Wow. Good post! Thx!
10 Games that Surprised Me in 2020
2020 was a crazy year, so I figured I'd take a look back at all the games that I played that honestly surprised me.
This video doesn't include all of my favorite games from the past year, just ones that I never would have thought that I would have liked or ones that were found through work, or from community recommendations.
This also doesn't include any Betas or Alphas that' I've also recently played, just full titles.
I also want to note that some of these titles also didn't come out this past year, but might be a little bit older. For me that's about normal, trying to play catch up on the backlog.
Also, these games are written in no particular order.
I found this game by accident when I was actually looking for video game wallpaper. I kept running across the same set of images that were so visually impressive, I couldn't help but save an obscene amount of wallpapers for later.
One of the greatest things about this game is that you can either have a visually pleasing experience or, you can have a little more of a challenge one, with the dangers that also lurk in the woods.
I’m also biased when it comes to games that allow you to upgrade and customize a home base or a hometown and one of the really neat things about Among Trees is that you can spend your time either gathering supplies for survival OR gathering supplies to decorate your house.
This game is still in Early Access, but I’m excited to see what kinds of content they’re going to continue to release over time.
ASSASSIN'S CREED VAHALLA
Vahalla is the first Assassin’s Creed game that I’ve ever played and honestly, I’m a little upset at myself for waiting so long.
I’ve always loved Mythology, with Norse Mythology probably being my favorite most of all.
Not only is the gameplay solid when it comes to stealth (although buggy at times), the game itself is just visually stunning. I really enjoy the game allowing me to choose whether I want to do a stealthy approach to a situation, or full send - without punishing me for not being sneaky.
There are so many times, I stop and take a screenshot just because I want a certain view as my current wallpaper.
I won’t lie, I haven’t made it too far into the main storyline itself, I blame my issue of wanting to clear every section of the map before I move on. However, what I’ve been able to play so far has been a wonderful and worthwhile experience.
I’ve now hit 80+ hours in this game and I don’t regret a single moment spent in it. I guess it should be time to start the main missions again.
A SHORT HIKE
Early in 2020, I was introduced to A Short Hike by a community member.
Like the game describes, the game’s main focus is your hike to the top of Hawk Peak.
A Short Hike is honestly one of the few wholesome games that I have been able to play this year.
It has a touching story that doesn’t reveal itself until you make it to the top of the Peak.
It is a shorter title, one that can be beaten in less than two hours, but even after you finish the “ main story” it still allows you to explore the island and do activities you might have missed.
While there are some fetch quests, racing mechanics, and interesting gameplay (I’m looking at you BeachStick Ball) - the best part about the game itself is just exploring.
The calm and cheery soundtrack is so relaxing that it allows you to just take a step back from your real-world and explore Hawk Peak Island and all of its precious inhabitants.
I have done many things in my life that I regret, playing Blair Witch on stream for charity, is also probably one of them.
I put this game on my list, not only because it is ABSOLUTELY terrifying, but because it messed with my mind, soul, body, spirit, and will to live.
Blair Witch was one of the most terrifying games I have ever played. I have never overcome my fear of anything in my entire life, more than I have with this game.
I will say, I will never play this game again - BUT what it did with storytelling and gameplay, was very unique.
While it scared the absolute crap out of me, and I cried most of the time while playing this. I can appreciate a game that is very well done.
And so for that disgusting and absolutely terrifying reason, that is why Blair Witch makes this list.
After one very long and painful session, I can happily say that I’ve beaten the game and it will never grace my SSD ever again.
If you want your heart to be crushed and your head to be messed with more than a girl you had a crush on in middle school, then this is the game for you.
Hyper Scape has taken my heart and completely ran away with it.
We all know that I love first-person shooters more than any game genre out there, but somehow Hyper Scape just hits different for me. Back when the alpha and beta were live over the summer - I played this game for 18+ hour days for weeks straight.
For me, the guns feel like they actually hit and make sense when you're sniping or even using an automatic weapon, and overall that's what I look for in a great shooter. Guns that make sense and gameplay that feels smooth. Did I mention you can kill enemy players by bopping them into the sky?
