RPS’ 75 most anticipated PC games of 2024

By admin Jan 5, 2024

Happy New Year, folks! Have you recovered from the all the 100+ hour RPGs that came out last year? Well, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that everyone seems to be taking a bit of a breather in 2024, because (at time of writing at least) the official “big’uns” calendar is looking remarkably slim at the moment. There are still some heavy-hitters coming our way this year, such as , Star Wars Outlaws and Path Of Exile 2, but 2024 looks like another year where it will be the smaller, independent games that shine the brightest. They certainly make up the bulk of our most anticipated games list for 2024, which the RPS Treehouse has been feverishly putting together over the last few days. The bad news is that there are still loads of great games coming out. So come, join us, and see what’s on our personal wishlists for 2024.

Below, you’ll find our 75 most anticipated games ordered by date, followed by what’s coming out in 2024 alphabetically, and then the games that don’t have any release date yet at all. We’ve approached this list slightly differently this year, as you may remember last year’s had a whooping 101 entries in it. A good number of those either didn’t have release dates attached to them back then, or were so far out that they weren’t likely to ever come out that year anyway. So we’ve reined things in a bit this year, only including TBA games that we’re reasonably confident will see the light of day this year. That means no Silent Hill: Townfall, Fable or (Cornifer help us) Hollow Knight: Silksong, for example (though fingers crossed the latter does still, finally, come out this year).

Of course, these are only the games we know about right now. Some of our favourite games of 2023 didn’t even exist when we put together our most anticipated games list back in January, and I’m excited to see what else 2024 has in store for us as the months go on. For now, though, here are the 75 games we’re most looking forward to playing in 2024.


Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown


Sargon crouches in an arena while holding his sword in Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Ubisoft

Release date: January 18th
From: Ubisoft Connect, Epic Games Store

Katharine: A brand-new action platformer from the devs behind the brilliant Rayman Legends? Yes, please and thank you, Ubisoft. Everything I’ve played so far of Ubisoft Montpellier’s new Prince Of Persia game has got me very excited about The Lost Crown, and I have every hope the finished game will be equally good and satisfying. Set before The Sands Of Time trilogy, this entry sees young warrior Sargon rescue a kidnapped Prince from the strange realm of Mount Qaf, a fortified forgotten city where time doesn’t flow as expected. With lots of tight, nimble platforming, Metroidy exploration and big Hollow Knight-esque bosses to defeat, The Lost Crown should be a strong start to 2024.

Jeremy: Every five years Ubisoft quietly drops a surprise project that makes me temporarily ignore all of their sins, and this year, it looks like it’s The Lost Crown. This revitalisation of the classic PoP formula got an unfair degree of vitriol when it was first revealed, and while I can understand not liking a standalone 2D Metroidvania if you were looking forward to The Sands of Time remake (rest in limbo), the number of horrid tweets I saw hating on this game for featuring a Black protagonist drove me nuts. I think Sargon is a fantastic-looking lead, and I’m eager to rush him through Mount Qaf and collect a million doodads to save the Prince’s skin. Honestly, I hope the old Prince dies in the end and Sargon becomes the new Prince of Persia.


Roots Of Yggdrasil


Viking homes are scattered around a grassy plain next to an ore mine in Roots Of Yggdrasil
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/ManaVoid Entertainment/Indie Asylum

Release date: January 24th (early access)
From: Steam

Katharine: I was very taken with this Viking-themed roguelike citybuilder during last February’s Steam Next Fest, so the news that Roots Of Yggdrasil is entering early access later this month has made me very keen to check it out again. In the pre-alpha Next Fest demo, its inkwash-style visuals made Roots Of Yggdrasil’s methodical and strategic townbuilding very easy on the eyes, and watching your town grow and get busier over several turns was very satisfying. Your main goal is to expand out enough to reach that level’s titular root so you can power up your base back at your home hub, but you can also seek out additional sidequests and events to gain new building types and items for your hero characters. You’ll need to keep an eye on your turn count, though, as you only have a certain number of ’em before each world is overrun by the Ginnungagap – a primordial void from Norse myth that will start eating your map in mouthfuls of tiles at a time. Here’s hoping the early access version makes the roguelike loop compelling enough to keep coming back.


Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy


A close-up of Apollo Justice from the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Capcom

Release date: January 25th
From: Steam

Katharine: The latter Ace Attorney games may not be quite as beloved as Phoenix Wright’s tenure as chief finger-pointer when it comes to putting baddies behind bars in a court of law, but I do have a real soft spot for Ace Attorneys 5 and 6, and the fact that Capcom have finally bundled them together for PC along with the eponymous Apollo Justice game (the only one I haven’t played in the series) is excellent news indeed. And what a glow-up they’ve received since their initial DS and 3DS debuts all those years ago. If you enjoyed the original trilogy or the more recent Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, this will no doubt be a must-play.


Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth


Yakuza antics in a Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth screenshot.
Image credit: Sega

Release date: January 26th
From: Steam

Ed: Better titled Yakuza 8, Infinite Wealth continues Ichiban’s ascent as a Japanese criminal through his big heart, phenomenal batting skills, and his unexpected arrival on the sunny shores of Hawaii. As RPS’ resident Yakuza obsessive, I’m excited to reunite with the gang and make some new friends, of course. But also to see how co-protag Kiryu’s final (?) appearance is handled and whether they’ll honour his legacy in a way befitting of a pocket racing champion, a real estate hero, and hostess club magnate. Sign me up for all the bonkers side stories, too. I want everything to do with the Animal Crossing parody that’s Dondoko Island, or the Sujimon battling that’s basically Pokémon with an army of dubious lads. I’m expecting to laugh and weep in equal measure, which should make for an ideal start to 2024.


Granblue Fantasy: Relink


A blonde-haired girl with pigtails hoists a flaming halberd in Granblue Fantasy: Relink.
Image credit: Cygames

Release date: February 1st
From: Steam

Ed: This makes it the third time Relink‘s been on my most anticipated games list! As I spent some time with it at Gamescom 2023 and read around last year, I get the sense it’s far more action-oriented with less of a focus on a deep, engaging story than I first thought. Still, I’ve got plenty other JRPGs to give me those things, so all Relink has to do is give me flashy fights and lots of loot to chase. I think it’ll deliver.


Persona 3 Reload


Supernatural teen shenanigans in a Person 3 reload screenshot.
Image credit: Sega

Release date: February 2nd
From: Steam, Game Pass

Ed: I actually had a chance to play Persona 3 Reload at Gamescom 2023 and came away thinking, “Jeez, I simply do not see a world where this remake disappoints”. I only played a small portion of the original game, but Reload felt like a proper Persona 5 Royal-ing of the source material in how it modernised story beats or tinkered with Tartarus tediousness to give it a little extra heat. All without, crucially, spoiling the original’s vision. Gimme gimme.


Ultros


A warrior fights a giant fly-wolf-bug creature in Ultros
Image credit: Hadoque

Release date: February 13th
From: Steam, Epic Games Store

Katharine: I was a little worried that Ultros‘ wild psychedelic colour palette would be ‘a bit much’ when it actually came to navigating its twisty Metroid-like hallways, but after playing a couple of hours of it late last year, I’m sold. Made by Hotline Miami artist El Huervo, this timelooping Metroid-like has such style that it positively oozes intrigue and mystery out of every, slightly dubiously shaped orifice. As you try and work out how to escape the cosmic uterus you appear to be trapped in, you’ll need to fight all manner of strange, insectoid-like enemies, defeat even weirder, mutated boss guardians, and plant seeds that grow into ever larger trees and vines over the course of successive loops, helping you reach new areas along the way. It’s these plants that give Ultros an unusually strategic edge for a Metroid-like, and will no doubt drive completionists absolutely bananas as they hunt down every last little detail. It could also end up being one big colourful headache, but I’m quietly hopeful that this will yet another Metroid-like to remember in 2024.


