Jokes aside, we're at number eight on our list of the AusGamers Top 10 Best Games of 2020 list, which is definitely keeping us busy as we ring in the New Year.
So far we've had Cyberpunk 2077 come in at number 10 and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 at number nine. So what takes us through to eight? Well, some hints: It's a big, open-world. It's shiny. It's easily the best of its series. It's shiny. It leverages new technology in ways no other game ever has. It has coop. It's shiny. It was the most-talked about release at the time of its, errr, release. New audiences will get a chance to experience it soon. And, did we mention it's shiny?
We're closing in on the halfway point, so keep checking back each day to see what makes the definitive AusGamers list for the Top 10 Best Games of 2020, as well as the 10 games that fell just shy in our forthcoming Honourable Mentions list as well.
Everyone loves a surprise package. An apt way to consider ION LANDS’ Cloudpunk where you take on the role of Rania, a from out-of-town delivery driver for the Cloudpunk delivery service in the bustling ‘streets’ of Nivalis -- a sprawling cyberpunk metropolis forever rained-upon, neon and packed with interesting characters. To say this left-of-field release leaves a synth hook in your heart and memory would be an understatement, and behind its casually stunning voxel art lies a game brimming with confidence from a production perspective, trumped only by ION LANDS’ thorough world-building and storytelling.
It’s far from perfect, with controlling your delivery vehicle being a bit of a mess, especially on console, but when you graduate from your cloud Ls the game offers up an experience that is half gameplay, half story beset in a world of pure cybermagination (yeah, made that up). Rania -- the game’s main characters, is supported by a cast of game-world personalities as colourful as the game’s neon-lit buildings that ache for the rolling clouds above. In addition to this colour is a structure in principle and story that drives the game ever-forward. Decisions plague your shaping of Nivalis and the aforementioned colour keeps it all always interesting.
Camus, your Automota dog companion is a perfect counterweight to the heavy state of the world of Nivalis, and keeps the initially naive Rania in check, but plays just as important a part as the player and their decisions. There’s a sense of philosophical proprietary to the game’s messaging that only fully manifests when you take the time to seek out every person’s plight, and fix it, for good or for bad. The game is definitely story-heavy, but that doesn’t impact your movement through the world or its peripheral social commentary. We reckon your eyes will wonder from the roadways and towards ads and blinking lights more than you’d expect.
A surprise hit and one this studio can only go up from. A sleeper giant of a game beyond worth your investment.