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Most Wanted: These Upcoming Games in 2024 Have Us Excited

As the curtains close on the successes and shortcomings of 2023, attention swiftly shifts to the horizon of the next twelve months. Will 2024 measure up to the qualitative standards set before, or is it destined to chart an entirely different course? At this juncture, such ponderings remain pure speculation.

Nonetheless, in the realm of anticipated releases for 2024, there are already a few games that set our fingers itching for controllers, keyboards, or mice. Even though nothing is set in stone, there lingers a glimmer of hope. In the coming year, we might catch a glimpse, perhaps even a sign of life, from some of these titles. Alternatively, we stand ready to embrace the element of surprise.

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Sören – Hades II

Roguelikes or -lites never quite captured my interest. The likes of The Binding of Isaac, Enter The Gungeon, or Spelunky? Tried them, found little enjoyment, and set them aside. Perhaps it’s simply not my genre, as it happens. Thus, my disappointment was palpable when Supergiant Games announced Hades towards the end of 2018. A roguelite game from the creators of Bastion and Transistor? And exclusively timed for the Epic Games Store? My curiosity waned swiftly.

Fast forward to September 17, 2020. After an extended spell in Early Access, the full version of Hades emerges, garnering unbelievably stellar reviews worldwide. Even here at 4Players, the review suggests that Hades might be Supergiant Games’ finest work yet. Perhaps my initial judgment at its reveal was premature?

So, I decided to give it a try myself. In a flash, over 100 hours were spent traversing the Underworld with Zagreus, unlocking all Steam Achievements along the way. For the sequel, I expect nothing short of a swift, explosive combat system, fantastic characters, and an art style that ranks among the industry’s finest. The only downside? Hades 2 is set for another round of Early Access, though this time, it’ll debut on Steam right from the start.

Jonas – Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

It’s been nearly two years since the release of Elden Ring. While Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon somewhat alleviated the From Software drought. I’m yearning for some Dark Fantasy action with clanging swords instead of airborne mechs. The knowledge that the Open World masterpiece from the Dark Souls creators would receive a DLC named Shadow of the Erdtree has been circulating for some time now. However, a release date remains elusive – though I’m certain it’s slated for 2024, without a doubt

When the time finally arrives, given past DLC releases, I anticipate nothing short of the pinnacle of boss battles. Having experienced Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne, I know that the paid expansions hide the most challenging yet rewarding adversaries in the series. My wish for Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree? A virtual thrashing that only From Software can deliver. Add to that a couple of new areas boasting intricate level design, intertwining shortcuts and pathways, and my From Software appetite will be sated for yet another year.

Gerrit – The Plucky Squire

When it comes to the density of major game releases, the near future may not rival the spectacle of 2023. As I gaze into the upcoming gaming year, I find few big titles that pique my undivided interest; however, smaller ones abound. Since the gamescom, one such title that’s caught my eye is The Plucky Squire. Games that embrace an unconventional gameplay mechanic tend to captivate me instantly.

In The Plucky Squire, you navigate a band of heroes in a classic 2D adventure perspective. Those familiar with Swords of Ditto will quickly recognize the signature character design from the same creators. What appears as a retro Zelda-like game with occasional jump’n’run segments transforms when you reach the edges of the levels. At that point, the characters, whose adventures unfold within a book, leap forth from its pages, transitioning into a 3D perspective.

The trailer promises an array of clever and whimsical ideas, a vibrant and cheerful aesthetic, and a collection of charming and endearing characters. These pint-sized heroes navigate a labyrinth of building blocks and confront malicious bugs. They climb through a dollhouse and a cardboard castle, exploring an entire wonderland within a child’s room. To me, it exudes an air of delightful diversion, capable of filling many enjoyable evenings.

Anny – Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth

In 2024, the gaming world will witness the arrival of Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth, the second part of the remake of a 1997 classic. I delved into the first part back in 2020 and immediately fell in love with its graphics, story, and characters. Aerith, Cloud, Red XIII, and Tifa, in particular, captured my heart. I can hardly contain my anticipation to reunite with them and uncover what lies ahead.

This installment picks up the narrative from its predecessor and guides the protagonists beyond the confines of Midgar, venturing through the vast world of Gaia. The developers promise approximately 100 hours of gameplay. What’s new is the ability to control the antagonist, Sephiroth, in battle, a feature I had the chance to test during a demo.

The combat system in Rebirth, akin to its predecessor, blends commands with real-time action. You engage your adversaries in combat while having the flexibility to pause and select physical or magical attacks. Boss battles, customary for the series, tend to be protracted, yet I hope they maintain their allure in this forthcoming installment.

