Without doubt, my number one most anticipated upcoming game is Elex 2:
In this sequel to the vintage Open World RPG ELEX, Jax must once again unite the free people of the Science-Fantasy world of Magalan against a new threat - the Skyands, who want to change the face of the planet forever.
And as with most games from Piranha Bytes, it feels like most of the gamers and gaming press just kind of ignore them. I see complaints on other forums about the combat being "euro-jank" (which I feel is unkind & unfair), or that the graphics and animations aren't up to todays "AAA standards", or that it's too difficult to get started (in terms of combat & gameplay).
The original Elex, as well as all PB's games going back to Gothic 1, can be brutally hard in the beginning. You have to actually learn how to fight & survive in the world they've created, often running away from combat early combat situations. They have a formula they've stuck with through all their games that depends upon the player exploring, talking to NPCs, perhaps joining one of the various factions, and building your characters skills. Just about everything a player does, or the choice he/she makes, will have an affect on how the world reacts to you. The world of Elex was vast, and dangerous, to explore; Piranha Byes excels at world building for such a small studio.
While I'm hoping Elex 2 will release this year, the next game I'm most excited for (which at best won't be released until 2022) is Outcast 2 - A New Beginning:
Explore the breathtaking alien world of Adelpha, support the local Talans in their struggles and fight your way through fast-paced battles against invading robot forces in this 3rd-person, open world, action adventure sequel to the 1999 cult classic.
I don't know if anyone here has played the original Outcast (released in 1999) was such a unique game, almost a hybrid of game genres, but was such a wonderful experience: part shooter, part rpg, part adventure game. The original team at Appeal Studios is making Outcast 2, so I'm confident that it will be a proper sequel (even if it's over 20 years coming). The graphics are radically improved (though still not that "AAA standard"), and the combat looks to be much more fluid.
There are 2 other games I'm excited for, though I will probably wait for some reviews, as they are both remakes.
Gothic 1 Remake
The Kingdom of Myrtana has been invaded by an implacable horde of orcs. King Rhobar II, in need of a large quantity of magical ore in order to forge powerful weapons, operates the Khorinis mines with all available prisoners.
I loved the original Gothic games, but this is not being developed by Piranha Bytes, and the last time we had that situation, we got Arcania, which is better off forgotten, so I'm a bit hesitant. But the free demo that was available for Gothic 1 Remake looked good and gameplay felt fluid, so I'm hopeful.
System Shock (Remake)
A first-person fight to the death in the depths of space!
The free demo, which is still available, looks and plays good, and has much of that feeling of suspense from the original. But I'm definitely hesitant to pre-order at this point, as Nightdive Studios has gone through a very long and troubled development cycle. I won't go into detail here, as there's another post I made that's buried somewhere in the RPG Section. I'm hopeful, but by a lot of the posts on the Steam Discussion page for SS, it seems most potential players seem to have written this game off.