After a busy past few months dealing with the onslaught of video games from Q4 2019, we arrive in 2020 a bit lost. Most of us have been so caught up in all the games that just came out that we’re woefully out of touch with what’s on the way. To help sort out which way is up and which way is down in the video game world, the Shacknews staff have put together our 52 most anticipated video games of 2020, presented in no particular order.
It’s hard to believe we will actually get to play a new Half-Life video game in 2020. Half-Life: Alyx is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated games of this year despite being a virtual reality exclusive release. Valve is tripling down on their VR bet with the release of their Index HMD, new trackers, and a brand new game. The teams from Campo Santo as well as the developers of The Lab VR experience are coming together to tell a new kind of story within the Half-Life universe. This game is going to require some space to fully enjoy, so start clearing out your VR room before Half-Life: Alyx launches in March.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
While the sequel to Breath of the Wild doesn’t have a name quite yet, we are still excited to hear more about the game. We only caught a glimpse of Breath of the Wild 2 at E3 2019, and hopefully Nintendo will have more to show in 2020. Some staff members even think it could release this year. Zelda fans are hoping the BOTW sequel will feature dungeons, and maybe even the opportunity to play as the Princess herself. Who knows when we will hear more about Breath of the Wild 2, but you can be sure that Shacknews will cover the heck out of it when it happens.
I (Asif) was supposed to review Doom Eternal for Shacknews last year when it was originally scheduled for release. Sadly, id Software delayed the game, but we can only hope they are just making sure they can do it justice as a sequel to Doom 2016, Shacknews Game of the Year 2016. Doom Eternal adds new mechanics and game modes, and we look forward to getting our hands on it more as id will be unleashing their new Battle Mode multiplayer on the world. Last year was supposed to be the Year of Doom, but it will be worth the wait if Doom Eternal owns 2020.
Surviving the Aftermath
Surviving the Aftermath takes the city building mechanics of its predecessor Surviving Mars and asks, how would you like to try that during the apocalypse? The world is ending, and you are trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic setting. We are keeping our eyes on this title going into the new year.
DEEEER Simulator: Your Average Everyday Deer Game
DEEEER Simulator: Your Average Everyday Deer Game is one of the most important video games ever created. It throws away logic and reason and answers questions like, what would happen if you strapped police cars to pandas? One part GTA, another part Untitled Goose Game, and a hint of Blast Corps come together to make DEEEER Simulator: Your Average Everyday Deer Game one of most interesting games that will hopefully be released this year. It was originally scheduled for a 2019 release, but it definitely needed more polish based on my demo at TGS 2019.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing on Switch!!!!! AG;asdfjklawefoihasdkfajiak;ehnifiadf’oij’awef’ioerw'onids;lfjnlksdfnkjfsnk
Super Meat Boy Forever
Super Meat Boy Forever is another one of those games that got delayed in 2019. Team Meat is making a runner style game this time out, and the studio’s Grand Poobah Tommy Refenes says that he already has an idea for the next game. They will have to release this game first, but with the amount of levels they have been designing and play testing, this sequel is probably going to be worth the wait.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Yakuza 6 closed the book on Kazuma Kiryu's story in the Yakuza universe, but that just couldn't be the end for the series. Luckily, Ryu ga Gotoku Studios saw fit to continue the franchise, this time shifting the focus to Ichiban Kasuga and introducing a whole new combat system. The seventh core Yakuza series entry is finally touching down this year, though there hasn't been a confirmed release date just yet. Taking traditional Yakuza conventions and saddling them with turn-based battles, hilarious combat costumes, and a whole new area to explore in Isezaki Ijincho, Yakuza: Like A Dragon is poised to be one of the coolest things to have ever happened to the series.
Resident Evil 3 Remake
When it comes to the Resident Evil series, it's hard not be excited about a new remake when you've played the top-down remake of Resident Evil 2. Seeing Resident Evil 3: Nemesis getting the same treatment is exciting in ways that should get any survival horror fan salivating. Not only will the original terrifying game get its own makeover, but additional content is coming as well. Perhaps this will end up making a case for why we also need a Resident Evil Code: Veronica X if this entry sells well, and we'll have a good portion of the Resident Evil backlog covered for newbies to jump into. And you just know new Nemesis is perfectly stylin'.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
The legendary Final Fantasy VII is getting a remake, and it's hard to believe it's only a few months away. One of the most influential RPGs of all time is being transformed into an exciting, polished, and massive new adventure that should please both fans new and old. A glossy new coat of paint, gorgeous new character designs, a newly-orchestrated soundtrack, and completely new narrative changes will make for an exciting new adventure, even for anyone who's played and replayed the game over and over since the original PlayStation's heyday. While it's meant to release in episodic chunks, the first installment is shaping up to be a great-looking and mechanically exciting riff on the classic series that you won't want to miss.
