RPGs OF 2018
Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord
TBA | Taleworlds Entertainment | Link
It’s been a long wait for the sequel to Mount & Blade: Warband, and it may be a bit longer still, but previews have indicated a strongly expanded combat system to the cavalry battle simulator. Chief among those changes is a directional shield blocking system, chain attacks, and a command structure that allows you to focus on the task at hand while letting your A.I. commander dictate the overall flow of the fight.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
September 4, 2018 | Square Enix | Link
Return to the land of turn-based combat and blue slime monsters in the eleventh full installment of Dragon Quest. The North American release of Echoes of an Elusive Age features full english localization, a new dash function, overhauled menus and UI, the game promises to take players “across continents and oceans” on a journey to solve a mysterious threat facing the world.” As long it’s got that beautiful orchestral soundtrack the series is known for, I’ll be a happy slime slayer.
The Bard’s Tale IV
2018 | inXile | Link
The first entry in the classic dungeon crawler franchise since 1991, The Bard’s Tale IV mixes old school turn-based combat with decidedly more open, surface-level world exploration. With more than 20 dungeons to explore and some significant shake-ups to conventional dungeon combat (party members can be positioned in a two-row grid), it looks like fans old and new might find enough to surprise them.
2018| Toadman Interactive | Link
Stop me if you've heard this one before: Immortal: Unchained is a whole lot like Dark Souls. But with guns. "It's definitely going for the same basic formula. The levels are big and maze-like," writes James. "I'd rather Immortal: Unchained take its toe out of the Souls pool and create new systems and ideas for level design and progression that support shooting evil cyborgs in the knees rather than lean on traits from other games just because."
TBA | CD Projekt Red | Link
The studio behind The Witcher dives into the world of the Cyberpunk pen-and-paper RPG by Mike Pondsmith, and all signs point to an even bigger scale than the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. CD Projekt Red has also confirmed the game will have some multiplayer elements as well. The game's official Twitter account updated itself for the first time in years this past January, and CD Projekt Red has all but confirmed they'll be a presence at this year's E3, so we're hoping for something substantial. Check out our huge rundown of everything we know about the game.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
TBA | Ubisoft Montpelier | Link
A prequel to the original cult classic, BG&E 2 introduces some significant shifts to what was originally a linear, cutesy adventure game. Though it’s hard to pin down what the end result will be, creator Michel Ancel has teased the idea of a galaxy-spanning RPG that lets you work up from the bottom rungs of society to a ship captain, with multiplayer components to boot.
May 29, 2018 | Digital Sun | Link
An adventurous shopkeeper named Will dreams of adventure in a world populated with strange dimensional portals and creatures. By day, tend to your humble shop, meet townsfolk, and try to figure out which customers will pay more for certain items. By night, leap into randomly-generated Zelda-style rooms filled with traps, enemies, and treasure.
Deep Sky Derelicts
TBA (Currently Early Access) | Snowhound Games | Link
Hire and control up to three mercenaries to root through derelict ships for resources and hope in this dystopian sci-fi adventure with animation that flows like a motion comic book. Turn-based combat pits you against space zombies, gargantuan worms, and god knows what else by using randomly-drawn cards from a deck of possible actions.
2018 | OtherSide | Link
Picking up where the Ultima Underworld games left off, Underworld Ascendant is a first-person dungeon crawler and an immersive sim with a highly reactive environment. It's being designed to encourage improvisation and reward experimenting with its systems.
TBA (Currently Early Access) | Damian Schloter | Link
Slasher’s Keep is a first-person dungeon crawling game where you hack and slash a standard selection of fantastical enemies. Developer Damian Scholter has no qualms with self-deprecation, labeling Slasher’s Keep as a “roguelike” or “roguelikelike if you like”. Despite Schloter’s efforts to make it sound generic and derivative, Slasher’s keep has a bold art style and sounds like it will be borrowing the best elements from a lot of RPG subgenres. It’s released in February 2018 as an early access title with plans for a full-release approximately five to seven months afterwards.
Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion
July 17 2018 | Outright Games | Link
The land of Ooo has been flooded, sending Finn, Jake, BMO and Marceline (who is rocking an excellent pirate outfit) on a nautical adventure to find the source of the flooding. It’s a 3D open-world affair that immediately calls to mind The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker---that’s a lot to live up to. Expect RPG trappings, as well as tactical combat and naval exploration. Also, crikey does it look gorgeous.
