Start saving now for 2018's most-wanted
Our gaming expert looks forward to new game releases in 2018.
The Last of Us 2 (PS4) Late 2018
Judging by the grimy, grisly trailers that herald TLOU's return, the post-apocalyptic world has taken an even nastier turn. But if we learned anything in the original - an action-oriented homage to Cormac McCarthy's The Road - it's that its authors know how to deftly juggle emotion, meaning and pain.
TLOU2 catches up again with protagonists Joel and Ellie and this time the proverbial really has hit the fan. Ellie takes the playable lead but there seems to be several other characters in the mix too. By turns intriguing, scary and poignant, TLOU2 tops the most-wanted list.
Sea of Thieves (XO/PC) March 2018
As a maker of "surprising and delightful" games, Rare has a fine pedigree. Pirate parody Sea of Thieves is shaping up as a hilarious multiplayer grog-swigging, treasure-hunting, ship-sailing, shark-fighting adventure. Time will tell whether what demos well in short bursts at game conventions can be sustained in a full-length game.
But if anyone can, Rare can.
Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4/XO) Spring 2018
The 2010 original ranks as one of the greatest westerns of all time - movies included. Gifted storyteller Rockstar is back for a second swing at the genre and who'd bet against it delivering another masterpiece? RDR2 invokes all the familiar western tropes - outlaws, gangs, cruel cowpokes, bank-robbing - plus a few more mischievous themes besides (Alligators? Swamps? Why not?).
No doubt gunplay forms a sizeable backbone to this new storyline but what we remember most about John Marston in the original was his morality, steely resolve and, yes, hunger for redemption.
A Way Out (PS4/XO/PC) March 2018
This indie production has been adopted by games giant EA, presumably on the excellent showing by its creator's debut, a touching co-op adventure called Brothers: Tale of Two Sons. A Way Out follows this blueprint, a two-hander in which a pair of convicts break out of jail and go on the run.
There is no solo mode and you'll get nowhere without constant cooperation to achieve freedom. Smartly, you'll need only one copy of the game to play with a friend online, which removes a key barrier to finding a partner in crime.
Yoshi (Switch) 2018
Nintendo has been coy on its 2018 line-up after a fantastic 2017 for the Switch console. But the next incarnation of perennial favourite Yoshi looks a banker. Built around an adorable diorama style, Yoshi pootles around a cardboard world collecting stuff and bopping enemies as per usual.
But the whole world can be rotated through 180 degrees to see another dimension to the puzzles. Utterly cute and totally irresistible, Yoshi is the perfect antidote to 2018's slate of serious games.