It’s the new year. Birds are chirping anew. The Malaysian King just resigned. A new ruling party is in charge. Singapore’s still our neighbours, for good and ill. And we now have more games to look forward to because it’s what we love to do to escape from real life if only for a fleeting moment.

Here’s a list of all the games of 2019 you should watch out for; we also added in a “Chope or Not?” section per game and gauge if it’s worth pre-ordering or not. Whether it’s an obvious pick or an unsung indie waiting to bloom, we’ve covered it for you.

We’re not settling on a number like 20 or 35; we’re going all-in. So it’ll be 50, give or take. In any case, watch/read on!

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 18 January (PS4, Xbox One), 1 February (PC)

The Gist: The most popular arcade combat flight sim action game is back! It’s been more than a decade since the last numbered entry in the franchise, which was 2007’s Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation for the Xbox 360. Technically we did receive a spin-off game in 2011 in the form of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon but most fans would like nothing better than to forget that game ever existed.

Bandai Namco is going back to the basics with this game, and that means the same classic UI we’re used to from the previous numbered entries. Gameplay also remains virtually the same, with perhaps current-gen graphics (dynamic weather effects, etc) and more fighter jets to choose from.

Chope or Not? It’s essentially a must-buy for all you dogfighting and flight sim fans out there, who have been clamouring for a new game for the past ten years. Pre-ordering the game will also net you Ace Combat 5 and Ace Combat 6 for PS4 and Xbox One owners, respectively. While it might not attract many newcomers, it looks dead set on satisfying existing veterans of the franchise.

Code Vein

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Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: 2019

The Gist: It’s Dark Souls, but anime and in a dystopian future with vampires. It’s even got the stamina bar system and methodical combat down pat. To be fair, the game has a party system; you won’t be going into the depths of this game’s world alone since you have healers and support guys helping you out.

Chope or Not? File this under “wait and see”. Anime fans might find this one too hard to play if it’s anything like Dark Souls, and hardcore fans may be put off by the aesthetics.

Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 25 January

The Gist: Resident Evil 2 is a remake of the original game with the same title from way back in 1998. Not only does it look completely different graphics-wise, but it will also play differently too. Capcom has abandoned the outdated tank controls and fixed camera angles of yesteryear and replaced them with “over-the-shoulder” third-person shooter gameplay reminiscent of that in Resident Evil 4.

The upcoming game utilizes the RE Engine, which was also used to develop Resident Evil 7. Albeit all these improvements and changes, Capcom is still striving to retain the original game’s authentic horror and thrilling atmosphere instead of the more action-focused style of Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6.

Chope or Not? Resident Evil 7 managed to revitalize the entire franchise, and it looks like the Resident Evil 2 remake is set to continue that trend. It seems to be a remake that will appeal to both players of the original game, as well as those who haven’t.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Kingdom Hearts 3 Sora Donald Goofy

Platform: PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: 29 January

The Gist: the Kingdom Hearts may now be ridiculed for many reasons, including but not limited to its overly-convoluted plot through all its spin-off titles or the multitude of delays plaguing Kingdom Hearts 3. However, no gamer can deny that Kingdom Hearts 3 is one of the most highly-anticipated games of all-time.

Not only does it have the gargantuan task of tying up more than two decades of complex storylines and provide a satisfyingly epic conclusion, but also the arguably more challenging task of not simply being a carbon-copy of Kingdom Hearts 2 in terms of gameplay. It’s also running the risk of pandering too much to fan-service, sacrificing everything else in the process.

Chope or Not? There’s a reason why the Kingdom Hearts franchise has managed to last so long and become so iconic; that’s due to the fact that it remains beloved by legions of dedicated fans over the years. While some may be skeptical of the game, such a massive game will still certainly sell well. The ultimate question is whether or not it will actually be worth the ridiculously long wait. Check out our hands-on preview of Kingdom Hearts 3 here.

Yoshi’s Crafted World

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Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 29 March

The Gist: If you miss the platform hijinxes of Yoshi’s Island, then this cutesy-looking game on the Switch is for you. The main innovation here is the ability to switch the world in its opposite direction; this means checking out the game’s background, layer, and go right to left figuring out the level and its puzzles. Other than that, expect to shoot more eggs and stick your insanely-long tongue out to gobble enemies and empowered fruits.

Chope or Not? Yes. If the arts-and-crafts aesthetics does not impress you, your heart must be made of stone. And don’t think this game will be a cakewalk. If it’s anything like the Wii U’s Yoshi’s Wooly World, the game will show its true difficulty colours midway through.

Crackdown 3

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Platform: Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 15 February

The Gist: The godfather of super-powered action-adventure open world gameplay is back, and hopefully will not be delayed further. You play a super-powered Agent who is working for, no shock here, the Agency, who assigns him/her with different missions to clean up the game’s city New Providence.

