It is 2021 and things will hopefully get better in the world and hopefully this country as well. And with a new year, a plethora of new video games accompany it. With the pandemic having affected mostly every video game in one way or another, the games of this year that I am looking forward to may not actually release and could very easily slip into 2022.

So, without further adieu, here are the games of 2021 I am looking forward to. If they release this year that is. If you want to listen to Emmett Watkins Jr. and special guest Hunter Davenport talk about their top ten, on the other hand, check out this episode of Player’s Club!

5. MLB 21: The Show (San Diego Studios) Release Date: 4/20/2021

MLB The Show 21 (2021)
Credit: MLB

I know I know, I unofficially shill for this game series every chance I get but that is not without reason. MLB The Show has been the most consistent sports franchise I have seen since the glory days of Madden during the 90s to the 2000s. But what makes this time different is the mind-breaking revelation that MLB The Show which had been a PlayStation exclusive from 2006-2020, is going to be on Microsoft’s Xbox One and Series S/X. This news was revealed last year with the intention to have the game go beyond PlayStation platforms “as early as 2021.” I am still hoping however that The Show comes to PC sometime in the future but I won’t hold my breath. Obviously, the Xbox SKUs won’t be published by Sony with MLB publishing those versions and Sony taking care of the PS4/PS5 editions.

Are there things about the game that I am concerned about? Yes. I have mentioned the fear I have on numerous episodes of WIN and Player’s Club regarding the possibility of this year’s version of The Show either not having as many improvements due to the many different platforms the game will be on, or even if the Xbox version will be a good game. But at the same time, I am completely excited for the evolution of The Show on PS5. From PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4, there have been noticeable differences visually, and with the way MLB 20 runs on the PS5 I am looking forward to more detailed visuals, the revamped Franchise and March to October modes I thoroughly enjoy spending time and money on, and hopefully some changes to the commentary.

4. Mass Effect: Legendary Edition (BioWare) Release Date: 5/14/2021

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition (2021)
Credit: BioWare

The first Mass Effect game, in 2007 was the impetus that truly broadened my horizons. It gave me the drive to want to expand my palette and try games that I wouldn’t normally go for. This included games like Eternal Sonata, Blue Dragon, and Lost Odyssey. All were JRPG’s, a game genre I had little to no experience with as the only type of role-playing game I had any experience with was western RPG’s such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and KotOR II: The Sith Lords. The former being made by BioWare and giving me the incentive to see that studio put out another great title.

With the recent news about Mass Effect 2’s camera angles focusing on certain character’s behinds being changed for the Legendary Edition, I am indifferent to the massive “outcry” of players who are screaming about censorship on Twitter. With that said, I am extremely excited that I’ll be able to replay this trilogy again. I’m still hoping that Mass Effect 1 is fixed what with all the issues that seem to make it the black sheep of the trilogy. While I do love Mass Effect 2, I’m a bit apprehensive about when I get to Mass Effect 3. I haven’t played it since 2012 and while I will say that I never played the Citadel or Extended Cut DLC’s, I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out this time around. From 2007 to 2010, to 2012, and finally to 2021 I am going to finally complete Mass Effect over the course of a few days.

3. Resident Evil: Village (Capcom) Release Date: 5/7/2021

Resident Evil: Village (2021)
Credit: Capcom

When Resident Evil 7: BioHazard released in 2017 I was a tad confused. On many levels as well. A Resident Evil game in a first-person view? No zombies? Entirely new characters? Well, the game felt like Resident Evil 1 and 4 had a baby that mixed the horror aspect of the first Resident Evil with the fresh feel of Resident Evil 4. While only one of the original Resident Evil characters shows up in a confusing manner I still to this day, four years later, feel shocked that the game was as fun as it ended up being. All that said, I had a ton of fun with Resident Evil 7. Sure, it could have been improved upon before or during development. Things such as the ‘Molded’ could have been expanded upon or another enemy type could have been introduced to offer up some variety when it came to enemy types. I did enjoy watching the Super Best Friends Let’s Play of it with Matt and Pat losing it at all the cool moments in the game such as the fight with Mia in the opening of the game, the boss battle with Jack Baker in the garage, and they, like all of us not even guessing who the old woman was until the revelation on the tanker.

