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Gaming Roundup – 20 for 2020

Hello! Welcome to another edition of the Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup!

Today, It’s 2020! Let’s look forward!

Because it’s 2020 now, that means we can throw everything from 2019 aside. Just drop all of it. 2019 was rubbish anyway.

Ahem. What was I saying? Ah yes. I picked 20 games with 2020 release dates (see what I did there?), and I’m going to tell you why you should be paying attention to each one in the coming months. Ordered alphabetically because ranked lists are so 2019.

12 Minutes

(Annapurna Interactive, Luis Antonio / PC, Xbox One)
Release date: TBA

12 Minutes has its concept built into its title. A narrative thriller game, the characters are trapped in a 12-minute time loop, where a romantic evening is interrupted by police, who arrest the wife and beat the husband to death. You control the husband, who must use the knowledge gained from the looping 12 minutes to change the outcome, in order to live and not see his wife arrested.

This looks like an intriguing mystery point and click with an interesting concept in the time loop. Not much else is known about this title, but that feels like the point, and the only way to truly find out more is to play the game when it’s out sometime in 2020.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Nintendo / Switch)
Release date: 20 March

Everyone’s favourite game about hanging out with animal pals and being in debt to a deceptively polite land baron is back. Arriving on the Switch after a long absence of main games, Animal Crossing is now all about island getaways. Tom Nook ships you off in a crate to go live in a tent on a deserted island and then charges you for the privilege, and now you have to work to pay that off. God damn, Nook.

The game looks set to bring in a bunch of improvements, like quick ways to cross rivers and the ability to build your own paths, plus beloved characters returning and some teases of potential new friends. But mostly, it’s the Animal Crossing you know and love.

Carrion

(Devolver Digital, Phobia Game Studio / PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Release date: TBA

There are a lot of games about humans fighting off a gruesome alien threat. Quivering mounds of flesh that seek only to consume. Monstrosities that act purely on instinct. Big toothy maws of horror.

But that’s been done. Sometimes you just want to pack in all that saving humanity nonsense and become one with the flesh horrors. If this is you, then you might want to check out Carrion when it launches later this year.

In Carrion, you play a horrible alien menace and you have one objective – to feed and to grow. And you have a whole facility full of delicious human meatsacks to wander around in. It’s kill or be killed, but that’s what you’re here for.

It’s delightfully gruesome, and there’s a perverse sense of joy in playing the creature for once. It’s a 2D sidescroller, weirdly, but this looks set to use the best of the genre, with even some Metroidvania elements to give some structure to the feeding frenzy.

Cyberpunk 2077

(CD Projekt RED / PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Release date: 16 April

Based on a popular role-playing system, made by the people behind the critically acclaimed Witcher series, and featuring Keanu Reeves in a major role, it’s hard to see how Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be anything but a huge success in 2020. It’s tailor-made for Best of 2020 lists, and I’d be very surprised if we don’t see it on all of them this time next year.

I think that covers all bases, right? You already know you’ll be playing Cyberpunk so I don’t really need to write much else here, do I?

Death Loop

(Bethesda, Arkane Studios / PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Release date: TBA

Time loops are just going to be a thing now, I guess. Outer Wilds won people over in 2019, and now we’re getting 12 Minutes and this. Death Loop is the newest title from Arkane Studios, who made the excellent Dishonored games, and this time around they’re messing around with time loops. The idea is that there is an island where a day constantly repeats itself, so it’s full of people who use this to their advantage to lead consequence-free lives. There are two player characters on opposing sides, one who wishes to end the cycle and another who thrives on it and wants to see it keep going.

It’s not clear what shape Death Loop will take as all we’ve seen so far is a CGI trailer, but hopefully it’s an immersive sim like its predecessors, only now with two sides to choose from. Definitely worth watching whatever it turns out to be.

Doom Eternal

(Bethesda, id Software / PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Google Stadia)
Release date: 20 March

Out the same day as Animal Crossing, marking it as the day of extreme differences. Doom Eternal is the sequel to the excellent Doom from 2016, a triumphant reboot of a classic series, and this looks to continue that formula.

