2020 may be a year most people choose to forget, but one thing is for certain: the games were good. The world fell in love with Animal Crossing: New Horizons at the start of the pandemic. The Final Fantasy 7: Remake surprised both those looking forward to it and the cynics. It was a year of surprises and yes, even heartbreaks (looking at you Cyberpunk 2077). But with another year in the rearview mirror, it time’s to look forward and begin the hype for another generation of games.
Bravely Default 2
Kali Scales: Let me start by saying that Bravely Second was not nearly as good as the original. Still, I’m really excited for Bravely Default 2. While Bravely Second was a direct sequel to the events of the first game, Bravely Default 2 will be taking us to a new world with new characters. I know a lot of people want to see more of what happens with Tiz and Agnes, but in true Final Fantasy fashion, I’m a fan of keeping it an anthology and not being afraid to tell new stories with similar themes.
Ric “Weirdbeard” Hogerheide: Listen, this is an easy sell. Remember back in 2008 and 2009 when you couldn’t wait to be able to play Left 4 Dead with your friends? The thrill of running through hordes of zombies, sprinting towards the safe room before a tank can show up and ruin your day? Good, because I know there has been a Boomer sized hole in your heart while you wait for something to come along and give you the same thrill.
Good thing Back 4 Blood is on the way in 2021. Turtle Rock Studios, the studio behind the Left 4 Dead series, is back in the driver’s seat on this project too, so you know that it’s going to be a killer. Co-op with your friends is back. Zombies with special abilities chasing you through hordes of regular walkers? Check. And from what we’ve seen in the alpha gameplay, it’s really pretty too. Blowing up zombies has never sounded this fun in quite a while.
Zombie games have really been in a rut the past, almost, decade. But hopefully, this is the title that helps break the streak of duds and bring back another fun multiplayer game that has you dying to hang out with your friends and a shotgun.
Horizon Forbidden West
Robbie Landis: When Horizon Zero Dawn first debuted at E3 with a tech demo of Aloy fighting a giant robot using a bow and arrow, I was the only one feeling the hype. Everyone else scoffed at the idea of robot dinosaurs and made lame Beast Wars jokes. Yet, here we are in 2021 and anyone who has picked up Horizon Zero Dawn loves it. Love to say I told you so.
Guerrilla Games was taking a big risk attempting to make a game outside of their comfort zone, but they nailed the open-world action RPG genre. Now, with experience under their belt and a new generation of hardware to play with, Horizon Forbidden West should top all expectations.
There are a few times in the gaming history where a developer puts out a pretty good game and then shatters all aspirations with a sequel. Bioware did it with Mass Effect 2, CD Projekt Red did it with The Witcher 2, and again with The Witcher 3. Except Horizon Forbidden West to come out strong with all new beautiful areas to explore, amazing weapons to master, and terrifying, majestic new robots to conquer.
Cyberpunk 2077 (PS5 Version) and God of War: Ragnarok
Norris Howard: Listen 2020 was a GREAT year for games. So many games took us by surprise and one particularly underperformed. So on that topic, I actually can’t wait to see the Pinocchio known as Cyberpunk turn into a real boy with its “made for next-gen” version. I realize I’m giving them a ton of leeway for CDPR essentially misrepresenting their game, but there’s something of value underneath that atrocious code. Night City itself is brilliant, some of the characters are realistic and charismatic. But all of it falls flat because of the game’s technical issues.
Now if you ask me what new game I’m looking forward to it’s the new God of War: Ragnarok. The PS4 God of War was one of the definitive gaming experiences of the last generation. Kratos and Atreus’ journey saw them grown not just as father and son, but saw the concept of family itself get constantly examined in the story. Santa Monica Studios earned the distinction of making this game a first day buy from me, for sure.
Resident Evil VIII: Village
Chadd Callahan: After the series took a dramatic gameplay turn with Resident Evil 7, plus the added success from the VR addition, fans have been foaming at the mouth for the next chapter in the franchise. And personally, they should be. We can appreciate Capcom not immediately jumping to the next game but instead giving us two of the best remakes that we’ve seen in video games. I can only hope that all the success they’ve seen from the past three games can result in an amazing Resident Evil game that will both shock and disgust us all, in the best way possible. There still hasn’t been an official date release, but we can expect to see this game in 2021.