No More Heroes 3
Travis Touchdown is set to return in the third core entry of the No More Heroes series, and it looks like some trippy, action-packed goodness. Gone are the days of the minigame-laden title we saw in Travis Strikes Back: No More Heroes, replaced with a psychedelic trip of an introduction into a world of superheroes and one particularly crazy villain who returns to Earth from outer space. Travis has to step in, hero that he is, and save the world from that pesky alien's advancing hordes and planned takeover of the planet. And you just know we're going to put that Beam Katana to good use. We can't wait to slice and dice through another set of enemies this time around.
There can never be enough Bayonetta in the world. There. I've said it. Bayonetta 2 was one of the most fantastic action hack-and-slash games to ever grace the Wii U (and later the Switch) and one of the most vivacious, sultry, and independent women to have ever been conceived. It's been far too long since the second game in the Umbra Witch's saga, but at least we've gotten confirmation that a new tale starring the siren is on its way. We know next to nothing about it just yet, but that doesn't matter. It's going to be a delightful day when it finally does grace our Switches, hopefully with more fun Nintendo costumes in tow.
System Shock Remake
Look at you, hacker. You've been waiting months – years, even – for a chance at playing a new System Shock title. Now that it's finally on the precipice of release, it's hard to contain yourself. Journey back to Citadel Station and work to thwart the malevolent AI SHODAN, just like old times, before SHODAN can succeed at uploading itself to computer networks around the planet...and do away with human life. Easier said than done, of course. This remake is going to be yet another exciting one for the year, and just think about it – we still have System Shock 3 to look forward to beyond that, even! There's so much System Shock it'll make your head spin, and that's a good thing.
Love Halo? There's a good chance you'll fall in love with the sci-fi first-person shooter Disintegration, too, though it shares more with Anthem or Destiny in the looks department. It's the latest title from V1 Interactive, a studio founded by Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto. Players will be tasked with taking on the role of one of the Integrated, or a robotic being with a human brain surgically encased within, as they take on the royces of the post-humanist Integrated alley the Rayonne. You'll lead a resistance as an Integrated named Romer as you fight back against their tyranny in a single-player campaign, full multiplayer modes, and plenty of other far-out futuristic lore. It looks like it could be very cool, but we'll have to wait and see, of course.
When you make something as good as The Witcher 3, your next game isn’t going to sneak up on anyone. Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the most anticipated games for years now. Things have obviously gotten a bit hotter over the last two years, and with only a couple months to go before its release, Cyberpunk 2077 might be the most anticipated game of the year. Even if it’s not your thing, I can’t think of another game that has the masses worked up quite like this.
Empire of Sin
If you want to see why Empire of Sin is one our most anticipated games of the year, look at the name attached to it. Most game developers would be satisfied with one hugely successful title under their belt, but Romero has… a lot. Games like Doom, Quake, and Half-Life. I probably don’t need to tell you that, but I have to write something here, right?
Now, nobody is suggesting Empire of Sin is going to be the next big thing in gaming, but it looks intriguing enough to mark on the calendar (when it has an official release date). This strategy game will put players in the criminal underworld of Prohibition-era Chicago. It’s up to them to build their empire and climb to the top of a ruthless business.
The Last of Us Part 2
Naughty Dog knows how to tell a story. We’ve seen it with Nathan Drake and his companions over the last decade or so, and we’ve seen it with Ellie and Joel in The Last of Us. That game provided players with one of the most emotional journeys of the decade, bringing some to their knees in the prologue. It only took about 15 to 20 hours to beat, but you were emotionally drained by the time it concluded.
