2020 was an interesting year to say the least. You’d think being alone, isolated and away from your family would lead you to play more games… Turns out I was more comfortable lazying around in bed redditing and doom-scrolling. That’s not to say I didn’t play anything at all, multiplayer games dominated my gaming sessions - mainly thanks to first Aman for starting our weekend marathon Civilization 6 sessions.
For almost every Saturday & Sunday, Aman and I would have about 3-4 hour Civilization 6 session in the morning and evening. It was more than just playing - it was talking through ups and downs in life, work, gameplay, strategy, laughing at AI stupidity and more. Towards the end of the year, the Civ fatigue kicked in and we took a break from Civ and played a bunch of MudRunner, but those initial days were great to de-stress and keep myself occupied and distracted. Along the year, Bibhas, Jerwin, Adithya and Karthik also joined in our gaming sessions and we played more multiplayer games - MudRunner, Diablo 3, No Man’s Sky, ShellShock Live, GTA V, Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, Minecraft Dungeons, Rocket League, GT Sport, Stardew Valley, Fall Guys and Grim Dawn were just some of the multiplayer games we played through the year. As a bonus, I played a little Path of Exile with Jo. So huge thanks to everyone who spent a chunk of their time playing with me. So here’s a list of all the games that I played through the year and some of my favorite ones
All the games I played through the year
Here’s a list of all that I played, broken down by category
Single Player games that I completed
- Wolcen: Lord of Mayhem (so much potential, so many bugs - 5/10) | Screenshots
- Grim Dawn (expansions still pending, and the story delivery was ok-ish, its a good burger for aRPG fans. 8/10) | Screenshots
- Forza Motorsport 7 (wonky AI, looks fantastic. Multiplayer races add to your overall progression - not sure if this is a good or bad. 7/10 )
- Hades (10/10) | Screenshots
- Yakuza Kiwami 2 (WTF was the last hour? That aside, 8/10) | Screenshots
Single Player games that I started and stopped
- Divinity: Original Sin 2 (too expansive, return later)
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (too expansive, return later)
- Forza Horizon 4 (too expansive, return later)
- Luigi’s Mansion 3 (got stuck at Chef Soulfflé boss, also cramped portable mode ergonomics started hurting a lot)
- Two Point Hospital (didn’t enjoy much, maybe return this year)
- Transport Fever (struggled with the economic model, try to return later)
- Minecraft Dungeons (Hades was released)
- Euro Truck Simulator (never really got into it, should return)
Multiplayer games that I played with others, in descending order of playtime
- Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
- Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls (the usual Seasonal run)
- MudRunner (may have finished bulk of the missions)
- Stardew Valley (tried some multiplayer, gave up halfway)
- No Man’s Sky (gave up because Aman’s computer was struggling and Bibhas was busy)
- ShellShock Live
- Age of Empire 2: Definitive Edition (realized I suck at this)
- Gran Turismo Sport
- Fall Guys (tried the beta, new season of Diablo 3 started and we forgot about this)
- Rocket League (again realized we suck.. Plus Karthik ditched us in favor of his new car)
- Path of Exile
About that Next-Gen
I’ve been watching from the sidelines about the rollout of the next-gen - from the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series whatever and the new Nvidia & AMD GPUs and it’s been hilarious, to say the least. I was pumped to upgrade my GeForce 1080 to possibly the 3070, then realized… I don’t need the latest 3xxx series just to grind that Diablo 3 season all over. While over in India, the Playstation 5 and Xbox availability has been a clusterfuck the likes of which I’ve not seen before. In the US, scalpers have been making merry to the tune that people have written scripts and are livestreaming the availability status and I’m just oblivious to them. I’ve not seen any availability issues on the PlayStation 5 at least here in Bucharest. People have asked me about when I’m getting the next-gen consoles and at the moment there’s very little incentive or reason to grab the next-gen consoles - the hardware is too new, the next games are non-existent and I don’t believe we will see truly spectacular titles till the end of the year at least. Until we see some really good games being released, I’ll hold on to my PS4… which has not been used a lot >_>).
Most enjoyed games of the year
Without a doubt, for me, Hades and Civilization 6 have been the games I enjoyed the most. I had never played a roguelike before, and Hades was an impulse purchase after Abhay had been heaping praise on it. My first couple of hours of Hades was something that I did not like - though I partly blame it on playing on the Switch in portable mode first - the chamber-clear rewards were not sharp enough for me to make sense and I was left confused. Knowing that it’d get the cross-platform save patch soon, I bought Hades on Steam and that changed the way I look at Hades - or maybe it was the benefit of starting over from scratch knowing a little bit of backstory. Much like Transistor, a couple of hours in, I was hooked.
Each run was short enough that I didn’t rage about dying and I was progressing enough to keep me going. All in all, what an awesome experience. Masterpiece. The music, the artwork, the fluid gameplay, all those little fine pieces of attention to detail. I went from never played a roguelike to obsessing over it, much like a Diablo 3 greater rift. I would highly recommend the game.
Civilization 6 is the other game that I enjoyed the most. I must confess, I liked it because of the social aspect - Aman, Karthik, Bibhas, and I would get together and play for hours, with random civilizations and while ultimately we would end up with the same Scientific victory condition - the road to the victory was never the same and tackling those challenges was what made it awesome.
Screenshots and videos
To cap off the post, here are some screenshots and video clips I captured from different games that I played through the year