It’s going to be an interesting year for gamers. As is so often the case these days, our consoles and computers will be full of sequels and remakes of video games with a proven track record. That makes some sense, as new releases in an existing franchise almost always ensure success, which is why among the new titles we see every year are the likes of Call of Duty, FIFA and NBA. However, there is always some room left for new high-quality licences or games that continue a story, and this year will be no different. Nevertheless, what will make 2020 a historic year are the forthcoming releases of two consoles to replace existing models: PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
The year began with the release of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (PS4, Xbox One, PC), an action RPG that recreates some of the big moments from Dragon Ball Z. Meanwhile, Warcraft III: Reforged (PC) also came out in January, a must for fans of real-time strategy games. This latest episode is 4K compatible, which promises to become indispensable for PC gamers.
Looking ahead, March sees the return of a classic with the release of Doom Eternal (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch). One of the industry’s oldest and best-loved shooters is back with a new adventure from the original studio.
Following the successful remakes of Resident Evil 1 and 2, April sees the arrival of – surprise, surprise – Resident Evil 3 (PS4, Xbox One, PC). This is an update of the adventure that so captivated gamers just over 20 years ago, but with today’s graphics and sound. April also sees the release of Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4, Xbox One, PC), a spectacular action/role-playing game, with the face and voice of US actor Keanu Reeves.
The massive box office success of the films has led to the making of Marvel’s Avengers (PS4, Xbox One, PC). Out in May, the game is a must for Marvel comic fans, featuring the superheroes Thor, Captain America, Ms Marvel, Hulk, Iron Man and Black Widow, with each of them taking the lead in different sections of the game.
One of the most eagerly awaited video games of the year for Sony PlayStation console users is The Last of Us Part II (PS4), which is also out in May. New survival techniques, an improved environment, more extensive scenarios, skills customisation, better weapons and enemies with more sophisticated AI is just part of what will be on offer to gamers in the most ambitious project ever undertaken by the Naughty Dog company in its 35-year history.
And that is just scratching the surface, as also this year are games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 and Bayonetta 3 (Nintendo Switch), Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Ghost of Tsushima (PS 4), as well as Halo Infinite (Xbox One, Xbox Sèries X).
The new consoles
At the CES show, Sony revealed some of the PlayStation 5’s features. The new console, for which there is no confirmed release date, will offer 3D, haptic feedback, a high-speed SSD unit, and a 4k Blu-Ray Player. It will also be compatible with the catalogue of PlayStation 4 games. Jim Ryan, the president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said: “PS5 will inspire developers to create expansive worlds with new gameplay experiences that are more immersive than ever.”
As for Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox Series X, little has been revealed so far, although a launch in late autumn is likely. One of its main features will be its backwards compatibility with the catalogue of Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Xbox games, which means that on launch it will offer many more titles than its chief competitor. The Xbox Series X will be four times more powerful than the current platform, and will offer 4K graphics at 60 frames per second, with compatibility with 120 frames per second, a variable refresh rate and 8K resolution. If we add these technical aspects to the games that will be exclusive to the console, such as Halo Infinite, Gears 6, Hellblade 2 and Forza Motorsport 8, the Xbox Series X looks like a good option when deciding on a new platform.
feature video games