PC: The Big Games Coming In 2020 And Beyond
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There have been a number of huge games in 2019 on a variety of platforms, providing a variety of different experiences and some amazing worlds to explore. From the incredibly tough battles of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, to the strange, shifting supernatural setting of Control, to the intense teamwork of the battles of Apex Legends and beyond, 2019 was a great year to play games.
But the year is drawing to a close, and it's time to look forward to what's on the horizon in 2020 and beyond. If you're a PC gamer, there's very good news. In addition to a number of standout titles spanning a variety of platforms, there are also some big PC-specific games that are quickly coming our way. BlizzCon 2019 set up the return of a number of huge franchises for PC players, including an expansion for World of Warcraft and sequels to Overwatch and Diablo, CD Projekt Red's RPG follow-up to the Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077, is nearly here, and we're finally returning to the world of Half-Life with Valve's virtual reality offering, Half-Life: Alyx.
There's a lot to be excited about for the year to come, as well as the future beyond it. We've rounded up some of the biggest standouts coming to PC in the next 12 months, both exclusively on PC and shared across platforms. If you're interested in what you can expect for other platforms, we've got you covered there too. And while you're thinking about the future, you might want to take a look at what we expected to happen in 2019--and what actually did.
Speaking of 2019, there's a lot to reflect on in the world of gaming over the past year. GameSpot's Best of 2019 awards are coming in hot in the days to come. If you're looking to know more about how we decide which games of 2019 are the very best, check out our explainer video detailing the process.
Got some PC games you're looking forward to that didn't make our list? Be sure to share your most anticipated titles in the comments below.
Team Ninja is taking another shot at the Soulsborne formula with Nioh 2. The original proved to be a fantastic debut into the genre for the tenured action game developer. And with the sequel, Team Ninja is expanding the formula further.
Nioh 2 takes place 50+ years before the first game, which means you're no longer playing as foreign samurai William Adams. Instead, you'll create your own custom character to embark on a journey across Japan in the middle of the Sengoku era. But what makes your protagonist more intriguing than the last is the fact that they're the offspring of a human and a yokai, which gives you access to an array of supernatural attacks and abilities.
Other notable features include the ability to traverse the yokai realm, two extra weapon classes, and up to three-player cooperative play across new multiplayer modes. What Nioh 2 aims to add doesn't sound like it'll reinvent the wheel, but we're hoping the new focus on yokai powers will at least improve the shortcomings of the first game while elevating what made it so special.
Release Date: March 13, 2020
Just when you thought Doom couldn’t get anymore wild and vicious, id Software shows up with Doom Eternal. The 2016 reboot caught many of us by surprise with its fast-paced and fluid combat scenarios and unapologetic attitude. So what could a new Doom do differently while maintaining its core conceit? It’s the little things that matter.
Having played preview demos of Doom Eternal, its new traversal mechanics almost immediately set it apart from the previous game. You’ll be navigating Hell and derelict space stations with new climbing abilities and hooks to latch onto and swing to distant platforms, which provides you more options in your combat approach than before. Enemies now have damage models for parts of their body, which adds another layer to firefights. This is all on top of the flow of chainsaw and glory kills to keep your ammo and health replenished in the midst of the chaos.
Doom Eternal is also trying to do something new for multiplayer with its asymmetrical modes--Battle mode pits players as demons to face off against one doom slayer and incorporates MOBA elements, while Invasion lets players invade others' single-player campaign in certain instances. The developers at id Software appear to be doing their darndest to separate Doom Eternal from 2016 while delivering what fans love most: ripping and tearing demons.
Release Date: March 20, 2020
Have you desperately wanted a 4v4 competitive multiplayer melee character-action game? If the answer to that question is "Um, no?" then we totally understand. It's not a common thing, after all. One of the last high-profile attempts came from Platinum Games' Anarchy Reigns back in 2012, and that game failed to cultivate a large following. But flash forward to now, and we've got developer Ninja Theory's Bleeding Edge, which could finally make the niche dreams of character-action game fans a reality.
