This past year I have been ensnared by some old and new titles.
I played a good bit of Two Point Hospital, a single-player hospital building game where you build rooms, solve problems and meet goals to increase your hospital’s value and ratings. The game had two expansions release during 2019 to include three haunted and three ski-lodge like hospitals along with a slew of new diseases and ways to cure them. The game was originally released in 2018 but I played, and beat it twice, during 2019. They also added a cooperative mode where players complete missions with friends to solve a larger research project. I am looking forward to what 2020 brings, even if it is replaying the game all over again.
On the topic of casual games, Cities:Skylines was another of my favorites for passing time. It is everything Sim Cities should have been. And unlike Sim City, Cities:Skylines allows you to control just about every aspect of your city, from roads, public transportation and now colleges, to parks and entertainment districts. Released in 2014, the game has seen several expansions during the years, with campuses released in the past year. I am ready to soar into new heights with this one in 2020 as well.
Now onto the online multiplayer games.
Sea of Thieves was my 2019 obsession; although not a new game — it was originally released in 2018 — this game was one that had its ups and downs for me during the past year. While there have been additions to the game that have enhanced the overall experience, the players in the game have continued to be a detriment. Game developer Rare has had to balance community needs with worthwhile gameplay and it has not always gone well. I put the game down finally in November after changes made gameplay more difficult. Maybe 2020 will be a better year, but that remains to be seen.
Red Dead Redemption 2 launched for PC this past year and has been everything an open world game should be. It originally was released exclusively for Playstation and came to PC in November. Though with the launch of its Moonshiners expansion, the game hit a series of issues. They seem to be fixed as the year closes out but, at the same time, Rockstar may not have been ready for the number of PC players who wanted to play the game. Not to mention there were people hacking the game from launch, and crashes and failed launches still plague many players. But this is one I will continue to play and explore in 2020; there is so much to do and, I am hoping, more to come.
And how can I forget the game that has never taken itself seriously? From the creators of Goat Simulator, Deep Rock Galactic has made leaps and bounds in 2019 — from beta and barely anything to a game that has so many facets it is hard to keep up. Developer Ghost Ship and publisher Coffee Stain have a winner in the four-player sci-fi co-op that takes dwarves to Hoxxis IV to mine minerals and eggs and fight giant bugs. It is a game enjoyed solo and with a group, and do not worry I will be kicking barrels and killing bugs well into the new year with this one. For Karl!
Finally, this past year saw the long awaited Borderlands 3 land. The game hit hard in September followed by a Halloween event that ran for more than a month and new endgame content was everything and nothing Borderlands players wanted. For me, it lived up to the hype. I was not thrilled with the villains but the storytelling was top notch and the first expansion, which released mid-December, was well worth it. I am looking forward to expansions to come in 2020, especially if they are all going to be as awesome as the December release.
The past year brought us a slew of other new video games like Gears of War 5, Death Stranding, Luigi’s Mansion 3 and many more. But 2020 brings us a new year of games, some highly anticipated.
Here is the list of games I am looking forward to coming out in the next year:
Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)Announced at E3 what seems like a decade ago, the futuristic adaptation of the 1988 tabletop game Cyberpunk 2020 is FINALLY coming. CD Projekt Red has taken their sweet time getting this one right. The latest trailer even added Keanu Reeves. It is expected to hit consoles and PC in April.
For me, this is a grown up version of the Shadowrun games, which I started playing a few years ago. Shadowrun, a top-down turn-based shooters, takes place in a futuristic socirty, and Cyberpunk jumps back in there minus the fantasy races. The graphics and open world concept are intriguing, I am just hoping it is truly open world. The game reminds me of futuristic Japan as portrayed in Ghost in the Shell, which just adds to the hype and anticipation.
There are a lot of eyes on this one so let’s hope it lives up to the hype and is worth the agonizing wait.
Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix)It has been a long time since this game from Square Enix landed on the original PlayStation. Now it is coming back and looks brand new, with updated graphics and new story. It was announced several years ago at E3 and has a release date of March 3 exclusively on PS4. Since I have been disappointed with the past few Final Fantasy games, it will be nice to get back to one that I enjoyed playing. The gameplay looks to be similar to the original games but the updated graphics make it much more enjoyable. The story seems to still be the same sappy anime but from previews, maybe it grew up? That remains to be seen since it is a Japanese role-playing game.
Here is hoping the updated game is better than the original blocky one. I will pick up a Playstation controller for this!
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 (Ninja Theory)Talk about hype. The initial trailer for this game, dropped during the video game awards in November, showed a dark world and a stronger female lead. The first game, named Senua’s Sacrifice, tackled the topics of depression, loss and psychosis in a way I have never seen before. The game won awards for its depiction of mental health. If Hellblade 2 is anything like that, get ready for a wild and dark ride. The games are rich with Nordic traditions and influence as Senua is a pict warrior, an ancient race of Scottish Celts that lived during the 10th century.
Because of her psychosis there is so much mixed together, be ready to experience it all with her — the confusion and disorientation is not for the faint of heart.
There is no definitive plot or release date for the sequel, but could be late 2020, fingers crossed.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance (Wizards of the Coast and Tuque)Once upon a time, I played Dungeons & Dragons, both the tabletop and the online game that was released way back in 2006. Throwback here for sure. Anyway, the latest announcement from franchise owner Wizard of the Coast has a new four-player co-op coming out in the new year. Needless to say, as long as they don’t follow in Turbine’s footsteps, this game has to be better than the online version. No real story or plot yet, and the trailer leaves much to be desired but as a D&D girl, I am willing to give it a shot.
Halo: Infinite (343 Studios)The next installment from 343 Studio is set to release during the holidays in 2020 … hopefully. The previews have not given much away but Master Chief is back and hopefully back to what the Halo games should be. This is a series I used to watch my husband play, mostly because when it comes to console games, I am the absolute worst. I have fallen out of love with the past few games but, given the direction they are taking, I am interested to see how this one will go. I might even learn to use a controller to play it.
Skull & Bones (Ubisoft)After the failures and toxicity of Sea of Thieves, I am going to give this one a chance and see how it goes. The gameplay looks like a lot of what Sea of Thieves is lacking. While touting open world, it seems to be similar to Red Dead Redemption in a way that there are also story missions and non-player enemies to go against. Sea of Thieves relies more on player vs. player interaction. The storytelling in the game looks rich and given the multiple delays the game already has experienced, it better be good when it finally releases.
Of course, there are plenty more games coming to computer and console than just the ones I have listed, but these are the ones I have plans to play.
Happy gaming in 2020!