MMOGames’ Most Anticipated Online Game of 2019

The end of the year is upon us and it is time to start looking ahead to what will come in 2019. We asked the MMOGames writing team what their most anticipated online game of 2019 is and got a wide variety of responses from the team, including a couple of surprises. After you’ve read what our writers are looking forward to next year be sure to add what game you’re most anticipating in 2019.

 

Ethan “Isarii” Macfie – Anthem

I started liking Anthem as a joke – I’m dead serious. As the game’s announcement came only a few months after the launch of the immeasurably disappointing Mass Effect: Andromeda and was followed shortly thereafter by the Star Wars: Battlefront II monetization debacle, the idea of jumping aboard the hype train for EA-BioWare’s next big live service game felt like the absolute height of comedy.

My friends and I set up a Discord channel just to hype the game up ironically, sharing news and info as it came out with our most sardonic fervor. Then the strangest thing happened: the news we were sharing started to look _really_ good.

I’m not sure exactly when I boarded the Anthem hype train for real, but I know I’m on it now. I haven’t preordered the game and I’m constantly on watch for the other shoe to drop, but what we’ve seen and heard of the game’s world, its feature set, and even its monetization strategy all sound extremely promising. Maybe we’ll all get burned again, but at this point, I’m willing to at least hope that we won’t.

 

Nick Shively – We’ll See

When it comes to online, multiplayer games 2019 is not a year I’m expecting much from. There are a few titles that I’m mildly interested in that have multiplayer elements, such as Anthem, but there’s no single title that I’m actively waiting to be released. The last few years have been fairly stagnant in the MMORPG genre and it will still be a couple more until the droves of crowdfunding MMOs finally start launching.

That being said, it’s likely that Crowfall will see some sort of soft launch or early access by 2019, but the game has already had a number of delays with the beta being pushed back. It’s possible that we’ll hear more from Ascent: Infinite Realm, however, a 2019 release seems unlikely at this point. I’m also looking forward to hearing more about the Magic: The Gathering MMO, but mostly because Cryptic has revealed little information so far. At this point in time, 2019 is more of a “wait and see” kind of year.

 

Phil DeMerchant – Project Zephyr

For 2019 my most anticipated game isn’t a massive blockbuster hit or even a massively multiplayer wonderland like 2017 and 18 have born. Instead, my focus is fully formed on Four Shore Entertainment and their little seasonal puzzle with a working title of Project Zephyr.

A season-based environmental platformer, Zephyr is one of the handful of indie games I got to demo this year at the Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo. Despite only having the alpha of the tutorial level, Four Shore absolutely blew me away with the warm and tender art of their game. From winding forests to chittering monsters there was no square space of charm overlooked in this game’s wonderful art style. Gameplay was just as entertainingly charming; by utilizing a little golem’s season-changing abilities one could grow a pumpkin to use as a platform or freeze an enemy to use as a projectile ice block. The possibilities were absolutely endless, my own gameplay even surprising the demoing developer in how radically different I set about my puzzle solving.

Zephyr is a game with unimaginable potential, and with a project Q2 release in 2019, I cannot wait to finally sink my teeth into it all.

 

Taylor Hidalgo – The Division 2

The Division 2

Garbage flows into the streets of New York City, joining the fresh snow and the muck of dirt, sludge, bodies, and blood splashed gracelessly along the packed street. A single working strobe spins soundlessly into the hazy snowfall of the fading evening light. A casually dressed agent in a leather jacket dusts the snow off of their jacket, shoulders their rifle, and walks up the street.

Of the many things The Division did well, the most inescapable was the city. It was beautiful. It is beautiful, and there’s no escaping that beauty for even the slightest fraction of a second. New York, plagued by infection, flooded with aggression and bullets, filling the streets with terror, has remained my impossible benchmark for what a setting can do for a story—hazy, blizzardous, littered, messy, garish, chaotic, impossibly beautiful New York.

In the time since I’ve played, The Division has never captured my desire to shoulder my weapon, hurl a grenade, and dive into danger headlong. But in the quiet moments, I find myself wanting to revisit New York. The streets, though devoid of the foot traffic that surges in its non-digital counterpart, the plague-stricken streets are just quiet enough here to let the abandoned cars tell a story of frantic escape. The darkness that hangs in the alleyways promises gunfight in the dark crevices for anyone foolish enough to try to slip through the shadows. The distant barks, errant car alarms, occasional directionless gunfire, the chirping of a discarded cell phone… All of it assembled into this package promises a world full of life, albeit a hobbled one.