Bleeding Edge throws you onto a map and supplies you with a stylish arsenal of attacks and combos in which to wipe the floor with your friends. There are 12 characters to choose from, each armed with unique fighting styles. Early modes seem to focus on capturing objective points and beating the crap out of the enemy team, which looks like it could get old quickly. But if Bleeding Edge can capitalize on giving you the offensive tools for achieving that particular Devil May Cry-like high, but in a competitive space, then it might prove a promising framework that could transform into something truly extraordinary.
Release Date: March 24, 2020
By the time Half-Life: Alyx launches, it'll have been 13 years since we last had a game in the series. It's been a long-time coming, and while it's not Half-Life 3, this upcoming VR exclusive seems to be capturing the spirit of the franchise while pushing the boundaries for VR. Half-Life: Alyx will tell a canonical story that takes place sometime before Episode 2 through the eyes of key character Alyx Vance. Her father, Eli Vance, the genius scientist and Gordon Freeman's biggest ally, is at the center of the mystery.
Judging from the trailer alone, there's a heightened level of interactivity with the environment, shown by how you scavenge for ammo and use your magnetic gravity gloves to do things like pull a grenade off a Combine soldier to throw it back at them. VR also means puzzle elements can be more involved, which we caught snippets of. While its a VR exclusive, anyone with a SteamVR headset (Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest via PC Link, HTC Vive, and Valve Index) will be able to play it. It's exciting to know there's still more to Half-Life than memes and dreams of Half-Life 3.
Release Date: March 2020
CD Projekt Red's follow up to the Witcher 3 seems prepared to be just as huge and involved as the developer's beloved fantasy series, but potentially a lot grittier. We've slowly gotten more and more information about what to expect from Cyberpunk 2077, and what we've seen lately suggests a game that will be as similar to games such as Deus Ex, Thief, or Dishonored as it will be to CD Projekt's past RPGs. The most recent look at the game at E3 2019 put emphasis on the ability to find a variety of ways through different situations depending on the character you develop, the choices you make along the way, and your particular play style.
It's the story elements that are most intriguing at this point, though. E3 also saw the announcement that Keanu Reeves will play Johnny Silverhand, an essential character in the story who mostly exists in the player character's head as a "digital ghost." Your relationship with Johnny apparently will pervade the game, and while he'll be in your head most of the time, he won't necessarily always be on your side. It sounds like a thematic encapsulation of what we can expect from Cyberpunk 2077--an ambiguous relationship you'll guide through your choices, with a lot of gray morality mixed in.
Release Date: September 17, 2020
Trials of Mana
If you loved Square-made SNES RPGs during the mid-90s, you likely know the pain of having never gotten the third Mana game, Trials of Mana. Fortunately, Square Enix released an officially translated version via the Collection of Mana in June 2019. While this proved an exciting opportunity to play the long-forgotten classic, it was confirmed a full-on remake was also in the works.
The upcoming Trials of Mana remake reconstructs the original as a third-person action-RPG. Early footage of the game in action looks to capture the series' exciting real-time battles with a more streamlined combat system. The SNES original's beautiful pixel art has also been converted into gorgeous 3D visuals. Despite the addition of new dialogue scenes, it seems Trials of Mana's story will mostly remain faithful to the original, once again allowing you to alter how events play out based on the main character you choose and those you allow to join your party.
Release Date: April 24, 2020
After a bit of a rocky announcement at E3 2019, during which it wasn't exactly clear what kind of game Marvel's Avengers is, we've now got a much better handle on what Eidos and Crystal Dynamics are making. Avengers is an action brawler similar to something like God of War, and through the course of its story campaign, you'll play as all the core members of the Avengers. But it's also a live game, with a multiplayer offering similar to something like Destiny. You'll customize your specific Avengers with a variety of different skills and cosmetics, and then take them out into missions with other players, creating your own superhero team.
We spent some hands-on time with Marvel's Avengers at Gamescom 2019, where we got a better sense of how it plays. Wielding Mjolnir or firing away with repulsor blasts is a pretty satisfying experience, even if the portion we played was more on-rails than the rest of the game purports to be. While we're still waiting to see what the story campaign will be like or how the cooperative portions will play, the moment-to-moment gameplay in early demos invokes the best of action games, with the ability to make combos using various superpowers, and to wail on enemies with a bunch of distinct abilities, bringing a lot of fun to the experience.
