Gaming in 2020: The Big Preview

With new consoles on the way, the coming twelve months should be nothing short of incredible.

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We're at the dawn of a new year and that means that it's time to look ahead to the future and see what's coming over the horizon. With this current console generation starting to wind down, you might think that 2020 was shaping up to be a barren twelve months punctuated by new hardware just in time for Xmas, but a quick glance over the release schedule proves that this is far from the case. And so, without further ado, here's our look ahead to the coming year. It's shaping up to be a cracker.

The Confirmed

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot - PC, PS4, Xbox One - January 17 - One of the world's most popular anime franchises is coming back to consoles when players will be able to control of Goku and friends in a battle against pure evil. This latest instalment, which we recently got our hands on, will see players dropped into a more RPG focused adventure with elements taken from the fighting games of old. Sticking to the source material, Goku doesn't start out as his super-powerful self, and so progressing through the story will see you level up your character and reveal his ultimate power.

Warcraft III: Reforged - PC - January 28 - Returning after 18 years, Reforged is a remaster of the 2002 real-time strategy classic otherwise known as Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, a game that received such high praise back in the day that this remaster has a lot to live up to. Sticking with the original gameplay that fans know and love with a complete overhaul of the graphics will help bring the game into the modern era. One nice touch is how the campaign will receive updates to reflect the current state of the locations within World of Warcraft. Remastering a fan favourite is never easy, but based on what we've seen so far this one's looking great.

Zombie Army 4: Dead War - PC, PS4, Xbox One - February 4 - The zombie sniping franchise is returning this year and this time Hitler is back from hell with a brand new hoard of undead minions at his disposal. Taking place in an alternate 1940s Europe, players should be prepared to fight alongside friends in this new battle for humankind's survival. With updated gunplay, similar to that seen in Sniper Elite 4, and an all-new progression system that will allow you to customise your character to fit your play-style, this new instalment is set to be the biggest and best entry in the series to date. Do you have what it takes?

Iron Man VR - PS4 (PSVR) - February 28 - Take to the skies as one of Marvel's most iconic superheroes in this new VR experience. Players will be able to team up with iconic allies and must be prepared to fight some of the fiercest supervillains the world has ever seen. For the first time in VR, players will be able to play as the genius billionaire playboy and philanthropist Tony Stark and experience what it would be like to wear the Iron Man suit. When we visited Sony in early 2019 this was one of the games that really stood out to us, and you can read more about that trip right here.

Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4 (Timed Exclusive) - March 3 - Final Fantasy VII stands as one of the most iconic games ever made and it was one of a handful of titles that truly defined the original PlayStation era. We've seen plenty of remakes and remasters in recent years, but this is one game that has attracted more interest than most since it was first unveiled during that E3 presser back in 2015. We've played the game a couple of times already - you can read our most recent impressions here - and it already looks quite polished, and thus all that's left to do is get our hands on the final product and see if it holds up two decades after its original release.

Nioh 2 - PS4 - March 13 - Nioh 2 is very much an anticipated title for both fans of Soulslikes and those who got to play the first instalment. Taking us back to Japan as a half-human, half-yokai warrior, we're expecting Nioh 2 to be bigger and better, with more epic bosses, bigger landscapes and even more brutal combat to test even the most accomplished warriors. Grab your trusted Katana and be prepared to slay more demons. Set as a prequel to Nioh, fans will be able to create their own character and live their own adventure in 1500s Japan. Speaking of Japan, we got our hands on this one at Tokyo Game Show.

Doom Eternal - PC, PS4, Xbox One - March 20 - We're heading back into a demon-filled Hell once again as everyone's favourite Doomguy, this time in an all-new super aggressive story that follows directly on from 2016's Doom reboot. The excessive arsenal of weapons is back with added upgrades, such as the terrifying Meat Hook. New movement mechanics will also bring in a whole new way to play and we'll have to find the sweet spot between caution and aggression as the things dropped by your fallen foes will be essential for your own survival. Be prepared to destroy the ever-encroaching hoards of terrifying demons and conquer the afterlife.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Nintendo Switch - March 20 - Heading back into one of Nintendo's most famous franchises, the Animal Crossing series is back and this year will take us to New Horizons as we build our bright and colourful life in a new location with fellow villagers and friends, this time on a deserted island. You'll be able to create your own customisable character and live your own adventure, invite new animals to your island and determine where they will set up residence. The game will also include some new features with big changes being made to the weather system.

