2021 already looks chock-full of promising titles. After a decent year of releases in 2020, Edge writers narrowed down the games most exciting for them. Between Hogwarts and Blackreef, there’s plenty for players to sink their teeth into.
Despite J. K. Rowling’s controversial and hurtful opinions, there’s no denying that the world of Harry Potter and in particular Hogwarts is the perfect setting for an RPG. Set prior to the events of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in the late 1800s, Hogwarts Legacy will have you create your own character and explore a magical world to your heart’s desire. Stuffed to the brim with magical creatures, chances to learn and cast new spells, a narrative focused on a character you create and the alliances they forge; the game promises to deliver on all those core RPG mechanics while also expanding the wealth of history created since the conception of the Wizarding World in Rowling’s first novel back in 1997. It’s set to be a truly unique gaming experience that will allow players a level of interaction with the world that many of us have only ever dreamed of. What makes the game even better? The fact Rowling’s involvement with the project has been delightfully minimal.
– Sam Pegg
Welcome to Blackreef. Home of parties and fun galore, with a changing world design depending on the time of day. The central mechanic of Deathloop is perhaps what drew me most to it; the main character Colt is stuck in a time loop, and leaving even one of his eight targets alive before midnight will reset the loop all over again.
Developed by Bethesda, the game presents some features which bring to mind Dishonoured and Prey – particularly that mechanic where the player can teleport short distances over gaps and right up to targets. Developers have said that in Deathloop, knowledge is power, and being able to adapt to the world and the consequences of your choices.
Right from its announcement at E3 2019, the 60s art style had me enthralled. Add in some suspicious trailer details and a mystery to solve and I was sold. Releasing on PlayStation 5, Deathloop even makes use of the DualSense controller’s abilities, physically stopping vibrations when your guns jam!
– Louise Chase
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
2016’s Ratchet & Clank PS4 reboot was its own little masterclass in reworking a dwindling franchise. With a modest price point, a more clear-cut comedic focus and great platforming-combat gameplay, it was an appealing and easy buy for many. Rift Apart, 2021’s successor, promises to follow this with more of the installment-to-installment gimmick-jumping that the series has always flirted with. With help from the PS5’s wizard SSD capabilities, players will be able to travel nearly instantly between different areas and worlds via the use of a new dimension-hopping mechanic. Far apart from being technologically novel, it’s also exciting to consider where this setup will take the game. Now that 2016’s origin story is out of the way, Insomniac can start telling original stories again; the female lombax and multiple realities teased in the trailer certainly makes me excited for the narrative’s direction. I’m sure we won’t get another A Crack in Time, but I’m optimistic that this one could come close.
– Harry Geeves
Horizon Forbidden West
As a sequel to the phenomenal Horizon Zero Dawn, Forbidden West promises to deliver on everything that made the first game great while updating and adding new features to improve upon the base experience. Continuing the story of Aloy and her journey to understand the world around her and what caused the devastation to the human population, Forbidden West will see Aloy chart the west of America and experience new cultures and creatures in an effort to understand the metal machines that rule the world around her. While details are still sparse on the game’s conception at current, you can guarantee the game will offer a similarly compelling narrative, amazing bow-and-arrow gameplay (most definitely making use of the PS5’s adaptive triggers), and a level of world-building and beauty that will make this second game just as compelling as the first. Undeniably my most anticipated game of 2021 (Horizon Zero Dawn is my favourite game of all time after all), more trailers and release date information can’t come any sooner.
– Sam Pegg