We have just exited a massively busy holiday release season for the video game industry, not just full of major titles, as with every fall, but with the launch of two next-gen consoles too.
But without all that many next-gen-specific games.
With PC alternatives and last-gen support, there are few “truly” next-gen games anymore, but it’s always good to take a look at what’s coming up for your new systems all the same, and while the first half of 2021 is relatively bare as of right now, there are a few bright spots you should be aware of.
Hitman 3 (January 20, Literally every platform) – Hitman 3 has already had some early previews up that seem to indicate the new sequel is likely going to please fans of the series to date. It’s going to effectively have January all to itself as the biggest release of the month when it arrives in less than a week on every platform, last and current gen, PC and Stadia.
The Medium (January 28, Xbox Series X/S, PC) – The Medium was delayed out of last year, dodging Cyberpunk competition in December, and it will arrive as the first real next-gen Xbox Series X game that console has seen. The game takes advantage of the power of the system to split its world in half onscreen between the regular and spirit world, and while this may not be a huge blockbuster, it’s an important moment for Xbox all the same.
Nioh/Nioh 2 Remastered (February 5, PlayStation 5) – This pair of Nioh games may not be new, and yet they are getting full remasters for PS5 unlike many other exclusives, which are mostly working with backward compatible upgrades. Definitely something to pick up for PS players here.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits (March, PS4, PS5, PC) – This is a gorgeous looking PlayStation game that was only recently dated as arriving this March by Sony. We don’t know a ton about it, and yet it seems poised to become a potentially iconic IP if the game itself matches the visuals we’ve seen from it so far.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition (March? All platforms?) – This one is not confirmed yet, the March date based on a few store listings, but it seems possible. Of course, it also seems possible that with all the drama going on at BioWare these days, and really nothing of this remaster of the Mass Effect trilogy glimpsed as of yet, we could be waiting longer for this than we think.
Returnal (March 21, PS5) – The only truly PS5-only game on this list, Returnal is a sci-fi horror game that has roguelike elements that looks pretty fantastic from early previews. Hopefully it will be worth the $70 asking price.
Outriders (April 1, All platforms) – It’s been delayed twice in a few months now, and it’s hard to know what to make of Outriders, the loot shooter that does not want to be called a loot shooter, nor a live service game. Early impressions of testing sessions seem positive, but it’s hard to know how the final product will land. As of right now, however, it seems to have a pretty open spot with an April debut.
Deathloop (May 21, PS5, PC) – Deathloop has had a very weird road. It’s been delayed significantly, as it was supposed to be a launch window game for PS5 last year. But past that, it’s from Bethesda, which is now owned by Microsoft, but has a timed exclusive deal from before that acquisition which has Deathloop being a console exclusive for PS5 for at least six months, it seems, that Microsoft has to honor. Got all that?
For now, that’s all I can really spot that jumps out at me, other than your usual live service type stuff, new seasons of Call of Duty and Apex Legends and Destiny 2 and such. It’s a little bit of a slow start to the year unless more games show up in this period, but that’s not a huge surprise.
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