Solium Infernum


A legion moves across several hexagon tiles in Solium Infernum (2023)
Image credit: League Of Geeks

Release date: February 14th
From: Steam

Katharine: Based on my performance during our family Christmas board game gauntlet this year, I can tell you now that Solium Infernum is almost certainly going to be a game that I’m absolutely terrible at. My ability to scheme and accurately backstab is so woefully inept that I almost always finish last or near the bottom in such games of intrigue and manipulation, as I can never quite predict just what depraved depths my opponents will really go to in order to secure their victory. Perhaps Solium Infernum will be just the proving ground I need to hone my devilish plotting skills, however, what with it being set in Hell and all as multiple demon lords fight over who gets to be the next Satan. Made by League Of Geeks, the team behind the excellent strategy RPG Armello, this modern remake of Vic Davis’ cult turn-based classic is shaping up very nicely indeed based on the Steam Next Fest demo I played last autumn, and I’m excited to repeatedly fail miserably at it once it releases in full next month.


The Thaumaturge


A man and his pet demon fight three villagers in a forest in The Thaumaturge
Image credit: 11 bit Studios

Release date: February 20th
From: Steam, GOG, Epic Games Store

Jeremy: I saw a trailer for The Thaumaturge last year and was instantly intrigued. A Polish-made RPG full of creepy vibes that explores the life of a thaumaturge in 1905 Warsaw as he binds creatures called Salutors to his will? I love it. It reminds me of why I was attracted to the original Witcher games back when CD Projekt Red weren’t as big as they are today, including the feeling of a rough-around-the-edges gem that impresses with an amazing story despite slightly janky character animations. We’ll see how the final game turns out, but for now, everything here appeals to me. I also like how this is a proper turn-based RPG with a behind-the-back combat system – if I squint, it almost looks like I’m playing a new entry in the bonkers mid-2000s JRPG Shadow Hearts franchise.

Katharine: I also had a rad time with the October Next Fest demo of The Thaumaturge, and I’m well up for some Divinity: Original Sin meets demonic Pokémon-ing when it comes out next month.


Garden Life


A forest garden with a stone pathway in Garden Life: A Cozy Simulator
Image credit: Nacon

Release date: February 22nd
From: Steam

Alice Bee: I do not have a garden, but I like gardens. If I did have one, I would be very bad at looking after it as a nice place to be. Thus I am drawn to the idea of Garden Life (I played the demo of it, I think, in a Steam Next Fest). You plant stuff! Tidy up! Put down stones to make a path! I really liked the sort of semi-ritual way of playing it that developed, and I took the path placement very seriously (because if the stones aren’t equidistant from one another, it makes it more stressful to walk along the path). I know it’s not going to be anything like actually having a garden, but it’s more like having a garden than not having one at all.


Nightingale


A man with a gun stands before a portal gate in Nightingale
Image credit: Inflexion Games

Release date: February 22nd (early access)
From: Steam, Epic Games Store

Ollie: I am entirely too hyped for Nightingale. At this point, there’s no way it can live up to my expectations. Which is entirely my own doing. But when a survival crafting game comes along, with a gorgeous gaslamp fae realms aesthetic, flintlock weapons, and fantastical creatures to fight or run from… Well, I can’t help but get excited. What really caught my eye early on was the realm-hopping system, allowing you to insert combinations of realm cards into portals to procedurally generate new worlds to your specifications. You pick between different biome cards like swamp, desert, and so on; and then you play major and minor realm cards to influence the world that will appear on the other side of that portal. It’s a fascinating way to handle exploration which gives the player a lot more agency when it comes to where they want to go and what they want to contend with at each stage of a playthrough.


Pacific Drive


A view through a car window driving through woodland with a lightning bolt striking the earth ahead, from survival roguelike Pacific Drive.
Image credit: Ironwood Studios

Release date: February 22nd
From: Steam, Epic Games Store

Katharine: Everything I’ve seen so far of this survival driving roguelike has me intrigued. I love the strange, alt-world sci-fi setting of its mildly cursed (and very Control-like) Pacific Northwest, and I love how much methodical detail developers Ironwood Studios have put into actually operating your beaten-up old station wagon (including remembering to put the handbrake on, shift the gearstick into neutral, turn off the windscreen wipers, and maybe switching off your headlights before exiting the car, lest it scare or alert one of the area’s many strange alien inhabitants, or a gust of wind accidentally rolls your car down a ravine). Combined with ever-changing weather systems, it’s just the right kind of mechanical pressure to place on a player as you go about charting its procedural pathways as you push deeper into its supernatural exclusion zone to unravel the mysteries waiting for you at the end of it. If it can nail the roguelike structure of its cross-country jaunts (and mad, end-of-run death chases to your extraction point), we’ll no doubt be honking our horns about Pacific Drive for months to come.


Life By You


A woman looks at a vase of flowers inside a kitchen with yellow walls and a blue cow painting hanging behind her in Life By You
Image credit: Paradox Interactive

Release date: March 5th (early access)
From: Steam

Katharine: The Sims has always been a little too intimidating for me to really get into – I often put it in the same category as Theme Park and Theme Hospital: games I can only ever really enjoy when I’m cheating and ignoring the real point of the whole thing. But cheats, mods and generally not caring about the rules is a mindset that Paradox’s new Sims rival Life By You seems to be embracing, which I’m very much on board with. If your human is hungry or you just can’t quite be bothered to make sure they don’t wet themselves in public, you can reset and bump up all their needs and desires quick as you like, no cheat required and without penalty. More than that, though, I’m just dead keen to see how wild its actual simulation is, especially when it’s promising you the ability to dip into the minds of any of its NPC characters and pick up their lives like they’re one of your own. New diary series, here we come.


Homeworld 3


Spaceships in a Homeworld 3 screenshot.
Image credit: Gearbox Publishing

Release date: March 8th
From: Steam, Epic Games Store

Edwin: The near-to-medium future teems with new space strategy properties, thanks to up-and-coming publishers like Hooded Horse, but even so, it’s Homeworld 3 that I’m most looking forward to. The threequel blasphemously flips the Mothership sideways – I know, it’s outer space and questions of flat vs vertical orientation are fundamentally meaningless, but the new ship is designed to be viewed horizontally – while introducing maps that are full of far larger derelicts and celestial bodies that serve (or so the developers claim) as a cavernous tactical landscape. You’ll be squirrelling fighter formations behind trashed battlecruisers to blindside frigates, and using bits of asteroid as cover against the other side’s heavy artillery, while listening to your pilots chatter about the fortunes of war.


Alone In The Dark


A man and a woman hold up a lantern to reveal a dilapidated manor in the new Alone In The Dark reimagining
Image credit: THQ Nordic

Release date: March 20th
From: Steam, GOG

Jeremy: I missed the original Alone In The Dark games, since I didn’t start truly getting interested in the survival horror genre until 2018, when I was hit with a sudden burst of inspiration to play all the Resident Evil games in release date order. And by going through the REs, I learned that the series’ earlier entries owe a lot to the classic Alone In The Darks, right down to the cinematic camera angles and tank controls. Now, I finally have a fresh chance to appreciate the often-overlooked grandfather of electronic eeriness, this time decorated with the likenesses of David Harbour and Jodie Comer. Its release date has jumped around a bunch of times and some of the trailers exploring Derceto Manor seem a teensy bit janky, if you ask me, but then again, 2018’s Call of Cthulhu and 2019’s The Sinking City exhibited the same mildly wonky vibes, and I love those games. If Alone In The Dark 2024 is around the same level of good, I’ll be happy.


