Four Titles I’m Looking Forward to in 2023

Happy April gamers!

The cold weather is starting to fade away, and the sun is steadily increasing its presence with warmer weather and beautiful days ahead of us. You know what that means, right?

Time to stay inside and game.

To this point, I have yet to find a job in the industry (I promise I’m not discouraged right now), which means plenty of time to spend honing my skills. I started a new site on Medium to help introduce players to Valorant, aka Valorant for Beginners, and it’s been pretty fun so far (selfish plug, I know, I know) as it’s been challenging me to express my thoughts in an area I’ve never dived into before.

That said, let’s focus on today’s topic, bangers releasing in 2023.

Frankly, I should’ve composed this post a few months ago, but you know I’m slow. Better late than never though, as despite the insanely hot start, this year still has a few tricks up its sleeves with a slew of titles to break the bank with. Putting on my gamer pants, here are four titles that I’m keen on, with varying levels of hype and a dash of feedback on what I’ve seen on them so far.

Dead Island 2

Dead Island 2 artwork
It’s about damn time.

Hot take; I did not enjoy Dead Island at all. Created by Techland, this action RPG featuring a bunch of random survivors on an island did not sit well with me, as it was a broken mess and rather boring, in my opinion. Techland must have heard my feedback all those years ago, as they went on to make one of the greatest zombie titles of all time: Dying Light.

Somehow someway, Dead Island performed well enough to warrant a sequel, yet despite that previous sentiment, the sequel has been in development hell since its reveal in 2014. I remember seeing the trailer at E3 2014, which would later be spoofed by Goat Simulator 3, causing fans to rush and preorder the title just for it to disappear off the face of the earth.

However, the sequel has found new life, and after shifting through half the industry, Dead Island 2 arrives later this month. There’s plenty of gameplay out there, with the consensus seemingly pointing to it being mindless fun, which is what the first game was if you liked it.

I’m probably coming off mean, so let me switch gears. I think what we’ve seen looks good, at least way better than what 10 years of development hell could’ve done. The dismemberment system reminds me of the Dead Space Remake, and overall, it looks like it can be silly, gruesome fun, provided its performance is stable. It’s funny how similar the gameplay looks now compared to the gameplay reveal back in 2014, which hopefully points to the final version being as close to the OG vision of the project.

I think the underlying reason why I’m excited about this is that I did not think Dying Light 2 Stay Human was good at all since it aimed to be a more complex project, but that shift completely missed its mark. I don’t think Dead Island 2 will be a masterpiece, but I do think it’ll be fun to see if this title can bring some new life to the zombie formula.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor artwork
May the Force be with you… again.

It feels like it’s been forever since Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order released (selfish plug and bad writing, so proceed at your own risk), yet here we are, weeks away from the next iteration in Cal Kestis’ story.

Out of all the games on this list, I’d say this is the one I’m most excited about. I loved Fallen Order for everything it managed to achieve, from blending Dark Souls-lite elements to set moments seen in the Uncharted series, with the latter arguably my favorite series of all time. Survivor looks to be everything the previous was and more, with previews hitting the web of late detailing the massive improvements to the open-world structure, customization aplenty, and dank (read as “cool”) combat systems. I’m replaying Fallen Order right now, and all of the snippets of information I see on Survivor’s improvements have me pumped.

Between this and Dead Island 2, April is a pretty solid month in 2023’s gaming calendar. I’m dreadfully slow at reviews, but I aim to cook one up for this bad boy when it’s time. I just have to figure out how to hook up a PS5 at the hotel I’m staying at since my friend’s wedding is on release day… not to mention I’m turning 29 the same day.

Here’s hoping this makes Respawn reconsider a Titanfall game (just kidding, they hate us Titanfall fans).


Redfall artwork
Mixed feelings on this one, but fingers crossed.

Alright, let’s get spicy.

I don’t think Redfall will be good, but I don’t think it’ll be bad either, with a Day One Game Pass launch possibly doing wonders for this title.

Redfall is the next project from Arkane Studios, the masterminds behind the Dishonored series and Deathloop. I adored Dishonored, as it is an awesome sci-fi Hitman title focusing on choices and extremely well-done world-building. Conversely, Deathloop seemed promising, but its time-traveling mechanics and overall gameplay loop left a lot to be desired.

