The end of the year naturally brings year-end lists (and I’m currently working on my year-end mix), but it also beckons us to look towards the future. And in the case of pop culture nerds like myself, that means looking forward to all of the music, movies, etc., that will be coming our way in the new year.
I don’t get to play video games as often as I’d like, due in large part to my kids monopolizing our Xbox. Nevertheless, I love games and am excited to see how the following titles fare.
I loved almost everything about 2019’s Jedi: Fallen Order, especially how it used the usual Star Wars tropes to make the galaxy seem like a bigger, more mysterious and exciting place. (I was less a fan of its finicky controls and pointless customizations.) Survivor picks up five years after Fallen Order, with Cal Kestis still on the run from the Galactic Empire and facing a potential threat within the Imperial senate itself.
I haven’t had a Playstation in years, but the specters of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII still loom large over my gaming experience. As such, I’ll always be intrigued by a new Final Fantasy title, even if I’ll probably never get to play it.
With its blend of Greek mythology, vivid art, and gameplay, Hades was one of 2020’s most acclaimed video games. Given the original game’s success, a sequel was inevitable. Hades 2 focuses on the sister of Hades’ main character, as she embarks on a dangerous quest to kill the god-like Chronos.
As paranormal investigator Benedict Fox, you’re called to investigate the murder of a couple and their missing child. Which will require you dealing with all sorts of nightmarish experiences, Lovecraftian horrors, and secret societies. The game won “Most Wanted Xbox Game” at the 2022 Gamescon awards, and hopefully, it can deliver on all of its promise.
Originally scheduled for 2022 but delayed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Replaced is a gritty, post-apocalyptic game set in an alternative version of 1980s America. You play an AI construct that’s somehow been transplanted into a human body, and forced to wander through the city streets to figure out why. Blending stunning retro-inspired pixel art with a cyberpunk-esque aesthetic, Replaced just looks way cool.
If there’s any game that could tempt me to upgrade to a new Xbox, it’s Bethesda’s Starfield. I’m a sucker for games that feature deep customization, and Starfield offers just that, from your character to your character’s spaceship. And speaking of spaceships, you’ll be able to use yours to explore 1,000 planets throughout the galaxy. Bethesda has proven that they know a thing or two about creating massive gaming worlds with the Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises, and Starfield looks like their most ambitious project to date.
Because sometimes, you just want to hack apart alien horrors with a chainsword.