According to calendars and clocks and other methods of calculating the passage of time, the year that will forever be 2020 is coming to a close. In games that means awards time (as is tradition here our epic Game of the Year countdown will commence over the break), but also a look to the future. The future here being 2021.
Over at Red Bull Games
we've done exactly that, with Stephen and I looking at just what games are on the horizon. Plus, some wishful thinking. Of course there's stuff missing, like with any big list... buy hey, that's just proof that the first full year of Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and the next-gen NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards is going to be huge.
Back 4 Blood
Head Here to Check Out '2021 - The Year Ahead in Games'
More like “back for the good”. For those not in the know Turtle Rock, the developer behind Left 4 Dead, left Valve’s zombie-infested shadow and went to 2K with a new concept -- Evolve. Evolve, at its design and effort best was a beast of a game; near-perfect in ideation alone. It got thrown to proverbial monsters, though, in over-monetisation and found itself alone in the wild. Neary has there been a sadder end to what right now should be an ongoing franchise. But we digress.
The studio then, with time to think, decided “if it ain’t broke” and we’re now facing Back 4 Blood a virtual spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead, only this time around Turtle Rock has teamed up with Warner Bros. Games which is not as flippant a statement as you might think, after all they also came in on the brilliant Dying Light -- another zombie outing. So with support and hopefully a less cash-incentivised release directive, as well as cross-play potential and new hardware, Turtle Rock’s new zombie outing will hopefully be a studio evolution and something we can all look forward to being terrified at.
From Arkane Studios, the team behind the criminally underrated Dishonored series, Deathloop is a brand-new slice of action-IP from Bethesda that will see you stuck in a time loop on the mysterious island of Blackreef looking to take out key targets. Think Groundhog Day but with Bill Murray packing heat and the goal being to take out some bad people and not, you know, to find love. Though that might also be on the cards. This PlayStation 5 and PC timed-exclusive has been in development for sometime and is on track for a mid-2021 release.
The whole time-loop setup isn’t merely a way in which the game will embrace the whole roguelight system of repetition, but offer up puzzles and challenges in addition to the action. Abilities and weapons will go hand-in-hand, and that’s the sort of thing you’d expect from the studio behind Dishonored. Arkane has dabbled in the roguelight space before too, in space, with the excellent Mooncrash expansion for Prey.
All of that set aside though, Deathloop just looks, well, cool. Thanks to its 70s inspired art and killer cast of killers, because here there’s no Dishonored-style ‘non-lethal’ takedowns here, it has a Tarantino vibe that is hard to shake. Just like being stuck in a never ending time loop, looking for a way out.