This is a Great Time to be a Gamer

If, like me, you always look forward to writing your Christmas list and filling it with all the games you’d like, then this year you won’t be short of titles to choose from. It seems that every time I go online I see another update about an imminent game release. The last few years have given us some gems: Horizon Zero Dawn; Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild; and Mario Odyssey to name a few, but there is just something about those games set for release in the months between now and the end of the year that sets my spine tingling. Here are some of the big titles and their release dates, as if you need reminding:

Spiderman – 7th September

Shadow of the Tomb Raider – 14th September

Super Mario Party – 5th October

Assassins Creed Odyssey – 5th October

Read Dead Redemption 2 – 26th October

Spyro Reignited Trilogy – 13th November

Fallout 76 – 14th November

Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee – 16th November

Battlefield V – 20th November

Just Cause 4 – 4th December

Super Smash Bros: Ultimate – 7th December

There are of course others, but these particular titles are sure to be in the spotlight come their release dates, and all are highly anticipated titles. Although the competition is tough, I doubt any of the aforementioned will find sales hard to come by.

Despite none of them being new IPs, many of them sequels, fans are still excited to see the next instalments of their favourite franchises. I for one can’t wait for my Fallout 76 collector’s edition to arrive at my door so that I can start to explore a slightly newer Wasteland with friends, and I’m intrigued to see where Ubisoft have taken the Assassins Creed franchise on its visit to a more RPG-style Ancient Greece.

There appeared to be a strong theme at E3 earlier in the year of developers announcing a game and then telling us that it was in fact coming out this year. Fallout 76 was possibly the biggest shock in this regard simply because it was unexpected, in the sense that it’s an online multiplayer game rather than a continuation of standard the Fallout series, but also because we’ll have our hands on it in November! This is almost how I hope game announcements continue to work; I’m all for a bit of hype around a game, but not so much when it drags on for years and we see it at E3 and other conferences over and over. There are some exceptions to this, mind, *cough* Cyberpunk 2077 *cough*.

With so many good titles coming up I know my consoles will be getting good use. And the newly-acquired Switch won’t be left out in the cold. The success that Nintendo has seen with the Switch has certainly helped bulk out the release titles, with at least three on wishlists in this household. The disappointment Nintendo fans suffered with the Wii U seems to have vanished with the Switch. Although I must admit I was amongst the sceptics when it was first announced, dubious as to how well this gimmicky looking console would fare, the sales figures shut me up pretty fast. With Nintendo now having a super console which they are actually developing games for which they have finally opened up to more 3rd party developers means that titles previously not able to be played on Nintendo hardware can be, and played on-the-go no less, suggests that its future is looking bright. Also, with all the signs pointing towards Xbox and Nintendo cross play being on the cards, the Switch might end up having one of the best line ups since the N64.

When I think back over my years gaming, it’s hard to remember a time when there was so much on offer. It helps perhaps that I’m a little spoilt in having access to the ‘Big 3’ consoles so that I can play both Xbox and PlayStation exclusives as well as whatever quirky titles Nintendo want to throw at us. At the moment I truly think there is, and this will sound cliché, something for everyone. It is easy for us to moan that we have nothing new to play, but as mentioned before judging by the fact that the majority of the titles coming out over the new few months are remasters or sequels says a lot about what we actually want.

The video game industry seems to be going from strength to strength, and it is encouraging to see so many great titles coming to various platforms this year. It bodes well for the future and shows that developers are still working hard to please their fans and bring them what they want. A super strong line-up this year also means that it can surely only get better from here. With teasers on the horizon for more great titles in the coming years we as gamers have a lot to look forward to as the industry changes and evolves with the times. It will be interesting to see what the next generation brings us and hopefully we won’t have to wait as long as we think to find out what’s round the corner.

Which titles are you most excited to play this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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