Release Date: September 4, 2020
inXile Entertainment's Wasteland series is one of the highlights of Brian Fargo's career, the studio founder who is also chiefly responsible for The Bard's Tale series. In 2014, Wasteland 2 was one of the few high-profile crowdfunding successes, and it looks like Wasteland 3 is shaping up to repeat that success when it releases on May 19, 2020. inXile promises to deliver a more advanced version of tactical turn-based systems at the heart of Wasteland 2. It's also shifting its setting to snowbound Colorado, which will play hand-in-hand with a suite of survival mechanics.
One of the most enticing aspects is the story-driven multiplayer campaign, with a new dialogue system courtesy of the writing staff from Torment: Tides of Numenera. The E3 2019 trailer makes Wasteland 3 look slightly more comical than previous outings, so it will be very interesting to see how this meshes with the Torment team's talents for dark fantasy writing.
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Microsoft isn't playing around for the launch of its next Xbox, aka Project Scarlett (for now). That's because Halo: Infinite is set to be part of its launch lineup, along with PC and Xbox One versions. You'll be back in the shoes of Master Chief to finish off the current saga of the Halo storyline, which is said to be a "more human story" overall. All we've seen thus far is the first reveal trailer at E3 2018 and the teaser at E3 this year.
The reveal trailer centered around wide-open environments on a largely unpopulated halo array, which was also a showcase for the new Slipspace graphics engine. The follow up trailer showed a new character alone on a ship revitalizing Master Chief, and it ended with a look at a halo array partially destroyed. There are many more implications to dig into from the two trailers, but we're sure to learn more about Halo: Infinite as we come closer to launch and get hands-on with the beta prior to release.
Release Date: Holiday 2020
Guilty Gear Strive
Arc System Works has been coming out with hit after hit in the 2D-fighting-game space with its two core franchises, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, even branching off into licensed brands to great effect with the likes of Dragon Ball FighterZ. In 2020, it'll bring back Guilty Gear with drastically overhauled graphics and hyper-stylized action in Guilty Gear Strive.
Guilty Gear Strive was first revealed at Evo 2019 then made playable at the ArcRevo tournament this year along with a few trailers in between. Returning characters like Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, May, Potemkin, Faust, and more make up the roster, but it's especially great to see them in Strive's smoother flashy art style. Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator (and Rev 2) introduced ArcSys' unique 2D/3D crossover artstyle, and the developer is kicking it up a notch with stage transitions and even smoother animation. We had a chance to play the early build, which you can see in action here.
Release Date: Late 2020
Dying Light 2
The original Dying Light from Techland was a spectacular blend of parkour-based traversal and hack-and-slash gameplay wrapped up within the drama of the zombie apocalypse. It was essentially a more realized version of the developer's previous efforts with Dead Island, and it succeeded with showcasing an ambitious sense of scope and brutality while barreling through the ruined streets of Harran. Dying Light 2 continues with many of the original's key strengths for free-form traversal, melee combat, and overwhelming encounters with the undead.
While the sequel aims to go bigger, featuring a map that greatly dwarfs the original's, the most significant change coming is its approach to narrative. In Dying Light 2, your actions can irreparably alter the course of the larger story, and even change the layout of the world itself. Taking more cues from role-playing games, Techland brought famed RPG writer Chris Avellone on board as a narrative designer, whose past works include Fallout: New Vegas, Planescape: Torment, and Divinity: Original Sin 2. By bringing together the free-form traversal and combat with an RPG-style narrative, Dying Light 2 is already shaping up to be a massive step up from the original that will ensure your actions leave a significant impression on the world.
Release Date: TBA
Since the release of Demon's Souls in 2009, developer From Software has significantly redefined itself, moving away from niche status to a real AAA force within the games industry. Their signature high-risk, high-reward gameplay has seen many imitators over the years. Debuting at E3 2019, the cryptic trailer for Elden Ring showed off a world in conflict. While not unfamiliar with the visuals and plot of the Dark Souls trilogy, the scale of Elden Ring is significantly larger and moves more towards the iconography of Norse mythology.
