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Anticipation 2018: The Radio Silent

As the first week of 2018 is rolling on, the Shacknews staff is taking some time to talk about some of the games we're all looking forward to seeing this year. Of all the games we're discussing, all of them have been announced. But what about the stuff that hasn't been announced? And what about the games that have gone so far under the radar that the gaming world might have forgotten their existence?

Shacknews is taking a look at some of those games today and analyzing what we can expect from them in 2018. We'll talk about whether we can expect a gameplay reveal, an actual release date, or if we simply want to remind readers that these projects do, in fact, still exist and are still in the works.

Tomb Raider 3

Whether there would even be a third Tomb Raider game in the rebooted franchise was a question mark following Rise of the Tomb Raider's release. With poorer than expected sales, there was concern that Square Enix would cut its losses and just call it a day, despite the second game concluding with signs that Lara Croft's story wasn't over. It took PC and PS4 releases to eventually help the second game surpass its profit expectations, but there was still concern that Lara Croft's story would meet a premature end.

But there's nothing to fear, as Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics look to be fully on-board with a third Tomb Raider game, hinting at a major reveal for this year.

The word is that it won't be very long before fans can check out the next Lara Croft adventure. So when should they expect an official announcement? Well, there is a new Tomb Raider movie that's set to open on March 16. If that isn't a good time to talk about the next Tomb Raider game, I don't know what is. We'd expect to see the announcement right around the movie's release with more information expected at this year's E3.

Will the end of the Tomb Raider trilogy come in 2018? That's possible, but remember that Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced in August 2014 and didn't hit shelves until November 2015, so maybe don't get your hopes all the way up just yet.


The Square Enix Avengers Initiative

Speaking of Square Enix, let's talk superheroes. Remember this announcement from about one year ago?

Since this announcement, there has been a lot of radio silence from Square Enix, Eidos Montreal, and Crystal Dynamics regarding the ambitious Avengers project. Only a NeoGAF post from September pointing to several job listings offers even the slightest of hints as to what this game will even look like. The hints center around online play, third-person cover action, and multiplayer. There's certainly nothing official from the publisher and the developers themselves.

So is this the year to bust out the mysterious Avengers project? It's a huge reach to expect this in 2018. Sure, there's Avengers: Infinity War that's hitting theaters in May, but there's also an even bigger Avengers movie that's set to wrap up the Marvel Cinematic Universe as everyone knows it in 2019. For this year, it's safer to expect trailers at E3 and San Diego Comic-Con, with a full push for a 2019 release.


Final Fantasy VII Remake

Oh, Square Enix.

So 2015 sure was a year that Final Fantasy fans got really excited about, because it was the year that Final Fantasy VII Remake was announced at E3. Then another trailer hit the first ever PlayStation Experience event.

After that... nothing!

Aside from some artwork and screenshots, there's been a whole lot of nothing in 2016 and 2017 in regards to Final Fantasy VII Remake's progress.

The only thing fans have had to go on was a Tetsuya Nomura interview that stated that fans would have to "wait a little longer" before getting the long-awaited remake. This isn't entirely unexpected, though. Final Fantasy XIII series producer Yoshinori Kitase warned the series' fanbase all the way back in 2014 that a FF7 remake's production would take longer than the entire Final Fantasy XIII trilogy combined.

So does that mean it's coming in 2018? No, you silly person. Did you not read the above? No! It's not coming in 2018! But look for at least some progress update to come before the end of the year. If it's ready for 2019, I would be stunned.


Shenmue III

What a road it's been for Shenmue III thus far. After the follow-up to 2001's Shenmue II was first revealed during Sony's E3 press conference in 2015, it broke a Kickstarter record, raising $6.3 million. The game's development has since struggled, making one of our Stuff That Sucks videos from the time depressingly relevant.

The last word on Shenmue III came from publisher Deep Silver, which has not only offered to help get Shenmue III over the hump, but also pledged to make sure it gets out in 2018. The big story of the year isn't going to be just whether Deep Silver can live up to these goals. If Shenmue III does arrive this year, the story is going to be whether it's any good. Is it going to satisfy the thousands of Kickstarter donors? Or is this going to turn into another Mighty No. 9 situation?


Hunt: Showdown

Crytek's Hunt has proven to be a resilient project. First revealed in 2014, it survived the closure of several Crytek studios, getting passed around from Crytek USA to Crytek Frankfurt to Crytek proper. It then went through a name change, going from Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age to Hunt: Showdown. Crytek clearly sees promise here and it looks like 2018 could be the year that players might finally get their hands on it.

The latest update came in mid-December, with Crytek revealing a Closed Alpha period would begin sometime in the next few months. Theoretically, the game should hit Steam Early Access shortly thereafter, but as of now, there still isn't a solid deployment date in place. There's still room for the Closed Alpha to go horribly wrong, which would further complicate the game's development, but if all goes well, this could be the year that Hunt finally becomes playable.


Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn

And finally, let's end with some Shaq News.

The sequel to the 16-bit cult classic Shaq Fu is an idea that's been tossed around for many years. The Big Aristotle himself even addressed it at random points, like CES 2014. Two months later, the madman did it! Shaq actually unveiled Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn in March 2014. The game surpassed its $450K Indiegogo target another two months later and development was underway, with a trailer premiering at the 2015 Game Awards.

Since then? There hasn't been very much else revealed. A Nintendo Switch version was announced, because let's face it. Even Shaquille O'Neal understands that everything should be on the Switch. And hey, Switch owners that were somehow suckered into buy NBA Playgrounds will get the new Shaq Fu for free!

Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn was estimated to release in Fall 2017, but that release window came and went with no update as to when it's supposed to see the light of day. It's entirely possible a stealth announcement could come at any time and it might even be in people's hands in the next few weeks. Anything can happen. But having been in development for over three years and now having missed its release window, there's certainly some cause for concern with the development studio and the long-awaited Shaquille O'Neal project.


Any other games that folks might have forgotten about? Add a few in the comments and join the conversation!

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