Over the break we had a chance to do some serious scientific study of this business we call games, and it turns out that games are actually good. 2020 in particular has a healthy mix of big budget bonanzas and smaller indie plates to suit everyone’s discerning tastes. And, as you know, the RPS treehouse is the most discerning, so to make it easier for you we’ve got a big ol’ list of the games we’re most looking forwards to this year. It’s traditional.
Unlike our Advent Calendar/Greatest Games Of 2019 system, our most anticipated games list does not involve complex spreadsheets or voting systems. Everyone just wrote down a few games that they’re looking forwards to, innit. There turned out to be a lot since, as aforementioned, 2020 looks set to be a good year for games. Which, to confirm, we think are fun.
New games 2020: the most exciting new PC games
The games in question are in chunks of five, and you can navigate through the pages using the links below. They’re arranged roughly in order of when they’re going to come out, with the ones that we have definitely dates for coming first, and then all yer vague TBCs or ‘early 2020’ types coming afterwards. There are a couple at the end that technically don’t have a confirmed 2020 window, but we’re living in hope for.
That’s it. Fill your boots!
What is it? The third in Ubisoft’s hacktion-adventure series has a right royal cockney knees up in good old Lahndahn tahn.
When is it out? March 3rd, 2020
Alice Bee: With every passing day the setting for Watch Dogs: Legion, a near-dystopian, near-future version of London which has gone a bit fascist police state with surveillance drones everywhere, seems a bit too on the nose. Like that mate you have who calls it “BrexSHIT, more like!” before slapping the sticky pub table, I have an urge to tell Watch Dogs: Lahndahn that its heart is in the right place, but it’s being a bit obvious and needs to dial it back.
That being said, and based on the hands on I had, WDL looks like it will genuinely be a blahdy good time. This year’s unique selling point is that you can recruit and play as basically any NPC you see in the game, which legitimately means you can have a gang of hacker grannies. I’m all for that. Plus, I’d probably get in trouble for destroying security cameras in real life, so in the game I can exercise any frustrations I have regarding the current political climate, with no consequences!
Additionally, and this cannot be overstated, it is amazing to see a game accurately depicting a location from the UK. Normally I am confronted by idealised images of North America at almost every turn, a place where even the buildings are more attractive, so it’ll be a real treat to see the damp pavements and overflowing dogshit bins of my homeland instead.
What is it? The sequel to the best action platformer in the last decade, now with sad owls.
When is it out? March 11th, 2020
Katharine: I was mildly devastated when Ori And The Will Of The Wisps got pushed back to early 2020, as it was one of the games I was most looking forward to playing last year. Still, as the great Shigeru Miyamoto once said, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”
It’s an apt quote, too, as one of Ori’s lead devs Thomas Mahler has described Will Of The Wisps as being “to Blind Forest what Super Mario Bros 3 was to the original Super Mario Bros.” Them’s fighting words if ever I saw ’em, but man alive does it get the blood going. Indeed, from the looks of last year’s E3 trailer, Will Of The Wisps looks to be bigger, bolder and more cinematic than anything Blind Forest had to offer, and we’ve already seen several screen-hogging monsters chasing down tiny little Ori like an ant that needs squashing. As long as none of them are as frustrating to escape as Blind Forest’s cursed Ginso Tree, Will Of The Wisps looks like it could be a real treat indeed.
And hey, even if the platforming and powers don’t quite match the level of Blind Forest’s acrobatic leaps or projectile-flipping Bash attacks, at least we’ll have another beautifully orchestrated Gareth Coker soundtrack to enjoy along the way. Whatever happens with Will Of The Wisps, my ears are most certainly ready.
What is it? The follow up to id Software’s 2016 reboot of their classic FPS series, with added meat hook and evil angels.
When is it out? March 20th, 2020
Katharine: I love a bit of Doom, me, and I’m Super Shotgun levels of pumped for id’s latest hell fest. There’s a reason why Doom (2016) is one of my go-to benchmarks for PC games these days. It’s got everything. The sheer speed of it is great for pushing graphics cards and monitors to their absolute limit, and its pumping soundtrack is a real treat when it’s being lobbed down your ear holes on a top notch gaming headset. And Doom Eternal looks as though it’s going to dial all of that up to eleven. Or, you know, just punch the hype dial in the face and have done with it.
