2019's Upcoming Video Game Releases

10:00 AM 7/12/2019

by Trilby Beresford

AAA titles such as 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare' and 'Wolfenstein: Youngblood' are still to come in the latter half of 2019, while family fare like 'The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening' and 'Luigi's Mansion 3' are also on the horizon.

Outer Worlds, Star Wars Jedi- Fallen Order, The Legend of Zelda- Link's Awakening and Wolfenstein- Youngblood_Split - Publicity - H 2019

It's almost time to... go forth and conquer!

A slew of new video games are on the horizon in 2019, from new franchise entries that build upon existing IP like Wolfenstein: Youngblood, which introduces a pair of female twin protagonists to the long-running shooter franchise, to brand-new titles like The Outer Worlds, an adventure influenced by the silliness and cleverness of Futurama. As a result, gamers are gearing up to log some serious hours on exciting new journeys. 

Several of the year's remaining releases presented lengthy gameplay demos at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June, giving fans a chance to meet the characters and enter their worlds for the first time. A Final Fantasy VII remake, which is a highly awaited 2020 title, emerged as the best in show at E3, while The Outer Worlds was crowned best original game. 

Cyberpunk 2077 remains a hotly anticipated title, helped in large part by the surprise introduction of Keanu Reeves as one of its stars. The CD Projekt Red role-playing game isn't due out until April. 

Whether it's cyborgs, Nazi hunters or an elf exploring a mystical isle, there's a title to float any gamer's boat among the varied mix of releases due out in the not-too-distant future. 

  • Dragon Quest Builders 2

    A sequel to 2016's Dragon Quest Builders, the next installment of this playful role-playing adventure tasks players with rebuilding a ravaged world while island-hopping and exploring monster-filled mazes, puzzles and battlegrounds. 

  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses

    Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the 16th entry in the turn-based tactical role-playing series and Nintendo warns that "War is coming to the continent of Fódlan."

    Players take on the role of a professor tasked with teaching one of the houses within the officer's academy. There are stakes: Your students' lives depend on the quality of your instruction, both in the academic sense and on the battlefield.  

    The game is set to offer refined gameplay from previous experiences, including advanced battalion systems to support individual units in battle. 

  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood

    From publisher Bethesda Softworks, this first-person shooter game continues the Wolfenstein series but changes the game completely by introducing two female protagonists, franchise protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz's twin daughters.

    The co-op adventure is set in 1980s Paris where the sisters are tasked with finding their father, who went missing in action, while they fight the brutal Nazi regime. Throughout the gameplay trailer shown at E3, cut scenes with dialogue designed to strengthen the bond of the girls are intercut with fast-paced fights that require stealth, collaboration and precision.

    "We wanted to tell a story that is lighter in tone," said MachineGames' Jerk Gustafsson at E3 earlier this year. "With Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, we focused a lot on telling the story of Blazkowicz and his childhood with an abusive father; it was very dark in tone. The big contrast here is that this story is more from love. This story is much more about these two young women setting out on an adventure to try and find their father, and it's always about growing up: that period in-between adolescence and adulthood."

  • Control

    Developed by Remedy Entertainment, the company responsible for the Max Payne games, Control is a third-person supernatural action-adventure game with a strong narrative backbone.

    Players take on the role of the director of a secret agency in New York whose headquarters have been invaded by an otherworldly threat.

    In a teaser shown at E3, the world is sinister and the characters are lifelike, making the call to action feel all the more real and urgent. 

  • Shenmue III

    The newest entry in the Shenmue saga, this installment continues the story of teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki's quest to find his father's killer in 1980s China. Shenmue III was crowdfunded on Kickstarter, raising over $6 million during its campaign. 

    "Ryo and Shenua arrive at the Lake of the Lantern Bugs after their long journey," reads the description on the campaign. "Entranced, they watch the gentle flight of the lantern bugs upon the mirage-like oasis."

    The trailer showcases an emphasis on story and character, as well as well-choreographed martial arts fights against gorgeous pink sunsets and high mountaintops.

  • Gears 5

    As the latest entry in the third-person shooter Gears of War franchise and sequel to Gears of War 4, Gears 5 mixes things up by focusing on a new protagonist: Kait Diaz (voiced by the prolific Laura Bailey), an outsider who gets pulled into the action and becomes a key member of the fight.

    Characters from the previous game, including JD Fenix, Delmont Walker and Marcus Fenix, return for more fast-paced action. The trailer is appropriately sinister and bloody, with few pauses in the action and an invitation to ESCAPE this September.

    Proceed with caution.

  • Borderlands 3

    Borderlands 3 is the latest numbered entry in the action RPG first-person shooter Borderlands franchise, now a decade old, since 2012's Borderlands 2, and brings back many familiar characters from the series.

    When a teaser was shown at the PAX East convention in Boston by Gearbox Software president and CEO Randy Pitchford and game director Paul Sage, fans were able to see the brand-new locales, firepower combinations and enemy classes, as well as get reacquainted with the signature art style. 

  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

    As a reimagining of the 1993 smash-hit Game Boy game Link's Awakening, this new offering from Nintendo is set to transport players into the revamped world of Koholint Island, where colors leap out in cartoonish style. 

    "Link's Awakening's tilt-shifted, dollhouse art style is the perfect mashup between classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer aesthetics and iconic Zelda gameplay, said THR's Patrick Shanley after playing a demo of the game at this year's E3 convention. 

    The game was nominated for Best Console Game after their demonstration at E3, losing out to the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII remake.

  • Concrete Genie

    This story-driven, action adventure game from PixelOpus follows the journey of a bullied teenager named Ash who escapes his troubles by disappearing into the colorful world of his sketchbook art. There, he must overcome his personal struggles and work to rid his hometown of pollution and darkness with the help of mischievous Genies and magical paintbrushes.

