2020 has been another successful year for video game developers & fans alike. Whether this was expected, due to the recommended state of isolation imposed by the current global situation or through the flurry of great titles released, the industry has continued to grow with recent reports estimated its current market value at approximately $180 billion; its largest on record.
Whether it was the nostalgic remakes of Final Fantasy & Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, the 13-year return of Valve’s Half-Life series or the unexpected rise of an indie gem such as Hades, there is no signs of slowness involved with the juggernaut that is interactive entertainment. With a new year on the horizon & new home consoles released less than two months old, studios across the world are working hard in developing & perfecting their upcoming entries for release in 2021 & beyond.
With this prospect in mind, here are ten of SkyPunk’s Most Anticipated Games of 2021.
Honourable Mention: Everwild
Whilst this entry will likely not be released in 2021, this is a game that caught my attention during the Xbox Games Showcase earlier this year. Developed by renowned UK studio Rare, this brand new IP exuberates a distinct presentation style & its intriguing premise of a interconnected ecosystem; potentially hinting that the a player’s actions could impact the world and/or its story. This instantly gave me vibes akin to the likes of Studio Ghibli's Princess Mononoke & James Cameron's Avatar (to an extent).
Whilst Sea of Thieves did initially have an initial issue with its content, I admire the studio's dedication & consistency to keep its players up-to-date with the latest updates & content involving the game. It's not clear if Everwild will be a standalone or a live service title at this time but in either situation, I feel confident that it would be handled effectively & I am looking forward to seeing what else is in store for this new title.
Evil Dead: The Game
On the 40th anniversary of Sam Raimi’s visceral zombie movie series, we are in store for another Evil Dead game on home consoles; its first in 15 years. Currently in development by studios Boss Boss Games & Saber Interactive, the game appears to utilise PvP combat & co-op gameplay. With the announcement that original iconic cabin from the first film will be a playable area, horror fans will certainly be preparing their chainsaws & double-barrel shotguns for a flurry of onslaughts that await them them. The wrath of the living dead draws near & it feels...Groovy!
In the final chapter of IO Interactive’s Hitman reboot trilogy, Agent 47 once again embarks on a stealth-based journey to fulfil the objectives he is assigned. Retaining its open-world format & once again allowing players to import maps from the previous 2 entries, there is unfortunate news in that that the game will no longer feature it’s multiplayer mode & its Sniper Assassin mode stripped back to a single player experience.
However, PlayStation VR owners will be happy to hear that the game will feature VR support & with this also being released on the Xbox Series & PlayStation 5 consoles, this is promising to be a beautiful send-off for the series as IO are set to focus on their upcoming 007 project following its launch. Hitman 3 is scheduled for release on January 20th 2021.
Following the deaths of James Gordon & suspected passing of Batman, the city of Gotham has once again become a playground for rampant crime & injustice. In Warner Bros Montreal’s latest entry, the team of Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing & Red Hood join forces to take on these foes.
Earlier this year, we reported that one of Gotham’s secret societies, known as The Court of Owls, will be making an appearance which is an exciting prospect. With WB Montreal’s previous development in the form of Arkham Origins, this could be a sigh of relief for PC players who were disappointed & plagued with issues surrounding Rocksteady’s Arkham Knight entry. Although the Dark Knight himself may not likely feature, the universe has always been rich enough to hold its own & we are likely in store of another thrilling, action-packed adventures with some of Gotham & DC’s beloved sidekick protagonists.
Village: Resident Evil 8
2021 marks the silver anniversary of one of Capcom’s most beloved game series & three years ago, its 7th entry chose to shift into a 1st-person horror experience that veered away from the action focus of its predecessors. For this upcoming entry, the story follows a returning Ethan Winters; several years after the events at the Baker house & renowned protagonist Chris Redfield appears to be involved in a controversial situation.
This reportedly leads Ethan being attracted to a particular village, which will host the events of it story. With Capcom recently cancelling last-gen console versions, it appears that they want to take full advantage of the capabilities of the current gen & hopefully create another memorable entry in this franchise.
Whilst this was expected to be a launch title for the Xbox Series consoles, Halo: Infinite is the sixth mainline entry by studio 343 Industries; featuring the almighty Master Chief in a prominent role & the proposed storyline carrying on the events from its predecessor; Guardians.
We understand that 343 Industries were not happy with the state that the game was in & this led to the announcement of a year-long delay. This premise does setup a risky & humanitarian plot that has great potential & no double this delay has good intentions. At least with the near 12-month delay, this is a perfect opportunity to playthrough the previous entries available on Xbox Game Pass, in preparation for its impending release.
Whilst we’ve already received numerous games for J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise, in the form of 3D adventure titles & Lego spin-offs, Avalanche Software’s upcoming entry could be the entry fans have been wishing for. Set in the late 1800s, you play the role of a student in every day life at Hogwarts. With reported customisation of your character, their house, the ability to attend lessons & visit famous spots within its realm, this has all the signs to be the definitive Potter x RPG crossover experience.
Persona 5 Strikers
The Phantom Thieves are back in an all-new adventure, which sees its trademark RPG style switched in favour of a fast-paced hack-and-slash format. Set 6 months after the events of the first game, the team investigate a series of mysterious events across Japan & are put in a position to don their masks once again, in the name of democracy.
Whilst this entry has already been released in Japan, the West will see a localised port released in early 2021; featuring the return of the original English voice cast of its predecessor & introducing a number of new characters and situations into the fold. The game is scheduled to be released on February 23rd 2021.
When it was announced that FromSoftware Director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, would be working on a new title in collaboration with Game of Thrones author, George R. R. Martin, the stars seemingly aligned for a challenging “Souls” RPG experience, blended with the immersive prowess that Martin is known for in his written. With the game already receiving an accolade for “Most Anticipated Game” at the 2020 Game Awards, all eyes will be focused on this particular entry which should hopefully be released by the end of next year.
Horizon Forbidden West
In 2017, Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn made waves with its post-apocalyptic open-world setting; merging elements of nature & technology in a captivating way. The sequel reportedly takes place in a new area of the Western United States & focusing around a mysterious virus, causing death to all who contract it.
With announcements of underwater exploration & the world being larger than its predecessor, we are excited to continue this journey with Aloy & her thirst to uncover concerning truths and effectively & willingly resolve them. The game is rumoured to be released in the second half of 2021.
God of War: Ragnarok
Inbound like a raging blizzard, the upcoming sequel to 2018’s God of War reboot is one of the highly-anticipated exclusives of 2021. The reboot was a renowned success; telling the simple story of a progressive father-son relationship, complimented by an effective combat system, stunning environments, gorgeous graphics with little-to-no loading screens.
With the series teasing its premise in Norse mythology, Santa Monica Studios have already laid the groundwork for a potential Game of the Year candidate & we here at SkyPunk sit impatiently waiting ready to dive into this new chapter of the series.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Are there any entries that we’ve missed out, of which you are looking forward? Leave a comment down below or via one of our social media channels. From all of us here at SkyPunk Media, we wish you a Happy New Year & we’ll see you in 2021!