The Gaming Respawn team is back with what we hope will continue to be an annual feature where we discuss the games that we are most excited to play. Assuming you haven’t been living under a rock these past few months, then you are most certainly aware of the immense number of big and exciting games slated to release in 2020, which makes sense given that the next generation of video game consoles will be coming to us soon enough, and we want our current generation of gaming to go out with a bang. Join us in our second foray where we discuss Gaming Respawn’s Most Anticipated Games.
Ghost of Tsushima
I was already quite interested in Ghost of Tsushima since back in 2017 when we got that first teaser trailer showing small bits and pieces of the story and some cinematic cutscenes. But it wasn’t until we got that incredible gameplay trailer in 2018 when I realized that this game HAD to be mine. I could already tell that this was the game of my dreams, an open-world samurai-focused title that takes place in feudal era Japan. As much as I enjoyed Nioh and its samurai/ninja/demon theme, its linear mission-based structure and barebones story kept it from being the game of my dreams that I mentioned above. But that 2018 trailer of Ghost of Tsushima showed me that Sucker Punch could very well be on their way to making that dream game.
They sure are taking their sweet time with it though. Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather we get a complete and polished game rather than a bug-riddled mess that was popped out of the development oven too early, so if more time is needed, then I support that. Still, a solid update or another trailer of some sort would be very, very welcomed by now. Hell, I’d even take a vague release window and not an exact release date at this point. Much like how last year’s Spider-Man game made us truly feel like we were Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima looks like it’s primed to give us the definitive samurai/ninja experience. My anticipation for this game is through the roof right now, and that normally makes me nervous since games that I get super hyped for have a good chance of disappointing me in the end. But in this case, I trust that Sucker Punch will be able to give us a masterpiece of a game here, especially given how much I enjoyed the Infamous games.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
I’m far from a gaming snob, but I like to play a lot of indie titles, and with many of those, they have low-key releases. Half the time, I didn’t know they were in development, so I can’t get excited for them if I don’t know anything. Triple-A titles are obviously the bigger fish, and with desirable marketing campaigns, these top tier titles can generate a lot of buzz from social media alone. Well, in fear of being predictable and beating some of the Gaming Respawn Team to it, my most anticipated game for 2020 is Yakuza 7 (known as Yakuza: Like a Dragon in the West).
There are a handful of games I’m eagerly anticipating (The Last of Us Part II), but I’m more interested in Yakuza’s new turn-based system: Yakuza meets Ni No Kuni. Not liking a fix if it ain’t broke, I didn’t warm to the ‘improved’ fighting style in Yakuza 6: The Song of Life so much. It was too fluid, but it wasn’t long before I became accustomed to it and continued my quest in beating up random thugs. I’m unsure whether other fans are a little apprehensive of the new approach, but I think it will be a success. Many people refer to the Yakuza series as being one of their favourite series (Yakuza 0 is mine), so there are a lot of tastes to cater to. I know a few people who genuinely don’t actually like Yakuza for the fighting but the story elements, while others simply love the mini-games.
What’s so good about Yakuza: Like a Dragon? Well, at the time of writing, there is a new character named Ichiban Kasuga that has been introduced. If you’re an anime fan, you might join me in likening him to Mugen from Samurai Champloo, with his wild hair. Sure, Kiryu was the Dragon of Dojima and had a temper on him, but he was relatively rational. Ichiban seems a little bit of a rogue: unpredictable and on a mission of revenge. A new location is introduced as well: Yokohama. I’ll happily visit Kamurocho, but another real place will be fun to explore as long as I can eat the local ramen. The series doesn’t need a reboot, but it is time for something new without taking it too far (Yakuza: Dead Souls, anyone?). The release date for the Western world is later in 2020 after Japan gets it in the beginning of the year in January. With the speed these games get localised, I don’t anticipate any lengthy delays. I’m looking at you, Ghost of Tsushima.
There were a few games that came to mind when thinking of which game I am currently looking forward to playing the most. Due to all of the delays that have been going on recently, I am very anxious to play some of the big titles. There is one game, however, that really sticks out for me. That game is Cyberpunk 2077.
Cyberpunk 2077 is due to be released on 16th April 2020. Not long to go now, folks! The game will be available to play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. It is being developed and published by CD Projekt Red. Cyberpunk 2077 is a first-person action role-playing game with Keanu Reeves playing the role of one of the main characters. The game is set in “Night City”, an open-world megacity in the free state of California that is controlled by corporations and unassailable by the laws of both country and state. It draws inspiration from Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell and video games like Deus Ex.
