Here’s your guide to 2021’s most anticipated Xbox games. Games ranging from horror to survival and first-person shooters to be excited about on Xbox.
With the PlayStation 5 hitting stores in November 2020, Xbox released their advanced console, Series X and there are plenty of games to get excited about. With its updated, sleek new design, the X console allows high definition experiences. Having the ability to produce up to 120 frames ps, 8K HDR and Velocity architecture. It’s faster, superior and more powerful than any previous design. Alongside word of series X, Xbox has announced exciting, challenging and captivating games. But new releases are worth your time and money? We take a look.
1. 12 minutes
Featuring the voices of Daisy Ridley, James McAvoy and Willem Dafoe, 12 minutes is set in the apartment of a married couple. We focus on the husband and his ability to overcome a range of different obstacles.
Publisher Annapurna Interactive has gone with a retro click-to-step player mode. All to simulate organic transitions throughout the emotionally difficult yet enticing distortion of time. This unique and underrated style of gameplay allows for an encompassing experience. One that radiates emotional and practical outcomes over combat style games. And permits for an enjoyable break from more well-known survival and RPG games. With the release date yet to be announced, 12 Minutes, has the potential to become one of 2021’s most waited on games yet.
2. Psychonauts 2
The long-awaited sequel of the 2005 original game Psychonauts is finally launching. But is looking as if it will be closer to the end of 2021. With its obscure character style, humorous scripting, and easily playable combat and navigational skills. It’s understandable why fans have donated $3.8 billion to its development. Picking up from the original plotline, the sequel will follow Raz on his journey with the Titular team, overcoming new styles of combat, dangers and threats.
Set in the 1980s, Raz achieves his dream of reaching Psychonauts headquarter, helping the psychic spies with their missions. This multiplatform game has been long-awaited. It has the potential to not only bring you back to a childhood classic but launch you into a world of thrilling new adventures.
3. Hitman 3
With the official tagline for the release of Hitman 3 being ” A dramatic conclusion to the world of assignation trilogy” there are high expectations of the game.
But with both previous Hitman games being the quality and experience they are, there’s little doubt that the third game will be anything less than an amazing and surreal escapade.
This multiplatform game incorporates all the best locations and characters from the previous two games (as long as you already own them). As well as exotic new locations from around the world.
With the ability to play with VR headsets, this advanced version of the Hitman trilogy has the prospective to be the best of the three. With IO interactive releasing a limited description of the plotline, there is lots to hope for with this stealth game launched in late January 2021.
With no official release date, Chernobylite looks like one of 2021’s most gripping survival games to come. Playing as a scientist from the 1986 catastrophe, this science-fiction game follows the conspiracy’s surrounding the danger zone of the aftermath of the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl.
The multiplatform game allows for free exploration of the map, challenging combat situations with various villains and an intertwining plotline. With the developer being that of “Get even” and “NecroVisioN” Farm 51 is known for the enticing, sombre visual graphics that enhance gameplay.
Delving into a profound personal story, with intense character and graphics, Chernobylite is a game that, by the seems of it, will keep you interested for hours on end.
Benefiting from the impressive power the Xbox series X can be seen to have, the adventure game Chorus utilises amazing graphics, with 60 frames per second, as well as acute detail to lighting and terrain.
Optimised for the new console, this game follows cult member Nora and her mission to defeat her evil creators.
Despite sounding like a game set in ancient times with cults, Chorus focuses on a futuristic world with AI technology, space battles and a thrilling next-level plotline. aiming to send this style of game into the future, Chorus is rumoured to experiment with the powers of mental abilities as well as physical skills.
Developed for the new series X, Chorus can be found on multiple platforms. With such a strong and alluring plot, we can only hope that the release date is sometime soon.
6. Resident Evil: Village
With the eighth game in the series being announced, Resident Evil: Village, follows suit from game 7, Biohazard. Using reliable old characters as well as introducing new villains, heroes and locations.
With ultra-realistic graphics powered by the RE engine, we get a more advanced class of weaponry, combat styles and resources to use throughout the rescue and side missions. This classic style of jump-scare horror embodies the original games whilst allows adapting to modern technologies and demands.
Launching in May, this game can be found on nearly all platforms. But will be enhanced with the usage of Xbox’s new powerful console, ideal for such horror games.
7. Halo Infinite
Creative Director Joseph Staten stated, “this was the Halo we imagined back in 2000, finally coming to life, after 20 years of technical and creative innovation”.
Exclusive to Xbox consoles and other Microsoft devices this is one of the biggest games to be excited about. Halo Infinite has been adapted especially for the new Xbox series X for the best playable experience, flawless visuals and rapid load times.
Reusing original artwork to simulate older versions of the game and the reappearance of a more humanistic Master Chief, Halo Infinite will be a throwback of nostalgia for many fans.
But, graphics should be better than ever. With improved illustrations on global illumination, ambient occlusion and shadowing. All for better atmospheric quality and advancement in craftsmanship of lighting, weaponry and adjustments to terrain visibility.
Halo Infinite should be a next-level, first-person shooter game, with immense and microscopic detail throughout the playable world.
And that’s our list of seven Xbox games to be excited about this year. Which one are you looking forward to most of all? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments section below.
Read about the worst console launches of all time HERE.
