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The Best Upcoming Games No One Is Talking About

Most major video game websites and podcasts will agree: there are a whole lot of huge games coming out in the next year. And while the summer certainly feels quiet, with only a few titles releasing here and there, the rush of big titles is inevitably on its way. The hype train is like winter in Game of Thrones: it's coming, and there's nothing you can do about it. You're about to be pounded by carefully planned news releases, special coverage, live streams, game show presentations, and advertisements.

And a bunch of lesser-known games are going to get overwhelmed by the storm.

It's not because they're doomed to be bad. Some of these games come from celebrated franchises, and were they coming out in quieter times, or if they had the same marketing potential, they'd have a shot at being talked about more. But they're simply not generating as much interest as those aforementioned big games right now, and looking ahead, it's not looking like they will.

They still deserve a little coverage, nonetheless. So we're gonna give it to them. Here are some of the best upcoming games no one is talking about — and why you might not hear about them even when they're released.

Soulcalibur VI is a big fish surrounded by sharks

The Soul series of fighting games technically started in 1996 with Soul Edge, but it was 1999's Soulcalibur that really kicked things into high gear. The game was arguably the best thing about the ill-fated Dreamcast, mixing arcade fighting action with swords and other melee weapons. Sega's console failed to live on, but Soulcalibur's time on the Dreamcast cemented its popularity, and the series got four more entries between 2002 and 2012.

It's now been over six years since Soulcalibur V, and fans of the franchise have been itching for a new experience. Thankfully, they're going to get one.

Soulcalibur VI is set to hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 19, 2018. And under normal circumstances, a new game in the series would be a big deal. But have you seen the release slate for this fall? With Red Dead Redemption 2Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and Battlefield V on the schedule, a lot of late 2018 games are getting drowned out by the noise – Soulcalibur VI included.

Long story short: if you're a Soulcalibur fan, it won't be too long before you're playing something brand new. Just try not to get distracted by all the other new games coming out.

Hitman 2 was saved from assassination

Hitman really shifted gears in 2016, going from a full retail release to an episodic game series. And for the most part, the change was well received. But the positive reception didn't come without its share of complications: Square Enix decided to part ways with the IO Interactive team after its release, shocking the game industry. And there was serious doubt about whether the Hitman franchise would ever be the same if the team at IO wasn't working on it.

Those fears, it turns out, were unfounded. Square Enix sold the rights to Hitman back to IO — now an independent studio. And IO vowed to continue work on the series. Which leads us to Hitman 2.

The newest game in the Hitman franchise looks to be dropping the episodic format of its predecessor. And it's no longer being published by Square Enix. This time, Warner Bros. will be helping the IO Interactive team get its game to the finish line. But there's a good chance you won't be hearing a lot about Hitman 2 before its release, and unfortunately, it has to do with that pesky fall release schedule. Hitman drops on November 13, 2018, a day before Fallout 76 and three days before Pokemon: Let's Go.

Good luck, Agent 47. You're going to need it.

Overkill's The Walking Dead is fighting franchise fatigue

Overkill's The Walking Dead is an entirely different spin on the Walking Dead franchise for gamers — at least, for those who are used to Telltale's more story-driven, adventure-focused take. Overkill's game is a co-op first-person shooter four years in the making, promising a far more action-packed experience than the quick-time heavy Telltale titles. One thing Overkill's game will share with those point-and-clicks, though: it'll focus on the comic book universe as opposed to the world built by the popular television series.

So why is Overkill's The Walking Dead not getting a whole lot of coverage? There are a few reasons. One is that Telltale series we've been talking so much about. The Walking Dead: The Final Season is coming from Telltale in August, and will cap off a four-season run of a fantastic game series. The other has more to do with the whole of the Walking Dead brand: franchise fatigue. The TV show is headed toward its ninth season, and a lot of people are simply bored with anything Walking Dead related.

And again, the fall. It's just so jam-packed. Overkill's The Walking Dead comes out November 6, 2018. That's not the best release date in the world for a game that already has so much working against it.

Darksiders III survived its publisher's demise

The Darksiders franchise was good enough to receive two entries. But when THQ went belly-up in 2013, it put a lot of video game franchises, including Darksiders, in serious jeopardy. The closure of a publisher isn't an uncommon occurrence in the video game world. But you know what is? Another company essentially buying up a lot of IP from that publisher and recreating the brand from scratch.

That's what happened with Nordic Games, which had acquired the Darksiders license all the way back in 2013. The publisher renamed itself THQ Nordic in 2016 and suddenly became interested in revitalizing forgotten THQ franchises. Much to the delight of series fans, Darksiders III was announced in May 2017, along with Fury's Collection, a remastered bundle of the first two games.

Darksiders coming back should be a big deal. So why aren't people talking a whole lot about it? The game follows a whole slew of potential blockbusters coming in the fall, and the release date for the title is pretty peculiar: November 27, 2018. That's four days after Black Friday, a huge shopping day in the United States and a day most games try to get ahead of.

It's almost like Darksiders III doesn't want to be found.

Biomutant looks exciting, fresh, and doomed

THQ Nordic isn't just bringing back forgotten last-gen IP: it's also introducing some new ones into the fold. One of those is Biomutant, a game set in a world where tribes of mutated animals carry swords and guns. The player takes the role of a raccoon-looking animal in said world, and must travel to each root of the Tree of Life in order to dispel the pollution that's corrupting it. The game certainly looks like something new and fresh in a world full of first and third-person military shooters, but for all the potential that Biomutant seems to have, people just aren't talking about it.