Dragon’s Dogma 2


A Mystic Spearhead character striking a chimera's head in Dragon's Dogma 2.
Image credit: Capcom

Release date: March 21st
From: Steam

Edwin: Dragon’s Dogma 2 is extremely similar to Dragon’s Dogma 1, which is terrible news if you dislike climbing on ogres to stop them eating your mates, listening to crackpot anime dialogue (“tis a troubling foe!”), and exploring the almost imsim-worthy combinatory possibilities of spells of levitation, illumination and, er, setting wolves on fire. Honestly, the build I played last year felt like a glorified expandalone, but there is still nothing quite like Capcom’s action RPG, with its wonderfully zealous AI party-members, toybox class design and Monster Hunter-adjacent brawls. I’m very glad it’s getting another shot at stardom.

Ed: I look forward to dipping my hands into the abyss and plucking out a party of player-made abominations to accompany me on my journey. There’s nothing quite like the pawn system.


Lightyear Frontier


Customising a mech in space farming sim Lightyear Frontier
Image credit: Frame Break

Release date: March
From: Steam, Game Pass

Katharine: I would say I’m more of a fair-weather farming game player these days, but add mechs to the equation and you have my attention. I love a good mech, me, and Lightyear Frontier puts them front and centre in this chill, farming exploration game. You’ll need them to gamble about the strange alien planet you crash land on to find resources, and you’ll also use them to plant (aka: shoot) seeds, harvest (aka: vacuum up) crops and build a new life for yourself – and your mates, if you fancy playing together in online co-op. It even has a touch of PowerWash Simulator about it as well, as you have a hose tool to blast away ominous patches of goop plaguing the environment. After speaking to the devs at Gamescom last year, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what sights and secrets await us when it launches in early access later this March.


Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor


A dwarf eviscerates enemies in a dark cave in Deep Rock Galactic Survivor
Image credit: Ghost Ship Publishing

Release date: Q1 2024 (early access)
From: Steam

Katharine: Hardware editor James is still on holiday this week (the lucky devil), but I know he’d be pumped for Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor this year, the Vampire Survivors-like spin-off of everyone’s favourite co-op mining adventure. James had a great time with a very early build of it last year, and his enthusiasm for it has proven quite infectious, as I, too, am quite keen to give it a go when it launches into early access. I’ve fallen off the Vampire Survivors wagon a bit recently – I have to be careful with my rationing otherwise I’ll just fall down a pit of auto-shooting and never get out of it again – but here’s hoping I’ll be able to show more restraint with DRG’s take on the genre.


Isles Of Sea And Sky


A puzzle from Isles of Sea and Sky, with a large block that needs several keys to bypass.
Image credit: Jason Newman and Craig Collver

Release date: Q1 2024
From: Steam

Edwin: If VoidStranger has an opposite within the suddenly-hip sokoban genre it’s surely this Link’s Awakening-esque treat, in which you are a burly young man who must solve an archipelago’s worth of single-screen block and tile puzzles. The blocks and tiles come in all varieties – slippy ice, crumbling rock, floating lilies, crystal blocks that regenerate behind you – and the 16-bit ambience is gorgeous. If you’re stumped by a puzzle, you can always board your friend the giant turtle and investigate a different island. Isles Of Sea And Sky is shaping up to be a laidback thrill, but why take my word for it when you can try the demo?


Loco Motive


A man in a blue suit walks through a train dining car in Loco Motive
Image credit: Chucklefish

Release date: Q1 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: Easily the best and most charming game I played at last year’s EGX, this point and click detective adventure is very much on my radar of ‘Cool Things Happening’ in 2024. Set on a 1930s train that has big Murder On The Orient Express energy, Loco Motive sees you investigating the sudden assassination of wealthy heiress Lady Unterwald – which, thanks to its witty and genuinely funny script, is a lot more raucous than you might expect. Its character animations are properly stunning, too, so if you’ve been hankering after another Monkey Island-like, take note. Loco Motive is the game for you.


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl


Scavengers gathered round a campfire in a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 screenshot.
Image credit: GSC Game World

Release date: Q1 2024
From: Steam, Game Pass, GOG

Edwin: Stalker 2: Heart Of Chornobyl has not had an easy time of it. The game was announced way back in 2010, but suspended when GSC Game World closed in 2012. The studio reformed in 2014, and Stalker 2 was rebooted in 2018 with an eventual release date of April 2022. But then came Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with real-life battles unfolding around the titular Chornobyl power station. GSC Game World relocated to Prague, while some team members joined the fight against Putin’s troops. Just to put the cherry on the cake, the developers announced last year that Russian hackers had stolen an internal test build. All this would be cause for curiosity enough, but Stalker 2 is also the sequel to one of the most influential open world shooters, a spiritual sibling of Far Cry 2 that has spawned a whole genre of rusty, post-Soviet survival sims. Among other things, the new game rolls its predecessor’s separate regions into one big map, introduces new flavours of paranormal Anomaly, and reworks the old AI or “A-Life” NPC simulation.


Flock


A rider on a large bird guides lots of strange creatures through a landscape of large mushrooms in Flock
Image credit: Annapurna Interactive

Release date: Spring 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: Flock is pure. Flock is kind. Flock is inner peace. At its core, this is a game about riding around on the back of a big giant bird while grazing your sheep on meadowy hillocks. Some cheeky critters stole your aunt’s whistle collection, you see, and your woolly companions will need to chew the cud to find them all after they’ve been scattered to the wind in the long grass. But while you’re waiting for your sheep to munch their way to victory, Flock is ultimately a game about curiosity, as you’ll inevitably be tempted into its weird and wonderful wilds by the strange chirrups, hoots and echoing trills of its local wildlife. There are so many delightful creatures to discover in this chill explore ’em up, though some will require more cajoling than others before they make themselves known. A likely oasis of calm in a very busy first half of the year, I’m looking forward to cataloguing every last one of them when Flock launches later this spring. Disclosure: Pip Warr, formerly of this parish, is a game and narrative designer on Flock.


Manor Lords


A line of soldiers prepare to charge in Manor Lords
Image credit: Slavic Magic

Release date: April 26th
From: Steam

Ollie: There’s a lot about Manor Lords that catches the eye. First is the mix of genres. It’s a dedicated city-builder, but with huge Total War-esque tactical battles. That’s something that, as far as I know, hasn’t been attempted before – at least not on this scale. Secondly, the city-building is what they call entirely “organic”, which means there are no grids limiting the placement of buildings, roads, and so on. It results in very natural-looking towns and cities, and in motion it looks absolutely fantastic. Thirdly, you can enter your own towns as the lord, walking around in third-person like Kingdom Come: Deliverance. And finally, it’s all made by just one person. And it looks and plays this good. That’s just insane.


Selaco


A gun is fired at an enemy on a ledge in an underground room in Selaco
Image credit: Altered Orbit Studios

Release date: May 31st (early access)
From: Steam

Katharine: I was first put onto Selaco by Craig Pearson (RPS in peace) around two years ago, and yep, its pitch of F.E.A.R meets Doom (in the GDZoom engine, no less) is a concept I’m very much on board with. It looks to be shaping up very nicely indeed, and after revisiting all the old Dooms at the end of last year (and dipping my toes into Trepang2, another F.E.A.R-style FPS that made it into our Advent Calendar this year), my appetite for more great retro shooters is growing at an alarming rate.


Path Of Exile 2


A character shooting lightning bolts at a group of beasts in RPG Path of Exile 2
Image credit: Grinding Gears Games

Release date: June 7th (closed beta)
From: Steam

Ollie: Action RPGs like Diablo and Path Of Exile tend to be gigantic time-sinks, the kind where veteran players put literally thousands of hours into grinding the best possible gear to take on the most powerful bosses. I’m not one of those players, but I still feel like I get a lot out of those games for the amount of time I put into them. Path Of Exile 2 is shaping up to be possibly the greatest ARPG since Diablo 2, keeping much of the depth of the original POE while also streamlining and improving the experience in a lot of ways. Dodge-rolling, attack-cancelling, and the ability to use WASD to move your character arouaaarrrgh— Sorry, started drooling a bit there. I’ve just been waiting for WASD movement in these games for a long time.


