New year, who dis?
The year in which a new console generation launches is usually a dead one, one in which publishers and developers keep their A-game saved up for upcoming hardware and leave the current generation to flounder. The entire gaming industry didn’t get that memo apparently, because 2020 so far looks like the biggest year ever.
No matter your taste, there’s something for everyone with a calendar that is packed with quality. From full-scale zombie destruction to fantasy of a final remake flavour and that one other game that rhymes with Fiber Spunk 2077, the year ahead looks like one that will rock you like a hurricane.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (PC, PS4, Xbox One) – January 17
Right now, someone’s holding a list detailing just how many times I’ve played a Dragon Ball Z game and they’re on the verge of screaming about a certain number once I cross that threshold with Bandai Namco’s latest take on the life story of Kakarmen Electra. So one more time, just for the giggles, say it with me: WHAT?! NINE THOUSAND? THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!
Warcraft 3: Reforged (PC) – January 28
Remember that glorious summer of 2002 when you booted up WarCraft 3 for the first time and delved deep into a lush strategy game that pitted Azeroth against the might of the Burning Legions? Blizzard reckons that nostalgia is still a powerful tool to wield, and with a completely reowrked gameplay experience that features gorgeous new visuals spread across more than 60 campaigns, they may just be on to something.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War (PC, PS4, Xbox One) – February 4
Rebellion’s original Zombie Army games are a cathartic treat of note that ask very little of players and throw plenty of satisfying rotting cannon fodder at you as you unwind after a hard day of work and whittle those undead legions down to single digits with every bullet fired. Zombie Army 4: Dead War doesn’t look like it’ll stray too far from that cult favourite formula, instead chucking plenty of visceral delight your way as you take on Hitler’s horde.
Dreams (PS4) – February 14
Just what can you do in Media Molecules’ Dreams? Many games may claim that the only limit in a sandbox game is your imagination, but Dreams may be the one interactive experience that finally lives up to that proclamation by giving you unfettered access to digital tools that truly do allow you to create absolutely anything your heart desires. Like a full English breakfast that looks unnervingly real.
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows (PC, PS4, Xbox One) – February 28
One punch! Essentially another anime fighting game utilising one of the hottest manga and anime properties of recent years, Bandai Namco’s One Punch Man is coming your way in 2020 but with a novel twist to avoid any potential Superman problems. A varied cast of characters, nigh-unstoppable odds and a hero who’s always late to the scene but whose legendary pugilism more than makes up for his tardiness. Sounds…kind of interesting actually!
Final Fantasy 7 Remake (PS4) – March 3
Provided that you’ve managed to avoid a ton of leaks spread by internet rapscallions who spoil everything for teh clickz, Final Fantasy 7 Remake is going to be an interesting overhaul of the two-decade PlayStation game that changed everything. It looks amazing, it’s so bloody massive that Sony could only fit the Midgard chapter into a release that was years in the making and it even has a few narrative twists in store for even the most jaded of gamers.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps (PC, Xbox One) – March 11
Show me a person who claims that Ori and the Blind Forest failed to move them, and I’ll rip the silicone mask right off of their metal face to reveal an android who has been masquerading as a human amongst us. The original Ori is still a masterpiece of the highest order, a combination of stunning art design mixed with the tightest of platforming action and augmented by a story that could move even the hardest of hearts. There’s a hell of a high benchmark for the sequel to clear, but we’re confident that it can do so in 2020.
Nioh 2 (PS4) – March 13
The original Nioh kicked my ass…and that’s about all I can remember of my time with it. Which means that the sequel is probably going to do the exact same thing, as it compels you to defy your own mortality with a mix of martial arts and sorcery that is heavy on the action and has a liberal dash of RPG mechanics seasoned on top of it.
Doom Eternal (PC, PS4, Xbox One) – March 20
If Bethesda’s reboot of DOOM is gaming’s most metal moment, then DOOM Eternal is shaping up to be the sequel that kicks the original in the teeth and makes a necklace out of its fractured skull bones. Enough blood to appease a crimson god from beyond mortal reckoning, more deadly devices with which to ply your lethal trade and an overhauled multiplayer component that quite frankly looks metal AF.
