The games we’re most looking forward to in 2021
It’s been quite a time for games and those who love to play them. 2020 saw a bumper bundle of exciting new releases and, in November, we finally got the ninth generation of games consoles, with the launch of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X and S. Lockdown pushed the demand for games through the roof and the enforced staying at home brought an influx of new gamers. It also encouraged those who’d not played for years to dust off their consoles or to see what was available online for their PC or phone.
There’s a huge amount of choice available, from traditional cartridge games to downloads and online epics, while increasingly powerful processors across all platforms means that all types of games are becoming more sophisticated, more visually impressive and more innovative all the time. Gaming culture continues to evolve, and 2021 has already seen some great new releases, but there’s plenty more to come, including a few long-awaited favourites that have been pushed back from last year. Here are a few of our top picks.
Horizon Forbidden West
The second half of 2021 should see the much-anticipated sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn launch, and it looks like it’s going to be pushing the envelope in more ways than one. Mixing sci-fi, fantasy and topical themes, the game takes you into new territories, exploring thirtieth century California, Nevada and Utah, battling off robot animals as you hunt for the origin of a killer virus.
Horizon Zero Dawn was a PS4 exclusive that really showed what that device was capable of, and Horizon Forbidden West looks set to do the same for the PS5. If you haven’t invested in the new console yet, here’s another good reason to do so.
The popularity of internet casinos and online gambling continues to grow, reaching new demographics all the time with new variations on traditional table games, themed slots and original content that matches the excitement of the video gaming sector. With a raft of new Netent casinos coming online in 2021, we’re looking forward to new content, new games and brand new spins on classic formats, plus of course, some generous welcome bonuses.
The new one from Arkane is a shooter with a difference. You’re stuck in a time loop that keeps repeating, resetting each day, until you’ve killed the eight “visionaries” who are your selected targets. Stalking them around an island setting, you also have to keep one step ahead of a rival assassin. You can even play the rival yourself, dropping in on random games online!
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
This expanded, next-generation upgrade for the PS5, due in June, is hotly anticipated for two reasons. Firstly, it promises much improved graphics and playability, plus faster loading times. Secondly, it features a whole new chapter starring Yuffle, everyone’s favourite character from the series’ first instalment. Not quite a new game in the long-running and iconic franchise, the amount of fresh content nevertheless makes this a must-have purchase.
Far Cry 6
Originally due in February, the sixth blockbuster in the Far Cry series is now due at an unspecified date later in the year. The good news is that it definitely looks worth waiting for. You play a freedom fighter out to assassinate a Caribbean dictator, portrayed by actor Giancarlo Esposito, of Breaking Bad fame. The open-world setting is the fictional island of Yara, no doubt conceived and presented with all the attention to detail and imaginative flourish we’ve come to expect.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
The latest episode of the Ratchet & Clank franchise was due last year but is now set for a June release. Early impressions suggest that it doesn’t mess much with a winning formula, so expect an entertaining, visually impressive cartoon quest. The main innovation seems to be the use of the PS5’s high velocity SSD storage to generate “rifts” that enable our heroes to leap between worlds.
In the absence of a missing, presumed dead Batman, it’s down to his former sidekicks and crime-fighting colleagues to keep Gotham City from sliding irrevocably into anarchy and crime. An RPG / fighter hybrid that will be available on most platforms, Gotham Knights lets you play Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl or Red Hood in an intriguing new spin on the Batman games universe.
With Resident Evil Village, Back 4 Blood and Halo Infinite also among the forthcoming titles whetting our appetite, 2021 looks set to be another vintage year for gaming. Keep your trigger fingers oiled, for the best is yet to come!