Hello and welcome to Rock Paper Shotgun.
It’s the end of 2019 which means we scrapethe last few bits of the year off our plate and get ready to stuff our faces with hypefor 2020.
Even though PC isn’t a slave to consolegenerations, we will hopefully see the benefits of a new Xbox and PlayStation as publishersunleash the next gen treats they’ve been working on.
Even without those games, we’ve got everythingfrom Californian cyborg brains to unstoppable zombies to time travelling murder mysteries.
So here are our picks of 20 PC games to watchout for in 2020.
Do tell us your personal picks and if youenjoy this video as it goes along, do subscribe to Rock Paper Shotgun and make sure to selectthe notification bell so you can find all our videos as we cover these throughout theyear.
Now onwards to the future! This’ll confuse you: 2020 is actually goingto be the year of 2077.
E3 2019 was the moment Cyberpunk finally tooka practical shape – after that insane 2018 demo we saw how the game works on a nuts andbolts level.
In short: it looks like Deus Ex on a megabudget, a first-person RPG where your character build rewrites how missions play out, fromturning machines against their masters to just evaporating gang members using handgunswith the power of artillery.
What elevates it to a different level to DeusEx is that it plays out in a vast city where every district is a character bubbling withunique threats and opportunities.
If you haven’t already, do watch out ourinterviews with the concept artist and the RPG creator Mike Pondsmith, for loads of insightinto why this is 2020’s most exciting game.
Here’s a good news/bad news situation: Half-Lifeis back, but you have to wear a funny electronic hat to play it.
Trust Valve not to take the conventional routewith the return of its beloved series, as this Half-life 2 prequel – following the movementsof Alyx – is a VR exclusive.
While some would rather put their skull ina head crab than a VR helmet, it’s still exciting to see Valve throw their best designminds at VR, building a full campaign that we hope will set a new standard for what isachievable.
Already we’ve seen disembodied hands catchingammo clips, searching shelves four resources and slipping gravity gloves to pluck weaponsfrom enemies.
And at the end of the day, it’s just greatto be back in this world, and listening to these dumb jokes – IT’S NOT LOADED.
iT’S NOT LOADED NOW.
If anyone can make the case for VR, it’llbe Valve.
It’s been a year since the Resident Evil2 remake, and yet Mr X still haunts me.
I can’t even look at a fedora without crappingmy pants.
Well, bad news for my fellow afflicted: ResidentEvil 3 is pretty much Mr X: The Game, as Jill Valentine attempts to escape the unstoppableNemesis and get the hell out of Racoon City.
Nemesis isn’t properly shown in the trailer, but you know he’s a-coming – a seven foot brute who looks like a cross between Bane, a haggis and Rob Beckett.
Given that Nemesis’ whole deal is chasingJill, the news that he has more tricks than Mr X gives me cold sweats – what if he canfinally get inside save rooms? Oh gawd.
The other thing of note is the four versusone multiplayer mode, Project Resistance – where the lone wolf controls enemy spawns and cansteer zombies.
It also has a character called Martin Sandwich.
Any relation to the Jill Sandwich? All will be revealed on April 3rd.
From Mr X to 4X.
Amplitude Studios say they’ve worked towardsHumankind since day one – that their goal was to always make a historical 4X game, andthat Endless Space and Endless Legend were steps along that path.
A perfect backstory for a game all about thesteps a civilisation takes, starting with a prehistoric tribe and then absorbing a newculture at the end of every historical era.
This pick and mix of cultural evolution iswhat differentiates it from Civilisation, as you end up with bizarre amalgam of technology, military units and architecture – look at a modern city and you’ll see all your pastdecisions rubbing shoulders with the present, as tall Parisian apartments surround Egyptianpyramids or Japanese pagodas.
All this boils down to accruing fame so thatyour chimeric culture will be remembered.
Will Humanity achieve that lofty goal itself? We have high hopes.
This next one isn’t a 4X strategy, and ismore interested in the triple X industries of 1920’s Chicago.
