The year 2020 was probably the strangest I have ever experienced. Uncertainty, limitations, but also a lot of time to play and new work in the most professional Czech gaming editorial office. With the current balance, I’m a little ashamed of the pile of games that, as usual, has passed under my hands for the past twelve months.
In the following lines, I have purposefully divided my game year 2020 into winners and losers, not necessarily in some exact order.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
If you had told me a year ago that I would spend the whole spring building a virtual tropical paradise in the company of cute animals and that, in addition to real worries, I would be dealing with a mortgage on a passively aggressive raccoon, I would have laughed at you. And in any other year, I wouldn’t be wrong, because I’m definitely not the primary target for Animal Crossing.
Last spring, however, for me, the game meant above all an escape from an unpleasant reality, and with its addictive content it kept me with me until the first days of summer, when I put it aside and never returned to it. Nevertheless, for me it will forever symbolize the year 2020, when I planted fruit trees, traded in turnips and solved fashion with Mrs. Ježečková between shopping for food online and watching unfavorable news.
Hades is the exact opposite of the previous game, because here I am a completely clear goal, which I found out two years ago when launching the preliminary approach. Immediately afterwards, however, I postponed the game with the proviso that I definitely want to enjoy this in its complete state. And I did well! The better game definitely didn’t go through my hands this year, the last act from Supergiant Games is a perfect addiction that can reliably cause the “one more run and I’m going to sleep” syndrome when it’s dawn behind the windows.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2
This year is a year of big and unexpected returns and the legendary skate arcade is one of the most successful. Activision has finally taken its minds, stopped trying to revive the brand through ever-worse new sequels, and gave fans exactly what they wanted in their hearts.
The incredible load of nostalgia erupts during the first tones of Guerrilla Radio and continues thanks to a visit to the school campus, the skate park in Marseille or the center of Philadelphia. Now I just wish that the third and fourth episodes in a similar package would receive the same care, so that Tony Hawk could happily retire forever.
I dreamed of a remake of the first soulska for many years and shouted enthusiastically as the Bluepoint Games unveiled their penultimate project. Shadow of the Colossus eventually turned out to be and I had to wait almost three more years, but it was worth it.
Demon’s Souls are a fulfilled wish, a beautiful, perfectly playable charge of atmosphere and emotion, which stems from both the sad story and the hardcore difficulty. But they also play an equally important role in the promise of what audiovisual quality we can look forward to on PlayStation 5.
I admit that as much as I wish fans of classic RPGs a revival of this genre in recent years, I myself gave up all the Torments, Tyranny and Pillars after a few hours. The only exception is Wasteland, the third part of which literally pinned me in front of the screen and forced me to enjoy the perfectly freezing post-apocalypse to the last breath.
For me, it is without a doubt the best RPG of the past year with great dialogues, wide possibilities of profiling a team of rangers, a great story and humor and a branched story with a number of possible decisions and the consequences that follow from them. The presence of the cat Major Tomcat is then just a pleasant cherry.
As I was afraid of the new Doom, I was very pleasantly surprised. When I flew out of the preview event in Warsaw early last year, I was sorry to have to wait a few more months to continue. When Doom finally arrived, I devoured him like a cacodome shovel.
A phenomenal, adrenaline-pumping action that was not poisoned by even the hated jumping passages, excellent optimization for fast slicing, a well-thought-out gameplay loop forcing secondary tools of destruction to gain health, armor and ammunition and especially a supply of monsters that are a joy to kill with a great arsenal of weapons . And that music!
Mafia: Definitive Edition
I wouldn’t bet a broken sinner on the Mafia remake last spring, and even after its announcement, I didn’t believe twice that Hangar 13 would improve its reputation after the overall average three. However, the result significantly exceeded my expectations and the developers managed to convert the almost twenty-year-old title into a modern form very satisfactorily. Although it may be hard for many hardcore fans of the original to listen to, a remake is the best way for me to enjoy Tommy Angel’s story today.
The best Gears since the three. Yes. I really said that. A significant change in the brand’s genre has benefited immensely, Tactics is a fresh breeze into a very rotting series, they also offer great gameplay in themselves, captivating visuals within the genre and I completely admit that the testosterone charge Gears came to the rainbow in the middle of tactical turn-based battles.
The Last of Us: Part II
I like when the authors treat their work in their own way and don’t pay so much attention to the audience’s reactions. In the case of The Last of Us: Part II, it brought a lot of crying and gnashing of teeth, but also a successful and emotional story, which was a bit stretched to my taste, but actually kept me much more than a slightly exhausted gameplay. And Abby is, of course, the greatest love.
A whole (and very comprehensive) article could be written about why I think Cyberpunk is not a miracle game. And I would practically not have to rely on criticism of bugs or a problem with the release of the last generation of consoles. Unfortunately, after almost 130 hours of searching in Night City and the surrounding area, I did not find the great game that my colleagues and many players talk about so colorfully.
For me, Cyberpunk 2077 is above all a textbook example of wasted potential, unfulfilled promises at the level of No Man’s Sky and, unlike the previous Sorcerer, a game to which even story DLCs will not return me. Unfortunately.
Watch Dogs: Legion
I can’t say I’m surprised by the legion’s trouble, but I was amazed at its level. As you can read in my review, the problem is only the very basis of the gameplay, on which the authors decided to build the game and to whom they sacrificed everything. The result is a pleasant trip to virtual London, but that is the end of the list of positives.
Predator: Hunting Grounds
Without exaggeration, one of the most shocking games I’ve ever been unlucky to run. How such fame could have gotten on the PlayStation platform is still a mystery to me. A broken, unforgettable, extremely repulsive affair that makes the Predator brand more embarrassed than the last film adaptation. And that’s what to say.
Basically, I could copy much of the previous paragraph and it would fit perfectly. I consider the original XIII to be a cult affair, which succeeded mainly thanks to a well-managed comic book stylization, not only through shading cells. Instead of an honest comic, the remake looks like a cheap variation on Fortnite, it’s riddled with bugs, technical unfinished work, and the fun gameplay has disappeared somewhere. Clean waste.
Vigor na Switchi
I actually had fun playing Vigor on the Switch, but it was more of a game in spite of it. The technical condition is downright funny and Vigor is a perfect proof that not all games belong to Switch, even if they manage to run them there in some way.
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