With The Last of Us Part 2, players will seemingly shift away from playing primarily as Joel and take on the role of Ellie. She’s fully grown now (not that she wasn’t a badass in her youth) and looks more capable than ever at demolishing the infected and uninfected alike along the path. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this one slipped under anyone’s radar, but I’m a bit surprised Sony hasn’t put more marketing power behind The Last of Us Part 2. This one could be in the Game of the Year conversation at the end of 2020.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
How do you know I’m (Bill Lavoy) looking forward to a game? I’m out there shopping for a proper flight stick to play the upcoming Microsoft Flight Simulator. It will be my first flight simulator of any kind, but something about this game’s vibe tells me it walks the line between moments of anxiety and tranquility. That’s very important to me in my current gaming sphere. I need to be challenged, but at the same time I want those moments where I can slow down and appreciate top-notch graphics. Microsoft Flight Simulator looks like it demands attention to detail, but rewards with breathtaking visuals. If you’re thinking of playing on PC start looking into a flight stick. You don’t eat soup with a fork, and you shouldn’t play a flight simulator with a controller if you can help it.
After a somewhat turbulent development cycle, Nioh came out of the woodwork to become a surprisingly awesome game and a win for Team Ninja. Its mixture of Dark Souls style exploration and difficulty with a grand mix of weapons and styles and a historic tail mixed with supernatural events made it well worth playing from beginning to end, so we're excited to see where Team Ninja goes with Nioh 2.
It looks like Irish sailor-turned-samurai William hasn't made a return, but the colorful cast of new characters, weapons, and monsters we've seen for Nioh 2 definitely has us stoked to get our hands on it. One thing we can't help but look forward to is the game's handling of spirits. These beings, representing all sorts of deities and helpful friends from folklore, were a huge part of the original Nioh and each gave William a different strength, along with a unique style of super attack. Based on the beautiful look of Nioh 2 in what we've seen so far, we hope to see the spirits make a return in fun and interesting new ways, especially when we start mixing it up with friends in the game's promised co-op play.
Guilty Gear Strive
Mainline Guilty Gear games only seem to come when there's a truly radical new way to move the genre forward. Guilty Gear X2 was a masterclass of sprite animation, movement, and fast-paced combat. Guilty Gear Xrd revolutionized the 2.5D style introduced by Street Fighter 4 to create one of the most beautiful spectacles in fighting games of its time. And now here we are at Strive, and through the character reveals and trailers we've seen so far, Arc System Works and director Daisuke Ishiwatari have convinced us Strive intends to push the envelop on what a fighting game can do, much like the games that came before it.
Strive is reinventing Guilty Gear, which could make it a bit of a gamble. It would seem that Ishiwatari is dedicated to making the game more inviting to newcomers than ever before, which would be great on one hand because Guilty Gear has historically had a high, tough bar of entry. That said, it could also be upsetting to old school fans who have enjoyed the sheer complexity Guilty Gear has always brought to the table. Arc System Works has a tough balancing act to work through for a beloved series with a hardcore fan base. Even so, what we've seen thus far are reaffirming that Guilty Gear Strive will raise the bar on visually appealing fighting games higher than its been in a long time.
Obsidian Entertainment has built a lengthy history on creating amazing narrative RPGs such as Fallout: New Vegas, Pillars of Eternity, and The Outer Worlds. It's their bread and butter, so to see them not just take a gentle step, but a giant leap out of their comfort zone to explore a survival type of game in Grounded has more than piqued our interest. Directed by Adam Brennecke, better known around the Shack Community as "Jabby," Grounded takes regular kids and shrinks them down to teeny tiny little sizes and forces them to compete and survive against the perils of the back yard.
As fans of the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids films, Grounded instantly had us hooked in its premise, but it's more than that. Grounded looks genuinely enjoyable as you team up with your cohorts to brave the depths of the grassy forest and the subterranean tunnels and burrows of the creatures that inhabit this small world, utilizing sticks and rocks and whatever else you can get your hands on to craft the unique tools you need to survive. It's a whole new world for Obsidian and its fans, and we're excited to see more of what Jabby and his team have in store for us when Grounded arrives.
Elden Ring is still so much of a mystery since its vague reveal at E3 2019, but even in the glimpses of knowledge we have about it, FromSoftware's new project is promising. For one, George R.R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame is lending his notable talents to the game, building an all-new narrative with Dark Souls and Bloodborne director Hidetaka Miyazaki.
Where Dark Souls was focused on Medieval dragons and sorcery, Bloodborne focused in on English steampunk and Lovecraftian mythos, and Sekiro explored far Eastern feudal war and tales, Elden Ring seems to focus in on some kind of Nordic theming. The small trailers we've seen so far remind very much of Valkyries, spear-wielding gods, and other such fun. There's no telling exactly what we're getting just yet with such small glimpses into the game, but with the pedigree of excellence that is a FromSoftware/George R.R. Martin collaboration behind Elden Ring, we're going to be watching for this one like the All-Seeing Eye of Odin.
