ALL SECTIONS

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Gamers Choice

ALL SECTIONS

ALL SECTIONS

— 2 weeks ago

Gamers Choice

By Jared Walters
pocket

Our gaming expert pulled himself away from his console to weigh in on the 10 most anticipated games of 2020. The countdown begins…

10

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
Release Date: N/A

Star Wars is back in the pop-culture spotlight and Traveller’s Tales is set to release the latest in their series of Lego games set in that universe. The core style of the Lego games has not drastically changed since their first release in 2005 so if you’ve played any of their other releases, you know what you’re in for. Expect a plethora of playable characters to unlock, gameplay that is very accessible even to gaming novices and a style of humor that has become synonymous with every Lego adaptation. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, a 2007 release, was a highlight of the series that allowed for a complete mixing of both the classic and prequel trilogies, and Traveller’s Tales will certainly up the stakes. The action, humor and puzzles will all make for a great experience in couch co-op with friends and family members of all ages.

 

9

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: March 20

It has been eight years since the last entry in the Animal Crossing series, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks to provide more of the gameplay that has fueled its success since the early 2000s. Once again players find themselves on a deserted island tasked with building it up from scratch. As with other entries in the series, the game uses the console’s calendar and clock to reflect the passage of time and seasons in-game to mirror real life. This, combined with the open-ended gameplay of Animal Crossing, has always suited itself to both brief gameplay sessions or longer play; that makes it an ideal candidate for the Switch in playing both on-the-go or at home. A bevy of new customization options for your character, along with a heavier emphasis on gathering and crafting, should also make the experience fresh even for veterans of the series.

8

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Platforms: Xbox One, Windows
Release Date: March 11

In 2015 Moon Studios released Ori and the Blind Forest, which featured a brilliant mix of challenging platforming, beautiful visuals and the captivating story of Ori, a spirit guardian in the forest of Nibel. For this 2020 sequel, they’ve made several adjustments to account for the few criticisms of the first game, including a much more in-depth combat system, increased flexibility in how you save your in-game progress and a higher population of characters to interact with throughout the game. There will also be much more freedom to backtrack out of an area that is too challenging as well as the option to adjust your abilities instead of being locked-in on your choices. Gameplay trailers for Ori and the Will of the Wisps have shown off dynamically large landscapes and boss enemies that dwarf the diminutive Ori and give a stunning sense of scale to the visuals.

7

Watch Dogs: Legion

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Google Stadia, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Windows
Release Date: N/A

The setting of Watch Dogs: Legion finds us in a fictional version of London that is under an authoritarian regime; the game sees the player working again with fictional hacker group DedSec. In a big departure from its action-adventure formula so far, Legion moves away from having a sole protagonist. Ubisoft instead opted for gameplay that sees you recruit various NPCs into DedSec to use as playable characters. In fact, every NPC in this open-world game can potentially be recruited and has its own skill sets and stats, giving this version of London the feeling of a living, breathing city. Using these characters comes with risk, however, as they can become captured or permanently killed depending on your actions and choices; this new sense of heightened consequences for the series should provide a noticeably different experience while still leaning into the strengths of the previous games.

6

Doom Eternal

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, Windows
Release Date: March 20

The original Doom is a piece of gaming history, being one of the pioneers of the first-person shooter genre from the 90s. In 2016 Bethesda successfully rebooted the Doom franchise, again making it part of the gaming conversation with the sort of blood, gore, demons and ridiculously gigantic weaponry that were its mainstay. The success of the reboot led Bethesda to announce a sequel at E3 2018, and players have been waiting to resume the chaotic, otherworldly mayhem the series is known for. Bethesda has promised a return to the visual style of the demons in earlier games, as well as doubling the types of demons you’ll encounter. Other improvements include adding visual changes to enemies that reflect the damage they’ve taken and a ‘life’ system that will allow the player to respawn where they perished if they have any lives remaining.

