August 25 | Amazon Games
For years, World of Warcraft has dominated the MMO scene, but a variety of competitors have shown that there’s plenty of design space in this genre that isn’t being explored.
That’s what makes New World so fascinating. This upcoming MMO looks to combine elements of survival and mysticism as part of a bold formula that emphasizes PvP elements. We don’t know if it will be the new king of the genre, but we’re very curious to see whether or not it will become our next MMO addiction.
Phantasy Star Online 2
May 27 | Sega
Phantasy Star Online 2 is one of the most popular games in Japan, but Sega has never truly made the effort to bring this title to the West. Fortunately, American gamers will finally be able to try the sequel to Phantasy Star Online when it comes to Xbox One and PC in 2020. Fans of the original game and those looking for a new MMO to lose a few hundred hours in will want to keep an eye on this one.
April 28 | Focus Home Interactive
Snowrunner has managed to sneak under the radar thus far, which is quite remarkable considering that it’s one of the most innovative and intense driving experiences in recent years.
Think of Snowrunner as a kind of survival driving game. It’s all about trying to navigate some of the most hostile environments in the world with the help of some of the largest and most powerful vehicles in the world. Whereas many driving games emphasize speed and style, this fundamentally ugly (yet visually beautiful) title is all about outlasting the elements with the help of your fully-customized vehicles.
Songs of Conquest
TBA | Lavapotion
Years ago, the Heroes of Might and Magic series offered a compelling blend of turn-based strategy and role-playing that was innovative at the time and has survived through the years thanks to a surprising lack of notable imitators. Well, the developers of Songs of Conquest are not shy about comparing their project to Heroes of Might and Magic.
While we don’t know much about the finer aspects of Songs of Conquest, the promise of Heroes of Might and Magic-style gameplay with Total War scale is enough to get us excited about this beautiful strategy game and the possibility it may revive some design concepts that should have never faded away.
Read More: PC Gaming Innovations That Changed the Way We Play
Starship Troopers – Terran Command
TBA | The Artistocrats
Starship Troopers was met with a lukewarm reception upon its 1997 release, but recent years have seen the once-maligned sci-fi title become a cult classic. Its clever political commentary and undeniable style clearly elevate it above the legion of similar big-budget action films that were released at that time.
Terran Command turns some of that film’s (and the series’) large-scale conflicts into a dynamic strategy experience that combines resource management, position defense, and other notable genre elements. With developer The Aristocrats promising to capture the various elements that make Starship Troopers as notable as it is, there’s actually a reason to hope that this will be more than just another licensed cash-in.
The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners
January 23 | Skydance Interactive
Given the history of licensed games and the rocky recent history of VR games, it’s understandable that you may be hesitant towards a licensed VR game. It certainly doesn’t help that we’ve seen some pretty awful Walking Dead games over the years.
Yet, The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners really is one of the better games of 2020. It’s a tense action title that cleverly uses VR mechanics to offer an experience that can only be achieved via this format. It’s a pleasant surprise that shows a way towards a better future for the genre, VR medium, and Walking Dead adaptations.
January 21 | Crema
Temtem is basically a Pokemon MMO. There is really only so long that you can talk about the game before making that comparison. Pokemon may not be referenced in any of the game’s summaries or official material, but it’s certainly being talked about by Temtem‘s fans.
Actually, the discussions of those fans have made Temtem one of 2020’s most surprising successes so far. It’s not perfect, but Temtem offers a reasonable approximation of a dream video game concept. It turns out that catching them all with hundreds of real players is just as much fun as you thought it might be.
June 3 | Riot Games
Riot Games new shooter, Valorant, has long been described as Overwatch meets Counter-Strike. It’s a serviceable description of the basic experience, but it doesn’t capture what makes this title so compelling.
Valorant is a pure competitive shooter that benefits from the enhanced personality offered by its playable heroes and their unique abilities. It remains to be seen whether Valorant will grow into something bigger than its influences, but the formula for success is certainly there and our early impressions are most definitely positive.
Warhammer Underworlds: Online
January 28 | Steel Sky Productions
The Warhammer license has been used for a surprisingly diverse series of gaming experiences over the years. Yet, no Warhammer game has defied conventions quite as elegantly as Warhammer Underworlds: Online; a tabletop deckbuilding and dice strategy experience.
Through a complex, though surprisingly accessible, series of mechanics, Warhammer Underworlds offers one of the deepest competitive strategy experiences that you’re likely to find this year. It’s a wonderful blend of tabletop ideas and digital accessibility that stays true to its source while helping to form an almost entirely new concept.
TBA | The Astronauts
Developer The Astronauts certainly showed it knows how to create incredible worlds and engaging stories in its debut hit, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but that game’s “Walking Simulator” designation left some describing it as “boring.” Well, Witchfire looks anything but boring.
A throwback to pure FPS games like Painkiller, Witchfire is shaping up to be one of the fastest and most furious action titles of 2020. This game may just give the Doom reboot a run for its money as the king of modern action-oriented FPS titles.
Way to the Woods
TBA | Anthony Tan
Way to the Woods initially drew quite a bit of attention when it was revealed that it was being developed by a teenager. Years after the hype of the game’s origins died down, though, Way to the Woods still looks like one of the most intriguing games on the horizon.
The game sees you control two deer on a fairy tale journey through various environments. While much of the project’s gameplay remains a mystery, the beauty of the game’s artwork and the snippets of its hauntingly beautiful soundtrack we’ve heard thus far hint at a worthwhile adventure for those seeking a dreamlike experience.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
TBA | Blizzard Entertainment
To say that World of Warcraft‘s Battle of Azeroth expansion was a disappointment would be an understatement. A series of bad ideas, poor updates, and lingering problems doomed Battle of Azeroth and left some wondering how World of Warcraft will recover. The answer to that question begins with Shadowlands.