With PlayStation and Xbox gamers sweating anxiously in preparation for the nuclear drop that will accompany the next-gen consoles later this year, Switch gamers find themselves sitting pretty with a console in its prime. Not only is the Switch going strong, but the games are also only getting bigger, better, and more inventive as time goes on and it seems we have a few years more of solid Switch gaming at least. Down below is your forecast for the better titles coming out before the year is out.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
- Release Date: 20 November 2020
- Developer: Koei Tecmo
- Price: $59.99
No, it’s not Breath of the Wild 2, but it is an official prequel set 100 years before the events of the original Breath of the Wild, despite it actually being the third installment in a hitherto unrelated crossover series created by Koei Tecmo, the developers of the Dynasty Warriors games. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity explores the cataclysmic events that shook Hyrule and sent Link into the century-long slumber that comes to an end at the beginning of Breath of the Wild.
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Players will be able to play from a wide roster of Legend of Zelda characters in a vicious hack and slash that incorporates key elements of the Dynasty Warrior series: real-time combat, a variety of weapons and playstyles, and a ton of enemies to mow down — all wrapped up in a crisp, beautifully rendered Zelda package. Seriously, it’s a must-play for Breath of the Wild fans.
Hollow Knight: Silksong
- Release Date: TBA
- Developer: Team Cherry
- Price: TBA
Keep an eye out for Hollow Knight: Silksong, the highly-anticipated sequel to one of the highest-rated platformer games ever released on the Switch. Silksong introduces a brand new Kingdom to explore, complete with the previous game’s signature ghostly aesthetic and adds brand new characters and enemies — including a brand new protagonist, Hornet, the Princess of Hallownest.
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Players take Hornet to embark on a swashbuckling action-platformer adventure, slashing enemies and ascending further into the strangeness that only a Hollow Knight sequel could ever hope to capture. If you played the original Hollow Knight, or are a fan of platformers, you have good reason to check out Hollow Knight: Silksong as soon as it’s out.
- Release Date: Late 2020
- Developer: Nimble Giant Entertainment
- Price: TBA
A hidden gem that deserves much more attention, Quantum League is a creative spin on the FPS arena shooter that has players working through alternate timelines to get the last laugh on their opponent. It’s something like interdimensional chess (which is, of course, a thing) meets Overwatch, with players working within a time loop to kill multiple iterations of their opponent.
Gameplay hinges positional awareness across time, with players working to remember where and when they were in previous loops to get the jump on their future opponent. It sounds confusing, but once you get the mechanics down it’s quite simple and absolutely scintillating. The only drawback is the lack of attention this otherwise standout game has received, resulting in a lower playerbase.
Vampire’s Fall: Origins
- Release Date: 17 September 2020
- Developer: Early Morning Studio
- Price: $12.99
For those who don’t know, Vampire’s Fall: Origins actually began as one of the higher-end free-to-play Diablo-likes on mobile. The game is a bona fide love letter to the RPGs of old, with a fully open world, branching dialogue choices, deep character customization and gameplay-relevant backstory creation. The game is set in the not-at-all suspiciously named village of Vamp’ Ire, where the villagers have recently formed a militia in response to rumors of a Witchmaster, a wielder of black magic.
Players step into the greaves of a new recruit and embark on a quest across a richly developed world with a deep, compelling narrative to sink their teeth into. The game makes a point to pride itself on its old-school roots, and anyone who wants a deeply engrossing RPG with a triple-shot of nostalgia should definitely check out Vampire’s Fall: Origins when it comes out on Switch in a few days.
Super Mario 3D All Stars
- Release Date: 18 September
- Developer: Nintendo
- Price: $59.99
For serious fans of the Mario franchise, Super Mario 3D All-Stars packs three classic Mario games into one limited-edition package that will only be available for purchase until March next year. Super Mario 3D All-Stars comes with the OG Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and the spacefaring Super Mario Galaxy in one neat title.
