Looking back at the gaming year 2020, it quickly becomes clear that it was one of the most exciting years in the young history of video games. We were inundated with great new AAA titles, indie games enjoyed ever-increasing popularity, and at the end of the year Sony and Microsoft served us up the latest generation of gaming consoles with the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S. We take a look back at the gaming year 2020 and present you with the big titles that will be coming our way in 2021.
The game highlights of 2020
The Last of Us Part 2
The Last of Us was released seven years ago and is considered the best video game for the PlayStation 3. A year later, the action adventure received a remaster version with better textures and a more stable frame rate as part of the PlayStation 4 release. Finally, The Last of Us Part 2, the successor to Naughty Dog's acclaimed game, was launched in 2020. Even though it was boycotted by some fans due to exceptional story decisions, the PlayStation 4-exclusive masterpiece cleared seven awards towards the end of the year, including the one for "Game of the Year" at the 2020 Game Awards.
It came out of nowhere and took the hearts of fantasy role-playing game fans by storm. The detail-oriented adventure from Chinese game developer miHoYo came out completely free for Windows, iOS, Android, and PlayStation. Even though the startling similarity to Nintendo's Zelda: Breath of the Wild, both in terms of gameplay and visuals, cannot be denied, it gained fame among gamers mainly due to its fair pay model and gigantic scope. A release for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5 is planned for 2021.
Ghost of Tsushima
Samurai games have become increasingly popular in recent years. As recently as 2019, FROM SOFTWARE proved with Sekiro that ancient Japan can serve as a beautiful and thoroughly diverse backdrop. Unlike Sekiro, which was heavily influenced by Japanese myths and their mythical creatures, Sucker Punch Productions' latest game focuses on realism. The story of Ghost of Tsushima is based on actual events that took place in 1274 on the Tsushima peninsula that gives the game its name. The decelerated gameplay and tactical combat system delighted many players, which earned the game consistently high ratings. The fan favorite 2020!
A lot has already been said about Cyberpunk 2077, but we'd also like to take another look back at the most controversial game release of 2020. May 2012 - Cyberpunk is announced with a brilliantly staged teaser and the gaming community takes a pen, writes the game title on a blank sheet of paper and marks it with a big fat highlighter that glows so brightly it's impossible to lose sight of that note for the next eight years. Over the years, the note fills up sparsely and in between the first already put a pitch-black pen to cross it out to write off the game for the time being. In 2018, CD Projekt Red shows the first gameplay trailer at E3 and makes role-playing game fans' mouths water, especially with regard to the success of The Witcher 3. In addition to the enumeration of countless features, we note the daring addition "(Best Game ever???)" under the glistening title in the header. When Cyberpunk 2077 finally appears 57 years before the dystopian story in the fictional game world of Cyberpunk takes its start, waste paper landfills are bursting at the seams. Because: Noone gets what they want!
The most eagerly awaited game of the year turns into the gaming shitstorm of the decade. Due to the miserable implementation for the "last-gen" consoles and a crash, glitch and bugfest that is unparalleled, Sony unceremoniously removes Cyberpunk 2077 from their store. Enraged fans, who had full confidence in the competence of the Polish developer studio, are literally going on the barricades and flooding the portals with bad reviews of the once so bright star in the role-playing sky. You could probably make documentaries and fill books about the creation and release of the game, and we can only hope that CDPR gets the situation under control as quickly as possible. It's just always the same, - the bigger the promises and the accompanying expectations, the higher the chance for a deep and lonely fall. Get Well Soon, you actually yet wonderful Cyberpunk 2077, you deserve to be breathtaking.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
The childhood dream come true for many gamers who grew up in the 90s was released in April 2020. The Final Fantasy VII Remake is based on Square's JRPG classic and took us, in 2020, once again to the city of Midgar, which had to be saved from destruction along with Cloud, Barret, Tifa & Co. With an eye for detail and a modernized battle system, Square Enix knew how to inspire even with a familiar story.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
"I'll make the world, widdewidde as I like it" - That was probably the motto of many gamers at the beginning of the year, because what looks like a game for children became a gaming hit in March. The long-awaited, fifth and by far most successful part of Nintendo's life simulation series became a cozy escape from Corona's daily routine during the lockdowns. Animal Crossing: New Horizons continues to delight gamers of all ages with its tranquil gameplay and beautiful soundtrack. Balm for the soul!