Redfall seems to be building off the blueprint Deathloop created, as the core gameplay looks to be the same, although the opponents are vampires. What we’ve seen looks decent, with this being Arkane’s take on Left 4 Dead, as players can complete this in co-op as they fight back against the bloodsuckers to reclaim the quaint town of Redfall, Massachusetts (hey, we made it fellow Massachusetts homies).

That said, all of the previews have been iffy on it, which isn’t exactly surprising since I didn’t enjoy Deathloop. The previews are saying the abilities are cool, but the rest echoes the areas where Deathloop stumbled immensely. Take previews with a grain of salt, but it’s also not exactly what I wanted to hear from Arkane’s next title.

That’s a lot about Deathloop, and if this came off as overly negative, I apologize. Just keep in mind, Deathloop was very mixed amongst many sites despite a very high reviewer score. Arkane Studios is doubling down on the formula, this time to a greater degree.

Game Pass will be the go-to for this title, and I’ll go into it with an open mind. I still have hope Arkane can nail this genre, and time will tell what the studio has learned from Deathloop.

Counter-Strike 2

Counter-Strike 2 limited test artwork
The great FPS war commences.

If you’ve followed my work for some time, firstly, thank you. I appreciate you.

Secondly, you’ll probably know my opinions on Call of Duty and Battlefield, two titles that choked away massive promise; the first due to fatigue, the latter due to absurd design choices and failure to capitalize on the former’s stumbles.

As I grew up, my mindset shifted to focus on the competitive nature of gaming and how FPS titles can be much more enjoyable when created with a competitive nature in mind. Enter Valorant, which has me in a vicious chokehold since it was released in 2020.

It’s been three years since Riot Games’ take on the Counter-Strike formula released, ushering in a new age of hero-shooter with a huge chunk of influence coming from Counter-Strike’s gameplay. Since then, Valorant has experienced a massive rise in growth, seemingly prompting Valve to put together Counter-Strike 2.

I did not grow up playing CS, although I do hop on to warm up since there are plenty of custom game modes to partake in. However, the impending release of Counter-Strike 2 is a massive power move that will shake up the gaming industry, as Valve and Riot Games are now on an equal playing field, with both titles challenging each other for the foreseeable future for a hold in the tactical FPS space.

I can’t exactly comment on the scope of the changes coming to the sequel, although the new smoke mechanics look so “trolly” that you have to see it to believe it. I will say it looks more like the mega-hit Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and shit, that’s been a game that’s dominated Steam for 11 years, so I’m sure the sequel will do the same.

Will I play Counter-Strike 2? Most certainly, even though Valorant is more of my cup of tea. However, it’ll be great to see how both developers take a jab at each other’s foothold as they look to improve this gaming genre.

Honorable Mentions

Rapid fire segment of a few titles I’m keeping my eye on!

  • Starfield: I don’t know how people keep buying into Todd Howard’s lies post-Fallout 76, but here we are again. Starfield looks like another Bethesda game, which isn’t a bad thing until you realize all of their titles have looked the same since Fallout 3. I’m paying attention to this one as it launches this September, but I’m not expecting a massive giga-banger.

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: I have yet to beat the first one, as it was my first Zelda title, and I was getting smoked at the end, despite all my hours of endgame preparation. I will give the sequel a go after I catch up on all my other titles, and what we’ve seen so far looks pretty solid!

  • Final Fantasy XVI: It feels like it’s been years since we’ve received a proper Final Fantasy mainline entry, and after much delay, Final Fantasy XVI releases this June. I liked FF15, despite what many others were saying, and that alone has me semi-hyped for this one. I couldn’t tell you anything about the gameplay or story, but you can turn into a massive Bahamut-looking monster, so sign me up.

  • Diablo IV: My breath is held very hard for this one, as Blizzard Entertainment is on the last straw if the publisher hasn’t been already. I’ve only played a bit of Diablo 3 and a portion of Diablo: Immortal, and with the latter title setting the industry ablaze for all the wrong reasons, it’ll be interesting to see if Blizzard can recover any goodwill with Diablo IV. The beta was fun, and we’ll find out soon if any lessons have been learned.

Alright, that’s all I got! As always, thank you for reading, and be sure to let me know what you’re excited for, whether you see this through Twitter or in the comments below!

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