My mama always told me if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say nuttin’ at all. So I’m gonna let Mr. Rogers, arguably one of the friendliest humans of all time, show you a simple gesture of how I feel about the year 2020:
Right now, I should be having an anxiety attack about how excited I am for E3 2020. I should be talking about the best 3-way of my life: the Game of The Year race between Cyberpunk 2077, The Last of Us 2, and Half-Life: Alyx. And I should ranting and raving about how Fortnite has finally lost its chokehold on the industry (well, that last one is probably true so die Fortnite, diiiiiieeeeeee).
But alas, COVID-19 has canceled and delayed pretty much everything that was supposed to make 2020 not only the best year in recent memory, but one of the best years in gaming history. Hey COVID-19, guess what???
That’s right! You’re on my shit list now for all of eternity, right above Fortnite and right below EA. And trust me, you’d be right at the very tippy-top if EA wasn’t still the single worst fucking dumpster fire of a company this world has ever seen. I mean really EA? REALLY?
This year hasn’t been complete dogshit though. Many of the games that did happen to get released on schedule lived up to the hype. I had extremely high expectations for the number of times Ori and the Will of the Wisps would emotionally overwhelm me and I believe the final tally was four tear-ups, two stifled sobs, and one salty tear. DOOM Eternal, on the other hand, was everything I thought it would be: a gory, messy adrenaline shot straight to the dick with an awesome soundtrack that will be fueling my workouts for years to come. I haven’t been able to personally experience Half-Life: Alyx due to the unaffordability of VR gear, but from the little I’ve seen and heard, it truly is a revolution of physics and gaming in general. And what can I say about Animal Crossing: New Horizons that hasn’t already been said? I think it might be the most universally loved video game of all-time. Who knew all it took was one capitalist raccoon and a few cute little furries to unite the world?
And that’s just the stuff we already expected to be good at the beginning of the year! We’ve had a ton of surprises along the way as well, like the goofy debut game from Typhoon Studios: Journey to the Savage Planet. That game was on my radar but I never expected it to be as polished and consistently funny as it was. It’s definitely worth playing by yourself (or co-op) with a friend this summer if you’re looking for something casual to enjoy. As someone that grew up playing side-scrolling beat em up’s, Streets of Rage 4 absolutely floored me. It perfectly balances the nostalgia of the early Sega Genesis titles with an awesome new hand-drawn art style, insanely addicting combat, and an incredible soundtrack. And finally, my biggest shock of the year has to be Escape from Tarkov. Yes I know it has been in beta for 3 years already but fuck you I built my PC in February and this game didn’t get NEAR the amount of publicity it deserved until late last year. I’m closing in on 1000 hours played and it hasn’t even been 6 months.
And finally, the competitive multiplayer market has definitely seen an improvement this year after an abysmal 2019.
Riot finally announced and released Project A aka Valorant aka a game that I will NEVER be good at. And while it is nowhere near perfect, I do think it has enough good qualities to make a splash in the eSports scene. I personally don’t enjoy watching someone stare at a corner for 5 minutes in CS:GO as the other team slowly creeps up to a bomb site. And yes, that is going to happen in Valorant a lot as well, but there’s also a lot of abilities that could produce some insane moments. We’ll see if I’m right later this year when the big boys start playing.
Call of Duty did a very “un-Call of Duty” thing by releasing a free-to-play battle royale (Warzone), which made me think that Activision/Infinity Ward was finally listening to the fans. But then they released 3 different iterations of Ghost for like $20 each, allowed hackers to run wild for too long, and took weeks to patch out things like the snake shot pistols that never should have even made it past beta testing anyway so idk man they still kinda suck. I do think though the game is going to continue to improve over time though and I will enjoy it here and there.
So yea, that’s been 2020 in a nutshell from my eyes. Lots of good, lots of meh, not a whole lotta bad, and a TON more to come. I mean, when you’ve had all the above already come out this year and The Last of Us 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Cyberpunk 2077, Halo Infinite, and so much more coming in the 2nd half of the year.
In fact, when I haven’t completely shit on a game in 6 months you have to think we might be having a perfect yea-
*sees Fast & Furious Crossroads is still coming in 2020*
…we might still-
*sees Marvel’s The Avengers is still coming in 2020*
…ok lemme call you back.