Open-world games have grown from text-based adventures into some of the biggest and best-selling titles in video game history.Offering players the freedom to tackle epic quests at their own pace, games like Skyrim, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Yakuza Zero boast detailed settings ripe for exploration and mischief.
From a tale of revenge years in the making to a quest that pits players against sin itself, let’s take a look at some of the most exciting upcoming open-world titles that’ll blow gamers away.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar’s been leading open-world gaming for years with their flagship Grand Theft Auto franchise.So it comes as no surprise that sprawling western Red Dead Redemption became one of the richest open-world experiences ever made.
The Wild West sprang to life in a way that had simply never been possible since, well, the Wild West.Whether you were hankering for a shootout, a saloon brawl, or a friendly game of poker, all of it was at your trigger finger.It goes without saying that Red Dead Redemption 2 is already one of the most-anticipated games of 2018.
While little is known about its gameplay or plot, the trailers suggest that, this time around, players will take the role of an outlaw tearing his way through the West.The game also appears to be leaving the classic dust-and-tumbleweeds look behind instead, the player will visit environments as diverse as snowy mountain peaks and alligator-infested swamps.
As one of Marvel’s most iconic characters, Spider-Man has always deserved to have a great game built around him.With his trademark agility and web-slinging prowess, he’s also a natural fit for an open-world environment.So it was only a matter of time before Sony announced that Insomniac Games was making a new Spider-Man game for the PlayStation 4.
While we don’t know much yet, it’s been confirmed that the game is not connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, nor any specific comic version of the character.It will, however, star the original hero, Peter Parker, although the trailer implies that newer Spider-Man Miles Morales may also have some role to play.”This is Miles.He’s gonna be helping out around here.”
Insomniac has produced a range of quality titles throughout its existence, from the very first Spyro the Dragon to Sunset Overdrive, the silly, self-aware open-world adventure that likely inspired the devs to take it to the Big Apple.With that much experience and versatility under their belt, the team ought to knock a Spider-Man game out of the park.
A change in direction for developer BioWare, Anthem is a multiplayer-focused, persistent shooter set in a world similar to that of Bungie’s Destiny.But Destiny always put gameplay before story, whereas BioWare promises to deliver the same emphasis on narrative they honed in the RPGs that made them a household name.
The open world itself appears to be an almost hypernatural rainforest, with towering trees, dazzling colors, and a range of vicious creatures.Real flashy stuff.The nature of the Anthem’s story, however, remains largely unknown.BioWare games typically cast the player in the role of the singular hero who can save the world or even the galaxy.Only time will tell if the stakes are just as high in Anthem.
A slick, apocalyptic action series, the Darksiders games gained a devoted fanbase before publisher THQ closed its doors.Fortunately, in 2013, Nordic Games revealed that they had bought the rights to the series along with THQ itself.
Renaming themselves THQ Nordic, they finally debuted footage of Darksiders III in 2017.Picking up right where the series left off, the new game will put players in the high-heeled sabatons of horseman Fury, who wields a retractable, serrated whip.Once again, gamers will drudge through the ruins of civilization, attempting to take down the 7 Deadly Sins who escaped to Earth after the end of days.
If it looks like the original Darksiders team never left, that’s because they basically didn’t.THQ Nordic’s development studio, Gunfire Games, is largely composed of former Darksiders staff.In other words, this is exactly the sequel that fans have been waiting for it’s just coming a few years late.
Skull & Bones
A spiritual successor to Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones expands upon its inspiration’s ship traversal and combat systems.Reports also indicate that players will be able to customize their ships’ “class” and personalize their vessels’ aesthetics and weaponry.
The majority of gameplay consists of multiplayer ship battles, raiding and looting merchant ships, and traversing around the Indian Ocean.Ubisoft promises a storyline, but it doesn’t look like it appears in a separate campaign rather, it appears as though the plot will be an integrated part of the overall multiplayer experience.A realistic, action-packed adventure on the high seas, Skull & Bones has the potential to become another monstrous hit for one of the world’s biggest publishers.
Funcom’s upcoming open-world game Conan Exiles will combine the iconic barbarian’s gritty, bloody world with the brutal demands of a survival game.Far from beginning as a mighty hero, your character will start his or her adventure nailed to a cross which is pretty metal, if you ask us.
From there, you’ll have to scrape together just enough food and water to get by.As your character grows more powerful, you’ll eventually be able to build a base and even an epic castle.And the many enemy characters out there can be captured and turned into thralls for you so once you’re strong enough, it will be the world trying to survive you instead of the other way around.
Funcom also made the online open-world Conan game Age of Conan, so it’s safe to say they know that world and its lore as well as anyone.Capable of being played solo or in groups, and boasting a variety of both human and supernatural enemies to fight, Conan Exiles promises dozens of hours of content at the least.If you can survive that long, that is.
From Undead Labs’ survival sim State of Decay to Capcom’s tongue-in-cheek Dead Rising series, the zombie apocalypse has always been a favorite of the open-world genre.Days Gone is looking to continue that tradition with a gritty vibe all its own.For one thing, its main character, Deacon, looks more like a member of a biker gang than the typical everyman hero of other zombie games.
Judging from snippets of gameplay we’ve seen, Days Gone casts aside the typical small-group enemy encounters in favor of massive hordes of the undead.This is a game aware of what has come before it, and it’s intentionally taking a different path.As a first-party Sony studio, developer Bend is looking to push the PlayStation 4 system as far as it can go.
If what we’ve seen so far is any indication, that means swarms of hungry shufflers on an all-out warpath a la World War Z.In addition, the game aims to focus on freeform exploration and problem-solving.In other worlds, dealing with human bad guys means trying to take them on yourself or just blowing up their walls so the undead can dispatch them for you.
As a survival horror game, players can probably expect elements of resource management in addition to lots of quiet moments as you bike your way through a beautiful landscape that is now unnaturally quiet.
The Crew 2
In most open-world games, getting from point A to point B boils down to jacking a vehicle, hoofing it, or fast-traveling like a wimp.But The Crew 2 takes traversing its sprawling setting to a whole new level by making the journey half the fun.
“Fun” really is the key word.While technically a racing game as well, realism isn’t exactly the top priority here.Rather, The Crew 2 is the kind of game where you can start in the air, fly overtop a highway, and transform your airplane into a car because why not? The game takes place in a digital version of the U.S. which has obviously been scaled down.
That means you can trek or fly from LA to New York in one uninterrupted trip.And on the way, you can switch from boat races through caverns to airplane shenanigans in the sky.The Crew 2 is about having a blast, whichever direction you want to go.
An epic saga of revenge, the Shenmue series is the stuff of video game legend.The first game released for the Sega Dreamcast was one of the most expensive productions in the industry’s history, eventually becoming a cult sensation.
Though the franchise has been defunct for years, a recent Kickstarter campaign brought a third game to life and gamers will soon be able to step back into the shoes of Ryo Hazuki to avenge his father’s death.This campaign once again saw the series breaking records, as it reached the highest total amount raised for a video game in the site’s history.
The game itself promises to take players to a variety of locations, from rural areas to major cities in both Japan and China.The story picks up directly from where Shenmue II left off, letting long-term fans finally see this epic tale to its end.
Even new players will likely enjoy this latest entry in the beloved series, since its world promises to be as intricate and fleshed-out as the series’ first two installments.Shenmue 3 is indeed a labor of love thanks to both its committed developer and Shenmue’s loyal and patient fans.