Alt:Mag's Games to Watch Out for in 2020

2020 is here at last, and with it the promise of new things – whether it’s a new start, new opportunities, or simply a new you, the new year has something for everyone. As for us, there are three things we’re most excited for at Alt:Mag: new games, new TV shows, and new films. In this feature – the first in a three-part series – we’ll be hearing from our writers which video games they’re waiting for, and when they’re due to arrive. They may be coming next month, next season, or even at the end of the year, but they all have something in common… they’ve got us all chomping at the bit to play them right now!


Sakura Wars - SEGA, April 28th 2020 (Picked by Lewis Cox)

Our editor, Lewis, is waiting for the long-awaited reboot of Sega’s Sakura Wars. “It’s a franchise that has stayed in Japan for the longest time,” says Lewis. “The only entry to ever reach the West was the fifth instalment, So Long, My Love, back in 2010. The more widely praised early entries were never officially released in English. However, Sega appears to have breathed new life into this dormant franchise with its upcoming reboot.” Sakura Wars is a tactical RPG / visual novel game with dating sim elements, set in a Steampunk version of 1940's Japan. “The gameplay is probably most similar to Fire Emblem,” says Lewis, “so if you love that series, you’re bound to love Sakura Wars. This game looks set to take everything that was great about the original games and bring it into the sparkly realm of next-gen 3D. The gameplay shows a beautiful visual upgrade to what was already an elegant franchise. I think many gamers who were never aware of this franchise before will become big fans!” The new Sakura Wars is due to arrive on PlayStation 4 in North America and Europe this spring.

Little Nightmares II - Bandai Namco, TBD 2020 (Picked by Liv Gamble)

If you were a fan of 2017's smash hit Little Nightmares, you're probably aware that its sequel is set to arrive this year - and it's very eagerly anticipated! Liv couldn't be more excited. "The first game spun us an enchanting, horrific tale, but left fans with a lot of questions: Who is the Lady? What's the deal with the Maw? Who - or perhaps more fittingly, what - is Six? And is it even her real name? I was beginning to think we'd never have answers to these questions, especially with the developers being tight-lipped. But, Little Nightmares II might surprise us." In this sequel, we'll play as Mono, another youngster trying to find his way in the games' feverishly terrifying world. He's joined by none other than Six - the heroine of LMI - and together they'll journey to the Signal Tower to uncover its secrets and save Six from her own terrible fate. "Right now," Liv says, "there seem to be more questions than answers - but I've got high hopes that LMII will clear the fog and be another fantastic game in the process!" We'll all find out when the game arrives on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch this year.

Cyberpunk 2077 - CD Projekt Red,  September 17th 2020 (Picked by Ben Williams)

"It's like Skyrim, but in the future and Keanu Reeves is there." Easy words to describe Cyberpunk 2077, but as Ben rightfully says, "they don't do the upcoming first-person RPG justice!" It's the latest game by Polish developers CD Projekt Red, who last took the world by storm with the Witcher franchise. Geralt's Continent was a massive, gorgeous medieval world ravaged by war and depravity - and Cyberpunk's Night City promises an even larger world as seedy as it is grand. Its customisation is nothing to sniff at either. "If your average RPG's customisation is on a scale of 1 to 10, CD Projekt Red takes it up to 20! Its perk tree hosts a plethora of possibilities for whatever playstyle you want, whether you love to use blades, guns, hacking, or even athletics to kill futuristic gangsters. There's just as much fun to be had out of combat; you can choose your gender, sexuality, and whatever sci-fi aesthetic works for you. And through black market dealers and shady doctors, you can acquire all manner of cybernetic enhancements for another layer of skills and thrills! Whatever you see yourself doing in Night City - being the hero or running from the law - the world of Cyberpunk 2077 is your oyster!" Players will get to enter Night City on September 17th on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Google's cloud service Stadia.

Shantae and the Seven Sirens - WayForward, TBD 2020 (Picked by Harrison Fleming)

Our last writer, Harrison, hasn’t held a gamepad in a while – but even he has something to look forward to in Shantae and the Seven Sirens. It’s the next entry in WayForward’s flagship series and promises a return to its Metroidvania roots. “The story’s promising too,” says Harry. “Shantae and her friends go to a tropical island for their first holiday. On their arrival, the island’s mayor invites Shantae to perform at a half-genie festival, where she meets other half-genie girls for the first time. The excitement is short-lived though – on opening night, Shantae’s co-stars disappear and she must scour the island to find them.” Unlike its predecessor Half-Genie Hero, Seven Sirens will feature a 2D, interconnected world much like the original games. However, there will be new gimmicks too – including “Fusion Magic” for new transformations and a collectible card system to customise Shantae’s abilities! And if that wasn’t enough, we’re getting animated cutscenes courtesy of Studio Trigger (creators of Kill la Kill and Promare)! The game had a soft launch on Apple Arcade last year, giving subscribers a demo of Shantae’s next adventure – but the full game’s due to land on PC, iOS, Switch, Xbox & PS4 this year. A clear release date hasn’t been set yet, but knowing the chaps at WayForward, Seven Sirens is bound to be worth the wait!

What games are you looking forward to this year? Leave us a comment here or on Facebook and Twitter, and tell us which upcoming games you can't wait to play! And if TV's more your cup of tea, then keep your eyes peeled for our next feature - we'll be covering new seasons and whole new shows in our next 2020 article!

Alt:Mag © Kaizo Minds Collective 2023 | Layout designed by Rumah Dijual and Lewis Cox.