Editor's PickEditorial

The Most Anticipated Video Games of 2020

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Last year’s assortment of killer-app titles served as the perfect finale for a momentous decade in gaming–one that brought us some of the best games ever made and some of the most potent series and IPs with which to seed the future. Coming off the back of such an ardent and effervescent era in gaming, one is left to wonder, “Where do we go from here?”

Luckily, game developers worldwide already have the answer. In fact, they’ve already got the games. Despite 2019’s myriad of unforgettable titles, 2020 is shaping up to be even more densely packed with games that represent the modern pinnacles of the medium.

We’ve collected our most anticipated games of the new year to give you a taste of what’s to come. While these games represent the best of the best, the list is hardly comprehensive and could easily be extended twice as long. There are many games coming out this year that could easily be on this list, but just didn’t make the cut this time.

Still, this list should serve as a good guide for the titles you absolutely cannot afford to miss this year, so buckle up and check out the industry’s answer to what comes next.

Resident Evil 3

Resident Evil 3 Nemesis Remake
Developer: Capcom R&D Division 1
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC
Release date: April 3, 2020
Title Screen
Resident Evil 3 (2020) is a remake of the classic survival-horror sequel from 1999, brought to a whole new generation of fans. Wait… we’re having déjà vu, with rockets too!
The Basics
Jill Valentine, sailing on the high seas of the undead through the streets of Raccoon City, leaves the Spencer Mansion incident in her rear view mirror only to come face to face with her worst nightmare: the Nemesis. From street to street, building to building, room to room, and corner to corner, you’re going to be pursued by arguably the most well known Big Bad in Resident Evil‘s franchise history.

Capcom announced that Nemesis will feature new methods of pursuit and even smarter AI than last years T-Type monstrosity, and he’ll actually be stalking us all over the city. Did you think Mr. X was horrifying when you saw him barrel his way through a wall, ready to cave in your chest? Well this is going to be even worse. Not only is Nemesis wielding a rocket launcher and the tentacle that helped Brad Vickers clear up his sinus issues, but Nemesis has now also added a flamethrower to his arsenal.

Jill Valentine will certainly have her hands full, already being forced to deal with the overwhelming odds of Racoon City’s denizens going from nine-to-five cubicle zombies to bonafide, devour-the-flesh-of-the-living zombies overnight. Add in 7′ 3″ and 300lbs of absolute biological f#@kery, and the “Chasing Jill” achievement that dropped in the recent update for the Resident Evil 2 remake sounds a lot like a threat.

Wasteland 3

Wasteland 3
Developer: inXile Entertainment
Publisher: inXile Entertainment, Xbox Game Studios, Deep Silver
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Linux, Mac OS X
Release date: May 19, 2020
Title Screen
Wasteland 3 is a turn-based, isometric RPG that picks up where the original Fallout games left off.
The Basics
After a successful crowdfunding campaign in October of 2016, earning over $3 million in a single month, development of Wasteland 3 began in earnest. Wasteland, an old-school series brought back to life, follows the recent success of other narrative-focused isometric RPGs like Disco Elysium and Divinity: Original Sin 2.

The key feature of these games is their deep dialogue system in which your decisions mold the game’s story around you. Wasteland 3 seeks to take this to the next level. Branching down different paths and endings that happen in different places, times, and for drastically different reasons, your words add a weight and freedom to the narrative.

Rather than tethering you to a linear path in which decisions lead to small deviations, the story will follow the path you take your character down, all the way to its logical conclusion. Unfettered by what the game wants, you become the storyteller.

With a cleaner, more concise UI and polished tactical combat, Wasteland 3 is elevating the series and the genre. The wasteland has never looked so good.

Phantasy Star Online 2

Pso2 4
Developer: Sega Online Entertainment R&D
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Xbox One, Windows PC
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
Phantasy Star Online 2 is a free-to-play MMORPG with fast paced, action-oriented combat.
The Basics
Phantasy Star Online 2 has lived as long and as healthy a life as one game could hope for. With a heavy focus on action-combat, PSO2 was ahead of its time, bringing to mind games like Guild Wars or TERA rather than World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV. Released eight years ago for PC, the instance-based PSO2 allows you to play with up to twelve people at a time as you take part in an MMO space epic.

Phantasy Star is a science fiction series through and through. While PSO2 is not narratively connected to previous entries, it nonetheless takes players to the stars where they will travel to different planets via their ship (i.e. hub-world) to participate in a myriad of quests.

With the western release coming with all currently available content, new players will not suffer a long wait for updates or new content. While there’s a chance that the extremely delayed release will hinder the game’s Western success, it nonetheless is a game we’ve wanted to try for years–and now we’ll get the chance.

Bravely Default II

Bravelydefault2
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
From the creators of Octopath Traveler, the turn-based, JRPG Bravely series comes to consoles for the first time.
The Basics
Bravely Default II, not to be confused with Bravely Second: End Layer (the direct sequel to the first game), is the third entry in the Bravely series. The story involves an all new world and cast, but has recurring themes and maintains many elements from previous titles.

