The Top 10 Games Of 2020 – #5 Ori And The Will Of The Wisps

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The Top 10 Games Of 2020 – #5 Ori And The Will Of The Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps has some of the best setpieces we’ve ever played. Unlike the Uncharted or Spider-Man games, where bombastic sequences are basically cutscenes with a few button prompts, Ori never takes you out of the moment, no matter how intense. The game always wants you in control of the action. 

Control is what makes this game special. A precise 2D platformer lives and dies by how responsive it feels, and Ori rarely drops the ball in this regard. Exploring its beautiful world, mastering its obstacles, and marveling at its numerous setpieces and boss fights, Ori has some of the tightest gameplay we’ve ever experienced. It’s a game you never want to tear yourself away from; you want to see the next part of the world and best the challenges it contains, all while remaining fully in control of what is happening on screen – whether you’re succeeding or failing. 

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The Top 10 Games Of 2020 – #6 Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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The Top 10 Games Of 2020 – #6 Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons, like previous entries in Nintendo’s popular simulation series, had always been intended to provide a relaxing escape from reality. After all, nothing says “getaway” like setting up shop on your own private island for all of your fun animal buddies to live on. In an unfortunate and amazing bit of timing, however, New Horizons’ arrival became more vital than ever by launching at the brink of COVID-19 lockdowns, giving a now-confined player base the perfect mental distraction. That’s not to say that serving as a great coping mechanism is the only reason we love New Horizons so much. Global pandemic or not, it’s one of the most charming, entertaining, and engrossing titles of 2020. 

Game Of The Year Countdown – #6 Animal Crossing: New Horizons

about X hours ago from
Game Of The Year Countdown – #6 Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons, like previous entries in Nintendo’s popular simulation series, had always been intended to provide a relaxing escape from reality. After all, nothing says “getaway” like setting up shop on your own private island for all of your fun animal buddies to live on. In an unfortunate and amazing bit of timing, however, New Horizons’ arrival became more vital than ever by launching at the brink of COVID-19 lockdowns, giving a now-confined player base the perfect mental distraction. That’s not to say that serving as a great coping mechanism is the only reason we love New Horizons so much. Global pandemic or not, it’s one of the most charming, entertaining, and engrossing titles of 2020. 

The Making Of Monster Hunter With Director Paul W.S. Anderson

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The Making Of Monster Hunter With Director Paul W.S. Anderson

If you think about video game movies, there's a good chance Paul W.S. Anderson's work quickly comes to mind. As the director and/or producer on all six Resident Evil movies, he's not only made the most successful video game movies of all time, he's also made a name for himself doing so. He's not done with Capcom games, though. Up next, Anderson is taking on Monster Hunter, and went to the ends of the Earth, quite literally, to make his next epic. We caught up with the director to learn about how he got Capcom on board, the harsh environments of shooting in Namibia, and the sunburnt eyeballs along the way. 

When Anderson talks about Monster Hunter, there's a palpable excitement in his voice; he often uses words like "wonder" and "amazement" to describe the games. These two feelings are something he brings up as something he's trying to translate into his movie. On the one hand, this is likely some amount of marketing speak; he's talking to us to promote his next blockbuster after all. On the other hand, it's easy to buy that he really feels this strongly about the movie and series, too. When he gets going, he doesn't really stop, talking about why he loves Monster Hunter and what it's been like adapting it for the big screen. He packs a lot of info into our 30-minute phone call. 

Game Of The Year Countdown – #7 Assassin's Creed Valhalla

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Game Of The Year Countdown – #7 Assassin's Creed Valhalla

As a long-running franchise, the Assassin’s Creed games all build on the entries before them. However, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla doesn’t just iterate; this Viking adventure takes all the right lessons from its predecessors while also bringing new twists to Ubisoft’s open-world formula, resulting in one of the series’ best installments to date.

You take control of Eivor, a Viking leader who must carve out a place for the Raven Clan to settle in 9th-century England. As you make friends and pursue political alliances in the main story, you also explore a landscape full of fun activities – a big improvement over previous games in terms of variety. Whether you’re hunting down treasure chests, solving puzzles, or helping people with their strange (and often funny) problems, the breadth of content ensures that you always having something interesting to pursue. The hardest part is choosing which entertaining task to tackle first.

The Top 10 Games Of 2020 – #7 Assassin's Creed Valhalla

about X hours ago from
The Top 10 Games Of 2020 – #7 Assassin's Creed Valhalla

As a long-running franchise, the Assassin’s Creed games all build on the entries before them. However, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla doesn’t just iterate; this Viking adventure takes all the right lessons from its predecessors while also bringing new twists to Ubisoft’s open-world formula, resulting in one of the series’ best installments to date.

