By Lewis Empson and Marcus Yeatman-Crouch
It’s a big year for gaming. After 2020 saw a massive amount of delays to highly anticipated titles, many of them shifted their release date to 2021. A loss in the short term, but now we’ve got a whole host of huge games to look forward to this year! We’ve picked the ones we’re most excited to get to grips with here, let us know what you think and what your most anticipated game is on Twitter or Instagram.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Marcus: I may only have included this for nostalgia – LEGO Star Wars was one of the first games I ever played on my PS2 – but the Skywalker Saga is something to really get excited about. This will be one of the biggest LEGO games ever made, featuring levels new and old across all 9 major Star Wars films, including Episodes VIII and IX, of which we have never had any LEGO games for. Don’t expect many groundbreaking gameplay changes – LEGO is LEGO, they have a tried and true formula and the Star Wars games are some of the most successful out there. What you can be hyped for is the biggest roster of collectible characters in a LEGO game, classic humour, and every level built (or rebuilt) from the ground up. Players will be able to start the game from anywhere in the saga too, so you can really mix and match how you play the game, and your experience will always be different to someone else’s. The Skywalker Saga promises to be the ultimate love letter to Star Wars and LEGO fans of all ages, and with a release date of Spring 2021 it’s not long now before we can get stuck in.
Far Cry 6
Lewis: Far Cry has seen a rocky few previous instalments, but its batsh*t crazy action gameplay is always consistently fun and unpredictable which has led me to the conclusion that any new Far Cry is good Far Cry. Far Cry 5 may have been polarising (personally I loved it) but it’s frenzied action, engrossing story and varied cast of characters I genuinely cared about (looking at you unbearable Far Cry 3 kids) made it one of my favourites and its post apocalyptic sequel New Dawn may have not been perfect but it was an interesting new take on the series with a very vibrant aesthetic. Now enough looking back at the franchise and onto the future with Far Cry 6; originally slated for Feb 18th but thanks to a delay it is now looking like Spring 2021. Far Cry 6 looks to be returning to the series’ roots with exotic locations embroiled with revolutions and corrupt governments. Your mission is to survive the turmoil and take down the big corrupt baddie – played here by the menacing Giancarlo Esposito so Breaking Bad and Mandolorian fans rejoice. The promise of the biggest and most varied map in Far Cry history by the name of Yara has me already salivating at the prospect of crazy action set pieces and its Cuban inspired aesthetic fits the series perfectly. Hopefully Far Cry 6 can build on many of the improvements found in 5 and elevate the series back to its former Far Cry 3 glory days and if not then I’m sure the explosions will keep me entertained either way.
God of War: Ragnarok
Marcus: Possibly the only game I truly got out of my chair for when I saw it’s title reveal in the PS5 Showcase back in September. Even now, we’ve still only seen its name and a fancy, blue version of the last game’s logo, but Ragnarok is by far one of the biggest games coming this year. The last game set up our main character Kratos and his son Atreus in the realms of Norse mythology, but there was a distinct lack of the real god killing which the series is known for. Without spoiling too much if you haven’t played the first soft-reboot game (you should), that seems set to change, and we can only hope that Kratos will soon be taking on Thor, Odin and plenty of other Norse gods in the same brutal fashion he dealt with the Greek ones. There’s not much else to say, really – the game is set to come out in the all-important Autumn window of 2021, so we’re bound to find out more about its content before the summer. Keep an eye out, we’ll definitely be covering this game more as it gets revealed.
Resident Evil 8: Village
Lewis: After the comeback of the generation with Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, Capcom have been knocking it out of the park with the Resi franchise after its slump in quality with 5 and 6. The remakes of 2 and 3 have shown Capcom’s commitment to revitalising the series to a higher standard and Village looks to be continuing this trend. Village is a direct sequel to 7 and appears to be stepping up the fear factor with lurking werewolf creatures, a creepy cultish monastery and an isolated European inspired town reminiscent of Resi 4 – fingers crossed we get to see Leon Kennedy make his triumphant return as this looks to be his scene. What’s most interesting is that based on the trailers, former protagonist and major cameo from 7 that formed the link to the main series, Chris Redfield, appears to be the villain of the story as there is an overarching conspiracy plot involving him murdering your family – intense stuff and that’s just in the trailer! I can’t wait to see what direction Village takes the series although it’s another victim of the “unspecified 2021 release date plague”, however, I’m sure this will be worth the wait.
