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Looking back (and forward): We had a mixed bag for highly anticipated games in 2023. On the one hand, we had outstanding titles like Baldur's Gate 3, the System Shock remake, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and Hogwarts Legacy to keep us happily occupied. On the other, Diablo IV, Starfield, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and The Walking Dead: Destinies failed to live up to expectations.
There is no reason to expect this year not to deliver a similarly mixed bag of hits and misses, but with 18 high-profile games coming in just the first two months, we have a quick sampling of the year to come.
Let's take a moment to look at 2024's early offerings...
- Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown
- The Last of Us Part II Remastered
- Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy
- Tekken 8
- Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth
- BlazBlue Entropy Effect
- Granblue Fantasy: Relink
- Persona 3 Reload
- Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League
- Helldivers 2
- Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden
- Mario Vs. Donkey Kong
- Skull and Bones
- Pacific Drive
- Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons Remake
- Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster
- Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
January gets off to a late start with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown arriving on January 18. It has been about 14 years since the last entry in this franchise, and it's hard to say how this 2.5D platformer will fare. Players don't get to manipulate time like in earlier iterations, but the antagonist does. Furthermore, it's not a sequel or a prequel to any of its predecessors, and features an unfamiliar new hero. Unfortunately, we saw how that worked out with the Saints Row reboot. You might want to hold off on this one until critics and fans have time to speak out.
The Last of Us Part II Remastered arrives the next day, January 19. But did we even need The Last of Us Part II in the first place? While it was a hit, with critics earning a 93 Metascore, users were less impressed, giving it only 5.8 out of 10. I lost interest in the game about halfway through, so it seems like an unnecessary remake in my book – hard pass. Plus, as a PlayStation exclusive, it might be years before it lands on PC.
Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth might be promising when it hits stores on January 26. The Yakuza series has been a historic breadwinner for developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and publisher Sega. In the numbered series, we played as Kazuma Kiryu. Yakuza: Like a Dragon introduced the wild-haired Ichiban Kasuga as the player character. In this direct sequel to the game, both protagonists are playable. If you are a Yakuza fan, keep this one on your radar.
Other games arriving in January include Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy (01/25), Tekken 8 (01/26), and BlazBlue Entropy Effect (01/31).
A full dozen games arrive in February, starting with Granblue Fantasy: Relink. The "Relink" in the name connotes a port of the 2014 mobile game Granblue Fantasy, launched exclusively in Japan. However, it is a whole new game set in the Granblue universe. Final Fantasy veterans Nobuo Uematsu (composer) and Hideo Minaba (artist) return in the turn-based RPG. Cygames targeted it for the PlayStation 4 rather than mobile, but PS5 and Windows versions launch the same day.
In an era of infinite remakes, it's probably no surprise Persona 3 Reload hits stores on the second day of February. It's arguable whether any game in the Megami Tensei series needs a remake, but whatever keeps the developer's lights on is fine with me. The original is a classic Atlus JRPG, and I'm all for giving it another spin.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League also arrives on February 2. All I have to say about this one is, "Please, for the love of games, be better than Gotham Knights." The fact that SS:KtJL is from Rocksteady instead of QLOC and WB Games means there's hope it will be good. If you love Harley Quinn, cross your fingers.
One of the most delayed games in recent memory lands ashore on February 16. Ubisoft initially announced the pirate game Skull and Bones at E3 2017, immediately piquing the gaming community's interest. That was so long ago that the studio was touting that the Xbone and PS4 versions would have "enhancements for PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X" consoles. After no fewer than seven delays in as many years and a console generation later, we can only hope the game was worth the wait.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (unofficially FFVII part 2) finally launches on Leap Day, February 29. Don't get me wrong here. Final Fantasy Remake was a fun retelling of part of the FFVII story. However, therein lies the problem I have with Rebirth. I have waited four years to play the second part of a game I played in full in 1997. Now that part one is a vague memory, Square Enix releases part two and still has at least one more to go (but let's be honest, probably more). I don't think I have the patience for this "remake" and its parts stretching into the indefinite future.
Other titles arriving in February include:
- Helldivers 2 (02/08)
- Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden (02/13)
- Mario Vs. Donkey Kong (02/16)
- Nightingale (02/22)
- Pacific Drive (02/22)
- Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons Remake (02/28)
- Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster (02/28)
Nightingale and Pacific Drive are two survival games that intrigue me, but I want to wait for some reviews before rushing out to buy them. What games are you eagerly awaiting in 2024, even if they are slated for later in the year?