Hades II


Melinoë and Hecate stand beside each other looking past the camera in Hades 2. Behind them is a dark blue sky lit by a gigantic moon.
Image credit: Supergiant Games

Release date: Q2 2024 (early access)
From: Steam, Epic Games Store

Ollie: Hades is one of my favourite games ever. It’s nothing short of a masterclass in roguelite design, metaprogression, music, and weaving character arcs and storylines in and around each run through Hell in a way that no roguelite has achieved before or since. If I knew nothing at all about Hades 2, it would still be one of my most anticipated games of 2024. But I also know that this time you’re taking control not of Prince Zagreus but of badass Princess Melinoë, who has sworn to somehow destroy Chronos, the Titan of Time itself and father of Lord Hades. Jeez. Even writing it out is giving me goosebumps. Just let me play it please. I want to explore all the gorgeous new biomes and romance all the hot new characters.


Hauntii


A beautifully hand-drawn ghostly abode, carved from a tree trunk in Hauntii.
Image credit: Firestroke / Moonloop Games

Release date: Q2 2024
From: Steam, Itch.io, Epic Games Store

Alice0: Hauntii is a game I often see on #ScreenshotSaturday but refrain from posting often because I assume I have previously posted it every time I saw it. And why wouldn’t I? Just look at it! Beautiful. That two-tone world. The spectral green. The geometric designs. Lovely. It sounds fun beyond the looks, too. It’s a twin-stick explore-o-shooter starring a little ghost in search of answers by travelling across world, using ghostly powers for puzzles and violence, meeting other ghosts, and oh, just look at it. Extremely pretty. I missed its demo in October’s Steam Next Fest so here’s me just waiting for my chance to become a ghost. And in the game etc.


Stormgate


A top down view of an RTS battlefield from Stormgate
Image credit: Frost Giant Studios

Release date: Summer 2024 (early access)
From: Steam

Ollie: I may be godawful at RTS games, but Starcraft and Warcraft III were still very important games of my childhood, and just looking at a couple of screenshots of Stormgate makes it very clear where their inspirations lie. Frost Giant Studios are looking to create the next modern Blizzard-esque RTS with Stormgate, a game whose design and controls look more and more polished each time they release new footage. On paper it looks and sounds very similar to Starcraft II in particular, although there are some interesting and unique ideas going on within each of the factions and the units and buildings they can use – too many ideas to go through here. But it’s looking very promising to my eyes, and I can’t wait to play properly.


Black Myth: Wukong


Key art from Black Myth Wukong showing the main character holding a sword
Image credit: Game Science

Release date: August 20th
From: Steam, Epic Games Store

Jeremy: Black Myth: Wukong finally brings the Monkey King to his rightful place as the star of a fancy blockbuster video game. Alas, Sun Wukong’s biggest shot at international stardom ever since he got turned into a Saiyan in Dragonball is also mired in controversy. Thanks to some top-notch reporting from IGN, we know that there’s been a fair bit of sexism and misogyny espoused by the devs of this game. This doesn’t surprise me, as someone who used to live in Greater China and previously reported on the Chinese games industry, but it does dismay and embarrass me, as someone who is half-Chinese. It is wonderful to finally see a made-in-China project dominate international attention as the next big Soulslike, and at the same time disappointing to witness its lustre impacted by stereotypical boy’s club gamer energy. I am still looking forward to Black Myth, but I’ll be playing it with a critical eye, wary of all the behind-the-scenes shit that went into the making of this sausage.

Ollie: Can’t wait to get scared out of my skin by the giant spider boss we saw in the latest trailer.


Warhammer 40K: Space Marine 2


Lieutenant Titus poses ready for violence in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 artwork.
Image credit: Focus Entertainment

Release date: September 9th
From: Steam, Epic Games Store

Katharine: I’m semi-writing this on behalf of James, but I, too, am quite excited to be a Space Maureen in Saber’s upcoming hack and slash. I’ve never been much of a World War Z kind of gal, but seeing that zombie horde tech repurposed for swarms of chittering Tyranids looks mighty impressive. If the game can live up to the hefty stomping power of its nu-God Of War-looking combat, I’ll be very happy indeed.


Metaphor: ReFantazio


A young warrior fights a turtle in an egg shell in Metaphor: ReFantazio
Image credit: Sega

Release date: Autumn 2024
From: TBA

Ed: Another honking great RPG for Edders, Metaphor: ReFantazio looks set to be a fantasy epic with Persona stylings – an all-timer recipe. We still don’t really know a great deal about it, but it promises the forging of bonds with wizardy pals and robotic boat designs constructed by the mastermind behind Neon Genesis: Evangelion’s mechs. In one dev diary, Atlus touch on turn-based battles being an optional arena you can transition into at any point during a realtime scuffle. It seems to me like they’re finding new ways to move the genre forwards, so I think we’re in for not only a grand adventure but, quite possibly, a new IP that could eclipse Persona… or at the very least, give us a sneak peek into how Atlus might handle some bits of an inevitable Persona 6.

Katharine: All I can say about this is: “Get it into my veins now, STAT.”


Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island


A close up of hero Alex looking shocked on a beach in Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island
Image credit: Whitethorn Games

Release date: Q3 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: If Hades II is the grim winter death march through the annals of Greek mythology, then Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island is its summer holiday equivalent. Made by the same devs who were responsible for the wonderful point and click adventure Roki, Mythwrecked sees wayward backpacker Alex wash up on its eponymous spit of land only to find it’s the long lost home of all the Greek Gods. Trouble is, they’ve all forgotten who they are and what they’re about, so it’s up to you to restore their memories and bring back the island to its former glory. If it’s even half as charming as Roki was, this is sure to be an autumnal treat.


Arco


A tiny man on a llama looks up a strange, fantastical tree in Arco
Image credit: Panic

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: I got a small glimpse of this tactical action adventure at last year’s Gamescom, and cor, it’s just so gosh darn lovely-looking. Comprised of three, interconnected tales that take you to all manner of real and fantastical locations, Arco captures the vast scale of its South American-infused landscape with its enormous, zoomed-out pixel dioramas. Your tiny band of travellers will ride across it on tiny little llama mounts as they each work to track down the mysterious Red Company gang, but you’ll also stop to engage in several fights and dust-ups along the way, its mix of real and turn-based top-down combat providing a robust workout for both your brain and fingers.


Avowed


The player character in Avowed faces off against a weird, crusty bear
Image credit: Xbox Game Studios

Release date: 2024
From: Steam, Game Pass

Katharine: Announced a literal eternity ago in the depths of 2020, now stands poised to pick up the fantasy RPG baton from Baldur’s Gate 3 and run with it right up to Skyrim’s front moat to blast down its drawbridge. It is, of course, a very different kind of RPG to Larian’s (rightfully) runaway epic – it’s first person, for starters, you don’t (as yet) have an obvious party to help you in battle, and only time will tell if it’s as colossal and reactive as its D&D-based rival. But if there’s any studio that’s going to try and ride BG3’s coattails with any degree of success, it’s probably going to be Obsidian. Still, after being veiled in secrecy for so long, I need to see more of Avowed before I can make a proper judgment call. I’m cautiously optimistic about it, though, and here’s hoping it stays with me longer than Skyrim ever did.


Baby Steps


A man frolics down a hillside in Baby Steps
Image credit: Devolver Digital

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: Move over Death Stranding, there’s a new walking simulator in town and its name is Baby Steps. Designed by the same trio of devs behind the bombastic Ape Out (Gabe Cuzzilo, Maxi Boch and Bennett “Getting Over It” Foddy), Baby Steps makes the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other look like an absolute riot. Starting at the base of a misty mountain, you’ll need to guide its onesie-clad hero Nate up to the top of it, keeping him upright at all times and not succumbing to the laws of gravity and, err, physics. Its trailers look fantastic, and I can’t wait to wrap my thumbs round Nate’s wibbly limbs later this year.