Horizon: Forbidden West
Marcus: Much like Ragnarok, the new Horizon game is a hotly anticipated sequel to one of the PS4’s best exclusives, Zero Dawn. Once again, players will be following popular protagonist Aloy as she journeys to the west coast of techno-primitive-post-apocalyptic (something like that) America, encountering all new robot dinosaur things and, as usual, some terrible humans to fight. The first game was stunning on PS4 and on next gen Forbidden West is bound to be one of the best looking titles of this first full year of PS5 releases. There was so much to build off from Zero Dawn that its sequel’s arrival couldn’t be timelier, and while like Ragnarok we’ll have to wait for an official date, we’re safely assuming it’ll come around in the summer time. Given that Zero Dawn also saw a PC port a few years after release, players more inclined to the keyboard and mouse can retain hope that Forbidden West will find its way to Steam at some point too.
Lewis: If you’ve checked out my Xbox Series X review, then you’ll remember my complaint regarding the lack of a big triple-a launch title that would entice gamers to the system. Halo Infinite was supposed to be this game however its November 2020 release date has been pushed back almost a year to Autumn 2021 – yikes. Either way, I am an avid Halo fan and I’m going to trust the process with this one as news has been trickling in relating to major overhauls and improvements since the slightly janky first look we got in the Xbox livestreams of yesteryear. I think this game is brimming with potential with its new semi-open world environments, new weapons and gadgets like the grappling hook, and an overall return of the Combat Evolved vibe. This is supposed to be a soft reboot which after the story of 4 and 5 I completely welcome and honestly I’m excited to get back to classic Halo; and by extension a sweet new Halo multiplayer experience. I’m rooting for Halo here, I’d love to see it make a comeback as it’s been kind of lackluster since the days of 3 and Reach. There have been some issues and controversy in development with big creative heads leaving 343 Industries, but I won’t write it off quite yet as I still have hope for a new generation of Halo.
Marcus: Now, there’s not too much to talk about when it comes to the new Battlefield title, but we can confirm it has been officially announced to release in the ‘holiday 2021’ period, which should mean the big November timeframe that always sees the big FPS titles competing. I am a massive Battlefield fan so I just had to put it down as one of my most anticipated. There is word that this year will see the game return to the modern warfare genre that Battlefield 3 and 4 thrived in, and I’m thankful for that as the World War settings of the past two games were great fun and a refreshing change, but the franchise absolutely lives on the near-future, all out warfare setting. There’s not a lot more to be said about the title, but DICE tend to be very consistent with their Battlefield releases and a return to the present can only mean more massive conflicts – except now they’ll be on next-gen, which is an absolutely mouth watering prospect.
GTA V: Expanded and Enhanced Edition
Lewis: Ok this may be a controversial choice. Yes this game is getting milked by Rockstar for all its worth and of course I would prefer GTA VI, however, it’s a great game 7 years on and I’m looking forward to seeing it with even more content, better performance and a new coat of paint like it was fresh out of Los Santos Customs. GTA Online may be getting a little repetitive these days but I still log in for the daily grind and it has absolutely kept me sane over lockdown with its unending races, jobs and multiplayer modes. It’s just received a huge new heist as part of its 7 year long commitment of free DLC updates from Rockstar and, hell, this new version of GTA Online will be free on the PS5 (with a PS Plus membership) – what is there to complain about. Ok well it could be GTA VI, everyone wants it obviously, but it’s just a waiting game for its release which may be a while away yet so a high performance, definitive edition of GTA V (with its free standalone online version) can tide us over until then.