Happy New Year! 2019 is in the rear view mirror, gone, done, finito; so it’s time to look ahead at what’s to come. Okay, so what can we expect in 2020? Well, unlike last year, the vast majority of games in the first quarter have already been announced, with pretty solid dates. Will they change; maybe, but at least we have a pretty good sense of what to expect. We’re also on the verge of the next generation of consoles, with both Sony and Microsoft announcing that their new systems will be out by the end of the year. This also means we should expect to see remasters of some early 2020 games, or at least upscaled versions of the current software. Grab your notepad and set aside some cash now folks, it’s going to be another expensive year in gaming.
January looks a little light at the moment, and is mostly full of ports and expansions (a trend we’ll see continue into February). To start things off we’ll have the re-release of the Wii U exclusive Tokyo Mirage Session #FE: Encore, this time as a Switch exclusive. Mashing up the Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei series into a music themed JRPG. Continuing the re-release trend, we’re also getting ports/remasters of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath and Warcraft III. In expansion news, Mortal Kombat 11 is adding everyone’s favorite DC villain The Joker, and Kingdom Hearts III get’s its first piece of DLC called Re:Mind. The biggest original title coming out is still based on an existing property, when Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot arrives on the 17th. This open world action RPG will have you taking part in many classic battles from Dragon Ball Z, as well as add new content and characters.
Like January, February has a ton of ports and remasters, including Yakuza 5 (meaning the PS4 will have the entire Yakuza franchise), Bayonetta, Vanquish, The Mega Man Zero / ZX Legacy Collection, Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate, and Rune Factory 4 Special. As for what’s new, the latest entry in the Zombie Army franchise, Dead War, arrives on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is a new fighting game set in the world of the popular anime, the delayed Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics arrives Feb. 4th, a new PSVR game arrives with Marvel’s Iron Man VR, and the next entry in the long, lonnnnnng running Romance of the Three Kingdoms franchise, part XIV, comes out at the end of the month.
March, like most years, is particularly stacked, and also the month where I would expect the most changes (if any). Starting things off on the 3rd we have Final Fantasy VII Remake, followed by Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Nioh 2, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Doom Eternal, Persona 5 Royal, and likely the biggest surprise of the year, Half-Life: Alyx, Valve’s long awaited next entry in the series…that’s so far only playable in VR. Anime fans will also have something to look forward to when My Hero One’s Justice 2 and One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 arrive, and for fans of Control, that game’s first piece of DLC, called The Foundation, releases on the 26th.
April has two huge releases with the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 and the out of nowhere Resident Evil 3 Remake. These titles come out three weeks apart, which is great news for both my wallet and my mental health. Things are less clear starting in this month, but we should also expect to receive the remaster of Trials of Mana, the multiplayer Predator: Hunting Grounds, and two big Microsoft titles in Gears Tactics and Minecraft Dungeons.
May is our last month to feature concrete release dates, however we might see some of these get delayed or pushed back, and I’m particularly looking at The Last of Us Part II. Naughty Dog has a history of delaying games to make sure they come out fully finished, plus I’m still not entirely convinced that they don’t want this to be a PS5 launch game, but we’ll see. Aside from The Last of Us Part II, the rest of May is kind of boring. We’re getting two movie-tie in games with Marvel’s Avengers and Fast & Furious Crossroads, the sequel Wasteland 3, and shark simulator Maneater. I would expect more than a few titles listed below (and some that have been announced yet) to join May, particularly if The Last of Us Part II gets delayed.
“Confirmed” for 2020
We’ve also got a good amount of titles that have a “confirmed” 2020 release window, though we all know that can change. Early in the year we are likely to see Rock of Ages 3, Windjammers 2, and the remake of Panzer Dragoon. Spring should bring us The Good Life, Phantasy Star Online 2, and Streets of Rage 4, while Summer promises Ghost of Tsushima and Sports Story. The Fall, typically the time of year for huge blockbusters, sees the release of Sony’s PlayStation 5 with launch title Godfall, while Microsoft’s Xbox (with possible multiple versions or “series”) arrives with juggernaut Halo Infinite. Looking at the last sentence I can’t help but notice that the PS5 launch title is much, much less interesting than Microsoft’s, so if they want to push units they better come up with something fucking amazing at E3…like delaying The Last of Us Part II, and announcing Parappa The Rapper 3.
As always there are a ton of games that have been announced but have no release date aside from either a generic “2020” or “Coming Soon”. Some I fully expect to arrive in 2020, like Surgeon Simulator 2 and Yakuza: Like A Dragon (which looks absolutely wonderful), while some I would not be surprised to see in 2021 (or later) like Shin Megami Tensei V and Beyond Good and Evil 2.
- Babylon’s Fall (PC/PS4)
- Battletoads (PC/Xbox One)
- Bayonetta 3 (Switch)
- Beyond Good and Evil 2 (Unknown, Ubisoft states it will work on “many platforms”)
- Biomutant (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
- Bravely Default II (Switch)
- GhostWire: Tokyo (Unknown, likely PC, probably the next-gen consoles)
- LEGO Star Wars: Skywalker Saga (PS4/Xbox One)
- Mineko’s Night Market (PC/Switch)
- No More Heroes III (Switch)
- Psychonauts 2 (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
- Rainbow Six: Quarantine (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
- Rune Factory 5 (Switch)
- Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II (PC/Xbox One/Xbox Series X)
- Shin Megami Tensei V (Switch)
- Surgeon Simulator 2 (PC)
- Watch Dogs: Legion (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
- The Wolf Among Us 2 (PC and “Consoles”)
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon (PS4)
- Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (PS4)
Keep an eye out for other “2020” titles like Atomic Heart, Boyfriend Dungeon, Deathloop, Shovel Knight Dig, and Tunic, and what are the odds we see something wild come out, like Metroid Prime 4, Breath of the Wild 2, Starfield, Elden Ring or Dragon Age 4? Do you think Anthem and Fallout 76 will finally flourish or sink even lower than they already are? Be sure to call out anything I’ve missed, and chastise me soundly if I’ve fucked anything up. I won’t pay attention to it, but it’ll make you feel better. Next week will see this column go back to regular coverage, however I would not expect it to be full of notable or big titles, so maybe catch up on your 2019 backlog for a few weeks. Be safe tonight at your New Year’s Eve parties, and here’s to another great year of gaming!