Welcome back to another edition of the PCG Q&A, where our panel of PC Gamer writers answers a question about PC gaming, before we scroll down and look at your answers to that same question in the comments. This week, a nice easy one: which game are you most excited about in 2018?
Wes Fenlon: Spelunky 2
We know almost nothing about Spelunky 2, except that it's coming to PC, and most likely stars the daughter of the original red-nosed spelunker. Also, creator Derek Yu's teaser trailer seems to imply we'll be going to... the moon? Really, it doesn't matter very much to me where Spelunky 2 is set, as long as it offers the same kind of brilliant interactions between the player, enemies, and the environment as the first game. The lunar setting could do some fun things with gravity, and I'm excited to see what new kinds of enemies and biomes Yu comes up with. If I had to guess, the first few levels will hew more similar to the classic mines of Spelunky, before venturing off into stranger and stranger territory as we descend further into the lunar underground.
As much as I loved the first Spelunky, I was never especially good at it. I followed accomplishments like the eggplant run with fascination, and I hope Yu has plans for similar intricately hidden secrets in Spelunky 2. Hopefully it's out this year, but if not, I'll be waiting patiently.
Jody Macgregor: No Truce With The Furies
I was going to say Vampyr (I believe that's pronounced "Wum-peer" in your best Bela Lugosi voice) because I like vampires and there should be more games about them that aren't Bloodlines. But No Truce With the Furies has come out of nowhere to intrigue the hell out of me. It's an urban fantasy RPG where you're a detective in a city called Revachol, and it sounds like a China Mieville novel. Your character has a separate inventory for their thoughts called the "Thought Cabinet", combat happens in the same system as dialogue, you can have conversations with your own skills, and its setting is described as a "reasonably sized open world". I am definitely in the market for a reasonably sized open world.
Chris Livingston: Metro Exodus
I know the trailers we've seen of Metro Exodus so far have all been of the completely scripted, unrealistic, cinematic variety. But I'm still looking forward to another trip into that dark and dying world. Even though I wasn't completely enamored of Metro 2033 and Last Light, particularly in how linear they were, I loved the tense and desperate atmosphere of those games. What can I say, I like me some bleak worlds. Stalker, DayZ, Metro: the bleaker, the better.
It's not arriving until the fall so I've got plenty of time to wait, but I'm hoping we get a look at some real gameplay footage and not just scripted scenes in the next few months.
Jarred Walton: System Shock remake
I missed the first game at launch (long story, but basically I had a two-year break from gaming), but I loved a lot of the old Looking Glass games. The problem is that the old interface for System Shock basically sucks. It's similar to what was used in Ultima Underworld, and it didn't age well. System Shock 2 on the other hand was awesome, and games like Prey have been great spiritual successors, but I've always wanted to go back and revisit the original game. I don't know if Nightdive Studios can pull it off, but I'm pulling for them. I'm also looking forward to seeing what happens with the Underworld game from OtherSide Entertainment, not to mention System Shock 3, but System Shock comes first.
Andy Chalk: Underworld Ascendant
I'm not convinced that Underworld Ascendant will make its planned release this year. Otherside Entertainment hasn't shown us much so far, and what we have seen looks very preliminary. And that's fine, because I'd rather see it delayed into 2019 than rushed into '18 anyway—ironically, because there's no other game I want more this year, and I'd rather wait to ensure it's right. I was a huge fan of the deep, rich, and unfettered world that Ultima Underworld let me run around in back in the day: Slaying monsters, discovering secrets, and dealing with an all-powerful demon and the schmoes who unleashed it, as one does when one is imprisoned in a great underground world, but also playing politics with goblins, making rotworm stew for a troll, and even doing a solid for some upstanding ghouls. There was simply nothing else like it, and apart from Arkane's valiant effort with Arx Fatalis, there's been nothing like it since.
It's a little nerve-wracking that Underworld Ascendant is being developed as a crowdfunded indie game, but I have no complaints about the people on the job, among them Paul Neurath, Tim Stellmach, Nate Well, Joe Fielder, and Warren Spector. For me, that's dream-team territory. And the promise of a chance to be able to return to the Abyss, without the fuss, muss, and ugliness of early '90s retro gaming, is tremendously exciting.
(Chuchel's gonna be cool too though.)
Joe Donnelly: Biomutant
Truth be told, the game I'm most looking forward to this year is Red Dead Redemption 2. But for the purpose of this PC Gamer dot com column, I'm going to go with Experiment 101's martial arts-driven action role-player Biomutant. I came away from a hands-off demonstration at last year's Gamescom impressed, and much of what I've seen since looks equally as promising—not least its gorgeous open world, and multi-tiered combat, abilities and crafting systems. Plus its anthropomorphic cast looks adorable.
Check out my thoughts on the early build I was shown in this direction, and if you like what see there know that it's playable at the PC Gamer Weekender in London next month. How's that for a shameless plug?
Samuel Roberts: Into The Breach
I'm fortunate enough to already have this 2018 future hit on my PC at home, and I'm several failed campaigns deep into it at this point. From the creators of FTL, this is a really satisfying game of micro-strategy scenarios, like an Advance Wars spin-off that never was. It's a mechs vs monsters grid-based game that relies on pushing enemies around the map to win. The deeper you get into it, the more you can customise your units with cool extra abilities and buffs, and if your campaign is going south, you can send a character back in time for when you start again at any time. It's brilliant. You will love it.