Combat, Weaponry, and Forces of Hell: The Best New Video Games of 2020

Ulises Duenas

 

Everyone blows off steam differently. Especially during the current coronavirus pandemic, many of us need some catharsis to battle stress, and there's nothing better than a solid video game to entertain us and combat worry or fatigue. The following games rate as some of 2020's best releases thus far.

 

Doom Eternal

 

Doom Eternal is one of the greatest video game sequels of all time. It not only elevates everything from the previous entry, but it adds a lot of new mechanics that work incredibly well together. Aside from the fast and brutal action that the series is known for, Eternal also adds platforming. You wouldn’t think that making careful jumps from platform to platform would fit in this kind of game, but it manages to feel fast and responsive. It adds another layer to the exploration so that navigating levels don’t feel like a chore between gunfights. 

 

The weapon variety is a big reason why combat is so addictive in this game. It’s not just about picking the right tool for the job. A player also needs to manage their ammo and know when it’s time to switch or use one of the new combat tools like freeze grenades or flamethrowers. The comical levels of gore combined with the heavy metal soundtrack and ridiculous speed make for a shooter experience that is unparalleled. 

 

The story of Doom Eternal can be hard to follow. The forces of Hell have invaded Earth, and it’s up to the fabled Doomslayer to destroy the hordes of demons. There was a good deal of events that happened between games that aren’t directly explained to the player. That said, the developers have made a great effort of adding background to the game. That means players who don’t want the combat to stop don’t have to sit there while long cutscenes explain everything that’s happening. The whole thing is like a cranked-up heavy metal album cover come to life.

 

 

Nioh 2

 

The original Nioh managed to blend elements from many different action games into something that feels unique and satisfying. Punishing gameplay that requires fast reflexes and planning combined with a beautiful setting and flashy graphics equaled a game that rivaled the Dark Souls series. The sequel does almost everything it needs to elevate itself to the next level. New weapons, better action, better bosses, and even an interesting story make Nioh 2 a must-play for plans of the rising “masocore” genre. 

 

The player takes control of a half-demon, half-human mercenary who treks across feudal Japan in the 1500s to rid the country of demons called yokai and unite the warring states. The new plot element of having demon blood also changes up the gameplay quite a bit. The player is able to unleash new abilities that can transform them into one of three yokai forms that are capable of making quick work of difficult enemies. 

 

Character customization adds replay value to an already lengthy game. Not only can the player create their own male or female character, but they can change even the smallest details of their combat gear. Whether it’s from looting or smithing, the player can outfit their character with different weapons and armor ranging from dual swords and ninja robes to heavy axes and gold-plated armor.

 

A big selling of Nioh 2 are its boss fights. Not only do the bosses in this game have beautiful and varied visuals designs, but they’re also challenging and require different strategies to overcome. Finally overcoming a difficult boss after several attempts creates a feeling of relief and strength. 

 

 

Final Fantasy VII Remake

 

The original announcement for this long-anticipated remake brought tears to some people’s eyes. The original Final Fantasy VII from 1997 is one of the most beloved games of all time, and news of it being completely remade brought big hopes as well as some caution. Concerns grew when it was announced that the project would be too big to tackle at once and had to be split up into different parts. Now that the first part is finally released, it’s clear that this remake was worth the effort -- for the most part.

 

Not only have the visuals and combat system been overhauled, but even the story has been altered to some shocking degree. The graphics are beautiful and make the city of Midgar look more alive than ever. The general aesthetic blends elements of traditional fantasy and science fiction and that makes the setting and character designs more memorable. 

 

The story of a ragtag group fighting a giant, evil energy company in order to save their planet is a simple premise elevated by great characters. The main cast have differing personalities, and stretching out the beginning of their journey for this remake was a surprisingly good idea. Seeing them change and grow at a more realistic pace is one of the best aspects of the game.

 

While the story is mostly the same as the original and only suffers from minor pacing issues, there’s a hard turn in both regards once players reach the last couple chapters of the game. Plot events feel stretched thin, and the story then goes completely off the rails. After a certain point, the story doesn’t even resemble the original, and the gauntlet of pointless fights become extremely tedious. As bad as those chapters can be, they don’t overshadow what is otherwise a fantastic game.

 

Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a freelance writer.

 

For Highbrow Magazine

 

Image Sources:

--Google Images: Xbox, PlayStation

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