Spiritual successors and actual sequels to look forward to
Another year, another massive (The) Game Awards ceremony in the bag. We got to witness “Flute Guy” jamming out, plenty of jokes thrown Christopher Judge’s way about the length of his speech, and a bizarre stage-crasher making Bill Clinton the evening’s unexpected namedrop. That’s not to mention the fact that God of War: Ragnarök secured an impressive six wins while Elden Ring snagged the award for Game of the Year.
Nestled amongst all this action was some incredibly exciting “World Premiere” trailers for upcoming games, and I’ve picked the Top Four that I’m most looking forward to playing in the future!
Post Trauma: an indie horror game throwback
There is a strange paradox that exists in my gaming life: I love to watch horror game Let’s Plays, but I hate playing horror games. Post Trauma might be the exception because it looks like a combination of a chilling atmosphere, truly surreal visuals, and classic horror game tropes (like fixed camera angles) with a modern game engine and intriguing storytelling.
I love a game with strong art direction, and developer Red Soul Games looks like it knows exactly the aesthetic it’s aiming for in Post Trauma. For those eager to see more, there’s a playable PC demo on itch.io, and the developer has promised a new one will be coming soon to Steam. Personally, I’m going to wait until the full game releases to fully enjoy this (seemingly) melancholic and haunting mystery.
Hades II: Supergiant Games’s first-ever sequel
There was an audible cry of delight from the in-theatre audience when developer Supergiant Games revealed Hades II at The Game Awards 2022 – and for good reason. The indie studio’s rogue-like dungeon crawler was a critical success and public darling when it came out in 2018 and won multiple Game of the Year awards from various events and gaming publications (including us).
The trailer featured a few brief glimpses of some new characters plus a little look at more of the slick and fast-paced combat that made the original such a joy to play. I’m sure that fans (like me) are definitely ready to dive back into the beautifully conceptualised world of Greek gods and monsters, so this one is sure to make an impact when it hits Early Access in 2023.
Judas:BioShock & System Shock live on
If it looks like BioShock and sounds like BioShock, it’s probably Judas: a single-player, narrative-driven experience based around trying to escape a disintegrating starship. The trailer for Judas featured plenty of Shock series staples: first-person point-of-view, a character with a probably-meaningful wrist tattoo, the ability to wield special powers in the palm of your hand, and plenty of creepy “decopunk” elements scattered throughout the game world.
The game’s Ken Levine-led developer, Ghost Story Games, simultaneously released a statement promising that the studio was founded “to build upon the legacy of System Shock 2, BioShock, and BioShock Infinite”; so there will definitely be high expectations for this debut, original IP title.
Death Stranding 2: The “strand game” returns
Death Stranding’s original PC port was my 2020 Game of the Year pick because of how it eerily predicted the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when lockdowns swept worldwide and physical distancing was strictly enforced. With his often polarising “walking simulator”, Hideo Kojima mixed stunning music, beautiful graphics, and his quirky kind of strangeness into a game that was much more than the sum of its seemingly disparate parts.
From the reveal trailer, it looks like Sam Bridges (Norman Reedus) will be teaming up once again with former porter Fragile (Léa Seydoux) and stylish antagonist Higgs Monaghan (Troy Baker) might be back in a new form. Other than that, it’s hard to guess where exactly the sequel might go, but as soon as I saw that thin Death Stranding font appear on screen, I was all in.