Everytime we take even the smallest dip into looking at Dreams, it blows our mind with just how much creative freedom the game promises. We always wonder, "is this too good to be true?," but the fact of the matter is that everything PlayStation has presented with the game so far make us wholly excited to experience it ourselves in full. There have been a lot of trailers and some closed alphas and betas for Dreams, allowing players to take its 3D environment and craft nearly whatever they can imagine, but it still remains to be seen how the toolkit in dreams will act when its in a "finished" form.
Even so, the ability to build beautiful animated visual and aural projects in the 3D canvas that Dreams is offering just seems like it has so much potential for the artistic community. Painting, sculpting, composing, and animating tools will be at our fingertips. Creating simple art, fully-flowing narrative, or even entire games with playable levels in the system to be shared with and collected from a community at large makes it sound as though if Dreams is even as close to as good as it promises, then it will be a thing that gives back to its community for years to come.
Streets of Rage 4
The golden days of Sega Genesis beat'em-ups are almost upon us yet again. Streets of Rage 4 has been on our radar since we first laid eyes on the beautiful animated looks of a slightly more aged Axel and Blaze. DotEmu, LizardCube, and Guard Crush Games seem to have a good handle on what made the original Streets of Rage games appealing. Between hard-hitting attacks and comboing, well-crafted sprites, and a good soundtrack, Streets of Rage 4 is moving in all the right directions.
It's great to see the dedication to the old-school in so many ways as well. It's not just seeing Axel, Blaze, and Adam back in action, but also all of the nods to their old fighting styles and sensibilities. The enemies as well are a great plethora of familiar looks and challenges to our favorite fighters. Add to this new foes and fresh characters like Cherry Hunter, and Streets of Rage 4 is hot on our radar for the co-op game to beat in 2020.
Having spanned across a series of decades at this point, the Wasteland series is a name that any classic roleplaying game fans are going to recognize instantly. Known for its brutal story and dialogue, Brian Fargo’s post-apocalyptic series has been a mainstay in the turn-based strategy genre as long as it has been a thing. With Wasteland 3, the next title in the series, Fargo and his team are looking to make the series bigger than ever by bringing players to the frigid lands of Colorado—a welcome change after two games in the desert. Finally, one of the most exciting new features is the ability to play Wasteland 3 with a friend in cooperative play. If Wasteland 2 is any indicator of the stellar experience that Fargo and his team at inXile can bring, then Wasteland 3 is going to be one of the biggest games to look out for in 2020.
Watch Dogs: Legion
When the original Watch Dogs released back in 2014, the new IP brought about a lot of controversy, leaving Ubisoft in a rough position. In 2016, though, Ubisoft returned to the new series with a sequel that made things bigger, better, and badder. Watch Dogs 2 was a fantastic little romp through an open world built to give players all kinds of technological power. Now, with Watch Dogs: Legion, Ubisoft is set to take that idea even further by bringing players an endless array of new hackers to play. Unlike previous entries in the series, Watch Dogs: Legion won’t contain a single protagonist, allowing players to recruit almost anyone they find in the tech-filled streets of London. It looks to be an absolutely gorgeous playground for fans of the series, and if its even half the game that Watch Dogs 2 was, players should definitely be excited and ready to see more.
Ghost of Tsushima
Developed by Sucker Punch Productions (of Sly cooper and Infamous fame), Ghost of Tsushima is still a bit of a mystery to most of us. While the developer has shown off some screenshots and gameplay, the actual game itself is just as mysterious as its name. Set on the island of Tsushima in 1274, players will take on the role of Jin Sakai, one of the last samurai, as he fights after the first Mongol Invasion of Japan. We’re still waiting to learn more, but what we have seen definitely puts this one on our radar. Sucker Punch has a history of making addicting gameplay and great stories that help drive players into the worlds they create, and Ghost of Tsushima is just another chance for Sucker Punch to flex its world-building skills and show off what the studio is capable of.
