Hello and welcome to Rock Paper Shotgun. It’s the end of 2019 which means we scrape
the last few bits of the year off our plate and get ready to stuff our faces with hype
for 2020. Even though PC isn’t a slave to console
generations, we will hopefully see the benefits of a new Xbox and PlayStation as publishers
unleash the next gen treats they’ve been working on. Even without those games, we’ve got everything
from Californian cyborg brains to unstoppable zombies to time travelling murder mysteries. So here are our picks of 20 PC games to watch
out for in 2020. Do tell us your personal picks and if you
enjoy this video as it goes along, do subscribe to Rock Paper Shotgun and make sure to select
the notification bell so you can find all our videos as we cover these throughout the
year. Now onwards to the future! This’ll confuse you: 2020 is actually going
to be the year of 2077. E3 2019 was the moment Cyberpunk finally took
a practical shape – after that insane 2018 demo we saw how the game works on a nuts and
bolts level. In short: it looks like Deus Ex on a mega
budget, a first-person RPG where your character build rewrites how missions play out, from
turning machines against their masters to just evaporating gang members using handguns
with the power of artillery. What elevates it to a different level to Deus
Ex is that it plays out in a vast city where every district is a character bubbling with
unique threats and opportunities. If you haven’t already, do watch out our
interviews with the concept artist and the RPG creator Mike Pondsmith, for loads of insight
into why this is 2020’s most exciting game. Here’s a good news/bad news situation: Half-Life
is back, but you have to wear a funny electronic hat to play it. Trust Valve not to take the conventional route
with the return of its beloved series, as this Half-life 2 prequel – following the movements
of Alyx – is a VR exclusive. While some would rather put their skull in
a head crab than a VR helmet, it’s still exciting to see Valve throw their best design
minds at VR, building a full campaign that we hope will set a new standard for what is
achievable. Already we’ve seen disembodied hands catching
ammo clips, searching shelves four resources and slipping gravity gloves to pluck weapons
from enemies. And at the end of the day, it’s just great
to be back in this world, and listening to these dumb jokes – IT’S NOT LOADED. iT’S NOT LOADED NOW. If anyone can make the case for VR, it’ll
be Valve. It’s been a year since the Resident Evil
2 remake, and yet Mr X still haunts me. I can’t even look at a fedora without crapping
my pants. Well, bad news for my fellow afflicted: Resident
Evil 3 is pretty much Mr X: The Game, as Jill Valentine attempts to escape the unstoppable
Nemesis and get the hell out of Racoon City. Nemesis isn’t properly shown in the trailer,
but you know he’s a-coming – a seven foot brute who looks like a cross between Bane,
a haggis and Rob Beckett. Given that Nemesis’ whole deal is chasing
Jill, the news that he has more tricks than Mr X gives me cold sweats – what if he can
finally get inside save rooms? Oh gawd. The other thing of note is the four versus
one multiplayer mode, Project Resistance – where the lone wolf controls enemy spawns and can
steer zombies. It also has a character called Martin Sandwich. Any relation to the Jill Sandwich? All will be revealed on April 3rd. From Mr X to 4X. Amplitude Studios say they’ve worked towards
Humankind since day one – that their goal was to always make a historical 4X game, and
that Endless Space and Endless Legend were steps along that path. A perfect backstory for a game all about the
steps a civilisation takes, starting with a prehistoric tribe and then absorbing a new
culture at the end of every historical era. This pick and mix of cultural evolution is
what differentiates it from Civilisation, as you end up with bizarre amalgam of technology,
military units and architecture – look at a modern city and you’ll see all your past
decisions rubbing shoulders with the present, as tall Parisian apartments surround Egyptian
pyramids or Japanese pagodas. All this boils down to accruing fame so that
your chimeric culture will be remembered. Will Humanity achieve that lofty goal itself? We have high hopes. This next one isn’t a 4X strategy, and is
more interested in the triple X industries of 1920’s Chicago. Yes, it’s all booze, brothels and bullets
