The year of 2021 remains a promising one for gamers, with several exciting titles being released throughout the year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, many studios and developers were forced to shut down physical operations and work from home, which led to the postponement of the release of plenty of anticipated games. However, this year, most of these studios were able to return to a normal routine, and are finally releasing some of these much awaited titles.
It’s also a good year for those of us who are tired of the same gameplays being recycled over and over again, whether it’s multiplayer shooters or battle royales. This year, a lot of innovative gameplays hit the shelves, bringing us incredible gaming experiences that will certainly quench our thirst for new titles.
Time loops are trending
Time loops have always been a popular plot device in fiction works, especially in books and movies, to add some depth and complexity to a narrative. But it seems that in 2021, time loops are trending among video game developers, as two upcoming titles have time loops incorporated in their gameplays.
Developed by a former Rockstar Games and Ubisoft artist, and published by Annapurna Interactive, 12 Minutes is an interactive adventure game scheduled to be released August for Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. The game takes place in an apartment building, and players take control of a husband who is stuck in a 12-minute time loop in which his pregnant wife is arrested for murder. From a top-down perspective, players must navigate through each loop and investigate the crime to change his wife’s fate and break the loop. 12 Minutes even features voice acting by Hollywood stars Willem Defoe and James McAvoy.
Revealed at E3 2019, Deathloop was one of the titles that was postponed last year due to the pandemic. The game was developed by Arkane Studios, who also worked on the Dishonored series, and published by Bethesda, and should arrive in stores in September, for PlayStation 5, under a one-year exclusivity deal, and Microsoft Windows. Players take control of Colt, an assassin trapped in a time loop, who is tasked to take out eight targets on an island called Blackreef before midnight, and failing to do so, or dying, causes the loop to reset. All the while, Colt is hunted by another assassin, who can be controlled by other players in the multiplayer mode.
Creating and exploring
Open-world games have been a popular genre for quite some time now, but these following titles will certainly take things to the next level, providing us comprehensive open-world maps, and intricate gameplays that will guarantee countless hours of entertainment.
Recently launched on the Ethereum blockchain, The Sandbox Game is an open-world interactive adventure developed and published by Animoca Brands. Within the game’s fully decentralized revolving metaverse, players are able to create virtual worlds and adventures, apply different gameplay mechanics, design characters and items, and visit other players’ creations. Using The Sandbox’s own cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens, players can monetize all content created, trade and sell assets in the marketplace, and even earn money through play-to-earn features.
Another promising title to be released later this year, Starbase is a space-based massively multiplayer game developed and published by independent studio Frozenbyte. The game is set in an open-world environment, and features an expanding and destructible universe, with an innovative physics engine that simulates space travels. The gameplay focuses on building spaceships and space stations, exploring, scavenging, and crafting. Starbase has been in development for five years and was another title that was postponed last year, but an early access version is already available on Steam.
For those tired of assuming the same roles over and over again, and don’t want to take control of a military soldier, a medieval warrior, or a mobster, there are some breathtaking adventures scheduled to be released this year that will certainly shake things up a bit.
Chorus is an upcoming space-flight combat shooter, developed and published by Deep Silver Fishlabs, and scheduled to be released later this year for Windows, Xbox consoles, and PlayStation consoles. Players take control of Chorus, a wanted fugitive on a quest to destroy the cult that created her. But what’s pretty cool about this game is that it also puts players in control of Chorus’ ship, a sentient starfighter called Forsaken.The game combines an exploration gameplay with space combat, featuring a compelling single-player experience and beautiful next gen graphics in 4K resolution.
If space-travel and combat isn’t your thing, the next game also features an unusual playable character. Developed by French independent studio BlueTwelve Studio, Stray is expected to be released later this year for PlayStation consoles and Microsoft Windows. This game puts players in control of a stray cat on a journey to reunite its fellow stray cats with their families. With a stealth gameplay, players are tasked to explore a futuristic city populated by robots, sneak around to solve several puzzles, and outsmart the robots with the help of a small flying drone called B12.