Dying Light 2
Techland delivered an improbable hit in January 2015 with the release of Dying Light. Marrying parkour gameplay to zombie survival seemed like a gamble at the time, but the results of the experiment were a resounding success. The phenomenal Following expansion further refined the formula and the package remains of one the best experiences of the generation. Dying Light 2 promises to take the series to even greater heights with more complex systems and storytelling. Along with Cyberpunk 2077, Dying Light 2 will cement Poland's status as one of the world's premiere video game development epicenters.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
From the moment it was revealed to the world during the 2017 Xbox E3 presentation, Ori and the Will of the Wisps has been stunning audiences with it's breathtaking presentation. Following a delay from its original release window, the game should finally arrive on consoles and PC this year. As a follow up to the 2015 cult hit Ori and the Blind Forest, the release of Will of the Wisps no longer has the luxury of sneaking up on the public and expectation are very high. If Moon Studios can get the gameplay tuned to the level of the graphical presentation, platforming fans will be in for a real treat.
While on the surface it appears to be little more than a proof of concept, SkateBIRD could turn heads in 2020. It combines two things that gamers seem to love: skateboarding games and birds. It is not yet known if the skating mechanics will be as elaborate as those in the Skate series or even the Tony Hawk games, but putting a parakeet into a backwards cap may provide enough style for the game to make it big. Make sure to change the paper in your cages for this one.\
Yet another side-scrolling indie game from the tastemakers of at Devolver Digital, Carrion promises to add a little blood n' guts to a classic formula. First shown last year during Devolver's mind-bending E3 presentation, the game has had a few limited-time demos available for the public and what was on display was very impressive. Do not be surprised to be hearing about Carrion when the 2020 Indie GOTY discussion come around.
Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord
This long-awaited sequel feels like it's been in development as long as Duke Nukem Forever, but we still have faith. Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord promises to be the open-ended RPG that PC gamers have been dying to play thanks to the cult success of its predecessors. It doesn't look all that good, things are janky, and there will be bugs, but this series is known for its thrilling combat and being an outstanding platform for mods. Should this one deliver on even half the hype, we should be in for a treat.
Expected to be the Half-Life 2 of shark RPGs, Maneater is shaping up to be something gamers will want to sink their teeth into. Killing Floor veterans TripWire interactive have been showing off teases of the game at E3 for a couple of years now and have made some wild promises. Could this be the surprise animal hit of 2020?
MLB: The Show 20
Sony has long been at the reigns of the best baseball simulation video game with The Show series on PlayStation consoles. As the last major licensed MLB game, the development team could have rested on past accomplishments and just churned out roster updates, but instead they consistently delivered amazing games. Now approaching the final release in the series before development moves onto the next generation of hardware, MLB: The Show 20 is likely to be the most-polished version of the game yet released, building on all the advancements made over the last several years. Recent news suggests that the series may be showing up next year on Microsoft or Nintendo platforms, so expect Sony to have their final PlayStation-exclusive release go out with a bang.
Psychonauts 2 has been in the oven for years, to the point that last year's first look at actual gameplay felt like a breath of fresh air for those who have patiently waited for it. Double Fine's long-awaited follow-up to the 2005 original looks like it's finally ready to release this year, bringing along much of the first game's off-the-wall humor and endearing characters. The mystery of the villain vexing Raz and the other Psychonauts looks like it's finally going to be solved, as Raz looks to get to the bottom of everything with new and familiar abilities. After seeing the E3 and PAX West demos, Psychonauts 2 looks like it'll be worth the wait.
It's been almost ten years since Minecraft came out of beta and it's ballooned into a gaming phenomenon. But Mojang is still exploring new territory and that includes taking Minecraft and placing it into an entirely different genre. Minecraft Dungeons looks to combine the very best elements of Minecraft with the adventurous dungeon-crawling of games like Diablo and Gauntlet. It's a bold experiment and one that should be fun to see play out, especially given the numerous biomes that can be explored in the Minecraft universe.
More than enough has been said about Marvel's Avengers and its poor first impression at E3. However, the game looks to have bounced back from that initial showing and now it's starting to look like an intriguing comic book adventure. It looks to be an adventure that explores an entirely new storyline (free of comic and movie continuity), one seeking to create emotional investment on the level of Marvel's Spider-Man from Insomniac a couple of years ago. The individual character gameplay and the campaign layout will go a long way towards determining whether this game can live up to its potential, but given what Crystal Dynamics has been able to pull off in the past, the prognosis is trending positive.
There was sadness when Spelunky 2 hit a speed bump and got pushed back to 2020. But Derek Yu expressed confidence that the game's development was progressing well and that's more than enough reason to feel positive about this follow-up his first retro-style rogue-like. There's more of the treasure-hunting goodness of the first game on display here and that would be enough by itself. But adding in co-op play with more mind-bending stages and liquid physics is going to make Spelunky 2 one of the most anticipated indie efforts of the year.