Elden Ring brings in many of the familiar elements of a Souls game, but with an increased focus on worldbuilding. As it turns out, A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin--which became the HBO series Game of Thrones--has collaborated with From Software on the overarching narrative of the game. With an open-world setting realized by Martin's writing, designed around From Software's Souls gameplay, Elden Ring could be yet another big step forward for the developer, and potentially for the infamous sub-genre as well.
Release Date: TBA 2020
Gods & Monsters
Ubisoft's new open-world game, Gods & Monsters, is of a notably different flavor compared to the publisher's other trips into open-world games with Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. It certainly shares ties to Greek mythology like Odyssey, but Gods and Monsters is more about exploring a vast world and during your best to survive in it. According to its developers, the game has been influenced by games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, particularly its emphasis on character and resource management and a free-form approach to world exploration.
We got to see a brief look at the game during E3 2019 and came away intrigued by its colorful and bright world full of mythological beasts and vast landscapes. Unfortunately, Ubisoft hasn't shared much about the game since then. Still, we're excited to see what kind of world you'll explore, and what other sights we'll you'll encounter while surviving against the odds in a more stylized and colorful take on Ancient Greece.
Release Date: TBA 2020
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
There have been numerous Lego Star Wars games over the years, but now that the Skywalker Saga will officially come to a close once Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters this December, it's the perfect time for developer Traveler's Tales to take one more pass at the numerous iconic series. With Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, rather than pick and choose a single movie or a specific trilogy, TT is crafting an open-world game that encompasses every mainline film in the Star Wars saga. Ok, so it's not technically the first time the team has tried something like this, but 2007's Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga was made before Disney came along, and obviously a lot has changed for Star Wars since the 2012 acquisition.
To further differentiate it from The Complete Saga, TT is designing The Skywalker Saga as an open-world experience, and surprisingly enough, you can tackle storylines in any order you wish. Each movie will have its own hub world and a selection of relevant planets to explore. It sounds like a massive outing for the Lego series, but one that will surely keep the Skywalker spirit alive in 2020.
Release Date: TBA 2020
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
In 2004, Troika Games delivered a fascinating if flawed RPG in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. When viewed through rose-tinted lenses, its writing and freedom of choice stuck out as defining qualities and reasons worth preserving its legacy. It's been well over a decade since its release, so it was pretty surprising when Paradox Interactive announced it was bringing the series back for Bloodlines 2, which is now scheduled to ship some time in 2020 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Paradox has put Hardsuit Labs to the task of making a modern Vampire RPG, and while the team only opened its doors in 2015, the team is mostly comprised of ex-Zombie Studios developers with plenty of years and games under their belts. They have set Bloodlines 2 in their hometown, Seattle, during an unfortunate Christmas season where separatist vampires neglect their clans' code--not to attack humans in public--in a massive invasion that throws the natural and supernatural worlds into chaos. As a newly infected, you will have to navigate the complex world of vampire factions while fighting tooth and nail for your survival. As a sequel to a cult classic, there are high expectations that Bloodlines 2 will fulfill the promise that the first game struggled to achieve, and for that, it's definitely one of the more interesting games to look forward to in the year ahead.
Release Date: TBA 2020
Watch Dogs Legion
Following the light-hearted tone of Watch Dogs 2, which focused on young hackers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Watch Dogs Legion fully embraces the series' wacky side. It skips across the globe to a fictional version of London, which is notorious for its far-reaching surveillance systems and is now overrun with killer robots. Of course, anywhere tech resides is prime hunting grounds for the hackers at the heart of Watch Dogs' stories. Legion leans into this, ditching the concept of a single protagonist in favor of a large, diverse cast of playable characters.
And based on the E3 2019 trailer, Ubisoft is going to make the most of London's populace. Numerous people out and about in London are able to be recruited to the DedSec hacker group, and it seems like everyone has something to offer the resistance--who can forget the kindly old woman in the trailer, who's actually a deadly retired assassin? While we haven't seen the full extent of the personalities in the game, it's safe to say that Legion is being designed with a tongue-in-cheek approach meant to inspire fun above all else. Legion doesn't have a firm release date, but we could see it arrive in the latter half of 2020 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and later in the year on PS5 and Microsoft's next-gen Xbox, codenamed Project Scarlett.