in Romero Game’s Empire of Sin, as you invest in neighbourhood rackets and protect turf
from rival mobsters in turn-based shootouts. It’s all the fun stuff from The Untouchables,
but without sanctimonious Kevin Costner telling everyone off. You’ll be watering down booze for profits;
rubbing shoulders will legendary gangsters – including the real-life grandfather of game
director Brenda Romero – and there’s intriguing character system that sees them evolve based
on how you put them to work. Keep sending a henchman to plug business rivals
and he might turn into a serial killer. It’s this clash of twisted personalities,
big gangster drama and gorgeous setting that has this muscling in on our must-play list. Here’s my pitch for Unto The End: your beard
is your health meter. The more blood in the beard, the worse things
are going for you. It’s one of a hundred great touches in this
side-scrolling adventure. Think: Limbo meets God of War, as a barbarian
hacks and slashes his way through caves and mountains. The combat system has real depth, with combat
stances, fake outs, all manner of evasive cleverness and the ability to kick dirt in
a bandit’s eyes. It results in full-blooded battles where you
feel like you’re scrabbling for survival but you don’t mind if you die, because it
means you get to enjoy those chunky sword hits all over again. Trust me, it’s ace. The original Ori is one of my favourite Metroid
clones and all the sequel really has to do is inject more gorgeous art into my eyes – check
– offer more platforming to give my fat fingers a workout – check – and improve the not very
good combat. The last one is looking like a big check from
the trailer, as Ori throws lighting spears… whacks goons with a bo staff… and gives
this cheeky sod a bit of hammer time. Almost seems perverse seeing somethign this
cute murder with such ease. Of course looking at what he’s up against,
it’s maybe justified: giant spiders, giant wolves, giant owls – basically, take any animal
that enjoys Ori as part of a balanced diet, and stick giant in front of its name. And voila: you’ve got the recipe for some
epic chase scenes. And it’ll be on Xbox Game Pass for PC, so
you don’t even have to pay through the teeth to see Ori in pain between some teeth. While we’re talking about Metroidvanias
and teeth… that grinding sound you can hear is my jaw, as I watch the Silksong trailer
and spot at least ten bosses I’m going to get stuck on for weeks upon end. This standalone quest began as plans for a
simple DLC character for the original game, but has grown into its own adventure, with
over 150 different enemies, a quest system to help all the freaky bugs you meet and a
slightly faster healing system. Add that last bit to a new platform grab and
Silksong is speedier and more fluid than Hollow Knight; why is it that games are getting faster
and faster as my aging hands get slower and slower? This is a recipe for disaster, but youthful
viewers will dig it. What is it with Annapurna Interactive and
time loops? They gave us the repeating space exploration
of Outer Wilds in 2019 and are now planning to trap us in an endless cycle of carnage
in a single flat. 12 Minutes sees a couple’s romantic dinner
go repeatedly off the rails – a man bursts in and beats you to death – giving you, yes,
12 whole minutes to try to avoid this untimely demise. Using simple point-and-click controls you
use your memories of past deaths to try and prepare for the future – grabbing weapons,
perhaps, or trying to talk your wife into helping you. Can you learn judo in 12 minutes? I guess we’ll find out. The creator cites the films of Christopher
Nolan and Stanley Kubrick as an inspiration, but it sounds more like Groundhog Day with
fewer laughs. Microsoft Flight Simulator has been grounded
for 13 years as technology caught up to where they needed it. You see, the new Flight Simulator draws on
data and textures from Microsoft Bing satellite imagery to create photorealistic landscapes
for you to fly over, and uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud tech to stream it to your game,
to build an accurate world as you fly over it. And that’s just the static world – the same
tech can fill the sky with real-time weather, and the team is looking at tracking animal
migrations, natural disasters and even car traffic. Now, i’ll be honest with you: I’m not
a flight sim nut, and can’t speak to the accuracy of its planes or handling models,
but I know that I want to fly over my home town and see all the dummies blocking the
