Biggest Hits and Flops of 2020, and The Future in 2021
We have finally reached the end of 2020, and while many we’re upset by the events that transpired this year, we gamers can at least rejoice at some of the great games released as well. However like most of the entertainment industries, along with gaming’s hits, there were a couple of flops that helped serve as a reminder to not always buy into a game’s hype. Well today I’ll be going through some of these titles, as well as talking about those exciting 2021 games coming up!
The Critically Acclaimed
We had a number of triple-A titles come out this year which garnished popular attention. Animal Crossing: New Horizon gained incredible attention after it’s launch in March and allowed you to relax with friends during grim realities. The community also worked together to make a number of wonderful creations such as making the game look like Pokemon Gold/Silver or racing through fan-made mazes to nab their favorite character. While Animal Crossing was probably the most popular Switch Game in 2020, we also saw the release of a new Paper Mario, and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity which garnered some good attention as well.
On the console side of things we run into a lot of GOTY 2020 nominees and the winner. Though there were fans that were distraught by a certain character’s death (no spoilers, but you should know by now if you care) in The Last of Us Part II, it won GOTY and was a beautiful game. Of course if you are more into hacking your way through enemies, Doom Eternal (Pc and Console) and Ghost of Tsushima have you covered. Both titles received rave reviews, with other developers praising both. Finally, although I haven’t touched a Final Fantasy game in the last 10 years, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake deserves a lot of attention. Though it is a remake with better graphics and gameplay, the details are immersive and draw you in.
When we begin talking about PC titles, this is where I shine. I built my own PC, so I was happy to be able to play great titles such as Crusader Kings 3 on it (yes, not the most intensive haha). As a fan of party/multiplayer games, this was a great year for PC. We saw Fall Guys, Jackbox Party Pack 7, and Genshin Impact all available for multiplayer play, connecting us in a time where many felt separated. My friends and I had a lot of fun, though when playing solo I often saw them, and a lot of the community, playing Hades. The overwhelmingly positive game on Steam has created a community that spends more time on it, than some Triple-A titles that cost more than twice as much. With different Greek gods aiding the player as they work their way through the underworld, the game has massive replayability, and is one of the games I am still told to get by friends, months after it’s release.
Even though the different platforms are covered, I do want to mention some of my top picks for 2020. As a fan of deck builders, I spent a lot of time on Monster Train, which has your fighting demons with limited resources as they try to stop your train from reaching the destination. Similarly I had a lot of fun with Ratropolis, which was a title I discovered when we were actually running a campaign for them. Mixing tower defense and deckbuilding, you must defend a growing civilization of rats as cats, ferrets, and owls attack. You may choose to focus on buildings, soldiers, or traps to defend and though the game came out less than a month ago many agree it is a blast to play. Finally the newest Yakuza title, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, came out, and captured what fans were looking for. A game that appeals to old fans with similar writing and comedy, but also open to new fans with new characters allowing this game to be a success.
The Critically Shamed
There weren’t too many flops in 2020, at least not too many that critics and fans agreed on. One of the biggest ones however was the PS4 launch of Cyberpunk 2077. With the hype built up before it’s release, many skeptics expected that the gameplay wouldn’t live up to it. However in this case, the gameplay could hardly run, with the PS4 version of Cyberpunk stuttering, lagging,glitching, and crashing. The issues were so bad, the company offered refunds to all players, even if they nearly completed the game.
Meanwhile we also had some titles which ran as intended, but were just… not very fun. One would expect Marvel’s Avengers to be a hit, after all the movies were. However after it’s release in August, it was soon forgotten. Reviews came in rating it as mixed and low, and described the multiplayer as “painfully repetitive and unrewarding”. For a game which advertised saving the world with friends, that was a major fault.
Games to Keep an Eye Out in 2021
With new consoles out, and people still staying inside more, people are wanting new and better games for the new year. On the console side of things we have titles such as Halo Infinite and perhaps a new Mass Effect title continuing their series. For cross-platform we do also have some continuations, such as Hollow Knight:Silksong and Resident Evil 8, which takes place in a mysterious village. Of course we also have some new titles such as the Medium from the producers of Layers of Fear, and HumanKind, which allows you to raise a civilization. I personally am excited for Overwatch 2, and 12 minutes, the latter I recommend checking out the trailer for. All in all, we had a good year in gaming, but I am excited for the future. If there are any games you’re excited for, or any we missed, please let us know!