We're being treated like videogame royalty right now. 2020 is not only the year we finally end our 3000-day wait for Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord, but it's also the year we welcome the return of two PC gaming juggernauts. It's been far, far too long since we've welcomed a new Age of Empires and a new Half-Life. 2020 is shaping up to be an absolutely belting year for PC exclusives.
I don’t know about anyone else, but one of my favourite things from my childhood of PC gaming was building massive great cities and civilizations, whether that was in Sim City, The Settlers, Caesar, or just about of the other classic strategy series. Blue Byte’s Anno series has carried the torch for the genre all the way into 2019, and Anno 1800 looks like a dream come true for settlement-building fans. In Anno 1800 players can lead their very own Industrial Revolution, rapidly discovering new technologies, cultures and even continents during this fast-paced time in history.
Bibs at the ready folks as Age of Empires 4 is looking like the RTS sequel we'd always dreamed of. Relic is returning to familiar medieval territory for the first Age of Empires sequel in 15 years, this time with lusciously improved visuals and unprecedented scale. Details are scant, will, but we've every confident Microsoft and Relic are heading in the right direction with AoE4.
Amplitude, they of Endless Space and Legend fame, has now turned its attention to competing directly from the unflinching champion of the 4X space - Civilization. Humankind is a wildly ambitious 4X turn-based strategy game with the ability to create more than 1 million unique civilisations. Staring from the Bronze Age, Humankind charts the entire history of humanity, resurfacing famous historical events and scientific breakthroughs, tasking the player with reshaping history forever.
With Mordhau providing some serious competition in the medieval first-person online warfare genre, Chivalry 2's really going to have to step it up. The Epic Store exclusivity deal could come back to bite Torn Banner if the player population struggles but the only solution there is to create an unmissable experience. Chivalry 2 will drop PC players into 64-player battlefields, laying siege to castles, hacking off limbs, and slaughtering peasants like it's going out of fashion.
I mean, what's there to say? We've waited for such a long time for something, anything, Half-Life related over the past 12 years. Valve has finally given us an ambitious AAA Half-Life game after all this time. The big catch is it's a VR exclusive, which no doubt irks a few folks, but there's no denying that VR does mean HL: Alyx has the potential to be massively inventive in the tired FPS campaign space. The trailer looks incredible, rekindling our old love for the franchise and teeing up what could well be one of the most atmospheric and immersive first-person shooters of all time.
Get voting for which game you're most hyped for, and if it's a game not mentioned here then let everyone else know what it is in the comments section below!