Why is that? The game is set to release sometime in 2018, yet still doesn't have a firm release date. Seeing as that only leaves around four months for the game's marketing cycle to kick into gear, and for the game itself to come out, the prospect of Biomutant getting the coverage it deserves isn't good. Add that to the fact that gamers will have more than enough to play in the waning months of 2018, and you have yourself a recipe for a game that doesn't get a whole lot of chatter.

Team Sonic Racing is a Mario rival starring a Mario rival

Believe it or not, the upcoming Team Sonic Racing isn't Sonic the Hedgehog's first foray into the racing genre. He and his crew of anthropomorphic animals have been racing since 2010's Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, which was followed up by the surprisingly good Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed in 2012. Since then, the arcade racing genre has largely been held down by Mario and his pals, but Sonic isn't content to let Nintendo's hat-wearing mascot have all the fun. Which is why you can look forward to seeing Team Sonic Racing in late 2018.

That is, if you can see it. Because — not to beat a dead horse — but late 2018 isn't exactly the best time to release a game these days.

According to those who had the opportunity to play Team Sonic Racing at E3 2018, it has the potential to be another great racer. But it's absolutely going to get lost in the landslide of big-name titles coming later this year. It's safe to say that Sega isn't going to put as much marketing muscle into Team Sonic as, say, Rockstar is going to put into Red Dead Redemption 2. It's just not that kind of game, and in a season full of them, Team Sonic Racing just doesn't stack up.

It'll probably be worth a purchase when it drops. You just won't hear a lot about it when it does.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is bringing aerial combat back to consoles

It's been a while since a good arcade flight game — or even a flight game in general — has made its way into the hands of gamers. And that stuff right there? That's the stuff the Ace Combat series was known for in its heyday. Unfortunately, we haven't seen a new numbered entry to that franchise since Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation in 2007. It's been a long time, and fans of the series have wondered often whether another mainline game would ever come again.

The good news is, those fans are getting another Ace Combat. It's called Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, and it's set to release sometime in 2018 or 2019. The bad news? There's been very little talk about it.

Here's what little is known about the game so far: It's coming to several different platforms, including PC, PS4, and Xbox One. And the PlayStation 4 version is set to include a few VR missions for PlayStation VR. Other than that, details have been slim. With the heft of huge games coming toward the tail end of the year, Ace Combat 7 isn't getting much press, and that's not a good thing for a game that'll really need to stand out in order to succeed.

Sea of Solitude will have to navigate a sea of bigger titles

Sea of Solitude follows in the footsteps of Unravel as the newest member of the EA Originals program. These smaller titles are EA-published passion projects, of sorts, made through a combination of small developers and EA's large war chest. And in this case, the mind behind Sea of Solitude is Cornelia Geppert, who won over the crowd at EA Play 2018 with her passionate presentation.

To its credit, Sea of Solitude looks like to be an emotional experience — one that gamers who love story-driven experiences could find enticing. The problem? There are a few, actually. The first is that EA Originals don't typically receive a lot of fanfare, nor does EA put a whole lot of effort into marketing them. Heck, the company released Unravel 2 right in the middle of E3 2018. And even if EA cared enough about marketing Sea of Solitude, it's due to release in early 2019. That puts it right in the neighborhood of Anthem, Crackdown 3, and Metro Exodus.

If you thought late 2018 was shaping up to be a crowded time, early 2019 isn't the solution.

Session is the skate game that isn't Skate

If you ask a gamer to name the best video game skateboarding franchise, it's not a sure bet that they'll answer with Tony Hawk. At least, not after the Skate series showed up. The Skate games are beloved, with Skate 3 in particular endearing itself to a lot of fans. But there hasn't been one since 2010, and with the Tony Hawk games seemingly in limbo, the potential of a Skate 4 has always seemed like the best way forward toward a truly good skateboarding title.

There isn't going to be a Skate 4 – at least, not yet. But there is an indie skateboarding game that hopes to fill that void. It's called Session, and it's slated to come out in 2019.

But will anyone notice? Here's the thing about niche sports titles: they either need a big name behind them, like the Tony Hawk series, or they need the might of a big publisher to help with marketing, like the Skate series. A skateboarding game from an indie developer could be the most incredible take on the genre ever made, but without one of the two above buoys, not many people are going to hear about it.

That looks like the fate Session will suffer. Hopefully that changes before 2019.

Trials Rising

The Trials series has, for the most part, delivered with every single title. Trials HD was well received. Trials Evolution was well received. Even Trials Fusion, which was a bit of a step back, still reviewed pretty favorably. The worst Trials game in recent memory wasn't even exclusively a Trials game at all — it was Trials of the Blood Dragon, a sort of mishmash of Trials and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

People love the Trials franchise. It's the perfect mix of racing, coordination, and puzzle solving. But wow, is Trials Rising coming out at the wrong time.

Let's list off the other games coming out in February 2019Anthem, Metro Exodus, Crackdown 3, and Days Gone. That's a lot of AAA firepower to go up against for what is, at its core, a 2.5D motocross game. There's a chance Trials Rising could beat most of those other titles to the punch by launching in early February, but even then, it has a good chance at being forgotten when the AAA hype machine gets rolling.

It's safe to say that, if you're a Trials fan, you'll probably have to pay extra attention for it come February 2019.