Here we go! Let the console wars commence in 2024! I still say Nintendo is going to run away with it all, but we’re starting with Xbox and PlayStation. January had an Xbox Developer Direct and a PlayStation State of Play. What were the biggest announcements? Today, I’m listing the games that sparked my interest the most. Enjoy!
Xbox Developer Direct
It’s worth mentioning, none of the games featured at the Xbox Developer Direct look remarkable, but most of them seem entertaining. Avowed is a blend of Medieval fantasy and the survival genre. This game includes a hefty RPG system and a large open world environment. However, it’s not going to evolve you into a superhero or overpowered beast. Instead, Avowed features harsh conditions and a lengthy fight for survival in many different ways, ranging from ravenous animals, hoards of mercenaries or bandits, and a plague. I still think it takes many influences from The Elder Scrolls, especially Skyrim, but it might have some unique elements that aren’t clear yet. The graphics and gameplay looked alarmingly rough, despite having a release window for Fall 2024. Regardless, Avowed is debuting day one on Xbox Game Pass, so I can’t complain too much.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II
This long awaited sequel had the most impressive VFX at the Developer Direct. Hellblade II has a lengthy development history, although the runtime will be eight hours or less. Also, this game will be digital only. The abrupt shift to a permanent digital market is just depressing. I wasn’t a big fan of the first Hellblade game, but this one shows plenty of promise. Hopefully, the gameplay will be less clunky than the original title and the puzzles might cause less eye strain. I doubt Hellblade II will be one of my favorite games in 2024, but it’s coming to Game Pass on day one and the quality looks decent up to this point. You can play Senua’s Saga on May 21, 2024.
Visions of Mana
Here was a nice little surprise. Visions of Mana from Square Enix had an announcement. It’s a third person fantasy game with a sandbox style environment, four player co-op, and hack & slash combat. The Mana series is a spinoff of Final Fantasy and it features really cute anime characters. It reminds me of Kingdom Hearts in some ways, which is another property of Square Enix. I’m not sure if this game will be more popular among kids or adults, but it looks entirely accessible to both age groups. Visions of Mana is the only cross-platform game from the Developer Direct and it will have a physical release. The current release window is Summer of 2024. So far, it’s not dropping on Xbox Game Pass, although you never know.
Indiana Jones and the Great Circle
I’m sorry, but that’s an awful title. Please, don’t allow it to be a bad omen. The Developer Direct showcased the first gameplay footage of the upcoming Indiana Jones game. Surprisingly, it’s going be mostly in first person perspective. That seems like an odd choice, but the developer is MachineGames, who created the modern Wolfenstein series. It might be part of their comfort zone. At this point, Indiana Jones appears to be focusing on a story driven narrative, Indy’s signature whip, stealth tactics, and multiple ways to proceed through areas. Troy Baker is voicing the titular character, but the developer is using Harrison Ford’s facial likeness. Again, the gameplay and VFX don’t look impressive, although it definitely has appeal in other ways. I’m always willing to try something different. Plus, it’s another day one release on Game Pass. The release year is 2024 and let’s see if the date sticks.
PlayStation State of Play
Dragon’s Dogma II
Look at that. Another Medieval fantasy with an open world environment. Dragon’s Dogma II looks similar to Avowed and it will be interesting to see which game is better. Like Avowed, Dragons Dogma II looks a bit rough around the edges with janky gameplay and dated graphics. However, this game still shows plenty of creativity and strong world building. The gameplay looks challenging and entertaining with a complex RPG system. Keep in mind, this game is cross-platform, even though it was part of the PlayStation State of Play. You can play Dragon’s Dogma II on March 22, 2024.
Rise of the Ronin
The 2024 release schedule doesn’t have a lot of polish. Rise of the Ronin takes place in 19th Century Japan, near the end of the Samurai era. It seems to be taking influences from Ghost of Tsushima and the Nioh series with an emphasis on tactics, defensive moves, and counters. However, the combat shows faster pacing in the vein of God of War. Like many titles on this post, the gameplay and graphics look unfinished. Despite that issue, the release date remains March 22, 2024. Maybe I’ll be surprised when the final product comes out.
The creators of BioShock have a new dystopian project. Judas is a sci-fi thriller that takes place on a giant space vessel. Basically, it’s like a reimagining of BioShock with a totalitarian regime who’s controlling the remaining humans and exploiting them for entertainment. Plot details are scarce, but it’s seems like The Purge, The Hunger Games, and Black Mirror in space. It just looks like more BioShock to me with an updated setting. However, I really enjoyed the BioShock series and this type of setting will probably appeal to modern audiences. I don’t know if Judas will be a PlayStation exclusive or cross-platform. It doesn’t have a release date, so development is probably pretty early.
