Our Gaming Desires 2019

With 2018 being one of the best years for gaming in recent years, the expectations are high for 2019. Will we be greeted with more gaming masterpieces or will 2019 fall sort of its predecessor? In this piece will be looking forward to our gaming desires and talking about what we hope to see for the coming year.

Cyberpunk 2077: 2019 Release

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After a year as successful for gaming as 2018 speculation for 2019 is high and personally there is only one game that I can see to better the year we just had. Although this game has no confirmed release date, and the chance of it coming out in 2019 is rather slim, I can carry on hoping.

That game is Cyberpunk 2077. The next game due to be released from developers CD Projekt Red. First announced back in 2012, it has been a long seven years wait for some slight hint as to a release date, but still we sit patiently wondering when. On the 27th August 2018, CD Projekt went live on Twitch streaming for just shy of ten hours with the first nine hours of the stream just scrolling through lines and lines of code before eventually showing a 45 minute gameplay trailer for the game.

This got the hopes up for fans all across the globe that the game would finally be getting a release date – however the wait continues. At the end of a teaser trailer it states that the game will be released “when it’s ready”. Early reports for the game suggested that it would be released within the first half of 2019. After seeing the quality of the gameplay trailer it is safe to say that it already looks crisp and fluid. Better looking than some of the AAA games released in 2018. So this has given more hope that we might be finally be getting this masterpiece in 2019. However, for the meantime I will continue to watch the gameplay video over and over again.

Likelihood this will happen: 30%

Avengers Project

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Back in January 2017, Marvel and Square Enix announced a multi-year, multi-game which would begin with The Avengers Project. However, its been approximately two years since its reveal so where is it?

The game is being developed through a collaboration with Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal, who both worked on Shadow of the Tomb Raider, though it is yet to be seen whether The Avengers Project will take inspiration from it. Furthermore, this year marks the release of the fourth and arguably, most important Avengers movie, Endgame, so what better time to reveal or potentially release the game than around such a monumental movie’s release.

Since the projects reveal, the Crystal Dynamics website has been updated giving fans and followers a brief summary of the project. The site states that the game will feature an original story which combines fan favourite characters and locations, and most interestingly, “will introduce a universe gamers can play in for years to come”.

It’s hard to imagine that Marvel and Square Enix would keep their silence much longer, especially after the resounding success of Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4, though whether the game will exist in the same canon is another question as certain details can certainly have changed in the two years since its reveal. Therefore, my gaming desire for 2019 is not for The Avengers Project to release (though I wouldn’t argue if it did) but simply to see at least a slither of new, official information amidst the chaos that has been the many rumours surrounding the project.

Likelihood this will happen: 85%

Hytale overtaking Minecraft?

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It has been known for the past couple years that the largest Minecraft server The Hypixel Network, had been developing their own standalone game. Funded completely from their Minecraft server Hypixel created their own separate department called Hypixel Studios, where they would work on their new game Hytale. The CEO of the company Simon otherwise known as Hypixel, had been making several tweets in the build up to the trailer release, one included exactly how much had been invested into their project estimated at roughly $4,000,000.

Prior to their highly-anticipated trailer release, there had been a website setup which included a countdown to the trailer which attracted a lot of attention throughout the entire Minecraft community. When the trailer did finally release it amassed over one million views on YouTube within 24 hours. A little over a month later the trailer is now sitting at 33 million views on YouTube with a ton of Youtuber’s having already reacted to the trailer sharing their own thoughts and opinions and their excitement to play the game.

While this might seem very exciting for Hypixel, there has been a large amount of speculation to whether this could be the tipping point for Minecraft, especially the PC version & multiplayer. After all, Hypixel is the largest server beating any kind of competition around them, on average their server holds 22,000 players concurrently ranking them at the top spot. While the second largest server amasses 5000 players at peak times. Despite that, Minecraft and Mojang have been criticised for making poor updates ever since 2015. Focusing on catering towards the single player community, changing the combat system within the game which has drastically irritated players including YouTuber’s who switched to different games.

As much as I love Minecraft and have played for years, I would enjoy seeing another game compete and I genuinely think with the amount of hype and excitement for Hytale the game has potential to become the new Minecraft and really dominate the community.

Likelihood this will happen: 65%

Kingdom Hearts III on Nintendo Switch

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It has been 14 years since the release of Kingdom Hearts II (KH2), one of my favourite video games of all time. KH2 improved upon its predecessor by drastically changing its combat mechanics, transforming it into one of the most fast-paced action RPGs that I have ever played. In about a weeks time, Kingdom Hearts III, the latest entry in the long running franchise, will see its release on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on January 29th 2019. One platform is missing. Of course I am talking about the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo as a platform would be nothing new for the Kingdom Hearts series as many of the franchises side-games saw a release on Nintendo hardware. Chain of Memories, 358/2 Days, Re:Coded and Dream Drop Distance particulary saw a release on the portable side of the Nintendo spectrum including the likes of the GameBoy Advanced, DS and 3DS. It is evident that Nintendo and the game’s developer Square Enix have a strong relationship, going as far back as the 1980’s with the release of the original Final Fantasy on the NES.

The likelihood of the popular action RPG coming to the Switch is quite high as the Switch has direct compatibility with Unreal Engine 4, the engine that KH3 runs on. Also, there has been rumors of Square attempting to work alongside Nintendo so they can get KH3 successfully running on the system. In past interviews, the games director Tetsuya Nomura has stated that he is open to other platforms once the game has launched.

With years of hype surrounding it, Kingdom Hearts III would be a perfect fit for the Switch. I could imagine a big reveal during a Nintendo direct, with an additional sudden announcement of Sora being a candidate in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. That would let a tear fall from my eye, and I’m not usually one to cry over a video game.

Likelihood this will happen: 55%

New Updated A.I in gaming.

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Artificial Intelligence has been around since the early 1950s and has developed wildly within the past 70 years. It’s developed from the small “Turing Test” to the extreme voice-controlled Amazon Alexa. But for us as gamers, we’ve seen very little in terms of A.I. coming into our world, bar that of NPC players within each individual game which is differently controlled determined on the game. However, we want a new interface that is A.I. controlled that we can use, unlike that of the voice-control from Xbox’s Kinect or Amazon’s Alexa.

My desire for 2019, is a new console A.I. interface; that is not fully voice activated but one that does not have many limitations. A.I. has come a long way in terms of uses, there’s even an A.I. robot that does nail art and better than some humans. For console, I want something built like Amazon’s Alexa, but specific for consoles with different features and functions, that can even be used within games so the user does not have to use a controller and can use voice-activation for the games. I do think that the old Xbox Kinect was heading in the right direction with the use of voice-control and camera control, but we need something built into the console, with no camera. Potentially some form of VR console with a lack of hand-held controllers and being voice activated, which would be a more likely possibility.

Unfortunately, before that happens, we’re going to need better in-game A.I. NPCs, that work properly and react to user movements, and can follow a coding path, almost that of a flow-chart and depending on the game, be more aggressive and one that can learn from human players; to learn to recreate certain aspects/events that they perform within game.

Likelihood this will happen: 30% to adapt a form of A.I. specific for console interfaces, but a likely 70% to have new A.I NPC’s adapted.

Post by ‘The Underachievers’ 

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