2020 has been an unsettling year to say the least; wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought and a global pandemic. For many, especially those in their second or third lockdown, video games are providing a safe haven. Gaming has seen a huge boost this year as hundreds of millions of people have been forced to stay at home. Old school veterans, newbies and longtime gamers are giving the controller extra love, and why not, it’s a novel, fun and safe way to stay connected with fellow gamers around the globe. Luckily for gaming fanatics, it’s been an excellent year for games. Here are our top picks…
What do you get when you merge the anticipation of Fortnite with the mayhem of lMario Party? Fall Guys – this charming, simple multiplayer game was a welcome distraction this summer. Those unable to socialise in real-time were invited to do so online, with top level player cooperation resulting in individual victory. The delightful animations and special sound effects, combined with the ease of play, made this one of the best video games to come out of 2020.
Call of Duty: Warzone
Warzone boasts a battle royale shooter similar to Fortnite. This complementary add-on to 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, boasts just enough pizzazz to feel like a new experience. Most video game sequences come up short, Warzone’s new fangled concepts, methods and advances provide endless entertainment, an antidote to hours locked indoors. Combine this with map updates, sturdy seasons and new ways to play, gaming giants Infinity Ward have excelled themselves.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2
Revamping old joy seldom delivers unique excitement, that being said, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 may have done just that. This remake captures the nostalgia of the original skateboarding games, whilst also ensuring an up-to-date experience, perfectly suited to the eighth generation of video game consoles and the tastes of today’s on trend gamers. If you have a craving for high scores and a want to skate the streets, this is the game for you.
Animal Crossings: New Horizons
Meet the ‘off the record’ game of pandemic springtime lockdowns and Nintendo’s latest entry to hit their long-running life simulator concession. Players find themselves on a deserted island alongside a handful of resident humanoid animals. The challenge? To construct a community. On top of this (it seems slightly unfair), they must pay off their debt to the penny-pinching tycoon raccoon-dog who dumped them there in the first place. From hosting talk shows to partying, to taking a trip to the turnip-powered “stalk market,” expect to engage with a huge community of like-minded individuals, each from their own custom virtual islands.
With the huge rise in popularity online casino gaming has seen in recent years, new games are being launched left and right. One of the most anticipated video slots of this Autumn was the follow-up to NetEnt’s successful Hotline slot. Although not a video game in the traditional sense, we thought it had a well-earned spot in our list. Set in the underworld of 80’s Miami, Hotline 2 follows the theme of it’s predecessor, but with plenty of new features that makes for even more exciting game play. The Hotline Bonus Bet is the main feature of the game, which can turn an entire reel into an expanding wild with increased chances of hitting a winning combination. The game also has a free spins feature which is activated when three scatter symbols appear on the reels in a single spin.
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Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The highly-anticipated sequel to Moon Studios’ Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps does exactly what a sequel should. Evolving from its predecessor’s simpler style, this video game is equally colourful as it is complex, it also takes stage in a much bigger world. In the game’s intro, Ori and a hoard of other charming characters assume ownership of a baby owl. They’re soon separated and in order to reunite them, players are tasked with a series of awesome challenges, whilst journeying through a strikingly-rendered landscape. This heart-wrenching quest demands a serious amount of creativity and skill.
Video games with a focus on continuity, difficulty and repeated deaths have been trending for years, Hades has to be this sub-genre’s highest hit to date. Players must step into the shoes of Zagreus (Hades’ son) in this magnificently run-based game. From assisting Pantheon to combatting noteworthy victors, the game revolves around escaping the Greek underworld. The unique combat is entertaining, the art top level, and the progression methods outstanding. Hades showcases how one game can have many different outcomes, meaning players rarely get bored!