This year hasn’t been kind to us, with Australia burning, threats of a new world war, a virus that has claimed thousands of lives, and now every social media site is plagued with those fucking TikTok videos. The only solace can be found in gaming, and lots of it. But, due to the pandemic there has been a severe reduction in productivity, which is understandable considering the circumstances. Still, there are some releases this year that have me vibrating on the spot at the thought of getting them, and yes, I am getting them, mortgage and bills be damned. Although the release dates haven’t been entirely confirmed yet for all, I am expecting to pick them before the end of this shit show of a year.
Ghost of Tsushima – 17th July
This takes the top spot right away, and why shouldn’t it? We have been begging Ubisoft for an Assassin’s Creed in Japan for probably a decade, and so Sucker Punch beat them to the…, so yeah, another developer decided to act and fill that void. Some might say there are lots of games where you can play as a Samurai or a ninja, whereas I say there aren’t enough. Games like Nioh and Sekiro are few and far between, but this takes a more grounded approach. Much less fantasy and with no demons, save for the Mongolian invaders. In GoT you play as Jin Sakai, a Samurai trained to fight with honour, to face your opponent directly, and part of a local Samurai clan on the island of Tsushima. However, Khotun Khan and his Mongolian hordes have landed on the shores of this beautiful island to use it a staging ground for his assault on mainland Japan. After a vicious defeat by the Mongolians, and with most of the Samurai dead, Jin adopts a new approach in his plans for revenge. He becomes the Ghost, a terrifying warrior that will slaughter the Mongols in any way possible. But wait, there’s more.
You are not restricted in one way of playing. In most recent reveals it has been said that you can pretty much do what you like, so you can still play as the honourable and armoured warrior, or you can be the shadowy omen of death, or both. You can outfit yourself with customizable clothing/armour, and weapons and tools to better fit your approach. There is a large emphasis on exploration and discovery, with many secrets and parts of the island to stick your nose in. The screen has a minimal UI so that there isn’t anything getting in the way of what you can see for yourself, and there will be in-game clues and guides to help find your way. One of these clues is using the direction of the wind to find a map marker, or following a fox that is trying to get your attention. Just these little things to bring you into the world a little bit more. The combat is stylistic and somewhat realistic, allowing kills in one or two strikes, making use of precision over aggression, but with different stances and strategies to deal with the enemies.
As you progress your reputation grows and will create reactions from locals and enemies alike, some talking about you in awe, and others retreating in fear. A part of the combat allows you to outright challenge an enemy to a one-on-one duel, with a chance to use a single kill strike to end them. There is so much to this already and we haven’t even scratched the surface. Originally it was to come out on 26th June, but was held back for 3 weeks since the outbreak of that beer-named virus. It means waiting longer, but of course the safety of the staff is more important, and it’s commendable that they’re still willing to carry out the work in polishing this PlayStation exclusive despite all of that.
Cyberpunk 2077 – 17th September
From the same dudes and dudettes that brought us the amazing Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and the accompanying DLC, it’s probably safe to say that this will likely be a masterpiece. With only a little footage shown so far, I have surmised that this will be a step up in quality for the current gen consoles and set an example for other developers about how a game can look great, with excellent gameplay, and not degrade the quality elsewhere. You are a cybernetic ally enhanced mercenary in what is called Night City, a dystopian environment arranged into six distinct regions. You have full control over the customization of your character, from gender, appearance, voice and even the size of their junk (seriously).
It doesn’t seem like there are details about the story released, at least nothing in-depth. We have had some asters of gameplay showcasing the character classes and their specialties. There are multiple choices in weaponry, from guns to blades to unarmed fighting. There are even non-lethal approaches, and because you are part terminator you can even hack stuff. As an RPG there are skills you can increase and upgrades that can be installed by specific characters, implants that grant additional abilities and modifications. The possibilities and options are very expansive, allowing you to get creative and make your very own character. You aren’t forced into doing anything a certain way. You want to appear behind some guy and assassinate them? Sweet, go for it. You want to pull out a Big Fucking Gun and reduce them to stains? Nice one, knock yourself out. Better yet, do you want to run up them and layeth the smack down on their candy assess? Then you go ahead and be the most electrifying player in Cyberpunk 2077.
