It’s already shaping up to be a strong year for gaming, with many highly-anticipated games already out or set for release later this year. Here’s WIRED’s month-by-month guide to the best games of 2018 and the most exciting upcoming best games releases still to come. Be sure to check out our guide to games announced at E3 2018 for more on what’s coming in 2018 and beyond, too.
The best games released in May
Quantic Dream has continued to evolve its signature genre of cinematic branching adventure games, and D:BH is certainly its best so far. Playing as three different android protagonists, your choices can take the narrative of androids going rogue in different directions leading to several varied endings; even if you lose fights, fail objectives or even get killed. It deals with some heavy themes (albeit quite bluntly at points), and there isn’t a lot of gameplay beyond pressing the prompted buttons, but the real joy will come from exploring all the game’s different story paths and its near-future world, and appreciating the motion captured performances of the main cast.
The previous Pillars of Eternity showed that there was still an appetite for the older style of isometric RPGs, and Obsidian Entertainment was more than happy to cater for it again. Now taking place on a cluster of islands five years before the first game, you and your ship’s crew pursue a recently awakened god to discover its plans and save the part of your soul it stole. There are many places to explore and many people to meet along the way, giving it the satisfying feel of a well-planned tabletop DnD session. If you are looking for a lore and gameplay-rich way to sink your time, you should definitely look at Deadfire.
For those who want to ‘git gud’ and praise the sun, but missed it the first time round, Dark Souls Remastered gives From Software’s action RPG hit a shiny new paint job for the current generation of gaming hardware. The notoriously tough (but fair) game takes you through a tightly connected dark fantasy world, filled with traps, enemies and enormous boss monsters. There is a story told in pieces by the few friendly faces you meet and the items you find in the world, but the majority of your time will be spent exploring and fighting for your life as you move from bonfire to bonfire. It comes with the game’s DLC content included too, making this the definitive way to play one of the most acclaimed titles of recent years.
There’s been a lot of changes made to the new God of War when compared to the original PlayStation 2 and 3 games. More inspiration has been taken from RPGs, with the addition of side quests a branching world map and more upgrades for weapons and armour, Kratos’ son joins the fight with his own abilities, and the Greek setting’s been swapped for a chillier Norse one. Happily, Santa Monica Studio have made it all fit together well. The game looks and feels great, especially the combat with its diverse range of abilities and powers. Read WIRED’s review of it here.
With only 60 seconds to act each day before you are sent back to the start, Minit could be enormously frustrating. Instead, the Devolver Digital published title is in fact a fun little puzzle game in the guise of a retro RPG. The important events are permanent even after death, and there are shortcuts and alternative routes which let you save time or find a different goal to pursue. It’s understandably a short experience, but one that doesn’t waste your time.
Most city-building games don’t have obvious moral choices to make, but circumstances in Frostpunk are desperate. As the last city on a snowcovered Earth, it’s your responsibility to keep the citizens alive by any means. 11 Bit Studios, who previously made the war survival game This War of Mine, have once again created a morally grey world with the potential for players to make horrific choices in the name of living another day. It’s more limited in scope than its rivals, and repeat playthroughs are less enjoyable, but the steam-power and survival themes make it a novel experience.