The Quest Giver
2018 | Rest.less | Link
Instead of being an adventuring hero, in The Quest Giver, you take on the role of, you’ve guessed it, the person doling out quests. Start up a guild, create quests, hire heroes, and then send them out on adventures to increase your guild’s reputation. It looks a bit like Recettear or Epic Tavern. It didn’t get close to its Kickstarter target, but it’s now on BrightLocker.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse
TBA | Cyanide Studio | Link
Rather than another Vampire: The Masquerade adventure (please?), the World of Darkness franchise is setting out to explore the world of its considerably more hairy RPG. There’s little more than an announcement to go on, but developer Cyanide Studio (Styx, Call of Cthulhu) have said they’ll explore the “shamanistic and tribal world” of the Garou (French for “werewolf”) as they battle the forces of The Wyrm. Werewolf will likely be an RPG, but with Cyanide’s history of creating bike racing management sims and Warhammer football games, who really knows?
2018 | Ink Stains Games | Link
Stoneshard wants to make you suffer. A turn-based roguelike RPG, it promises to starve you, cripple you, make you go into shock and drive you insane. But when you’re not suffering, you’ll be able to plunder caves, rescue villages and even build up your own company of mercenaries. There’s a management side to the game, then, as you try to keep everyone happy---if you don’t, they might betray you.
God Eater 3
TBA | Bandai Namco | Link
Sometimes a sandwich is all you need to fill you up, but other times your hunger is so great that it can only be sated by munching on a deity. Unfortunately, God Eater 3 is not the third entry in a series of divine cooking games, but rather it’s an action-RPG where you’re part of a team of monster-slayers in possession of extra-fancy, monster-killing weapons. These monsters, the Aragami, are taking over the world, changing and corrupting it, so they probably need a stern talking-to.
2018 | Spiders | Link
Spiders’ RPGs are typically rough and derivative, but the studio is nothing if not prolific, and is back again with a new roleplaying outing. Greedfall takes aim at European colonialism, set on an island that’s been invaded by colonists, adventurers and treasure hunters who are apparently getting on the nerves of the indigenous peoples and their supernatural protectors. Expect multiple factions, as well as decisions (big and small) that change the fate of the island and its inhabitants.
TBA | Tales of Game’s Studios | Link
Also known as The Magical Realms of Tír na nÓg: Escape from Necron 7–Revenge of Cuchulainn: The Official Game of the Movie–Chapter 2 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa, this sequel to the hilarious JRPG-styled Barkley 1 could be one of the funniest games of the year, if it comes out this year. The project has been quiet for a while, but we’re hoping for more news at some point.
2018 | Klei | Link
A turn-based RPG with battles that look a bit Final Fantasy from the people behind Invisible Inc. and Don't Starve. The setting's sci-fi, the protagonists are pirates and mercenaries, and one of them's a neat-looking slug dude. Negotiation will apparently be as important as combat, and you'll be adventuring in a sandbox with its own simulated economy.
September, 2018 (Currently Early Access) | Failbetter | Link
The sequel to Sunless Sea leaves underground oceans behind and sets off into space. Set 10 years later in the year 1905, its steam-powered ships are now capable of interplanetary travel. As the captain of one you'll be experiencing familiar activities from Sunless Sea—like going mad, running out of food, and eating all your crew.
RELEASED AND DELAYED TO 2019
Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition
March 27, 2018 (Out now) | Beamdog | Link
A welcome remaster of a classic PC RPG, now with 4K and widescreen support and other tweaks to the original. You can read about how fans and the developers have come together to rebuild Neverwinter Nights, and what the game means to them, right here.
Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom
March 23 (Out now) | Level 5 | Link
This JRPG (featuring animation work from the renowned Studio Ghibli) features the tale of Evan, a child king who finds himself usurped from his throne and aided by a bevy of creatures and fantastical characters. Real-time fights replace the original’s turn-based system. Plus, a new mode called “Skirmish” pits two small armies against each other, blending Fire Emblem and a traditional tactics combat elements.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
February 13 (Out now) | Warhorse Studios | Link
Set in an immense, realistic depiction of medieval Bohemia, players take on the role of a young man thrust into the world of royal politics and violence after his family is slaughtered by the king’s mercenaries. Fight, steal, seduce, or do whatever else your heart desires in this non-linear story.
