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The Most Anticipated New Video Games of 2024: Release Dates

The Most Anticipated New Video Games of 2024: Release Dates


Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos: Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Square Enix, SEGA

Can 2024 live up to one of the all-time-great video-game years that preceded it? In all likelihood, probably not. After all, 2023 was stacked with incredible, genre-defining titles like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Baldur’s Gate 3, and Alan Wake 2 partly because of the lingering effects of the global pandemic: Studios reorganized themselves and lengthened production cycles, thus pushing back release dates. 2024 probably won’t yield such a crop of Metacritic-topping titles, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to look forward to, especially considering the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S consoles are entering their fourth year, which means game-makers should truly have a handle on the hardware. Expect long-in-the-works follow-ups to cult classics, innovative indies, and dazzling remakes that look set to improve on their originals. Throw in the anticipated release of the Nintendo Switch 2, which could arrive in the latter half of the year, and 2024 might not reach the dizzying heights of 2023, but that’s not to say it won’t keep us rapturously entertained.

PS5
January 19

A remaster for a game that was just released in 2020? Sure, you’re entitled to eye-roll at its inclusion on this list of most anticipated games. But wait! The remaster arrives with not only upgraded visuals but a handful of new game modes including roguelike survival. Most tantalizing is the inclusion of material that never made it into the final game: a handful of unfinished levels accompanied by commentary from key members of the dev team. At the very least, this remaster could offer fresh insight into the oftentimes impregnable fortress that is triple-A game development, even if it’s entirely on publisher Sony’s terms.

PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series One/Series X/S
January 26

The franchise formerly known as Yakuza takes flight to Hawaii in what could be the most bonkers outing yet for the goofball crime series. Pre-release material showed returning protagonist Ichiban riding a dolphin alongside new mechanics that let you create your own in-game island-getaway resort similar to the Animal Crossing games. Combined with bone-crunching, turn-based combat and a story that sees Ichiban searching for his biological mother on the Pacific island, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth looks set to marry its absurdist streak with genuine emotional resonance.

PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
January 26

The last big release of what is perhaps the most packed January on video-game record. The Tekken series makes its long-awaited return with a flurry of roundhouse kicks, uppercuts, and likely some of the most outrageously OTT cutscenes that have yet been rendered for a video game. It’s been more than eight years since Tekken 7 arrived in arcades across the globe. The console version hit two years later. In light of such a lengthy wait, expectations are sky-high for the latest entry in one of the few remaining triple-A fighting game franchises.

PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
February 2

Despite the underwhelming reception of co-op action RPG Gotham Knights in 2022, there are reasons to be optimistic about Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, a game that looks pretty similar at first glance. Chief among them is the fact that it’s being developed by Rocksteady, the studio behind arguably the greatest superhero games ever made: the Batman: Arkham series. Expect a deluge of wisecracks; breathless, vertically oriented traversal through the city of Metropolis; and a mix of melee and gunplay combat. For those of us who have grown weary of superheros’ prominence in pop culture, the game might also offer catharsis if it makes good on its title.

PC, PlayStation 4/5
February 13

The Metroidvania has enjoyed something of a renaissance over the past decade: Dead Cells, Guacamelee, and Hollow Knight all breathed life into the genre born in the 1980s with its namesakes, Metroid and Castlevania. Next up is Ultros, a 2-D side-scroller that offers a welcome twist on the long-established formula in the form of gardening. Protagonist Ouju wakes up having crashed her ship on a giant sarcophagus floating through the outer reaches of the cosmos. What they find is not necessarily an empty vessel but an overgrown place where nature and technology have become intertwined. There’s combat, of course, but also the chance to cultivate the various alien plants, either for your own personal enjoyment (you might be on this sarcophagus for a while) or to aid your escape. In Ultros, it could be the secateurs that are mightier than the sword.

Nintendo Switch
February 16

Long before Hollywood gave us Godzilla vs. Kong, Nintendo delivered Mario vs. Donkey Kong for the Game Boy Advance in 2004. As in the original, the plot of this remake is perhaps even simpler than that monster movie: Donkey Kong has stolen Mario’s windup toys, so it’s up to the intrepid, ever-bouncing plumber to get them back. What goes down is a series of 2-D platforming puzzles that look set to test your gray matter more than your reflexes. The key is to “observe, then act” according to Nintendo: Make a plan and execute in one seamless sequence. We’re delighted to see the inclusion of a local co-op mode that will see Mario teaming up with esteemed characters such as Toad to thwart the music-loving ape’s nefarious plan.

