2020 is shaping up to become an exciting year for gamers. A lot of new games have been announced, many of which are entirely new franchises. And not just that – 2020 is going to be special for another reason, and that’s the launch of both Microsoft’s and Sony’s next-gen consoles. Bringing new tech to the masses, as well as corresponding launch titles. I have been curating a list of upcoming games over the past one or two years and selected 15 of them for this post.
Now, these are my personal highlights and I will give you my opinion and tell you why I chose each title. Your mileage may vary, of course. Please let me know your personal favorites for next year in the comments section below.
This is going to be a pretty long post, so I split it up into different sections – one for each game – that you can jump to by opening the table of contents below. Use the up-arrow button at the bottom right of the page to jump back to the top.
Let’s get started…
This is probably THE highlight for me in 2020 and I am sure a lot of you would agree. Everybody is waiting for this game, it seems. The hype about the next big title from CD Project Red, after their immensly successful Witcher series, is very real.
I have always been a sucker for good RPGs and The Witcher 3 is up there in my personal top 10 list of best games of all times. And I am an even bigger sucker for all things Cyberpunk. Not just this game.
I started reading Cyberpunk books as a teenager, back in the 1980s. The Neuromancer trilogy by William Gibson was what got me into it, and after that, I sunk myself into books such as Philip K. Dick’s masterpiece “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. The book that Ridley Scott later used as the blueprint for his epic Bladerunner movie. Speaking of which, Bladerunner is still my all-time favorite movie today.
Then there was 80s/90s industrial music, which is very closely related to Cyberpunk themes. Does anyone remember Front Line Assembly or Haujobb? And while listening to that music, I traveled the early predecessors of the commercial Internet. Dialed up to bulletin board systems, ran my own FidoNet node and hung out on Usenet’s alt.2600.
Ah, the good old days. Sorry for getting all nostalgic on you, but maybe you understand now why I can’t wait to play Cyberpunk 2077. And given CDPR’s track record with good storytelling and writing, I am sure this will become another masterpiece in gaming.
Ghost of Tsushima
Not much to say about this game here, as I have just recently written about it on my “Why I can’t wait to play Ghost of Tsushima” post. If you’ve never heard of the game before, go check out my article and watch the trailer for this PS4 exclusive below.
Empire of Sin
Old-school gangsters, anyone? 1920’s prohibition times? Al Capone and all that? Do TV shows like Boardwalk Empire or movies like The Godfather, Chicago or The Untouchables resonate with you? Keep reading.
Empire of Sin is a strategy game set in the golden years of a 1920’s Chicago. You will build your own criminal empire and compete against other underworld bosses. Your main goal is to hustle and intimidate your way up to the top and do whatever it takes to stay there. It’s a “character-driven, noir-inspired game [that] puts players smack dab in the glitz and glamor of roaring 20s all while working behind the scenes in the gritty underbelly of organized crime.”
That’s the gist of the game’s plot.
Empire of Sin lets you start by selecting your racket of choice (for example, union protection, casinos, alcohol distribution, etc.). You then build your team of mobsters to make a name for yourself. And once you get there, you expand your influence by taking over rival territories and adding more felonious ventures to your repertoire. The game features a “living and breathing city”, full of characters that you can interact with and that will react to what you do. According to the developers, you can follow many different strategies to gain victory – or lose it all.
I am usually not much of a strategy game fan, but the theme and setting of this title have me intrigued enough to give Empire of Sin a try once it releases in spring 2020 (PC, PS4, XB1, and Switch).
Baldur’s Gate 3
Not too much is known about this RPG yet, other than being a true at heart successor of the original Baldur’s Gate games that were popular in the late 1990s and early 2000. Baldur’s Gate II, in particular, was a game that set standards and was highly regarded as one of the best RPGs ever created. By no other than BioWare. In fact, the Baldur’s Gate games were the second franchise for the company and really got their career started.
Baldur’s Gate 3, however, is not being developed by BioWare (some may say that’s a good thing, given BioWare’s recent fall from grace). Instead, BG3 is in the works at “Divinity: Original Sin” developer Larian Studios. The studio is said to have tripled in manpower to get this game off the ground, so apparently, a lot of effort seems to go into it. According to Larian Studios, they want to stay true to the original games, but also to traditional D&D rulesets and tabletop RPG games.
I really loved the original games, so I am looking forward to continuing the Baldur’s Gate saga next year. Baldur’s Gate 3 is set to release “sometime in 2020”, for both Stadia and PC.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
If you have played the original Bloodline, then you’ll probably know what you are getting yourself into with this dark action-RPG. The original game, developed by Troika Games, had a troubled start when it was released in 2004, ridden with bugs and rushed to market too soon. But today the game has a loyal following and gained somewhat of a cult status.