You take control of Eivor, a Viking leader who must carve out a place for the Raven Clan to settle in 9th-century England. As you make friends and pursue political alliances in the main story, you also explore a landscape full of fun activities – a big improvement over previous games in terms of variety. Whether you’re hunting down treasure chests, solving puzzles, or helping people with their strange (and often funny) problems, the breadth of content ensures that you always having something interesting to pursue. The hardest part is choosing which entertaining task to tackle first.

Game Of The Year Countdown – #8 Half-Life: Alyx

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Game Of The Year Countdown – #8 Half-Life: Alyx

Valve has left Half-Life fans in the lurch for nearly 13 years; the cliffhanger ending of Half-Life 2: Episode Two in 2007 set up an epic confrontation that still hasn’t been fully resolved. After all that time, we wondered if Valve had forgotten what made Half-Life special in the first place, but once you explore the virtual world of Half-Life: Alyx, it’s clear that Valve hasn't lost its magic touch.

On one level, it is a shame that only fans with a VR setup can experience Valve’s newest project. On the other hand, Valve’s use of virtual reality is so smart that we can't imagine playing Half-Life: Alyx on a flat monitor. Simple tasks like picking up an empty can or reloading a gun are more thrilling in VR, and firefights with Combine troops are more harrowing since you can now physically duck and weave among cover. Between these firefights, Half-Life: Alyx maintains its pace by delivering a series of compelling environmental puzzles and exploration challenges that ask you to thoughtfully observe your surroundings.

The Top 10 Games Of 2020 – #8 Half-Life: Alyx

about X hours ago from
The Top 10 Games Of 2020 – #8 Half-Life: Alyx

Valve has left Half-Life fans in the lurch for nearly 13 years; the cliffhanger ending of Half-Life 2: Episode Two in 2007 set up an epic confrontation that still hasn’t been fully resolved. After all that time, we wondered if Valve had forgotten what made Half-Life special in the first place, but once you explore the virtual world of Half-Life: Alyx, it’s clear that Valve hasn't lost its magic touch.

On one level, it is a shame that only fans with a VR setup can experience Valve’s newest project. On the other hand, Valve’s use of virtual reality is so smart that we can't imagine playing Half-Life: Alyx on a flat monitor. Simple tasks like picking up an empty can or reloading a gun are more thrilling in VR, and firefights with Combine troops are more harrowing since you can now physically duck and weave among cover. Between these firefights, Half-Life: Alyx maintains its pace by delivering a series of compelling environmental puzzles and exploration challenges that ask you to thoughtfully observe your surroundings.

Cyberpunk 2077 Is Sensory Overload For Better Or Worse

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Cyberpunk 2077 Is Sensory Overload For Better Or Worse

Night City is full of intrigue and wonder from the moment you step foot in it. CD Projekt Red crafted a dark, tech-obsessed world, oozing with excess consumerism and a jaded society overindulging in all facets of life. My curiosity kept pulling me in, even though I was often horrified by what I found. Whether it was someone suffering from cyberpsychosis going off the deep end or watching a married couple fight over giving in to the sexual temptation this place breeds, Night City revels in its sinister brand of madness. A big part of Cyberpunk 2077 is experiencing this fascinating futuristic world’s overwhelming, fast-paced allure firsthand. Everything is vying for your attention at every moment. It’s a sensory overload that both helps and hinders the game.

Game Of The Year Countdown – #9 Final Fantasy VII Remake

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Game Of The Year Countdown – #9 Final Fantasy VII Remake

With its remake of Final Fantasy VII, Square Enix pulled of a seemingly impossible feat: It put a fresh spin on the classic story and characters, all while completely reinventing the gameplay for modern audiences. The result is an adventure that taps into Final Fantasy VII’s deep well of nostalgia, but still offers plenty of delightful surprises for old and new players alike.

Cloud and his mercenary friends still fight against the evil Shinra corporation, but the world has been beautifully reconstructed to give the cast and environments new life. From to your battle in a ruined church to your first haunting glimpse of Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII Remake recreates the important events that fans remember, but adds enough new content to make the experience feel fresh.

The highlight of the new elements is battle system, which the team at Square Enix has brilliantly reimagined by trading the turn-based model for a real-time approach. Through careful use of commands and switching control between your party members, combat becomes a fun fusion of aggression and strategy. This versatile system also highlights each character’s strengths; Tifa’s melee brawling feels different from Aerith’s ranged attacks, so fights aren't about repeating the same routine.