PC, PlayStation 5
February 22

What do you get when you cross the Strugatsky brothers’ novel Roadside Picnic, Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker, and Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach novels with breathless virtual car chases through the pristine Pacific Northwest wilderness? The answer is the run-based driving survival game Pacific Drive. Your task is to make it out of an exclusion zone facing a barrage of supernatural anomalies including lightning charges that attach to your vehicle, flying blades, and sludgy deposits, all while the wind howls and the rain beats down. The driving looks fast and furious, but quieter moments arrive when you get to tinker with your car. A game for petrolheads with a penchant for the weird.

PlayStation 5
February 29

Modern remakes of classic films tend to disappoint, but the opposite is often true of video games. Final Fantasy VII Remake was one of the highest-profile, most expensive games when it was released in 2020, with critics agreeing that it more than lived up to the acclaimed 1997 RPG original. But it offered only the beginning of the original game. This is the second installment, which looks set to continue the expansive approach to the source material. Expect new action sequences, open-world areas containing all-new sidequests, and beefed-up combat. For all this additional content, Square Enix has never lost sight of the spirit of the original — a charming, often absurd game about a diverse cast of sword-wielding friends saving the world from environmental catastrophe. It’s the least po-faced eco-fiction imaginable.

PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
March 22

You’d be forgiven for being unfamiliar with the original Dragon’s Dogma, an action-RPG released in 2012 to an admiring if not effusive critical reception. What the original lacked in visual identity (Gransys is as generic a fantasy setting as you’re likely to wander) it more than made up for with distinct and compelling mechanics, chief among them your ability to enlist NPC party members referred to diminutively as Pawns. The sequel looks to build on these foundations, offering chaotic, unscripted, and utterly thrilling combat fit for 2024. If it delivers, there’s every chance that Dragon’s Dogma 2 could be this year’s Elden Ring, an unstoppable, lavish RPG epic that seemingly everyone can agree on.

Nintendo Switch
March 22

Princess Peach’s return to a starring role is arguably long overdue: her last was in Super Princess Peach way back in 2005. In this new outing, the world’s foremost damsel in distress does away with stereotypes to don an array of outfits that transform her look and give her different powers. There’s Swordfighter Peach, Detective Peach, and Patisserie Peach, all of which change the gameplay, from tasking the protagonist with tracking down lost artifacts to icing a gigantic cake. We’re excited to see the full extent of Peach’s new wardrobe, which includes pants for the very first time. This could be a feminist reimagining to rival that of another certain character with a fondness for hot pink.

PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X/S
Spring 2024

Richard Hogg and micro-studio Hollow Ponds are behind a string of cult hits including Hohokum, Wilmot’s Warehouse, and I Am Dead. Next up is Flock, an exploration game in which you fly around a bucolic landscape enticing various creatures (starting with adorable-looking “hover-sheep”) to join your crew. As per the developers’ previous games, the art style is bright, chunky, and cartoonish; the mood is breezy and whimsical. We’re expecting a chill experience a little like Jenova Chen’s classic Flower, except with a few twists and a dash more color. As your herd grows, you’ll be able to pull resources from individual creatures, like wool from sheep to create “hats, cardigans, and even socks.” Most enticing is Flock’s billing as a “multiplayer co-op” game, one for those of us looking for a change of pace from Call of Duty.

PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X/S
Spring 2024

It’s easy to see why adventure game Harold Halibut, announced some seven years ago, has been in development for so long. The game utilizes stop-motion-style visuals, the kind made famous by Aardman Animations, to stunning effect. Its story focuses on a young lab assistant (the titular Harold) who lives aboard the Fedora, a city-size spaceship submerged beneath an alien ocean 250 years after it fled Earth. The vibe appears to marry the measured wackiness of Wes Anderson with classic point-and-click adventure mechanics, which sounds like a match made in heaven to us.

PC, Xbox Series X/S
Spring 2024

Each of the pre-release trailers for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl proudly states “made in Ukraine.” You can well understand why: During the development of the long-awaited return of the survival shooter series, Kyiv-based maker GSC Game World was forced to relocate en masse to Prague because of Russia’s invasion. As a result, studio founder Sergiy Grygorovych has called it a “national product,” one whose rugged first-person action set in the Chornobyl Anomalous Exclusion Zone is intended to show the value of the country’s “cultural legacy.” In long-standing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fashion, you’ll navigate physics-shredding anomalies, make friends with fellow stalkers (those who seek supernatural artifacts found in the region), and face off against a rogues’ gallery of mutants.

PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
August 20

With the likes of Naraka: Bladepoint and Genshin Impact scoring success in recent years, Chinese video games are having something of a moment in the West. Black Myth: Wukong could offer another breakthrough moment for the country’s game-makers, an acrobatic soulslike (the microgenre inspired by the Dark Souls games) based on the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West. You play as a staff-wielding monkey, traversing a series of sumptuously rendered, semi-open environments, all while facing off against enemies with names like Centipede Guai and Tiger Vanguard. Change your staff grip and you’ll gain access to different moves, with the weighty melee combat supported by a spell system. If you’re looking for a fresh spin on the soulslike formula, Black Myth: Wukong is one to keep an eye on.

PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

The latest game from the Chinese Room, maker of landmark walking simulators Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, sees it pivot to horror. Still Wakes the Deep is set at Christmas 1975 on an oil rig off the coast of Scotland. As with the studio’s previous games, there’s no combat, but that doesn’t mean the experience lacks action as you’re tasked with traversing the rickety rig at the mercy of the elements and something altogether more supernaturally terrifying. By appearing to suggest that nothing good can come of drilling down into the earth’s crust, Still Wakes the Deep could turn out to be an urgent slice of eco-horror.

PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

Featured in the 2023 edition of Tribeca’s increasingly on-point games showcase, Despelote is described by its makers as a “slice-of-life adventure about childhood and soccer in Quito, Ecuador 2001.” As you might imagine, the story is semi-autobiographical, a retelling of the childhood of Julián Cordero, one of the makers of the game. You view the action from a first-person perspective, kicking, dribbling, and passing a ball around town, all while interacting with the locals, who are swept up in the excitement of Ecuador’s first qualifying run for the World Cup. Adding to the authentic feel, Despelote is fully voiced in Spanish and features field recordings of Quito itself. The result could be one of 2024’s most charming games.

PC, Xbox Series X/S

A gritty, brutal, medieval-Scotland-set action-adventure, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II will arrive a full seven years after the original. During that time, developer Ninja Theory was acquired by Microsoft, a move presumably driven by the desire to give Xbox owners their own mature, story-driven, triple-A experiences of the kind that have become commonplace on Sony consoles over the past ten years. The original was lean, mean, and wonderfully entertaining as it delved into the psyche of its young protagonist. There’s a lot riding on this bigger, prettier continuation of Senua’s story.

PC, PlayStation 5

Bennett Foddy, one third of the development team behind Baby Steps, has a track record of making hilarious, punishing games centered on the act of movement. 2008 internet classic QWOP tasked you with completing a 100-meter sprint. Simple enough, except you had to control each limb manually. Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy, released some nine years later, was a more classically Sisyphean experience, seeing a man in a terracotta pot attempt to scale a mountain using little more than a hammer. Now we have Baby Steps, Foddy’s latest collaboration with Gabe Cuzzillo and Maxi Boch, which applies a similar slapstick formula to hiking. The goal, say the devs, is to put you in the “hypnotic space” that walking can often foster, albeit with a series of surreal encounters along the way. Putting one foot in front of the other: How hard can it be?

PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

Arriving hot on the heels of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Ubisoft’s mostly successful open-world take on James Cameron’s sci-fi franchise, Star Wars Outlaws is another high-profile, licensed project from the French publisher. The game puts you in the shoes of Kay Vess, a scoundrel in the vein of Han Solo who must pull off what Ubisoft describes as “one of the greatest heists the Outer Rim has ever seen.” Kay will of course be able to use her trusty blaster against enemies in the galaxy far, far away, as well as leveraging her influence, reputation, and hard-earned (okay, maybe stolen) credits to avoid violent encounters altogether. If Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora was anything to go by, this should be immaculately crafted fan service, and maybe even something more.

PC, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch

In video games, you generally role-play as some souped-up person or being. Not so in Time Flies, which puts you in the shoes of a tiny, winged protagonist — the humble fly — who only has a handful of seconds to live. During this time, you must help them complete their bucket list by buzzing about an ordinary house. “Going on tour,” for example, involves landing on a record player, hitting the on switch, and then riding around dizzyingly on the vinyl as music wafts from the speakers. The game is filled with these kinds of interactive visual gags delivered by way of striking monochromatic pixel-art visuals. With a lengthy list and a limited time to complete it, this irreverent game is one of surprising strategic depth.

PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series X/S Nintendo Switch

No list of most anticipated games would be complete without the cursory inclusion of Hollow Knight: Silksong, the highly anticipated, long-gestating follow-up to the acclaimed 2-D platformer released way back in 2017. The original was beautiful and challenging, and judging by the smattering of trailers released, the sequel, which sees you playing as recurring character Hornet, looks to be more of the same — unique, perfectly balanced, masterfully polished. We’re confident this one should be worth the wait, whenever it does eventually arrive.

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

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