Crow Country


A woman walks through a creepy theme park in Crow Country
Image credit: SFB Games

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: The prospect of a new game from Tangle Tower devs SFB Games is always a bit of a treat, but two in one year? Truly, 2024 is set to be a blessed time indeed. You’ll find the second entry further down this list, but Crow Country couldn’t be more different, what with it being a PS1-style survival horror game in the vein of ye olde Resident Evils. Set in a grimy, rundown amusement park, you’re on a mission to find its lost owner, Edward Crow – though you quickly realise Mr Crow was clearly up to something extremely dodgy, as evidenced by all the cursed zombie creatures milling about its queue halls. Based on the demo (which is still up on Steam), you can expect lots of tense puzzling, shootouts and more as you unravel this tense mystery, and I’m both scared and excited to find out what’s at the centre of it.


Dread Pilots


Space adventures in a hellish pocket dimension in a Dread Pilots screenshot.
Image credit: Klei Entertainment

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Ollie: Continuing the tradition of “I know extremely little about this game but I trust the developers with my life”, 2024 is also (allegedly) the year for Dread Pilots, the next game by Klei Entertainment. Klei have made some of my favourite games of all time, such as Oxygen Not Included, Griftlands, Don’t Starve, Mark Of The Ninja, and Invisible Inc. They’ve navigated a number of genres while keeping their trademark style, wit, and charm intact; and they’re doing it again with Dread Pilots, which looks to be a survival exploration game similar to Sunless Sea. You’re tasked with flying your ship from place to place in a nightmare realm called The Dread, facing – to quote the Steam page – “mutated, carnivorous plant life, mind-bending anomalies, living computers, fanatical cults, space vampires and more”. Sign me the hell up.


Earthblade


A young horned character sits on a platform in a red castle landscape in Earthblade
Image credit: Extremely OK Games Ltd

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: The creators of Celeste are back with a new 2D platformer (or “explor-action”, as developers Extremely OK Games call it), and yep, I don’t need to hear anything else. Yes, please and thank you.


Frostpunk 2


A sprawling city in the snow in Frostpunk 2
Image credit: 11 bit Studios

Release date: 2024
From: Steam, GOG, Epic Games Store

Katharine: Now you’ve survived the end of the world, what next? That’s the big question posed by Frostpunk 2, and in classic 11 Bit Studios fashion, the answer isn’t going to be easy to come by. You’re still building and maintaining a city in the frozen wastes of this new post apocalypse, but now you’ll be governing it across weeks, months and maybe even years, rather than days, and dealing with new factions (and their extremist offshoots) as they emerge over time. Based on what I saw at Gamescom last year, this is everything you could want from a Frostpunk sequel.

Ollie: There are plenty of challenging and punishing city-builders out there, but none have the same feeling of being cut off from the world and struggling to survive against all odds that Frostpunk has. It’s a bleak but fascinating story of survival through sacrifice, and Frostpunk 2 looks to continue that story at a larger scale. Not only is your city capable of growing much larger than before, but the scope of Frostpunk 2’s double-edged laws and politics is also much greater, with different factions and ambitious individuals rising up and forcing you to think twice about every choice you make. The first Frostpunk constantly provoked thoughts of morality and philosophy – something no other city-builder has done for me. Here’s hoping Frostpunk 2 can manage the same.

Edwin: The original’s best quality would have been deemed a flaw in any other city builder: ferociously limited scope. Here, all the genre’s resource-mongering has to fit inside a dying circle of firelight, the aiming reticule of an FPS transformed into a construction site. Inevitably, the prospect of adding features worries me a little, but I’m eager to get my hands on it regardless.


Ghost Bike


A cyclist looks at their bike on a table in Ghost Bike
Image credit: Annapurna Interactive

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Alice0: Absolutely I want to ride a supernatural bicycle with the power to travel between the lands of the living and the dead. In Ghost Bike, we’ll be exploring a “semi-open” world as we try to repair the eponymous bike, entering races, finding hidden parts, and generally trundling about. Ghost Bike’s blurb says we can expect to “encounter many facets of bike culture, bespoke spokemakers, radical roadies, troublesome tourists, badass BMX’ers, fanatical fans, super fun stunts, intrigue, adventure, and more!” I’m very into how all sorts of people enjoy bikes in all sorts of ways for all sorts of reasons, as I explored in my 2022 series about cycling in games, so I’m excited to see a game explore some of them.


Grunn


A pair of shears are held aloft in front of a very grassy garden in Grunn
Image credit: Sokpop Collective

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Alice0: Tom van den Boogaart of the indie collective Sokpop (and creator of the brilliant Bernband) offers a first-person gardening game set in the Dutch countryside. You have a weekend’s work tidying up a house’s garden, but the tools are missing and the owner is absent. So explore the nearby village, talk with the locals, and, I assume, eventually do some gardening? The blurb says it has mysteries to probe, eerie vibes to experience, and multiple endings to discover. I’m very curious about this. And if nothing else, I’m always eager to muck about with shears.


Horizon Forbidden West


Aloy and friends squat in the snow in Horizon Forbidden West's Complete Edition
Image credit: Guerrilla, Nixxes Software

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: I’m doing another James impression on this one, as by the oily gods, James absolutely adores old Horizon and I’m afraid he’d build his own sentient mega robot out of old hardware parts to come and destroy me with a vengeance if this didn’t get a look in. This is, of course, the Complete Edition of the former PlayStation exclusive that’s coming to PC later this year, which means it also comes with the Burning Shores expansion pack in it too. I have to admit, this did look very shiny on our PlayStation 5 when it came out (only Matthew, RPS in peace, actually got round to playing it, alas), so maybe I’ll give Aloy and her chums another go when she pitches up on PC. At least it won’t be instantly gazumped by another superior Zelda game as soon as it comes out this year, amirite?


Mewgenics


Several cats face off on an isometric combat grid in Mewgenics
Image credit: Edmund McMillen, Tyler Glaiel

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Ollie: I’ve heard occasional rumblings about Mewgenics for about ten years now, and so have you, probably. It’s the new game by Edmund McMillen, creator of The Binding Of Isaac series, which you could tell from looking at a single screenshot of the game. It’s another roguelite, but this time it’s a turn-based, tile-based tactical roguelite about drafting, breeding, and fighting cats. If it has anything close to the charm and depth of The Binding Of Isaac, then it’s sure to be a winner. And it’s about cats, so I’m automatically looking forward to it – even though these cats are probably going to be grotesquely deformed, or zombie cats, or something like that, knowing Edmund.


Pepper Grinder


Pepper, the protagonist of 2D platformer Pepper Grinder, stands in front of a huge beetle.
Image credit: Devolver Digital

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: Pepper Grinder is one of those games that you can instantly feel in your hands, even though you’re only watching a trailer for it – and I’ve been itching to play it for real ever since it was first announced in late 2022. Indeed, if you thought the burrow ability from Ori And The Will Of The Wisps was the best thing about that game, Pepper Grinder is basically that: the game. You know, along with some grapple hooking to help heroine Pepper perform even more daring feats of platforming perfection when she’s not rooting for gems underground. We had it on our list of most anticipated games last year as well, but a delay pushed it to 2024, so here’s hoping it emerges in equally spectacular fashion sooner rather than later.


Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II


Senua stares into the camera in Senua's Saga: Hellblade II
Image credit: Ninja Theory

Release date: 2024
From: Steam, Game Pass

Kiera: The first Hellblade was an interesting take on mental illness during the Viking/Pict era. The story followed Senua, a warrior who journeys into Hel to save the soul of her lover Dillion. It was a unique idea that had a profound effect on me when I played it for the first time. The Norse mythology was right up my street, and the use of binaural 3D audio was startingly effective. Having the different voices in Senua’s head give you mixed signals and sometimes outright laugh at your attempts to progress was unnerving – which was exactly the point. The game felt like something out of a fever dream and had a general feeling of oppressiveness that you had to slog through. The sequel picks up Senua’s story from where the first left it and promises to feature more set pieces, stunning music and intimidating foes. I’m hoping for more varied character designs and perhaps a little more clarity around solving puzzles as the first game ventured into frustrating territory at times.


Shapez 2


A top down view of a factory in space in Shapez 2
Image credit: Tobspr Games/Gamera Games

Release date: 2024 (early access)
From: Steam

Ollie: Anyone who knows me knows that when I get stuck into a factory game, it’s all over. I’m dead to the world. All that matters is automation. I’ve previously remarked on what I consider to be the holy trinity of factory games: Factorio, Satisfactory, and Dyson Sphere Program – but Shapez 2 is shaping up to potentially turn that trinity into a quartet. It behaves in much the same way as the original Shapez – it’s an extremely pure factory-building experience about rotating, cutting, and stitching together different shapes. There’s no lore or story, no world-building, no diegetic items like circuit boards or iron plates. Just shapes, infinite resources, free buildings, and an endless supply of tasks to perform. But Shapez 2 transforms the game into 3D, with its resources spread across floating islands. It looks amazingly pretty considering it’s all just basic shapes, and I can’t wait to give it a try.


Sorry We’re Closed


A winged centaur rears up and shouts at a woman in a convenience store in Sorry We're Closed
Image credit: Akupara Games

Release date: 2024
From: Steam, GOG

Alice0: Sorry We’re Closed is cool. It’s a survival horror game mixing fixed third-person camera perspectives with first-person action as you explore the overlapping layers of realities as you try to escape a demon’s curse. And it’s cool. Character designs are punky, trashy, sexy. Accent colours are loud. Weapons and effects are bold. And oh, its layers of London are like Silent Hill by way of Persona and Paradise Killer. God it looks great. It’s fun, too, as you can try for yourself with the demo still available on Steam.


Star Wars Outlaws


Kay Vess, a rogue, criminal type, walking along next to a tall security droid in some key art for Star Wars Outlaws
Image credit: Ubisoft

Release date: 2024
From: Ubisoft

Ollie: I do love lightsabers, don’t get me wrong. But I’m also quite excited to play my first Star Wars game since Republic Commando that didn’t give you a lightsaber in the first half-hour. Star Wars Outlaws is an open world Ubisoft RPG set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. The game puts you in the shoes of scoundrel Kay Vess, who appears to be gradually pulled from her self-interested outlaw lifestyle into a larger story which seems quite reminiscent of Andor. And that’s a very good thing, since Andor is possibly the best thing to ever come out of Star Wars as far as I’m concerned.


Thank Goodness You’re Here!


A crowd of townsfolk gather around a fallen police man in Thank Goodness You're Here
Image credit: Panic

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: One of the most joyful reveals of last year’s Gamescom, surreal comedy adventure Thank Goodness You’re Here is very much in the same vein as Untitled Goose Game – albeit even more British and bananas than you might expect. As a tiny travelling salesman who arrives in the fictional northern town of Barnsworth far too early for his meeting with the mayor, you’ll be getting yourself into all sorts of scrapes and weird situations while you wait. Stuffed with daft humour, absurd odd jobs and a truly wonderful array of regional accents, I’m very glad for it to be here in 2024.


The Alters


Lots of men walk around a room in The Alters
Image credit: 11 bit Studios

Release date: 2024
From: Steam, GOG, Epic Games Store

Katharine: As excited as I am for Frostpunk 2, it’s 11 Bit’s The Alters that’s arguably their most intriguing-looking game of the year. As Jan Dolski, you find yourself the sole survivor of a mining accident on an alien planet, in charge of a huge facility all on your lonesome, and where the sunrise will literally burn you alive if you don’t keep one step ahead of it. You can’t run the base by yourself, so you must use its dubious cloning machine to make more of you to help you escape. Only these aren’t clones, but alternate versions of yourself, taken from a branching timeline of your life’s decisions. Each Alter comes with their own personality and emotional baggage, and you’ll need to keep the peace if you’re all going to survive. It’s a fascinating premise, and its mix of management, survival and resource gathering look to be the perfect proving ground for it.

Ollie: I’m a sucker for base-builders and unsettling sci-fi premises, so The Alters is very much one of my most anticipated games of 2024.


The Mermaid’s Tongue


A green-haired girl talks to the player in The Mermaid's Tongue
Image credit: SFB Games

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Alice Bee: I loved Tangle Tower, and was immediately disappointed that there wasn’t a whole series of games to binge. If it’s anything like the first, The Mermaid’s Tongue will be a playful, colourful detective game with easy-to-solve puzzles and a memorable cast of oddballs. The character design in Tangle Tower was one of my favourite things about it, as was the sense of humour and the slightly strange vibe of the mystery itself. The starting premise cast it as an almost magical realist sort of a deal, but it’s got a very ‘once you eliminate the impossible’ vibe to it. Honestly very stoked that there’s a sequel.

Katharine: As a fellow Tangle Tower-liker, you can consider me equally pumped for The Mermaid’s Tongue. I’m well up for another adventure with Detective Grimoire and his assistant Sally, only this time on a submarine!


The Plucky Squire


A burly squire fires a bow and arrow at monsters in a picture book in The Plucky Squire
Image credit: Devolver Digital

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: The next game from Swords Of Ditto creator Jonathan Biddle and former Game Freak artist James Turner was an instant yes from me when it was first announced during Devolver Digital’s notE3 showcase in 2022, and I’ve been eyeballing it closely ever since. As you may have seen from its various trailers so far, this delightful adventure-me-do starts as a top-down 2D Zelda-like in a very similar fashion to Swords Of Ditto before it. But then. THEN. Your little squire hops out of his picture book confines into a fully 3D kid’s bedroom scene, and cor, what an absolute blinder it’s shaping up to be. You’ll be dipping in and out of various objects as you carry out your plucky little quest in this game, and honestly, I needed to play this yesterday. Fingers crossed it won’t be subject to another delay.


The Rise Of The Golden Idol


The cast of The Rise Of The Golden Idol
Image credit: Playstack

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Katharine: I absolutely adored The Case Of The Golden Idol, so I was thrilled to see this sequel announced during December’s Game Awards. Based on the announcement trailer, it looks like we’ll still be solving lots of individual murder tableaus, trying to work out whodunnit, how and why, but this time it’s set several hundreds years in the future, bringing us to the 1970s. I’m a bit sad that it’s moved away from the original’s pixel-heavy visuals, but at least its new cartoonish look and bug-eyed character portraits still have plenty of character to them. What mischief with the legendary Golden Idol bring with it this time? We’ll find out later this year.


Thrasher


A screenshot of rhythm-based game Thrasher, showing blue energy coruscating against a blocky landscape.
Image credit: Creature

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Edwin: I love 2016’s Thumper because it hates my guts. It’s a vicious parody of call-and-response, a pulsating hell-tunnel that can only be survived by synching to the beat and hurling the game’s energies back into the vanishing point. It’s Kafka’s The Metamorphosis – you are an insect, after all – but Gregor Samsa never had to worry about 9/8 time signatures. Thrasher, which is the work of Thumper’s artist and composer, seems relatively relaxed, despite being a “mind-melting cosmic racer”. Instead of an insect, you play a primordial space eel that evolves as it overcomes obstacles and bosses. You can push yourself by chaining together big combos to climb the leaderboards, or just enjoy the visuals. I’m keen to discover how the evolution gimmick affects the challenge. Will more advanced space eels with extra frills be trickier to control?


