With the dusk of a new console generation launch gently setting behind us, it is time to look to the horizon for what is to come. We have got through the PS5 and Xbox Series X launch hurricane by the skin of our wallets, and now we are waiting patiently in the eye of the storm, recouping our pennies. Today we are counting down our most anticipated video games of 2021.
But now it is in sight. The inevitable second storm sweeping in from lands unknown, with the threat of at least another year of support for PS4 and Xbox One. And not forgetting the constant slew of games being released for the unrelenting Nintendo Switch. What games are our team hoping to snag from the impending storm? Let us find out!...
Survival horror is my jam. I've said it once, and I'll keep saying it no matter how old it gets! And what franchise is more renowned for that horror theme than Resident Evil?! The survival element is often optional and down to your resource management. The newest game in this lineup is the upcoming Resident Evil Village, my most anticipated video game of 2021. The eighth with a number but the tenth in the main series. Capcom's flagship horror game series' story is not the easiest to follow from an outsider’s perspective, but more modern fans can breathe easy knowing this is a direct sequel to Resident Evil 7.
Resident Evil Village is still shrouded in a lot of mystery, but Capcom is revealing elements to keep us on our toes incrementally. What we do know is that this game is a sequel to seven. You'll play as Ethan Winters, the protagonist from the previous game. What’s more, the game is played in the same perspective as Resident Evil 7, with a very similar combat system. However, inventory management has been overhauled and somewhat reverted. The favoured "briefcase" style from RE:4 is back, along with the ability to purchase weapons and craft! So, the main question is, why is this my most anticipated game? Well, for one, it's Resident Evil. I'll admit my bias there. But the other reason is the game's overarching theme and feel...
This game is set in a rural village deep in Europe, and you're there to find your missing daughter. You'll investigate this locale and fight its infected inhabitants, moving through the decrepit homes and houses and into a very regal castle! The attention to detail seen in the gameplay videos is second to none, and it holds a very medieval feel to it. And then there are the mysteries around the new characters! There’s the 9ft Lady Dimitrescu and her bloodthirsty daughters, the disgraced Chris Redfield, and the portly and revolting Duke - they all have their motives and are no doubt incredibly dangerous. This game appears to take fantastic ideas from its predecessors and applies them to a new story and theme. Now, all we need to do is survive. Which, again, will no doubt be optional!
There is not a great deal of information out there on my most anticipated video game of 2021, but based on the previous track record of the franchise I am still very excited for Far Cry 6.
The Far Cry games have always been a massive hit for me. I love the sense of exploration, the story, the resource gathering, and the crafting. There is usually a massive world to explore with side quests, items, collectables, and they tick everything that I like in a game. So, of course, I am excited about Far Cry 6. This time, the game is set in a fictional Caribbean island ruled by the dictator “El Presidente” Anton Castillo.
Players take on the role of a guerrilla fighter, Dani Rojas, who is attempting to topple Castillo and his regime. This has all the trappings of what makes Far Cry, well, Far Cry. Crafting weapons and vehicles out of junk, hiring new members to join you in the fight and a big, sprawling open world to explore and make your own mark on. The environment looks very varied and includes jungles, coastal towns, farmland, and urban environments all ripe for exploration. I am most excited about the urban environments as there is more of a “vertical” exploration of the game. Access to rooftops (a la Assassin’s Creed) and back-alley shenanigans all sound very cool. These will give a fresh twist that hasn’t been seen in the Far Cry games before and I can’t wait to sink an unhealthy amount of time into this game.
I am also very much looking forward to seeing what weapons we can craft in the game. I like the idea of this guerrilla fighting unit. Gathering random bits of scrap on the island and combining them into something different and unique.
The Far Cry games have not disappointed in the past and Far Cry 6 seems to have everything that fans love about the series. Ubisoft knows what their fans like and can deliver on the expectation. Now I just have to find something to fill my time until it is released.
These days, getting too excited about something can often lead to disappointment. The hype train can break down and you’ll be stuck on the replacement bus service home. I do my best to avoid the hype. But one announcement got me, one beautiful trailer and a familiar, gorgeous score grabbed me and won’t let go. The Mass Effect Legendary Edition is coming. One of the finest Sci-Fi trilogies ever has finally got a remaster. It’s out in May. I am on that hype(rspace) train. I am gunning it for the nearest Mass Relay. It is firmly my most anticipated video game of 2021.
