It’s been a little while since we’ve checked in with everyone on how the year has panned out thus far. So for today, I wanted to see how everyone has fared with the year of video games thus far, and what’s most struck a chord.
There’s a common narrative going around that 2021 is going to be a bit of a shit year, either due to extended coronavirus-induced delays or just general exhaustion from the ongoing global pandemic. (We’re not quite feeling that so much in Australia, snap lockdowns aside, but some other countries are still stuck indoors.)
But I think there have been plenty of surprises already, just not exactly the ones everyone has expected. Most of the PS5 exclusives for 2021 are still yet to drop — there’s the possibility of a new Horizon later this year, the return of Battlefield, Deathloop is still coming out, Ghostwire: Tokyo is still on the cards and, in some universe somewhere, Blood Bowl 3 could be awesome.
What we’ve already gotten this year, I think, hasn’t been that bad either. I’m super on board with Returnal already, and I think Deathloop has a chance of doing similarly well if it nails the core loop as well as Housemarque has done. It Takes Two was a massive breath of fresh air out of nowhere, and EA’s share-with-a-friend technology worked pretty well, which is another neat advancement that could change the market for co-op games.
Monster Hunter Rise, unsurprisingly, was a bonafide banger. Everything you want from the series in a faster, more accessible form, and later this week we should get a proper picture of what Rise‘s endgame actually looks like. Leah’s also super keen for Monster Hunter Stories 2, and that should help fill out July (a traditionally quiet month) rather nicely.
Hitman 3 was excellent, launch issues aside, and 2021 has already delivered on some great, clever indies like Olija, Rhythm Doctor, Maquette, Narita Boy and Loop Hero. All games for very different crowds, but all super enjoyable in their own right, and none that require massive time investments if you don’t want to burn 100 hours on a single thing. Outriders has also been a blast, in a weird, janky sort of way that I think adds to its charm.
So how has 2021 panned out for you — what games are on your radar, and what’s dropped in the first half of the year so far that’s absolutely been your jam?