With 2020 (thankfully) drawing to a close, all eyes are on the future. For us here at PC Invasion though, our eyes are on the future of games as well. Despite 2020 being the dumpster fire that it was, we got a lot of great games this year that made it just a little more bearable. But we also have some anticipated games coming in 2021.
While life won’t be returning to normal as soon as the calendar hits January, there is certainly more optimism than there has been in the past few months. So as we wait for better times to come, I am going to go over my top 5 most anticipated games coming in 2021 that have me the most excited.
Guilty Gear -Strive-
Guilty Gear -Strive- is not just one of my most anticipated games of 2021. It is, without question, my most anticipated game of next year. The previous entry in the long running fighting game series, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, was a fantastic addition to the legendary franchise. Despite the closed beta test earlier this year being… let’s just say rough, developer Arc System Works has acknowledged many of the game’s issues and are working towards improving the them.
Its “Developer’s Backyard” updates have done a lot to instill faith in the game’s progress. The UI has been improved, rollback netcode is actually happening, and the game remains (for my money) the best-looking thing to ever have a controller plugged into it. Not to mention a bangin’ soundtrack, which is on par for the series.
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk
If there is one company that can rival Capcom for the amount of beloved IPs it lets remain untouched for decades, it’s Sega. One of those franchises collecting dust in the Sega vaults is Jet Set Radio. That game and its sequel/reboot, Jet Set Radio Future, are two of the most unique games ever made. Combining a beautiful, unique, cel-shaded art style and one of the best soundtracks ever committed to a game courtesy of the legendary Hideki Naganuma, Jet Set Radio left an impression on everyone who touched it.
Multiple failed revivals later, the developers at Team Reptile decided that if Sega wasn’t going to make a sequel, they’d do it themselves. Enter: Bomb Rush Cyberfunk. The team behind the indie fighter Lethal League Blaze has already proved that it gets Jet Set Radio‘s unique sense of style perfectly, and Naganum will return to compose for Bomb Rush Cyberfunk. While it may not be Jet Set Radio in name, it certainly is in spirit, and in its funky fresh soul. In the end, that’s all that matters.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, the Digimon franchise has been making a comeback in ways nobody expected. The reboot of the original series, Digimon Adventure 2020, has been great, and the three films following that same cast into adulthood, Digimon Adventure tri., have been way better than they had any right to be. Not only did a new card game also release to massive success, selling out on its first day, but the Digimon video games have also been quietly rising in quality.
Despite its competition, Pokémon, being mired in fan disappointment, controversy, and questionable quality, the last few Digimon games have been excellent. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, and its follow up, Hacker’s Memory, are both excellent RPGs that completely eclipse the latest entries in the Pokémon series on quality. Despite having several delays, the next video game entry in the franchise, Digimon Survive, is shaping up to be something special. The Digimon anime was always better than Pokémon (sorry to break it to you folks; I like both, but that is a hard point to argue) and now every other branch of the franchise is starting to do the same.
Revealed earlier this year at the DC Fandome event, Gotham Knights is shockingly not a sequel to the Batman Arkham franchise. Taking place in its own continuity where Batman is dead (sure, he is…), his disciples Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, and Red Hood must take on the mantle of the Bat themselves and fight to protect Gotham City.
Despite not releasing until next year, the gameplay we saw at DC Fandome already seemed to eclipse the then just-about-released Marvel’s Avengers. Because of the failure of that game, it remains to be seen if Gotham Knights will keep the “games as a service” model, but I personally hope lessons are learned and we begin to pivot away from that in the industry altogether. Even if it doesn’t though, the co-op, crime-fighting action is enough to get me excited about the next foray for the Caped Crusader’s crime fighting comrades. Also, yes, I will be playing as Batgirl. Gotham Knights is one of my anticipated games for 2021.
Resident Evil Village
Last, but certainly not least in my most anticipated games list, is the next entry in Capcom’s legendary survival horror franchise. Despite the series experiencing huge setbacks after the disaster that was Resident Evil 6, the remakes of both Resident Evil 2 and 3, as well as Resident Evil 7, have put the franchise back on track. Taking place after Resident Evil 7, Village puts the player back into the shoes of that game’s protagonist, Ethan, once again in a first-person perspective.
Something strange is going on in the very Resident Evil 4-like village to which Ethan and his wife travel. Not to mention Chris Redfield shows up to complicate things even further, perhaps even in an antagonistic fashion. For the first time in the series, we will see new creatures that can only be described as werewolves, in addition to the series’ regular stable of creepy monsters. I am very excited to see where the story goes after what happened in the last game, as well as what exactly is going on with Chris “I only eat protein” Redfield. Especially considering that a Resident Evil 4 remake is in the works, and this game’s setting is very reminiscent of that title.