The series seems to be following in the footsteps of Final Fantasy in this regard, even going so far as to call the protagonists the Heroes of Light. It will be hard to say goodbye to characters we’ve come to know-and-love after two entries and over a hundred hours of gameplay, but we’re excited to see the IP evolve nonetheless.

We here at The Game Manual can never get enough of the classic, turn-based JRPG formula, and Bravely Default II is a fine specimen of the genre. Earlier Bravely titles were made great by their witty dialogue, interesting cast, incredible events, and unforeseen twists.

This next entry in the series is an exciting prospect with its beautiful, Final Fantasy Tactics-esque art style and the potential afforded by powerful home consoles. We could cut our anticipation with a knife.

Nioh 2

Nioh 2
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: March 13, 2020
Title Screen
Nioh 2 is an action RPG inspired by the likes of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Onimusha, Diablo, and Ninja Gaiden.
The Basics
Team Ninja is bringing us Nioh 2, the prequel to its punishing predecessor, Nioh–which was not only influenced by, but directly saved from cancellation by, the success of Dark Souls. The developers have previously cited a whole laundry list of inspirations, and we simply could not imagine a more enticing cocktail.

Refining their formula like a fine-edged blade, Team Ninja takes the tight controls and fluid combat that made Nioh a success and updates it with new features and added twists. Playing as a half-human, half-yokai warrior, Nioh 2 will have players use “soul cores” dropped from enemies in order to briefly transform into and gain the abilities of various yokai.

The game will also include new weapon types, dual hatchets and the switch glaive, bringing the total number of weapon types up to nine. Nioh 2‘s wide spectrum of unique enemies mean we’ll see an assortment of wildly different yokai enemies; from stereotypical demons, to mangled cosmic nightmares, to one legged fire-frogs with sledgehammers.

Combine that with an all-new character creation system, and Nioh 2 doubles down on everything that made Nioh great while addressing its few faults. March can’t come soon enough.

Guilty Gear -Strive-

Guilty Gear Strive
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: Arc System Works
Platform: TBA (PlayStation 4 confirmed)
Release date: Q4 2020
Title Screen
Guilty Gear -Strive- is the next best-2D-Fighter-ever, like each Guilty Gear game before it.
The Basics
The Guilty Gear franchise is defined by its perfectly technical, frantically fast-paced, and thumb-destroying gameplay. The 2D fighting franchise has consistently brought an intensity to the genre with each new iteration that had not been seen before. Daisuke Ishiwatari, Guilty Gear‘s designer, says -Strive- will innovate the franchise, revamping the way Guilty Gear plays and putting veterans and newcomers alike on an equal playing field.

Hands down the best looking 2D Fighter we’ve ever seen, Guilty Gear -Strive- uses its cell-shaded, anime aesthetic to maximum effect, with 3D character models virtually indistinguishable from sprite work. It’s detailed stages and superior art design set the perfect backdrop for its heavy metal-infused soundtrack.

Returning characters will come with fresh new designs and tout new moves and play-styles, forcing even veteran players to adapt to the series’ evolution. Some people might have reservations after hearing of revamped gameplay mechanics, but we have faith.

Multiple Guilty Gear titles–from Guilty Gear on the PSX, to Guilty Gear XX and Guilty Gear Isuka on the PS2, to Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 on the PS4–have accounted for The Game Manual staff’s favorite 2D fighters ever. Barring some unforeseen, catastrophic development decisions, it’s likely whatever Arc System Works produces will be pure, fighting-game gold.

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Silksong Screenshots 0004 16
Developer: Team Cherry
Publisher: Team Cherry
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, Linux, Mac OS X
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
Originally planned as DLC for the indie, metroidvania title Hollow Knight, Hollow Knight: Silksong grew and grew until it became a game all its own.
The Basics
What was intended to be an expansion for the original Hollow Knight quickly grew wildly and out of control. Hollow Knight: Silksong takes the aesthetic of the first game and brings it out of its dark, foreboding atmosphere into a lush and vibrant new world. The game also features an all-new, more verbal protagonist, making Silksong both narratively and visually its own game.

As Hornet, you will ascend higher through the land until you reach the summit of the Shining Citadel (rather than descending into the depths ala Hollow Knight). Hornet adds a speed and mobility to the series’ already tight combat and platforming controls that should increase the games intensity ten-fold. Twisting and turning through the air, dashing across the ground, and the ability to instantly heal while on the move is a big change from the Knight’s slow, vulnerable method of healing.

We expect boss fights that give you zero breathing room and even more intensity to every combat scenario. The Game Manual staff live and breathe off of that kind of intensity. Toting over 150 new unique enemies and all new areas to explore, we anticipate Silksong will be an adventure to remember.

Temtem

Temtem
Developer: CremaGames S.L., Crema
Publisher: CremaGames S.L., Humble Bundle
Platform: Windows PC
Release date: January 21, 2020
Title Screen
Heavily copying inspired by the Pokémon franchise, Crema brings us the monster collecting MMO that we’ve always wanted.
The Basics
Temtem is the stuff of boyhood dreams: a fully online, massively multiplayer monster-collecting RPG. Temtem fills a void–a gaping, tempestuous chasm–that Nintendo and Game Freak have continuously refused to fill. In an age where Pokémon is shrinking, Temtem is taking the genre and expanding it.