Phantasy Star Online 2
Technically speaking, Phantasy Star Online 2 came out nearly a decade ago, but despite a large cult following in the US, it never released outside of Asia until now. You would think that Microsoft getting the exclusive console rights for a game that’s eight years old wasn’t that big of a deal, but that would just tell me that you aren’t aware of just how awesome PSO2 really is. It’s like if you took the best mechanics of an action RPG like Warframe and gave it a Final Fantasy makeover. Players wielding mechs, magic, swords, and guns will have a chance to team up and face off against dragons and man-made machines while questing through the world of Phantasy Star Online 2 and I will definitely be counting myself among their ranks when the game launches later this year. And I’ll will for sure be checking out the beta coming up this February.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
It feels like there’s been over 9,000 games made about Dragon Ball Z, but we still can’t get enough of this classic anime franchise. Over the last few years the Dragon Ball Xenoverse RPG series has offered up players a chance to fight alongside and as their favorite characters from DBZ. The big difference between Xenoverse and Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is that it has you playing as Goku through all the major DBZ story arcs starting with the Saiyan Saga. It also features a lot of open-world style adventuring instead of having players take on brawls via a hub world. It’s not the first time Bandai Namco has done a more traditional RPG for the Dragon Ball gang, but it’s been a long time to say the least.
When the original Windjammers hit arcades back in the day it was definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. I mean, a game in which you take competitors with a Frisbee in an arena setting that’s chock full of secret special moves and adrenaline-pumping action is just something no one else thought to do. Despite being as memorable as it was quirky it seemed like the series wouldn’t go beyond its cult-like arcade following. Then the devs at DotEmu had the genius idea of porting the game to modern consoles. Now they’re getting a chance to make their own sequel to the game and Windjammers 2 is already shaping up to be a solid heir to the throne. They’ve added a few new moves and a couple of new characters with their own unique abilities to fill out the roster for a more strategic experience. Players who want to make to the big leagues of 1v1 Frisbee combat should start their training regiments sooner rather than later.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
When Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 was announced at GDC last year it caught everyone by surprise. The original Bloodlines has a seriously hardcore fan base, but there was no indication that we’d ever get a second installment in the series. But now, here we are and players cannot wait to return to a world of deception and intrigue. Players will be able to join one of several Vampire clans each with their own unique abilities to play through the game and carve their own paths through actions and dialog choices. I highly doubt any two playthroughs will be the same. Bloodlines 2 is bound to turn some heads when it launches later this year.
Skull & Bones
When Assassin’s Creed 3 decided to introduce the ability to be a ship's captain to the series it was an interesting but welcome addition. Since then, the seafaring features of the series have only been improved upon. Still, such a feature is just a tad bit out of place in a game about sneaking around and stabbing people in the back. I mean, stealth games are great and all, but sometimes you just want to be a pirate and not have to hide in the bushes all the time. That’s why Skull and Bones is so appealing. A chance to finally skip over all the sneaking and get right to the sea chantey-ing. The game has already been delayed a few times, so hopefully we should see a substantial amount of new features to flesh everything out by the time it releases since all we've really seen up to this point is very straightforward PvE and PvP matches.
They certainly took their sweet-ass time rebooting one of the most beloved (and painstakingly difficult) game series of all time. But we are finally on the cusp of getting a new Battletoads game and fans could not be more elated. Old school Battletoads was one of the most hilarious and well animated brawlers of the NES/SNES era. But I swear to friggin god if they don’t eaze up on the hoverbike levels this time around I am going to smack someone very hard on the face. GameSpot employees will likely be getting special training for the amount of calls they’re about to get from people asking for this game.
By the time Halo: Infinite comes out, it will be the first new Halo experience in half a decade. That’s a long time with no Master Chief. Sure, Halo Wars 2 showed up, but fans have wanted a tried and true Halo experience since Halo 4 shook up the formula. With the reveal of Halo: Infinite, fans were beginning to feel that iconic look and feel seeping back into their favorite franchise. The art style looks to be more in-line with that of Halo 3 and Reach, and even the return of an actual Halo ring is bound to fill players with a sense of nostalgia. Luckily for PC players, Microsoft has been blurring the lines between console and PC gaming and will launch Halo: Infinite on PC alongside its Xbox Series X release.