Half-Life: Alyx - PC (VR) - March - After a long time away, Half-Life is making its return in 2020, this time in the form of a VR-only adventure where we'll be walking in the shoes of Alyx Vance. Alyx will take place before the events of Half-Life 2 and will see you alongside your father as you fight the alien force known as the Combine. Players will use gravity gloves to manipulate objects, fight enemies and interact with the environment. The game is said to be of similar length to Half-Life 2 and will support all PC compatible VR headsets. We've not played the game yet, but you can read everything we know about the game so far right here.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps - PC, Xbox One - March 11 - The beautiful Ori and the Blind Forest was a hit for Moon Studios when it first released and we will finally get to carry on the story with the sequel that will be hitting our screens in March. This new adventure will be centred around the world beyond the forest of Nibel, and players will have to uncover the truth surrounding lost ones and discover Ori's true destiny. Once again players will be required to revisit previously locked areas later in the game once new items and abilities become available, and you read more about the game over in our E3 Impressions article.

Cyberpunk 2077 - PC, PS4, Xbox One - April 16 - One of the year's most anticipated games is undoubtedly Cyberpunk 2077, the upcoming futuristic RPG from CD Projekt Red. Taking place in Night City, a dystopian urban sprawl with six large open areas to explore, players will assume the role of V, a character you have the freedom to customise, choosing your clothing, voice, face, modifications and more. With such an open story and the freedom to do just about whatever you want, players will be able to cut their own path through the streets of the future, hacking, fighting, and talking their way through a world inspired by the popular pen and paper RPG system.

Minecraft Dungeons - PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One - April - Minecraft is still going strong after more than a decade, and 2019 proved to be yet another good year for Monjang's expansive block-building game, but that doesn't mean that there isn't room for it to branch out. Minecraft Dungeons is bringing all the blocky visuals and iconic style into the dungeon crawler genre, letting you party up with friends and use various abilities in a whole new take on the Minecraft universe. It looks like it'll mean a big change to what we have been used to over the past decade, but a change that looks promising and has many fans excited. If you want to know more, check out our impressions from Gamescom 2019.

Resident Evil 3 - PC, PS4, Xbox One - April 3 - After the thrills and spills of Resident Evil 2 in early 2019 (which also happened to be our GOTY for 2019), Capcom decided to do the right thing and follow hot on the heels of that remake with another, this time of Resident Evil 3. Players will retake control over Jill Valentine as she attempts to escape Raccoon city and the zombie apocalypse therein whilst also being hunted down by the deadly bioweapon, Nemesis. A lot of pressure is on Capcom with this remake as fans will be expecting a similar calibre of enhancements to those seen in Resident Evil 2, hopefully, those fans won't be disappointed.

Gears Tactics - PC, Xbox One - April 28 - In Gears Tactics players will take control of Gabe Diaz, one of humanity's last hopes in the battle against the Locust Horde. Set 12 years before Gears of War, this battle will shape the future of humanity. Stepping away from what we have seen in previous Gears games, Tactics will have players tackle the Horde in turn-based battles. The first trailer from E3 2018 showed off how it would play out and over the past year and a half we have seen more gameplay. This is a big change for the series, but after the excellent return of the series in 2019 with Gears 5, this new direction is one we are very excited about.

Marvel's Avengers - PC, PS4, Xbox One - May 15 - Marvel's Avengers is an upcoming action-adventure release from Crystal Dynamics and it will see us take control of Earth's mightiest heroes in an all-new adventure. This will be a unique spin on the heroes and universe and a step away from the MCU films that we've all been glued to these past years, and so far we've been promised plenty of depth with varied missions, gear, and different abilities to choose from. Avengers will be available to play in single-player or co-op for up to four players, and you can read more about it here.