There’s some new stuff. There’s some parkour, there’s some grappling hook action, but ultimately this is just gearing up to be more rad demon-hunting like you’re playing the greatest action movie in the world.

Elden Ring

(Bandai Namco, FromSoftware / PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Release date: TBA

Not a lot is known about Elden Ring, but it’s already getting a huge amount of hype from all corners. Two reasons: FromSoft and George R.R. Martin.

Game of Thrones may have ended with one of the worst seasons in TV history (so I’ve heard) but GRRM’s name still garners respect, so knowing he’s involved in Elden Ring is getting A Song of Ice and Fire fans excited for the amount of lore the game will promise. And Dark Souls fans are salivating at yet another Soulslike from the inventors of the formula, now with added Game of Thrones.

That’s all we really know, except there’s a guy with a helmet, but that’s hardly a shocker. I’m sure more details will pop up as the year progresses.

Empire of Sin

(Paradox Interactive, Romero Games / PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)
Release date: Spring

Legendary developers Brenda and John Romero can list the Wizardry and Doom franchises between them amongst their beloved works. You might be wondering what they’re up to right now. Allow me to answer.

Empire of Sin, predominantly designed by Brenda Romero, is a tactical RPG set in the world of prohibition during the 1920s. Yes, you read that right. In this tactical RPG, you won’t be controlling medieval knights or space marines, but instead it’s wise guys in pinstripe suits and fedoras with names like Johnny Fingers*.

I really like the look of Empire of Sin, and not just because I love the noir aesthetic. It genuinely looks like a fun time and an interesting twist on tactics on its setting alone. I’ll be keeping an eye on this, and I advise you to do the same.

*Unconfirmed if this is a real name in-game

Final Fantasy VII Remake

(Square Enix / PS4)
Release date: 3 March

I mean, obviously.

Final Fantasy VII is finally getting the big expansive remake everyone’s been asking for, with part 1 coming out in March. This will focus on the Midgar section of the game, and so far we’ve seen a big, explosive real-time combat system, gorgeous glow-ups of everyone’s favourite characters, and evidence that some of the weirder stuff is sticking around.

But the real question is, what will Cloud look like in drag?

Ghost of Tsushima

(SIE, Sucker Punch / PS4)
Release date: Summer

Sony’s last major release (as far as I can tell) before they switch over to the PS5, Ghost of Tsushima sees Infamous devs Sucker Punch try their hands at a samurai game. And it looks absolutely gorgeous.

We can most likely expect a bunch of third-person narrative adventure in the vein of basically everything Sony are putting out right now, but now with methodical samurai combat to boot. Should be a good time.

Ghostwire Tokyo

(Bethesda, Tango Softworks / PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Release date: TBA

Announced to the world with the world’s perkiest creative lead, Ghostwire Tokyo is a new horror title from Evil Within devs Tango Softworks. At least we assume it’s a horror game, because all we’ve seen is a vague CGI trailer where people appear to be disappearing from Tokyo. If nothing else, this has my curiosity at least, and I look forward to seeing more.

The Good Life

(White Owls / PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Release date: Spring

Quirky game director Swery has a habit of making very odd yet compelling games. He’s best known for the so-bad-its-good Deadly Premonition, and The Good Life is another attempt of his to make a game about small town life in the West. While Deadly Premonition was a Twin Peaks style murder mystery in rural America, The Good Life is set in a quaint British country village where everyone turns into cats. Yes, really.

The Good Life has been in development for a while, but everything seen so far looks quirky and fun, and it should be an interesting time once it launches in Spring.

Haven

(The Game Bakers / PC, PS4, Switch)
Release date: TBA

Haven is a new title from the developers of Furi, the fast-paced boss rush game that came out a couple of years back. Haven is not the same game. Instead, this is a more exploratory game, with a couple who are stranded on a lost planet, seemingly on the run from something.

I’ve played a little bit of this when a limited time free demo popped up on Steam recently, and it’s certainly a unique one. Much of the game is about exploring this strange new world and seemingly making a new home here. There’s some excellent writing showing off a realistic relationship too, which is a rare thing to see in games.