Cel shading is an art style not found in many games. Crackdown and Borderlands are likely the only two that spring immediately to mind. But anyone playing shooters back in 2003 on Xbox or PlayStation 2 will no doubt fondly remember XIII as a game that truly embraced the comic-book themes and lent hard on the cel shade artwork. Though it wasn’t a critically acclaimed shooter at the time, XIII garnered a cult following that fell in love with its 3-panel kill shots and the onomatopoeic on-screen sounds. Now we just need to wait for an official release date, which hopefully isn’t far off considering it was supposed to release last November.
Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a harrowing and disturbing game that dove into Norse mythology as much as it did the fragile nature of the human mind. Burdened with an intense psychosis, Senua must overcome her demons in a bid for some semblance of freedom. In a surprise twist not many were expecting, Ninja Theory revealed Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 at The Game Awards 2019 show. Featuring a fierce Senua (Melina Juergens) chanting In Maidjan by Heilung, Hellblade 2 sent shivers down the spines of everyone watching. While we don’t know what the story holds for Senua, we hope it’s one of vengeance.
Death Trash is a game we’ve been following for a while now. As an action role-playing game, Death Trash puts you in the shoes of a human doing their best to survive the end of the world. Combat is always an option, as is simply talking. Alternatively, stealth your way to victory – whatever that means to you. This marvelously grotesque world is the solo creation of Stephan Hövelbrinks, who looks to fuse together Armageddon with a healthy dose of Lovecraftian horror.
Axiom Verge 2
Five years have passed since the release of Axiom Verge. This humble little indie game took the world by storm, ushering in a Metroidvania experience not felt in a long time. And now, a sequel to this critically acclaimed title is set to release this year. Not much is known about Axiom Verge 2, but we do know it will involve uncovering more about this mysterious world. According to the official site, the two games can be played in any order, which is great for those that might not have gotten around to playing the original. The site also asks the mind-melting question, is Axiom Verge 2 set decades later or centuries earlier than the original? We can’t wait to find out.
Dragon Age 4
2020 marks 6 years since the release of Shacknews’ 2014 game of the year, Dragon Age: Inquisition. If we’re lucky, it’ll also mark the release of the highly anticipated sequel, Dragon Age 4. Details on this RPG have been scarce, but we know that BioWare is hard at work on the game. With projects like Anthem and Mass Effect: Andromeda in the rearview mirror, we may be shaping up for the release of the latest installment in this highly coveted franchise.
The early 2020 release window is already a bit crowded, with titles like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Resident Evil 3 getting most of the spotlight. With that in mind, it’s important to keep the new year’s original IPs in mind. Bleeding Edge is the next project from Ninja Theory, a veteran development studio that was recently acquired by Microsoft.
Bleeding Edge is an online PvP combat game with a strong emphasis on its diverse character roster. Bleeding Edge will be the first Ninja Theory release under Xbox Game Studios. It also serves as their follow up to the beloved Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout looks to provide a chaotic online like no other. Developed by Mediatonic and published by Devolver Digital, this PvP title puts large groups of players together in a wipeout-eque contest to complete a given obstacle course. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout seems like a fun, yet competitive romp through a light-hearted world.
Every so often a game comes out that unexpectedly thrives at mashing up two genres or play styles. Take Untitled Goose Game is a great example of those kinds of games, and how it expertly mixes stealth with high fidelity goose gameplay is something worth praising. The Wild Gentlemen’s upcoming title, Chicken Police, is shaping up to fill that role for 2020.
Chicken Police puts you in the feathers of a brooding protagonist. In a world populated exclusively by animals, you’ll go on a noir adventure as you work to solve all kinds of cases. We look forward to this cooky yet mature mashup later this year.
That's it! A full round-up of all 52 of Shacknews' most anticipated games for 2020. See any you're excited about, too? Thought of something we might have missed but you want people to know about? Be sure to share it with us in the Chatty comments. You can also check out our 2020 video game release date calendar to keep up with all the upcoming games and DLC you can expect to release this year.
Shack Staff posted a new article, Shacknews 52 Most Anticipated Games of 2020
This list is missing The Eternal Cylinder, from the Zeno Clash people. With its conflict filled alien planet, menaced by a constantly looming fiery tidal wave of doom, I think they’ve figured out the way to finally make an evolution game exciting.
There are so many good games on this list. I feel like most haven't yet realized just how good 2020 could be for releases.
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