It contains a lot of what other open world games would have (specifically GTA), such as radio stations, factions, a home hub, side quests and even branching dialogue option. It’s a large and vibrant world, with vehicles and pedestrians, local law enforcement and gangs. This is a sci-fi wet dream that won’t stain your sheets, with so much in the way of content that it’s almost surreal, but it will be nice addition to my game library. Just remember, YOU’RE BREATHTAKING.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – TBA
You know, I never noticed the lack of Viking games in this day and age. Sure, when you look hard enough there are a few out there, but none in this current generation of gaming wherein you get really immersed in the Viking lifestyle. None that will match Valhalla when it releases this year. What appears be a revamp, again, for the AC games and shooting forward in time, Valhalla will occur during the 9th century with the Vikings settling in Saxon England during the reign of King Alfred of Wessex. I’m sure fans of the show, Vikings, and even The Last Kingdom, are just itching to sink their teeth, and axes, into some Saxon soldiers. Which they will get to do.
No gameplay footage has been released yet, with Microsoft apologizing unreservedly for promising gameplay to help display their new Xbox Series X console graphical updates, but only showing a few seconds splintered throughout cinematics. So, all in all, it showed fuck all worth talking about. Ubisoft have released many details, with Ashraf Ismail being one of the leading crew members (you know, the guy responsible for Black Flag), so we know it’s in good hands. But what he has told us so far has actually got me excited for an AC game for once. I only got excited for Origins about a month before release, and Odyssey a few weeks before release, once I had seen more footage. Even though I wasn’t a big fan of the changes to combat I still liked it, but I am very glad to know that they are changing it again, but they are also making a lot of changes.
There will be much less emphasis on the almost magical properties of the precursor artifacts, so we might see them more as myth than being used. The world map will be huge, but it is to be filled with more things to do rather than having so much emptiness copy and pasted for the sake of having a large-scale environment. There will be more enemy types to face, and soldiers from different kingdoms. As with AC 3, there will be a settlement that you can manage and upgrade that acts as your safe haven between raids and missions. Yes, we can actually raid fortresses with our own raiding party. Retaining the ship owning of the last game, we can bring our crew down rivers to attack forts, and customize our companions so that we can give them each a nice vicious, berserker appearance, or we can make them look the same, whatever tickles your fantasy fancy.(“The blood of your enemies really bring out the madness in your eyes Eivor!”)
Your character, Eivor, is a Viking leader that can be either male or female, and you begin in Norway which supposedly has a sizeable map itself, somewhere you can return to, and due to some complications you leave with many others to set up shop in England. Of course, the English don’t like this very much, and it results in coming to blows. The details of the story haven’t been shared yet, with much of the game itself shrouded in mystery. What we do know is that Ubisoft have been working hard to create new features, revamp what they already had, and ensure that there is plenty of content and things to do in this titanic world, to avoid repeat issues of just making the same game wrapped in a different coloured package. So far, one of my favourite features is being able to share your crew members with other players, which will add extra loot and treasure for you to claim, and the same can be done in reverse.
The other feature I like is being able to dual wield any weapon, even two shields, which I am going to do of course. It does sound like it’s stepping away from what made the others monotonous, like the leveled gear system. Apparently, they’ve done away with that and have created a new means to improve your character but without relying on levels, and have kept a skills tree that can be used to grant new perks. With all that I have read on it so far there is no way I wouldn’t want to throw my hardly earned cash at this, living my dream of sacking villages and using my double shields to double the knocking the ever-loving shite out of my enemies as I praise the All Father.
Well, those are Our Most Anticipated Games of 2020 can you think of any that should’ve made the list or just disagree? Let us know in the comments below, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel and if you’re feeling generous feel free to donate to our Patreon, thanks for reading.