Although 2020 brought with it some incredible games like Ghost of Tsushima, Dreams, and The Last of Us: Part 2, the pandemic caused considerable disruption to game production, resulting in many highly anticipated games’ release dates being pushed back to the following year.
Fortunately, 2021 holds much more promise for exciting new launches. Some great games have already had their debut this year, such Cyber Shadow and The Medium. Despite having a few flaws, Cyber Shadow a high rating for it’s retro, old-school experience. Psychological horror PC and Xbox game, The Medium, created a lot of hype with it’s stunning trailer and has received high praise in the short time that has passed since its release.
Not only is there a lot more expected to come out in 2021, but gamers will also have a greater choice of genres, gameplay designs, and modes than they did in the previous year. Check out this list of the most anticipated launches you can expect to see in 2021.
1 – Humankind
Launching on April 22, 2021, Humankind is a 4X game similar to the Civilization series, but with enough unique features to really set it apart from its competition. In Humankind, you’ll progress through six different eras of human history, each of which offers ten different cultures to choose from. Unlike Civilization, your cultural traits from the previous era will carry over, creating a more culturally-diverse society with each subsequent era. The goal of the game is to acquire as much fame as you can, and you need a certain amount of fame to progress to each new era.
At the moment, Humankind isn’t being released for consoles, so you’ll need a gaming PC if you want to get your hands on this one. Looking to purchase a gaming PC? PureGaming.net is a great resource for tips on finding an awesome gaming PC on a budget.
2 – Biomutant
After being delayed multiple times, Biomutant is finally set to be released on May 25th, 2021. In this open world, third-person action game, you’ll control a mutant animal warrior fighting to unite the divided tribes to save the Tree-Of-Life from a plague caused by an oil spill.
The trailer demonstrates just how diverse the world is. From dry, bleak deserts and rocky mountaintops, to lush green forests and underwater abysses, each landscape is visually spectacular. Character building is extremely detailed too, with every physical customizable change made to the character directly impacting their statistics. Whether you’re in it for the gameplay or the story, Biomutant won’t disappoint.
While it’ll be playable on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, a high-end version will also be released for high-end PCs to really show off all its features.
3 – Sable
If combat isn’t your thing, Sable might pique your interest. Originally set to come out in 2019, it seems that 2021 will finally be the year it’s released. In this indie exploration game, you’ll join Sable as she leaves her nomadic clan and sets out on her rite-of-passage journey to find a mask. On her journey, she’ll meet other nomads, solve puzzles, discover secrets, and collect special items. Some of the places you might explore in this open world environment include crashed spaceships and ancient runes.
Fans of Studio Ghibli will love the warm-toned, peaceful graphics and the original soundtrack by Japanese Breakfast. However, if you’re hoping for one long, solid storyline, you won’t get that here. Randomly ordered stories throughout the gameplay will reveal bits of worldbuilding until Sable completes her request and returns home.
4 – Weird West
Weird West gets its name from the subgenre Weird West, originally inspired by DC Comic’s Weird Western Tales anthology. The shooter game is a top-down immersive sim in which the choices you make determine the journey. A lot of the details for this game still aren’t known, but the combination of human gunslingers and supernatural creatures is enough to keep many gamers compelled. Rather than playing through the perspective of an individual character, you explore the interconnected stories of five different heroes, making choices along the way that will inform future legends about their lives.
Based on the trailer, the aesthetics of the game are likely to be a big driver of purchases. Unlike the majority of westerns that show a dusty, dry environment, Weird West makes use of plenty of purples and blues to really give it that otherworldly, supernatural vibe.
5 – Hollow Knight: Silksong
The highly anticipated Hollow Knight sequel is expected to be released in 2021, two years after it was originally announced. In Silksong, you’ll control Hornet, the princess-protector of Hallownest. The game starts with Hornet waking up in an unknown kingdom called Pharloom. In contrast to the original game where you had to descend to the depths on Hallownest, in Silksong, Hornet will be making her way up to the citadel at the top of the kingdom. Upon reaching the citadel, Hornet will learn why she was kidnapped and brought to Pharloom.
Hollow Knight is known for its classic 2D style, orchestral soundtrack, and painstaking attention to detail. In this version, you’ll collect materials as you go to craft one-of-a-kind weapons. These weapons will come in handy against the 150+ adversaries you meet throughout the journey. You’ll also make friends along the way and complete quests for them to restore their hope in their kingdom.
6 – It Takes Two
Coming out on March 26, 2021, It Takes Two is a co-operative game like none you’ve played before. Playing this one alone isn’t an option – you’ll have to invite a fellow gamer. Together, you’ll play as a couple that have been turned into dolls by magic and are trapped in a world with endless obstacles. Despite the wonder of the whimsical world, it won’t be all sunshine and rainbows. Your relationship is in jeopardy, and you’ll need to repair it to get back to the real world.
With your purchase, you’ll receive a free Friend’s Pass which can be used to invite someone to play online with you. It can also be played offline in couch co-op. The Friend’s Pass can only be given to a single friend at a time, but if they decide to stop playing, it can be transferred to someone else. Finding someone to play with you won’t be a challenge – the game combines so many different genres that there’s something for everyone.
7 – Tunic
Inspired by The Legend of Zelda, Tunic is an isometric view action-adventure game where you’ll explore a geometric unknown world as a rather cute little fox, solving puzzles and battling enemies as you go. While it’s visually well-developed, it’s aimed more at traditional gamers and shines in terms of the nostalgia factor rather than offering anything truly innovative. Despite this, it’s still highly anticipated by many.
Tunic is exclusive to Xbox and Steam, so PlayStation players won’t be able to get their hands on it. While there’s no official release date yet, it was expected to be released in 2020. The delay is understandable, as the game is being developed by a one-man team: Andrew Shouldice. Finji game studio released a tweet in mid-January announcing that they had lots of launches planned for this year – it’s likely that Tunic is one of them.
Upcoming releases for 2022
Though Biomutant, It Takes Two, and Humankind have confirmed 2021 release dates, the rest have not formalized their launches just yet. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to get your hands on all of these games this year, but as is often the case in the game world even when things go smoothly, delays can happen. Regardless, these games are worth keeping an eye on – even if they don’t come out until next year.