Corona has been a weird time for gaming – on the one hand Steam reported its highest ever lockdown-induced numbers of concurrent players as it seemed everyone was using their quarantine to get in some serious game time. On the other hand, every week seems to bring news of another highly-anticipated video game release date being pushed further back towards 2021. Whether it’s a disruption because of Covid-19 or the developers taking a little more time to perfect their title, here are 5 video games that have been pushed back that we can’t wait to sink our teeth into…when they finally arrive.
Marvel's Avengers (Released Sept 4th 2020)
Considering the huge success of the Avengers action-adventure cinematic franchise, it’s a surprise that Marvel’s video games haven’t quite managed to execute an Avengers game that lives up to the standard set by some of the solo-hero projects. It was nice to see then, alongside yet another Spiderman game, that a new Avengers game was being partly made by Square Enix – a developer with a rich history of RPGs including Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
Citing polishing as the reason for a four-month pushback, Avengers was originally set to release in May 2020 but still hasn’t come to save us from quarantine boredom. But there is plenty to get excited about with promises of an intensely narrative-driven single player mode, 4-person online co-op and the ability to play many of the exciting well-loved characters prominent in the movie franchise – plus a new Avenger in the form of Kamala Khan or Ms. Marvel. Superhero games don’t have the most flawless record in video game history - so we’re hoping the extra time and effort going into the game now makes it a stand out.
Watch Dogs: Legion (Released Oct 29th 2020)
When you consider the 8-year build up to Cyberpunk, it’s incredible to think the Watch Dogs franchise has managed to pack in three games in just six years. Starting with the original Watch Dogs in 2014, the popular series was followed up by Watch Dogs 2 in 2016 and the third instalment, Watch Dogs: Legion was announced in 2019.
Originally scheduled for an early March release date, Watch Dogs: Legion would have been the perfect lockdown companion - but it has already been pushed back to the end of October 2020. Nevertheless, we’re still pretty-hyped as Watch Dogs: Legion promises to deliver more of the favourable elements of the previous games – such as its ‘hacking’ mechanics – as well as fresh components such as the ability to recruit but also permanently lose playable characters. What’s more, the setting crosses the pond to give us a satellite-state version of London. So UK fans can live out the fantasy of being able to leave the house without actually going outside - you’re even able to travel on the tube!
Cyberpunk 2077 (Released Nov 19th 2020)
Whether it was the initial announcements, the enticing cinematic trailers or that moment a random fan screamed “you’re breath-taking!” at Keanu Reeves at E3 – the buzz around Cyberpunk 2077 feels like it has been building for decades. And if you feel this way, you wouldn’t be far off when you consider the game was first announced way back in May 2012.
Originally pinned for release in April 2020, Cyberpunk has taunted us with awesome trailers and demos featuring a stylish open world, a hugely customisable playable character and did we mention Keanu Reeves? It’s no wonder pre-orders for the game have already out scaled CD Projekt Red’s other huge title The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and won hundreds of awards. Sadly, we are still waiting with the most recent update pushing release still further back from September 17th to November 19th 2020. Supposedly it’s just bug fixes for now and we are going to be playing the game by the end of 2020 – but what’s another couple of years of hype?
The Dark Pictures: Little Hope (Released Oct 30th 2020)
Supermassive Games’ 2015 title Until Dawn was hugely influential in bringing the interactive survival horror genre to the forefront of modern day video gaming. It is no surprise the same studio quickly moved onto the Dark Pictures Anthology. With the announcement of the anthology came the opportunity to further explore video gaming as a reputable way of taking the terrifying elements of the horror genre and combining this with super-immersive storytelling - that didn’t rely on hoards of zombies to be scary.
Like Until Dawn and the first instalment of the anthology, Man of Medan, Little Hope promises to hack directly into the individual fears of the player, mess with our minds and ultimately leave us screaming with frustration as one impulsive choice leads us to accidentally doom one of the characters to death. Unlike the aforementioned games, Little Hope won’t be set exclusively in the present day and will follow five characters in a ghost town with a history of witch hunting – which sounds even more creepy if it’s possible. We’re excited to get some friends over and play the pass-and-play “movie night” mode (when social distancing rules allow, of course).
Mafia: Definitive Edition (Released Sept 25th 2020)
Way back in 2002, the original Mafia game was released following the story of taxi-driver Tommy Angelo as he becomes embroiled with a dangerous family and eventually becomes part of the mafia. Hailed as a more realistic approach to criminality than a game like Grand Theft Auto, Mafia has gone on to become a powerhouse in its own right - with two sequel titles. So you can imagine fans delight when publisher 2K announced Hangar 13 would be remaking the original game 18 years later. With some of the original developers on board and veterans from Mafia 2 and 3, it feels the well-loved classic is in good hands.
Mafia: Definitive Edition promises to be a complete remake from the ground up with updated graphics, cast and storyline, whilst still staying true to the story and missions that made fans fall in love with the game in the first place. Originally set for release on August 28th, the publishers have pushed it back a month and is one of the few to cite the pandemic as the reason. However, it’s been 18 years so a little more time won’t hurt – absence here truly does make the heart grow fonder.
So whilst we hoped to be playing these five games sooner, their postponement means at least there is something to look forward to at the end of the bleak year that has been 2020. Let’s just hope they don’t get pushed back any further and 2020 becomes even less enjoyable. Are there any other delayed games you were looking forward to playing? Let us know in the comments below.