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Video games preview 2021: every release date from Halo to God Of War


Horizon Forbidden West – hopefully out this year (pic: Sony)

A new year is upon us and as the world hopes for better tidings gamers hope for less delays on games like God Of War and Halo Infinite.

Thank god 2020 is over. How much better 2021 is going to be we obviously can’t say but it’s hard to be certain even when it comes to just video games. The list of potential new titles is certainly a long one but many of them don’t have exact dates and a lot of them have been delayed before and are likely to be again.

Most publishers probably aren’t sure what’s going to happen this year either and we’d certainly expect the first half of the year to be little different from 2020, in terms of sparse releases and a lack of information. Hopefully things will improve as the months goes on, although whether there’ll be a proper E3 in June, with the usual number of new announcements, remains to be seen.

In terms of games that are, mostly, guaranteed to come out though there is already a good crop, including Hitman 3, The Medium, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Resident Evil Village, Gotham Knights, Hogwarts Legacy, and the new God Of War. Even so, it’s a mostly uncertain future and one that may quickly make a nonsense of these release predictions.

Confirmed for 2021

20 January – Hitman 3 (XO/PS4/NS/XSX/PS5/PC/Stadia)
The first big release of the year is also the first self-published title by Hitman creators IO Interactive, with the new game promising six new locations, including Dubai, Dartmoor, and Chongqing.

28 January – The Medium (XSX/PC)
The first big budget Xbox Series X console exclusive is a very promising looking survival horror with a light/dark world gimmick that seems to make excellent use of the SSD.

2 February – Outriders (XO/PS4/XSX/PS5/PC)
Gears Of War developer People Can Fly try to break out on their own with this new Square Enix-published IP that feels like a cross between Destiny and… Gears Of War.

12 February – Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (NS)
Incredibly this is the only confirmed Nintendo-developed game on the entire list and even it’s a Wii U port – although it’s one that many haven’t played, despite it being one of the best Mario games ever.

26 February – Bravely Default 2 (NS)
Square Enix’s Switch exclusive has already been delayed once, which also puts this new release date in question, for this keenly awaited sequel to the retro styled role-player.

19 March – Returnal (PS5)
Sony’s first PlayStation 5 exclusive of the year (unless Ratchet & Clank makes it out earlier) is this intriguing third person action game from Resogun and Nex Machina developer Housemarque.

26 March – Monster Hunter Rise (NS)
Capcom has two Monster Hunter games out on Switch this year, a sequel to the more niche Monster Hunter Stories, and this impressive looking alternative to Monster Hunter: World.

26 March – Balan Wonderworld (XO/PS4/NS/XSX/PS5/PC)
A spiritual sequel to Sega Saturn classic NiGHTS by Sonic creator Yuji Naka sounds like a fan dream come true, and it surely can’t be any worse than official sequel NiGHTS: Journey Of Dreams.

26 March – It Takes Two (XO/PS4/XSX/PS5/PC)
The new game from the creator of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and A Way Out is another promising looking co-op game, about a couple turned into dolls and forced to work together to save their marriage.

22 April – Humankind (PC/Stadia)
Sid Meier’s Civilization has gone decades without any real competition but this new epic-scale strategy game is aiming to do just that, even if it looks near identical at first glance.

21 May – Deathloop (PS5/PC)
The new game from Dishonored developer Arkane Studios looks to be an interesting mix of that game and Groundhog Day, although, despite Microsoft now owning publisher Bethesda, this is a timed PlayStation 5 exclusive.

22 June – Back 4 Blood (XO/PS4/PC)
The spiritual sequel to Left 4 Dead, by original creators Turtle Rock Studios, looks like an official sequel in all but name, but will it reclaim the crown for four-player co-op shooters?

Q1/Q2 – Mass Effect: Legendary Edition (XO/PS4/PC)
Mass Effect 4 has now been officially announced but the only new release we’ll get this year is this long-rumoured trilogy remaster – as well as a bunch of new merchandise, including an artbook.

Q3/Q4 – Grand Theft Auto 5 (XSX/PS5)
Still a top 10 hit over seven years after it was first released, GTA 5 will now have the unique distinction of being released at full price for three generations in a row.

Q3/Q4 – Horizon Forbidden West (PS4/PS5)
Sony has barely said or shown anything for this much anticipated sequel, but it is still down for an autumn release. We’d start to worry if there’s not an update fairly early in the year though.

Q1/Q2 Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PS5)
Clearly originally intended to be a launch title, this still seems on course to be released relatively early this year and should represent the most vigorous workout the PlayStation 5 has been given so far.

