2019 is shaping up to be a hot year for action fans. While a heck of a lot of games are increasingly leaning into the open-world RPG-lite, there's still a beating core of focused linear action games coming our way next year. These are the games that'll challenge your reflexes as well as your mind, requiring quick-thinking and top skills to overcome.
There are few bigger action franchises on the planet but Nero and Dante have fallen on some tough times as of late. Everything we’ve seen of DMC5 is ticking all the right boxes though, with director Hideaki Itsuno returning to oversee the latest high-octane demonic invasion. It’s difficult to tell what the heck’s going on in a lot of the footage, but any game where you can tear a motorbike in half and use it as a weapon is a winner in our books.
When we heard From Software was keen to move away from Dark Souls, we were simultaneously intrigued and downbeat. We shouldn’t have been worried though, as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an apple that didn’t fall far from the Souls tree, retaining the methodical, ultra-hard combat while injecting feudal Japan trappings and drastically improved player mobility. Sekiro could end up being the Ninja Gaiden sequel we’d always dreamed of, finally banishing our wicked flashbacks to the atrocious Ninja Gaiden 3.
It would take a brave person to suggest Quantum Break was, well, anything other than a little bit boring. From the studio that gave us Max Payne and Alan Wake, we expected a whole lot more. Suffice to say, Remedy Entertainment has a point to prove, and Control looks as if it’s going to make. Sticking to the time-warping third-person shooting that has made Remedy a household name, Control is an action-adventure set within a single, giant, shifting New York building that houses the bureau’s secret supernatural experiments.
Left Alive bears more than a passing resemblance to Metal Gear Solid, and with good reason. Yoji Shinkawa, the artist behind the iconic character designs in MGS, is on-board for Left Alive, as well as Armored Core director Toshifumi Nabeshima, and Ghost in the Shell and Xenoblade Chronicles X mech designer Takayuki Yanase. Basically, there’s a whole lot of anime and mech-battling talent behind Left Alive, and there’s every chance this could be a sleeper hit.
Avalanche Studios has got a busy few months coming up. Just Cause 4 has just blasted into the world and will be getting the usual torrent of post-launch content, while we’ve also got Rage 2 and Generation Zero to look forward to. Of these, Generation Zero is the one that’s got our interest piqued. You know, new IP and all, and an awesome Scandinavian 80’s robot setting. The jury’s out on whether Gen Zero can actually deliver on its promise, but four-player co-op multiplayer with guerilla anti-machine tactics sounds right up our street.