GregHorrorShow’s Year In Gaming 2020

As we ease ourselves into 2021, it’s a great time to reflect on the last year of gaming. As always this isn’t a piece about the games that came out in 2020 but the titles I played throughout the year.

Starting with some older titles, I finally picked up and made a start on the excellent Celeste, a challenging puzzle/platformer with a wonderful art style/music. I really enjoyed Absolver, a title that lets you customise your fighting style/stance as you progress through the game. Exploring the game world was peaceful and it was another game with a decent sense of challenge. I’d had my eye on Dex for a while, an old school looking Cyberpunk RPG title – while I’m far from finishing it, I’d recommend giving it a whirl if you like that genre.

Erica is a title that is all film footage, you make your choice of what to do and the next scene plays until you get to the end of the story. I quite enjoyed it, although there seemed to be a fair few plot holes unfortunately. Close To The Sun tells the story of Rose Archer, a journalist searching for her sister on a vast ship. It’s 1897 and set in an alternate universe where Telsa and Edison are vying for dominance of the science world. It’s essentially a first person horror title with some neat jump scares and tricks up its sleeve. Again the story ended up with some gaping plot holes but it was a fun 8-10 hours. A game I adored was Sayonara Wild Hearts, a rhythm action game with a killer synth pop soundtrack. Highly recommended.

Last year I also ended up doing something I rarely do, replaying old games – or at least the remastered versions. I played through Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (which was a great walk down memory lane) and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (which had some fun moments but didn’t really do it for me). A title that came packed in with the PS5 was Astro’s Playroom, a love letter to the PlayStation brand and stellar showcase of the new PS5 controller. This is one of my highlights of the year, such fun and a lovely look back at the previous four PlayStation generations.

PES 2021 was a minor update to the series but the gameplay remains strong and I got into NBA 2K20 as well via PlayStation Plus. Dirt 5 was, without doubt, the best feeling racer I’ve played in the last few years and the free PS5 upgrade was a great touch.

On the multiplayer front I tried HyperScape, Ubisoft’s battle royale offering, but it didn’t really stick for me. I was happy to switch between Call Of Duty: Warzone and Fortnite for my fix of large numbers of players jumping out of planes. I stuck a fair bit of time into Red Dead Online, the recently added character specialisations (I went for nature photographer) bring some new life to the game beyond just wild west shoot outs.

In terms of ongoing games Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket League, Battlefield V and Destiny 2 all kept things ticking along nicely by either running regular events or giving the entire game a fresh lick of paint. All remain immensely playable and highly recommendable, especially as they still have high player counts and it’s easy/quick to get into a match.

But my favourite multiplayer game of 2020 has to be Fall Guys. Out of nowhere came this insane bundle of joy. Mixing a battle royale format with ‘It’s a knockout’ style games was a winning recipe. I am still yet to claim a show victory, despite my best efforts, but Fall Guys is a title I’ll no doubt return to again and again.

In terms of bigger, longer games I really liked A Plague Tale: Innocence – the story of a brother and sister trying to escape the clutches of the Inquisition that also has a supernatural twist. Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider is definitely substantial enough to be considered stand alone, in my opinion. A great story well told and another excuse to visit one of the most stylish game worlds of recent times. I’ve only recently started The Outer Worlds but after 8 or so hours I’m really enjoying it so far!

Unfortunately, while I was loving Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey finding out I was only halfway through when 35 hours into it meant my playthrough ended there. I had been ready for things to wrap up but couldn’t face another huge chunk of time, sadly. I recently started Ghost Of Tsushima (on PS5) and it is a glorious looking game. I like the way it plays and am finding roaming the game world to be quite laid back. I’m also playing it with the Japanese language option, which is cool. So far, it’s a great game.

One huge title I did finish was Death Stranding. While I think it was 3 or 4 hours too long, the story was nonsensical and some of the dialogue was not great, I did actually really enjoy it. Traversing the world and exploring was fun and fairly peaceful. Walking everywhere didn’t seem too much of an issue when played in short bursts of a couple of hours. I’m interested to see what Kojima comes up with next.

Which brings us to the title I’ve given my game of the year award to – The Last Of Us Part II. Expectations were high for this one, the first game is a masterpiece in my eyes and so there were questions as to whether Naughty Dog could deliver. Deliver they did, in terms of story, gameplay and technical achievement. I haven’t played many games like this where you are forced into making bad choices or doing bad things by the characters. You’re complicit with each button press. This isn’t a fun, easy play. The violence is brutal and at one late stage in the game I had to take a break from what was going on. Despite all that it was well worth seeing it through. Without a doubt one of the best games I’ve ever played.

And so there you have it. 2020 in a nutshell – mentions must go to Spiderman: Miles Morales, Bugsnax and Sackboy: A Big Adventure, unfortunately I simply didn’t get time to put enough hours in with them for consideration here. I’m sure they will be here next year 🙂

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