Q3/Q4 – Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 (XO/PS4/XSX/PS5/PC)
Already a game with a very troubled development, regardless of coronavirus, Bloodlines 2 lost its creative director and lead writer back in August, so an autumn release may be being optimistic.

Autumn – Halo Infinite (XO/XSX/PC)
What was originally intended to be a launch title is now not expected until next Christmas at the earliest. Despite rumours, there’s no suggestion so far that Microsoft is dropping the Xbox One version.

2021 – Cyberpunk 2077 (XSX/PS5)
As CD Projekt’s reputation lies in tatters one way they’ll be looking to earn it back is by making the best possible job of the next gen versions of Cyberpunk. No release date has ever been hinted at though and it’ll probably be later rather than sooner given the current last gen priorities.

2021 – Resident Evil Village (XSX/PS5/PC)
A nasty hacking scam has revealed many of Capcom’s secrets for the next year but officially there’s no indication of when Resident Evil 8 will be out or whether they’ll seek to change anything given the leaks.

2021 – Gotham Knights (XO/PS4/XSX/PS5/PC)
After years of waiting, we finally have a new Batman game, except… Batman’s not in it. Instead, it features four of his sidekicks and an unexpected role-playing angle. The co-op features should be interesting though.

2021 – The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum (XO/PS4/NS/XSX/PS5/PC)
It’s hard to tell how big this game is going to be, as it’s apparently not primarily an action title, but it was one of the first next gen games to be announced, which hopefully means the visuals will be interesting.

2021 – Hogwarts Legacy (XO/PS4/XSX/PS4/PC)
After years of waiting the timing for Warner’s Harry Potter role-player couldn’t be worse, given how J. K. Rowling has been carrying on recently, which is probably why we haven’t heard anything more about the game since it was announced for this year.

2021 – Untitled God Of War sequel (PS5)
Arguably the biggest question here is whether this follow-up to the God Of War reboot will also be released on PlayStation 4. Currently nothing is known about the game other than what was implied by the original game and the hints about it involving, and possibly being subtitled, Ragnarök.

2021 – Ghostwire: Tokyo (PS5/PC)
We weren’t big fans of The Evil Within but a new game by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami is always something to get excited about and we actually like that we know so little about this one and its ‘karate meets magic’ first person action.

2021 – Psychonauts 2 (XO/PS4/PC)
We’re not clear if Double Fine’s delay was because of the coronavirus or not but we’re sure it didn’t help. The unexpected sequel is currently down for this year though, so hopefully it’s relatively close to being finished.

2021 – Rainbow Six Quarantine (XO/PS4/XSX/PS5/PC)
There’s been so little information, or excitement, about Ubisoft’s sci-fi take on Rainbow Six that we keep expecting it to get cancelled, but apparently it’s still coming out sometime this year.

2021 – Gran Turismo 7 (PS5)
There are few things in the world less reliable than a Gran Turismo release date but for now at least this seems to be aiming for a 2021 launch, although it’s already been delayed from the first half of the year.

2021 – S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (XSX/PC)
Given how little we’ve seen of it so far this seems an optimistic one to put down for a 2021 release but that’s what developer GSC is aiming for when it comes to their mix of first person shooter and survival horror.


Possible for 2020

Far Cry 6 (XO/PS4/XSX/PS5/PC/Stadia)
Originally intended for release in February this now has no release date at all, not even a promise of 2021. You’d assume that was still the plan though, unless the delay was for more than just the coronavirus.

Dying Light 2 (XO/PS4/PC)
At one point this was due out in 2021 but now there’s not even a target year. The pandemic took its toll on Techland and so did losing lead writer Chris Avellone due to sexual misconduct allegations, but hopefully it’ll be out sometime this year.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 (XSX/PC)
Originally implied to be an Xbox Series X launch title, there’s been no substantial update on Ninja Theory’s sequel since then, but the implication still seems to be that it’ll be one of the earlier first party Xbox titles.

Bayonetta 3 (NS)
It’s anyone’s guess what’s going on with PlatinumGames’ third person action game, but it was first announced in 2017 so you’d hope there’s a good chance it will finally be out this year.

Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild sequel (NS)
Although many hoped to see it at The Game Awards there’s now less clue than ever as to when to expect this sequel, or even when we’ll see it again in public. Although in that sense there’s as much hope for a 2021 launch as any other.

Final Fantasy 16 (PS5)
You’d expect this to be a few years away, yet rumours suggest it’ll be out sooner than most fans expect. Whether that means 2021 we’ll have to wait and see but Square Enix has certainly promised a new preview early in the year.

Overwatch 2
At first it seemed as if Blizzard were going for an early launch, after the unveil in 2019, but then coronavirus happened and it’s barely been mentioned again since. An update is promised in February though.