Temtem keeps old, familiar formulas and puts a new spin on them, fine-tuning a 20 year old recipe. Features like 2vs2 combat and unique competitive battle-rules add much needed layers of strategy to the otherwise tediously straightforward genre. Creating parties and clubs–Temtem’s take on MMO guilds–with your friends, ranked matchmaking, weekly Dojo wars, customizable housing, and a fully functional arcade bring the genre’s social focus to its logical extreme.

Temtem has its own unique typing system, a breeding system featuring the potential for exclusive skills, “Luma” Temtem (a parallel for shiny Pokémon), and many other refinements to Pokémons familiar systems. Temtem brings a unique style and aesthetic that fits in perfectly, hitting all the marks of cool, cute, and unique. Temtem really have their own flair, making you want to collect, evolve, and trade your way to the top.

It’s quite possible that Temtem could be the very best, like no one ever was.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Yakuza Like A Dragon Ps4
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios
Publisher: Sega
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
Yakuza: Like a Dragon marks Yakuza‘s first step into the world of turn-based RPGs in a story of revenge and redemption.
The Basics
After a half-dozen iterations of the classic Yakuza beat ’em up formula, the next entry in the series, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, takes the series down a new path. This is the series’ first outing without series mainstay and all around wholesome street-fighter of justice, Kazuma Kiryu, as the main hero. Like a Dragon also marks the beginning of a new era, as Ryu Ga Gotoku begins experimenting with new genres–in this instance, the turn-based JRPG combat system.

We now get to hop into the shoes of Ichiban Kasuga, who has had a run of back luck throughout his life despite his good intentions. After a long stint in prison for taking the wrap for someone else, he’s released only to find everything and everyone in his world has changed. Now, he has to find out how and why.

You might think after seven mainline entries (Yakuza: Zero being the first true entry in the core series) that this might be too big of a departure, yet everything still feels right at home for longtime fans. We’re still being treated to the same excellent level of storytelling we’ve adored in the Yakuza games, with hilarious side-quests and over the top humor that will make for some fantastic out of context screenshots and gifs to share online.

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost Of Tsushima Sunset Showdown
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
You are Jin Sakai, the last samurai fighting for the freedom of Japan and laying waste to those that stand in your way.
The Basics
The first time gameplay footage of Ghost of Tsushima was shown off at E3 2018 everyone was out of their seats cheering and the live chats were blowing up, for good reason too. An open-world stealth game by Sucker Punch? Gallons of blood being spilled at the feet of your enemies? Traversing lands that Link from Legend of Zelda would feel at home riding through?

Yes, please.

Ghost of Tsushima is gritty and beautiful at the same time. The game features scenic backdrops that look like they were captured directly out of Japanese folktales. The fluid gameplay fits right in against this environment, as Jin Sakai rides through the ricefields atop his steed or perches in the treetop waiting for his chance to drop down and effortlessly slide his sword through the ribs of an unsuspecting foe. The sheer propriety of it all is a work of art.

The announcement trailer features a fight upon a hillside with falling leaves covering the battlefield and flames engulfing the surrounding land as Jin Sakai takes down his opponent. Every single shot of this battle was worthy of being on a poster, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg in what we can expect from this soon-to-be classic.

Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2

Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 2
Developer: Hardsuit Labs
Publisher: Paradox Interactive, Deep Silver
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
The tabletop-turned-video-game role-playing series rises out of its coffin once again to treat fans to a modern take on the genre, with a vampiric twist.
The Basics
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is arguably one of the best western RPGs of all time, and its only become more celebrated as time goes on. Not only is the writing from top to bottom clever and witty, but the world itself was filled with interesting characters and offered a setting we don’t often get to experience within the genre.

Fans have yearned for a follow-up for years. Thankfully, all those would-be children of the night won’t have to wait much longer.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 will thrust players back into the world of the Masquerade as they join the ranks of fellow Thinbloods, who are all humans-turned-vampires given unlife during the events of the Mass Embrace (when a bunch of other vampires went rogue and broke their ancient code).

All hell seems to be breaking loose in the vampire underworld of Seattle, right under the noses of humans. A war is stirring, and we get to join that party and decide where it goes and for how long.

System Shock

System Shock 2
Developer: Nightdive Studios
Publisher: Nightdive Studios
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
System Shock (1994) was way ahead of its time, and that’s not just a joke about the year 2072. Now it’s back and better than ever.
The Basics
LookingGlass Technologies changed the fabric of gaming when they released System Shock back in 1994. A game so far ahead of its time most are still astounded at how forward-thinking the game was. The follow-up, System Shock 2 managed to up the ante in every way and helped define the cyberpunk and horror genre in a big way.

In the year 2072, a nameless hacker makes a shady deal to hack the AI aboard the space station known as the Citadel. In exchange for removing the ethical constraints on the AI, the hacker will be implanted with a military-grade cybernetic implant. If any of this sounds like a bad idea, that’s because it obviously is. In fact, it’s so bad a child could list the many ways this is bound to go wrong.

