7 games we can’t wait to play in 2023
A new year means a bunch of promising titles to look forward to. From RPGs to FPS, past racing genres that I personally don’t play much of, here are seven titles written for 2023 that are definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage
Release date: 2023 | Developer: Ubisoft Bordeaux | Pre-order from Amazon
Mirage marks a return to traditional Assassin’s Creed roots with a more linear gameplay with a focus on storytelling, which was the desire of many fans who quickly tired of the RPG-focused Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla. Offering a compelling story set in a rich and vibrant world, Ubisoft has announced that Mirage will have a smaller map compared to the latest AC games.
In Assassin’s Creed Mirage, you play as Basim, a thief who joins the ancient assassin organization in 861’s Baghdad. As usual, Basim will have a large arsenal of weapons and equipment at his disposal, including the signature Assassin Hidden Blade and smoke bombs.
This new installment will provide a new parkour system that allows for seamless traversal of Baghdad’s open world. Like AC Unity, the character automatically blends in with the masses if there are three people nearby, leading to more immersive, stealthy gameplay. If the older games are anything to go by, the city is likely to be full of detail, from merchants shouting about their wares, to residents telling each other about their daily lives. Start sharpening the knives!
Release Date: February 21, 2023 | Developer: Mundfish | Pre-order from Amazon
Atomic Heart is a first-person shooter that takes place in an alternate universe of the Soviet Union in 1955, with much more advanced technology than was actually available at the time. Autonomous robots, holograms and, most notably, a proto-Internet called Collectiv 1.0, which connects all robots to a hivemind, already exist in this unusual world.
Here you play as a mentally unstable KGB special agent called Major Nechaev, nicknamed P-3, who is sent by his contractor to keep the situation at Facility 3826 under control. The game has a strong BioShock/Prey feel and has outstanding graphics – at least from what the developer has shown.
The game further offers a bunch of improvised weapons made from machine parts to dispose of enemies that seem to range from full-on mechanical androids to half-organic, half-mechanical monsters. If Atomic Heart keeps their promises, we’re in for a fantastic time.
Release date: 2023 | Developer: Studio Wildcard | Pre-order from Amazon
ARK 2 is a sequel to ARK: Survival Evolved, a sandbox survival game where you wake up in a primitive world filled with dinosaurs and humans fighting for dominance. As if a large T-Rex and flocks of raptors weren’t enough, another tribe called the Aratai is also determined to cause trouble.
In terms of gameplay, ARK 2 will no longer offer a first-person view, instead opting for a third-person perspective, but with more traversal mechanics such as climbing, parkour and stealth. The latter includes both visual camouflage as well as odor suppression. Battles will feature several types of melee, from quick but weak attacks to slow but devastating swings, with more to unlock via a skill tree. Finally, the main character, Santiago, is none other than Vin Diesel, so the story probably involves family.
A surprise trailer back in 2020 had our attention, but with so little info since then, one can only hope that ARK 2 doesn’t slide into 2024. Fingers crossed for this one.
Company of Heroes 3
Release date: February 23, 2023 | Developer: Relic Entertainment | Pre-order from Amazon
Company of Heroes 3 will be the first of this RTS series to also come out on consoles, promising bigger and better World War II battles. This time we are in the Mediterranean theater, which means that many Italian and North African cities are ready to be blasted by tanks, artillery fire and bomber squadrons.
The game will have co-op combat, competitive multiplayer and story mode. The dynamic Italian campaign provides a multi-layered affair where you make decisions about where to go, and what perks to unlock, in order to achieve the mission of reaching Rome. Units are said to have far more control options, giving further flexibility to what they can do and the destruction they can cause. Check your parachutes, landing is scheduled for February 23rd.
Dead Island 2
Release date: April 28, 2023 | Developer: Dambuster Studios | Pre-order from Amazon
Coming soon after a tumultuous development cycle, Dead Island 2 is an open-world zombie action game set in a tropical location inspired by Los Angeles. To survive the zombie outbreak, players must fight off hordes of zombies using makeshift weapons, from hammers and wrenches to bats and swords.
The developer puts extra emphasis on the game’s gore system, with a seemingly extreme level of detail and dynamics to how the zombies’ bodies react to attacks. Speaking to Eurogamer, James Worral said: “It’s just completely anatomically correct models, we’ve basically done everything from hair, skin, fat, muscle, bone, and all the organs are stuffed in there.”
There will be six playable characters already infected by the virus, meaning they all have Fury Modes ready to unleash on zombies. The game upgrades from buffs to abilities and perks use a card-based system, which encourages deck swapping to find the best playstyle for each player. All in all, after seeing how good Dying Light 2 turned out to be, we can’t wait to play this one.
Release date: June 6, 2023 | Developer: Blizzard Entertainment | Pre-order from Amazon
Diablo IV needs no introduction, but if you’ve just returned to Earth after a very long hiatus, it’s an action RPG/hack-and-slash set in an open environment. Even better, it’s the first in the series to be open-ended, allowing players to tackle campaign missions in the order they see fit. Apparently there will be over 140 dungeons to explore using the barbarian, sorceress, druid, rogue and necromancer character classes.
Alongside the usual co-op and PVP modes, the game’s shared online world will also feature many encounters, which require teamwork to win. Once the primary story is completed, nightmare dungeons will be available for those looking for more challenges and loot.
For abilities, players can use what is called the Book of the Dead, which gives more flexibility when it comes to summoning trolls. Players will have the choice of bone golems that can take damage like tanks, blood golems that can steal health, iron golems that charge into battle, and more.
Tailoring your character’s playstyle to your own taste is also part of the game, and from equipment to customizations, everyone should find something to appreciate. Finally, Blizzard plans to add content to the game, from cosmetics to full-fledged expansions, over time.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Release date: March 17, 2023 | Developer: Respawn Entertainment | Pre-order from Amazon
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is an action-adventure sequel to the well-received Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, set five years later, but this time with a bigger world, more enemies and most importantly, creatures that can ascend. Needless to say, this is far from the best period to be a Jedi.
The story follows Jedi Knight Cal Kestis as he tries to survive against a hostile Galactic Empire following Order 66. To do so, he has access to five saber stances, three of which are brand new. There’s the akimbo dual-wield, the blaster/saber combo, and the claymore, which is a Kylo Ren-style cross-guard lightsaber with high damage but slow attacks.
There’s also a new stasis Force ability that freezes enemies and burst shots, similar to the one used by Kylo Ren, plus team combos performed by the companion character in what look to be cool finishing moves. We also get some new exploration opportunities using a grappling hook, along with enemy maiming that was missing from Fallen Order. Channel that inner power, readers.
Seven games I’m really looking forward to, and yet we’ve barely scratched the surface of everything coming our way. Starfield and STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl could easily be added to the list, Skull and Bones was also still due this year, and our very own Potterhead Blair Jacobs wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t mention Hogwarts’ legacy.