Now, in 2021 let’s talk about RE8‘s Lady Dimitrescu who everyone on the internet is thirsting on. This 9 and a half foot tall vampire is breaking the internet and is getting cosplayed and the game isn’t even out yet! I guess that shows what gets people going during a pandemic… What I am excited about in this Resident Evil installment, is Capcom going all out with the inclusion of Vampires, Werewolves, and who knows what else could be lurking in this rural evil town. If I were to see a Mummy or Frankenstein’s monster in Resident Evil: Village I honestly wouldn’t say it would be a “jump the shark” moment as that already happened 3 games ago with Chris “I Smash Boulders” Redfield in Resident Evil 5. I haven’t played the Maiden demo due to me being a little baby who needs to have a weapon of any type for defensive purposes. From what I can infer, the “Maiden” demo is named after the woman Raul affectionately refers to as “big booba” for whom the collective internet wants to step on them. What that kink means, I have no clue.

2. Back 4 Blood (Turtle Rock) Release Date: 6/22/2021

Credit: WB Games

Going back to what I said about Mass Effect broadening my horizons, Left 4 Dead was one of the games I was interested in along with Mass Effect. The game looked like an over the top version of Rambo meets 28 Days Later as if you could go more over the top with Rambo. Not long after watching the gameplay of it on G4’s E3 2007 coverage, the game got delayed to 2008. So once 2008 came around my friends at the time and I would have hourlong sessions of killing different types of zombies. A year later with Left 4 Dead 2, it got even crazier. I don’t remember much excitement toward Evolve which was the next game for Left 4 Dead developer Turtle Rock. While it was a success with 2.5 million copies sold in 2015, fans of Left 4 Dead wanted a third entry into the popular post-apocalyptic zombie FPS series.

Even though Back 4 Blood was technically announced in 2019, it made a bigger splash at last year’s Game Awards where people like me assumed it really was Left 4 Dead 3. Despite not being Left 4 Dead 3, Back 4 Blood had a closed alpha that showed people who played it what the final product would resemble. The main game has introduced a card system that will shake things up and instead of making it from one safe room to another unharmed, players will need to create safe areas in the open. During the reveal trailer, there were unique forms of undead that are rather frightening. These weren’t the types of zombies seen in L4D but some rather gargantuan looking monsters instead that apparently take a lot of damage before dying. There is good news however for people who don’t wish to play the card game version of Back 4 Blood, with a classic mode that is closer to Left 4 Dead.

  1. Rumored Star Wars Shooter (EA) Release Date: TBA 2021
2021 Star Wars Shooter
Credit: LucasArts

Okay, hear me out on this one, Star Wars News Net is reporting that a medium-sized Star Wars shooter is in development. As soon as I saw that news I immediately knew that this was going to be my number one most anticipated game of 2021. From what SWNN is saying, a Reddit user by the name of u/OrcaOrcaisnotalone is claiming about the game:

  • The project has been in development for more than two years now.
  • It’s something closer to Star Wars Squadrons than EA’s other Star Wars triple-A releases.
  • It’s a shooter, but it could be first or third-person.
  • Releasing on all major platforms in Q4 2021.
  • It’s being built in Unreal Engine 4 (used by Fallen Order).

There are so many different directions EA could go with this it’s not even funny. They could do a sequel to the cult classic Republic Commando, they could make a Dark Forces-esque game, they could even do a shooter set in the time period of Squadrons which was post-Return of the Jedi. Now that I think of it, it would be more convenient to put a Star Wars shooter in what I call the “Mandalorian-era” where it isn’t involved with the Original trilogy or Sequel trilogy. Regardless of what this game is about, or when it is slated to release, I am excited either way.

And there you have it, the Top Five games of 2021 I am looking forward to playing. Sure, some of the games on this list are obvious ones but I am hotly anticipating these games. What games of 2021 are you looking forward to?

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