2020 is here, and we usher in the new decade with an assortment of fantastic games on Xbox One and beyond. This year will see a new generation of consoles debut in the form of Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.
The improved specs and ample new features will also bring with them an array of new games, although older consoles won’t be left behind thanks to backwards compatibility and Microsoft’s assurance that true exclusives won’t be emerging for a year or two at the earliest.
We were previously expecting Halo Infinite to be a flagship exclusive for the console this year, but this has sadly been pushed to 2021. But there’s still plenty to play with third-party blockbusters such as Cyberpunk 2077, Dying Light 2 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla ready and waiting to grace our gaming lives in the coming months.
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Release Date: November 19, 2020
After the runaway success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, expectations are absurdly high for the studio’s next effort. Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world RPG set in Night City, a sprawling metropolis filled with corrupt thugs, warring factions and thousands of unique things to uncover.
Having recently caught a glimpse of 48 minutes of gameplay, it looks stunning. Exploring vast, detailed environments as a fearless cyberpunk operative on the hunt for dangerous criminals and twisted organisations looks thrilling, and it’s all played from a first-person perspective.
Read our full Cyberpunk 2077 preview
Developer: 343 Industries
Release Date: TBA 2021
We’ve yet to see a conclusion to The Reclaimer Trilogy that began with Halo 4 way back in 2012, and with Halo Infinite taking the place of Halo 6, this is the next chapter in Master Chief’s journey.
There’s very little information out there regarding Halo Infinite beyond the gorgeous reveal trailer, although we imagine it will once again focus on storytelling, multiplayer and absurdly tight first-person shooting.
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Release Date: Out now is Xbox Game Preview
Since 2016, developers Rebecca Cordingley and Ben Wasser have documented every step of their journey to create Ooblets, a game that’s like a hug in these often trying times. Cordingley’s colourful design already gives you a very good idea of the tone of Ooblets, but it’s the many different elements that come together which make it truly intriguing.
You will be able to manage your own farm and become a member of a small community, not unlike Stardew Valley. Additionally, you’ll collect the eponymous ooblets, small magical creatures found all across the land of Oob. You can raise and train your ooblets to use in… dance battles against their own kind.
If Ooblets manages to balance its diverse influences we expect it to be our go-to retreat from the world at large and are fully prepared for it to be very addictive.
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Watch Dogs Legion
Release Date: October 29, 2020
If you’re tired of hearing about Brexit all the time, we’ve got some bad news for you. Watch Dogs Legion takes us to a futuristic vision of London where the referendum has transformed the British capital into a dystopian hellscape dominated by emergent fascists and bleak authoritarian regime.
Legion allows you to take control of any and all characters across the open-world recruiting them to DedSec as a supporter of the resistance. Each operative will have distinctive perks, occupying one of three classes you can customise. However, lose them in battle and they’re gone forever. This sounds like a wonderful spin on the Watch Dogs formula, and we can’t wait to play more of it.
Read our full Watch Dogs Legion preview
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Release Date: Spring 2021
We’ve always had a soft spot in our hearts for LEGO games, and that love goes even further with Star Wars. Combine the two and you’ve got a match made in heaven, one which Traveller’s Tales has milked to death with countless games in recent years. So, you’d assume the well has long run dry. Well, it turns out we were wrong, since The Skywalker Saga aims to complete reinvent LEGO games – bringing them into the modern generation with new visuals, mechanics and more.
The Skywalker Saga will feature all eight films – including the upcoming Rise of the Skywalker. Players can experience the events of each epic story while exploring a sprawling open world filled with collectibles. These aren’t simple ports of existing games, either. Each film has been recreated in a new gameplay engine complete with new mechanics and characters to play as. From the hands-off demo we saw at E3 2019, it’s really something special.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios
Release Date: Holiday 2020
Having already been released as a PS4 exclusive in Japan, Yakuza: Like a Dragon will be arriving on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC in the West later this year. That’s more platforms than any Yakuza launch before it, and teases a hugely exciting future for Sega’s cult franchise. It’s one we’ve been screaming about from the rooftops for years here at Trusted Reviews, and we can’t wait for its popularity to skyrocket.
For those unfamiliar, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a role-playing video game set in Yokohama, Japan. Unlike previous entries in the series, this is a turn-based affair featuring a new protagonist, new city and an abundance of new zany activities to partake in throughout the massive campaign. It’s still somewhat alien to see such an established PlayStation franchise make a splash on Xbox, but if it means even more people can enjoy it, who are we to complain.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
Developer: Hardsuit Labs
Release Date: 2020
The original Bloodlines is a cult classic amongst RPG fans, with many having given up hope that a sequel would ever materialise. Well – this unexpected wish has come true, and the upcoming new entry is also on its way to next-gen consoles. Taking place in a rain-drenched Seattle, players will take on the role of a unique character who must solve a dark, unfolding mystery spread across the metropolis.
Players can once again expect a wide range of gameplay approaches, different factions to communicate with and a world that is constantly shaped and changed by the decisions you make. Here’s hoping this new installment reaches a much wider audience, given how beloved the original game was and still is amongst its fanbase.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Release Date: November 17, 2020
Following in the footsteps of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the next entry in Ubisoft’s open-world series will take players to The Viking Age scattered across Great Britain, Norway and Scandinavia. It’s poised to be a vast, beautiful and ambitious adventure which will build further upon the series’ growing adoption of RPG mechanics.
Much like Odyssey, you can choose between a male or female protagonist, and will have your very own settlement to grow and mould into your own virtual home throughout the game’s campaign. Chances are its occupants, atmosphere and morales will be influenced by your own decisions. Obviously, players can once again expect the franchises’ signature exploration, combat and massive sense of scope, pushed even further with next-gen consoles.
Far Cry 6
Release Date: February 18, 2021
Far Cry 6 is a new entry in Ubisoft’s flagship shooter franchise coming to current and next-generation consoles, and it’s set to stand out from previous titles with an ambitious new setting and Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito in the starring role. It looks to be a gorgeous open-world shooter for the next generation, and will hopefully push the tired franchise forward in some exciting ways.
It will take place on the fictional Caribbean Island of Yara, which has been heavily inspired by Cuba. Ubisoft describes it as “the largest Far Cry playground to date” and a “tropical paradise frozen in time.” So this explains why a tyrannical regime has managed to emerge without the interference of wider civilization.
What Xbox One games are you excited for in 2020? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.