Happy New Year, everybody! The holiday break is officially over and it’s back to work for all of us, but fortunately we have a stacked year ahead to look forward to when it comes to video games. With the next generation of consoles waiting at the end of the year, we have 12 months of brilliant games to keep us occupied in the meantime.
While January might be a bit slower compared to the rest of the year, it’s still an incredibly strong start to what could be one of the best years in gaming history. Let’s take a quick look at the biggest new games of January 2020.
1. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (PC Release) | January 9th
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom Platform(s): PC (already available on consoles)
Sure, the first big release of 2020 might be DLC for a game that came out in 2018, and DLC which has been available on consoles since September, but Iceborne’s launch on PC is still a significant release, even if that only means we’ll finally see Thomas The Tank Engine be hunted down in a frozen landscape instead of a jungle. Change is as good as a break, I suppose.
Iceborne is a huge expansion for the highly successful Monster Hunter World, bringing with it a brand new area to hunt in, along with new monsters to hunt, new armour and weapons to craft and brand new moves for each available class. With more updates planned over the next couple of months to bring the PC release to the same level as consoles, now might be a good chance to jump into Iceborne.
2. Super Crush KO | January 16th
Developer: Vertex Pop Publisher: Vertex Pop Platform(s): PC, Switch
Beat ‘em ups and brawlers will definitely have a place in our hearts, but Super Crush KO looks like it might be the cutest one ever made. You play as Karen, who must rescue their kidnapped kitten from an alien overlord with an army of robots at their disposal. Oh, and also maybe save the rest of humanity while you’re at it, but mainly you should save the kitten. It’s called Chubbz, so it’s the best kitten ever.
The vibrant, sugary-sweet colours give Super Crush KO an adorable aesthetic, but under the hood, the game promises lightning fast action, easy to perform combos and a seamless blend between melee brawling and frenetic shooting. At the very least, it’ll tide you over until Streets of Rage 4, but Super Crush KO certainly looks like it shouldn’t be slept on regardless.
3. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot | January 17th
Developer: Bandai Namco Publisher: Bandai Namco Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
It wouldn’t be a normal year in the gaming industry without some kind of Dragon Ball release, and 2020 is no exception. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, on the surface at least, looks like just another retelling of the original anime and manga storyline, but Kakarot hopes to change the formula up slightly by both taking an action RPG approach to gameplay and deep diving into the universe of Dragon Ball.
You control Goku, along with various other Z Fighters, as you relive the major arcs of the franchise, including the Saiyan, Frieza, Cell and Buu Sagas. You also experience that time when Goku learned how to drive a car, and Akira Toriyama himself is creating brand new characters while fleshing out the backstory of existing characters, ensuring that Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is everything a hardcore fan could want.
4. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore | January 17th
Developer: Atlus Publisher: Nintendo Platform(s): Switch
The motto for Wii U games right now appears to be “if at first you don’t succeed, get ported to the Switch”, and if it’s not just a port, it’s a sequel or some kind of refined update with a host of additional content. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is one of those updated ports, adding a brand new mode, dungeon and characters to the already established game.
You control a host of superstars in the making, who by day are trying to conquer Tokyo’s entertainment industry. By night, however, they’re trying to stop an interdimensional assault by a species known as the Mirages, who are draining the creativity from Tokyo, and in order to fight back, our group of heroes teams with heroes from the Fire Emblem universe. Look, I don’t quite know what’s going on with this one, but it sounds bonkers, so that’s worthy of something.
Developer: Square Enix Publisher: Square Enix Platform(s): PS4 (Xbox One version launching February 25th)
Speaking of games I have absolutely no idea about, here’s Kingdom Hearts 3, more specifically the ReMIND DLC. The ReMIND DLC adds a brand new subquest to the game which sees Sora take on the Seven Guardians of Light just before the game’s final battle, adding new story elements to the game.
The DLC also adds a series of boss battles against Real Organization XIII, along with new playable characters in the form of Riku, Aqua, Roxas and Kairi, and you’ll be able to perform co-op moves with each new character. ReMIND will also include some new features and difficulty options, making the RPG a more complete package than it was before.
6. Journey To The Savage Planet | January 28th
Developer: Typhoon Studios Publisher: 505 Games Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Journey To The Savage Planet’s main objective seems like it’d be answered by the game’s title. You arrive on a mysterious planet and must determine whether or not said planet is suitable for human habitation, and presumably colonisation. However, if it’s a “savage planet”, it’s probably teeming with flora and fauna that consider humans as part of a healthy balanced diet. That’s us sticking a “not fit for habitation” stamp on the report within the first five minutes.
With two player co-op supported, your odyssey doesn’t have to be a solo one. It’s just as well, really, as you’re given little equipment and no real plan for how to tackle this uncharted planet. With four huge biomes to explore and 30+ creatures to analyse and catalog, Journey To The Savage Planet could keep you and a friend occupied for hours.
Developer: Blizzard Publisher: Blizzard Platform(s): PC
Hot off the success of last year’s World of Warcraft Classic, Warcraft III: Reforged is a full blown remake of 2003’s real time strategy hit. Players control either the Humans, Orcs, Elves or Undead in a host of scenarios, gathering resources and heroes together to take down the enemy base and win the game for your team.
Reforged includes both Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and the DLC expansion The Frozen Throne, chronicling various points in Azeroth’s tumultuous history. With a complete visual overhaul and updated animations, an improved matchmaking system and a return of the World Editor that birthed the MOBA Defense of the Ancients, Warcraft III’s comeback is certainly a welcome one.