And who’s by my side? Garrus Vakarian - the greatest sidekick in gaming history. Throughout my many playthroughs of the three original titles, that magnificent Turian in blue was always in my team. He was the first crew member I’d visit between missions on-board the Normandy, for a chat. Most of the time, he was doing calibrations, but it was always great to interact with him. And not once did I try and romance him - our love was pure.
That’s not to say the other characters across the saga aren’t great. Frankly, Mass Effect has some of the most varied and wonderfully written characters in gaming. Each one, especially in Mass Effect II, has a fantastic, well-realised back story. You will want to know more about each and every character throughout your adventure.
Every aspect of these games is expertly crafted and executed. The story, graphics, music, and voice-acting are exceptional. You can really feel the passion that developer BioWare had for these titles. Originally, the ending of Mass Effect III received criticism, but BioWare released a free download which gave a better, more rounded ending. And, ultimately moaning about this issue, it has been completely overdone and I’ll happily blast the next person to mention it out of the airlock.
May 14th can’t come soon enough! My name is Commander Shepherd and I endorse this write-up.
Last year saw the 35th Anniversary of Super Mario. With the first Direct of the year, Nintendo has kicked off the 35th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda with the announcement of Skyward Sword. This has to be one of my most anticipated video games of 2021.
In case you missed the direct, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be remastered in HD and making its way to the Nintendo Switch this summer. From what we saw, there are only a few changes. Most notably, and one that will, without doubt, entice people more than the Wii edition, is the choice to opt-out of motion controls. Motion controls are still there for those of you who want to feel immersed in the role of Link, swinging your joy-con round like a sword. But for those of you who don’t, a simple flick of the right analogue can control the sword instead.
Skyward Sword has left fans divided, with some welcoming the HD remaster and others claiming various titles deserve the HD treatment more. Whether you’re the former or the latter, this announcement shows Nintendo’s willingness to port the older titles to the Switch. This is exactly what we saw with Super Mario last year.
Eurogamer, a site that is usually pretty solid when it comes to leaks, states Windwaker and Twilight Princess will be coming to the Switch. Meanwhile, other rumours suggest that Ocarina of Time, Windwaker, and its direct sequel Phantom Hourglass will possibly be coming as one cartridge, as we saw with Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
Whether Skyward Sword was your cup of tea or not, it is safe to say that the excitement is finally starting to snowball around the franchise for its 35th Anniversary. For me personally, Skyward Sword’s powerful origin story matched with its dense in-depth gameplay made it one of Link’s greatest adventures. One that I will 100% be picking up again.
It is coming! It is finally, finally, FINALLY coming! One of my most anticipated video games of 2021!
I have been eagerly waiting for this game since it was first showcased all the way back in 2017. There were rumours at one point that the game had been cancelled. This was after it missed its initial launch window of 2019. Now we are three years later, and the game has an official release date, and I am super, super, SUPER hyped! (All my crying in anguish must have paid off!)
Biomutant looks to be a genre-defining title. Open world RPG set in a fantasy world setting. That is usually enough to divert my attention from whatever random indie game I have found myself in, even with how generic it sounds. But what this game does differently is almost everything. You do not get a handful of stat points to distribute at the start to determine your playstyle, nor do you simply choose a class or profession to pursue. Your stats are allocated depending on how you customise your character. Make yourself a big burly beast and you may find yourself with low intelligence and charisma but with a rigorous right hook. Make yourself a slender, stylish swine and you may find yourself an acrobatic furball that can charm the socks off people. It amazes me how no one has done this before now.
You can change the genetic makeup of your character by interacting with bio-contamination that will mutate your body, granting you new physical abilities. You are even able to mutate your mental prowess by interacting with radioactive material from ‘the old world’. (Psst! I think that is us!) Traverse the world in your custom-created mega mech, hot air balloon, or even a jet ski. Battle unusual creatures with your custom-created weapons and kung-fu mastery. I can not wait to go on an adventure with my custom little furry creature who can jetpack into the air, throw some giant bubbles at enemies, shoot them with my custom-built bio-sludge shotgun, and karate chop my way to victory. Did I mention there seems to be a lot of customisation in this game?
Biomutant looks incredibly stunning. Its ideas are fresh and welcoming. It has a joyful charm to it. And it is even far cheaper than I think anyone expected it to be. I am really, really, REALLY hoping that it lives up to my expectations because, above all else, the game just looks like a barrel of fun. I think we are all due to a bit of light-hearted fun.