Gold and Silver Updates


It’s been a heckuva yr, hasn’t it? World pandemic, mass lockdown, political strife, civil unrest, protests, conflicts, and I’m solely simply itemizing the issues I can keep in mind. However in the midst of all of it, 2020 had one saving grace: video video games. Caught at residence, extra individuals turned to gaming than ever earlier than. We had two console launches, each of which turned out to be fairly good. We had a number of disappointments this yr — the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 might be the most important letdown of the yr — however for probably the most half we had some nice video games and we had lots to take pleasure in.

Normally, I do a prime 10 record of video games, separated out by style (you possibly can learn those I wrote for 2018 and 2019). However the way in which this yr has been, it feels arbitrary and unsporting to restrict the accolades to just one sport per style. Frankly, video games did a lot to make 2020 bearable that I don’t wish to make them compete in opposition to one another for some sort of prime slot in any respect.

As a substitute, I’m going to record the video games of this yr that had been probably the most pleasurable, those that did probably the most to distract us from this gloomy, daunting journey across the solar. So let’s have a good time, in no explicit order, the perfect video games of 2020!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Was there any sport that was extra of a tonic for 2020 than this one? Fairly, low-stakes, child-friendly, and addictive, New Horizons was the sport we wanted in 2020. Because of a launch date that coincided with the intense onset of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, most of us had been pleased to flee to our little island paradises.

New Horizons has remained a fairly self-conscious a part of the zeitgeist, turning into a staging floor for public occasions, together with the 2020 US presidential election. It was odd, as this fluffy life simulator would in all probability, in a much less eventful yr, have been a distinct segment product for devoted Nintendo followers. As a substitute it was found by lots of, if not 1000’s of latest followers, and it continues to be supported to at the present time.

The Final of Us Half II

In distinction to the above, a sport a couple of communicable illness ravaging the world and destroying lives might need been inadvertently flirting with poor style. It’s fortunate then that The Final of Us Half II is such a darned good sport that we will mainly overlook that. Whereas the gameplay could not have been an enormous evolution from the primary, Half II’s most attention-grabbing additions had been within the story.

Whereas it might have been considerably controversial, Naughty Canine’s audacious story decisions and new characters shook up the in-game established order and launched a fancy central mechanic. It additionally allowed Ellie to take a deserved step to heart stage and develop as an individual. It’s a rewarding sequel that doesn’t merely commerce on the love of the unique, and a damned good horror sport as effectively.

Doom Everlasting

Popping out on the identical day as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you couldn’t ask for a extra totally different sport than the sequel to 2016’s Doom. Doom Everlasting is likely to be one of many solely actual representatives of the motion style to come back out this yr, however damned (actually) if it isn’t a wonderful one.

There was no sport this yr as guiltlessly superior and enjoyable as Doom Everlasting. Between the explosive velocity of the gameplay, and the humor of the cutscenes, the sport refuses to allow you to cease for breath. And I loved each second of it.


Okay, full disclosure: that is my private decide for Recreation of the 12 months, in case you power me to choose only one. As a result of this sport did the inconceivable of drawing me in for dozens and dozens of hours, and I hate roguelikes. However even I, who couldn’t have been much less on this sport’s central mechanic, discovered myself absorbed and hooked on Hades.

This sport is a collection of nice issues including as much as one thing higher than the sum of their components: nice music, nice character design, nice use of classical delusion, nice mixing of story and gameplay, and actually nice voice appearing. It’s a terrific sport and doubtless the one I’ll spend probably the most time taking part in effectively into 2021.

Ghost of Tsushima

A sport I’ve been dying to see because it was introduced, Ghost of Tsushima is the historical ninja-simulator that we’ve sort of been hoping the Murderer’s Creed collection can be someday. However I’m unsure how AC might prime this, as a result of Ghost tells such a terrific slow-burn story that I don’t assume it may very well be topped in the identical time interval.

On prime of that, the sport is simply nice to play. The fight is intuitive, the stealth is difficult with out being punishing, and the map shouldn’t be so massive you get open-world fatigue. It’s a sport that commits to telling its story a sure method and is aware of what it desires to attain, which I each respect and luxuriate in. Additionally, the multiplayer has turned out to be wonderful.