Like the very best Doom game in this long-running series, Doom II (yes, you heard me), Hell has come to Earth in Doom Eternal, but you’ll be planet hopping all over the shop by the time your DoomSlayer’s had his fill of demon guts, with Mars, its moon Phobos and the whole of heaven making an appearance as well. It looks to be Doom’s most spectacular outing yet, with huge, eye-popping vistas hanging across the horizon, and I can’t wait to run, jump and gun my way across them all. There will also be lots of nostalgic nods to classic Doom II enemies, too, including the spider brain on legs Arachnotron, the spongy, demon-spewing maw of the Pain Elemental and everyone’s favourite resurrecting demon Jesus, the dreaded Archvile.
Doom Eternal isn’t just about reliving the series’ glory days, though, as there are plenty of brand-new things to get to grips with to round out the DoomSlayer’s arsenal. Chief among them is the shiny new meat hook. Attaching to your trusty shotgun, this lethal grappling hook can lodge itself into tenderised demon flesh and pull you towards them, which will no doubt make for some even more gruesome and violent glory kill finishing moves. The meat hook isn’t just for lassoing your next quarry, either. It will also let you traverse the highs and lows of id’s fresh hellscape faster and more efficiently, bringing some much needed variety to its larger, multi-part missions.
id have also made some interesting changes to the way you find ammo and armour shards around the levels, and they’ve revamped the previous game’s runes, perks and upgrades system as well, hopefully making everything a bit simpler, and more in the spirit of its 90s source material. Really, though, I’m just looking forward to having another excuse to shower Hell Knights and Cyberdemons with my Super Shotgun again – and if anyone or anything gets in my way between now and March 20th (except you, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you’re all right), there’ll be hell to pay.
What is it? Valve give VR a significant shot in the arm with this, an FPS prequel to Half-Life 2 where you play as Alyx Vance.
When is it out? March 2020
Alice Bee: This is a weird one for me to be excited for, because I have played Half-Life 2 but it hasn’t become a brick in the wall of my psyche like it did for so many others. I also do not own a VR headset because VR makes me nauseous, so I look forward to going round Graham’s house and being sick on all his small furnishings when I play this. Because here I am, excited about Half-Life: Alyx.
It is Alyx Vance, everyone’s favourite NPC from Half-Life 2, who brings us the closest thing to Half-Life 3 that has yet appeared (even though it is a prequel and therefore, like, a full numeral away from being HL3). The fight against the alien Combine will involve using your big VR hands to sweep things aside looking for bullets, and holding buttons down while you lean around corners to shoot.
I think the big VR hands is my biggest excitement. It’ll be lovely, I’m sure, for fans to go back into that world again, but while I’m not not a fan, I’m also not that arsed about Half-Life. I am arsed about there being good, chonky games for VR, because that is interesting. Whatever else Valve might be, the are undeniably good at making video games. There isn’t a Valve game that I haven’t enjoyed, and I think my favourite VR thing I’ve ever played is Valves The Lab, and that’s just a bunch of room sized experimental VR mini-games. I’m pretty sure if anyone can do an actually good VR FPS, it is Valve.
Also, Rhys Darby, one of the world’s funniest people alive today, plays your aging mate in it. So actually scratch what I just said, that is my biggest excitement.
Resident Evil 3 (remake)
What is it? The remake of Capcom’s third game in their survival horror series chock full of bitey dead people.
When is it out? April 3rd, 2020
Dave: It seems that the rabid appetite of Resident Evil fans matches the snapping jaws of the zombies infesting Raccoon City. No sooner had they shot the hat off boss monster Mr. X in the Resident Evil 2 remake than the wails for a remake of Resi 3 began.
Resident Evil 3 was not as big in scope as Resident Evil 2, but it did give us Nemesis. He’s another large lad clad in leather that is, if you can believe it, more terrifying than the similarly clad Mr. X. While Mr. X loved to give you a swift slug around the face, Nemesis was packing a rocket launcher as he stalked the last surviving S.T.A.R.S. member and “master of unlocking” protagonist Jill Valentine across the undead-littered streets of Raccoon City. The Resi 3 remake looks to improve on this by giving Nemesis a flamethrower as well, but it doesn’t seem like much else will have changed beyond what was improved in Resi 2’s remake last year.
So, as if the remake of another classic in this most classic of series needed to be more inviting, this one instead comes with a multiplayer mode, stapled alongside it in much the same way that staples hold together Nemesis’s big weird zombie face.
It’s an asymmetric multiplayer, where the idea is that four surprisingly normal people enter a house of horrors, while a fifth ruins their day by unleashing monsters and traps. I can get behind that. After all, we’ve seen a few asymmetrical horror multiplayer games in recent years, so there’s clearly an appetite for this sort of thing, and they’ve mostly turned out to be a loada fun. I have no doubt in my mind, then, that the Resident Evil 3 remake will be just as tasty as the Resident Evil 2 one was.