Bloodlines 2 has a different developer, namely Hardsuit Labs. The release date was set to the first quarter of 2020 but has recently been postponed. I am not sure whether that’s a good sign or a bad sign, but at least they are not rushing it out like Troika did with Bloodlines, and take the time they need to get it done.
I love narrative-driven, single-player campaign action and I have always been fascinated by vampire stories. I will never forget movies like Bram Stokers Dracula, Lost Boys, Interview with the Vampire and even David Bowie’s epic The Hunger, where he played together with the unforgettable Catherine Deneuve. So yeah… vampire game? I’m in.
Superheroes? Check. Marvel? Check. Avengers? Check. Co-Developed by Eidos Montréal and Nixxes (who collaborated on Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, Batman, and Hitman before)? Check. Single-player action adventure? Check. Beating up foes with a ton of different combo moves? Check.
This game ticks all the boxes for me. I’m a big fan of the Batman games, mostly because of their fantastic combat system. Which is so satisfying and varied that you just don’t want to stop beating up your opponents. And from everything I’ve seen so far, we may be getting something similar in Marvel’s Avengers. Couple that with the fact that it is focussed on single-player action and cinematic storytelling and you get me drooling all over my keyboard.
The game will also feature co-op play, which will be interesting and should satisfy multiplayer fans. It will be all PvE though from what I can tell, but that’s totally fine with me. I get wrecked in PvP quicker than they say Amen at church anyways.
That the game is developed by Eidos Montréal and Nixxes doesn’t exactly help to tone down my excitement, as this duo has created some of my all-time favorite games. So what can go wrong? A lot, apparently, in times like these, but I do have high hopes for this title. I literally can’t wait for it.
Elden Ring is the next major title of From Software, the famous Japanese studio known for its influential and award-winning Dark Souls games. Its latest hit, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, won multiple awards in 2019 as well.
This is an unusual entry in my list, given that I have never played any of the Souls games. Wait… you what? I know, right? Scandalous. I bought Sekiro, but have yet to find the time to play it. Dark Souls though? I don’t know. The game’s dark and seemingly cold style has never appealed to me. I am probably missing out, and you are allowed to bash me for that in the comments.
However, Elden Ring has that little something that actually sparked my interest. I can’t quite put my finger on it. And even though the trailer is super dark, just as dark as Souls, it seems… different. A whole new world, according to Hidetaka Miyazaki, lead developer of the new franchise. Maybe it’s the fact that George R. R. Martin himself, the mastermind of Game of Thrones, is the writer for this game? Or maybe because the trailer reminded me of The Lord of The Rings? Whatever it may be, I will definitely keep my eyes peeled on this one. For fans of soulslike games, Elden Ring will probably be a no-brainer.
Just as much as Elden Ring might be a no-brainer-buy for Souls fans, Deathloop will be an instant buy for me when it releases, no questions asked.
What is Deathloop? It’s the next game from Arkane Studios, developer of Prey, and more importantly (to me), the Dishonored games. Wow, Dishonored. So good. So unique. The first game in the franchise will probably forever hold a spot in my personal top 10.
This is how Arkane describes Deathloop:
Judging from the trailer and official artwork, unlike Dishonored, Deathloop will take place in a modern, futuristic and less dark setting. Furthermore, it looks like it’s going to be more of an FPS shooter than the melee/charm-based Dishonored. The art style looks really cool, reminiscent of early Tarantino movies or maybe even older James Bond stuff. Check out the pictures below.
During the announcement of the game at E3 2019, the devs on stage mentioned that the game will feature the signature Arkane gameplay, meaning, you can approach every situation in the game the way you like. So just like in Dishonored, you are probably going to have many different options on how to tackle your missions. Stealthy or guns-blazing, with no path into the mission area set in stone. Complete freedom. This should give the game a high amount of replayability.
If the game is anywhere near as good as Dishonored (or Prey, for a matter of fact), then we’re in for a treat. This one is very high up on my list for 2020, right up there with Cyberpunk 2077.
Outriders is a co-op shooter in a sci-fi setting, developed by People Can Fly and published by Square Enix. Some of you may know People Can Fly from their previous games, Bulletstorm and Gears of War: Judgement.
The game was announced at E3 this year, and not much was revealed in terms of actual gameplay footage. But the cinematic reveal trailer is intense and immediately grabbed my attention. According to Square Enix, the game is a co-op shooter for 1-3 players, with what they call a drop-in-drop-out mechanic. This means you will be able to just drop into missions of other players at any given time, and that others can join your session as well if you require help or want some company. You will always play as a group of 3 and if you have no one to play with, an AI will take over the other two in your team.
The setting of the game is described by Square Enix as an “original, dark and desperate sci-fi universe”. The trailer below pretty much confirms that. And it confirms something else, too: The game can’t hide the roots it has in the Gears universe. Which is a plus, in my book.
Crimson Desert is a new MMORPG with a focus on a story-driven single-player / co-op campaign, which will introduce the actual multiplayer and MMO elements in the endgame – after the campaign. A rather interesting concept, if you ask me. But before I go any further on this one, let me refer you to my recent post about the game, where I go into much more detail.