Release Date: Fiscal year 2021 (April 2020 - March 2021)
Baldur's Gate III
Who better than Larian Studios, the team behind Divinity: Original Sin 2, to pick up Baldur's Gate and bring a proper sequel into this generation? Baldur's Gate III was first revealed during a Google Stadia stream ahead of E3 2019, and we were also able to talk with studio head Swen Vincke about the project to get more details.
While the new game will be based on a new edition of Dungeons & Dragons and incorporate a lot familiar elements from Forgotten Realms, Baldur's Gate III will be a separate story from previous entries. Larian is working close with Wizards of the Coast in building this new version of the storied universe. The biggest thing that's being emphasized, though, is freedom of choice. Vincke mentioned player agency as a key pillar, alongside exploration, for the game so that players all have different outcomes and experiences.
Release Date: TBA
Probably the biggest announcement of Blizzard's annual BlizzCon convention in 2019 was Diablo IV. It's been seven years since the last proper entry into Blizzard's action-RPG franchise, and the developer announced the game with a dark, gory trailer that gave at least some sense of what to expect from the next title. Blizzard is taking a darker, more horror-oriented approach with Diablo IV, pulling a lot of inspiration from fan-favorite Diablo II--which includes bringing back old classes like the Druid. It's also maintaining aspects of Diablo III, including seasonal content and some take on Adventure mode.
The biggest change is Blizzard's focus on making Diablo IV feel a bit more like a live-service game. Its overworld will be public, and you can expect to run into other characters as you wander the wilds and engage enemies. There will even be public events and world bosses to defeat with the help of strangers. Dungeons will still be instanced for you and your party, but the inclusion of other players in the short demo we tried at BlizzCon made Sanctuary feel more like a living world beset by evil than in past titles. The only trouble is, we have no idea when Blizzard means to release Diablo IV--and by all accounts, it doesn't sound like it'll be in players' hands anytime soon.
Release Date: TBA
The Elder Scrolls 6
Announced at E3 2018, Bethesda revealed The Elder Scrolls VI alongside Bethesda Game Studios' next big game, Starfield. While the space-traveling RPG will be the next game from the storied developer, people are looking further ahead to returning to the world of Elder Scrolls. The only look we had at The Elder Scrolls VI was a sweeping view of one of the lands in Tamriel, with that familiar, triumphant score building up in the background.
Aside from that, we don't know much about the game. According to Bethesda Softworks VP Pete Hines, we won't be seeing the game again for sometime, making a sudden 2020 release unlikely. Still, we can't deny that we're anxiously anticipating the return to the world of Elder Scrolls. With the release of new hardware next year, it seems likely that the franchise will make its big return on new consoles, giving the series a more modern look.
Release Date: TBA
Since its release in 2016, fans have been asking for more from Overwatch. The team-based shooter is set in a pretty vibrant world, but so far, Blizzard has relegated that world to cinematics and side material, without much context actually available in the game. That's changing with Overwatch 2, which takes the core team-based multiplayer of the original and adds a bunch of stuff on top of it. Blizzard's sequel to the original game includes a single-player story and cooperative modes that promise to make the Overwatch world more immersive than it has been so far.
There will be a lot more to Overwatch 2, according to Blizzard, but that doesn't mean players of the original will be left behind. Blizzard is keeping the competitive side of Overwatch 2 compatible with the original, so the competitive community will stay whole even as some people upgrade to the sequel. From the sounds of things, Overwatch 2 will give players what they want, while maintaining everything that fans already love about Blizzard's shooter.
Release Date: TBA
Bethesda Game Studios's first new IP in 25 years is coming... sometime. The developer didn't bring the game to E3 2019 and it still hasn't really given any details about what we can expect from the sci-fi title--or when it'll come out.
Starfield will likely make its way to the next generation consoles, including the PlayStation 5 and the as-yet-unnamed Xbox "Scarlett," but other than that, details are few and far between. And although Bethesda's last big game, Fallout 76, had a rough launch, fans of the developer's RPGs are still excited about what directions it might go in as it moves into a new setting and a whole new genre. Unfortunately, we don't know if we might finally find out more about Starfield in 2020.
Release Date: TBA