I find myself wanting to perch atop a squad car, rifle dangling casually down the rear window, and watch the snow gather on my jacket’s shoulders while New York breathes around me again. The hazardous Dark Zone in the distance promises me all the action I could ever want, a short helicopter ride can crashland me in the biggest blizzard New York can throw, a sprawling fight encompassing an army of agents sits in a distant corner of the city, but this car is all I really need. The snow grows as it collects on the jacket, on my gloves, on the car, and on the ground.

I am taken in with this place. Gunfire and all.

In the distance, past the overturned ambulances and the bullet-riddled squad cars, beyond the armored APCs and the glass-walled high-rises, Washington D.C. waits for another agent, for another crisis. D.C. promises to be more of everything I love. More city, more gorgeous intersections of reality and aesthetic fulfillment. Sure, also more gunfights and danger, but the real siren call is another city. A new place to sink into. I cannot wait to destroy its art museums as I hurl myself through another fight to reclaim humanity. The Division 2 is just down that street, a short jaunt away, and I’m so excited to crawl its streets.

My agent stands, and together we descend the stairs and pass through the curtain of an overhead sprinkler. The snow on my jacket joins the spray and drips to its final resting place on the cheap tile of a subway. Deeper into this darkness leads to an airport.

Next time you see us, we’ll be in D.C.

 

 

Shannon Doyle – Rapture Rejects

Rapture Rejects

If I’m completely honest I’ve found myself falling out of love with online gaming in recent years and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Sure, online gaming is more popular than it ever has been before but the communities that made online games so great seem to have died. I do of course continue to hold a torch up for the City of Heroes spiritual successors. I’ll be giving those a try as soon as they come out, I’m just not sure that will be in 2019. We saw Dual Universe at Gamescom a number of years ago and it has intrigued me from the very first time we walked past their booth. But once again, Dual Universe isn’t expected to release until 2020 at the earliest.
So right now I suppose my most anticipated game of 2019 is…Rapture Rejects. Normally I’m not one to play Battle Royale games but there’s a special place in my heart for blasphemous comedy in video game form. During their free to play weekend I was having a blast and since then I’ve been squeezing in a match or two when I can. It’s a lot of fun and it doesn’t feel super serious like other games in the genre. Casual friendly even? Ehh…only if you don’t mind dying a lot. I’m also following Harry Potter Wizards Unite, the mobile game being made by the same folks behind Pokemon Go. Will it come out in 2019? Actually, yeah, I think it might. I’m just wondering how I’m going to jump between Ingress, Pokemon Go, and Harry Potter. Maybe Santa will bring me a third phone for Christmas.

 

Jonathan Doyle – Anthem

Everyone has their own ways of writing. When I was posed the question of my upcoming pick for 2019 I went to the playlist so I could let my thoughts run free.
The thing is the playlist came around to Muse and I can’t shift the association in my mind anymore. Anthem played a blinder with the reworking of Muse’s Uprising in the cinematic trailer.

It may be stupid to let that be the thing that draws my attention but I can’t help it. I know it won’t be like other Bioware games. I know how utterly bad I am at Destiny. I know that there will be plenty of other games vying for my attention when we finally get to grips with Anthem … but it grabbed my attention in a very definite way.

It won’t last, love affairs never do. I fully admit it’s a love affair with the idea of a Bioware game, my heart is drawn by their mastery in cinematic presentation beyond whatever the game may actually be. Until there is heartbreak or affirmation though, all I have is that impression in this ongoing love affair. The possibility that Anthem will bring me the right blend of gameplay, story and a world that I can lose myself in.

The trailer ends with a simple lyric. We will be victorious.
I believe it when Muse says it…as for Bioware? I remain hopeful. Hopefully, they will be victorious. If not? Well, maybe we’ll also get to move on from the Destiny like shooter games in the MMO space. Either way, I am victorious even if EA is not.

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MMOGames’ Most Anticipated MMO of 2018

Here we are at the end of another year of gaming. It certainly had its ups and downs, just take a look at the most popular news stories to see. 2018 is already starting to look incredibly exciting so we asked the writers and Editorial team at MMOGames what their most anticipated MMO of 2018 is.

 

Hannah Richardson-Lewis

I’ve been thinking a fair bit about my most anticipated MMO of 2018 recently and I have honestly come to the conclusion that I’m not really “hyped” for anything. MMOs are definitely in a strange place at the moment, but that being said, there is certainly some intriguing stuff on the horizon. Crowfall, Chronicles of Elyria, and Ascent: Infinite Realm are all games I will be watching closely. However, my most anticipated MMO is still World of Warcraft. It is my MMORPG home, and I will definitely be playing Battle For Azeroth. Anduin is cool now, okay?