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
The word "hype" easily passes lips, often unwarranted, but August's rocket launch Fall Guys: Ultimate Kingdom deserves no other designation. Disguised as a cute children's game, the battle royale game quickly proved to be a serious competitive multiplayer title with its gameplay in good old "easy to learn, hard to master" fashion. Not only is Fall Guys great fun to play yourself, it's also exceptionally entertaining to watch. This was also shown by the Twitch numbers during the hype - Fall Guys led the most streamed games for weeks!
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
The latest spin-off of the Assassin's Creed series takes the player to England and Norway at the time of the Vikings. The time-honored AC success formula has once again been wonderfully applied and enhanced with small improvements. The game even received true next gen versions for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, on which it is a real feast for the eyes in 4K resolution and 60 FPS.
Actually, Among Us is not a game that was released in 2020, and yet it was one of the games that was most played in 2020. After its release in 2018, the indie title, which is backed by a mere 4-person development team, was quiet for quite a long time. Two and a half years later, the detective game received two awards at the Game Awards after a flight of fancy on Twitch & Co. Among other things, it won the award for "Best Multiplayer Game".
The League of Legends makers at Riot Games have made it their mission to launch a real team shooter with a big focus on e-sports. The inspiration for the game was undoubtedly the genre king Counter-Strike and Blizzard's acclaimed shooter Overwatch. The combination of excellent gunplay, e-sports-ready netcode and good performance made Valorant one of the most played games in 2020. It is now firmly established as one of the great titles of e-sports and many former Counter-Strike Pro's have switched to Valorant.
3 The most streamed games in 2020
Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone & League of Legends take the top three spots when it comes to which games were streamed the most on Twitch. While Fortnite & LoL have been the absolute perennial favorites for years and usually top the list, Call of Duty: Warzone 2020 was able to squeeze in with gigantic growth and rightfully jumps to second place due to great popularity among gamers. Since the game is continuously supplied with content updates, a high ranking of Infinity Ward's first-person shooter can be expected in 2021 as well.
The perennial favorite from Epic Games still tops the lists of the most played multiplayer games. Due to its exemplary update policy and a gigantic community of players, Fortnite has also been the game that almost everyone could agree on in 2020. If you browse through Twitch, you will hardly be able to avoid Fortnite.
Call of Duty: Warzone
The free-to-play Warzone portion of CoD: Modern Warfare, released in 2019, continues to enjoy popularity on Twitch a year later. It replaced just about every other genre representative with a focus on FPS gameplay and has since been enthroned lonely at the top of the battle royale shooters. The free content updates keep things fresh and the fair game system puts all players on the same level at the beginning of a new round, so that in the end it's only skill that decides who is the "last man standing".
League of Legends
For years, League of Legends has had a loyal, huge community. Although the MOBA game from Riot already has 11 years under its belt, it hasn't lost any of its former popularity in 2020. It is an exceptionally popular game, especially in the e-sports sector, because it is not uncommon for extremely gripping matches to be created and the LoL tournaments that are held are highly dated.
With LoL and Valorant, Riot Games has two games in the top 5 list of the most played video games on Twitch. No wonder, - the development team from America simply knows how to perfect games and make them accessible to a large audience. Just like League of Legends, Valorant is completely free, playable without restrictions, and well on its way to knocking the great role model Counter-Strike off its team shooter throne.
When Titanfall makers Respawn released Apex Legends in 2019, the game was promoted as the next level of the battle royale genre. A year later, it may not be quite as innovative and groundbreaking in terms of content and gameplay, but within that time it managed to build a consistently large community and playerbase, which is also reflected in the Twitch numbers.
