The festivities are over, 2019 is done and we're all back at work! But I'll be looking back fondly on what a year for games it was...
Looking forward I think we have another blockbuster year ahead of us, and 2020 is not going to disappoint! So to get you all as excited as me, this month's Hotlist is dedicated to some of the year's most anticipated upcoming releases. Roll on the new decade!
First up, arguably, one of the most anticipated titles of this generation in gaming! CD PROJEKT RED created the most critically acclaimed game of the decade with 2015's Witcher 3, and the team is now ready to finally unleash their next (more than likely) masterpiece.
Based of Mike Pondsmith’s tabletop role-playing game, players are thrust into the Cyberpunk world of Night City in the year 2077, customizing their own character and exploring a world filled with cyber-enhanced gangsters, corporate overlords, and a charismatic Keanu Reeves.
What more could you ask for? Coming Apil 2020 - Pre-order here
Image Source - explosionnetwork.com
Dying Light 2
The original Dying Light, in my opinion, was the game that proved that new life (pun intended) could be breathed into the overly saturated zombie genre. Bringing new and innovative ideas, complete with a unique world mixed with highly functional and satisfying mechanics, Dying Light was an exceptional open-world action title that people excited about the zombie genre again.
Dying Light 2, Techland now looks to be doubling down on introducing in-depth RPG mechanics and an open-world that reacts to your actions, allowing you to interact with various factions and characters around the post-apocalyptic world.
It’s interesting to see since although Dying Light 1 featured an open-world with light RPG elements, it never quite hit that mark of really allowing you to choose your own way to play, so let's hope their anticipated sequel will nail that one last factor down to create a truly exceptional experience.
Coming soon, Spring 2020
Image Source: Comicbook.com
Ghost of Tsushima
Out of all the games on this list, Ghost of Tsushima is likely the one we know least about, but we all remember when players laid eyes on the spectacular reveal back at E3 2019, on what genuinely felt like on the first next-gen games that year. The graphical fidelity, hyper-real animation and stunning atmosphere left viewers in awe of the small tease Sucker Punch Productions had graced gamers with.
With games like Sekiro (Game of the Year 2019!), Nioh and plenty of other Ancient Eastern-Asian inspired titles, we’ve been having a blast in this time period, and personally, I’m not quite ready to move on from this rich and enticing genre. It's fair to say I’ve got my hopes up for this one!
Although we’re yet to see any recent gameplay, if the final product is anything half as good as the initial E3 announcement, I think we’re in for a Game of the Year…
Launching summer 2020.
The Last of Us Part II
Speaking of 'Game of the Year', how could we not talk about The Last of Us, 2013's game of the year, that took players on an emotional journey through a post-apocalyptic world with Joel, a cynical mercenary-type who lost his daughter at the beginning of the end, and Ellie, a young girl who may just hold the key to saving humanity.
If you’ve finished the first game (and if you haven’t, what are you doing with your life) you would know that things don’t really turn out so well! The Last of Us 2 picks shortly after the ending of the first game, and promises an intimidating new world, advanced next-gen AI, and (we expect) another harrowing story that we’ll all have to spend the week recovering from…
And finally, last but at no means least... We’re at the point where VR has moved on from a short-term gimmick to producing full-length AAA titles. More recent games like Blood and Truth and Asgards Wrath have proven that we can create full experiences in VR, featuring a good story and refined gameplay, much more along the lines of what we’d expect for any other AAA release.
Half-Life: Alyx has been Valves' first AAA game for around 4 years now, and it looks like they’re entering back into the market with a bang. So much so that the Valve Index virtual reality headset is currently sold out in every region except for Japan!
Set as a prequel to the original, Half-Life: Alyx has you playing as Alyx Vance (Surprisingly) on the front lines of the combine invasion. We don’t have too many details right now, aside from a slick trailer that shows the player dynamically using cover, performing gun-fu and a terrifying 'headcrab' leaping at you in first person, which is probably the part I’m least looking forward to…
Let's just hope they are able to get a few more headsets produced ahead of the initial release date in March 2020.
Image Source: Slashgear.com
So 2020 looks HOT! And we're excited. As ever if you want to discuss any of the titles in this month's Hotlist, have chat about what’s coming out next month, OR if you have something you’d like us to review… you can reach me on Twitter @SansonWray.
And don't forget to come back monthly for my pick of the month's biggest (and smallest) releases.
**All opinions are our own. If you love them too, great! If not - don't hate the player hate the game. Also, we have not been paid to review any of the titles included in this blog. Links are NOT affiliate.**