Featuring a fully 3D environment, a complete physics engine, non-linear progression, and overall complex gameplay, System Shock broke barriers. Years later after the closure of LookingGlass Technologies, Nightdive Studios began efforts to see that a remake of the original cult classic make its way to consoles and computers everywhere.

Needless to say (but we’re going to say it anyway), we cannot wait to face the likes of SHODAN and see what horrors she has in store.

No More Heroes III

No More Heroes Iii Travis Touchdown
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Grasshopper Manufacture
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
No More Heroes III has Travis Touchdown defending the world from an alien army led by an intergalactic overlord. Damn, he’s cool.
The Basics
Imagine, if you will, that you’re a highly proficient assassin who has honed your craft and moved up the ranks within the trade. You’ve traveled the world, seen sights, and met people others would never believe. You’ve tempered the steel between your hands to carve through anything and everyone, a skillset so precise in execution that words would fail to describe it in motion–only to then get killed by a random nerd who won an off-brand lightsaber from an online auction.

Welcome to the world of No More Heroes! From the fantastical mind of Suda51, you’ll take on the role of Travis Touchdown–once again–as he returns to his old stomping ground: Santa Destroy. The mission: To defend the planet from aliens.

Yes, aliens.

Don’t stop reading, get back here. Bring your eyes back. Okay, look. If you’ve played a single entry in this series, or any Suda51 game in general, then you should know this honestly is kind-of expected. It’s a lot of hack-n-slash action, violence a-plenty, tons of goofy and funny dialogue, and a visual style and presentation you won’t see in most games. Now go get caught up on the other two games and get hyped.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy Vii Remake Cloud And Tifa
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: April 10, 2020
Title Screen
You already know.
The Basics
Many games have helped shape the gaming industry, but only a few games can claim to be a part of its foundation, the bedrock upon which the gaming industry was built. Final Fantasy VII can.

FFVII elevated the medium back in 1997, bringing the role-playing game to a whole new generation of gamers and popularizing the JRPG in western markets. Final Fantasy VII showed that complex narratives and cinematic storytelling could turn a nerdists hobby into a mainstream genre. All these years later, the game’s influence is still being felt and its still being celebrated by millions around the world.

Talk of a remake has been around ever since days of the PlayStation 2, but it wasn’t until a tech demo was showcased with the launch of the PlayStation 3 that everyone got a taste of what that would look like. After that, the rumor mill was on fire. There has since been a maelstrom of fans buzzing about the potential remake-to-be from the house that Final Fantasy built.

Fast forward to 2020 and rumor has turned into reality. We’re going to be getting the first installment of the Final Fantasy VII Remake soon, sweeping the world back into the exploits of Cloud Strife & Co. The scope of the transformation is enormous: Familiar faces given new life, whole new gameplay mechanics created, locations we only dreamed could be explorable now fleshed out in a way never before possible. For long time fans, it’s a dream come true. For new fans (and they will be fans), it’s a way to get acquainted with a game that managed to change the world for RPG enthusiasts everywhere.

Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2
Developer: TechLand
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC
Release date: Q2 2020
Title Screen
A parkour-laden, first-person romp through an open-world city full of both living and undead dangers ready to tear you apart. 
The Basics
Fifteen years after the happenings of the first Dying Light, you are in a European city where the last of the uninfected population clings to life. Tall wooden constructs now stand erected over the city’s abandoned zombie filled ruins and humanity has divided what remains into conflict-ridden factions .

Dying Light 2 takes the sandbox open-world of the first game and infuses more RPG elements, allowing you to make choices that affect narrative outcomes and gain powerful abilities. The game is being created by an all-star crew, including Chris Avellone, known for his work on Fallout 2 and New Vegas, and several members from the team that worked on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Given those origins, expect a story you will have to play several times through to see all the outcomes.

Dying Light 2 retains the spirit of the original. It’s still laden with fun and fast-paced, parkour-inspired platforming a huge array of customizable weapons, and a world full of strange and sometimes humorous diversions. There will be more maneuvers, new blueprints for weapons, and new enemy types. Though customization was always fun, there will be more depth, allowing you to make weapons with multiple uses and deeper modification. 

Ghostrunner

Ghostrunner
Developer: One More Level, 3D Realms, Slipgate Ironworks
Publisher: All in! Games
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
The vestiges of humanity cling to artificial life inside a violence-ridden, impoverished, chaotic cyberpunk city in this fast-paced, stealth-killing, first-person action-adventure.
The Basics
In a gargantuan tower city that serves as the haven for the last of mankind, a man known as the Keymaster rules, and the quality of your life is determined by an implant you get in childhood (like that episode of Futurama). People are rebelling against an unjust, dystopian system and the seams of civilization are bursting open like the city’s failing infrastructure.

In Ghostrunner, you’ll ascend the tower, using your fighting skills and your ability to traverse through actual cyberspace to push forward. You will run and jump off walls like a ninja, crashing through the spines of your foes on your way to the pinnacle to confront the tyrannical Keymaster.