No concrete release date just yet, but worth keeping an eye on.

The Last of Us Part 2

(SIE, Naughty Dog / PS4)
Release date: 29 May

The Last of Us was one of my favourite games of the last decade, and while I felt it had the perfect ending for its story, I’m intrigued to see where the sequel takes it. Here’s hoping it does something meaningful with and doesn’t just skip past it for the sake of a sequel existing.

It is, of course, more survival horror set in a world plagued by fungal zombies. Expect more bleak postapocalyptic storytelling and quite possibly a roaring rampage of revenge from Ellie, who is now taking the central role.

Little Nightmares II

(Bandai Namco, Tarsier Studios / PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)
Release date: TBA

I don’t feel Little Nightmares got enough love. A spooky almost Burton-esque platformer, Little Nightmares saw a girl named Six try and escape from a ship full of huge grotesque beings who wish to devour her. It’s an excellent game and I recommend you check it out if you haven’t already.

And then you can play Little Nightmares II, which saw a surprise announcement last year and is set for release sometime this year. It’s all a bit vague still, but it’s looking like more of the spooky platforming of the first game, and now with possible co-op options, which could be interesting.

No Straight Roads

(Sold-Out Software, Metronomik / PC, PS4)
Release date: TBA

No Straight Roads has a slightly cheesy premise but it’s one that I can’t help but liking despite that. Set in a dystopian world where rock music is outlawed and EDM consumes all, you play as two plucky rebels raising up their guitars to unite the world with the power of rock. It’s a silly premise, but the game so far oozes charm and joy and I look forward to seeing more of it in the new year.

Ori & The Will of the Wisps

(Xbox Game Studios, Moon Studios / PC, Xbox One)
Release date: 11 March

Ori and the Blind Forest was an excellent 2D platformer released a few years back that made my personal top 100 of the last decade. But what’s surprising is the announcement of a sequel, coming in March for PC and Xbox.

This pleases me, as Ori is a beautiful game with brilliant Metroidvania-style gameplay with a lot of fun momentum-based moves, and Will of the Wisps promises to be more of the same. It’s out soon too, coming in March.

Psychonauts 2

(Double Fine / PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Release date: TBA

Psychonauts was an excellent game and one of Double Fine’s best. A sequel has been a long time coming (15 years!) but it’s almost here. We’ve seen gameplay and it looks like a bigger, bolder version of the original, and as long as Double Fine’s trademark humour sticks around, this is set to be an awesome time.

Resident Evil 3 Remake

(Capcom / PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Release date: 3 April

Resident Evil 2 was one of the highest rated games of 2019 on Metacritic, and one of very few games that broke a 90% score. I hadn’t played it prior to writing last week’s best games of 2019 but I’ve since played a little. So far, it deserves every bit of that critical success.

So naturally, people wanted Resident Evil 3 to see the full remake treatment, and they’ll be getting their wish as early as April. It’s looking to be following in its predecessor’s footsteps, bringing a new perspective, modern trappings and a whole new structure that’s less a remake and more a new game with the same setting and characters as a game from 20 years ago.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2

(Paradox Interactive, Hardsuit Labs / PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Release date: TBC

It’s the OTHER highly anticipated RPG based on a tabletop system! Originally scheduled for Q1 next year, its release is now generally 2020 to avoid a repeat of the first game’s problems. But it’s still looking set to hit this year, so don’t worry!

It’s exactly what you’d expect if you know the first Bloodlines. You become a vampire and join a clan. You gain vampiric powers and deal with clan politics. And all this while maintaining the masquerade in order to stay hidden from humans. And it’s as morally bleak as you’d expect from a game based on a system called World of Darkness.

And those are the 20 games to keep an eye on in 2020. Let us know on Twitter what you’re most interested in or if there’s something missing that you’re excited for! I’ll see you again next week when the regular roundup resumes!


Find Leigh on Twitter at @TheCheapFerret and on YouTube at Bobthepetferret


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