Conclusion / Outlook for 2021
2020 marks the end of a great gaming year that brought us many entertaining games but also memorable moments. Towards the end of the year, the gaming calendar was literally bursting at the seams and one major release followed the next. The new consoles were also technically convincing, even if the delivery problems of the manufacturers caused mixed feelings despite all the euphoria. We are looking forward to the gaming year 2021 and expect many surprises besides the already announced titles. For you, we have summarized the most important games that will be released in 2021:
The bald man with the barcode on his neck is getting ready for his next stealth mission. The third part of the revamped stealth series will be released on January 20 and marks the end of a trilogy.
Far Cry 6
Far Cry stands for open, huge worlds, multi-faceted villains and countless possibilities. Part six of the series is set on a Cuban-inspired Caribbean island, and as a guerrilla fighter, it's up to the player to save the island from the machinations of a dictator. After a release postponement, no concrete release date has been given yet.
About 12 years ago, MMORPGs were considered THE thing. Now the genre is limping along on crutches and is actually only supported by Blizzard's World of Warcraft. Now, in 2021, a new star is finally to appear in the online role-playing game sky. Amazon's New World focuses on PvP battles and crafting and, after two postponements, will finally be released in the spring.
FROM SOFTWARE feat. George R.R. Martin - what could go wrong? Probably not much, but only the developers themselves know what Elden Ring is really about, because apart from an official reveal trailer and a handful of alleged leaks, not much is known about Elden Ring yet. The Dark Souls makers have been keeping a low profile for over a year and will probably lift the veil sooner or later like Phoenix from the ashes with a gigantic gameplay preview. Until then, we can only hope that Elden Ring will still be released in 2021.
Resident Evil: Village
The Resident Evil franchise has experienced something of a revival in recent years. After parts 5 and 6 didn't go down well with gamers at all, the gameplay reorientation of the seventh part and the terrific remakes of the second and third parts made horror fans' faces light up. With Resident Evil: Village, the eighth part of the series will be released in 2021, which will probably be strongly oriented towards the gameplay mechanics of part 7 and consistently continue them.
Little Nightmares 2
The dark puzzle jump n run Little Nightmares already appeared in 2018 and will receive its official successor in 2021. The Swedish team from Tarsier Studios promises largest level sections, more exciting puzzles and generally more scope than in the first part. The release is scheduled for February 21 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox and Nintendo Switch.
After being drawn back into historical battles of World War I and World War II in Battlefield 1 and Battlefield V, fans of the series hope that DICE and EA will again opt for a modern setting in the sixth part. Even a sci-fi scenario is said to be under discussion! Battlefield 6 hasn't been officially announced yet, but looking back at the intervals of the previous releases, we can expect a reveal soon and a release around the end of 2021.
Horizon: Forbidden West
Horizon: Zero Dawn thrilled numerous role-playing game fans in 2017. The Dutch studio of Guerrilla Games served PS4 users a wonderfully fresh and visually appealing game. During Sony's gameplay showcase for the PlayStation 5, the successor called Horizon: Forbidden West was finally unveiled as the cherry on top of the cream cake at the end of the presentation. Although no official release date has been mentioned yet, we assume a release in 2021.
God of War: Ragnarok
Kratos received a drastic overhaul as part of God of War, which was released in 2019. The fans were nevertheless thrilled and it hailed top ratings from both the community and testers. Now, God of War: Ragnarok is the next adventure of the muscle mountain. The title suggests another trip to the far north, which will probably start in the course of the year.
Master Chief is back! Since 2015, fans have been waiting for a successor to Halo 5: Guardians, which was released for the Xbox One. With Halo Infinite, the sixth part of the Xbox Studios' defining shooter series will be released in 2021.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
The popular 3D jump n run series from Insomniac Games was presented at the PS5 event in June 2020 and was supposed to demonstrate the technical possibilities of the new console. The visuals and technology left gamers open-mouthed, and what was indirectly promoted as a launch title for the PlayStation 5 will eventually be released exclusively for Sony's PS5 in 2021.