The Fanatical Blog
Best new PC game releases for Winter 2020
By Declan Barry - 2nd Dec 2020Games
It’s cold outside, but new game releases are going to be heating things up
The next-gen consoles may be out, and it's approaching the holiday season, but there are still red hot games coming out in the chilly season.
From gangster strategy titles to space exploration, there are lots of great games releasing over the next few months. Covering Role-Playing games, Simulation titles, and much more, you will find your next favorite game in this list of our top picks.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
The 15-year-old Japanese series is going in a different direction with a new protagonist, a new location, and even a new genre! Like a Dragon takes the hit action-adventure series and will make it into a Role Playing Game with strategy combat. However, you will still get the over the top action and whacky mini-games that you have come to love and expect from the series.
Focused around the new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga. The afro sporting character has just left prison after taking the blame for a murder he didn’t commit thinking this will win the respect of his clan. Instead, he was greeted by a bullet to the chest and dumped in trash piles in a whole other city. The story will be based on why he had to go to prison on a journey through many of Japan’s famous districts.
Within the game, you will be recruiting new characters to join your team and help in your quest. Each of these will be able to be leveled up through their job, with the job determining the attacks and skills they will be able to use in battle.
As for the battles, as I’ve already alluded to, these will be a turn-based strategy. Characters will fight in a 3d space with attacks turning into Quick Time Events. These can attack either one person or multiple, depending on the Kiwami Skill that you’ve spent your Mental Points on.
The environment also plays a part with Battle Techniques creating opportunities out of unique situations to deal major damage to your enemies.
Football Manager 2021
The game that not just immerses you in the hotseat of a Football Manager, but makes you go to bed dreaming about your next transfer window too!
Sports Interactive’s best-selling franchise is back like clockwork with its next addition and promises revolutionary upgrades in four key areas. Interaction has been overhauled in the 2021 version. You will now be able to communicate with gestures, rather than by the tone of your voice, meaning you can be friendly and open, or go full Fergie and throw a water bottle.
As well, long time fans can rejoice as press conferences are now more varied with the Press Officers and players joining you, and briefings to tell you what to talk about and what to avoid. Recruitment is also different with new meetings to help shape your window before it begins.
You can set where you want your team to focus in order to improve your squad, before ignoring them to consult that wonderkid list that you’ve been viewing since before the game was announced. You will now be able to get more information before a match and afterwards to make sure you get those vital three points.
With the matchday enhanced with new analytics, including the much-anticipated Expected Goals stats. The 3D pitch has been improved too with player models, animations and lighting all having a facelift to match the smoother 3D pitch that increases decision making for players.
This is the beautiful game after all and the new engine makes this version of FM the most realistic recreation of it to date. The last place that has had a big upgrade is the End of the Season screens. Now you will see the teams lift the trophy with more confetti cannons than before, plus the media will give pivotal season milestones more attention.
Once the season is wrapped up you will be able to bask in the glory of your achievements thanks to a new round-up presentation. Where you can view your biggest win, best team, and start to plan for next season by delving into your finances.
Empire of Sin
XCOM goes gangster with this turn-based strategy game. Empire of Sin puts you in the dapper criminal underworld of 1920s Chicago.
With randomly-generated starting conditions, players start with a racket and can interact with other bosses. These bosses will react to player actions based on their own personalities and can respond to charms, bribes or threats.
t’s not just other mob bosses though, police officers will need to be bribed, or defeated if they’re not going to be convinced to turn a blind eye to your illegal activities.
As a gang, you will have to defend and expand your territories from rival gangs. To do this, you’ve got to assemble your gang of 16 henchmen. These will also have different stats based on health, movement, and skills, such as marksmanship.
With a top-down view of the combat with actions costing points, recruiting the best soldiers will mean making sure that your henchmen match your style of play and your boss gives buffs for an extra advantage. All of this in aid of taking down the enemies with gorey executions when they’re incapacitated to match the brutal era.
