Waking up this morning I couldn’t help but notice the date, 1st July 2020. That’s right, we’re officially halfway through what has been an eventful year to say the least. I’m not going to discuss all the terrible events of 2020 today, instead I want to take this opportunity to celebrate the great games which have been released so far despite the pandemic. These games are not only our favourite games of the year so far, but the games which have kept us here at Respawning and millions of others around the world sane during these troubled times.
I’m sure that this list will change with the likes of Cyberpunk 2077, Ghost of Tsushima, Avengers, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, an entire launch lineup for next gen and way more still to come.. But for now, here are the games we’ve reviewed as the best so far in 2020. If you’d prefer the video version of this list then you can watch in the video below..
Note: These games are in no particular order and this is a completely spoiler free zone!
This wacky and colourful budget title came out in January and unexpectedly gained a large following including ourselves. Journey To The Savage Planet was the first game from new developer – Typhoon Studios and they definitely started with a bang. The first-person adventure and exploration game was an interesting mix of great gameplay, comedic storytelling and just an all round fun time! In Clarissa’s review she said –
“What I like most about Journey to the Savage Planet is that it’s an exploration game with an endpoint. This is pretty appealing to me because it makes me feel like my exploration has achieved something, and is leading towards something larger. Whilst other exploration games offer the intrinsic satisfaction of just finding things, Journey to the Savage Planet dangles the juicy carrot of a solvable mystery. That mystery being “are you truly alone on this planet supposedly void of intelligent lifeforms”?
This year’s latest entry into the DOOM franchise was arguably the best one yet. This heavy metal infused FPS resulted in a lot of us here losing hours and hours of our lives chasing down those damn addictive glory kills. The addition of Doomblade only enhanced what was already a heart pounding thrill ride. Given some of the bigger AAA releases that have come since and are still to be released, there is a genuine fear that DOOM Eternal may get lost in the shuffle come the end of the year, but for now I want to remind you all just how excellent this game is by quoting part of Javier’s 10/10 review..
“This game is a masterpiece and there honestly isn’t anything I can mark it down for, it isn’t a simple fps game – it’s an amazing, perfectly built action game which has something for every level of player and really shouldn’t be missed by anyone.”
Hot on the heels of last year’s hugely well received Resident Evil 2 Remake, the follow up was out quick and did not disappoint! It had everything we could have possibly asked for – Incredible visuals that brought a PS1 classic to life? Check. Unrivalled horror action gameplay? Check. All the nostalgia us 90’s kids could possibly ask for? Check. Although this sequel didn’t quite have the same replayability that Resi 2 had, that didn’t stop it from being an incredible experience which Luke reviewed at a tasty 9/10. Here’s what he had to say..
“Resident Evil 3 has always been a bit of a controversial entry into the franchise as it’s arguably the first time the game stepped away from being a horror and focused heavily on action. Ammo is more plentiful, the set pieces often feel like something you would see in an Uncharted game rather than a Resident Evil title and the boss fights usually provide you with more than enough to get through without too much of a challenge. Despite this however, I loved the original version of Resident Evil 3 AND its action game elements so a remake of this fits nicely onto my PS4 library as something I have had a blast playing through.”
Koei Tecmo’s sequel to the outstanding Nioh had the Samurai loving Soulsborne fans in the office (so Luke) losing their minds with hype. Needless to say, this action RPG did not disappoint. The combat in Nioh 2 is close to flawless and when mixed with a story (which admittedly split some fans) that’s actually worth paying attention to, Nioh 2 is a game which you need to play if you’re feeling brave enough. Once again Luke was on hand to review this one and had this to say –
“I will come right out and say it: Nioh 2 is better than Sekiro. (come at me internet). All in, Nioh 2 can easily contend with the best Soulslikes and even deserves a place on the mantle with the likes of Sekiro and Bloodborne as one of the best of the genre.”
Remakes really are all the rage huh? And rightfully so when you have games like this. Square Enix took a PS1 classic with a gigantic fan base and remade it for a modern era, managing to not only please the original fan base but also introduce the franchise to an entirely new audience, including yours truly. Ditching the old school turn based combat, Final Fantasy 7 Remake went with a more exciting combat system similar to what it had introduced in Final Fantasy 15(or so I’m told, this was my first FF experience). Mixing these excellent gameplay mechanics with an already outstanding (and slightly updated) classic story, Final Fantasy 7 Remake became an instant classic once again and a true contender for game of the year. Make sure to check out what both myself (as a newcomer) and Javier had to say about the game in more details in the two videos below.
The final game we’re going to talk about is the most recent release on this list and that is of course The Last Of Us Part 2. Although this game has caused a bit of controversy amongst fans, the four of us here at Respawning who have played the game in its entirety (Jav, Luke, Matt and myself) all sit between a 9.5 and a 10. I’m not going to address the hate which The Last Of Us Part 2 is receiving though, who can check out mine and Matt’s spoilercast for that! Instead, I’ll just say that it’s undoubtedly become my favourite game of all time and one of (if not the best) stories I’ve ever witnessed in any medium period. For me personally, it will take something stupidly special to knock this game off the top spot but you never know. I’ll leave you with a quick quote from my review before wrapping up.
“Visuals, gameplay and sound all push the PS4 to its limits and makes the game one of, if not the most impressive game to ever grace the console. Genuinely if I was allowed to rate this masterpiece above a 10 I would.”
Thank you for taking the time to give this a read. If any of the games mentioned tickled your fancy then make sure to check out the Amazon links below. Any game you purchase won’t cost you anything extra and it just means we get a little kickback from Amazon which allows us to carry on doing what we do. Javier recommends the badass DOOM steel poster, Luke has that sweet Resi 3 collectors edition statue on his wishlist while I would suggest you go for that slick Last of Us Part 2 steelbook.
Thank you once again and I’ll catch you next time.