In the midst of such intense anticipation and scrutiny, it’s easy to get carried away with what Cyberpunk 2077 could have been. The final experience might be more familiar than many predicted, with plenty of elements that aren’t perfect, but it’s dripping with detail and engaging stories. With so much to see and do, Cyberpunk 2077 is the kind of RPG where you blink and hours go by, which is just what we need to finish off 2020.
As far as next-gen titles go, Immortals Fenyx Rising is definitely one you should be adding to your list. It’s available on almost every platform – sorry, mobile gamers – and looks fantastic on the Xbox Series X, which I got to review it on. Overall, it’s a charming, cerebral and funny time-sink adventure that’ll really cheer you up and distract you if you’re having a quiet festive season this year.
Though somewhat stylistically uneven, Demon’s Souls PS5 manages to capture the spirit of the original game. The experience is certainly not for everyone, but if you manage to get your head around its steep learning curve and obtuse mechanics, Demon’s Souls will give you a rewarding experience, seeped in an unrelenting and oppressive atmosphere that you will almost certainly never forget.
Successful at what it sets out to do, however – providing a fun, interesting and exciting new adventure that fans of that game will surely enjoy. It won’t stay your appetite for Breath of the Wild 2 – but it’ll keep you occupied happily enough all the same.
It takes a while to really warm up to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and 15-20 hours in I wasn’t quite as keen on it as I am now; but that’s thanks to the game holding up, and actually giving you more as you play, in terms of plot, world, activities and getting to uncover the mysteries hidden deep within the game. It breaks some of the chains that the series was shackled in when it comes to design, while also boldly owning its own identity, too. It might not be The Witcher: Wild Hunt, or specifically do anything that breaks the wheel when it comes to open-world game design, but Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gets you invested. It’s a slow-burn that takes its time to show you its true colours before flourishing into a rewarding, meaty game that’ll keep you engaged over the winter months.
I hope it’s clear that I really enjoyed The Pathless, a game that prior to playing hadn’t really caught my eye. I hope it isn’t lost amongst the PS5’s bigger, noisier releases, as it’s something different and uplifting. It’s rare to find such tension and threat in a game that’s also so peaceful, but Giant Squid has managed it. In truth we could all do with a bit of light in our lives at the moment.
Launch games are rarely remembered as earth-shattering experiences years later, but at the time, elements of them always feel magical. On PS5, Miles Morales has both of these feelings down – it’s familiar and unsurprising, but some of its technical presentation will wow you nevertheless. If you’re picking up a PS5 on launch day, for that reason this will surely do.
I’ve been going back to Astro every now and again during my time with the PS5, the quick loading and options to launch to certain zones from the system’s main menu making it easy to spend a few minutes hunting down missing collectibles. But my main takeaway is that I really hope the DualSense is used properly for the life of the console and not just by Sony. I’m sure a lot of the third-party launch window titles will make decent use of its features, but if pushed properly this controller could be a huge selling point for Sony. The HD Rumble on Switch Joy-Cons was used well during the console’s early days, but has now seemingly fallen way down the list of developer priorities.