Yes, it’s all booze, brothels and bulletsin Romero Game’s Empire of Sin, as you invest in neighbourhood rackets and protect turffrom rival mobsters in turn-based shootouts.
It’s all the fun stuff from The Untouchables, but without sanctimonious Kevin Costner telling everyone off.
You’ll be watering down booze for profits;rubbing shoulders will legendary gangsters – including the real-life grandfather of gamedirector Brenda Romero – and there’s intriguing character system that sees them evolve basedon how you put them to work.
Keep sending a henchman to plug business rivalsand he might turn into a serial killer.
It’s this clash of twisted personalities, big gangster drama and gorgeous setting that has this muscling in on our must-play list.
Here’s my pitch for Unto The End: your beardis your health meter.
The more blood in the beard, the worse thingsare going for you.
It’s one of a hundred great touches in thisside-scrolling adventure.
Think: Limbo meets God of War, as a barbarianhacks and slashes his way through caves and mountains.
The combat system has real depth, with combatstances, fake outs, all manner of evasive cleverness and the ability to kick dirt ina bandit’s eyes.
It results in full-blooded battles where youfeel like you’re scrabbling for survival but you don’t mind if you die, because itmeans you get to enjoy those chunky sword hits all over again.
Trust me, it’s ace.
The original Ori is one of my favourite Metroidclones and all the sequel really has to do is inject more gorgeous art into my eyes – check- offer more platforming to give my fat fingers a workout – check – and improve the not verygood combat.
The last one is looking like a big check fromthe trailer, as Ori throws lighting spears… whacks goons with a bo staff… and givesthis cheeky sod a bit of hammer time.
Almost seems perverse seeing somethign thiscute murder with such ease.
Of course looking at what he’s up against, it’s maybe justified: giant spiders, giant wolves, giant owls – basically, take any animalthat enjoys Ori as part of a balanced diet, and stick giant in front of its name.
And voila: you’ve got the recipe for someepic chase scenes.
And it’ll be on Xbox Game Pass for PC, soyou don’t even have to pay through the teeth to see Ori in pain between some teeth.
While we’re talking about Metroidvaniasand teeth… that grinding sound you can hear is my jaw, as I watch the Silksong trailerand spot at least ten bosses I’m going to get stuck on for weeks upon end.
This standalone quest began as plans for asimple DLC character for the original game, but has grown into its own adventure, withover 150 different enemies, a quest system to help all the freaky bugs you meet and aslightly faster healing system.
Add that last bit to a new platform grab andSilksong is speedier and more fluid than Hollow Knight; why is it that games are getting fasterand faster as my aging hands get slower and slower? This is a recipe for disaster, but youthfulviewers will dig it.
What is it with Annapurna Interactive andtime loops? They gave us the repeating space explorationof Outer Wilds in 2019 and are now planning to trap us in an endless cycle of carnagein a single flat.
12 Minutes sees a couple’s romantic dinnergo repeatedly off the rails – a man bursts in and beats you to death – giving you, yes, 12 whole minutes to try to avoid this untimely demise.
Using simple point-and-click controls youuse your memories of past deaths to try and prepare for the future – grabbing weapons, perhaps, or trying to talk your wife into helping you.
Can you learn judo in 12 minutes? I guess we’ll find out.
The creator cites the films of ChristopherNolan and Stanley Kubrick as an inspiration, but it sounds more like Groundhog Day withfewer laughs.
Microsoft Flight Simulator has been groundedfor 13 years as technology caught up to where they needed it.
You see, the new Flight Simulator draws ondata and textures from Microsoft Bing satellite imagery to create photorealistic landscapesfor you to fly over, and uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud tech to stream it to your game, to build an accurate world as you fly over it.
And that’s just the static world – the sametech can fill the sky with real-time weather, and the team is looking at tracking animalmigrations, natural disasters and even car traffic.
