While it was originally slated to release on April 16, 2020, the recent Cyberpunk 2077 delay has moved the heavily anticipated action role-playing game all the way to September 17 of this year.
It’s the latest blow to the early 2020 gaming schedule as Marvel’s Avengers also got moved to September as well. While it’s easy to have a dour outlook on the first four months of 2020 after two of the biggest releases got pushed back, it’s a premature reaction. If you actually take a look at the full schedule you’ll find plenty of interesting games that will be worth checking out once they release.
There are also two huge winners in the aftermath of the Cyberpunk 2077 delay as both Resident Evil 3 and the recently pushed back Final Fantasy 7 Remake were set to release mere weeks before it and had a chance of being overshadowed by CD Projekt Red’s title. Now with more breathing room, both games will have an appropriate time to shine and won’t get forgotten after a week or two.
Capcom’s action game and Square Enix’s RPG are different enough to where they won’t be competing with each other too much (although both Japanese titles definitely appeal to a wide market as they are two of the biggest franchises in all of gaming). Due to its sheer size, Final Fantasy 7 is helped out more as some might not want to get into another RPG right before Cyberpunk. Now that isn’t even a worry in the mind of consumers.
February isn’t exactly a stacked month in terms of triple-A releases, but it does have quite a few solid games that will happily fill that gap. Zombie Army 4: Dead War looks to be like some solid co-op fun even if it’s not quite a thinking man’s game, Yakuza 5 along with Bayonetta and Vanquish are being ported to PlayStation 4, and One-Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows looks to be a surprise hit based upon the popular anime. Beyond that, we’ll also see Dreams go out of its impressive early access state and be properly released.
March looks to be a thrilling month
March is quite the diverse month that should appeal to every type of gamer. The biggest releases both arrive on March 20 as Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal release on the same day. While the two titles couldn’t be more tonally different (although I wouldn’t be shocked if Isabelle snapped and murdered everyone one day), both have looked excellent so far.
Animal Crossing isn’t the only great Switch release that month as the recently unveiled Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX releases March 6 and looks to be fantastic judging by its stellar demo.
Even Xbox One owners will get a thrilling exclusive as Ori and the Will of the Wisps finally releases. The sequel to one of the best Metroidvania titles ever made, this gorgeous follow-up by Moon Studios will look to top it. It’ll be exciting to see what the studio has learned in the five years since Ori and the Blind Forest was revealed. Also releasing on both Xbox One and PC is Ninja Theory’s beat ’em up title Bleeding Edge, which could be a sleeper hit.
As for the PS4, they’ll be getting three major exclusives that month as Nioh 2, MLB The Show 20, and Persona 5 Royal release. While all three of those titles are known quantities, that isn’t a bad thing as they’re all quite good.
Oh, and one more small release that I forgot to mention is that we’re seeing the first new Half-Life game since 2007! While not a ton is known about Half-Life: Alyx, it is poised to be the most important virtual reality exclusive yet. It has the potential to be a killer app for the medium and really show that VR gaming has fully arrived. Taking place prior to Half-Life 2, this prequel will give a new look at Alyx Lance’s past and get to see her and her father Eli fighting against alien invaders. All eyes are on this release, even those that don’t own a VR headset yet.
April is still exciting despite Cyberpunk 2077 delay
As previously mentioned, both Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake are releasing early in April. Those titles alone are enough to satisfy a gamer in a single month, and without the Cyberpunk 2077 delay it would have been overkill. However, they aren’t the only awesome-looking releases coming out in April. it’s a well-rounded month even though not everything is confirmed yet since we’re still several months out.
The second biggest release is Xbox Game Studios’ turn-based strategy take on the Gears of War franchise. Called Gears Tactics, the Xbox One and PC title is being developed by Splash Damage and has looked quite interesting in early trailers.
Microsoft is also releasing Minecraft Dungeons (on every major platform, not just their own) that month as well. This dungeon crawler ought to be huge considering the brand it’s attached to and looks to be a perfect Diablo-like experience for children. It gets rid of all the crafting that the series is known for and instead focuses on pure action.
Beyond that, we also have Predator: Hunting Grounds releasing, which could be a huge whiff or a surprising hit. It’s the biggest wildcard and it could make April out to be one of the best gaming months of the entire year if the execution is solid.
April, just like February and March, looks to be another great month for gaming. Despite the high-profile delays, there won’t be any fretting over what to play for gamers early in 2020. Every single month has intriguing releases and there are some huge franchises ranging from Pokémon to Final Fantasy and Minecraft getting new entries. No matter what platform you are on (yes, even Google Stadia), there should be some exciting new titles to check out. While early in the year is typically a slow spot for gaming, that certainly isn’t the case this year.