I’ve made so many friends through this game and I wouldn’t change my experience for the world.
The devs are also super receptive to feedback and conversations about game improvements, so much that it’s crazy to think that my suggestions really have impacted the game.
While this game is difficult to master at first, the payoff for taking the time time to learn the weapons and hacks really makes it worthwhile.
They’ve also recently implemented a Team Deathmatch mode, so now you can learn all the guns and have fun fragging out at the same time.
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH
I remember hearing a lot about this game last year, but honestly never got around to actually play it.
Recently, I’ve had some downtime where I’ve been trying to slowly work through the backlog of games that are currently haunting me.
One of these games was What Remains of Edith Finch.
The story itself leaves you with more questions than it answers, but with a story like this, a house filled with many locked doors and secrets - half of the excitement is putting the puzzle pieces together.
I will warn you that the game does touch on depression and one of the storylines focuses on suicide. However, as someone who has struggled with these thoughts for all of her life, it tells this story so tastefully and honestly.
What Remains of Edith Finch doesn't allow for a lot of replayability with such a linear storyline, but it makes up for it in what it challenges you to think about.
Disco Elysium is actually crazy.
When I started playing this game, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was just a recommendation from a community member, who thoroughly enjoyed the game.
What I was not expecting, was to be thrust into the striking world where every decision that you make - impacts the world around you.
The usage of traits and world-building is one of the most interesting storytelling dynamics that I’ve seen in a roleplaying game in a very, very long time.
The world they set you in is familiar yet foreign to you.
Just like your character, waking up from a drunken night of misadventures, you have no idea who you are, what’s going on, and oh god, did you lose your gun?
And while Disco Elysium has its moments where it frustrates the absolute crap out of me, it’ still honestly one of the best games that I’ve played this year.
If you’re looking for a game that is an RPG time sink and at a decent price, then Disco Elysium is the one for you.
If you were to tell me that in the year of our lord 2020, that I would like a bike parkour game, I would have told you that you were honestly insane.
That doesn’t even sound like something that would interest me, EVEN THOUGH, back in the day I had actually demoed the original Trials at Conventions around the country - somehow I had totally forgotten this game existed.
Thankfully, who would have guessed that a lo-fi soundtrack later, that I would be hardcore parkouring with my tiny little Squid bike - praying to the physics gods to give me all gold medals.
If you’re looking for a more PG version of Happy Wheels, then this is the game for you.
Honestly, this game is really challenging, but it also gives you a wicked sense of rewarding accomplishment when you finally complete a track.
KILL IT WITH FIRE
There are two things that have always sat at a constant of number one and number two when it comes the list of my fears.
The first is the dark, and the second being, spiders.
Doesn’t matter shape, size, color, I absolutely do NOT discriminate for my seething hatred of spiders.
While this game is about getting my long-awaited revenge on these monstrous creatures, it still has moments where it scares the absolute CRAP out of me.
However, after a quick moment of reflection, I remember that I, unlike these evil spawns, have gasoline, and a flamethrower.
Kill It With Fire is a fun, short game whose gameplay is unique in the sense of I would never play this again, but still also 100%'ed it at the same time.
Ok, hear me out - I was not initially on the Animal Crossing hype train.
I never really played the first Animal Crossing, so I didn’t get the appeal, but during early 2020, it looked cute, and honestly, I needed something that I could play casually off-stream and didn’t feel pressured to “create content for”.
It turns out that Animal Crossing is my most played game of 2020, with over 500+ hours invested into the game and my island - still looks like absolute trash.
Animal Crossing is adorable, it's for me the game that helped me personally get through this year - if that's not too crazy to say.
One of the greatest things about the game is that it allows you to play however you'd like to - without the pressure of feeling like you have to log in daily or play the games anyway that anyone else would.
If you're looking for something that you can just relax and play casually while watching Netflix in bed, I highly recommend this one for you.
While there are still so many games on my list to play, here are a few honorable mentions that will be leaving my backlog list shortly.
- Jedi Fallen Order
- Outer Worlds
- DOOM Eternal: DLC