Ghostrunner has been described as Mirror’s Edge meets Dishonored, slathered in a The Matrix gravy. With a combination like that, mixed with fast and fierce battles, and synced to a chorus of synthwave tunes beating on your eardrums, it’ll be hard not to bask in the neon-saturated bloodshed.

Those Who Remain

Those Who Remain Enemies
Developer: Camel 101
Publisher: Camel 101, Wired Productions
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC
Release date: March 1, 2020
Title Screen
A psychological horror reminiscent of PT and Silent Hill, set in a town being ripped apart by the sins of its residents.
The Basics
Those Who Remain is an upcoming indie psychological-thriller that borrows off the vibes of some the heavyweights in survival-horror history. Categorized as an Adventure, Horror, and Puzzle title, Those Who Remains replaces the usual action for more psychological foci.

You are in the town of Dormont, looking to end an affair that threatens your marriage. Unfortunately for our protagonist they stumble upon a town that is haunted by a pervading darkness. Within it, unsettling humanoid creatures lurk that will drag the inattentive to a horrible, grisly death.

In Those Who Remain, you must stay within the light to keep safe, and manipulate the properties of alternate dimensions to bypass inaccessible paths as you travel through a dead, foggy town in which you are constantly being watched. Worse yet, you suffer the paranormal repercussions of your own misdeeds.

Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise

Deadly Premonition 2 Agent Francis York Morgan
Developer: Toybox Inc.
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
The survival-horror sequel to the David Lynch-esque cult classic puts us back with Agent York in two new, interrelated cases.
The Basics
The original Deadly Premonition, an open-world survival-horror that combined some basic life-sim features (e.g. eating, sleeping, shaving, changing clothes) and a unique reward/punishment-for-performance system, was rife with repetitive gameplay and frustratingly long car travel.

I know, we’re not selling it right now, but we promise Deadly Premonition was fun, mostly. It had a plot right out of Twin Peaks, a town filled with delightfully weird people, and enough eccentricities that it developed a cult following–even getting a fan-funded tabletop game.

In the sequel, you’ll play as Aaliyah Davis, an FBI agent who reopens an old investigation. Her story will weave into Francis York Morgan’s in a two part story, with Davis investigating a murder in Boston related to a case that had York in New Orleans 14 years earlier. You find out more about how these two cases intertwine, and assuming the game maintains it’s surreal company and atmosphere, it will be an interesting ride.

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite Master Chief
Developer: 343 Industries
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Platform: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Windows PC
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
The sixth Halo installment promises to be the biggest one yet, with Master Chief back at the helm to save humanity once again.
The Basics
During the holidays the new Xbox system will be coming about and one of its first titles will be the sixth Halo game, Halo Infinite. 343 Industries’ president, Bonnie Ross, calls it a ‘spiritual reboot’ and despite losing their creative director and lead producer, the game is in full swing to debut as one of the first Xbox Series X titles. (Though, it will be available on PC and Xbox One as well.)

Ross says they have “learned greatly” from Halo: Master Chief Collection, Halo 4’s multiplayer, and the REQ packs and free maps for Halo 5’s multiplayer. The game will be all about Master Chief, and we can expect a more modernized look to his suit, implemented as tribute to iconic Halo historicity and with respect to the feedback of fans.

Details on the game are still relatively scarce, with more updates pending for later this year. A beta will be available before the game’s release, and we can expect Master Chief’s “greatest adventure to save humanity yet”, plus a storyline that should catch up the newbies while remaining involved enough to retain the interest of more seasoned fans.

Rumor has it the story will be decision-based, taking a page out of the RPG playbook. There will be local, split-screen multiplayer for up to four players, and “Forge Mode”–which allows players to make and customize multiplayer maps–will be making a comeback. Halo Infinite is poised to give us the best game of the series, and hot damn are we ready for some nostalgic, couch co-op s#!t-talking.

Gods and Monsters

Gods And Monsters
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
Take one part Breath of the Wild and mix gently with Greek Mythology until you get Gods and Monsters.
The Basics
On the Island of the Blessed you must help the Gods and Goddesses as you explore a giant, open-world full of gorgons, harpies, echidnas, hydras and all other matter of mythological beast. You will fight big baddies like Sphinx and Typhon, who in Greek mythos was powerful enough to threaten the Gods themselves.

In combat, you will have attainable and improvable abilities that will give you a number of tactical approaches for the vast variety of foes. There will be bows, swords, axes, and equipment endowed by the Gods to give you powers. For example, the boots of Hermes will give you double jump and open up access to new areas and secrets.

The team that worked on Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is working on Gods and Monsters, and they are taking what they called a ‘rigorous historical approach’ to ensure the mythos’ veracity. Experts on Greek Mythology are helping to keep the lore accurate and make the game’s narrative both profound and interesting. 

With a vast world of exploration, character customization, and RPG elements, Gods and Monsters will be a hit with mythology buffs everywhere (and everyone else, too).

