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My Entire 2020 Video Game Experience

  • Date Published: January 18, 2020
  • Last Edited: January 18, 2020
  • Topic(s): Blog, Walkway

It wasn’t the brightest year but 2020 still shined.

I haven’t written in a long time and it’s because I’ve taken a step back to collect my thoughts with patience. I know people say 2020 was a bad year, but it was good to me. I’m grateful that I get to write about my experience in 2020 and share it with the world. It’s a true privilege to have access to technology and understand the digital world.

2020 has demonstrated that this world we live in requires you to have a good sense of technology to have a place in the work environment. Having experience with the digital world and how it functions is something we can easily overlook and take for granted. Life in 2021 is connected to the digital world – cyberspace. 

It wasn’t a bad year for video games but it certainly wasn’t the best, in fact, we saw it at its absolute worst. The pandemic didn’t halt video game development but the COVID-19 virus definitely delayed it. The video game industry has been digital and online for years now. For many developers, it has been easy to adapt but physical stores like Sega’s famous pachinko parlors closed in Akihabara

A few games caught my (and the world’s) attention. Listed below are the video games of 2020 that had the most impact.

March 10, 2020

Call of Duty: Warzone released and made a lasting impression on the gaming community. It came at the perfect time to help people stay indoors when the pandemic started to affect society and forced lockdown. Call of Duty is a very well known franchise and one of the top shooters available. The shooting has tight and responsive controls. 

Warzone is for free and has cross-play for PlayStation, Xbox, and Windows. Call of Duty is a difficult game and very intense. You have to be aware every second, and not goof around – otherwise you’re going to end up in the gulag. It’s definitely a challenging game and a must-play to enjoy with your friends. The major set back is you will need a lot of memory in your system to play it and only the Battle Royale mode is free.

Call of Duty: Warzone received criticism for being over 90 gigabytes and an empty open-world map. Future updates continued to require more memory to run properly and it’s ridiculous the amount that they ask. And it’s only going to get bigger as time passes. Some people I know have had to use an external hard drive to play Call of Duty on their PlayStations.

March 20, 2020

DOOM Eternal is an absolutely outstanding game. It’s hard to believe that an already amazingly polished game with fast-paced shooting has become even more perfect. DOOM Eternal is an intense game with high-resolution graphics, improved mechanics, new enemies, and superb animations. It is the most fun and best first-person shooter available. But DOOM Eternal still feels like it’s still not where it should be. 

The storytelling is weak. DOOM has never had a strong emphasis on acting and narrative but in this day and age, people want an impactful story. DOOM does everything right in all the other departments but it lacks powerful storytelling with atmospheric cinematography. Video games tell a story, and the experience is ruined when there are shallow stories and poorly written scripts.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was also released on March 20, 2020. New Horizons came at the best time and was an instant success. Everyone loved purchasing the game and staying indoors to play for hours. I know people who have spent over four hundred hours playing. It’s a great game, no doubt about it but I’m not into Animal Crossing. 

I’m not into the collect-a-thon mechanics in Animal Crossing. The game looks and plays great but for me, it’s not that immersive. You build a little town by decorating everything after having completed fetch quests and received money to purchase furniture or clothes. I’m the type of player to go on an adventure, see new locations, and witness character development. If you enjoyed Animal Crossing: New Horizons that’s great – I’m happy for you. It’s just not for me.

March 23, 2020

After decades of living in the dark, Valve has finally released a brand new game called Half-Life: Alyx. This is a game, a franchise, from a company that changed the industry. Valve revolutionized storytelling for first-person shooters and created Steam, the world’s best online marketplace for video games. 

Half-Life: Alyx has taken on a new form by being played for VR headsets and its game design is innovative, leading the first-person shooter genre in the right direction once again. Everything about the game is outstanding and you feel immersed in the world. VR is still very expensive and foreign to many people but playing in VR is a surreal experience.

I can’t wait to see where the Half-Life franchise and the rest of the team at Valve are headed in the future. I have no criticism about Half-Life: Alyx other than it’s not called Half-Life 3.

April 10, 2020

Final Fantasy VII Remake was released this year and the quality is amazing. I enjoyed the modernization of traditional Japanese role-playing video games. The gameplay has amazing fighting mechanics and particle effects during combat. The cinematics, graphics, animations, music, UI – everything about the game is excellent. Except it’s a slice of the original story.

The developers took five (5) hours of the introduction of the original Final Fantasy VII and expanded it to be around eighty (80) hours. The original game was released on three separate discs for the PlayStation. I don’t know what’s wrong with developers making these cuts to their games. You will not experience the same story playing Final Fantasy VII Remake. You hardly delve into what the original game has to offer. 

Some scenes are toned down to be more family-friendly and it ruins the way the original story was portrayed. For example, an early antagonist can be seen smoking cigars and doing. All Japanese storytelling is for mature audiences containing violence and nudity but they have deep emotion and feeling in their storytelling. The Japanese works really know how to impact an audience. Now that it feels the social stigma is more present, making the developers remove what gave characters and scenes detail.