January 24 (Out now) | Semisoft | Link
If being bound to your PC meant that you missed out on a lot of classic JRPGs, Legrand Legacy might have you covered. With random encounters, 3D characters wandering around 2D areas, turn-based battles that evoke the likes of Final Fantasy VIII and recruitable NPCs like Suikoden, it’s definitely hitting that nostalgia button. There’s a prologue demo available now that offers up a single chapter of the game.
January 23 (Out now) | Tokyo RPG Factory | Link
Billed as a “spiritual sequel” to Tokyo RPG Factory’s debut game I Am Setsuna, Lost Sphear aims to similarly reinvigorate the nostalgia of old school RPGs like Chrono Trigger. Players will explore a colorful world alongside a crew of allies as they try to determine why fragments of the world (and memories associated with them) are disappearing into nothingness. Improvements to the turn-based combat system include the ability to move allies around the battlefield, giving certain abilities an advantage over enemies, plus the chance to equip mechanized “Vulcosuits” that boost player’s stats dramatically.
Secret of Mana
February 15 (Out now) | Square Enix | Link
The 1993 SNES classic RPG receives its first facelift in over two decades, with the original’s sprites being replaced with a chibi 3D graphics style akin to World of Final Fantasy. Other features include full voice acting for the game’s cast, the return of offline co-op, and the ability to switch between a rebuilt musical score or the original chiptune.
Final Fantasy 15
March 6, 2018 (Out now) | Square Enix | Link
The road trip to end all road trips is set to arrive on PC with some level of mod support, as well as all three DLC episodes that focus on Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto. It will also come with the Comrades expansion pack, which introduces an online multiplayer component, as well as a first-person mode, because why not?
The Swords of Ditto
April 24, 2018 | onebitbeyond | Link
Contrary to popular belief, heroes do sometimes die. Lucky for us, their loot and legend lives on forever. The Swords of Ditto pits you and a friend against a world of monsters, dungeons, and oversized cats. When you die, a new hero and reshaped world is born, inspired and guided by the legends of those that came before, allowing you to recover old loot or discover new mysteries. Combat mixes elements of Zelda and Don’t Starve, and features nifty weapons like nerf guns, golf clubs, horse chestnut maces, and more.
2019 | Kitfox Games | Link
You ever just stare at that random sword you bought on vacation and think “man, you just really get me”? Your weaponized wooing fantasies are make-believe no more, with each weapon in Boyfriend Dungeon turning into a hot, totally available man, woman, or cat apparently (hey, we’re not judging). Collect loot as you battle your way through isometric procedurally generated dungeons, then use your funds to take your halberd honey out on the town, where the game switches to a dating sim format.
Blue Omen Operation
2019 | BananaSoft | Link
What if you took the Mario RPGs but swapped out Mario and Luigi for a cursed mechanic who is playing reluctant host to a supernatural parasite and a beast-person mage-in-training who knows the netherworld like the back of her hand? You’d probably have something a lot like Blue Omen Operation, an ‘action-command’ RPG. If it sounds like your thing, give the demo a play.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
May 8, 2018 (Released) | Obsidian | Link
The sequel to 2015’s well-regarded isometric RPG Pillars of Eternity, Deadfire returns to the world of Eora, continuing the story of the telepathically gifted Watcher. Comandeer a pirate ship and sail the open-world tropics of the Deadfire Archipelago in search of the god Eothas, who destroyed the keep you called home by the end of the original game. Major overhauls include companion A.I., class systems, combat speed, afflictions, and more. Read our review here.
Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time
May 15, 2018 | Bandai Namco | Link
After the animated series found repeated success on Netflix, the witches of Luna Nova Magical Academy are back to solve a mysterious time loop plaguing the school. Form a party comprised of the main cast or charming side characters and battle monsters in real-time using a variety of spells and physical attacks. Finals week, am I right?
2019 | Ys Net | Link
The sequel few thought would ever happen, Shenmue 3 features the return of martial arts everyman Ryo Hazuki as he closes in on the mystery of who killed his father. Shenmue 3 promises similar gameplay to previous entries, letting players combat enemies hand-to-hand, explore a living, populated world, and upgrade abilities. If you're not familiar with the epic saga, Sega has confirmed that Shenmue 1 and 2 will be re-released with updated graphic options sometime this year.