The game features a ton of different organizations, different bosses and Kingpins to take down, and a ton of destructible environments powered by the Azure engine. The classic Skills for Kills” system remains, so you can go do your orb-hunting and enemy-killing shenanigans to super-size your Agent to absurd heights.

Chope or Not? Without the first Crackdown, we wouldn’t be seeing the 2007 and beyond renaissance of the action-savvy open world concept as seen in the inFamous and Prototype series. Hopefully, the third game will not botch up its dominance like the second game did.

Anthem

Anthem

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 22 February

The Gist: Bioware peaked with the original Mass Effect trilogy, and they have tried (and failed) to top crowning achievement ever since. However, Anthem is not your typical Bioware fare or anything like you would expect from the developer known for their sprawling RPGs. Instead, Anthem is an online multiplayer action RPG which looks eerily in terms of design and gameplay similar to Bungie’s Destiny.

The game features an open-world hub where players can choose to play solo or multiplayer. The game’s selling point is the fully customizable exosuits called Javelins, which seem to work like class-based Iron Man suits of sorts.

Chope or Not? It remains to be seen if Anthem will be able to restore the faith that gamers once had in Bioware, or whether it will be able to shake off its ‘Destiny clone’ moniker. Unfortunately, it seems like Anthem is likely to go the way of Fallout 76, though we hope it won’t be as bad as Bethesda’s disaster of a game.

Rage 2

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Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: 14 May

The Gist: What happens when you have id Software (Doom) and Avalanche Studios (Just Cause) join forces? You get a Mad Max-style first-person shooter set in an open world post-apocalypse that is more “Burning Man” than “28 Days Later“. Basically, it’s id and Avalanche taking the Borderlands concept and turning into their own open-world shooter-centric magnum opus.

Chope or Not? Sure, why not? The action from the trailers seems to hype many of us up for this upcoming shooter. It’s not like we’re going to be getting Borderlands 3 anytime soon; might as well get your dystopian madcap adventure on with this one.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

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Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: 2019

The Gist: Guess Bethesda isn’t done with Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. This stand-alone game takes place in the same Nazi-occupied world as its prequels but it takes place in the 1980s and stars B.J. Blazkowicz’s twin daughters. Hope you like co-op action-heavy shooting!

Chope or Not? There’s no date for this yet, so we suggest holding off your pre-purchase before the reviews come in.

Dead or Alive 6

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Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: 1 March

The Gist: The jiggly-happy female cast-dominated 3D fighting game is back. Not only does it feature new characters, but also a major tweak in the counter-heavy fast-paced combat system, some new characters, and a bunch of new environments and stages with danger zones to deal mega-damage with. One of them even features tentacles; a natural progression for a game featuring scantily-clad women catering to different fetishes.

Chope or Not? Sure, if you’re into seeing a mostly female-filled fighting game with simple mash-heavy counter-attack mechanics. Whether it has staying power in the esports scene remains to be seen, given that titles like Tekken 7 and SoulCalibur 6 are backed by a financially-stable Bandai Namco. It’s an uphill battle in that regard though.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro Shadows Die twice Corrupted Monk

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: 22 March

The Gist: The next game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software is said to not be a Soulsborne game. Nevertheless, it remains an extremely challenging game, with impossible difficulty levels. Instead of the more western settings of its previous games, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice takes place in Sengoku-era Japan, where players assume the role of a shinobi (read: ninja) with a katana and a prosthetic arm.

Interestingly, the game has no stamina meter. It is replaced by a posture bar that fills up as the player lands successful hits, dodges or parries. Once the posture bar is full, the enemy’s guard breaks and the player unleashes a bloody finishing move.

Chope or Not? The game will immediately appeal to the most hardcore gamers out there, especially self-proclaimed Soulsborne fans. Despite that, it is remarkably less Soulsborne-like compared to From Software’s other games, and that will attract more newcomers. Check out our hands-on preview of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice here.

Days Gone

Days Gone

Platform: PS4
Release Date: 26 April

The Gist: This PS4 exclusive by the Syphon Filter developer SIE Bend Studio is a third-person open-world action-adventure survival horror game set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombie-like creatures called Freakers. The gameplay, design, and aesthetics look almost ripped straight from The Last of Us, with a few exceptions.

Players can fight against literal hordes of Freakers using multiple ways, including stealth or even the environment itself. The game also features a dynamic weather system and bikes to traverse the world. These vehicles run out of fuel, so you’ll have to scrap, scavenge and reserve everything.

Chope or Not? As of now, it seems like Days Gones doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from other similar titles. It looks like a The Last of Us clone, which isn’t enough to make it stand out (which, in turn, is probably why Sony delayed the game from its a packed February release month). Still, this is a first-party PS4 exclusive, and almost all of those have been phenomenal so far (Horizon Zero Dawn, etc), so Days Gone definitely deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

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Platform: PC
Release Date: 2019

The Gist: Miss Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri? Then this new strategy game is for you. Triumph Studio & Paradox Interactive are breaking out of its fantasy lore comfort zone and going for the sci-fi tropes and settings. Expect to 4X it up with mechanized weaponry, aliens, genetic engineering, and intergalactic colonization of the turn-based hexagonal order.