The reason that I am looking forward to this game so much is because the gameplay and graphics look absolutely stunning. The game looks like it is going to be quite dark but in a city that is bright and colourful. From the first trailer, I thought to myself, “Oh, that looks good”, but when more of the game was revealed during E3 this year, it got me really excited to play the game. When Keanu Reeves came onto the stage and interacted with the crowd whilst presenting Cyberpunk 2077, I had a big grin on my face. I think everybody was shocked to learn that Keanu Reeves was starring in the game and shocked that he was actually at E3.
The game looks incredible, and everything as a whole just looks amazing. I absolutely can’t wait to play Cyberpunk 2077. I really hope that it lives up to all of the hype. We have been waiting for this game for a while, and I will be really disappointed if it lets me down. I don’t think that it will let me down because, from what I have seen, it looks like it will live up to my expectations.
I’m sure many of my co-writers will be jumping out of their skin to discuss the Final Fantasy VII remake as their most hyped game, and trust me, it is definitely mine regardless of how much the first installment covers of the PS1 game’s story. Rather than covering that game though, I have decided to cover a different title, one coming off of a predecessor that I also hold very close to my heart, Double Fine’s Psychonauts 2.
The original Psychonauts shares its place with Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer (known as Ripto’s Rage in the US) as my favourite 3D platformer of all time, a genre I was utterly addicted to as I grew up. Ever since I was a kid, I have always adored the works of Tim Schafer, with the likes of Brutal Legend, The Curse of Monkey Island and, of course, Grim Fandango being some of my favourite games of all time, and as with most of Schafer’s works, Psychonauts is one of those games that I appreciate more and more as I grow older. The game is packed with fun characters, creative worlds and excellent levels that, as a kid, make for a fun 3D platforming backdrop. But as an adult, every element of the original game has some sort of extra layer with some deeper meaning, such as Milla’s traumatising backstory of the orphanage she used to work at burning down, or the infamous ‘Milkman Conspiracy’ level. For as hilarious as Psychonauts is (and trust me, it is HILARIOUS), it’s a game with some dark undertones, ones addressed vaguely enough to go over most kids’ heads but that stick out for older players.
This puts the upcoming Psychonauts 2 in a really interesting position. Being a title releasing 15 years after the original and being led by most of the same creative team behind the original, Psychonauts 2 now has an audience that, like myself, has matured enough to look back upon the original as an absolute masterpiece of tone and storytelling in a family-friendly game, and developer Double Fine can choose to either lean into that maturity further with its upcoming sequel or keep it balanced as they did with the original. Double Fine is in a great position right now to make Psychonauts 2 their greatest game yet, with the game being funded by an incredible Fig campaign back in 2015 (racking in over $3.8 million) and Double Fine’s recent acquisition from Microsoft announced back at E3. I have very little doubt that Psychonauts 2 will live up to the original’s legacy, especially with the creative freedom that Tim Schafer and the rest of Double Fine Productions have over the title.
Dying Light 2
Personally, the original Dying Light was one of my favourite games of all time despite its relatively mediocre critical reception. Something about the amount of time you can spend parkouring around an open-city sandbox, looting junk and wailing on zombies really just clicks with me. Dying Light 2 basically looks like it’s going to be more of the same, and I personally cannot wait for that. I plan to load up on junk food and turn off all my notifications when it comes out so annoying responsibilities, such as work and family members, can’t distract me from the zombie-murdering fun.
It looks like the game promises to introduce a protagonist with more personality as well, which is a good thing. I don’t think they could have introduced a new protag with any less personality than Kyle Crane, to be fair to the developers. The new main character’s status as an infected promises to even add some new mechanics to the gameplay, along the lines of having to get Zombrex for your daughter in Dead Rising 2. As long as they bring back scary night-time escape sequences, lootable buildings and the beauty that is the hookshot, then the game is all set to be my game of the year, even if the story is only as good as the last time, which basically means it will be about as compelling, interesting and well-written as Twilight.
And thus ends our list of most anticipated games for this year. We hope to have another (hopefully longer and more comprehensive) list for you all next year. What upcoming games do you think should have been included in this list? Tell us in the comments below.