Baldur’s Gate 3 (PC/Stadia)
The game’s already in early access and has been since October but there’s little clue as to when it’ll be finished, with no guarantee of 2021 – but it is a possibility.

Forza Motorsport (XSX/PC)
2019 was the first year in almost a decade not to have a new Forza so it seems likely Microsoft will be aiming for this reboot to come out in 2021, although little is known about it at the moment.


Unlikely for 2021

Elden Ring
Yet another game that hasn’t been heard of since it was first announced. A 2021 release isn’t out of the question but given the lack of news on From’s Dark Souls follow-up it seems fairly unlikely.

New Assassin’s Creed
A new Assassin’s Creed is never far away but so far there’s no suggestion there’ll be a new one out in 2021. We should start to hear about it at some point though (via leaks, if nothing else).

Diablo 4
Pre-coronavirus and Diablo 4 seemed like it was on the fast track but it hasn’t been seen in public for a year now and that means the chances of even an alpha or beta are probably quite limited.

Fable (XSX/PC)
It was an open secret for years before it was officially announced but thanks to coronavirus and the fact that it seems to be an Xbox Series X exclusive, which we were told wouldn’t happen for the first couple of years, it means it almost certainly isn’t coming out this year.

Dragon Age 4
This is supposed to be BioWare’s next game but given how limited a preview it got at The Game Awards in December it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be ready any time soon. As for Mass Effect 4, that seems even further off at the moment.

Metroid Prime 4 (NS)
If it wasn’t for the pandemic we may have already started to learn more about Nintendo’s restarted sequel but so far we still haven’t even got the much-rumoured remaster trilogy, so a release this year seems out of the question.

State Of Decay 3 (XSX/PC)
If Cyberpunk 2077 does end up meaning less tolerance for broken launch games then Undead Labs better clean up their act given the state of their last two open world zombie games.

Starfield
Bethesda’s first big name game since being bought by Microsoft (not counting Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo) there’s a reasonable chance we’ll start to see footage this year, but probably not a release.

The Elder Scrolls 6
There’s zero chance of getting this, as Bethesda has said multiple times that it’s several years away yet and that Starfield is their current priority.

Avowed (XSX/PC)
The reveal trailer for Obsidian’s new first person action role-player looked like it owed a lot to Skyrim, which may become a bit awkward now Microsoft owns Bethesda. The game’s nowhere near finished though so that won’t be a problem this year.

Perfect Dark (XSX/PC)
Another game whose timing is hard to guess at but the fact that it was only unveiled last month and we haven’t seen any gameplay footage yet suggests it’s not going to arriving any time soon.

Beyond Good And Evil 2
Now that Michel Ancel has left Ubisoft it’s frankly surprising that this sequel hasn’t already been cancelled, given how long it’s taken, but although it has no date it is still in development, allegedly.

Grand Theft Auto 6
There is actually a reasonable chance that we might get an announcement of a new GTA this year, but almost certainly not a release – given the next gen versions of GTA 5 are out this autumn.

Also confirmed for 2020

26 January – Stronghold: Warlords (PC)
28 January – Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny (PS4/NS)
2 February – Ys 9: Monstrum Nox (PS4)
11 February – Little Nightmares 2 (XO/PS4/NS/PC)
23 February – Persona 5 Strikers (PS4/NS/PC)
25 February – Ghosts ‘N Goblins Resurrection (NS)
Q1 – Kena: Bridge Of Spirits (PS4/PS5/PC)
Q1/Q2 – Oddworld: Soulstorm (PS4/NS/NS/PC)
Q1/Q2 – R-Type Final 2 (XO/PS4/NS/XSX/PC)
9 April – Guilty Gear Strive (PS4/PS4/PC)
23 February – Persona 5 Strikers (PS4/NS)
18 March – Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time Remake (XO/PS4/PC)
23 April – NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… (XO/PS4/PC)
10 May – Hood: Outlaws & Legends (XO/PS4/XSX/PS5/PC)
Q1/Q2 – Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne HD Remaster (PS4/NS)
Summer – Scarlet Nexus (XO/PS4/XSX/PS5/PC)
Q3 – The Good Life (XO/PS4/NS/PC)
2021 – The Ascent (XO/XSX/PC)
2021 – Scorn (XSX/PC)
2021 – Chorus: Rise As One (XO/PS4/XSX/PS5/PC/Stadia)
2021 – Goodbye Volcano High (PS4/PS5/PC)
2021 – No More Heroes 3 (NS)
2021 – Warhammer 40,000: Darktide (XSX/PC)
2021 – Shin Megami Tensei 5 (NS)

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