2021 is looking to be a bumper year in gaming thanks to the new generation of consoles and all the delays from 2020. We’re not even talking about any games we suspect will launch this year, only those announced to release in 2021 (Nintendo, please hurry up and say Breath of the Wild 2 will be 2021).
Jan 28 – Xbox Series X/S, PC
The Medium is the first big next-gen exclusive for the Xbox Series X/S. A psychological horror where you play as a medium, Marianne, in two worlds, the physical and spiritual as she’s hunted by the Maw — voiced by our Supa-Star friend, Troy Baker.
But you’re not teleporting from one world to another, you’re simultaneously playing both, split-screen. This game was first announced for the Xbox 360, PS3 and WiiU in 2012 but developers, Bloober Team, quickly realised those consoles didn’t have the technology to support their vision. Until now.
Bravely Default 2
Feb 26 – Nintendo Switch
Despite its name, Bravely Default 2 is actually the third entry in the series. While the first game is hailed as a JRPG classic, its sequel was a little disappointing — something that its developers are making up for now with a game much closer to the original (hence the confusing naming). If you like JRPGs and turn-based combat even just a little bit, this is worth keeping an eye on.
New Pokémon Snap
Apr 30 – Nintendo Switch
It’s been 84 years… Ever since Professor Oak sent us to Pokémon Island to take photos of a surfing Pikachu back in 1999, fans have been clamouring for a successor to Pokémon Snap, and this April we get the chance to visit the Lental Region and island hop on an ecological survey like no other! With a brand new set of lush environments, and several new generations of pokemon to take pictures of, all that’s missing is your local Blockbuster store to get them printed at. We can’t wait!
May 21 – PS5, PC (2022: Xbox)
Arkane Studios has taken everything they’ve learned with Dishonoured and Prey, and turned it into an FPS with a twist. Deathloop has you play as Colt, an assassin tasked with eliminating eight targets before midnight. The catch? He’s stuck in a time loop and if any of them survive or he dies, he gets sent back to the start of the day to try again.
Alternatively, you can play as Julianna, another assassin tasked with killing Colt and preserving the time loop. Similar to invasions in Dark Souls, you’ll be jumping into another player’s game to try and ruin their day. Literally.
Far Cry 6
May 25 – PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
I think we know why we’re all excited about Far Cry 6 and his name is Giancarlo Esposito. He’s currently the best villainous actor and hot off of the heels of The Mandalorian and The Boys. What we’ve seen so far of Far Cry 6 shows that he’s in top form playing dictator Antón Castillo. Even if the game somehow turns out awful, Giancarlo will force it to be incredible.
Back 4 Blood
June 22 – PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
One of the more surprising hits from the Game Awards, Back 4 Blood is the result of Left 4 Dead being brought back to life. Many players have been waiting many years for a sequel and it’s FINALLY happening. Best of all it looks just like the L4D games but even better.
Nov 23 – Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
If you watched the gameplay reveal from mid last year, you’re probably more relieved than disappointed that Halo Infinite was delayed an entire year, fortunately coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the first Halo game. Thankfully, the gameplay itself looks solid and very Halo and the open-world looks very intriguing. It’s just Craig the Brute that looks flat and lifeless.
Halo Infinite is planned to be supported for the next decade, so 343 Industries and Microsoft clearly have reason to believe that this game will be a hit. Not just at launch but for the duration of this generation and beyond.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
2021 – PS5
Rift Apart sees the iconic duo return for the first time in five years. We’ve already seen games like Spiderman: Miles Morales utilise the PS5’s SSD to eliminate load screens, but Rift Apart will be taking it a step further, allowing Ratchet and Clank to teleport seamlessly through completely different worlds. New tech is always a given with each new console generation, but like The Medium it’s rare to see it integrated in an ingenious way, to the point that it becomes a gameplay feature.
Horizon Forbidden West
2021 – PS5, PS4
The follow-up to Horizon Zero Dawn, the breakout hit of last generation, Forbidden West will continue Aloy’s story as she ventures into the uncharted lands beyond the Daunt. We don’t know much about the story or gameplay, other than the reason for her journey being to locate the source of a deadly disease. Which totally doesn’t remind us of anything currently affecting humanity right now.
Hollow Knight: Silksong
2021 – Nintendo Switch, PC
The Australian game, Hollow Knight launched way back in 2017 and instantly established itself as a classic metroidvania souls-like. Silksong’s protagonist, Hornet, is much more agile than little Knight from the first game, resulting in larger environments for her to navigate. But don’t worry, its developers, Team Cherry, recently assured fans that Silksong will be equally as difficult. Of course, enemies will also be a lot faster and smarter to compensate, more aggressively pursuing Hornet compared to the first game.
Oct – PS5, PC (2022: Xbox)
One of the wildest games coming soon, Ghostwire takes place after Tokyo is overrun 99% of its the population vanished during an invasion by a supernatural force. Using a combat system that its designer describes as ‘Karate meets magic’, players will have to fight a variety of bizarrely terrifying enemies like headless schoolgirls and creatures made of boxes that are actually based on traditional Japanese folklore and stories.
But most importantly, you can pet the dog.
God of War
2021 – PS5
It appears God of War may now be a 2022 title, but until Sony confirms it we’re still holding on to hope. There’s not much to say about this other than it’s the sequel to a game that made an iconic Playstation franchise into a God-like pillar of the industry. We know that this God of War will involve Ragnarök, so it’s pretty likely Kratos and Atreus will have to kill Thor. And maybe a few more Nordic gods. Maybe all the gods.
Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list, we ran out of space to even mention Gotham Knights, let alone everything else!