Now, i’ll be honest with you: I’m nota flight sim nut, and can’t speak to the accuracy of its planes or handling models, but I know that I want to fly over my home town and see all the dummies blocking theroads around Stonehenge.
If Microsoft can find the accessibility toallow idiots like me to take fantasy flights, without compromising the simulation and detailthat the fan community demand, this could be a game to bust the genre wide open.
In last year’s preview video I said my newyear’s resolution for 2019 was to punch off more demon heads, but then Doom Eternalslipped to 2020 and made a failure of me.
I'm sad because I love punching off demonheads, and because what we've played of Doom Eternal so far has been tremendous fun: moredemons, more guns and more bits of demons you can shoot off with said guns.
A grappling hook lets you deliver murder straightto a monster's front door and you get a shoulder mounted flamethrower that bakes evil fleshinto shards of armour.
They pop like popcorn, which is heavenly.
Also heavenly: heaven, which is where thefight takes us in this next adventure.
The opportunity to paint the pearly gatesred? Who could possibly resist.
Just, please come out this year, yeah? Total War does Troy is a fascinating pitch, a further step into the grey area where history meets myth – a space that Creative Assemblynavigated in 2019 with Total War: Three Kingdoms.
Where that game was built around the big personalitiesthat populate an exaggerated telling of Chinese history, Troy is attempting to find the logicin the mythical loopiness.
So the Minotaur becomes a mad bastard wearinga bull’s head, and instead of hiding your men inside a big wooden horse you’ll findother ways to exploit Trojan weakness – such as attacking cities in the aftermath of anearthquake.
Three Kingdom’s hero duels return, withAchilles trying to keep his heel out of trouble, and you’ll also try to balance the favoursof the gods, whether that’s hiring priests to flatter the hippyish ones, or impressingthe Ares by murdering captives after battle.
It may be a further step from realism, butwho turns their nose up at having a god on their side? Halo Infinite’s latest E3 trailer didn’tdo it for us, taking a series that is at its best when you’re bouncing a silly car overalien worlds and asking us to get excited about a random bearded dude hanging out inhis drop ship.
That I do remain excited for Infinite boilsdown to rediscovering the joys of Halo Reach on PC, and rewatching the 2018 tech demo ofthe new Slipspace engine, that suggests Infinite might have a bigger canvas for the adventure.
Who wouldn’t want to take a Warthog fora Sunday drive across the grassy fields of a vast alien death hula hoop? Or go for a romantic walk on a beach, or lookat a giant nostril.
These are all on my bucket list.
Gears 5 took baby steps into an open worldin 2019 to pretty great effect; now it’s time for Master Chief to make his move.
Whatever next? Open world Cuphead? Hey, as long as it ends up on my Game Passsubscription, go crazy.
Desperados 3 was a highlight of Gamescom 2019, as the stealth wizards behind Shadow Tactics applied their sneaky know how to this revivalof a real-time tactics classic.
Building a stealth game where everyone hasvery loud pistols may sound daft, but it works as you programme in simultaneous moves toshoot out any ears that may hear you, or turn to a vast range of diversionary tactics tolure bandits to quiet parts of the map.
Some fans are kicking off about it addinga mind-controlling witch to the team, but they seem to forget the original had a guywho attached sleeping bombs to children’s balloons and then floated them over enemy’sheads.
If a freaking balloon assassin was okay, thenIsabelle’s magics are fine – you can even link together character’s fates like Dishonoured2’s domino power.
It was awesome in that game, and it’s goingto be awesome here.
Why aren't more people talking about DyingLight 2? Every demo we've seen has blown us away, whetherit's minute-to-minute zombie escapes that show off improved parkour and gooey combat, or the wider structure that sees mission decisions change how the open world city functions.
Make the wrong call and there are landmarksyou can lose access to as factions move in, and there are even entire regions of the cityyou might never discover – in our demo draining a dam saw a submerged city block come burstingout of a lake.
That’s pretty bold thinking from a gamethat used to be about hiding up drain pipes to escape monsters.
