We’re about to say goodbye to 2019. I did list my choices last year, and I looked at how they fared. But, that was then. 2020 brings us a plethora of games, many of these are hotly anticipated titles. In my case, however, 2020 might as well be the year of trilogies. Several of my picks round out their respective franchise’s trilogies (including a remake when it was originally released).
Here are my most anticipated games for the upcoming year. Also, no, I’m not that excited for Cyberpunk 2077. (Still, I’ll happily write guides for it if Cam decides to send me a code. Thanks, Cam!)
Crusader Kings 3
Crusader Kings 3 releases in 2020. It’s also a game that I foresee myself putting 2,020 hours into much like its predecessor. To other folks, looking at a map and tiny armies marching around might be as exciting as watching paint dry. In my case, the Crusader Kings franchise has always been about being able to revisit unique time periods while enriching my love of history.
With a gigantic world map just as large as the previous game, Crusader Kings 3 won’t make you feel as though you started from scratch. As mentioned in a previous article and dev Q&A, it’s going to go big right from the start.
Crusader Kings 3‘s map will span from western Europe all the way to the hinterlands next to China’s borders. The world has more provinces for you to go warring in. At the same time, character progression and traits have been revamped, and it appears we’ll see something akin to a traditional skill tree. Likewise, Crusader Kings 3 has concepts that attempt to recreate the dynamism of history combined with sandbox gameplay. That is, we’ll see dynasties in power and dynastic offshoots in minor houses that start branching out — and, of course, you can even cultivate your own family tree.
I am eagerly looking forward to Crusader Kings 3. But, I also have some concerns. I can only hope that these major tweaks and changes won’t lead to the stumbling blocks suffered by Imperator: Rome.
I’ve been in love with turn-based tactical strategy and RPG titles for decades. Something about them makes you stop, look, and plan ahead without the need to feel too rushed. At the same time, the roleplaying elements make for interesting choices and customization options. In the past, games like Fallout, X-COM, and Wasteland served this purpose. The last one will round out its franchise’s trilogy this coming year with Wasteland 3.
Wasteland 3 is set in the post-apocalyptic midwestern US. You and your squad of desert rangers will have to save the Patriarch of Colorado from his greedy trio of sons. You can expect the series’ trademark turn-based combat with mature themes, all while following a story with decisions that can lead to drastic outcomes.
Developer InXile Entertainment is now part of Microsoft, so you know they’ve got the financial backing to deliver a superb offering in 2020. Still, caution needs to be observed. It wasn’t too long ago when The Bard’s Tale IV: Director’s Cut released, and this version was plagued with a slew of bugs and glitches.
Resident Evil 3
In the mid to late ’90s, Resident Evil and Silent Hill battled for supremacy as the top survival horror franchise on the PlayStation. The Resident Evil series was, to a degree, what my younger sister and I bonded over despite our vastly different tastes in video games. I still recall coming home from college one night dressed in a black raincoat and chasing my sister throughout the street. I was pretending that I was Nemesis by yelling “STAAAARRRRS!” Good times!
So, yes, I’m definitely looking forward to Resident Evil 3 once it comes out in 2020. Having played and enjoyed the original, I’m keen on seeing what Capcom can do with a full remake. Remember how brilliant Resident Evil 2‘s remake was, as evidenced by our review and player feedback? It’s a safe bet that Capcom is setting up the thrills.
Resident Evil 3‘s remake even includes Resident Evil: Resistance, a 4v1 co-op game where you create traps and control bosses (such as the Tyrant) to take out a team of survivors. With the RE Engine, improved visuals, changes to mechanics, and some twists and surprises, Resident Evil 3 is shaping up to be a glorious offering for the modern-day survival horror gamer.
I enjoy some indie titles like everyone else. There’s one that kept me preoccupied for long periods of time. That indie gem is Renowned Explorers: International Society from Abbey Games. I also happen to agree with Tim McDonald that Renowned Explorers needs more love. As such, it came as no surprise that I eagerly await the release of Abbey Games’ Godhood.
Note: Godhood was also one of my most anticipated games of 2019. Given its 2020 release date, it also makes the list here.
In Godhood, you play as a deity managing your followers’ settlement, needs, and skills. It was akin to Renowned Explorers given the art style and a few concepts, though a lot of mechanics were vastly different. Unfortunately, I did experience some issues while doing a preview of the game, from the occasional crash to loading a save. As for the mechanics, Godhood uses an automated combat system and playthroughs were shorter (around three to four hours per run). It didn’t keep me engaged as much as Renowned Explorers did.
Godhood is just an early access title, which means we can hope for more improvements down the line. Still, Abbey Games might be experiencing some internal woes. It’s best to keep fingers crossed that Godhood, eventually, delivers.
Honorable Mentions: My other anticipated games of 2020
Halo Infinite – I didn’t enjoy Halo: Reach‘s remastered PC version as much as I wanted to. I took note of the bland graphical upgrades, technical issues, and outdated mechanics that didn’t gel well with today’s modern FPS titles. Bungie‘s last outing with the Halo franchise just can’t hold a candle to the one it’s focused on now, Destiny 2, no matter how much 343 worked on Reach‘s remaster. Still, I’m looking forward to Halo Infinite as it is, without a doubt, the modern-day Halo game for today’s PCs.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 – Around 15 years ago I played Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines for the first time. I didn’t like it. I rediscovered it a couple of years later and I ended up growing fond of it. It’s like a dessert that you found delicious only after a second serving. Bloodlines is considered a cult classic, and the sequel is something I’m eager to play in 2020.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope – The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan greatly exceeded my expectations. With a few hints dropped at the end of the game, we had a glimpse of what the next title, Little Light, could bring to the table.
Dying Light 2 – The original Dying Light was quite entertaining when it originally launched, and much more so with Dying Light: Enhanced Edition. We’ll see if Techland can outdo itself with the sequel this 2020.
Total War Saga: Troy – I’d like to see what Total War Saga: Troy can offer, though I do have some nagging concerns. The Saga titles tend to be a hit or miss of sorts.
Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord – Yes, Bannerlord will finally release in 2020… as an early access title. At this rate, it’s a race between Bannerlord, the last two Game of Thrones novels, and mankind colonizing Mars to see which one will finally come to fruition first.
Half-Life: Alyx – I mean, it’s Half-Life. It’s a VR title. It could completely change how companies create VR games and how players experience them. Plus, I think it’s about time that I spend $900 (or half a billion Philippine pesos) on a VR headset and more hardware upgrades.
Cyberpunk 2077 – Why not? I heard it’s breathtaking.
These are my most anticipated PC games of 2020. What are yours?