Wasteland 3 - PC, PS4, Xbox One - May 19 - It's hard to believe that the Wasteland franchise is 32 years old now, but after the sequel took the gaming world by storm in 2014 it was only inevitable that we'd return to the grizzly RPG post-apocalypse. Wasteland 3 will take place in the freezing lands of Colorado and will have players attempt to stop the area from falling apart. You will take control of the only surviving member from Team November and will be forced into plenty of difficult decisions as you fight through this gruelling adventure full of cause and effect gameplay and tactical combat. We've not previewed this one yet, but you can read our interview with InXile's Brian Fargo if you'd like to know more.

The Last of Us: Part II - PS4 - May 29 - The Last of Us is one of the most acclaimed games of the last decade, and as a result, the anticipation is sky-high for its sequel. We've already gotten a glimpse of the story and it promises to be just as dark and brutal as the first, although we'll have to wait to find out exactly what's going to happen to Ellie and Joel. Part II is set to be one of the biggest releases of 2020 and will no doubt be as heart-wrenching as the first. Announced back in 2016 it has been a long wait for the sequel but based on what we have seen and played so far this is one game that will be well worth the wait.

Dates Still TBC

Dying Light 2 - PC, PS4, Xbox One - Spring 2020 - When parkour met zombies in the original Dying Light it was a match made in heaven, and that looks to be continuing in the game's upcoming sequel. Once again players will have the freedom to explore the world and crack some skulls without being tied into a story at all times (although as we discovered first-hand, the story is hugely important too). Techland has made it apparent that they have gone above and beyond with the movement mechanics in this upcoming release with more than double the parkour moves of the first game, whilst also adding in a ton of new items to help during our adventure in this zombie-ridden world.

Tell Me Why - PC, Xbox One - Summer 2020 - Dontnod made a name for itself by tackling progressive and emotional storytelling with Life is Strange, and Tell Me Why looks to be just as moving. This narrative thriller will see two siblings return to their childhood home and try piece together their troubled past, changing their understanding of what happened and even affecting the future. The game is planned to be released across three episodes, similar to the Life is Strange and its sequel - no doubt it'll have us on the edge of our seats as we are kept waiting to find out what happens throughout this story.

Ghost of Tsushima - PS4 - Summer 2020 - After a long period of radio silence regarding Sucker Punch's next game, Sony bounced back at the end of 2019 with another update on Ghost of Tsushima, and we now know that this PS4-exclusive is heading our way this summer. Little is known about this action-stealth game but from the few trailers and screenshots we've been given this mystery is only adding to the hype. We do know that the game is set during the first Mongol invasion of Japan and will have players take control of the last samurai on Tsushima Island as he learns a new style of fighting in order to take down the Mongol Empire.

Gods & Monsters - PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One - Autumn 2020 - The team behind the acclaimed Assassin's Creed Odyssey are taking us even further into the realm of the Greek mythology with Gods & Monsters, an open-world adventure set on the Island of the Blessed, where you'll battle against all sorts of mythical creatures with the aid of the gods to guide you. It would appear that the team behind this game have paid close attention to Breath of the Wild and have adapted some of Link's best elements into this release. If that's the case, this could turn out to be excellent.

Halo Infinite - PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X - Winter 2020 - The Halo series has long been a jewel in Microsoft's crown, and that's why we can't wait to play Halo Infinite, which brings Master Chief back to us for an all-new adventure. With Microsoft cooking up new hardware too, we can imagine this will look and run incredibly well on the new Xbox Series X. Very little is know about Infinite at this point in time but we do know that the story will follow on from where Halo 5 left off and will take the franchise in new and unexpected directions as 343i continues to the story of John 117 and Cortana.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 - PC, PS4, Xbox One - 2020 - The original Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was very much a cult classic when it first released a decade and a half ago, and now, after laying undisturbed in a tomb for all those years, it's finally getting a blood-sucking sequel, one that looks to be just as dark and sinister as the original. With a number of distinctive factions to choose from and a masquerade to maintain, what choices will you make in this gritty world? We can't wait to find out.

