Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Most anticipated 2021 video game

GameCentral readers discuss their most wanted games for the new year, from God Of War 2 to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2.

As the first Hot Topic of the new year, the choice of subject matter for this weekend’s Inbox was pretty obvious, even though so many release dates are still unknown and those that are will probably prove unreliable.

Everyone had something they were looking forward to though, even if many admitted they knew next to nothing about the game until more information is announced.

God of the unknown
The game I’m most looking forward to seeing the most, even if it’s not actually out this year, is the new God Of War. The last game had a great cliffhanger ending but at that point nobody knew how big it was going to be, and I’m curious to see what will happen now Sony know it’s one of their most successfully and critically acclaimed games.

I’m really hoping that the sequel with PlayStation 5 only as I’d love to see it get the full big budget treatment and really show what the PlayStation 5 can do. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is good and all but I really want God Of War 2 to look at least as good as Demon’s Souls, because the difference was very obvious.

I also want to see what they do with the character of Kratos now. He’s basically a good guy at the end of the first game so I’m not sure what happens to him now. Is he going to have a relapse or are we going to see him actually try to repair some of the damage he’s done? I really couldn’t guess and I’m not even sure what I’d prefer, which is part of why I’m so excited about it.

Forgotten Wars
My most anticipated game of 2021 is one that was inexplicably missing from your preview of the year! Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. The Lego games may have declined in quality recently, but the previous Lego Star Wars games are among my all-time favourites. Everything I have heard about the Skywalker Saga has me excited and I can’t wait to play it. I even intend to get the deluxe edition and I never do that.

As for 2021 overall, I am excited for quite a few games but particularly for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, Psychonauts 2, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. I will need to get a PlayStation 5 for the latter though. I hope Nintendo have a surprise or two in store as well.
Pigfish2 (PSN ID)

GC: Oh, we did forget that. Although there’s still no release date for it.

Fantasy pick
Of the games ‘confirmed’ for 2021, Horizon Forbidden West is probably the one I’m most excited for. That and the new gen upgrade for Cyberpunk 2077 – if they can fix a lot of the issues – are probably the games which would most tempt me to get a PlayStation 5 this year.

With Final Fantasy 16 (although not confirmed) I’m also quite excited for a new entry in the series for the first time in ages. Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Persona 5 Royal have reignited my interest in Japanese role-playing games, and the Game of Thrones-like tone indicated by the trailer is appealing.

That it’s being led by the director of Final Fantasy 14 also seems promising. I haven’t played the latter (not an MMO person), but I hear a lot of fans say it has some of the best storytelling in the series. I also admire the risks and experimentation Square Enix takes with each new entry in such a big franchise, even if it doesn’t always work.

To be honest though, I won’t be that disappointed (or surprised) if many of the games listed don’t make it out this year. There’s still a ton of games from last gen I want to play, including The Last Of Us Part 2, NieR:Automata, XCOM 2, and indies such as The Outer Wilds, Disco Elysium, Kentucky Route Zero, and Hades. It always baffles me when people complain of not having enough new games to play!

GC: Not everyone has a backlog.

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Playing together
Probably not one that many others would pick but I’m a big fan of Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons and A Way Out and the reveal of It Takes Two at the end of the year looked great to me. Me and my girlfriend have enjoyed playing both together and while she didn’t like the crime theme of the A Way Out so much this looks much more up her street.

I just relish the opportunity to share my love of gaming with her so it’s all good as far as I’m concerned and the variety of gameplay does look a lot more interesting than the other games. I also get the impression that the game is a lot more serious than it makes out at first, with the cartoonish characters. Pretty much a guaranteed buy for us.

Rising interest
I’m really looking forward to Monster Hunter Rise, I’ve actually never played any of the games in the series before but something about this game has really captured my imagination. Then I saw the new trailer on Thursday and the ability to ride monsters only added to my excitement!

Gotham Knights looks promising too, although it wasn’t the most original of the Arkham games I always felt that Arkham Origins had a much better story and was way better than Arkham Knight! Now that this game is not set in the Arkhamverse I’m looking forward to what WB Games Montréal can deliver trying something with a different flavour. Plus, the Bat Family seem way less brooding than Batman, well maybe not Red Hood but three out of four isn’t bad!

Also, although we’ve only seen a CGI trailer so far I like the look of Evil West, it reminds me of the excellent first person shooter Darkwatch on PlayStation 2!

Fairly anticipated
I wouldn’t say it’s my most anticipated, but a game that caught my eye back at the original PlayStation 5 reveal was Stray.

The futuristic neon-lit city and art style really appealed to me, and the premise of exploring as a cat in a world where androids have replaced humans definitely piqued my interest. I’ve heard precious little about it since though but it’s on my radar for 2021.
Russell, York

Plausible optimism
Happy new year to GC and to everyone reading. I appreciate your preview of 2021 was reasonably doubtful that Elden Ring would be out this year and the outlook for the Zelda: Breath Of The Wild sequel doesn’t appear to be much better but these are by far the games I’m most looking forward to and I’ve decided to be as optimistic as I can realistically get away with when it comes to these two.

We know so little about either one that I won’t go into why I’m looking forward to them but the track record of both developers should make it fairly obvious. I’ll instead focus on why I’d be a bit surprised if both aren’t out this year.

I’m sure the same individual that first reported details of Paper Mario: The Origami King also reported that Zelda had originally been lined up for late 2020 before an internally announced delay and while we can’t read too much into this, a late 2021 release would mean Nintendo has had four and a half years to finish the game, a time frame comparable with developing the game’s predecessor from scratch.

When I consider Nintendo’s 2019 release schedule, I’m pretty convinced Super Mario 3D All-Stars was repositioned to be a big autumn release compared to what was originally intended, hence the lack of effort that went into it. In terms of big titles that might have been pushed back, Zelda is the only one that means we’re not completely clueless about what else Nintendo has on the cards (excluding Metroid Prime 4, which I think will be a late 2022 release at the earliest).

When it comes to Elden Ring, I just think FromSoftware are scarily good at turning things around quickly and efficiently, delivering a polished game not too long after originally teasing or announcing it.

If Elden Ring doesn’t come out this year, it could end up coming three years or more after its announcement and, with the obvious caveats of COVID-related obstacles, the assumption that this is their most ambitious game yet and the fact that George R.R. Martin is involved, I think such a gap would be pretty uncharacteristic of them.

Particularly if big industry names outside the team have reported having played the game well over a year before its eventual release. In fact, looking at their entire history of games back to 1994, a three+ year interval following Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in early 2019 would be unprecedented.

I’m not a journalist, so I have the luxury of throwing sensibly cautious and responsible speculation out the window. As such, I’ll stick my neck out further and predict we’ll find out more about both games by late April (further unforeseen COVID impact permitting). If they both live up to their promise they could be the cream of a very healthy 2021 crop.

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