Tiny Glade


A cute village diorama in a Tiny Glade screenshot.
Image credit: Pounce Light

Release date: 2024
From: Steam

Kiera: Tiny Glade has been on my radar for some time now. The game is essentially a cosy building sim without combat, management systems or quests. You simply sit back and build pretty buildings in different glades just for the sake of it. Beyond the whimsical aesthetics that look like something straight out of a fairy tale, the cheery music and clickety-clack sound effects are delightfully satisfying and somehow scratch an itch in my brain that I didn’t know I had. The building is gridless and without restriction, there are different themed glades including a gorgeous orange autumnal one, you can alter walls and terrain seamlessly, and you can pet sheep. What’s not to love?


Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines 2


A vampire lady in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
Image credit: Paradox

Release date: 2024
From: Steam, GOG, Epic Games Store

Kiera: I loved the original Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines. It was janky and pretty much unplayable without the unofficial patch, but there was something earnest about it. I’m desperately hoping that Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 takes advantage of the wealth of vampire clan lore out there and provides the goth vampire simulator we all want. Given the tumultuous development history of the project, I’m cautious about getting my hopes up too high. Although I like the idea of skulking around like a true creature of the night, let’s face it – I’ll probably cave and pick the sexiest Kate Beckinsale wannabe class I can.

Alice Bee: [throwing-up-hands-I-GUESS-meme.jpg]


Visions of Mana


The cast of Visions Of Mana
Image credit: Square Enix

Release date: 2024
From: TBA

Jeremy: The Mana/Seiken Densetsu series is near and dear to my heart, from playing Secret Of Mana as a kid, falling in love with Legend Of Mana, and waiting over two decades to finally see an official English localisation of Seiken Densetsu 3/Trials of Mana. Visions Of Mana is the first original entry in the franchise (I’m not counting phone games) since 2007, and I’m very happy to witness Square give their finest action RPG series another chance to shine. Info on Visions is sparse at the moment, but the trailer revealed during The Game Awards shows that it appears to be running on the same engine that powered the 2020 Trials of Mana remake, and is replete with all of the features that define the series – storybook visuals, elemental spirits, a Mantis Ant, and loads of cutesy rabbit and mushroom enemies to boink around. Oh yeah, and the iconic furry dragon Flammie appears to be an actual party member in this one! Sign me up to save the Mana Tree all over again; I’ll be there.


World Of Goo 2


A sticky situation in World of Goo 2's announcement trailer.
Image credit: 2D Boy, Tomorrow Corporation

Release date: 2024
From: TBA

Alice0: I’m rarely super stoked about sequels. Rather than plough on into more of the same, often I’d rather see the developers explore something new. Well, the makers of World Of Goo already did that. After making a phenomenal puzzle game about buildings structures from different types of goo blobs, a game which is still great 15 years later, they parted ways and made a heap of different games and followed different ventures. Now they’re back together and I’m super stoked. World Of Goo 2! A follow-up to one of the most delightful and stylish indie puzzle games ever made, made after years of extra experience. World Of Goo 2!


Animal Well


A tiny creature looks up a several crows in Animal Well
Image credit: Bigmode

Release date: TBA
From: Steam

Katharine: There are lots of otherworldly horrors awaiting you in Animal Well, and you must face them as just a tiny, fuzzy lump that can barely hop onto the most meagre of ledges. At first, at least. Over time, you’ll learn to twist the environment to your advantage, sussing out traps with bioluminescent plants and nuzzling through its wonderfully reactive and physicsy vines and grass to discover new pathways through its non-linear labyrinth. It’s a little bit Cave Story, a little bit Fez, but all its weird, own wonderful thing at the same time. If it sticks the landing, this could be a Metroid-like for the ages.


Ara: History Untold


A screenshot of Ara: History Untold, showing roads, buildings and city walls laid out across a green plain
Image credit: Xbox Game Studios

Release date: TBA
From: Steam

Ollie: Ara: History Untold is an upcoming turn-based grand strategy game wearing the skin of Civilization. It’s being developed by Oxide Games, a teamful of ex-Firaxis devs who previously made Ashes Of The Singularity. Now I’ll be honest – I’ve read up a bit on Ara: History Untold, and I’m still not entirely sure what its unique selling point is. It talks about rewriting history, about simultaneous turns, about various other things that are instantly recognisable from various other historical strategy games. I’ll admit, I am a bit interested in seeing how much of it is 4X and how much is grand strategy. But whatever the case, I’m still going to play it on day one, because I love these kinds of games, and from the announcement trailer, it looks very pretty indeed.


Arc Raiders


A composite of characters from Arc Raiders.
Image credit: Embark Studios

Release date: TBA
From: Steam, Epic Games Store

Ollie: Back in July last year, I played the closed alpha for Arc Raiders, a third-person sci-fi extraction shooter by the now-esteemed creators of The Finals. While I remain steadfast in my opinion that first-person is always a better choice than third-person for these kinds of games, Arc Raiders did impress me. The gunplay feels surprisingly good, the maps were interesting to traverse, and most of all, the NPC enemies were fantastic. In Arc Raiders, you must fend against both human players and autonomous drones of various kinds which prowl the maps. They feel a bit Horizon-esque, because you really need to learn each enemy’s weak spots and attack patterns if you want to avoid being rather ignobly disintegrated within a few minutes of starting a match. It’s tough and punishing, as most extraction shooters are, but it’s also got a very unique atmosphere which drew me in a lot more strongly than I expected.


An English Haunting


A large, plush office in a Victorian university in An English Haunting
Image credit: Postmodern Adventures

Release date: TBA
From: Steam

Jeremy: Postmodern Adventures, a one-man indie company from Spain, has stealthily been releasing top-notch point and click adventures for the last four years that have flown under the radar but deserve all the attention in the world. Their 2022 effort, Nightmare Frames, was a wonderful ode to slasher flicks of the 80s, and An English Haunting looks set to continue this pattern with a gothic tale set in 1907 England. You’re a professor looking for proof of the existence of life after death, and your travels across the pixelated streets of Victorian London and beyond look to be full of occultism, séances, and dozens of well-researched historical references. According to the dev’s Xwitter, apparently there’s just an in-game cinema where your character can sit and watch Georges Méliès films. If you’re anything like me and grew up on a steady diet of LucasArts and Sierra adventure games, you owe it to yourself to check out An English Haunting.


Conscript


Two WW1 soldiers in a desperate fight in Conscript
Image credit: Team17

Release date: TBA
From: Steam

Jeremy: I backed Conscript’s Kickstarter in 2020, so I’ve been waiting on this mashup of survival horror/World War I warfare for a long time. Seeing as how Conscript is the pet project of a single developer down in Australia, I’ve been content to wait as long as necessary, but it looks like 2024 will finally be the year of release. A demo of Conscript has been out for a while, and I can best describe it as a top-down version of Resident Evil 1, but in the awful mustard gas-infested trenches of the Great War instead of Spencer Mansion. There’s even a peaceful save room theme for those precious moments when you need a small respite from the terrors of real-life global conflict, and your object of mercy is a lantern lit by a blue flame rather than a typewriter. Conscript looks to be a moving ode to not only the horror genre as we know it in electronic entertainment, but to the trials suffered by soldiers in a war that’s very rarely depicted in video games. I’m super keen on seeing how its evolved over these four long years.


