30. Iron Harvest (King Art, PC, PS4, Xbox One, 1er septembre)
Add Iron Harvest to your wishlist here
Martin: Hey real-time strategy… exciting storyline with that post-war vibe, but because of the genre, I’ll be left out. What happened to good old honeycomb tactics? Previously, this would have been the unplayable implementation of an obscure Avalon Hill board game. Which wouldn’t have been much better. You can’t play it all anyway.
Benjamin: It was cool in late 2018 when I played it for a preview. It looks like Company of Heroes and is playful and demanding. If you like real time strategy, you need to write it down on your notepad.
Alex: … And besides the King Art of Bremen, my new adopted home. Great art and game direction systems borrowed from the best result in an extravagant but still attractive RTS design.
Markus: Is it fair or will 2020 be a really good year for RTS fans? Iron Harvest didn’t choose the usual futuristic setting for this, but instead chose the turn of the 20th century in an alternate universe / timeline / parallel world (??). There’s still no diesel scandal here, which is why the diesel-powered big bad guys are at the forefront of technically feasible gun violence. With its base build and war machine collision it reminds me of Command & Conquer and that’s why I’ll be keeping an eye on the title.
29. Streets of Rage 4 (DotEmu, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, 2020) / Windjammers (DotEmu, Switch, Stadia 2020)
Martin:It’s not the most anticipated game of the year, but of the decade! Oh, what am I saying, the millennium! After all, a millennium ago Streets of Rage 2 forever defined what the perfect spanking game should look like. And ring! Master Yuzo has been writing sheet music for eons and I still play SoR2 once a year because it’s so good. First Die Hard in December and immediately after Streets of Rage. Christmas before Christmas. Can number four stand a chance? I am really in a good mood! I also thought for a long time that Windjammer, perhaps the best neo-geo multiplayer game, would have been almost forgotten until DotEmu took it on. The look is not yet familiar here and there and is not a good reminder of the new Shaq-Fu – which comes from other people – but in a playful way, there should be love worlds in between, just like back then. And above all: Sensei Koshiro is back on board. So what can go wrong?
Markus: As soon as you wait a quarter of a century, the sequels are already here!
Alex: Streets of Rage is particularly interesting for me because I don’t know if there is still life in this genre. Yes it If people don’t, then we know it’s time to remember the beat that passes for what it is: a beautiful part of our past that hasn’t lost anything in the future. Windjammers 2 against that? It’s fundamentally indestructible and in its new edition is likely to become one of the best multiplayer titles you could wish for in 2020.
28th Trials of Mana (Square Enix, Switch, PS4, 24 avril)
Précommandez Trials of Mana sur Amazon.de.
Alex: After the test with the new collection launched, the complete and complex 3D remake of the third part, which was only released in Germany last summer. Looks extremely cute and could suddenly bring the popular series back to public awareness. Recognition value is high despite the redesign, some gaming systems were ahead of their time at this time, even though the SNES was slightly overwhelmed and the game clearly wasn’t over. Glad he has his second chance now.
Martin: Oh yeah, the mana series. Glad Square Enix hasn’t abandoned it yet. After all, she had a definite big hit on the Super Nintendo not too long ago. Everything after? Either not implemented in this country or just nice. They were never really bad, but no one else has come for decades. Is it time now? I want to be honest: I see another great game coming here. If he’s really lucky, it’ll be as good as Ys VIII. If he’s unlucky, it’ll be as enjoyable as the last game the RPG Factory spat and was so out of place that a few months later, I don’t even know the name. Well, Trials of Mana won’t have the problem. This is ensured by the legend of decades ago.
27. Carrion (Phobia Game Studio, PS4, Xbox One, PC, 2020)
Add Carrion to your wishlist here
Martin: Ah, a Metroidvania with a twist, we’ve had this for… Not a week? Either way, a good one still works, and Carrion looks pretty bad as you cycle through the levels as a Cthuthulean-style endomorphic mass. Plus, a pixel chic look and the corresponding soundtrack, it’s all a pretty safe bank.
Alex: Carrion was the next game to provide a 48 hour Game Awards demo and was also very popular at second glance (you can read my first impression here). There is no dearth of hypnotic qualities in the way you slip through these tunnels and corridors like a constantly growing tentacle beast and eat all the screams. Wonderfully disgusting and good for some NSFW thumbnails this year too.
Markus: The Thing – the game. The idea is different from fighting the villainous hero of the fields, forests and meadows.
26. Warcraft 3 Reforged (Blizzard, PC, January 29)
Martin: It was one of the few games besides Age of Empires that I wanted so badly that I would enjoy RTS. What the original did for a few missions. I will try again because it was so good and I will be safe again. And again, I will come to the same conclusion. Pity.
Markus: A few years have passed since my last contact with WC3, but even today it’s still one of the best RTS ever, consuming so many, many hours. As a result, I’m already looking forward to the revised version, which has at least done a pretty good figure so far. It’s also good that there are some improvements to the game itself besides the revamped graphics (which didn’t wait for the “Watch Replay” button after the game). The new sounds take a while to get used to – Blizzard can configure it so that you can activate the old sounds via the retro feature – but I can live with that.
