Gaming

Opinion – 10 games of 2021 you don’t want to miss

Hard to believe that we are approaching the middle of the year 2021. If you are lacking inspiration for your game purchases, my colleague Martin had put together a list of independent productions to watch this year. In fact, he was spoiled for choice, so much so that a second selection had been shared.

We can even repeat the exercise by targeting only Quebec productions. On the other hand, what about large-scale games? The blockbusters industry or those that have been in development for ages?

Here is a selection of 10 games not to be missed in 2021 to have a good time with your favorite platforms.

Returnal

Release Date: April 30, 2021
Platform: PlayStation 5

After a few weeks delay, the sci-fi game Returnal will land on the planet PlayStation 5 at the end of the month.

The Housemarque studio seems to have a real hit Between hands. Equipped with a gameplay Breathless and seemingly intriguing storyline, Returnal is one of my most appealing exclusives in 2021.

The game combines elements roguelike to create a different experience for each game. Enemies change as well as environments. The premise reminds me of the movie premise Edge of Tomorrow in the sense that with each death, one starts again to explore while preserving the memory (and certain skills) of what happened before.

Resident Evil Village

Release Date: May 7, 2021
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S

This is another highly anticipated game for 2021 which had also suffered a delay. In November 2020, a massive data leak from Capcom’s servers revealed the company’s entire schedule for 2021 and beyond. This is how we learned of the upcoming release of this eighth main opus, strongly inspired by Resident Evil 4.

Like Resident Evil 7, Village adopts a first person view. Protagonist Ethan returns with his wife Mia before being kidnapped by Chris Redfield. This unexpected turn leads him to a sinister village populated by creatures who want his life … including werewolves!

Despite some points that I had less digested, Resident Evil 7 was an excellent horror game. I am optimistic that Village will bring honor to the series. Especially since we had confirmation of a new Mercenaries mode in the Resident Evil Showcase!

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Release Date: May 14, 2021
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S

Commander Shepard and his elite team will attempt to save the world from the menace of the Bone Hunters in this enhanced trilogy of the games Mass Effect.

If you like role-playing games and sci-fi, this series is a must-see. BioWare did more than just polish it up. The first Mass Effect has a new game interface inspired by the sequels. Several changes have been made to create a more balanced gaming experience.

BioWare also added a ton of details especially visible in the first Mass Effect. The environments come alive more than ever, because the developers no longer had to work with the limitations of the Xbox 360 console. An example given is that of the walls which hid part of the levels to avoid data overload. The famous elevator sequences have also been cut short, although it will still be possible to have a good time there if you don’t skip the animation (a disguised loading time).

Biomutant

Release Date: May 25, 2021
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

After all the delays and years of development, I still wonder if Biomutant of the young studio Experiment 101 will indeed be distributed in May. Everything suggests so, because its marketing is more present than ever.

The role-playing game combines action and adventure in a colorful universe where animals can mutate and gain incredible powers. The idea is to adapt with new kung fu abilities depending on the situation in a gigantic open world. The combat system shows great promise with a focus on third person martial arts.

Very ambitious, Biomutant offers enormous freedom of movement to exploit his mutant powers. With the possibility of re-encoding its genetic structure, of unlocking new weapons and special powers, Biomutant promises to be rich in terms of strategy and depth of combat.

Swedish studio Experiment 101 has the potential to surprise many players with this new license.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Release Date: June 11, 2021
Platform: PlayStation 5

The development of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart cannot be silenced. Insomniac Games is one of my favorite studios that has an exemplary track record.

The next episode of the series was put forward because of its advanced use of PlayStation 5 technology. The principle of the game is to explore several dimensions, which are linked in temporal rifts. The result is spectacular (thank you SSD hard drive!).

The Ratchet & Clank series combines humor and gameplay tasty. I am of the opinion that this iteration could be the best yet. Insomniac Games will take full advantage of all the technologies available to it with the PlayStation 5. The few shared sequences testify to a great mastery of all the different systems in place.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Release Date: August 24, 2021
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

Who doesn’t love a good game inspired by The Legend of Zelda? It’s kind of the feeling that I have watching the footage of Kena: Bridge of Spirits. With a little touch of Pikmin for creatures you can control that help you complete tasks in the world.

For Ember Lab, it’s a baptism of fire in the industry. Previously, the studio specialized in digital content and animation. Kena: Bridge of Spirits seems inspired by several successful licenses and for a first game, it’s spectacular. The animation work is particularly successful, which is not indifferent to the studio’s past success in this area.

Back 4 Blood

Release Date: October 12, 2021
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S

The creators of the series Left 4 Dead are back for a similarly titled game featuring Back 4 Blood. Postponed to the fall of 2021, the cooperative FPS takes up the concept of survival against hordes of zombies.

Despite a not at all original premise, Back 4 Blood has the potential to create a real tidal wave upon release. Turtle Rock Studios will definitely want to make amends after the bitter failure Evolve. My only worry is that the game isn’t bringing enough new blood into an overused genre. On the flip side, fans have been clamoring for a Left 4 Dead 3 for years and Back 4 Blood is a spiritual sequel to that well-known series.

Diablo II: Resurrected

Release date: 2021
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series and Switch

Among the games that I have played far too much, Diablo 2 is definitely at the top of the list. For years the rumor had circulated that we would be entitled to a remaster. I think it was above all to take his desires for realities. Especially since Blizzard is not at all the same studio as in the year 2000. One could even say without too much difficulty that it is the shadow of itself.

However, we will indeed be entitled to a remaster with the help of Vicarious Visions. Diablo II: Resurrected is a dream come true for fans of the franchise. The game is beautiful and goes from 2D to 3D. Underneath this elegant make-up hides the same source code, so the developers took this important detail into account to recreate the same quality experience.

It also means that the game will be presented with the same faults (Baal runs ad nauseam), but we don’t care. Diablo II: Resurrected is LE remaster that you must buy in 2021… with the one from Mass Effect of course!

Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis

Release date: June 2021
Platform: PC

People who know me well know how much I am a fan of the Phantasy Star Online series. I still remember buying the Japanese version on Dreamcast. It’s an important series in many ways and New Genesis is perhaps its most important iteration.

The twist that PSO2 chooses for an action MMO isn’t the one I like the most. New Genesis doesn’t change this characteristic, but the expansion does change a lot of other things for the better. To mark the 20 years of the series, we will be entitled to a game close to what could have been called PSO3.

The action will be much more fluid than in the past with a new verticality. The combat system interests me much more than in the basic PSO2 version with multiple aerial combos. It’s a real evolution and update of a game that I look forward to the most in 2021.

Horizon: Forbidden West

Release date: 2021
Platform: PlayStation 5

I’ll say right away that I would be pleasantly surprised to see Horizon: Forbidden West on PlayStation 5 this year. The announced release date seems optimistic to me, given the current context of a pandemic which is pushing back the majority of large-scale productions.

That being said, Horizon is one of the new licenses that surprised me the most. The first game is offered for free thanks to Sony’s Play at Home initiative. It is nothing less than a tour de force when it comes to presentation with incredible animations and stunning visuals. The gameplay is also excellent. I love the theme of robotic dinosaurs in an open world.

Horizon: Forbidden West could in turn position itself as a real gem on PlayStation 5 and one of the most enticing exclusives in the works by Sony. Guerrilla Games rocked the industry with its series Killzone; Horizon has the same effect in the action-adventure genre.

Honorable mentions

  • Chivalry 2
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
  • Halo Infinite
  • Hitman 3
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster
  • Tales of Arise
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
  • World’s End Club

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