No More Heroes 3 - Switch - 2020 - Travis Touchdown has been pretty busy recently, as he returned with Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes in early 2019, a game that was intended to prepare us for the full No More Heroes sequel that's expected to land at some point in the coming months. When it does arrive - and we're still not exactly sure when that will be - it'll no doubt bring us the latest weird and wonderful ideas from the mind of famed developer Suda51.

Crusader Kings III - PC - 2020 - CK2 landed all the way back in 2012 and ever since then Paradox has been keeping it alive with DLC expansions galore. Now, however, it's time for a clean slate and a new base upon which players can build a dynasty to stand the test of time. Once again players will role-play their way through the annals of history, scheming, waging war, and marrying horses in a strategy game unlike any other. This dynasty simulator might not be the most mainstream game on this list, but it certainly has a strong claim to the strategy throne in 2020.

Biomutant - PC, PS4, Xbox One - 2020 - We've still not managed to get our hands on Biomutant, but everything we've seen of the game points to a quirky, combat-driven experience with some excellent mutations. The emphasis is on kung fu, except you'll be playing with and against anthropomorphised critters in a strange open-world game that looks bonkers in the best possible way. We're absolutely enthralled by the theme and the tone of what we've seen thus far, but we're also cautious given just how ambitious the project is.

A Total War Saga: Troy - 2020 - The Saga sub-series has given The Creative Assembly a chance to bite off more manageable chunks of history, and the latest more isolated slice of yesteryear is one of the most famous battles of all time. That's right, we're off to Troy to fight over Helen in a campaign that takes inspiration from both Greek mythology and ancient history, with the usual Total War twist where you can re-write events as you see fit.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga - PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One - 2020 - We were hoping that TT would do something like this, and the studio didn't disappoint. The Skywalker Saga will let players explore any chapter from the nine mainline movies in any order they like, making it the definitive Star Wars Lego experience - which is saying something.

Godfall - PC, PS5 - Holiday 2020 - Not much is known about Godfall other than the fact that publisher Gearbox is looking to get the game out before the end of the year. When it lands, we think that we'll be playing as one of several gods battling some unknown enemy. The trailer is all deep voices and epic destruction, which no doubt points to the kind of experience we can expect when this one lands on PC and PlayStation 5.

Humankind - 2020 - The team that gave us the Endless strategy series is taking on Civilization with a new breed of 4X that looks to play around with the notion that societies are a melting pot of different ideas and influences. It sounds like the game is going to have a unique approach to world domination and we're intrigued by the prospect of exploring history in new and creative ways. It certainly helps that it looks great, although we've only had the hands-off reveal so far.

The Maybes

Metroid Prime 4 - Switch - 2020 - Could we see Metroid Prime 4 land this year? The heart says "yes" but the head says "no". The project has been through some challenging times, with the 2017-announced game first in development at Bandai Namco before being handed back to Retro in early 2019. With that being the case, we'd say that a 2020 release is unlikely, but that doesn't mean that our fingers aren't crossed.

Elden Ring - PS4, Xbox One - TBD - They say that lightning doesn't strike twice, but FromSoftware keeps on hitting the mark with its perilously difficult action-adventures, and we have high hopes for Elden Ring, the studio's next offering and a game that's being made in collaboration with fantasy lore master George R.R. Martin. We keep thinking that there's no way that the developer will deliver gold once again, but after Sekiro blew us away last year we've given up on doubting the studio. Consider us well and truly excited about this one.

Dragon Age 4 - PS4, Xbox One - We're not sure it's realistic to expect Dragon Age 4 to make an appearance in 2020, but dammit we can dream. We've got unfinished business after Inquisition and the tantalising conclusion of that game has had us hanging from a cliff for years now. Bioware is a studio with something to prove, after the misfires of Anthem and Mass Effect: Andromeda, and much is riding on the fortunes of the next Dragon Age. Can the past-masters of the RPG genre get back on track? We desperately hope so.

