Cyberpunk 2077 was, without a doubt, the most anticipated game of 2020. It was delayed several times before it finally hit the (virtual) shelves on December 10. As you might expect, it was received with enthusiasm by most and, aside from some glitches on the next-gen console and PC versions (and the dismal performance on PS4 and Xbox One) it has become the best-selling game of the year so far.
Now that Cyberpunk 2077 is out of the way, and the year is coming to an end, let’s take a look at some games that we can expect to play in 2021. For a few months, at least, gaming is what many of us will do for fun, at least until the world reopens. This year, everything from online casino games to MMOs and online shooters received a lot of playtime. Casual games like slot machines were mostly played to destress – they are the perfect choice for this – and online games were mostly played for their social components. Players apparently love to socialize while they play, no matter if it’s a game of bingo, a slots tournament, or even a massive battle royale in an endless online arena.
Next year, we have quite a lot of gaming ahead of us, so let’s take a look at some of the most exciting titles we’ll get to play with.
Far Cry 6
The first Far Cry game was originally a tech demo to showcase the capabilities of the Nvidia Geforce 3 graphics chip… which ultimately turned into a successful shooter. Since then, Ubisoft published five games in the series, plus eight spinoffs – including Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, a game filled with neon and one-liners, as well as Far Cry New Dawn, where we get the chance to explore the post-apocalyptic version of Hope County, the area we got to know in Far Cry 5.
Next year, Ubisoft plans to launch the sixth entry in the series – simply called Far Cry 6. With it, the game returns to an island – it will take place on Yara, a fictional Caribbean island with a dictatorship, ruled by “El Presidente” Antón Castillo, played by the inimitable Giancarlo Esposito. The game puts players in the skin of Dani Rojas, a guerilla fighter whose goal is to overthrow Castillo and free the island from his oppression.
The game was initially planned to be released next February but, due to the circumstances, it was delayed to a yet unknown date in 2021.
Hitman is another franchise with a long history. The now-defunct Eidos Interactive released the first Hitman game in 2000, followed by three more within a few years. Then Square Enix took over the franchise, adding a new entry to the series. A reboot followed in 2016 that also got a sequel in 2018 – and the third entry of the modern-day Hitman series is set to be released next year.
In Hitman 3, players will once again have a chance to assume the (secret) identity of Agent 47, the augmented clone assassin on the payroll of a mysterious organization. He will have to complete tasks (as in assassinations) in locations around the world, including the moorlands of Dartmoor and the hot and arid city of Dubai, plus four additional locations added to the upcoming game.
The game is set to be released in January on all major consoles as well as PC, Stadia, and the Nintendo Switch.
Dying Light 2
Dying Light is a story-driven survival horror game with a focus on parkour and melee weapons, released in 2015. While its story is a bit thin, and the characters underdeveloped, the game offers fans of the genre countless hours of zombie-smashing across the city of Harran.
Dying Light 2 will be set 15 years after the events in the first game. It will come with tons of fresh parkour moves to try, some exclusive to particular areas of The City, a massive urban open world four times bigger than in the first game. It will feature different factions that the player will be able to interact with – these interactions, as well as the decisions taken by the player, will have far-reaching consequences. This time, the developers placed more emphasis on the narrative, which will have a more serious tone than the first game.
The game should have been released in early 2020 but Techland decided to delay it to allow “additional development time”. The new release date was not set – hopefully, it will be in 2021.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R is a series of first-person survival horror games loosely based on the novel “Roadside Picnic” by Russian writers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The games take players into a fictional Chernobyl Exclusion Zone filled with mutants, deathly anomalies, and warring factions trying to make the most of the mysterious artifacts the Zone has produced. Of course, procuring these is a very dangerous job. The last entry in the series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, was released in 2009. Now, it seems, the time has come for a new one.
The upcoming fourth entry in the series, set to be released next year, will be “one of the biggest seamless open-worlds”, the developers promise. The story will be “epic, non-linear”, with the players’ choices having both immediate and long-term, global consequences. Built on Unreal Engine 4, the game will certainly be beautiful, as the trailer and the screenshots published on the game’s website show.
Kerbal Space Program 2
Last but not least, let’s take a look at a different kind of game. Kerbal Space Program is a space flight simulator where the players have to build their rockets, space stations, rovers, and pretty much everything else they need to expand beyond the boundaries of the atmosphere. The game can be played in “career”, “science”, and the most popular “sandbox” mode – here, players can build themselves the wackiest, most unrealistic spaceships they can dream of. As you might expect, the game was a huge success.
The sequel, Kerbal Space Program 2, will focus even more on the sandbox features met in the first game, introducing goodies ranging from interstellar travel to multiplayer. And, to make it less overwhelming than the first one, more tutorials to guide players through the secrets and setbacks of designing an interstellar spaceship.
The game’s release has been pushed back several times – hopefully, it hits the shelves in 2021.