roads around Stonehenge. If Microsoft can find the accessibility to
allow idiots like me to take fantasy flights, without compromising the simulation and detail
that the fan community demand, this could be a game to bust the genre wide open. In last year’s preview video I said my new
year’s resolution for 2019 was to punch off more demon heads, but then Doom Eternal
slipped to 2020 and made a failure of me. I’m sad because I love punching off demon
heads, and because what we’ve played of Doom Eternal so far has been tremendous fun: more
demons, more guns and more bits of demons you can shoot off with said guns. A grappling hook lets you deliver murder straight
to a monster’s front door and you get a shoulder mounted flamethrower that bakes evil flesh
into shards of armour. They pop like popcorn, which is heavenly. Also heavenly: heaven, which is where the
fight takes us in this next adventure. The opportunity to paint the pearly gates
red? Who could possibly resist. Just, please come out this year, yeah? Total War does Troy is a fascinating pitch,
a further step into the grey area where history meets myth – a space that Creative Assembly
navigated in 2019 with Total War: Three Kingdoms. Where that game was built around the big personalities
that populate an exaggerated telling of Chinese history, Troy is attempting to find the logic
in the mythical loopiness. So the Minotaur becomes a mad bastard wearing
a bull’s head, and instead of hiding your men inside a big wooden horse you’ll find
other ways to exploit Trojan weakness – such as attacking cities in the aftermath of an
earthquake. Three Kingdom’s hero duels return, with
Achilles trying to keep his heel out of trouble, and you’ll also try to balance the favours
of the gods, whether that’s hiring priests to flatter the hippyish ones, or impressing
the Ares by murdering captives after battle. It may be a further step from realism, but
who turns their nose up at having a god on their side? Halo Infinite’s latest E3 trailer didn’t
do it for us, taking a series that is at its best when you’re bouncing a silly car over
alien worlds and asking us to get excited about a random bearded dude hanging out in
his drop ship. That I do remain excited for Infinite boils
down to rediscovering the joys of Halo Reach on PC, and rewatching the 2018 tech demo of
the new Slipspace engine, that suggests Infinite might have a bigger canvas for the adventure. Who wouldn’t want to take a Warthog for
a Sunday drive across the grassy fields of a vast alien death hula hoop? Or go for a romantic walk on a beach, or look
at a giant nostril. These are all on my bucket list. Gears 5 took baby steps into an open world
in 2019 to pretty great effect; now it’s time for Master Chief to make his move. Whatever next? Open world Cuphead? Hey, as long as it ends up on my Game Pass
subscription, go crazy. Desperados 3 was a highlight of Gamescom 2019,
as the stealth wizards behind Shadow Tactics applied their sneaky know how to this revival
of a real-time tactics classic. Building a stealth game where everyone has
very loud pistols may sound daft, but it works as you programme in simultaneous moves to
shoot out any ears that may hear you, or turn to a vast range of diversionary tactics to
lure bandits to quiet parts of the map. Some fans are kicking off about it adding
a mind-controlling witch to the team, but they seem to forget the original had a guy
who attached sleeping bombs to children’s balloons and then floated them over enemy’s
heads. If a freaking balloon assassin was okay, then
Isabelle’s magics are fine – you can even link together character’s fates like Dishonoured
2’s domino power. It was awesome in that game, and it’s going
to be awesome here. Why aren’t more people talking about Dying
Light 2? Every demo we’ve seen has blown us away, whether
it’s minute-to-minute zombie escapes that show off improved parkour and gooey combat,
or the wider structure that sees mission decisions change how the open world city functions. Make the wrong call and there are landmarks
you can lose access to as factions move in, and there are even entire regions of the city
you might never discover – in our demo draining a dam saw a submerged city block come bursting
out of a lake. That’s pretty bold thinking from a game
that used to be about hiding up drain pipes to escape monsters. Perhaps Dying Light 2’s quality hasn’t quite
sunk in yet as it’s been hands off to date – by which I mean we can’t play it, I’m