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

    The 2007 classic is reimagined in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which introduces new characters and settings in addition to bringing back familiar faces such as British SAS Captain John Price and Sergeant John "Soap" MacTavish. In a new twist, the game will feature a female protagonist, a rebel fighter in the Middle East.

    "When we talked about taking up the mantle and making a new Modern Warfare, we looked at the events of the plot of first three games," Modern Warfare narrative lead Taylor Kurosaki told THR back in May. "By the end of [2011's] Modern Warfare 3, nukes had gone off and Russians had invaded, and there weren’t any human scale stakes left in that world to hook into. Beyond that, a lot has happened in the real world in the eight years since Modern Warfare 3 came out. The battlefield lines have become more blurred than they were back then."

    He continued, "Think back to [Operation] Iraqi Freedom and tanks rolling across the desert and uniformed soldiers on different sides; today’s world is far less defined than even that. Now you have enemies who, more often than not, aren’t wearing uniforms, and civilian collateral damage has become even more a part of the equation. We couldn’t continue the plotline and have it be called "modern warfare." So, we put the storyline to bed and brought characters that we, and fans, know and love and brought them into 2019."

  • The Outer Worlds

    After leading the nominations at E3's Best in Show, The Outer Worlds walked away with best original game, proving its position as a highly coveted indie title. From Obsidian Entertainment and co-directors Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain, the game is a sci-fi role-playing adventure that includes combat and exploration influenced by Futurama and Firefly, and a little bit from The Simpsons (look for a couple of Easter eggs). 

    Speaking of the game's tone, which includes light and dark elements, Boyarsky said, "It’s a very dark world with dark themes, it can be bleak. But we were very adamant that we wanted it to be a fun game. How do you make a fun game in such a setting? You make it absurdist. You really lean into that."

  • Death Stranding

    From prolific video game creator Hideo Kojima (the Metal Gear Solid series), the open-world action game Death Stranding boasts an all-star cast equivalent to a Hollywood blockbuster: Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Lea Seydoux and even directors Guillermo del Toro and Nicolas Winding Refn. The game was first revealed at E3 in 2016, though specific details beyond its apparent inspiration from real-world events have been sparse. 

    In the story and character-driven trailer, the idea of "making America whole" is introduced with stakes that include the end of humanity if people don't come together and join forces. 

    "You see, I've come to introduce the truth of the Death Stranding," says one of the characters. "It's so hard to form connections when you can't shake hands. Fortunately I've got a good connection on the other side."

  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

    Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment gave fans a look at the gameplay for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at the EA Play, pre-E3 event in June, showing footage of young Padawan Cal Kestis in lightsaber-wielding action.

    There will be many familiar characters from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, such as Saw Gerrera, popping up in the gameplay, in addition to introducing new planets and characters.  

    The story-driven trailer offers three ways to survive: don't stand out, accept the past and trust ... no one.

  • Pokemon Shield and Sword

    Two new Pokemon games are on the horizon.

    According to Nintendo, Pokemon Shield and Pokemon Sword will allow the player to become a Pokemon trainer and unravel the mystery behind the Pokemon Zacian and Zamazenta, while also exploring wild lands and regions, participating in complex battles and learning new skills to emerge successful no matter what the stakes.

    This year's E3 convention presented a streamed demonstration of Pokemon Sword and Shield gameplay from the Nintendo developers, which is available for viewing below.

  • Doom Eternal

    First-person shooter Doom Eternal from Bethesda Softworks is the latest entry in the Doom franchise, whose last game released in 2016 to critical and commercial success. Doom Eternal, a direct sequel to that game, was first teased at E3's press conference in 2018, with gameplay footage shown at E3 2019 via their new streaming technology, Orion. 

    The story trailer shows an abundance of blood splatters, bullet sprayings and close calls, with an invitation for players to "Raze Hell" come its release date in mid-November. 

  • Luigi's Mansion 3

    As the sequel to 2013's Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, this new title in the franchise brings back the quirky Italian plumber and tasks him with the role of ghostbuster in a haunted hotel. 

    New gameplay techniques will be offered via the Poltergust G-00, a tool that allows Luigi to slam enemies in multiple ways. The Gooigi form is also something to look forward to, because it allows Luigi to walk through walls and over sharp spikes without injury.

    The story trailer shows off the classic cartoonish world, while introducing some of the beasts, ghosts and gadgets that Luigi has to contend with on his quest.

  • Sayonara Wild Hearts

    And now for something completely new and different: a dreamlike pop anthem video game with bursting color and a low-stakes adventure.

    The Annapurna Interactive booth at E3 presented gameplay footage of Sayonara Wild Hearts, allowing players to get accustomed with the various transport options and collections of wild hearts while exploring the graphic-novel like environment and dodging obstacles. 

    Don't forget to turn the volume up.

  • Upcoming 2020 Titles

    Final Fantasy VII Remake — Releases March. 3 on PlayStation 4

    The remake of the 1997 game is perhaps the most highly anticipated title to emerge from E3 2019, with the game topping the Best of Show awards and wowing with a presentation by producer Yoshinori Kitase. He declared to the crowd, "Remaking Final Fantasy VII has allowed us to dive much deeper into the world and its character than ever before. We anticipate two Blu-ray discs worth of content [for the first installment]."

    Cyberpunk 2077 — Releases April 16 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4

    Also one of E3's most anticipated games, Cyberpunk 2077, partly based on the 1988 tabletop role-playing game Cyberpunk 2020, invites gamers to play as an outlaw working in a "sleazy underbelly," according to actor Keanu Reeves, who plays one of the main roles. "The feeling there, of walking the streets of the future, is really going to be breathtaking," he said during Microsoft's pre-E3 Xbox Live presentation.