Disintegration

Disintegration Combat
Developer: V1 Interactive
Publisher: Private Division
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
Control gangs of outlaws and wreak havoc on glorious Gravcycles that fly fast and can be buried in teeth rattling guns. 
The Basics
In a wartorn, environmentally damaged future, some believe the integration of man and machine is the future of humankind. Some do not agree with the fanatical embrace of biomechanical chimerism. The former are the Rayonnes, who have evolved themselves via integration and became rather fascist about it. The latter are outlawed and hunted down, and whoever doesn’t submit to integration is summarily executed.

As an integrated Gravcycle pilot named Romer Shoal, you storm the skies over a party of outlaws and use team tactics to battle the Rayonne. Take advantage of unit abilities and determine formations as you use a bevy of cool guns to put holes in your enemies. Multiplayer boasts three modes: Capture the flag and deathmatch type stuff. You will need to use tact and unit abilities as well as maximizing the weapons on the Gravcycle.

Disintegration is a real-time strategy and first-person shooter all at once. V1 Interactive was founded by co-creator of the Halo games, Mark Lehto, and by Mike Gutmann who worked on the SOCOM series. This will be their first release since they formed the company in 2014.

The Last of Us: Part II

The Last Of Us Part Ii Batting Practice
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: May 29, 2020
Title Screen
Last of Us was voted best game of the decade by PlayStation fans. Last of Us: Part II is the sequel.
The Basics
The Last of Us: Part II is one of the most hotly anticipated sequels of the generation, and you’ll likely find this survival-horror title on just about any gamers wishlist. The Last of Us was, as Naughty Dog’s games tend to be, a highly cinematic and story-centric game that achieved astounding character development through a mix of on-going, passive dialogue and a phenomenal plot.

Part II picks up where the last game’s cliffhanger ending left off, following a now 19-year old Ellie through her edge-of-your seat battle for survival in a post-apocalyptic, zombie infested wasteland. The game is darker, grittier, and grimmer than the first–if that’s even possible–and without Joel (who is either AWOL or dead) we’ll be getting to see a whole new side to the character.

Part II is shaping to be everything the first was and more. It is likely to feature the same tight stealth controls and strategy-focused combat from the first game, which means we’ll be quite content with the little snippets of heart-pounding combat peppered atop Naughty Dog’s award-winning storytelling.

Trials of Mana (2020)

Trials Of Mana
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC
Release date: April 24, 2020
Title Screen
Trials of Mana (2020) is a full 3D-and-HD remake of Seiken Densetsu III, the long sequestered sequel to Secret of Mana on the SNES.
The Basics
Seiken Den…s.. what?” you might be wondering.

Seiken Densetsu III [literally “Legend of the Sacred Sword”] is the until-recently Japanese-only sequel to the original Secret of Mana for the Super Nintendo. While fan translations have been available for decades, we didn’t see this game come to Western shores until summer of 2019 as part of the Nintendo Switch’s Collection of Mana.

Now, we’ll have two different versions with the upcoming release of Square Enix’s complete remake of the game. New graphics, new combat, new art style, new cutscenes, new voice acting, new everything. Unlike 2018’s Secret of Mana remake which merely adapted its original combat system into 3D, Trials of Mana (2020) features an all-new action-RPG combat system reworked from scratch.

Add in the fact that there are six protagonists, each with their own unique origin story, starting location, story progression, and even final bosses which change based on your team members, and Trials of Mana is going to be pure JRPG gold.

Persona 5 Royal

Persona 5 Royal Kasumi
Developer: Atlus, P Studio
Publisher: Atlus, Atlus USA
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: March 31, 2019
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Persona 5 Royal is to Persona 5 as Persona 4 Golden is to Persona 4–but better because it’s on a home console.
The Basics
Persona 5 is the best of the best in the turn-based RPG and monster-collecting genres. The game uses bold, comic-inspired art to maximum effect, reshaping modern-day Japan into a kind of pop-culture surrealist daydream. It also features an unforgettable soundtrack. I mean that literally. You won’t be able to forget it, not that you’d want to because it’s among the best of its kind.

Persona 5 is utterly saturated with raw style, and it is possessed of an impeccable and unmatched artistry that, even for want of great game mechanics, would warrant its place atop of its class.

Luckily, that’s not an issue. The game’s complex social link system, plethora of enemies to capture, and assortment of mini-games afford it over a hundred hours of gameplay, easy. The game is hard enough to require forethought when choosing typings, abilities, and battle strategy–but easy enough to appeal to a wider audience than other Megami Tensei games (looking at you, SMT: Nocturne). That is to say, the gameplay is likewise among the best in the genre.

That’s just the original. Persona 5 Royal is an upgraded version of the same game, featuring an all-new Phantom Thief to join your team, other new characters and confidants, new enemies and bosses, new locations, re-worked battle scenarios, new combat abilities, new story segments, and more. If P5 was the best, then P5R is perfection.

Little Nightmares II

Little Nightmares II
Developer: Tarsier Studios
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC
Release date: TBA 2020
Title Screen
Little Nightmares II is the dark fantasy, survival-horror, puzzle-platformer follow-up to 2017’s like-titled indie darling.
The Basics
Survival-horror games excel when they manage to make the player feel somewhere between hopelessly overwhelmed and completely screwed, without ever straying too far toward completely defeated. Little Nightmares achieved this by dropping the action from the genre and replacing it with a double serving of puzzles and stealth.