June 19, 2020

The Last of Us Part 2 is a game that has divided the community and I’m in the middle. Let me first start by saying I loved The Last of Us. It was an incredible game and I played Factions, the multiplayer mode, for years with my cousins and friends until upgrading to the PS4. I replayed the game more than enough times and on the hardest difficulty setting because it is a masterpiece. 

The Last of Us is a gem that needs to be played by everyone who owns a PlayStation. It is without a doubt the absolute best game available on the PlayStation 3. I was left in awe with the storytelling and acting. Everything about The Last of Us leaves a strong and lasting impression which is why I was excited and hyped for the sequel.

In 2019, I bought a huge TV in 4K in preparation to play The Last of Us Part 2 which was coming out in 2020. Thanks to the pandemic, it is the first game I was forced to purchase and preorder on the PS4. I wanted for the moment to finally play. I was so excited to cry like I did in the first 20 minutes of the original game but it wasn’t that way. 

The Last of Us Part 2 has a great story but nothing compared to the first. They really hit you hard killing the main protagonist. So many people were upset with the direction Naughty Dog decided to take the story. It isn’t a bad story but you feel deprived of such an outstanding character and are put in a different situation. It’s hard to cope with but it’s also the emotional drive that sets your journey in the game. 

Everything about The Last of Us Part 2 is excellent. There is no other game that was released in 2020 that comes to the level of quality and polish this game has received. The biggest flaw is the narrative and direction of storytelling, especially the political agenda with the LGBTQ community. The game was forcing homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender, sex scenes, same sex marriages – and the main conflict is centered around Ellie being called a dyke; which is a far cry from what the original discussed. 

Scenes had a sense of political movement in them and I’m trying to play a game to avoid those topics. I wanted to have a great adventure and learn about new characters and their backstory, not about their sexuality, not about their complicated love affairs. I wanted a story more focused on a vaccine and the virus (during the COVID-19) but instead, it’s a story about lesbians.

I was passionate about the story but now I’m not. The ending just leaves you depressed but again, its not a bad thing but to top it all off there is no multiplayer, at least not yet. The only game I was looking forward to in 2020, after seven (7) years of waiting was the sequel to The Last of us Part 2, and it’s amazing but it’s not what I was hoping for. TLOU2 won the game of the year because of its impeccable quality regardless of how you feel about its direction. Read my full review here.

July 17, 2020

I’m a big Japanese fan. I love everything Japanese. But I wasn’t interested in the Ghost of Tsushima which takes place in Japan. I was aware of the Ghost of Tsushima release but I wasn’t going to play it. After The Last of Us Part 2, I didn’t know what else to play besides Cyberpunk (and I also wasn’t looking forward to playing Cyberpunk). I received a digital copy of the game as a gift and I gave it a go

I was impressed by the presentation and gameplay. It was just the game I needed to wash away the bad experience I had from recently playing TLOU2. Ghost is a grade B or A game depending on how you’re looking at it. The game is great on all levels but it feels like the developers didn’t take enough risks to push the gameplay and innovate. 

It’s got gorgeous horizons of Japan, samurai sword fighting, tales of honor and loyalty, superb cinematics but it falls short because everything in the game has been done before. Sucker  Punch did a great job making Ghost of Tsushima and you will enjoy your time playing the game. I completed the game to 100%, receiving the Platinum Trophy. Hopefully, the developers will take an even bigger leap for their next installment. 

On October 16, Ghost of Tsushima also came out with free DLC including a new difficulty, new game plus, and multiplayer. Which again, the multiplayer is a nice touch but it’s also very basic and doesn’t offer much incentive to play other than enjoying some sessions with close friends. The tutorial was boring.

Cyberpunk is delayed again

After beating Ghost, there was nothing else on my radar but Cyberpunk 2077. Then CD Projekt Red delays it to November and rumors start spreading saying it’s going to be terrible. I saw a gameplay trailer of the hand to hand combat (view below) and it looked horrible. Friends told me not to worry and that it was going to be an amazing game.

August 18, 2020

I didn’t play Microsoft Flight Simulator but it is a technological accomplishment because it recreates the exact landscape of every airport in the world. It literally allows you to view entire cities as they originally are thanks to satellite imagery. It is outstanding what has been accomplished with Microsoft Flight Simulator. 

MFS educates pilots and helps them prepare for real-world scenarios through simulation. Video games are truly a wonderful thing to admire! 

So for September, October, and November, we all waited for the release of Cyberpunk 2077. Then it got delayed for another twenty (20) days until December 10, 2077. CD Projekt Red said they needed those extra days to fine-tune the last remaining bugs but it was the nail in the coffin. This was the last time they could delay it.