Jonas – Persona 3 Reload

After completing Persona 5 for the third time this year, it’s finally time for something new, and Persona 3 Reload fits the bill perfectly. Instead of the red and black scheme, Persona 3 Reload envelops text boxes, sub-menus, and life bars in various shades of blue. Yet, it maintains the beloved seamless transitions. The primary cause for celebration? Undoubtedly, the completely overhauled visuals of the once PlayStation 2-based title.

The aesthetic aligns entirely with Persona 5’s style, exhibiting more flair in its little finger than many AAA games display in their entirety. Instead of the red and black scheme, Persona 3 Reload envelops text boxes, sub-menus, and life bars in various shades of blue, yet maintains the beloved seamless transitions. Characters, adversaries, and environments have all been modernized for this comprehensive overhaul. The concept of a vast, unchanging dungeon still sparks a hint of skepticism within me, but the addictive combat system and the stunning presentation will surely captivate me starting from February 2nd.

Sören – Windblown

Hold on a moment. Didn’t I just mention that Roguelikes and -lites never really caught my interest? And now I’m eagerly looking forward to two representatives of the genre in 2024. Yes, dear readers, the world can be peculiar at times. I can’t help it if alongside Hades 2 next year, the new game from the Dead Cells creators is also set for release. By the way, it’s also heading to Early Access, making this dual anticipation seem doubly crazy.

While I’ve become a bit cautious about Stalker 2 following its somewhat disappointing gamescom presentation, and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 might prove to be a challenging case, I’m actually quite optimistic about Windblown since its announcement at The Game Awards 2023. Sure, Dead Cells’ pixel art is shifting towards a vibrant 3D appearance, and now you can embark with up to two friends. However, it appears that developer Motion Twin hasn’t lost its touch. The brief gameplay glimpses in the announcement trailer already showcase a high pace, massive combos, and a dash move that would make many a Sega mascot green with envy.

Moreover, the developers promise challenging boss battles, numerous secrets, and an array of weapons gradually unlocked by absorbing the memories of fallen warriors. That sounds promising enough for me to anticipate the Early Access launch – after all, Dead Cells also greatly benefited from its trial phase in the end.

Gerrit – Hollow Knight: Silksong

Many might be tired of hearing about it, reluctant to even consider placing this game on their wishlist until a release window is confirmed. However, I remain an optimist and persist in believing that the upcoming year will belong to Hollow Knight: Silksong. Initially announced in 2019 as a DLC for the popular Metroidvania Hollow Knight, it swiftly outgrew its DLC status, evolving into a full-fledged successor. It had already earned the title of the most anticipated video game back in 2022. Developer Team Cherry initially anticipated a release in the first half of 2023.

Yet, here we are, still waiting. We’re armed with nothing but a very stylish and atmospheric gameplay trailer. It has been around for over a year and a half, alongside some incredibly beautiful character artworks. Certainly, the developers prefer to reveal substantial information when they have something concrete. This approach is favored over continuously teasing and postponing to appease fans. It’s an approach that garners respect for Team Cherry.

One thing appears certain: the world of Silksong, where we traverse another enchanting kingdom as Hornet, seems to be at least twice the size of its predecessor. That sounds almost too good to be true. And naturally, the longer the wait, the higher my expectations naturally rise. Simultaneously, I simply wish for the game to captivate me on the same level as Hollow Knight. That would be enough for me.

Anny – Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden

A cinematic, emotionally charged horror game from Don’t Nod, the creators of Life is Strange, is precisely what I need in 2024. Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, set for release in February, was a title I was eagerly anticipating this year. However, its delay likely benefited the game.

The setting is New Eden in 1695, where the protagonists venture into the cursed wilderness of North America. Players assume the roles of two ghost hunters who are not only colleagues but also a romantic couple. Antea Duarte and Red mac Raith must battle eerie apparitions and send them back to the afterlife. Each character possesses unique abilities that players combine to solve occasional puzzles.

Similar to other titles, players can make decisions that influence the storyline. This characteristic makes Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden reminiscent of Life is Strange, as well as The Dark Pictures Anthology and The Quarry. All of these titles personally resonate with me. I’m looking forward to an emotional story filled with dramatic plot twists and chilling moments, thanks to its horror-fantasy setting.

Those were our wishes for the video game year 2024 – what about you? Are there any titles you’ve already set your sights on for the upcoming year? Feel free to share in the comments. As for the games we particularly enjoyed in 2023, we’ll reveal that elsewhere.

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