5

Marvel’s Avengers

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, Windows
Release Date: September 4

Gamers got their first look at Marvel’s Avengers in 2019, which revealed a style and presentation more in line with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) than other Marvel games such as Ultimate Alliance or various mobile offerings. The story follows five years after a tragedy that caused the death of Captain America and disbanding of the Avengers, with newcomer Kamala Khan (the superhero Ms. Marvel) discovering a conspiracy that requires reuniting the likes of Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow and more. This third-person action-adventure game features the option to take on missions as the aforementioned heroes along with Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Hulk and other characters to be added in future downloadable content. The standard for recent comic book games was set in 2018 with Insomniac’s Spider-Man, and if Square Enix can deliver an experience comparable to that then this could see the start of a video game universe to rival the MCU.

4

The Last of Us Part II

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release Date: May 29

In 2013 developer Naughty Dog put a new survival horror game on the map with The Last of Us. Featuring a captivating narrative, deep characterization and a combination of visual and sound quality that made it a truly cinematic experience, many publications awarded The Last of Us their game-of-the-year accolades, making it an all-time masterpiece in video-game history. Most of the head creators responsible for that game, as well as actors Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker in their roles as Ellie and Joel, have returned for the highly anticipated sequel. Ellie was controllable in brief segments of the first game but steps into the spotlight as the lead character for this sequel. Five years have passed since the end of the first game, continuing Ellie’s story of surviving in a post-apocalyptic United States that has been ravaged by the flesh-eating Infected.

3

Halo Infinite

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Windows
Release Date: Holiday 2020

Halo has been synonymous with Xbox since their simultaneous launch in 2001, and every release of the mainline Halo series since then has been a seismic event for Xbox owners. Gameplay hasn’t been shown yet for this first-person shooter, with trailers instead focusing on showing off the impressive next-gen ‘Slipstream’ engine. Halo 5 split gameplay between Master Chief and Spartan Locke, but Infinite sees Master Chief back as the sole protagonist, much to the delight of series fans. 343 Studios has said that this game serves as the conclusion of the Reclaimer Trilogy while also acting as a “spiritual reboot” of the series. Infinite is poised to release both as a late-stage game on the Xbox One and a launch title for the Xbox Series X during the 2020 holiday season, so this very well may be our first look at a AAA game for the next generation of consoles.

2

Cyberpunk 2077

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, Windows
Release Date: September 17

Cyberpunk 2077 proved itself the social media darling at E3 2019, seven years after it was originally announced by CD Projekt Red. Their big reveal was the inclusion of Keanu Reeves in a major role, lending his voice, likeness and motion capture performance. This first-person RPG is an adaptation of the Cyberpunk tabletop RPG, originally released in the 1980s. The main character, named only V, is fully customizable in regards to gender, voice, stats, class and clothing. The story is set in the fictional Night City, California, and is an open world that gives the player a generous amount of freedom in how they progress through the story. Visual inspiration comes from the dark future esthetic of movies like “Blade Runner” or “Ghost in the Shell,” the developers having created a world with visually stunning depth and realism that reflects the increasing cinematic quality of big-budget games.

1

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release Date: April 10

First teased in 2015, this is a reimagining of the 1997 RPG about a mercenary named Cloud who finds himself working alongside the anti-government, environmentalist organization Avalanche in a futuristic city called Midgar. The original release of Final Fantasy VII is widely considered a classic that regularly tops all-time lists across genres and consoles, and has spawned several spin-offs including a feature-length film. Not content to simply release a remaster as has become the norm, Square Enix has rebuilt the game from the ground up, expanding on the story and redesigning the battle system to honor the original while incorporating real-time action akin to Final Fantasy XV. The involvement of many of the original creators of FF7 adds extra legitimacy to this reimagining. This release is part of a planned multi-game series and will cover the early sections of the original while still being a full-length release.

 

What 2020 game releases are you looking forward to, and why? #DiscoverLife

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