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2020 is off and away, and there are many big games coming over the coming months, not to mention the release of the next-gen consoles later in the year!

Dylan Blight, Ashley Hobley and Ciaran Marchant have complied a list of the Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2020 for you to keep your eyes on.

10.) Diablo 4
(Blizzard Entertainment) – TBC 2020

Blizzard Entertainment did not have a good 2019, with poor reactions to political statements, even poorer apologies and several of the developer’s high profile games beginning to disappoint fans. Blizzard needs 2020 to be a year of redemption. Releasing Diablo 4 would be a positive way to start. Diablo 3 did not begin its life in such positivity, with a real-money marketplace bringing poor balance to the legendary dungeon crawler it did not seem that success was in the title’s future. But with decisive action to correct mistakes and continued support, Diablo 3 still has an ongoing fanbase 8 years later.

With the announcement of Diablo 4 at Blizzcon 2019 (a year overdue in some fans’ opinions), the trailer would reveal scenes that looked both akin to the greatness of Diablo 3 but with shining hints of the legendary Diablo 2. Having spent the last 8 years perfecting the seasonal gameplay of Diablo 3, it is easy to recognise that purchasing Diablo 4 is not just for a couple months of content, it is for potential years of growing seasonal gameplay that will be improving with each coming season as Blizzard has proven throughout their recent catalogue of games.

The reveal of the druid class makes it is easy to see that there will be plenty of new content to play through as well as fan favourite classes such as the Barbarian.

Diablo 4 marks another chapter in one of Blizzard’s beloved series and with it comes the possibility to see the Blizzard Entertainment that many have loved throughout the years, Let’s hope that Diablo 4 can bring Blizzard into its Redemption Arc.

Ciaran Marchant

9.) Persona 5 Royal
(Atlus) – March 31st

Persona 5 was my favourite game of 2017. With no prior history with the franchise, I found myself swept up in the world of the Phantom Thieves and devoted 125+ hours into that game. I was enthralled by the story of Joker and the relationships I developed through him over the course of the game (Makota is best girl. Don’t @ me.)

Now we are getting Persona 5 Royal, an enhanced version of Persona 5. This version will feature a few new characters, locales and activities as well as an entire new semester added to the end of the game. Plus Morgana apparently won’t tell you to go to sleep as often, a change that makes it worth a purchase for those who played the original version.

With new storylines and an extension to the core story of the game, Persona 5 is sure to must play for those who played the original and those who somehow missed it.

Ashley Hobley

8.) Predator: Hunting Grounds
(IllFonic) – April 24th

We at the Explosion Network put a decent amount of time into Friday The 13th: The Game in 2017 and had a blast playing it. Now, developer IllFonic is releasing their latest efforts in the X VS 1 genre with Predator: Hunting Grounds and this time they have the backing of PlayStation and the full support of the Predator license holders in making the game.

You’ll play as either a Predator or apart of a team of four mercenaries. If you’re playing as the Predator, your mission is simple as the ultimate hunter in the whole galaxy: kill. If you’re apart of the mercenary team you’ll have, of course, the Predator on their way to find you, but also AI controller guerrilla outfits in the jungle for you to deal with as well. 

The game looks like it takes most of its inspirations from the first movie with a team being sent down into a dense jungle and bumping into a Predator, but the collection of weaponry we’ve so far in the trailers confirms weapons seen in films after the first starring Arnie. 

This game is going to be a guaranteed smash hit for Twitch streamers and those that want something exciting to play with friends in a non-competitive manner — or just not a battle royale — and I’m excited to jump in and tear some spins out. 

Dylan Blight

7.) Watch Dogs: Legion
(Ubisoft Toronto) – March 3rd

Watch Dogs was the game that ushered in the new (now current) generation. So it’s slightly fitting that the third entry in this series will see out this generation or be there for the start of the next generation. While I never played the original game, I did play Watch Dogs 2. A lot. With its delightful cast of characters and fun gameplay, it got its hooks in me and poured hours and hours into it with glee.

