2019 is shaping up to be the year of the hack and slash

The year of the hack & slash?

With the year 2019 right around the corner, give or take a few months. I’m looking forward to a handful of hack  & slash/action RPG titles that will be arriving that year.  I count no less than six titles that I’m looking forward too, but of course, there’s always room for more. 

So let’s take a look at the upcoming titles that I can’t wait to get my hands one. Hurry up and get here, 2019, the wait is killing me. These titles are in no specific order.

 

Devil May Cry V (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

If you’re a fan of the Devil May Cry series, then I really don’t have to explain this. But in the off chance that you’re not, let’s break this down. We’re on the 5th game in the series, that takes place after Devil May Cry 2. The timeline is crazy (3, 1, 4, 2, 5) so let’s not get hung up on that. Nero gets his Devil Bringer arm stolen, gains several new robotic replacements that enable him to pull off some really sexy moves. As for the stolen arm, some hooded person made off with it. Who it was, we don’t know yet.

Meanwhile, old man Dante is running around with a motorcycle that he uses as dual broadswords. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.  We still don’t know anything about the 3rd playable character, but with the Tokyo Game Show around the corner, I’m hoping Capcom lets out some more information on him or her.

Thankfully, Nero seems to have matured and isn’t the prick we saw in Devil May Cry 4.

What can you expect? Tons of stylish combo’s, an off the wall story and mindless fun. Exactly the sort of thing you should expect from a DMC game. This game has been a long time coming and so far the reception has been amazing. People that have played the demo can’t get enough. While people such as myself can’t wait to get their hands on the title. 

If I had to rate this on a scale of 1 to 10, this would be a 1.


Nioh 2 (PS4)

The follow-up to Koei Tecmo’s Action RPG that was loosely based on actual history, has been on my radar since it was announced at E3 2018. Sure, we don’t much about the game, but that’s ok. If Nioh 2 can provide the same exciting hack and slash fun as the first game, I’m sure we’ll all be in for an amazing ride.

This time around players will be able to create their own character thanks to the character customization option. You’ll be able to choose your gender and racer, which was something that gamers wanted in the original title. Also, judging from the trailer, it seems we’ll be able to transform into Oni. The same supernatural creatures we fought against in the first game.

Oh, and expect more “more satisfying deaths”, according to the director of the game, Fumihiko Yasuda. Those that have played Nioh, know exactly what I’m talking about. Some of those deaths were just insane.

Nioh 2 has a release window of 2019, for the PlayStation 4. No word if this will launch on the PC at the same time or if it will be similar to the original Nioh. Meaning we’ll have to wait six months to a year before it arrives on other platforms.

If I had to rate this on a scale of 1 to 10, this would be a 3.


The Surge 2 (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

The Surge is a take on Dark Souls formula, but with a sci-fi setting, instead of a fantasy one. Still, it didn’t make the game less enjoyable and was easily one of the best hack and slash/action RPGs of 2017. I loved it, that’s all you need to know. As for the follow-up, we only know bits and pieces about the game. 

We know it takes place in a new location, Jericho. The game takes place after the events of the first game, where The Surge managed to inflect the planet and I’m guessing this location will be overrun with robotic nightmares. This time around you’ll be able to create your own character, both male and female. New weapons, new gear and a retooled combat system that makes targetting limbs easier. Our buddy Warren is also rumored to make an appearance. We just don’t know if it’s actually him or who’s side he’s on.

The Surge 2 has a release window of 2019, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

If I had to rate this on a scale of 1 to 10, this would be a 4.


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

From the studio that gave the word Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Armored Core, comes Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Teased during the 2017 Game Award Show, it was speculated that this was going to be Bloodborne 2. Of course, that never happened (thankfully) and instead, we’re being blessed with a completely new IP from Fromsoftware. 

The game takes place in a reimagined late 16th-century Sengoku period Japan. We take control of shinobi who was left for dead after failing to protect his lord. In the process, his arm gets chopped off and his lord kidnapped. Thankfully, he’s found by a mysterious Japanese sculptor, who builds him a prosthetic arm, which allows for various gadgets to be attached to it. Armed with a katana, you are Sekiro and you’re a bit pissed off.