Dragon Age: Dreadwolf


A shadowy figure stands next to a wall with a large wolf mural on it in Dragon Age: Dreadwolf
Image credit: EA

Release date: TBA
From: Steam, Epic Games Store, EA

Alice Bee: Technically, the new entry in my most favourite EA-owned RPG series is only getting a ‘full reveal’, like a participant in Naked Attraction, this summer, but that could mean a release in time for Christmas. Right? Right? Anyway. This beast has undergone rewrites and BioWare shitcanned a load of staff with decades of standing at the company, which can surely be nothing but good signs for the state this will be in when it finally comes out. Alas, my lot is to look forward to it anyway. The environments in the trailer looked cool, at least.

Kiera: My excitement for the next Dragon Age is tinged with a deep shame. You see, I demolished Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age II but have yet to play Inquisition. Naturally, my homework is to play it before Dreadwolf eventually comes out. Don’t blame me – blame the awful PC that froze every time I tried to boot it up back in 2014.


Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree


Concept art for Elden Ring's Shadow Of The Erdtree expansion, showing a burnt tree in the distance and a character riding Torrent in the foreground.
Image credit: Bandai Namco/FromSoftware

Release date: TBA
From: Steam

Ollie: I’ve played a good 300+ hours of Elden Ring at the time of writing. I just can’t get enough of its sprawling, strange, untameable world. And anything which adds to that world and gives me new creepy environments to explore and bosses to fell is a definite win. Details of Shadow Of The Erdtree are very thin on the ground at the moment. Many of us were expecting an update at the 2023 Game Awards in December, but that didn’t happen. But we do know that it’s a pretty massive DLC, enough to be called an expansion. I wouldn’t be surprised if they add a good 30-50% to the map and give us another 80 or so boss encounters. There’s no firm release date yet, but a retail leak suggests a February 2024 release.


Final Fantasy XVI


Clive pets a dog in Final Fantasy 16
Image credit: Square Enix

Release date: TBA
From: TBA

Katharine: Come on Squeenix, you know you want to release Final Fantasy 16 on PC this year. Do it for Clive. Do it for Torgal. Do it for all of us. You’ve got the last bit of the DLC expansion pass arriving in the spring with The Rising Tide, that would be the perfect time to release a complete mega Windows edition of it for your friends on PC. Go on. You know you want to.


Leximan


A wizard fights using words in Leximan
Image credit: Marvelous Europe

Release date: TBA
From: Steam

Katharine: Now this one’s a keeper. Another one of my EGX Highlights from last year, Leximan is kind of like Undertale meets Touch Typing meets, well, some kind of unholy magical fever dream. You play a not very good wizard whose past failings have put them on the bottom rung of their magical school hierarchy, but when everyone gets attacked by some mysterious evil doer, it’s up to you to rise from the basement and save the day – and you’ll do that by forming words to cast spells at your opponents in polite, turn-based combat. That might sound a little pedestrian, but there’s a real WarioWare-style chaos energy to the scenarios you’ll find yourself in here, and seeing the game react to all the different spell combinations with pitch-perfect comedic timing just makes it very hard to resist. It’s proper magic.


Nightmare Operator

Release date: TBA
From: TBA

Alice0: I couldn’t tell you much of anything about this one. The four-person Tokyo team behind Nightmare Operator call it “a retro-inspired action horror game”. It appears to be set in a Japanese city. I don’t even know if it’s coming this year. But they posted this clip and oh wow yes I’m in, I’m so in:


No Rest For The Wicked


A character from No Rest For The Wicked
Image credit: Private Division

Release date: TBA
From: Steam

Katharine: Right now we know very little about what Ori And The Blind Forest devs Moon Studios are cooking up for this online action RPG, but lemme tell you. A new game from Moon that isn’t an Ori game? You have my attention. Its moody visuals and oversized bosses have a very Soulsian air about them, but its top-down perspective and three-player co-op support also puts me in the mind of Diablo. Hopefully we’ll hear more about it very soon.


Phoenix Springs


A woman talks to a child in an alley way in Phoenix Springs
Image credit: Calligram Studio

Release date: TBA
From: Steam

Katharine: I played the demo for this point and click mystery adventure late last year and wowzers, what style! Its stark block colours and painterly textures make every scene look like a graphic novel come to life, but the thing I love most about Phoenix Springs is its refreshingly no-nonsense protagonist, Iris Dormer. She’s looking for her brother Leo, but as you poke around abandoned buildings and chat to aloof, tetchy strangers to further your investigation, her dialogue and internal narration take no prisoners. “No point looking at that,” she’ll scoff when you click on something she’s got no use for – and if you keep on clicking, she’ll simply reply with a short, blunt, “No.” I love how abrasive she is, and the demo (which is still available if you’re keen) has hooked me in for the long haul.


Replaced


Two men talk in a lab in Replaced
Image credit: Coatsink

Release date: TBA
From: Steam, GOG, Epic Games Store, Game Pass/p>

Katharine: I’ve been pumped for Replaced ever since I first clapped eyes on it in 2021, and while it may have suffered a couple of delays since (Belarusian developers Sad Cat Studios have understandably had to slow down production due to the ongoing war in Ukraine), it’s looking to be very much worth the wait. Its stylish pixel art, flashy combat animation and dingy, cyberpunk setting all look extremely up my alley, and here’s hoping its tale of a rogue AI trapped inside a human body does it all justice when it (hopefully) releases later this year.


Roman Sands: REBuild


A bar location in Roman Sands RE:Build, with guests seated on purple sofas
Image credit: Serenity Forge

Release date:TBA
From: Steam

Edwin: Roman Sands: REBuild is as loud, bright and agitated as Arbitrary Metric’s previous Paratopic was moody and dour. It’s many things. One of those things is a kind of wildly over-caffeinated tropical resort simulator, with players carrying out errands for mouthy guests against a backdrop of slushwave blue and purple. Another of those things is a meatpunk puzzle game set inside an undersea apartment. Both of those aspects get screentime in the Steam demo – heaven knows what’s next.


Tiny Bookshop


A tiny bookshop in a coastal scene in Tiny Bookshop
Image credit: Skystone Games

Release date: TBA
From: Steam

Alice Bee: This was playable at Gamescom in 2023, so I have hope it might appear this year. You stock and run a tiny second-hand book shop, in a refurbished caravan, by the sea. Do I really need to say more to pique your interest here? I know games like this run the risk of becoming a grind (which is why I didn’t spend a billion hours playing Sticky Business, as I had imagined). If only there were an idiom to do with books and not making up your mind on them at first sight… but I think Tiny Bookshop looks well scoped and adorable. So there.


Urban Myth Dissolution Center


A man reads from a book with a large eye hanging above him in Urban Myth Dissolution Center
Image credit: Shueisha Games

Release date: TBA
From: Steam

Katharine: Having shouted about the excellent Makoto Wakaido’s Case Files Trilogy the other day, I will now take the opportunity to alert you to developer Hakababunko’s next game, the extremely stylish-looking Urban Myth Dissolution Center. Once again, you’ll be donning your detective deerstalker as you solve strange cases around Japan, but as the name implies, this one is all about occult urban myths rather than hardboiled murders. Its striking pixel art looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to dive in. Here’s hoping the PC version arrives at the same time as its 2024 Switch release.


Zakon


A plane flies through a cityscape in Zakon
Image credit: Mishanya

Release date: TBA
From: Steam, Itch.io

Alice0: Maybe it’s because I grew up with Godzilla movies and cartoons like Swat Kats, but I find something inherently cool about jetfighters whooshing between city blocks to fight terrible things. In this case, the city is Krasnogorie, a futuristic Soviet spectacle of skyscrapers and the space between stuffed with statues, glowing signs, cables, struts, and suspension railway lines. The terrible things are towering kaiju. And the fighting is arcadey violence in a special jet. Whooshing between buildings while battling some sort of giant spider crab sounds great fun. And while details are hazy for now, I think perhaps you’ll have the option to rebel and turn on the regime? Maybe? It’s all vague. Zakon hasn’t confirmed a release window yet so fingers crossed for this year, or at least maybe a demo in a Next Fest?

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