Perfect Ten: 20 multiplayer games to watch in 2018

    
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A couple of weeks ago I covered 20(ish) MMORPGs that we are looking forward to seeing develop, test, and launch in 2018. But as you well may know, Massively OP covers a small university’s worth of “not-so-massively” multiplayer games that have some crossover into the MMO space. We do this because it gives some people much-needed gripe fuel and also because a lot of our readership is also interested in these games.

There is a lot of movement in the multiplayer game space, especially as the larger video game market continues to adapt and hew to MMO design. It’s a blended mess as we continually try to sort these games out into their proper categories, but while we do that, you can enjoy this list of 20 multiplayer games that you should be tracking in 2018. From survival sandboxes to pirate simulators to sequels, here we go!

1. Anthem

With Destiny 2 reeling from a sub-par launch and disappointing initial DLC, BioWare may be poised to pick up some disillusioned players with its upcoming Anthem. Scifi battle suits on an alien planet (a gorgeous one, to boot) sounds pretty awesome to us. The only question is whether or not a beta will happen next year. BioWare isn’t saying.

2. Sea of Thieves

Yo ho and a bottle of rum! Rare’s highly anticipated pirate crew MMO is heading our way next March, and you best believe that there is a waiting and drooling crowd of players ready to walk the plank and kiss some mermaids. Microsoft is really getting behind this multi-platform title, and there is considerable excitement on the Massively OP staff for it. Will our dream of a yacht come true at last?

3. Skull and Bones

If a more realistic-looking Caribbean setting and controlling your own pirate ship is more your thing, then keep tabs on Skull and Bones. Ubisoft’s naval title places more emphasis on tactics and PvP engagements, although there is a single-player campaign as well. We saw it at E3 earlier this year and postulated that “battleground enthusiasts will probably have a great time.”

4. The Crew 2

Another Ubisoft title, The Crew 2 picks up the baton from the original vehicular MMO and attempts to do it one or two better. More vehicles, more racing, and more venues are slated for speed-loving gamers. While it was originally going to come out in March 2018, unfortunately it was delayed until an unspecified future date. Check out our initial impressions of this title!

5. Monster Hunter World

Capcom’s enormously popular monster slaying series is poised to explode on console and (later) PC, branching out beyond its Nintendo roots to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. While not as full-fledged of an MMO as we may have liked, it nevertheless contains coop play and seamless maps of a lush alien world.

6. DayZ

The zombie survival shooter that jumpstarted a whole new subgenre of play has sold millions and millions of copies since its debut as a mod nearly four years ago, yet it’s been overtaken by newer challengers and lost some of its widespread appeal. We’ll see if it can pick back up those fans when it “launches” into beta in 2018.

7. Red Dead Redemption 2

There are few titles more anticipated right now than the follow-up to Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption. The sequel, which will sport some kind of online multiplayer functionality (but who needs specifics, right?), is coming out on consoles in the spring. The big question mark, however, is if the title will also come to the PC, as has been rumored virtually since the moment this western was announced.

8. Stardew Valley

Why is a already-launched single-player farming sim on this list? Because shut your mouth, that’s why. Also, because it’s finally getting a multiplayer mode that includes working together on a farm, getting married, enjoying festivals, and more. “Early 2018” is the release window for this update.

9. Conan Exiles

Funcom’s once-popular yet now-struggling survival sandbox has committed to a May 8, 2018 release, but it remains to be seen if the studio can whip it into shape by then. The studio had previously announced that not only might some PC features be cut before the formal launch but that the price of the game would be increasing from $35 to $50 on console.

10. State of Decay 2

Once upon a time, Undead Labs broadly hinted that the sequel to State of Decay would be an MMO. That was changed in recent years to a four-player coop experience. The studio claimed that the players weren’t asking for massively multiplayer, so here we are. State of Decay 2 is aiming at a spring 2018 launch with three expansive maps.

11. Dauntless

Competing with Monster Hunter World for players’ affections is Dauntless, a stylized coop slayer game from many Blizzard and BioWare veterans. We found it to be a faster and more exciting grind than the Monster Hunter series when we got our hands on it this past fall. Open beta is scheduled for spring 2018.

12. Fortnite

When Fortnite came out in early access this year, the zombie survival base builder didn’t quite get the buzz that its team had hoped. That is, until it completely aped PUBG’s battle royale mode and started racking up millions of players with its free PvP version. The devs are frantically double-downing on battle royale as the game’s future, even as the competition heats up. Can it maintain its popularity?

13. Rend

We almost don’t know what to make of Rend. It’s a bizarre-yet-intriguing title that is slapping together elements from MMOs, survival sandboxes, and base builders. In addition to three-faction PvP, there is a mix-and-match class system and progressively more bizarre biomes. At the very least, we think it’s something to be excited about.

14. Citadel: Forged With Fire

Attempting to carve out an identity for itself in the survival sandbox space is Citadel, an early access title that focuses on (a) magicians and (b) building the most awesome house you can imagine. It hasn’t exactly exploded in popularity, but the devs have faithfully added on to it, including a recent expansion.

15. Ark Park

This is a hard game to explain, as it’s a spin-off of ARK as a virtual reality experience that explores a museum and Jurassic Park-like world. The title is rolling out to VR devices this winter, so if you want to show off those new goggles to your family, this is certainly an option.

16. Stationeers

Not to be confused with Astroneer, Stationeers is the brainchild of DayZ’s Dean Hall. It looks like Fisher-Price but plays like the most hardcore of survival sandboxes. It’s set in space, and after all, space is quite unforgiving. The space station sim is mean to appeal to players who like systems. Lots and lots and lots of systems.

17. H1Z1

The original recipe battle royale, H1Z1 is desperately trying to get eyeballs back on it after losing ground to competitors in 2017. Daybreak rebranded the arena PvP game (again) this year and has been pushing it hard in the e-sports market. The game should be officially launching next year and is even making its way to China.

18. The Black Death

If you’re tired of the typical light-hearted post-apocalyptic fare of survival sandboxes, then The Black Death and its morbid historical setting is waiting for you. With the ever-present threat of pestilence, the harsh reality of peasant life, and instakill headshots, this won’t be a game for most carebears.

19. Dark and Light

While reduced in scope from its previous MMORPG incarnation, the rebooted Dark and Light is getting a lot more love and development from Snail Games. The studio seems particularly keen on experimenting with server types, such as chaos shards and master builder realms.

20. Hellion

You’re going to be thrown into the deep end right from the very start in Hellion — and tasked to survive. It’s not going to be easy, because the odds are against you in the void of space. The devs have been revamping many of the game’s systems and aiming to shore up the content in its current early access state.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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