 

Nick Shively

crowfall livestream

The MMO that I’m most looking forward to in 2018 is one that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time: Crowfall. It’s finally to the stage where the actual game is going to start coming together. Until this point, ArtCraft has been building a foundation for a potentially great game, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of interesting content to playtest. Crowfall was expected to soft launch in 2017 but that wasn’t to be the case and honestly, I wasn’t really surprised at the delay. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to the game, but I don’t mind waiting for it to be polished and we should see some type of public release in 2018.

 

Rissa Trent

I’m really looking forward to Dual Universe – it might be a worthy competitor for Star Citizen. It may also pave the way for more sandbox MMORPGs, and honestly, we can’t have enough of those. It’ll give the players a chance to forge their own alliances and write their own story rather than having the game write it for them, and honestly, I think that’s the way MMOs should be heading.

 

Hendrik Cone

My most anticipated for 2018 has to be Crowfall. I am not personally invested in the PvP side of things which may make the pick very odd but I can’t wait to see it all come together. There’ve been a few crowdfunded MMOs in recent memory but this is the one that always sticks in memory for me between the technology used, the pedigree behind it and the potential of it all going forward. All of that, but come on, we know the real reason why Crowfall will be the game of 2018. The world loves Porgs at the moment. Guineceans, your moment is now. Come up from your burrows, holster those pistols and let the world see your glory.

 

Shannon Doyle

The MMO I’m most anticipating in 2018 is Stardew Valley multiplayer. What? That isn’t an MMO? Well, it should be. Okay, okay…the game I’m actually most looking forward to is only very loosely an MMO, it’s Niantic’s Harry Potter Wizards Unite. A mobile game that follows in the footsteps of Ingress and Pokemon Go before it. I’ve been a big fan of Ingress since it was announced back in 2013. I was also one of the legions of fans who tried out Pokemon Go when it first came out. I still have the game installed on my phone but living so far from a city, I don’t really play it. My hope is that Niantic learns from Pokemon Go and takes inspiration from Ingress to make a game that people can really enjoy wherever they are, even if they don’t have a Pokestop nearby. I also hope that it is embraced by the world the way Pokemon Go was, but maybe this time they’ll stick around? At least if things don’t go well, I’ll still have Stardew Valley multiplayer.

 

LagunaLevine

My most anticipated online game for 2018? I’ll optimistically go with Crowfall. I’m not doing so many MMOs these days (call it a holdover from my time in Japan that emphasized local multiplayer), but the idea of a “lobby game” which has a persistent lobby feels right. I loved the old World of Warcraft Alterac Valley map when each BG match took at least a day or longer to complete. It had that world PvP feel without people complaining about getting “ganked” when they clearly chose a PVP server. I’m more on console so it may not stick, but hey, Overwatch gets my attention, and I largely play that solo despite owning it on PS4 as well.

 

Jonathan Doyle

Vermintide 2.

KILL SKAVEN KILL CHAOS KILL SKAVEN KILL CHAOS KILL SKAVEN KILL CHAOS KILL SKAVEN KILL CHAOS KILL SKAVEN KILL CHAOS KILL SKAVEN KILL CHAOS KILL SKAVEN KILL CHAOS KILL SKAVEN KILL CHAOS KILL SKAVEN KILL CHAOS

BARDIN TO SAVE THE DAY YE WAZZOCKS

 

Chris Hughes

"massive" update

MMOs are dead! Long live Games as a Service!

Actually, no, I’m full of it. 2018 in MMO gaming can certainly seem piecemeal, but ultimately there are more than a few titles that tipped their hats at us this year that have me looking forward to the next year in my beloved genre. After considering several of them, my mind keeps going back to one title in particular that always stands out to me: Crowfall.

Not only does this one feel like a PvP sandbox that I could probably stomach, it also appears to be one that actually wants me – the softest of sheep – to play the way I want to play in terms of crafting. Crafters are valued and necessary to the war effort and that’s more than most MMOs out now can say. Plus the game’s style of RvR has me intrigued to see if Crowfall is the missing piece to make me fully appreciate sandbox-style MMOs.

To the point of 2018, I think we’ll start to see crowdfunded games finally wrap development and release, further legitimizing crowdfunding as an honest way to make dream titles come true and not another winking scam artist looking to cash in.

Except for Star Citizen. That damn thing’s never coming out.

 

You may have seen there was a bit of a theme for MMOGames’ most anticipated MMO of 2018. There’s a whole lot of hype for Crowfall. There was also a lot of discussion about crowdfunding and the future. There’ll be even more of it in our predictions for 2018, which will be out after Christmas.

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