating older games, sometimes there’s cases where you want to revisit an oldie, but things have just progressed a bit too much to be able to go back. System Shock is sadly one of those for me. It tried to do a lot on its original release, before more modern first person controls were standardised, and the result is a game which can be incredibly awkward to play. Even if you enjoyed it back in the day.
Hence why seeing Nightdive’s long-awaited remake close in on release has me quite excited. The atmosphere of Citadel Station, and the overall gameplay of System Shock was amazing, and it looks to be nailing those, along with refining the controls to be more appropriate for a modern games player.
Once again, this leads to something I feel’s real important: seeing this classic, pioneering games reworked with some of the creases removed to make them more enjoyable by modern audiences. Along with that, everyone deserves to experience the threat of SHODAN, a truly iconic villain of 90’s PC gaming.
2. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Jedi: Fallen Order was monumental for many a reason on its 2019 release, primarily for being a breath of fresh air for Star Wars games in a post-Disney world. Not only that, but it did a lot to help make the style of action pioneering by FromSoft to be that bit more approachable by players, even if the combat system didn’t entirely stick the landing. So seeing what is in store for Jedi: Survivor certainly has me quite excited. Not only are we going to be continuing an interesting story, even if Cal himself isn’t the most interesting of characters, but we’re going to be seeing a lot more of the mix between Lightsaber combat, and exploration and puzzling.
For me, Jedi: Survivor has a lot of potential to live up to, but I’m convinced that Respawn will once again deliver on it – just like they did with the first game. And besides, how can a game with an adorable backpack droid be a bad one?
1. Akka Arrh
In my exploration into Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration, I couldn’t help but find myself enamoured with Akka Arrh, a game which was canned when it was found far too difficult in its location tests. But as thrilling an experience it was, it never quite felt right playing it in the collection, being it was designed for a trackball, compared to the thumbsticks on the gamepads we use today.
Thankfully I can fret no more, as completely out of the blue Atari announced that it was getting a full-on remake for modern systems. It certainly got my interest piqued, but then there was the detail of just who was developing this remake. The ever so legendary Llamasoft. This makes for an ever so satisfying combination – the dual-plane gameplay of Akka Arch, combined with the trippy aesthetics Llamasoft is known for sounds like it’s going to be quite the satisfying experience to zone out to once it releases, making it stand as the most excited release of 2023 for me for oh so many reasons.
So that concludes Rob’s list of his most anticipated games of 2023. What are some of yours? Hit us up via social media to let us know what games you are keen on in 2023!