Alex: Warcraft 4 would be nicer, but I can’t wait for Arthas to break my heart for the second time.
25. Disintegration (V1 Interactive, PS4, Xbox One, PC, 2020)
Add decay to your wishlist here
Martin: I expect the best handling of console weapons since Destiny. If not? Well, the story looks more interesting than Halo ever. A bleak future with the remains of humanity, transhumanism and fresh energy weapons. In principle, Deus Ex a few decades later. Plus the vehicles, because who made Halo also makes floating vehicles again and looks really decent. It could be anything when it comes to sci-fi shooters.
Markus: Which initially (and eventually) looks like a wild mix of different genres like shooter, RTS, RPG, simulation, etc. Gameplay videos. This will definitely be on my 2020 list.
Benjamin: I’ve seen a few clips of it recently in a gameplay video, but it hasn’t really knocked me out yet. Which of course may look very different in the finished game or in the context of the story. I’m waiting to see what comes out.
24. Wasteland 3 (inXile, Multi, May 19)
Pre-order Wasteland 3 at Amazon.de.
Martin: When the formula is known, when the framework is in place, there are no more surprises. This is a good thing. A blanket of snow over the desert and off you go for free moral performances, in which the next villain can be hired as a precious companion for a short time without having to be purified. Let’s face it, my world, I have the guys with the thickest guns, justice has to wait. Add to that the tactical combat system in a streamlined way, without sacrificing complexity and 50-100 life hours pass again. But what else do you want to do with it? Save the world? I already do it. A different one every day.
Alex: The second attempt to show players what Fallout would look like today if it had never dared to enter the third dimension (you can read more about this in our more detailed first impression of Wasteland 3). I think that tells me more for now. I like round tactics anyway, and if Outer Worlds showed me one, it’s because I was a little tired of ego RPGs based on Bethesda’s knitting pattern (until, hopefully the next Elder Scrolls will reinvent many basic systems). In addition, included in the Game Pass at no additional cost.
23.Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, PS4, 2020)
Martin: Yakuza with a round ride instead of an outdated travel system? I love this! The series is great anyway and I think it will bring even more detail and insight into the fight that would have been lost in moderate action interludes. The model for the new area outside of Tokyo looks like something I’d like to go on vacation with. Plus, a new hero and an interesting story hanger – what more could you ask for?
Benjamin: It’s part seven, but I’m happy that the series is celebrating its first Xbox this year. Which, like I said, has nothing to do with Yakuza 7, but I wanted to mention it. A good reason to finally taste it.
Alex: Already a courageous move to completely get out of the action in order to rely on round tactics. Either wonderfully laid back or a little desperate because you didn’t know how to develop the formula otherwise. In this series, I guess the first.
22. Journey to the Savage Planet (Typhoon Studios, PS4, Xbox One, PC, 28 janvier)
Pre-order Journey to the Savage Planet on Amazon.de.
Martin: With the next game, it’s another contender for hallucinogenic art design and I love it. My sci-fi can always go a little bit towards Douglas Adams, as well as design creative puzzles, non-procedural worlds where you can only find things you never wanted to find and quickly leave behind … that will be the best, because completely different designed No Man’s Sky. Also: After the preview, I finally want to feed some funny little floating birds with rotating carnivorous plants.
Alex: You have a bit of Oddworld, don’t you? The Wrath of the Stranger as Metroidvania, with the humor you capture as you hitchhike across the galaxy. And above all: it will be released next week!
Markus: Fart birds with big wide eyes that can be thrown… what can go wrong here?
21. Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine, PS4, Xbox One, PC, 2020)
Add Psychonauts 2 to your wishlist here
Martin : The predecessor was definitely a guide on how to navigate the mainstream and implement a weird idea perfectly. Well, almost perfect. Rather playable instead. Okay, I’m one of those people who always thought the ideas here were better than the real game. But if the ideas are so crazy you can give up. If the rest have kept exactly that in mind, then you can let go in a playful (but not too much) way a bit. Also, one of the signs of our wonderful times is that you can play any game, any sequel that we could never have imagined.
Alex: I’m a little scared, I admit. At that time, I liked psychonauts too much because of his humor. In the meantime, I’m not sure if I’m still on the same page with Schafer and Co. in this regard and the long development period isn’t exactly optimistic. Once again, I’ve been looking forward to some creative, character-rich hops for some time. If the second part only shows half of the ideas that distinguished the first so long ago, that’s fine, right?
Markus: For many, psychonauts are one of the classics among platforms, the pursuit of which was not certain for a long time. It’s all the better to see that there is finally a second part after funding via a crowdfunding project. Although it took 15 years for the second part, the plot continues more or less seamlessly. So if you have the game on your screen, you should watch Part 1 (available on popular platforms like Steam or GOG).
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