Next year is going to be a big year for video games, with a lot of hotly anticipated games due to release in the run up to the next generation of consoles. New consoles are nice and all, but what about the 11 months between now and their release? There are a ton of games slated for next year, but I’ve selected a handful of the ones with confirmed release dates to talk about.
That being said, there’s a lot of games that don’t have concrete dates that I’m excited for, but decided to not put on this list. Anyway, here’s 6 games confirmed for the first half of 2020 that I’m personally excited for.
DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT – JANUARY 17th
Look y’all, Dragon Ball Z fever is back and people all over the world are charging up energy blasts and screaming at each other for hours on end. After 2018’s Dragon Ball Fighter Z released, I feel like I’ve heard more about Dragon Ball as a franchise than ever before. I guess with its swell in popularity, the decision to make a game based off of the most iconic arcs in the series was an easy call.
Enter, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, an action RPG where you’ll play as the worlds worst father himself, Goku, in what seems like the first few sagas on Dragon Ball Z. It looks like the more classic Dragon Ball 3D fighting games with some RPG and exploration elements sprinkled on for good measure. On paper, it all sounds really cool.
Out of the few games on this short list, this one is easily the one I’m most cautious about. I don’t think it will be a bad game, but I do think it’ll be incredibly polarizing for people like myself who only really enjoyed Dragon Ball Fighter Z, which is a 2D fighting game, and never really played the 3D fighters.
ORI & THE WILL OF THE WISPS – FEBRUARY 11th
When I think back to my time with Ori & the Blind Forest, I can’t help but remember its beauty in both presentation and story and its good, but not great, platforming gameplay. It wasn’t a bad game by any stretch, but more of a less refined experience than I was looking for. Some of the exploration based stuff felt a little tedious and not worth the hassle.
A few years have passed however, and the sequel is on the horizon. I’m excited to see what Ori & the Will of the Wisps brings to the table both in terms of new features and refinements to the existing platforming and Metroidvania formula of its predecessor. Ori & the Blind Forest was a great foundation that a proper sequel could really build off of in some exciting and interesting ways. Here’s hoping.
ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW HORIZONS – MARCH 20th
I’m not a big gardener, or interior decorator, people person or the general outdoorsy type. In fact, if I was in a real life Animal Crossing scenario, I might physically and mentally break down. That being said, I’m beyond excited to do all of those things I usually hate in the latest game in the storied Animal Crossing series, Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Just look at how dang adorable this game is. It looks like its turning up the complexity of its mechanics ever so slightly with basic crafting mechanics, which I’m normally not a fan of, but it seems like a good way to increase the playtime in a game that’s basically a short, daily checklist. Crafting seems like a decent way to artificially pad out how much time you can spend in a given session, making you have to consider the condition of your tools and make more of them to progress.
Like I said, Animal Crossing as a concept should be something I hate, but its just so darn cute and relaxing that I can’t help but be smitten by it.
CYBERPUNK 2077 – APRIL 16th
Remember all that cutesy baloney I was spouting in the last blurb? Well forget all that, cause Cyberpunk 2077 is coming out shortly after Animal Crossing: New Horizons and it’s gonna be so extreme that I’m preparing now by funneling cans of Mountain Dew into my face as we speak.
I can’t wait to dive into a hyper connected, cyberpunk dystopia and chop it up with my main man Keanu Reeves. We’re gonna drive our cyber car to the cyber store to buy cyber arms that have cyber guns in them, and it’s gonna all have a cool synth-wave vibe to it that’s absolutely my aesthetic.
I don’t know why I took such an aggressive stance with this description, Cyberpunk 2077 to my knowledge, hasn’t had any Doritos or Mountain Dew integrations announced for it… yet.
All jokes aside, the game looks like its right up my alley on all fronts. My only trepidation is the fact that it looks like it’s gonna be a hefty game, and I don’t know that I have the time in my life anymore to dedicate to a game like that. As much as I want a big, cyberpunk themed RPG in my life, it might be an overwhelming prospect. We’ll see though.
MARVEL’S AVENGERS – MAY 15th
Man, this game doesn’t look great, but I can still hold out hope that we’re getting a good Avengers game in the near future.
Everything about the online structure and live service nature of Marvel’s Avengers scares me just a little bit. While I would’ve preferred a more traditional single player experience with the option to group up with my pals in a cooperative campaign, I won’t balk at an Avengers game without giving it a fair shake.
The story seems interesting enough, the gameplay looks fun enough, but part of me is worried that the live service stuff is going to compromise a lot of the positive things this game has going for it. Fingers crossed.
THE LAST OF US PART II – MAY 29th
I don’t know if I can handle another 20 hours of being repeatedly punched in the emotion glands of my body the way that The Last of Us did back in 2013. Actually scratch that, I think I can handle it, but I just don’t know if I have the patience for more zombie stuff anymore.
I stand by the assertion that the worst parts of The Last of Us were the parts where the zombies were involved. I get that the story revolved around curing the virus and how people survived in that world, but every single time a clicker was on screen I just wanted it to be over.
It was much more interesting and fun to square off against the horrible humans that inhabited the world instead of having to sneak around these one-shotting zombies, hoping I had enough shivs to dispatch those who would inevitably see me.
I’m excited to see the next chapter in terms of the gameplay innovations, story telling and presentation, but I’m less excited about fighting more zombies.
So that’s just a few cherry-picked releases from early next year that have confirmed release dates on them that I’m interested in. There are still a ton of games that are confirmed for 2020 that don’t have dates that I’m curious about, but we’ll get to those eventually.