Watch Dogs: Legion has two major elements that have got me interested beyond my prior experience with the series. It is set in a version of London that has been taken over by an authoritarian regime (*Cough*Post-Brexit*Cough*) is something original and interesting. San Francisco was a lot of fun to explore in Watch Dogs 2 so I expect London to provide a similar experience. 

The ability to recruit people to Dedsec is a fascinating aspect that could provide hours of fun. Recruiting your perfect team of Dedsec agents, whether they be young or old, means everyone’s experience will be different and add to the playability.

Ashley Hobley

6.) Hellblade 2
(Ninja Theory) – TBC 2020

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice came out of nowhere and was my game of the year in 2017. Senua’s journey and battle through Helheim in an attempt to save her loved one took several swerves in directions I didn’t see coming and the final product was easily the game that touched me the most in 2017. A beautiful journey with a standout performance from Melina Juergens and sound design that deserved you to plug headphones in and experience it properly. 

Now, I’m not spoiling the games’ ending because there’s not much to discuss about the plot of the second game yet and you still have time to go play the first one. However, the ending definitely didn’t set up a sequel and I wouldn’t have expected a sequel to come. With all that said, I’m excited about the sequel because Ninja Theory is going to have a bigger budget making this under Microsoft’s wing now as an Xbox exclusive. I’ve been proven wrong a lot over the last year by shows/movies/games doing sequels for things that I don’t think need them as well, so I’m putting my faith in Ninja Theory to deliver here and I think they will. 

Watch the trailer for Hellblade 2 above even if you haven’t played the first game. It won’t spoil anything at all about this or the sequel, but it will provide you with a feeling that no other trailer will have given you this year that’s for sure. 

Dylan Blight

5.) The Last of Us: Part II
(Naughty Dog) – May 29th

Only 2 games have truly made me care for a character as if it were my own child, The Last of Us is the most prominent of the two. It took a special place in my heart with the relationship that was built between Ellie and Joel. The final choice made by Joel left many without words for the following moments, the main character making a very human choice that does not fall into the morally good territory which is something that not many writers have the courage to make in the medium. The choice to possibly doom humanity for the sake of a young girl’s life, and honestly, if the choice was something that I was empowered to make I am not sure what the outcome would be. The final choice does make me happy even if I would not have chosen it, I care for Ellie and really would not want to see her life cut short.

For better or worse we are getting to see the aftermath of that choice and what has taken place in Ellie’s life. Set 5 years after the events of the first installment, players will retake control of Ellie to explore the world that has been devastated by the wide-spreading fungal infection. With Naughty Dog’s approach to the trailers, it shows the focus on new characters that would suggest that TLOU2 will be continuing to explore the humanity of a world that has been devastated in ways that were not previously explored by the original game. The Last of Us defined the last generation of gaming for Playstation even with its release coming as the curtains were closing for that console generation. With The Last of Us Part 2 coming at the end of another generation,  is it possible for the lighting to strike twice and for Naughty Dog to steal another generation as it closes?

Ciaran Marchant

4.) Biomutant
(Experiment 101) – TBC 2020

Ever since I watched the reveal trailer for Biomutant I’ve been excited for its wacky, unique and interesting take on the open-world RPG-adventure genre. 

I finally got the chance to go hands-on with the game at PAX 2019 and although I ran into some issues with that demo build of the game, the concept is still amazing and the core gameplay was fun and interesting to learn. 

If you’re a fan of Rocket Racoon from the Guardians of The Galaxy films, you’ll be interested in Biomutant and its starring raccoon-like character. You can make them look however the hell you want as well. In the demo I played, I made mine a purple furred brawler putting most my stat points into making him a punching machine. 

The combat is a combination of third-person shooting with an assortment of weapons and abilities that you then combine with a melee combat system that reminds me of the Batman: Arkham Series with reactionary counters and quick-moving pounces and jumps over enemies as you keep up your combos. 

I don’t know too much about the story, and playing the demo last year I didn’t learn too much. All I know is it’s a unique new IP from a new developer in Experiment 101 and I can’t wait to play it. 