Resident Evil 3 (PC, Xbox One, PS4) – April 3
Capcom’s return to Raccoon City was the stuff of magic in 2019, and in an act that sees history repeat itself some twenty years later, the company is ready to see another side of the tale that detailed the fall of the infamous zombie apocalypse capital. Having just survived becoming a Jill sammich in the Spencer mansion, Jill Valentine’s plans to get away from it all runs into a slight roadblock as the undead hordes descend on her location. Oh, and a certain other super-zombie seems to have it out for Valentine as well, a nemesis who happens to be more indestructible than a fruitcake the day after Xmas.
Cyberpunk 2077 (PC, Xbox One, PS4) – April 16
Forget about Bill and Ted, 2020’s best use of Keanu Reeves is easily a breathtaking dip into a dark future where opportunity favours the bold. From the masterminds behind The Witcher series of games, comes a tale of post-human augmentation, corporate espionage and raging against the cybernetic machines of tomorrow as you pursue the shiniest of upgrades and a quick buck along the way.
Marvel’s Avengers (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia) – May 15
From what I’ve seen of Marvel’s Avengers, this game is pretty much the bastard child of Destiny and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Which would also explain why I’m at a doctor, trying to explain why my groin is covered in wood splinters.
The Last of Us Part 2 (PS4) – May 29
If you’re starting to notice a trend here, it may be that 2020 is the year in which long in development games finally emerge from the shadows and into the light. The Last of Us Part 2 is one such game, a sequel to the cult classic 2013 game from Naughty Dog. A few years have passed since the first game wrapped up, humanity is still buggered and the real monsters in the post-apocalypse may be those humans who’ll do anything to survive. Well, them and horrifically mutated mushroom soldiers looking to spread their spores as well.
Dying Light 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) – TBC
Proof that the mythical Brown Note does indeed exist whenever you ventured out at night and encountered a more aggressive form of the post-apocalypse zombie, Dying Light wasn’t just a great sandbox of undead mayhem but a game whose longevity lasted well beyond its main campaign. Dying Light 2 has a hell of a bar to clear then, but with a focus on making your actions actually matter in a world where the undead may not be as bad as the iron fist of an authoritarian government, it just might do so with glee, gusto and gore.
Ghost of Tsushima (PS4) – TBC
It’s time for another samurai showdown! Sucker Punch set the tone for PlayStation 4 first-party releases with Infamous: Second Son back in 2014, and now at that twilight of that console’s lifespan they’re back to deliver a project that has been in the making for close to six years now. Precision sowrdsmanship, a vast land to explore and an overall aesthetic that just oozes style? Sign me up for some of that action please.
Halo Infinite (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X) – TBC
If the Xbox Series X wants to kick off with a bang, then Halo Infinite may just be the biggest gun in the next-gen arsenal. We’ve seen and heard very little about 343 Industries’ next stab at Halo, but one thing is for certain: Master Chief’s return is looking properly gorgeous so far, while the hint of a more open-ended world to explore sounds like a tempting sandbox in which to spend a few hours.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) – TBC
In a stacked year that saw Paradox Interactive pull a new Vampire game with an absurdly long title out of harm’s way lest it get smashed between fantasies of a final flavour and CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077, we’re still thirsty for a squirt of digital crimson that – originally scheduled for March – now has no definitive release date. We’re patient enough to wait it out though, as the next Vampire game looks like a pitch-perfect return to the iconic masquerade that tangos between warring factions of nightwalkers caught in a deadly game for control.
Watch Dogs: Legion (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia) – TBC
ELLO GUV’NA! Ubisoft’s also playing 2020 safe with a delay for Watch Dogs Legion, but once it arrives it should provide a decent pivot point on the usual Ubi-sandbox formula through its multiple protagonist setup. Yes sir, no longer limited to just one operative in a dystopian Big Brother future, you’ll be able to wield the might of just about any anarchist in training who happens to be out and about on the streets of London. Even a killer granny whose trademark special ability is the power for old age to finally catch up to her, if you so desire.
Surgeon Simulator 2 (PC) – TBC
I had way way too much fun back in the day with this glorious slice of insanity, and I’m ready to once again dip into malpractice mayhem with a return to the operating table. More questionable surgery! More odd tools with which to remove a spleen. An so so much more blood than ever before.
Skatebird (PC, Switch) – TBC
More like Tony Squawk Pro Skater, am I right? Ha! This little indie gem came out of nowhere last year, and after playing a demo for a few flappy hours, I’ve fallen in love with Skatebird and its whimsical return to the skateboarding games of old, where gravity got slapped and coolness got amplified. Only this time it’s cuter than ever thanks to all of those chirpy little thrashers.
Last Updated: January 6, 2020