Hogwarts, Humankind, Horizon: the most popular video games of 2021

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Brussels (AFP)

Gamers, grab your controllers: 2021 is shaping up to be a big year for video games, with some highly anticipated titles following the launch of new next-gen consoles by Microsoft and Playstation in November.

Here are five of the most anticipated games that are set to release this year – unless the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc with release schedules.

– Horizon Forbidden West –

The sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, a Playstation exclusive from 2017, is an action role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans fight against giant mechanical creatures.

Horizon Forbidden West, set in a wild American West, tells the story of the young huntress Aloy’s latest adventure, who must find the source of a mysterious and deadly scourge and uncover a multitude of centuries-old secrets along the way.

With jaw-dropping graphics and a huge open world to explore, Sony is hoping the game will put it ahead of rival Microsoft when the game launches on PlayStation 4 and 5 in the second half of 2021.

– Hogwarts Legacy –

The return of Harry Potter? Not quite – there’s no Harry, Ron, or Hermoine, but wizards, goblins, and supernatural beasts abound in this action-packed dive into JK Rowling’s universe, courtesy of Avalanche Software.

The game, which follows the path of the Fantastic Beasts films, returns to the end of the 19th century, an unknown era for the Harry Potter series.

Mad Rush of Magic, in which players can create their own character and soak up the virtual ambiance of an 1800s Hogwarts, will be released this year for Sony and Microsoft consoles.

– Humanity –

French studio Amplitude is expected to release this Civilization-style strategy game in April for Windows, Apple and Stadia.

Players must guide their civilization through six eras from the nomadic age as they compete against historical rivals to see if they can triumph with skillful tactics and technology.

Depending on the culture they choose, players can aim to win through a range of tactics, including armed combat or trade.

– Death loop –

Another French studio, Arkane, is behind this first-person shooter in which players take on the role of Colt, an assassin stuck in a time loop.

The game, which uses elements of the studio’s Dishonored saga, is slated for release on PS5 and Windows on May 21, and on Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X / S next year.

– 12 minutes –

Another game stuck in a time loop is this offer from Barcelona studio Nomada, in which the protagonist is seen in his apartment in everyday situations with his partner.

Spoiler: Murder soon follows – but the player must go through a 12-minute cycle several times to solve the mystery that follows.

The game is expected to hit shelves this year and will be available on Windows and Xbox One / Xbox Series X / S.

– Coming soon? –

God of War Ragnarok, the latest installment in the hit series, shifts from its traditional focus on Greek mythology to Norse deities. It’s slated for release on Playstations this year, but has already been delayed and isn’t expected to hit shelves long before the end of the year.

Microsoft had originally planned to release “Halo Infinite,” the latest installment featuring the hero Master Chief, with the launch of the Xbox Series X / S in November.

But it was postponed for about a year after the graphics for a trailer received a social media boost.

Another long-awaited sequel is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 developed by Nintendo for its Switch console.

The first action-adventure game Breath of the Wild Zelda was a huge success, selling millions of copies and enjoying wide success thanks to its open-ended gameplay.

– Not yet –

What you won’t see in 2021, however, is Grand Theft Auto VI, The Elder Scrolls VI, or Final Fantasy XVI – players will have to wait a little longer for these long-awaited sequels.

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