Players who remember throwing down with Bowser back in 1996, hanging out with Fludd and doing some much-needed island clean-up in 2002, or doing their best to get Rosalina’s ship spaceworthy again back in 2007 or those curious to see Mario in his earliest 3D forms should leap at the opportunity to get all three games in one package. Just make sure you do said leaping before March.
- Release Date: 24 September 2020
- Developer: Playwood Project
- Price: $24.99
For fans of Warhammer and other table-top games that would love to see a digital port that actually plays like a tabletop game, Wartile blends aspects of both mediums to give players the strategic depth of its real-life counterparts and the action of its pixelated cousins. Players set out across a series of exquisitely crafted dioramas that capture the old-school feel in control of a warband of viking figurines.
Missions are challenging, players can collect a litany of equipment to outfit their individual warriors with, and the game uses an interesting Dragon Age-esque Slow Time mechanic that allows players to pause the action while getting their team into position. If you like Vikings, Tabletop games, or off-the-beaten-path gaming rabbit holes, Wartile might be worth considering.
Super Mario Bros 35
- Release Date: 01 October 2020
- Developer: Arika
- Price: Free with Nintendo Switch Online membership
Super Mario Bros 35 is, quite surprisingly, a battle royale that is, quite unsurprisingly, extremely Mario. And by that, we mean bizarrely unique and utterly inimitable — which is saying a lot considering the genre. The game is essentially a run-of-the-mill game of vintage, 8-bit Mario. Except there are 34 other players playing in their own, self-contained versions of the course that you can see thumbnails of alongside the screen.
They’re doing their thing. You’re doing your thing. Except, every enemy you take out is transported to one of the other players — and every item you find is, Mario Kart-style, something designed to either give you a boost or trip up opponents on other screens. It’s pretty radical, and an inventive spin on the quickly tiring genre.
- Release Date: 09 October 2020
- Developer: EA
- Price: $49.99
This year’s FIFA 21 comes with the usual features, including the expected tweaks in the way of graphics and player models. Being another Legacy Edition, it will not be coming with all of the new features available on the new big-boy consoles, but will have Career Mode, Kick Off, Tournaments, and local/online seasons.
The main reason to get FIFA 21 is just the updated visual package more than anything else. The players, stadiums… everything looks better. But even EA Sports will tell you it’s basically the same game as FIFA 20. Not that that’s ever stopped anybody from picking up a FIFA game.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds
- Release Date: 18 September 2020
- Developer: Saber Interactive
- Price: $39.99
WWE 2K Battlegrounds is an attempt to quickly move past the disaster that was WWE 2K20 and opt for a zanier, much more stylized angle on the unique, chair-throwing spirit of pro wrestling. Battlegrounds lets players choose a highly caricatured version of their favorite pro wrestler and drops them into highly interactive cartoon environments for a WWE meets Super Smash Bros meets every-fighting-game-ever smackdown.
Magical elemental attacks, crocodile throwing, literal explosions; WWE 2K Battlegrounds is basically the visual manifestation of how every WWE fan thinks of WWE in their head, finally given life in the form of a video game. Even if you’re not a pro wrestling fan, there’s a lot to love about WWE 2K Battlegrounds, considering it has very little in the way of actual wrestling, and makes for a great party game with your buddies.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory
- Release Date: 13 November 2020
- Developer: Square Enix, indieszero
- Price: $59.99
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is something like Guitar Hero meets the classic Kingdom Hearts games. That may sound like something of a weak premise to some of you — why would anybody want to play a rhythm game based on an action RPG? — but Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is something of a sniper aimed right at your heart with a bullet of pure nostalgia.
Incorporating straight-up RPG elements with the classic, timing-based rhythm system, the game is, as the name suggests, essentially a tour through the original kingdom hearts games based on the original soundtrack. Those who’ve played the original Kingdom Hearts games will be saliently aware of their own subconscious writhing with joy as they travel back to original levels and key moments of their formative gaming years.
Which upcoming Switch game are you most hyped for this year? Can WWE 2K Battlegrounds right the sins of its father? Will FIFA players be able to live upon their promise to never buy another FIFA game until EA pretends to care again? Is it possible to play Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory without keeling over in bittersweet longing? Please. We want to know.