ROLE PLAYGROUND | Far Cry 5 is a great action game with a slight tonal problem

After a charged open, the meat of the game doesn't quite match the intensity, but that's not too bad, right?

I'm going to say it: I have barely played the Far Cry series. I own both Far Cry 4 and Far Cry Primal, and both have been recommended to me multiple times, but I have never had the time and I haven't been super interested. The little that I have played has left me slightly impressed - with each game's focus on immersive landscapes and hunting - but I'm mostly pretty ignorant to the series' tropes. Still, nothing about these games really stuck out to me - they always seemed like straight forward action games without a lot of substance.

When I saw Far Cry 5, I was surprised. They shirked their exotic locations and larger-than-life villains for something a little more homegrown - a massive, militaristic cult which has assumed control over Hope County, Montana. It's not a groundbreaking idea, but even I was surprised at the slight political stance that the series seemed to have taken. Of course, after playing the game, I am a little less impressed, but we'll get to that later.

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GAMING TOP 10 | Another Top 10 most anticipated video games of 2018

I cannot wait to play these freaking games!

Where The Water Tastes Like Wine - Story Trailer

Earlier last month, esteemed contributor Liam Berry released his Top 10 most anticipated games of 2018 - and I figured I had to put my hat in the ring! Kicking off our newest bi-weekly column, I am going to discuss some games that I am super hyped about that aren't out yet.

2017 was a great year for video games. We had some astounding horror releases, a bunch of amazing queer-oriented games, and some pretty top notch AAA juggernauts. And now that that year has come and went, it's time to take a look at just how amazing the rest of 2018 is going to be. We've got a slew of brilliant titles heading to the market this year, and I am cautiously optimistic about how all of these games are going to turn out!

6. Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (PC) Release Date: ???

This is one of the more unique games on the list, and I almost didn't include it, until I saw that it was made by Fullbright alum and Gone Home programmer, Johnnemann Nordhagen, under his new company, Dum Bulb productions. I'm not totally sure if this game is going to be my cup of tea, but I would be lying if I didn't say that both it's incredibly style and interesting premise to leave me wanting to at least give this new game a try.

What do you think?

10. Marvel' Spider-Man (PS4) Release Date: ???

Listen, I know we've been burned in the past. A good Spider-Man game hasn't been released since the PS2! But, there's no way you can look at this trailer and not think this is going to be amazing. It seems Insomniac is taking Rocksteady and WB Montreal's lead and giving the game an Arkham-esque treatment. It's got all the trimmings to be a fun action-oriented, open-world title with what look to be stealth elements.

But will it be too similar to the Batman series we've all come to love? I don't know, and frankly, I don't care. Not only does this look beautifully vibrant and colorful, but playing as the spunky web-slinger will definitely be a change of pace from the brooding Bruce Wayne.

Am I too excited? Maybe. Could it wind up being terrible? Heck yeah. But I did say I was cautiouslly optimistic.

9. Darksiders III (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE) Release Date: ???

I am die-hard Darksiders fan. I have played both games repeatedly and loved every second of it. I don't know what it is about post-Apocalyptic video games - especially ones with personifications of things like angels and the Four Horsemen - but I can't get enough of them. Are they the best games ever created? No, of course not, but I don't care! They're so much fun.

And the best part about this one is that it has a bad-ass female lead who isn't sexualized. She also appears to be on the same playing field as her other two brothers - and honestly looks like she could kick their asses.

Who else is pumped?

8. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (PS4) Release Date: 3/23/18

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was released and immediately became a modern classic - and finally, after years of waiting, we're about get a sequel. I'll always have mixed feelings about Ni No Kuni, but even I cannot deny that it was a beautiful game with an engaging story that can still keep you hooked despite the fact that you're still learning how to play it 60-minutes in.

It seems that Revenant Kingdom is focusing just as much energy on it's characters and visuals as it's predecessor. I can't say too much about anything else, but I can tell you that I'm pretty pumped to play it.

7. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (SWITCH) Release Date: ???

NO. MORE. HEROES! One of the most missed games in from Nintendo's Wii era, is getting a sequel and it looks like it's going to pack a pretty hilarious punch. It's been years since I picked up a Wii-mote to slash through the top ten assassins - but I can still remember the unabashed glee the experience gave.

I wish I could say more, but given the meta-humor of the trailer and the fun stylized visuals - I can definitely say that Travis Strikes Back is going to be one helluva ride.

5. System Shock (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE) Release Date: ???

Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. So, I'm a huge fan of System Shock II. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to play the original (don't shoot me), but I cannot wait to see this remake come to life. After raising about 1.3 million dollars on Kickstarter, this game is set for release at some point this year. AND DOESN'T IT LOOK TERRIFYING?

I have to say, even if it's Pre-Alpha phase, this game gives you a sense of dread. It's controls look a little funky, but I'm sure that's not going to be a problem during it's full release. I'm glad to see that System Shock make it's comeback into to gaming scene - and I can't wait to boot it up on my PC!

4. Far Cry 5 (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE) Release Date: 3/27/14

I've never been a huge fan of the Far Cry series - I know it's good, but it's never been something I've been super into. I played through Far Cry 4, and while it had some beautiful visuals, I just felt the whole game was a little... "meh." Still, I know that it's a good series, and I understand why people love it as much as they.

Far Cry 5, though, seems to be a bit of departure for the series. Instead of beautiful, exotic locales fighting against warring factions of and war bosses - we're fighting against a militant evangelical cult? This is both a bold and incredibly political choice for Ubisoft, and I can't wait to see if it's paid off.

3. God of War (PS4) Release Date: 4/20/2018

Listen. No, seriously, listen. I have never liked God of War. I have gotten into huge arguments about how it's gratuitous and obnoxiously sexual for no reason - but I'll be damned if this trailer didn't blow me away. Why? Because we're finally seeing something in Kratos, the main character of the series, besides some sort of blood-hungry monster.

There's a lot here that I love: The departure from Greek Mythology and the exploration of the Norse realm; Kratos being compassionate and at least somewhat emotionally vulnerable; Kratos' SON, who looks to be as much of a ball of rage as his father! It's incredible - and a major (but welcome) departure from the usual tone of the incredibly violent series.

1. 2. Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4, XBOX ONE) Release Date: 10/26/18

So, full disclosure, I have never played Red Dead Redemption. I know, shoot me down and burn me in a pit with the rest of the fake gamers - but I never owned a PS3 and I live on a budget, so the opportunity never arose. I know all about it though. I've seen the many Let's Plays and think pieces about it's ending and it's main character. I am aware that it has a lot of significance in the gaming community (and I'm buying it when I get my next paycheck, okay).

Saying all of that, I understand the hype around it's sequel. But I have to wonder, will it carry the same weight as it's predecessor? It certainly looks beautiful, and the characters definitely kept me engaged throughout the trailer, but time will tell.

After all, this game has a lot to live up to.

1. Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4, XBOX ONE) Release Date: ???

I'm dead. I have died. After all, that's the only logical explanation for this. There's no way Kingdom Hearts III is actually coming out this year, is there? I mean, it's not like it's been thirteen years since I first played Kingdom Hearts II. It's not like I've played every single goddamned title Square Enix and co. have released on every freaking handheld system. I have to be dreaming, right?


There you have it folks! My Top 10 most anticipated games of this year. I hope that you agree, and if you do not agree, then please leave me a constructive comment below. You can also go check out Liam's article, and see if your game is there! But let me tell you something, I think 2018 is going to be one of the biggest years for gaming yet - and I'm not just saying that because Kingdom Hearts III is getting released (JK, I totes am).
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