Rainbow Six Quarantine - PC, PS4, Xbox One - TBD - The next game in the Rainbow Six series started life as a seasonal event for Siege, but it quickly became clear that there was enough meat on the new features and setting to warrant a more fleshed out experience. Outbreak, as the mode was originally called, was subsequently whisked away and held behind closed doors, where it remains in development with a dedicated team looking to expand on the experience and turn it into a fully-fledged game set in the future of the R6 universe.

Diablo IV - PC, PS4, Xbox One - TBD - It has been an awfully long time since Blizzard unleashed Diablo 3, but maybe 2020 will be the year that we get its sequel. After the fuss caused by the announcement of mobile-only Immortal, the pressure is on at Blizzard, and a rocky year for the studio won't have helped matters. Having said all that, we absolutely adored the last game and we can't wait for the series to return. Will that be this year? We can't say for sure, but we're most certainly keeping our fingers crossed.

Overwatch 2 - PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One - TBD - Diablo IV isn't the only thing Blizzard is cooking up at the moment. Overwatch 2 was revealed back at BlizzCon too, but it's not your traditional sequel. This follow-up release will bring an increased focus on PvE and story content, offering something new for players to get their teeth stuck into, while also bolstering the PvP offering that Overwatch is already known for with new heroes, alternative modes, and fresh maps for players to scrap over.

Ghostwire: Tokyo - TBD - Another game with an outside chance of making it out in 2020 is the next horror adventure from Tango Gameworks. Players will be challenged with unmasking some sort of evil threat to the people of Tokyo when mysterious disappearances start to affect the general population. We've not heard or seen much of this one, so a release this year feels like a longshot, but we're intrigued by the setting and we all know that Shinji Mikami knows how to make good horror.

Watch Dogs Legion - PC, PS4, Xbox One - TBD - After becoming acquainted with the next Watch Dogs game at this year's E3, we're very keen to see more of this rebellious hack-filled sequel. If the prospect of exploring near-future London wasn't tantalising enough, we love the idea that we'll be able to take control of literally anyone we like. We don't exactly know when it's coming this year, hell, it might even slip into 2021, but we're keeping our fingers crossed that Legion will make an appearance in 2020.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 - TBD - Ubisoft had previously mentioned plans for public testing in 2019, however, that might be all we get to see of Beyond Good and Evil 2 in 2020 as the publisher has been fairly quiet about this one, but we're still eager to find out what the company is working on when it comes to this long-overdue sequel. So far we've not been able to get our hands on the game, but the cinematics are certainly entertaining and the gameplay we've seen shows promise. This follow up will be third-person and open-world, and it should link nicely to the events of the first game, although the how and why remains shrouded in mystery.

Bayonetta 3 - Switch - TBD - After slipping from its planned 2019 release window, there's every reason to hope that the game will make it to the Nintendo Switch this year, after creator in chief Hideo Kamiya recently said that development on the project is going well. After the brilliant insanity of the previous two games, we're extremely interested in seeing what Platinum can do with the wickedest witch in gaming in the months ahead.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild II - Switch - TBD - It's a long shot that Breath of the Wild II will make it out this year, but we've got our fingers crossed nonetheless. Like many of the games we've considered in this extended feature, there's every chance that this sequel will land at some point in 2021 - or even later. That said, the last game remains one of our favourites of the entire decade, and we can't wait to return for another adventure with Link on Nintendo Switch.

The Haven't Been Announced Yets

Of course, there is always a slew of games that will predictably be announced and released over the course of the year, with annual releases such as Call of Duty and FIFA undoubtedly set to be revealed in the coming months before they land in the latter part of the year. More tantalisingly there's the small matter of Assassin's Creed Ragnarok, which we're hoping will land in 2020 after Ubisoft took a gap year in 2019. And who knows, maybe we'll get a surprise launch this year, much like we did when EA and Respawn gave us Apex Legends with no warning?!

With all of the games listed above already in the pipeline, plus those we can reliably predict and maybe even one or two surprises along the way, 2020 is shaping up to be a great year for gaming. Throw in the expected releases of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and we've got a mammoth 12 months of gaming to look forward to.

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