2024’s Most Anticipated Games – Rob’s Picks

2024's Most Anticipated Games - Rob's Picks

2024 has a hard act to follow to live up to the incredible release calendar of 2023. That said, there’s still no shortage of high quality games coming this year. No matter whether you play on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, or the Nintendo Switch and even its upcoming successor, you’re going to have a lot to play in 2024. 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, sorted from 10 to 1.

10. Earthion

I’m probably cheating just a little with this one – because Earthion’s being primarily developed for a vintage console (the Mega Drive), and not a modern one. Even though it’s going to appear on those too.

Anyway, Earthion is a new shmup, and one for which the excitement comes mainly from its presentation. At least based on what has been shown publicly so far. From the amount of chaos being displayed on screen, to the thrilling soundtrack which drives everything. Though that’s no surprise coming from Yuzo Koshiro.

A lot of shooters tend to push way hard into the bullet hell territory – no doubt helped by the fewer restrictions imposed by modern PC and console hardware, so I guess having the hardware limits in place makes for something a little fairer in terms of challenge. Which just adds to the excitement for me.

9. Contra: Operation Galuga

Yes, it’s another follow-up to a long-forgotten series. But Contra is one of those which really shaped the run & gun action game, and though its most recent attempt was shall we say… not so good, from what’s been shown of Operation Galuga, I think there’s a chance it might actually be a return to form.

One factor which struck my interest is that it’s being handled by Wayforward, who’ve previously done a Contra game (Contra 4 on the Nintendo DS) alongside being known for lots of great 2D action games.

So that’s one thing.

The other is that it looks like it understands that spark which makes a Contra game.. well, a Contra game. Fast paced action, loads of weapons and some tricky platforming. If the pace keeps up through the whole game, I reckon it’ll be one which will not only be a great throwback, but a great one to enjoy in co-op mode too.

8. Pacific Drive

I’ve always had this craving for a driving game which wasn’t just locked to a racing circuit, or to the underground streets. Pacific Drive might not necessarily be that game for me, but its setup, in which you’re trying to escape something by driving through the forest kind of piques my interest.

The basic concept seems solid enough – getting your car prepared and tweaked for whatever lies ahead, which I’m sure will lead to lots of thinking about the unknown which lies ahead. I don’t necessarily claim to be a fan of the spooky stuff (I’m a bit too easily startled these days), but really, I think the driving and the vibe is what puts Pacific Drive on my list for the sake of curiosity!

7. Star Wars: Outlaws

One of the things which I’ve begun to notice in the last few years is that I’ve started to get a bit fatigued by the vast worlds most AAA games tend to offer. I’d much rather have a tighter focused experience any day of the week – and if anything this was exaggerated by the solidification of the Ubisoft formula especially with the last few Assassin’s Creed games (prior to Mirage).

Which means the inclusion of Star Wars: Outlaws into the list might sound illogical, but the thing is though? I feel the open nature of this really offers many more options than other open world games. Providing they hold true to what was teased earlier this year – having multiple ways to take on threats during missions, alongside far more character options gives this more of an RPG feel, and hopefully brings the feelings I miss from other sci-fi fare.

6. Star Wars: Dark Forces Remastered

Once again, I guess this is kind of cheating – I mean, Dark Forces has been around for a long time after all. It’s just that that compared to its peers at the time, Dark Forces pushed the FPS mould quite a bit and that’s enough to introduce a few creaks into the formula.

So I’m excited to see that the folks at Nightdive are tacking it, giving a bit of that 21st Century polish and tweakage to improve it for modern play. Honestly, as much as I love being able to have the opportunity to experience (or re-experience) a classic in its original form, it has to be acknowledge that sometimes, the classic experience can get in the way of it for some folks.

All up, I’m looking forward to seeing how it fits into that landscape which all those boomer shooters are gunning for.

5. Homeworld 3

It’s been a long time since I really gotten engrossed with a strategy game, I guess it’s one of those genres which truly needs the time investment to truly thrive with them, and that’s something which I struggle with in some regards.

But it doesn’t mean that I’m not intrigued to see how Homeworld 3 fares. I mean, it’s a series which has always presented the spectacle of giant space battles combined with an epic atmosphere.

I always appreciated that scale, and considering how long it’s been since the last game was released, the idea of seeing what the folks at Blackbird can do with all the advances in gaming hardware to see just how far they can pull the envelope in strategic gaming.

4. Megacopter: Blades of the Goddess

Something I love about indie developers is that they’re the ones most likely to go for a new take on a long dead genre – and with Megacopter, this so happens to be a modern take on the Strike (Desert Strike, Jungle Strike et al) series.

Now, compared to some of the other games I’ve listed here, this is not one which is going to redefine the industry, or be highly innovative. It’s just one which is a throwback to a lost style of game, but hopefully with a modern twist, and something that’ll scratch that itch.

After all, sometimes it’s great to pick up a controller and get taking on some hostile forces, and disengaging your brain for a bit.

3. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

It’s been a heck of a long time since we’ve had a Prince of Persia game, let alone one which properly throws back to the 2D origins of the series. So the announcement of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, certainly struck some curiosity. Luckily, I’ve had the chance to play its demo at PAX Aus this year, and combined with Jess’ preview means this is going to be quite the reinvention.

Something I think I can say I’m quite here for. It takes the base exploratory concepts, but marries them up to some more Metroidvania-esque mechanics and it truly gives it some serious pacing to. I love that they’re not retreading the same ground, yet it feels familiar enough to give that buzz.

2. Mechwarrior 5: Clans

If it’s one thing with 2023 for me, it’s been a relighting of my love for the giant stompy robots of the BattleTech universe. Something no doubt fuelled by revisiting the most iconic of the MechWarrior games, 1995’s MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat.

So when Piranha Games dropped their teaser for MechWarrior 5: Clans, they certainly knew how to grab my (and I’m sure a lot of other fans’) attention. What’s important with this is that it ditches the procedurally generated missions of its predecessor, instead going for a tighter scripted campaign reminiscent of the earlier game.

It’s also going to be exciting to play through an important part of the BattleTech timeline – the early days of the Clan Invasion which is certainly something to give players a thrill. Even if from the perspective of one of the cruelest factions in the game.

1. Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story

This is one which is probably not going to surprise anyone who knows me, or has listened to enough of my rambles on the Pixelcast, but the recent Interactive Documentaries Digital Eclipse have been putting out (Atari 50, The Making of Karateka) scratch my itch of wanting to learn about how many old games are put together.

That’s more than enough to keep me interested in what they’re putting out, but that anticipation is  turned up to 11 with the subject of their next one: the early years of legendary indie developer Jeff Minter. Once again, we’ll have the opportunity to play a bunch of games, review various scanned documents and watch a bunch of videos, which includes material originally filmed for Heart of Neon (http://heartofneon.com), a documentary about Jeff’s career.

So that concludes Rob’s list of his most anticipated games of 2024. What are some of yours? Hit us up via social media to let us know what games you are keen on in 2024!

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