Within the game, you will choose one of fourteen unique bosses based on fictional and real-world gangsters. These will be backed by deadly members that will go to the extremes so that their Don can seize power in Chicago’s infamous Prohibition Era.
These bosses will have unique abilities relating to Combat, Empire, and Diplomatic Bonuses. Take Al Capone for instance, he will be bearing his legendary Tommy Gun, and as an Empire Bonus, the Breweries will produce regular beer at the start of the game.
The way you win the game is by becoming the king or queen of the underworld. But how you do this can be by violence, social interaction, or even notoriety.
The World of Assassination trilogy is drawing to a close in January 2021 when IO interactive bring Agent 47's story to its conclusion with HITMAN 3.
The latest instalment in the rebooted HITMAN series, will introduce a fresh batch of stunning locations to explore - gifting '47 with the chance to seek out his targets and eliminate them in multiple ways - whether it's gruesome or just darn right hilarious.
HITMAN 3 will include new locations, as well as all the locations from the two previous titles. The story will take our favorite assassin to the tall buildings of Dubai, Dartmoor in England and the neon-lit streets of southwest China. With the English countryside particularly interesting as you will act as a detective in a murder mystery.
Debuting in HITMAN 3 is a new Virtual Reality mode. You will be able to put on your headset in the same levels as the main game to complete assassinations in first-person.
The legendary strategy series Stronghold is back for a major upgrade to the franchise as it recreates castle building in East Asia for the first time.
A historical campaign set from 3rd century BC China, to the rise of the Mongol Empire. This means that the game is stepped in realistic combat, with the arrival of gunpowder and the fire lance two weapons you can use to conquer your enemies.
The game will debut the ability to recruit, upgrade, and command AI lords across the battlefield. Each warlord under your control will have unique perks and upgradable abilities that you can harness in combat or through putting them to work in your fortresses - whether that is working in the industry, fortifying borders or, forging weapons!
They can even team up to form a deadly pincer attack. Alongside your warlords, you will be able to level up unlocking more powerful castles, armies, and abilities as your empire grows. But how you lead is up to you. You can choose to tax your civilians and torture them to be feared, or be admired through victories.
After Cyberpunk 2077 delayed the much-anticipated follow up to the EVERSPACE sequel, the Early Access of the space exploration game is coming out in January.
In the campaign, you will journey through open-world space finding loot and upgrades to progress to the end game. The environment is rich and full of interesting characters, mysteries, and treasures, with high-risk/high-reward areas that will reward skill with great gear.
It’s not just on the ground that you will be exploring with battles in space too. You will have to dodge, dash, rolls and boost with frantic dogfights against a variety of ships, including drones and heavy bombers. Of course, being an expert pilot is about using your environment to gain the upper hand too, with the game encouraging you to make use of your surroundings to beat your opposition.
There will also be RPG mechanics in the game, where you can craft new weapons and ship parts, with all ships having modular designs that you can customize to your liking.
It’s fair to say, there’s a lot of hype for the game with the game hitting €500k from nearly 8,000 backers on Kickstarter, and the work ROCKFISH Games have done on the title means it is a massive upgrade on the previous title. You could say it’s going to be out of this world!
Little Nightmares II
Following on from the critically acclaimed horror game, Little Nightmares 2 continues the dark theme with new villains. If atmospheric horror titles with amazing sound designs are your thing, then this is for you.
The sequel to the puzzle-platformer shows how Mono meets Six outside the Pale City. The pair will have to reach The Signal Tower controlled by the mysterious Thin Man, who has influenced the city with his transmissions.
But first, the duo will have to escape a rusty shotgun-wielding villain called The Hunter, and he is as menacing as any villain we saw in Little Nightmares. And to deal with the threats, Mono will have a few tricks up his sleeve, with the ability to brandish weapons and teleport through the televisions in order to progress through the levels.
Six isn’t just along for the ride too, the beloved protagonist of the first game will be AI-controlled and will assist Mono in areas. Such as by helping to pull off heavy boards from doors.