Little Nightmares II picks up where the last title left off: Six, our yellow trench-coat wearing protagonist, has escaped the Maw and has teamed up with a new character, Mono. You will play as Mono, with the now computer-controlled Six under your strict ward, as you both journey to the ominously labeled “Black Tower”.

The series features a surreal, dark fantasy style that reminds us of what you’d get by mixing a Tool music video with Henry Selick’s Coraline. The careful use of lighting and monstrous enemy design elevates Little Nightmares from enjoyable to memorable, and the perfect blend of its many elements–from its sympathetic protagonist to its death defying platforming–earn its sequel a spot as one of our most anticipated games of 2020.

Tales of Arise

Tales Of Arise Screen 04 Ps4 Us 10jun19
Developer: Capcom R&D Division 1
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC
Release date: January 11, 2019
Title Screen
Tales of Arise is the latest entry in, and next evolution of, the long-standing Tales action-RPG series.
The Basics
The Tales series, long seen as niche in western markets, has long been one of the largest RPG series in Japan, behind only Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. That is to say, Tales of Arise is a big deal.

Arise expands upon Tales‘ cell-shaded, anime-esque art style with a beautiful and fully realized three-dimensional world. Unlike the more linear forays of past titles, the world of Arise is lushly populated and fully-explorable. The game’s combat system has also been overhauled, and while it’s still using the so-called “Linear Motion Battle System” from previous games, trailers show the combat to be more fluid and more freestyle than previous entries.

Sitting upon its “20 million copies sold” throne, the series is looking for ways to adapt alongside an ever-changing gaming market that’s already seen the competition evolve (e.g. DQVII & FFXV) and capture a whole new generation of gamers. So, if the question is “Where does Tales go from here?”, then Tales of Arise is the answer.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk2077 Doing Business Rgb 1528914931
Developer: CD Projekt RED
Publisher: CD Projekt
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Google Stadia
Release date: September 17, 2020
Title Screen
Keanu Reeves, being the great guy that he is, may forgive you for not already knowing what Cyberpunk 2077 is. We won’t.
The Basics
From the creators of the wildly popular The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Cyberpunk 2077 is an expansive, story heavy, and open-world RPG set in the tenebrous and claustrophobic Night City, which lies at the precipice of a dystopian future. Run amok with vicious gangs, rampant corporatism, and transhuman cybernetic body modding, Cyberpunk 2077 embodies the very essence of the cyberpunk genre.

Night City won’t be as geographically large as Wild Hunt‘s The Continent, but CD Projekt RED promises a densely populated megalopolis featuring towering structures and a plethora of content in a tight, urban environment. Given the developer’s prior work, it’s safe to expect a never ending stream of quests, side-quests (and side-side-quests), and morally grey decision-prompts that unfold in unforeseen ways.

CD Projekt RED’s somber, captivating storytelling has a knack for capturing grim realities like a photographic lens, breathing an uncharacteristic amount of life into their ensemble of side-characters and completely derailing the usual RPG tropes of “the righteous protagonist and his merry band of do-gooders versus the inexplicably-but-unapologetically evil antagonist.”

Cyberpunk 2077 will make your choices matter, and those choices will not always be easy. Despite its release being delayed from April to September, Cyberpunk 2077 is at the top of our list and more than worth the wait.

DOOM Eternal

Doom Eternal Maurader Wallpaper 1920x1080 01
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, Google Stadia
Release date: March 20, 2020 (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia), TBA 2020 (Switch)
Title Screen
DOOM Eternal is the even faster-paced, even more ass-kicking sequel to the massively well-received DOOM (2016).
The Basics
When nightmares have nightmares, the Doom Slayer is what they’re about. He’s the story Hell tells to make cyberdemons go to bed; the horror whose return the eldritch gods fear. He’s why things don’t go bump in the night; the boogeyman’s boogeyman. Having completed his demon-destroying rampage across Mars, the Doom Slayer is taking his unbridled rage back home to Earth.

DOOM Eternal‘s frenzied, brutal first-person shooter combat can only be described as pure, unadulterated violence. If FPS combat exists on a spectrum, stealth and strategy are on one extreme and DOOM Eternal is on the other. DOOM doesn’t want you to plan or hide. It wants you to think-fast and push-forward; it wants you to ride the wave of gut-churning, artery-collapsing, s#!t-stomping ultraviolence.

Ever since its delay from its initial release date of November 22 last year, our excitement for this game has reached entirely new levels. DOOM Eternal brings new abilities like dash and a hookshot, and an impressive arsenal of weapons (a Meat Hook attachment for your Super Shotgun anyone?) all done on the new id Tech 7 engine so the game’s various locales truly feel like Hell on Earth.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Ac Nh
Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: March 20, 2020
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Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the social-sim series’ first entry in almost a decade.
The Basics
Animal Crossing: New Horizons drops you off onto a deserted island, part of Nook Inc.’s “Deserted Island Getaway Package”. Because your island is mostly deserted, one of the largest differences from the past titles becomes quickly apparent: Instead of throwing you into an established village, this one will let you design your own island almost entirely from scratch.