The game actually plays a bit like a combination of Dark Souls, Otogi, and Tenchu. There’s no leveling up, no gear customization, nor do you acquire any new weapons. It’s just you, your wit and your katana. Of, and that wonderous arm of yours. Lots of verticalities, new gameplay mechanics and more await. If I’m being honest, it reminds me a lot of Nioh. Especially the art direction, and combat. 

We’ll see more of this title at the 2018 Tokyo Game Show as well. Can’t wait.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has a release date of  March 22, 2019, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

If I had to rate this on a scale of 1 to 10, this would be a 2.


Ghost of Tsushima (PS4)

To be completely honest, I haven’t really followed Ghost of Tsushima. At least not as much as the other games on this list. That’s not to discount the game, it’s just that Sucker Punch hasn’t exactly been pumping out updates for this title. What is exciting about this game is that Sucker Punch is working with real-life Samurai. So that this game is as authentic as possible.

In, you play as Jin (not that Jin), who happens to be one of the few remaining members of a samurai clan. You see, they were wiped out by an invading force and now Jin must learn new combat style – the way of the Ghost, to not only avenge his fallen comrades. But to also defend the people of Japan. 

If anything, I have to say that the game looks beautiful in action. The little that we’ve seen shows off some impressive art design, very stylish and looks to be faithful to time-period that the game is set in. Take note of the music that’s played in the trailer, especially at 7: 08-minute mark. The horns, flute and the rustling of the leaves definitely instills a lasting impression.

Ghost of Tsushima is exclusive to the PlayStation 4, there is currently no release date.

If I had to rate this on a scale of 1 to 10, this would be a 4.


Code Vein (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

Ah, the anime souls of games. Code Vein was announced by Bandai Namco, right after everyone started getting depressed that the Dark Souls series was over. It’s worth mentioning that Bandai Namco own’s internal studio is working on this, in collaboration with Shift. Who is known for their God Eater gaming series and which also explains why the game looks and feels similar to the latter.

In Code Vein, you play as a Vampire with superpowers, which you’ll need to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. You also won’t be alone as you’ll have an AI controlled character that accompanies you. In addition, this character will back you up by taunting enemies, providing you with offensive abilities and even healing you up when you’re down. Character customization is also present in the game, and from what I’ve seen, people will be spending some time with this. Here you’ll be able to character’s gender, body type, and facial features and more. And yes, they’ll most definitely be anime-like.

I’ve had several hands-on with the title from PAX East and New York Comic Con and I thought the game was in a good place. Sure, the combat was a bit slow at times,  still, it was solid. However, Bandai Namco decided to delay the title for some more development time. 

Code Vein was originally scheduled for a 2018 release but has been delayed until an unannounced 2019 release date.

If I had to rate this on a scale of 1 to 10, this would be a 6.


Darksiders III (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

The follow-up to Darksiders II and a game that no one expected since the original THQ went belly up. Not only are we getting a game that is shaping up to be the best Darksiders title. We’re also getting to play as a super-powered female that kicks lots of ass and is rocking a fiery whip. Fury, the sites to War and Death, has been sent on a mission to wipe out the Seven Deadly Sins. No, not the anime characters, the actual Seven Deadly Sins. Interesting enough, this game takes as the same time as Darksiders II does, they parallel each other.

THQ Nordic has stated that we’ll have more personal fights in Darksiders III. Fewer enemies, but stronger ones that will get stronger every time you kill a boss. We’ll even see older enemies from the previous titles show up as well. The puzzles that were ever present in the other games will also be present. And lastly, there will be more of an emphasize on the open-world nature of the game.

Yep, this is definitely shaping up to be an amazing adventure, for sure. Darksiders III has a release date of  November 27, 2018, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Yeah, it’s not 2019, but hey, it’s close enough.

If I had to rate this on a scale of 1 to 10, this would be a 4.

 

There you have it. Six games I’m looking forward to. Each title brings something new to the hack & slash genre and I can’t wait to get my hands on each and every one of these games. So is 2019 looking like the year of the hack & slash? It sure looks like it to me. 

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. He's 40+ now, that old guy that he is.