Fall Guys

Including onto the above about colourful, joyous video games actually resonating this yr, Fall Guys: Final Knockout was the multiplayer sensation this yr for exactly these causes. In a yr during which many people had been separated from our family and friends, I can consider no higher method to convey everybody collectively than a foolish celebration sport like this one.

Fall Guys is that actual mixture of cute and chaos that makes it excellent for everybody from the solo participant to the Twitch streamer taking part in for an enormous viewers. It’s additionally kid-friendly, one thing that I don’t assume might be underestimated given what number of kids had been probably caught inside with little else to do that yr.

Ori & the Will of the Wisps

One of many first video games of the yr, and doubtless my decide for probably the most stunning, Ori & the Will of the Wisps was a tremendous follow-up to an already nice sport. It expands on and refines the platforming enjoyable, and tells a touching story of affection, sacrifice, and heroism with only a few phrases spoken.

I’d go as far as to say this sport is definitely higher than the unique, as a result of it adds one thing the unique was sorely missing: a forged bigger than 4 or so characters. Right here Ori interacts with a number of creatures in its new residence, doing precise sidequests and amassing missions on prime of the principle story. It’s a terrific enlargement of the unique’s successful method.

Genshin Affect

For those who’d advised me this time final yr {that a} free-to-play, available-on-mobile, anime-style gacha MMORPG can be one of many huge hits of this yr, I… effectively, I wouldn’t have doubted you, precisely, however I don’t assume even that description would have been sufficient to assist me image Genshin Affect.

This sport’s Breath of the Wild type and intelligent monetization are each the main components that make it so absorbing. The world is so stunning, and the characters so earnest and likeable that it greater than makes up for the money and time it calls for (or sneakily suggests) you spend money on it.

Murderer’s Creed Valhalla

There’s one thing so comforting about diving again into the world of Murderer’s Creed — these video games are all the time some mixture of enjoyable and academic, like a very stabby episode of The place in Time is Carmen Sandiego. This time, we slide into the footwear of Eivor the Viking and expertise the lifetime of this seafaring raider.

Valhalla does take after the perfect components of Odyssey, together with the world exploration and the funding in aspect characters. Whereas I’m not an enormous fan of the way it overindulges within the Precursor backstory (one thing I take into account to be the weakest a part of the AC story), it’s a great joy to return to the gameplay Ubisoft has spent over a decade sprucing to a sheen.

Honorable mentions

These video games weren’t sufficient to make the record correct, however I felt they deserved acknowledgement.

Madden 2021 & UFC 4: I didn’t play many (or any) sports activities video games this yr, so I bow to the superior information of my colleague Tristan, who had this to say: “2020 could have been powerful for many players, however one silver lining was a return to type for EA’s Madden and UFC collection. Madden 2021 solved the most important downside from final yr’s title (imho) by fixing the passing sport. The wonderful “Face of the Franchise” and “The Yard” modes each got here out polished and able to have interaction individuals past H2H and card-based modes. And UFC 4 revolutionized its personal management system, overhauled the profession system and launched a candy old-school use-based expertise system for particular person strikes that makes making a specialist character with a bag of super-powered strikes as straightforward as creating your personal play type.”

Astro’s Playroom: Primarily a showcase for the capabilities of the PS5’s DualSense controller, Astro’s is a surprisingly enjoyable little romp and a love letter to the historical past of Sony’s console line. It might not have a compelling story or artwork design, however it was far and away the perfect puzzle sport of the yr.

Amongst Us: Technically, I can’t classify this as a terrific 2020 sport as a result of it didn’t come out in 2020, however I’d be remiss if I excluded Amongst Us, the little indie thriller social sport that turned a phenomenon because of Twitch streamers and YouTubers discovering it en masse. It’s all the time good to see an underdog triumph, and Amongst Us had by far the most important cultural impression of any sport this yr.

That is my final piece of writing as TNW’s gaming geek, and it’s nice to exit on such a excessive notice. Might all of us have as pleasurable a time gaming in 2021!

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Revealed December 31, 2020 — 09:00 UTC


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