I always come to the same point at the end of year, looking back on all the games I’ve played picking out a few that stood out in my mind. It’s funny, at least to me, considering my most-anticipated games of 2019 featured some rather peculiar picks. One that did manage to stand out above the crowd was Shadow of the Tomb Raider, a game that I did choose as one of my anticipated titles of 2019.
I only mention these as 2019 didn’t really blow up my skirt with excitement. Sure, there were some great experiences, like Resident Evil 2 remake, but for the most part, mid-year I had already checked the box in 2019 and set my sights on 2020. Because, let’s face it, there’s a lot in the pipeline.
Who isn’t excited for Cyberpunk 2077?
Seriously, who? Raise your hands. I can’t see you in the back. Okay, one?
Even with its initial announcement, Cyberpunk 2077 always seemed so far off in the development future to me. I mean, it was shown off at E3 2018 and 2019. However, 2019 was the first time that I was privy to sit among my peers, behind the scenes and get commentary direct from the developers to really upped the ante for me. I mean, Keanu Reeves also raised that hype level, too.
The biggest reason I’ve noted Cyberpunk 2077 as one of my most anticipated titles is mostly due to the on-the-fly, open-world style of gameplay. For example, during the demo, the developers talked about different styles of play, techniques, and hacking that could be done in a level.
In one scene, the main character had infiltrated an enemy hideout in search of intel. The character moved through the level using mostly stealth abilities. They then approached a guy on a weight bench doing some bench presses. The person controlling the character was able to hack the machine and squash an enemy’s head under the weight of the bench. It was like a pea getting obliterated by a stack of, err, weights.
This is the kind of gameplay that most intrigues me. There isn’t anyone in which way to complete a mission. All that matters is that you were able to achieve the goal and make it out alive. There aren’t classes, but rather a fluid skillset that can be modified and tweaked depending on your preferred style of play. Those are the types of experiences, as cheesy as it sounds, that call to me. And, having a vast, sandbox-style open-world with mods and guns sounds like a helluva time in Night City.
Resident Evil 3 and the RE Engine
I’ve played nearly every Resident Evil game in the franchise. Yes, that means even Resident Evil 6. However, the one that got away happened to be Resident Evil 3. I was never able to play it in my younger years, nor even in my adulthood despite owning it. But, that doesn’t mean I’m any less excited about the upcoming remake.
The Resident Evil 2 reimagining/remake/redo (or whatever you want to call it) has been one of my favorite games of 2019. The most remarkable thing for me was the team taking a game that debuted in 1998 that was a commercial and critical success and somehow make it better.
Although Resident Evil 2 was a much different game from its source material, it still managed to drive that sense of horror right back to the roots of the franchise. And, along with that, the performance from the RE Engine positioned itself as the go-to technology for future Capcom horror titles, including the upcoming Resident Evil 3.
I’m ready for Nemesis to go full boar and ratchet my anxiety up to 120%. Most importantly, I’m ready to play through the original and prep myself for reimagining. Both will give me an opportunity to experience Resident Evil 3 for the first time in two different ways.
Halo Infinite — whatever it is
I wouldn’t say I was exactly over-the-top excited for Halo Infinite to strut its stuff and finally release. It was first teased at E3 2018, leaving me to ask, “Okay, so what is it?” And, I’m pretty much still stuck there despite that being nearly three years ago. The thing that has given me a taste of anticipation as to what Halo Infinite is has come in the form of Halo: The Master Chief Collection coming to PC. More importantly, Halo: Reach making its way to the collection.
Microsoft has done more than just dangle the carrot in front of people as to what its next moves are. So far, we’ve seen Xbox Game Pass evolve into Game Pass Ultimate, bringing new titles to both Xbox and PC to play as long as they have the subscription. This has allowed me to experience games across both platforms, even allowing cross-progression in some cases. But, as of recently, this has lead me to play Halo: Reach on PC and realize how natural the game feels when playing with controller or mouse/keyboard as input devices.
This tees up the experience that may lie ahead in Halo Infinite. With Microsoft recently announcing its Xbox Series X releases for Holiday 2020, with Halo Infinite in tow, there’s no doubt that its enough for me to keep Game Pass Ultimate. Needler to say, I’m excited.
I don’t mean any malice or to sound negative when I say: I’m glad Doom Eternal was delayed. I was impressed with Doom (2016), especially in the way that id Software still managed to perfect and push its self-created genre forward. But, how was the team planning on repeating that success with Doom Eternal releasing just three years after Doom?
I was able to play a demo of Doom Eternal at the Bethesda mixer following the Bethesda press conference at E3 2019. It was far enough along in the game’s development that even I didn’t think it would skip 2019 entirely. There were many things to like about what I was able to play. The scale of the Doom experience seemed much wider now. The dashing and hook mechanic gave the ‘Slayer much more freedom to reach ledges and scale walls. It’s almost as if nothing was out of bounds or off-limits.
This feeling of freedom obviously adds to an already impressive modernization of the demon-slaying shooter. But, I found myself asking the same question: “Am I ready for another Doom?”
The video game industry is the best and worst when it comes to new ideas or things that start to gain popularity. Once something is done (cough, cough, battle royale), it tends to think more is good. And when you’ve had your feel of that thing, then what do they recommend? MORE THING!
At this point, I’m now ready for Doom Eternal. Another year in incubation has provided me the opportunity to play the other games out there on the market before I come full circle back to the need to slay demons, blast fools with shotguns, and paint the walls with biological matter when it releases on March 20, 2020.