Animal Crossing 2.0 – Review
On November 5th, Animal Crossing 2.0 alongside the DLC Happy Home Paradise was released. It was the last major free update to hit the latest game in the franchise and added a host of new features to the game. After almost a month of playing it, here’s our review and everything new in Animal Crossing 2.0 from Nintendo.
Animal Crossing has been around for 20 years, with its first release on 14th April 2001. Since then it’s released several versions of the game for the DS, Wii, and so on.
The latest version, New Horizons, came to the Nintendo Switch at just the right time; at the very beginning of Quarantine. It was easily the most popular Nintendo game last year. But it had a fatal flaw; rather than including everything upfront, Nintendo would release periodic updates where they would add to the game. The goal was to keep the game feeling fresh, but the result was that New Horizons felt unfinished. The game was bare-bones compared to past versions of Animal Crossing and didn’t have half as much to do. With the release of the last free update, New Horizons finally feels like a complete game. So what’s new? While there were a lot of things added and small things fixed, we’re just going to focus on the major gameplay changes and additions.
The beloved pigeon, Brewster, has been in Animal Crossing since 2005. He runs a cosy coffee shop, The Roost, usually located in the Museum. But he has been missing from New Horizons. A fan favourite, his absence has definitely been felt. Brewster is one of the most demanded additions to New Horizons. With the update, you can find him gyroid hunting on one of Kapp’n’s Islands and invite him to your island, where he will set up the Roost once more. You will also find some of your residents and NPCs there and can invite current and past Animal Crossing characters to the Roost via Amiibo card.
Speaking of Kapp’n, the turtle is back. In past versions of the game, Kapp’n is usually the one taking you to your new village at the start of every game. Whether it be by taxi, bus, or train, Animal Crossing typically kicks off with the retired seafarer. But New Horizons didn’t feature Kapp’n at all; until now. Now you can have him take you on island tours via his little boat off your dock. Some of these islands are extremely rare and feature exclusive items. He also sings you a little song while you make the journey..
Gyroids have, once again, been a part of every Animal Crossing game until New Horizons. They are little singing things that can be placed like furniture. In New Horizons, you can find a fragment on Kapp’n’s islands, bury it, water it, and a gyroid will grow the next day. Or some may be buried on your island after a rainy day. While past versions of gyroids have been annoying, the New Horizon’s gyroids are adorable and delightful. In New Horizons, Brewster is an avid collector. You’ll even get a Brewster gyroid after drinking enough coffee.
Cooking / Farming
Cooking has also been added to the game, something entirely unique to New Horizons. You can purchase crop starts from Leif, start a farm, and then cook the produce you grow. This opens up a whole host of fun recipes, and you can gift your creations to your residents. Eating a meal will make your villager stronger for longer, the same effect eating fruit previously had.
You can also host a group stretching event in the plaza. Random villagers and NPCs will join you. You can use your controllers to actually stretch with them, or use the joysticks if you’re stuck with a Lite or don’t feel like standing up.
Harv’s Island was previously… pretty useless. There was really nothing to do there aside from taking pictures, which is fun once. Now you can help him build an open-air Farmers Market/Commune. For 100,000 bells each, you can invite NPCs to set up a permanent shop. Among these are Leif, Redd, Kicks, Saharah, Reese, and Cyrus, who have all been seen in New Horizons. But it also introduces the return of Tortimer, the mayor from past games. (Who some fans theorized was dead until now). Harriet, a hairdresser who introduces a ton of new hairstyles to the game. And the fortune-teller Katrina. This expansion to Harv’s island is a huge resource.
You no longer have to wait for these NPCs to come to your island to purchase goods from them. It also opens up more customization for previously uncustomisable items. And it’s another goal to work towards after you pay off your home loans.
You can now issue Ordinances through Isabelle in the town hall. These include things like adding a Bell Boom so that you find more bells and goods are worth more, but things also cost more. Or the Beautiful Island ordinance, which will have your villagers pick up weeds and trash and will cause your flowers to grow faster. You can also issue that your villagers wake up earlier or go to bed later.
Happy Home Paradise
In addition to 2.0, a DLC was added to the Nintendo Store. Happy Home Paradise allows you to “get a job” building vacation homes. You report to your boss Lottie for work, alongside your coworkers Niko and Wardell. From there, you choose a character and build a home for them. They will give you a theme and some items they want to see in their home. You can also design facilities, like a cafe or school and assign characters to work in them. Using an amiibo card, you can also design homes for NPCs like Isabelle or Tom Nook, where you will have free reign over the design.
Happy Home Paradise also introduces partition walls which allow for more design options in your house. It also includes a lot of new furniture. When you’ve designed enough vacation homes, you are able to then redesign the houses on your island.
HHP adds a lot to the game. Animal Crossing’s flaw has always been that it gets too repetitive. HHP adds some flavour and a lot more to do. So even long after you’ve paid off your home loan and made your island pretty, you can still really engage with the game. It adds to and boosts life on the island, but also extends the world a bit. You can interact with more characters beyond just your residents and have more interaction with NPCs beyond purchasing goods from them.
All in all, the 2.0 update and Happy Home Paradise have elevated New Horizons. It makes the game feel new and adds what many fans have been asking for. While they are both great, it’s hard to shake the feeling that this all should have been included from the get-go like past versions of the game. After playing a skeleton of a game for a year, we now truly have a new Animal Crossing game.
Do you like Animal Crossing 2.0? Do you agree with our Animal Crossing review? Let us know in the comments below.
We compare Animal Crossing with Stardew Valley HERE.
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