Perhaps Dying Light 2’s quality hasn't quitesunk in yet as it's been hands off to date – by which I mean we can't play it, I’mnot talking about all the hands you can chop off in the game.
Which is obviously a lot.
Full disclosure: Paralives doesn’t havea release date yet, but we include it as a gesture of hope.
Specifically, as a gesture of Alice’s hope- she’s our resident Sims nerd and has been salivating over Paralives non-stop.
Imagine The Sims but made by a smaller indieteam: they’re not set in their ways or part of a giant corporate machine, so are ableto build exactly the thing they want.
It may not sound like a big deal that youget bed sliders to turn a single into a double, or the ability to resize toilet roll holders, or the inclusion of curved walls, or the freedom to set building lot size and place it whereveryou want – but if you’re a Sims builder who has been working with EA’s restrictionsfor the last hundred years, all this adds up to a really tantalising, fan-focused offering.
It’s still early days yet, but trust us, based on what we’ve seen, Paralives could be absolutely massive.
Watch Dogs Legion gets a lot of attentionfor its whole ‘play as any NPC in the game’ thing – and that is very cool.
I love the idea of building a people’s armyfrom old age pensioners and presumably pelting my enemies with rock hard mints they’vehad in their pockets for at least five years.
But really the appeal is taking a trip aroundvirtual London, and reclaiming the city one dingy pub at a time.
Maybe you’ll be able to hack yourself somecheap tickets to the over priced West End.
Although the bleak dystopian rulers will haveprobably banned Les Mis – don’t want to give people ideas of revolution.
I feel bad for Bloodlines 2 – it’s the sequelwe never expected to have, and now all we do is pick on its ropey combat.
Given how much the original was hobbled byrushed development it’s a big sigh of relief to see this pushed back for some much neededpolish.
Because ignoring the weird, weightless combat, there’s plenty to get excited about here.
Like the fact you can play as a vampire barista- that’s one of the character backstories, anyway.
I guess if you can manage 20 different coffeeorders at once, you’re all set to negotiate between a couple of vampire factions.
Throw in a cool Seattle setting, one of thebest takes of vampire lore and a new system that lets you drink people’s emotions likea big sad milkshake and there’s plenty to be hopeful for.
Minute of Islands was a highlight of EGX Berlin2019: it looks like a playable cartoon, as you guide a beautifully animated hero acrosshuge hand drawn landscapes trying to wake up ancient machinery hidden across islands.
It’s a sweet mix of puzzling and platforming, but with some serious sinister undertones as our hero trots past rotting animal carcassesand wakes up creepy giants.
You can see a lot more of this in our videofrom EGX Berlin, so do check out the link hopefully popping up on screen now.
From cheery cart oon islands to a bleak nuclearwinter – what better way to celebrate this frosty time of year.
Of course, we don’t get to brave the coldin a massive tank thing – this vehicle is not just for navigating the map, but can driveinto turn based combat encounters, crushing enemies under foot and laying down supportfire.
It’s a bit like if the Batmobile from BatmanBegins was a party member – sadly you can’t romance it.
Dating a car is one of the few things youcan’t do in inxile’s latest – character skills, party composition and conversationalsmarts can have a huge impact on how every mission plays out.
Not that surprising given the game’s RPGheritage – it’s very much a proto-Fallout – but this is looking a lot shinier than Wasteland2.
Must be all that Microsoft green – inexilebecame a first party studio last year.
And those are just a few of the hundreds ofinteresting games on the horizon – it was a bit of a nightmare whittling them down.
I’d love to hear your personal picks for2020, so definitely put them in the comments – then we’ll do our very best to make surewe cover them in detail as the year unfolds.
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I hope you found this video useful – I knowit’s dumb to get sucked into the hype cycle, but it’s nice to have something to lookforward to, right? I really hope you’ll join us in 2020 tocover all these wonderful PC games – we’ve been having loads of fun on the channel in2019 and we’d love for you to subscribe and join us for more.
Hopefully see you soon.
Bye for now!.