Dylan Blight

3.) Cyberpunk 2077
(CD Projekt Red) – September 17th

CD Projekt Red carved through the gaming landscape with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2015. Not only with the base game but in the forthcoming DLCs, CD Projekt Red continued to prove their narrative credentials with the masterful stories crafted throughout the latest installment of the beloved franchise. Now it’s 5 years later and many members of the gaming community have been holding their breath for their next release, and honestly, it could not be much farther from the lands of Velen and Novigrad.

With the initial teaser being released even before Geralt began his next adventure in 2013, many were excited even before the official trailer stormed the gates of E3 2018, where it introduced the world to Night City. Since then there have been several changes to see more of this futuristic sprawling cityscape that CD Projekt Red has been crafting for the last 7 years. From upgrading various cybernetic augmentations to meeting the factions that roam throughout Night City, many did not believe that the anticipation and hype for Cyberpunk 2077 could grow any further, then 5 simple words sent the world into a breathless frenzy.

 “Wake the f**k up Samurai” introduced the world to Johnny Silverhand, with Keanu Reeves taking up the mantle of the cybernetic anarchist. Not only did this provide one of the stand-out moments of E3 2019, but it also gave fans the unneeded reminder of the developer’s narrative credentials. Can players trust Johnny Silverhand? What is his true agenda? Will his path differ from the other potential companions that have been hinted by CD Projekt Red?

Not only does the setting distance the title from the rest of the developer’s catalogue, but also making the decision to lock the gameplay perspective to first-person imposes a whole new way to experience the storytelling, which combined with the game’s unique RPG system will provide a completely new experience for CD Projekt Red.

2020 could be another year dominated by the CD Projekt Red blockbuster arriving in September, with a new futuristic setting, new gameplay to envelop ourselves in and a complete cast of characters for the Polish developers to work their magic with once more.

Ciaran Marchant

2.) Ghost of Tsushima
(Sucker Punch) – Winter 2020

I haven’t played Sucker Punch’s first game that was made for the Nintendo 64, Rocket: Robot on Wheels, but I have played every other game they’ve made and I’m a huge fan of all of them. The Sly Cooper franchise is my favourite PS2 era mascot game, and the inFamous series is my favourite PS3 era first-party series. So I have extra huge hopes for the teams’ upcoming Ghost of Tsushima, a brand new IP that takes them in a completely new and interesting direction. 

In early high school, I got really interested in the Mongol Invasion for some reason and although I never kept up or explored more interesting books as I got older, it’s always remained an interesting period in Japan’s history to me and the whole of the Medieval Japan period has a fantasy element to it. 

In Ghost of Tsushima, we’re going to play as a samurai on a revenge mission against the Mongolians who destroyed his home and transcend the samurai code and barriers as the game progresses and he takes on new abilities, weapons and gadgets for his mission and becomes the ultimate ghost. 

Every trailer has looked beautiful and the story has been teased out with much intrigue. There’s still much we don’t know, and probably won’t until later in the year, but this will be the last PS4 exclusive — as far as we’re aware — so things are sure to go out with a bang. 

Dylan Blight

1.) Final Fantasy 7 Remake
(Square Enix) – April 10th

I’m super excited for Final Fantasy 7 Remake and nearly threw my drink across the room in excitement when it was originally announced at E3 several years ago. If you haven’t played the game before, you should be excited as well, the game contains seminal characters that will still stand out in 2020 alongside a story that will work very well now with a focus on war, big corporations, political corruption and protection of one’s planet.

I went hands-on at PAX 2019 and found the game’s combat to be super fluent, fast and exciting in how it paired real-time combat and the turn-based strategy of the original game. Smashing square to hit low-level enemies with Cloud’s sword felt good and then in the games’ first boss battle taking advantage of the ability to pause and assign commands to Barret on the fly and key-up an ability from Cloud was easy to understand and execute.

The one worry I have for this remake series going forward is just how they’re going to tell the story given they’ve stretched the first couple of hours of the original game into what makes up Final Fantasy 7 Remake. I’m excited to spend extra time in Midgar with the characters there, but will we be building toward an excessive 20 games series to tell this story? We’ll find out more when we get a chance to play the game this year.

Dylan Blight