Chope or Not? Hell yeah. Who wouldn’t want a sci-fi 4X game for the PC that doesn’t look like a spreadsheet simulator ala every other Paradox game?

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

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Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 11 January

The Gist: 2D platforming, but with multiple characters and a different kind of feel that warrants players to coordinate and cooperate with each other. We’re talking the kind of multiplayer platformer where you can screw your friends over with mistimed jumps. This Mario game is essentially the Switch version of the Wii U 2D platformer of the same name, sans “Deluxe”.

Chope or Not? Chope, if you love 2D platformers where you want to troll people. Hell, even if you’re just playing the single-player campaign, there’s still a lot to love here since the level design in this game is top-notch. Stay tuned next week for our full review.

Biomutant

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Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: 2019

The Gist: Talk about lofty ambitions: developer Experiment 101 (led by the guy who started the Just Cause series) is taking its time tweaking its action-adventure magnum opus featuring mutant forest animals and mecha. Said animals can also pull off martial arts combat, so there’s that.

Chope or Not? If you love furries and want a more mature and bio-mechanical version of Kung-Fu Panda, you could do worse than to plonk down your pre-order for this oddity.

In The Valley Of Gods

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Platform: PC
Release Date: 2019

The Gist: Players take on the role of explorer and filmmaker Zora and her partner as they investigate ancient tombs in 1920s Egypt.

Chope or Not? Depends; if you love narrative-heavy walking simulators like Firewatch, then go for it. Otherwise, this may not change your mind.

Streets Of Rage 4

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC(?)
Release Date: 2019

The Gist: The 90s was truly a blessed time for 2D side-scrolling beat-em-ups. So it seems fair for Sega to wait a few decades before making a comeback with a new installation of The Streets Of Rage/Bare Knuckle series. And behind the wheel is talented indie devs Guard Crush Games, Lizardcube, and Dotemu.

Chope or Not? It looks pretty and may get an awesome industrial soundtrack, but this one may strictly be for the fans. As much as some of us loved the developer’s past game Streets of Fury, it’ll cater to a specific kind of demographic.

Samurai Shodown

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Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: 2019

The Gist: After its lovely-if-kinda-ignored 3v3 fighting game The King of Fighters XIV, SNK figured it should bring back another dormant fighting game for this year. What better way than to go back to the game series that made Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada inspired to forge his 3D fighting masterpiece?

Samurai Shodown, the granddaddy of weapons-based fighting game is making a comeback, and it’s looking positively more beautiful, and bloodier, than ever.

Chope or Not? Definitely a “chope”! It’s been way too long since we’ve experienced a true 2D weapons-heavy fighting game. And the less said about Samurai Shodown Sen, the better. We suggest SNK to just take the mechanics from Samurai Shodown V Special and streamline it from there.

The Outer Worlds

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Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: Sometime in 2019

The Gist: The original Fallout guys, Tim Caine and Leonard Boyarsky, came down to the Game Awards this one time and announced this epic and funny sci-fi RPG called The Outer Worlds. It’s set in a future ruled by major conglomerates, not unlike Mom’s in Futurama, and just about as absurd and dark.

Chope or Not? Hell yes, chope this like mad. We want a single-player RPG with choices, bloody great storylines and side stories, endearing characters, a nifty combat system, and a lovely colourful world with dark humour aplenty. Pretty much like Fallout New Vegas, but with a better graphics engine.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

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Platform: Maybe PC, PS4, Xbox ONe
Release Date: Late 2019?

The Gist: Remember last year’s E3 where Respawn sheepishly and awkwardly revealed its upcoming Star Wars game within the crowd? Well, it may be out end of this year; EA loves capping off their years with bombastic shooters.

Respawn are up to the task of making great shooters like the second Titanfall game, so having them do a throwback to Jedi Knight might be beneficial for us jaded folks.

Chope or Not? Just wait for now. There’s no gameplay footage yet, so who knows how this one will turn out?

Granblue Fantasy: Versus

Platform: PS4
Release Date: 2019, maybe?

The Gist: Mum’s the word regarding this 2D fighting game title based on the Cygames mobile game hit. But if they have enough money to throw at Arc System Works, more power to all you fighting game fans then. Following the style of Guilty Gear Xrd and last year’s Dragon Ball FighterZ, Granblue Fantasy: Versus is done in an anime 2D/3D hybrid style and features the series’ popular heroes like Gran, Katalina, and Lancelot.

Chope or Not? In the middle, to be frank. We’re still wondering if the Granblue Fantasy: Relink action RPG from PlatinumGames will happen or not. Are Cygames so confident with their brand that they can have these spinoff announcements out in the wild?

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