SHOOTERS OF 2018
October 19 | EA DICE | Link
The Battlefield franchise returns to World War II, some liberties aside. The biggest changes include a 64-player Grand Operations mode incorporates multiple modes across three-to-four match story, similar to Battlefield 1's Operations mode, but with some significant changes. Combines Arms provides 4-player co-op via procedurally generated missions. You'll also be able to construct and repair fortifications at specific locations. Much to the joy of folks who hated Star Wars Battlefront II's loot systems, Battlefield V will have no loot boxes or premium pass, although you can bet there will be at least some cosmetic options for forking over more money.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
October 12 | Treyarch | Link
Wall-riding? Gone. Automatically regenerating health? Gone. Single-player campaign? Get out of here, smart guy. There's a lot of Black Ops 3's DNA in Black Ops 4, but the new shooter looks like it will finally bring some substantial change to the aging franchise, including multiplayer combat that's far more dependent on character abilities and situational awareness. You've got your zombie campaign, a time-traveling romp through gladiatorial arenas and the Titanic, because of course. Following in the footsteps of Fortnite and PUBG, you've also got Blackout, a battle royale mode that features characters and items from throughout Black Ops history.
TBA (in open alpha) | Epic Games | Link
Epic's "new" Unreal Tournament has been playable in an open alpha for years, now, and there's no sign that it'll be finished in 2018. Even in its unfinished state, though, it's a fun, fast-paced arena shooter that feels mighty faithful to the UT of old. The developers continue to work with the community on maps, weapons, and game balance, making Unreal Tournament as good an opportunity to learn about the process of game development as it is to frag strangers or bots with the best gun in PC gaming. (The Flak Cannon, if that wasn't obvious).
Overkill's The Walking Dead
November 6 | Overkill Software | Link
The Payday and Payday 2 gang know a thing or two about co-op shooters, so it’s probably a good thing that their take on The Walking Dead is a four-player FPS. Survivors will need to team up to secure a base and slice and shoot their way through the sea of zombies occupying Washington D.C. using knives, guns and special abilities. Expect to rescue other survivors, embark on missions, and work your way through your character’s skill tree and story.
Consortium: The Tower
TBA (currently Early Access) | Interdimensional Games | Link
Whereas the first Consortium game featured a narrative-heavy role-playing experience set aboard a single military plane, its sequel expands its scope to a massive tower filled with unique NPCs and dozens of paths to choose from. Complete your mission with guns blazing, pure pacifism, or ignore the mission altogether in this Die Hard-meets-Deus Ex adventure.
Superhot: Mind Control Delete
Fall 2018 (Early access now) | Superhot Team |Link
A standalone spin-off, Superhot: Mind Control Delete takes the time-control FPS conceit from the previous game and adds a roguelike twist. Time still only moves when you do, but now there’s procedural roguelike levels, unlockable special abilities, unlockable characters and trickier enemies that become progressively tougher and more determined to put a stop to your shenanigans. If you own Superhot, you’ll get this for free when it’s finished.
TBA (Out now in Early Access) | id Software | Link
The modernized take on Quake’s signature lightning-fast, rocket-jumping deathmatch has been in early access since last August, but the addition of a roster of player characters with unique abilities and an eSports mode that blends capture-the-flag with point capture has kept things interesting. Id announced at QuakeCon 2018 that the game is now permanently free-to-play, but you'll still have to pay for the Champions Pack if you want all characters unlocked right away.
Late 2018 (currently early access) | Crowbar Collective | Link
Crowbar Collective’s recreation of the original Half Life in Source Engine has been around since 2012 and entered Early Access on Steam in 2015. Although it’s been pushed back a few times, the team expects to launch the full release at an unannounced time in 2018. Predictably, and deservingly, even the Early Access version is well-received by Half Life fans.
Escape from Tarkov
2018 (now in open beta) | Battlestate Games | Link
Escape from Tarkov is a painfully real survival shooter. Manage your physical condition with stats like hydration, blood pressure, and exhaustion. Adjust your aim to account for ballistics and projectile physics. Manage a limited inventory space and lose your precious loot when you die. It’s also planned to include MMO features like running a store, adapting to the economy, and taking quests from NPCs. Tarkov is likely still a ways off from release, as it’s not yet in beta, but we’re hoping that the mix between Day Z and EVE Online will be worth waiting for.