Monday 30 December 2019

What I'm Waiting For - Volume 8

With the New Year almost upon us, I felt it was time to talk some more about what I’m waiting for in 2020. As ever, I’m going to recap a few games I’d talked about in previous entries, then get into those new games. There were a few choices I could have made for this – including another look at the next LEGO game coming now that it’s seen a full announcement (except that would break the flow of addition and removal by effectively adding it twice), but the two I’ve chosen look to offer the greatest of experiences. Let’s look at the changes to the list of What I’m Waiting For.

When Jedi: Fallen Order was first announced with just a name and a brief description at E3 2018, it was the start of hoping for something greater than just a multiplayer shooter. It was the hope that after a rather bland decade for Star Wars gaming, things could finally get back on track and offer the players more options and varieties of gameplay within the world they loved.

As you might have seen from my recent first impressions post, Jedi: Fallen Order certainly delivered on giving an interesting story and lore within an interactable media. Solid gameplay and a well-told story combine to give an experience that Battlefront is unable to give to as great a degree. Even to the end, this was a great experience.

As for Daemon x Machina, it was a solid game. The gameplay was good, even if it never wowed me with any character interactions. But I didn’t get all that far into it, despite enjoying what I played. It had slipped off my radar soon after the E3 Special What I’m Waiting For, to reappear again near to release. The demo was announced but I didn’t play through it, focusing just on the gameplay alone.

That demo would have revealed something to me though. Much the same as the reason Yooka-Laylee got removed from my playlist, I discovered that while I loved the gameplay, there were no great experiences to be found within the game that were my own. I just had no personal connection I could latch onto, and it failed to keep me playing.

The two new games I’m adding to my list certainly look to offer the sort of personal connection I’m after. The first being Animal Crossing: New Horizons. That September Direct of 2018 that first announced it alongside the Smash Ultimate trailer had me looking forward to it greatly. Despite the fact we knew nothing about it other than that it was coming. The series has been a favourite of mine ever since the days of Wild World on the DS, and New Leaf on the 3DS was a great expansion of the series. With a new game, I was looking for something that could greatly expand the possibilities while remaining true to form.

Enter E3 and the true announcement for the game, where we saw that it was indeed expanding, but not in the way I expected it. The core of the series is still here, but now it gets a bit more personal as we build up an island for villagers to live and make it into a thriving community. The ability to put furniture outside for the first time in the series allows for a greater realm of possibilities in making that village your own – especially if there’s colour customisation for a greater range of furniture. It’s one I’m wanting to see more of and experience the joys of this new horizon for myself.

And speaking of E3, the second game I’m adding to my list was announced there. Discounting all the leaks that pretty much confirmed it as real beforehand, of course. Watch Dogs: Legion is taking the series to the UK and recreating London in an open setting, where the hacker group of DedSec aim to take back the freedom of the people from the government installed security firm of Albion. And unlike previous games where you only played as one person, this game opens that up to anyone you recruit to the cause.

It’s an interesting mechanic within the game, where your actions determine who will stand by you. While you are helping to liberate the people from the control of Albion, there could be collateral damage to someone’s life – whether through killing a friend or family member, or unknowingly giving them trouble – which makes them see DedSec as an annoyance or worse. Allowing actions to put an impact on the world not just through set visual changes but a natural progression of reactions and feelings of the people who inhabit the world is something I hope Ubisoft Toronto can pull off. If they do, it will be one of the greatest experiences to play.

As 2020 draws ever closer, there’s the knowledge that the gaming landscape is once again near to changing with the next generation of Playstation and Xbox machines. But that doesn’t mean Nintendo will be left behind, as they will have something to draw people in as ever. The outlook for what I’ll be waiting for next year will either be large or small depending on what new games start that generation off, but I am certainly waiting for that start to come.

What I'm Waiting For Series
Volume 1 / Volume 2 / Volume 3 / Volume 4 / Volume 5 / Volume 6 / E3 Special / Volume 7 / Volume 8

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