I am still trying to complete Death Stranding, barely scratched the surface of Control, and only passed the first boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, but that doesn’t mean its not the perfect time to look onto the games coming at us in 2020. This my list of the top ten most anticipated games of 2020, that I’ll probably manage to only play about two of them to completion.
2020 CALL OF DUTY
How can it be that the seventeenth entry in a franchise can have me excited before it is even announced? Not really being a massive fan since MW2, both Black Ops 4 and the rebooted Modern Warfare, brought me back to the franchise to much success. BO4 for its well-oiled 100 player Blackout mode, and MW for its fun campaign and brilliantly revamped gameplay. I look forward to seeing how the franchise moves forward, as it seems to be hitting its stride.
RESIDENT EVIL 3 REMAKE
After being forever scarred by the stomping footsteps of Mr. X, in the gorgeous yet terrifying Resident Evil 2, a remaster to the sequel seemed inevitable as much as needed. My first experience in the Resi series was the seventh entry, played entirely in VR, so harking back to the revered early releases was something I was glad I finally got to do. I am looking forward to being terrified once again by the Nemesis who I recognised despite never having played it.
An interactive thriller about a man stuck in a time loop. Simple and enticing was the single line used to describe 12 Minutes in its E3 reveal trailer. This will likely be a short experience, but time stuff always draws me in, and the top-down stylistic ‘gameplay’ made this one of the few games to catch my eye at this year big show. I’ll happily wait for this to be released before seeing another thing, because I’m sold and can’t wait to spend an evening getting wrapped up in the mystery of 12 Minutes.
Doom Eternal doesn’t seem look to have done too much to change things up from its radical reboot of the long-lasting franchise. But when you play the buttery smooth gameplay of the 2016 hit, it is understandable. Doom was a refined and highly-addictive shooter, that made you feel wired to the screen, barely able to blink, as you shot, blasted and chainsaw-ed your ways through demons on Mars with cat-like reflexes. If Eternal is offering more of that with some added tweaks, sign me up.
WATCH DOGS LEGION
Watch Dogs Legion is an interesting entry to this list, with its evolving franchise. Starting with an uninspired and disappointing first entry, the franchise was given a new lease of life with its revamped, restyled and livelier sequel. Pushing even further, Watch Dogs Legion finds itself in the oppressed and monitored streets of a near-future London, but its setting isn’t the only thing new. Ditching the central protagonists, like Aiden in the first and Marcus in the second, Legion will allow players to control “any” NPC within the game, each their own backstory and intro-mission. With the inclusion of permadeath, players are guaranteed to play out the game with different and unique characters – from a London geezer to an old hitwoman. While this could be as much a misrepresentative as the first game on the run-up to its release, Legion is a big game I hope will hit the heights of its loft ambitions, because if it does it could be one of the years’ best.
GHOST OF TSUSHIMA
Set during the Mongol Invasions of 13th century Japan, Ghost of Tsushima features stunning vistas and visceral third-person combat. This beautiful open world promises to be one to lose yourself in, with no map or traditional HUD system. Exploration with be natural, as you travel through autumnal woods, burning villages and wind-swept fields. Side quests seem to take inspiration from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, with expansive and engaging stories separate from the main storyline. Another great exclusive to round out the Playstation 4’s final year.
DYING LIGHT 2
The brilliant Dying Light is one of my favourite games of this generation, with its flawless first-person parkour styled traversal, hard-hitting melee combat, and incredibly detailed and varied maps. Learning of Dying Light 2 when it was announced was a nice surprise, and one I hadn’t considered to be something that would happen. This sequel jumps around a decade and a half into the zombie-filled apocalypse and aims to improve upon the lacklustre story that let-down the previous game. The story will now be riddled with difficult decisions which won’t just impact the story, but also the map, as new sections can be revealed or destroyed. Developers stated that upon a single playthrough players will likely only see around 50% of all areas/possible outcomes. Hopefully, I will want to sink as many hours into this as I did the previous.
Ok, this is a bit of a cheat, as it isn’t a game, but this is my list, therefore I can do what I want. We are on the cusp of the next generations of consoles and having been primarily a Playstation loyalist for the past six years, the prospects of the PS5 are exciting to say the least. Support for 8K, ray-tracing, fast SSDs, and backwards compatibility show the next incarnation of the console to be a beast. Seeing some of the breathtaking games that have come out of the PS4, I can’t wait to see not just what’s possible graphically with the PS5, but also technically. Will we see a new form of game ushered in? The next evolution of online gaming? Whatever the outcome, I sure do feel lucky to be a gamer.
THE LAST OF US PART 2
A follow-up to literally my favourite game of all time is something I am obviously going to be excited about, so why position it in second place? Nerves, to be honest. While I have no doubt in Naughty Dog, and they have proven themselves to be a highly capable developer, The Last of Us has become such an important representation of what I love in games. The fear of jeopardising the legacy of Joel and Ellie, and the trauma of what is to come – being described as a game about “hatred” compared to the first game’s “love” – has me fanatically hyped and nervously hesitant at the same time. At least we know one thing for sure; there will be tears.
If it wasn’t The Last of Us Part II, it could only be one other game. Cyberpunk 2077 is likely atop of nearly every gamers’ anticipated list, and for good reason. An expansive and dense open world set within a Cyberpunk-styled sci-fi universe, shaped by your choices and gameplay style and all of that kept under the hood of the purring beast that is CD Projekt Red. It feels like this game has been in development since before I learned how to walk, and the fact that is the follow-up to The Witcher 3, really just adds another layer of prestige to it. Cyberpunk 2077 is likely to take up a chunk of my entire year and I cannot wait to stroll through the streets of Night City causing mayhem.
So that’s my top picks for the upcoming year, and while there are some others I will keep my eye on like Square Enix’s Avengers, these are the picks that really caught my attention as I become a pickier and further time-restricted gamer.