Consumers were upset, people starting sending death threats and saying they had taken the time off work to play this game. The gaming community is a strange one but this year it’s happened twice. Once to Naughty Dog developers for The Last of Us Part 2 and now CD Projekt Red for Cyberpunk 2077.

December 10, 2020

Cyberpunk 2077 takes the award for garnering the most attention during 2020. It is by far, the worst thing that has happened to games. 

People have complained through hundreds of posts, CD Projekt Red apologizes through Twitter. The lawsuit is out. And now they lost their users, I don’t really care about any of the above (but the memes are funny). I think this goes right with the E.T. fiasco of 79, the one where Atari buried hundreds of copies in New Mexico.

At the end of the day, I don’t want to ever play a game that doesn’t function. I won’t spend my time playing it. I’ll have it there and wait for an update or give it a go once in a full moon but for now, it’s just sitting there. Around ninety gigabytes worth 38.99 USD on the D harddrive. 

If you don’t believe me check out how bad the bugs are in the video I recorded which you can watch below. 

I don’t think I can complete Cyberpunk to 100%. I haven’t even felt like finishing it yet. It’s amazing in so many aspects like the UI, the concept, the world, the guns, the lore, the graphics are also nice. If only the bugs weren’t so frequent and noticeable, and obtrusive to the immersion, I’d continue to play it. 

As the days got closer I became excited and ended up telling my friends about how great Cyberpunk with Keanu Reaves was going to be and it turned out to be a complete disaster. It’s just so buggy that you can never have a solid experience without being interrupted and that’s what kills the entire vibe, pacing, and any desire to continue playing. 

It’s not a finished game. It’s an interesting concept, with great art direction and a visually captivating environment but it has failed to fully live up to its expectations. The result is far fetched from what everyone would think this game would be.

What a disappointment. I’m upset that CD ProjektRed, a company with a great reputation, having created The Witcher 3, a game of the year title, marketed this as the next generation for the past and current generation platforms but it doesn’t function. The best version is available only to PC users, and even so, the game is still riddled with errors. 

The Playstation 4 version is unplayable, so much so that Sony delisted Cyberpunk from their online store. This game is that much of an embarrassment. I’m more than positive that Cyberpunk 2077 has made developers rethink their process and realize that customers demand and deserve high quality. 

The game is not bad. There’s a lot to see and do, many things to explore but it’s unenjoyable when there’s so much that causes you to have a non-invigorating experience. Cyberpunk 2077 has an outstanding facade but when you stop to carefully look, everything is falling apart at its seams. 

Now people are asking for refunds, CDPR is getting a lawsuit, the CEO has sent out a public apology, they’ve also listed what their future development schedule will look like during 2021 to fix all the errors as much as they can and make the game the way it should’ve been from the start.

This has happened before, and in 2020, the creators of No Man’s Sky received recognition for their work. Upon its release, No Man’s Sky didn’t live up to its promise of a vast world and it had boring gameplay with no defined objectives. This led to a lot of backlashes and for the past few years, the developers have righted their wrongs by including new content and improving the mechanics. 

The big difference is that Cyberpunk’s disasters were on a much larger scale and the game doesn’t work. Cyberpunk is so bad that it’s the first game since forever that I’ve stopped playing altogether. I moved on to playing other games to wash away the horrible after taste that I got from spending my time and money playing Cyberpunk 2077.

End of December 2020 and Start of January 2021

Thankfully, I finally started to play Minecraft. It is now my new favorite game and I am eleven years late. I love Minecraft for its in-depth crafting system and the pixel art potato graphics that remind me of DOOM and Duke Nukem. The music from Minecraft is relaxing and helps get lost in the world. I just hope my cousin comes back and continues to help me build. I miss him.

There’s a lot of games I didn’t mention like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, Spelunky 2, Valorant, Crash Bandicoot 4, Hades, Resident Evil 3, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and more but there’s just so much to cover. Also, a global hit was Among Us but that game was released in 2018 and until the summer of 2020 got popular. It’s not my type of game but I’ll write my thoughts about it in another blog.

This 2021, I continue to wait for Breath of the Wild 2, Super Mario Odyssey 2 (not confirmed but I hope it happens), Metroid Prime 4, Pikmin 4, No More Heroes 3, Bayonetta 3, Hollow Knight 2: Silksong, Elden Ring, Final Fantasy XVI, Resident Evil 8: Village, Far Cry 6 ( I haven’t been interested since Far Cry 3) and for now I think that’s it.  

Super Mario 3D World + Bower’s Fury is coming to Nintendo Switch on February 12, 2021, but I’m not that interested. This video game is a Wii U port with added features. I have already experienced the original game and beat it to completion, I don’t want to play a port.

 

That’s it for now everyone. 2020 was an amazing year and I understand many people won’t agree with it but I still believe it was. 2021 is going to be even better. I hope everyone is staying safe and doing their part to reduce the amount of COVID-19 cases by washing their hands and staying isolated as much as possible. Wishing everyone the best for 2021.

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