Definitely a game that I am going to check out next year.
Last of Us II
This game needs no introduction. The first part of the series is an iconic Playstation exclusive that received rave reviews, numerous awards and is generally referred to as a milestone for its genre.
We have waited many years for a followup, and now that is finally going to happen in 2020. I loved Last of Us and it has a very special place in my collection, so I can’t wait to play Last of Us II come May 2020.
Unless you have been living under a rock, there is really not much else I could and should say at this point, so I’ll spare you my idle chatter and jump right to some trailers and gameplay footage.
Dying Light 2
Wait. Are you seriously going to recommend another Zombie game? Isn’t that topic a bit worn out by now? Well, maybe so. But in the case of Dying Light 2, it’s not as simple as that. Sure, there are zombies. Or Infected, as they are actually referred to in the game. And yes, it’s yet another post-apocalyptic world setting. But that merely serves as a backbone and if you condense the game down to just that, you’re not doing it any justice. Because Dying Light 2 promises to be much more than that.
The first Dying Light game that came out in 2015 offered a unique play style. One that is based around climbable structures throughout the open world, tied to a fluid and fast parkour system. You are running and climbing up buildings, jumping across ledges and slide through openings, much like city freerunners in the “real world”. But where the game fell short was the story, which was supposed to give all this parkour running a solid narrative and foundation.
This is where Dying Light 2 comes in. The open-world action RPG will feature a deep, intertwined story with many different factions that are up against each other. You have a lot of different options on how to approach missions and which factions you side with or support. Your actions and decisions will heavily change the course of the story, and the developer says you have to play the game at least twice if not more, to see more than 50% of the game. Where a single run-through can take anywhere from 15 to 100 (!) hours, depending on how many side missions you take and how much world exploration you undertake.
After years and years and years of waiting, we are finally getting a new Halo game. Hallelujah. And as it seems, the new title will be released just in time for the new Xbox Series X, probably serving as one of the new console’s major launch titles. Halo Infinite will also release on PC. Again, Hallelujah!
According to an interview with Xbox Studios head Matt Booty, the game will get back to its roots of the early Halo days, calling it a spiritual reboot. But in a next-gen kind of way, as the game is supposed to be more expansive than any previous title – go figure. He also said the game will be visually impressive, something you’d expect from a next-gen launch title, I suppose.
I am really looking forward to this one. I’ve always been a PC gamer and as such, have never played the old Halo games. So for me, this will be a very fresh experience and I will go in there completely unbiased. I will let it surprise me and I hope it’s going to be a pleasant surprise.
Definitely one of my highlights on this list. Another Japanese game announced at E3 2019. The trailer looks incredibly beautiful and creepy at the same time. The whole imagery has a similar captivating “weirdness” to it as the first Death Stranding trailer. It leaves me wondering and enchanted. I haven’t seen anything this artful in a long time. You got my attention. Well done.
What is Ghost Wire: Tokyo, though? Not much is known about the game yet, other than it’s going to be a novel action adventure, developed by Tango Gameworks under the lead of Resident Evil mastermind Shinji Mikami. The trailer reveals a little bit of the story of the game. We can see the busy streets of Tokyo and suddenly people start to disappear, as if they were raptured, only leaving behind their clothes. A few cuts later we see creepy spirits roam the streets, mere skeletons wearing capes. The trailer cuts to a new character who stands in the middle of the street, equipped with a bow, casting spells and saying “Don’t fear the unknown. Attack it”.
Nothing else was said about the game, not even a release date or release platforms. But it sure looks promising and I am going to follow Ghotswire closely. And seriously, watch that trailer if you haven’t done so already.
Godfall has been announced as one of the first launch titles of Sony’s upcoming next-gen console, the PS5, and it will also release for PC in 2020. It’s currently under development at Counterplay Games with Gearbox (Borderlands) as the publisher. Godfall is described as an action-RPG that was designed from the ground up for co-op gameplay. It focusses on third-person melee combat and loot mechanics (Gearbox calls it a Looter-Slasher). Think Destiny with swords in a fantasy setting, and you get the idea.
I like loot. A lot. So I am going to pay close attention to Godfall.
So there you have it. My top 15 games to look forward to in 2020. There are many more games on my list, but these are the highlights for me. There aren’t many multiplayer games on this list because as you may have guessed by now, I am more into single player, narrative driven games. I like me some good multiplayer action every once in a while and I keep checking back into Destiny 2 or The Division 2, but my heart is with cinematic, story driven single player content. We do cover a lot of multiplayer games here on Indeedly though, so I am sure you’ll find something that’s more up your ally if you’re not a fan of single player games.
So what do you think? Do you agree with my list for 2020? Which games are you looking forward to in 2020? Let me know in the comments below.
Happy new year, everyone!
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