You’ll be decorating not just the inside of your home, but the outside of it and just about everything else on the island, with more customization options than we’ve ever seen in an Animal Crossing game (including your character’s appearance). There’s also a new crafting system allowing you to create tools and items out of the various materials you’ll collect.

Being the series’ first foray into HD, fans will get to enjoy the turning of the seasons with visuals much more captivating than before, with better looking weather mechanics and shadows being cast by everything in the game. New Horizons can be enjoyed by up to four players at once on the same switch, with up to eight profiles being able to share and build on the same island together. Alternatively, it can be played online with up to eight players on a single island.

Persona 5 Scramble

Persona 5 Scramble
Developer: Atlus, Omega Force
Publisher: Atlus
Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Release date: February 20, 2020
Title Screen
Originally thought to be a mere hack-and-slash spin-off, Persona 5 Scramble may well be the beloved RPG’s canonical sequel.
The Basics
Omega Force is the team behind Dynasty Warriors and its many associated spin-offs. Chances are you’ve played at least one of these games, which feature fast-paced combat, swarms of enemies, tactical battle scenarios, and giant bosses. One thing that defines these games, other than how fun they are, is that they rarely provide an intriguing story.

Persona 5 Scramble seems to be seeking to break that mold. Developed in conjunction with Atlus, and based on hints dropped in a recent trailer, this latest Omega Force title very well may be the canonical sequel to the King Kahuna itself, Persona 5. There is every indication that Persona 5 Scramble will tell a story that takes our hero-thieves through an all new narrative full of desperation, pain, and betrayal.

Combine an essential story with Omega Force’s intuitive-and-fun combat and Persona 5‘s indisputable coolness, and you’ve got one of the most anticipated games of the year–holding its own against the largely expanded Persona 5 Royal.

Marvel’s Avengers

Marvels Avengers Kamala Khan
Developer: Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Google Stadia
Release date: September 4, 2020
Title Screen
The upcoming action-adventure game bares no relations to the 2012 MCU film, instead drawing inspiration from the comics.
The Basics
Marvel’s Avengers features a ensemble of easily recognizable characters from the Marvel comic-book universe, including all the fan favorites: Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. It also features some lesser-known heroes, who will be central to the story, such as Kamala Khan, also known as Mr. Marvel.

At the New York Comic-Con, Square Enix debuted a trailer that gives us a hint at the story, showing the game’s narrative will be a bit more serious than your run-of-the-mill plucky adventure.

This much we know: AIM, the notorious group of ne’er-do-wells, are claiming people with superpowers are sick, diseased, and violent inhuman threats. The Avengers were set up, Captain America was murdered, and the team has been out of commission for a long time–lost in the stupor of loss and betrayal. It takes relative newcomer Khan to get the team to suit up again and save the world from whatever notorious plot besets it.

The gameplay looks fantastic, shifting dramatically from character to character inline with their unique powers, and the visuals have all the spectacle of an MCU film. Combine that with what seems like a well constructed narrative and it makes Marvel’s Avengers a title to look out for.

Half-Life: Alyx

Half Life Alyx
Half Life Alyx
Developer: Valve
Publisher: Valve
Platform: Windows PC
Release date: March, 2020
Title Screen
Fans have waited for Half-Life 3 so long that it became a meme. That’s still not happening, but this flagship, VR Half-Life 2 prequel will suffice.
The Basics
Nothing defines anticipation more than Half-Life: Alyx, and so we’ve saved the proverbial best for last.

Valve, the unimaginably profitable creators of the Source game engine, Steam PC-game distribution platform, and a slew of gaming hardware is the house that Half-Life built. It’s a series that needs little introduction; a first-person juggernaut of gaming sitting comfortably atop any best-ever list.

Half-Life 2 was even more successful than the first, if one can imagine, with its advanced physics, animation, sound, AI, graphics, and narrative. It won 39 Game of the Year awards. It’s no wonder the anticipation for a sequel has been one of the premiere items on every gamers wishlist for almost two decades.

Yes. Two decades. We’ve been waiting for a new Half-Life since 2004, and while Half-Life: Alyx isn’t the long craved sequel, there is every reason to be just as excited about it. Valve calls the Half-Life 2 prequel its “flagship VR game”–meaning it could very well be the game that puts virtual-reality gaming onto the mainstream map.

Supporting all commercially available PC-compatible VR headsets (e.g. Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift/Quest, Windows Mixed Reality), and featuring a return to the elements that made the series so popular (e.g. exploration, puzzles, physics-based combat), Half-Life: Alyx is likely to be Valve’s next golden goose.

When it comes to anticipation, this is the archetype, this is Plato’s perfect form. Soon, it’ll be a contender for GOTY 2020.
The Game Manual Staff

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4 Comments

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  4. […] staff are huge fans of Persona 5, and the Persona series at large. We even voted Persona 5 Royal as one of our most anticipated games of 2020. Your author himself has spent some 360+ hours in Persona 5 over two consecutive playthroughs, […]

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