not talking about all the hands you can chop off in the game. Which is obviously a lot. Full disclosure: Paralives doesn’t have
a release date yet, but we include it as a gesture of hope. Specifically, as a gesture of Alice’s hope
– she’s our resident Sims nerd and has been salivating over Paralives non-stop. Imagine The Sims but made by a smaller indie
team: they’re not set in their ways or part of a giant corporate machine, so are able
to build exactly the thing they want. It may not sound like a big deal that you
get bed sliders to turn a single into a double, or the ability to resize toilet roll holders,
or the inclusion of curved walls, or the freedom to set building lot size and place it wherever
you want – but if you’re a Sims builder who has been working with EA’s restrictions
for the last hundred years, all this adds up to a really tantalising, fan-focused offering. It’s still early days yet, but trust us,
based on what we’ve seen, Paralives could be absolutely massive. Watch Dogs Legion gets a lot of attention
for its whole ‘play as any NPC in the game’ thing – and that is very cool. I love the idea of building a people’s army
from old age pensioners and presumably pelting my enemies with rock hard mints they’ve
had in their pockets for at least five years. But really the appeal is taking a trip around
virtual London, and reclaiming the city one dingy pub at a time. Maybe you’ll be able to hack yourself some
cheap tickets to the over priced West End. Although the bleak dystopian rulers will have
probably banned Les Mis – don’t want to give people ideas of revolution. I feel bad for Bloodlines 2 – it’s the sequel
we never expected to have, and now all we do is pick on its ropey combat. Given how much the original was hobbled by
rushed development it’s a big sigh of relief to see this pushed back for some much needed
polish. Because ignoring the weird, weightless combat,
there’s plenty to get excited about here. Like the fact you can play as a vampire barista
– that’s one of the character backstories, anyway. I guess if you can manage 20 different coffee
orders at once, you’re all set to negotiate between a couple of vampire factions. Throw in a cool Seattle setting, one of the
best takes of vampire lore and a new system that lets you drink people’s emotions like
a big sad milkshake and there’s plenty to be hopeful for. Minute of Islands was a highlight of EGX Berlin
2019: it looks like a playable cartoon, as you guide a beautifully animated hero across
huge hand drawn landscapes trying to wake up ancient machinery hidden across islands. It’s a sweet mix of puzzling and platforming,
but with some serious sinister undertones as our hero trots past rotting animal carcasses
and wakes up creepy giants. You can see a lot more of this in our video
from EGX Berlin, so do check out the link hopefully popping up on screen now… From cheery cart oon islands to a bleak nuclear
winter – what better way to celebrate this frosty time of year. Of course, we don’t get to brave the cold
in a massive tank thing – this vehicle is not just for navigating the map, but can drive
into turn based combat encounters, crushing enemies under foot and laying down support
fire. It’s a bit like if the Batmobile from Batman
Begins was a party member – sadly you can’t romance it. Dating a car is one of the few things you
can’t do in inxile’s latest – character skills, party composition and conversational
smarts can have a huge impact on how every mission plays out. Not that surprising given the game’s RPG
heritage – it’s very much a proto-Fallout – but this is looking a lot shinier than Wasteland
2. Must be all that Microsoft green – inexile
became a first party studio last year. And those are just a few of the hundreds of
interesting games on the horizon – it was a bit of a nightmare whittling them down. I’d love to hear your personal picks for
2020, so definitely put them in the comments – then we’ll do our very best to make sure
we cover them in detail as the year unfolds. If you enjoyed video, you can support the
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it’s dumb to get sucked into the hype cycle, but it’s nice to have something to look
forward to, right? I really hope you’ll join us in 2020 to
cover all these wonderful PC games – we’ve been having loads of fun on the channel in
2019 and we’d love for you to subscribe and join us for more. Hopefully see you soon. Bye for now!