This one did a pretty quick power slide into this spot. I was finally able to get into Hallow Knight over the Christmas break and managed to fully complete it. When I say fully complete, I mean the base game and the normal Radiance not 112%ing the Gods and Glory bollocks. I only had a nine-day break during the holidays, not six months of solitary confinement. The experience was good enough that I’m looking forward to more. Silk Song (Which might as well just be called Hollow Knight 2) looks to add more of what we loved with the smooth controls, new amazing environments, and a level of customization that far surpasses the original. I will be regularly following this one leading up to release.
4. Cyberpunk 2077
I’m still incredibly skeptical but a CD Project Red release is a monumental event in gaming and I’m mostly just excited to watch the world stop for a few days when it releases. I didn’t really get on with the Witcher 3 but my main complaints were the combat. Cyberpunk 2077 promises to give me the option of playing more along the lines of a stealth character in an immersive sim like Deus Ex or the ‘Shock’ series. If it pulls it off this will be a very special release indeed. I remain cautiously optimistic but regardless of if I’m satisfied on release, I will look forward to all the coverage about the biggest event of the year.
3. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Another game I’m very cautious about. It’s rare that the things I love the most get proper follow ups that stick to what I loved about the original. The visuals look fantastic, the time spent on the game gives me hope that it will be of the highest production quality, but I’m worried they might try too hard to pack the game with action. The core of the original Ori was the superb platforming, the combat never got in the way of that. I’m worried that this new game will try too hard to cash in on Hollow Knight or Dead Cell’s success and go really combat heavy. Whatever happens though I will be eagerly hitting F5 as the content embargos lift and as long as the price is reasonable, I will probably pick this up on day one.
2. Animal Crossing New Horizons
We know so little about this game, so far everything that’s shown appears to be a tiny fraction of the content in New Leaf. However, this is most likely just Nintendo keeping their cards close to their chest. Few games absorbed me to the level New Leaf did and this game posses the greatest threat to my free time. I’m looking forward to seeing how much they’ve streamlined the mechanics of the previous games. A lot has changed in the last seven years of gaming and Animal Crossing had so much room to grow. The first Nintendo Direct of the year and the news it will contain is probably more anticipated than some of the games on this list.
1. Skyrim (2011)
There are a few companies that can make a game release by them seem like a huge event in gaming, this year we get two such releases. The Last of Us will live on in the history of gaming for the fantastic story, production quality and acting. These types of narrative focused games have some of the greatest impacts in our lives. The original Last of Us had room for improvement in the combat department and seven years is a long time to get that right. What I’m hoping for is a game that combines the massively impactful story of the original with modern mechanics that make me look forward to each gameplay section as much as the cutscenes.