The Last Of Us Part 2 – only of 2019’s most wanted (pic: Sony)

GameCentral readers name the games they’re most looking forward to this year, from Zelda: Breath of The Wild 2 to Elden Ring.

As the first Hot Topic of the new year, the subject for this weekend’s Inbox was very simple: what are you most looking forward to from gaming in 2020?

Given the huge number of new releases and the promise of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X there was no shortage of suggestions, although Cyberpunk 2077 and The Last Of Us Part 2 were the clear favourites, ahead of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake.


Definitive Editions
There are two games announced for this year which are easily my most anticipated. They are Cyberpunk 2077 and The Last Of Us Part 2. The thing is that I might not buy either this year. Both games are clear contenders for games that are likely to have next generation remasters. So instead of buying them on PlayStation 4 I might as well wait for the inevitable PlayStation 5 versions.

Of those two games the one I am most likely to buy on PlayStation 4 is The Last Of Us Part 2 but that will essentially be if I decide to jump ship to the Xbox Series X. Even though Microsoft did not release any exclusives I wanted this generation they have bought enough developers recently that they might convince me to return to Xbox. I also fully expect Microsoft to make sure that the Series X will be the most powerful next generation system at launch, which also appeals.

There is also another game that I am looking forward to more than both of them though. That game is the sequel to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Hopefully Nintendo will release it at the end of this year, but I think we can all agree that doing so would be far too logical for Nintendo to even consider.


Is your body ready?
I am so ready for the PlayStation 5. I normally don’t buy consoles at launch, but my PlayStation 4 has been spluttering along since 2014 and I always expected to have to buy a replacement at some point. I’ve even avoided games that apparently have performance issues on a bog-standard console (Rage 2 and Control) as the console’s backwards compatibility means I can hopefully play them at a glassy 60 frames a second.

Outside of that, 2020 is shaping up to be pretty incredible; the first half is stacked with promising titles, Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will hopefully come out swinging, and we don’t even know what Nintendo have up their sleeve. If there’s a PlayStation VR 2 that’s less cumbersome that’d be gravy.


Classic in the making
I don’t think anyone can argue that it’s a fantastic line-up for this year. Companies are going to have to go to a lot of work to mess this up. Although to be honest what excites me the most is that we don’t even know about anything from the second half of the year yet really.

Halo Infinite and Hellblade 2 are sort of confirmed, I guess, but we know nothing about Sony’s launch plans and the only game Nintendo has announced for the whole year so far is Animal Crossing. Those are a lot of gaps to fill and I can’t wait to find out about all of them.

I know launch games are usually bad, with Sony having the worst track record of anyone, but I’m willing to bet they’re tuned in enough to know it’s their weakness and will be ready with something. After all, we haven’t heard anything about Horizon Zero Dawn 2 or God Of War 2, let alone anything new. 2020 is going to have to work hard not to be a classic year.


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Confident excitement
I mean, everyone’s going to say Cyberpunk 2077 and The Last Of Us Part 2, that goes without saying, but personally I’m most excited about Elden Ring. Dark Souls and Bloodborne are amongst my favourite games ever and the thought of a brand new IP with a bigger budget and an open world, and the guy that wrote Game of Thrones writing it, is almost too good true to be true.

Maybe it is, because we haven’t seen anything on it yet but From haven’t even come close to letting me down yet, including Sekiro: Shadows Die, so I don’t think I’ve ever been more confident about getting a game I haven’t seen anything about yet.

My only real concern with this year is how I’m going to afford everything! Including the new consoles.


Hardware save
I know it’s the games that are the important thing, really I do, but it’s the consoles I’m most excited about for this year. Despite the poor quality of most launches I just can’t help getting excited every time and the big question for me this year is, rather than the games, how much I save up to get one or both of the new ones on day one.

I think I’ve got to get the PlayStation 5 straight away, and would be interested n the Xbox Series X too if Microsoft can prove that they’ve learnt their lessons (and stop being so fixated with Halo and Gears Of War).
I’m not too bothered about saving money by buying less games either, as I assume most of everything being released this year will get a next gen makeover, or at least a patch to make it better on the new machines. I’d rather wait for that to be honest, to play the games at their best, than just say I was first.


Christmas every day
As a big fan of Platinum’s work I’m really hoping that both Babylon’s Fall and Bayonetta 3 will be out this year, especially after the excellent Astral Chain. Since we haven’t really seen much of either though I’m not counting on it. Luckily there are plenty of other games to look forward and no mistake.

I’m very interested to see how Nioh 2 turns out but obviously it’s hard not to be excited for Final Fantasy 7 Remake. We almost seem spoilt for choice this year, like Christmas every day!


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Pencilled in
Despite the line-up for 2020 looking ridiculously good on paper, none of the games currently confirmed for release this year have me that excited. The ones that have me sitting up the most are Cyberpunk 2077 and The Last Of Us Part 2.

My concern with Cyberpunk is it’s going to pull a Red Dead Redemption 2, with a technically staggering world but tired, clichéd gameplay. I’ve already heard about Watch Dosg style scripted hacking that doesn’t sound particularly interactive or innovative, but we’ll see.

Also, the tone and dialogue all just feels a bit obnoxious so far. That’s probably what they’re going for given the setting but I’m not sure I’d want 50+ hours of it, plus Blade Runner manages to get by on a sort of quiet and dignified tone. So the jury’s our for me till it releases, although I admit part of that will be because I had too many problems with their last game to get on board unconditionally this time.

For The Last Of Us 2, the potential problem is the same I have with most of the Naughty Dog games I’ve played, that the ‘gameplay loop’ will be too limited. If it’s going to be a case of a great story with world class presentation and performances tied to the same old combination of sneaking between cover (read: bushes and walls), single button melee kills, a bit of shooting and variations on the pushing/pulling of boxes I’m not sure that’s going to be enough. At least for those of us who don’t value story as the most important attribute of most games.

Instead, I’m most excited about two games that aren’t confirmed for 2020 but might arrive if we’re lucky and those are Elden Ring and the sequel to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.

I know you said Elden Ring is unlikely this year but FromSoftware seems like a ridiculously efficient developer who can regularly roll out Dark Souls type games that somehow feel fresh and different enough to their predecessors to be worthwhile. I’m as excited to see what they can bring to open world gaming as I was about the Zelda team when Breath Of The Wild was announced.

For the next Zelda, my hope is that three and a half years is more than enough development time if they’re using the same assets, and that they’re positioning it for release around the arrival of the next gen consoles (coinciding with cheaper Switch hardware due to sales/retailer price cuts). I’m not optimistic enough to think the game can/will address every single complaint about its predecessor but it should have enough new ideas to justify itself.

If it doesn’t come out in 2020 the Switch could be in a worrying position soon. A bunch of new Smash Bros. characters won’t cut it for me when the initial roster alone was already overwhelmingly huge. Hopefully a Nintendo Direct in January or February will provide some assurance about this year.


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