Silent Hill 2
Honestly, I never played the original Silent Hill games. I know Silent Hill 2 was very popular, which means a remake is probably the right way to go. The story is about a man named James Sunderland who’s searching for his wife. Allegedly, his wife is already dead, yet she contacted James and told him she’s in Silent Hill. It’s a grisly take on psychological horror with deformed monsters and a nightmare dimension that crosses into our reality. Everything about this game looks really weird, but it might be really scary as well. I’m not sure if Bloober Team was the right developer for such a regarded project. Granted, that’s the situation and we can’t change it. The new trailer didn’t give a release date, but I heard it’s coming later this year. We’ll see.
I feel torn about this post-apocalyptic game. Usually, I don’t like soulsborne games and Stellar Blade seems to be taking elements from the genre. However, it also looks very similar to hack and slash titles, such as Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. Stellar Blade has an upgrade system, a semi-open world environment, and a variety of missions. The combat looks challenging with past pacing. It’s a little hard to describe the setting. The story takes place on a post-apocalyptic version of Earth in a distant future, long after cosmic monsters destroyed civilization. Now the remaining humans live on a giant space shuttle. I’ll keep an eye on this game because PlayStation still needs to provide more info. Stellar Blade is debuting on April 26, 2024.
How many of you remember Until Dawn on the PlayStation 4? It was a popular horror game with a choose-your-own-adventure structure. In the near future, Until Dawn is getting an upgrade to the PS5 with improved graphics, controls, and extra scenes. It’s a solid creature feature in the snowy mountains where no one can save you. We don’t have a release date yet, but it’s coming out some time this year. If you like The Quarry and The Dark Pictures Anthology series, this game will be up your alley. Be prepared for plenty of surprises, jump scares, and some laughs.
That’s how the console market is starting 2024! Do you feel disappointed with these announcements? Are you looking forward to any of these games? How you do think the 2024 video game schedule will pan out? Leave a comment. It’s already February, but we don’t know very much about this year’s gaming slate yet. Time will tell. The weather is rainy and treacherous in my area, so be careful and bundle up. On that note, take care of each other, have fun, and I’ll see you next week.
Good evening! It’s been several years since I published a book. The third volume of The Post-Apocalyptic Society was released in 2018. I wrote three volumes of steampunk adventures, which ended quite nicely. After that, I didn’t have any ideas for a fresh series until partway through the pandemic. I felt like creating a horror anthology, but life, time, money, and other factors got in the way. 2024 is a new year, so I’ll give you some updates.
Several of you might remember earlier discussions and blog posts about my new horror series. That’s still the plan, but it was in limbo for a couple of years. During the earlier parts of the pandemic, virtually everything was shut down except essential businesses and online services. It seemed like the perfect time to write a book. However, I didn’t compensate for a number of things. First, it was prohibitively expensive to worry about publishing another book. Money was very tight and authors need to hire various people, including an editor, book cover designer, formatter, etc. It was also difficult to write a contemporary story during the pandemic. I didn’t want to include COVID-19 in the main story and it was hard to tell if the pandemic would change our landscape or culture permanently. As you know, some elements changed in the world to a certain extent, but most aspects of life went back to normal. Health issues also persisted during the pandemic. I developed an autoimmune disease, which needed a certain amount of attention and maintenance. Furthermore, I didn’t feel particularly motivated to write on a serious level. My muse wasn’t speaking for some reason. I had a lot of time on hand, but it didn’t translate to creative endeavors. Basically, I can only write a manuscript when it feels right. Plus, I didn’t feel like grinding through extensive editing, marketing, and other elements that come with the territory of releasing a new book.
2024 feels different. Honestly, I can already tell it’s going to be a rough year. It’s an election year, which means everything will be very contentious. Well, I’m not going to let my entire 2024 revolve around the election under any circumstances. So, it might be a great year to sit down and write a complete draft. I’m not planning to publish anything this year because it would be a good idea to save some money first. However, I can get started on my next series and hopefully, it will be a satisfying experience.
A while back, I blogged about some thematic material in my upcoming anthology. Those elements remain the same today. I want at least three stories in my horror book. In fact, I would prefer more, but that will depend on the page length. I don’t want the page length to become unruly or unmanageable. For much of my life, I’ve been fascinated with folk tales, ghost stories, cryptids, and urban legends. Perhaps, these stories intrigue me because they allegedly have some components of truth behind the myth. My anthology is going to be a visceral and macabre version of these tales. I want something that will make my collection stand out in a popular genre.
On that note, I’ll provide more updates about my project throughout the year. I’m taking my version of folk horror very seriously and everything needs to be exactly the way I want before releasing it to the public. Are you planning to write any stories this year? Do you want to share any of your recent publications on my blog? What are your favorite scary stories and folk tales? Leave a comment. I would love to hear from other writers. 2024 is going to be a bumpy ride, so let’s treat each other with respect and show plenty of support. Thanks a lot for your patience regarding my long awaited project and enjoy the rest of your week.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.