From the sequel to 'God of War' to new entries in the 'Hitman' and 'Ratchet & Clank' franchises, games that continue to push storytelling boundaries are on the horizon for the new year.

While 2020 has been a strange and strenuous year, many great video games helped people pass the time in quarantine, including Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which provided social interaction and relaxation; The Last of Us Part II, the action-adventure that continued Ellie's journey across post-apocalyptic America; and various iterations of the high-octane, first-person shooter franchise Call of Duty.

Looking forward, a number of studio and independent video games that are scheduled for release in 2021 promise to offer the same — if not better — innovative storytelling, thrilling combat and daring new experiences.

Among the entries is stealth game Hitman 3, which is the eighth installment in the series that follows the escapades of assassin Agent 47, voiced by veteran actor David Bateson. There's also Far Cry 6, the sixth installment in the series featuring Giancarlo Esposito, and the sequel to God of War, which won game of the year at the Game Awards in 2018.

Meanwhile, Annapurna Interactive, known for the romantic and emotional Florence and the story-driven What Remains of Edith Finch, is releasing the star-studded narrative thriller Twelve Minutes with Daisy Ridley, James McAvoy and Willem Dafoe.

Read on for a list of 10 gaming releases to get excited about in 2021.

1. God of War: Ragnarok

God of War: RagnarokCourtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment

We don't know when exactly it's happening, but this God of War sequel — which has been teased by Santa Monica Studio for over a year — brings back the series protagonist Kratos, who, in the 2018 iteration of the franchise had been developed into an empathetic, kind-hearted, vulnerable warrior, and his son Atreas, dropping on the next-gen console PlayStation 5 in 2021.

2. Hitman 3

Hitman 3IO Interactive

As the eighth main installment in the dark and stealth-like Hitman series, this game from development and publishing studio IO Interactive brings back the assassin Agent 47 along with familiar gameplay in addition to new concepts and scenarios. The developer's teaser tweet reads: "Death awaits." The game releases January 2o for Xbox One, Google Stadia, PC and next-gen consoles, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

3. Halo Infinite

Halo InfiniteCourtesy of Xbox

When campaign gameplay was shown at the Xbox showcase earlier this year, 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee declared it the most ambitious campaign that the company has ever created, and everyone thought they would be playing it by the time the Xbox Series X launched. But the game, the first newest entry in the first-person shooter franchise since 2015's Halo 5: Guardians, was ultimately delayed, while creative director Tim Longo also departed the studio. Xbox senior creative director Joseph Staten is leading the project, which will release in fall 2021.

4. Gotham Knights

Gotham KnightsWarner Bros. Games Montreal

From Warner Bros. Games Montreal, action role-playing game Gotham Knights was unveiled at DC Fandome in August. The open-world game offers a story set in the Batman universe, featuring playable characters such as Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin — all of whom are tasked with protecting Gotham City in the wake of Batman's death. The game will be playable either solo or as a two-player online cooperative experience.

5. Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts LegacyCourtesy of Warner Bros. Games

From publisher Warner Bros. Games and developer Avalance, the open world role-playing game Hogwarts Legacy is set in the world of Harry Potter in the 1800s. Players are tasked with controlling a witch or wizard as they take on missions that test their character, skills and combat.

6. Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden WestSony Interactive Entertainment

As the sequel to 2017's best-selling action role-playing game Horizon Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games has big shoes to fill with this open-world sequel, which is set to drop for PlayStation 5 in the second half of 2021 and continues the story of the huntress Aloy, sent on a quest to locate the source of a mysterious plague.

7. Twelve Minutes

Twelve MinutesGetty Images

Annapurna Interactive's narrative-driven thriller Twelve Minutes stars Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe and James McAvoy and follows a nameless man whose romantic evening with his wife is interrupted by an intruder. As the man tries to stop the attacker, he is knocked out and finds himself back at the start of the evening and stuck in an infinite time loop.

8. Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6Courtesy of Ubisoft

First-person shooter Far Cry 6 stars The Mandalorian actor Giancarlo Esposito and is set in the Caribbean nation of Yara, where president Anton Castillo is subduing anyone who challenges his attempts to return the country to its former glory. The game comes from developer Ubisoft Toronto.

9. Resident Evil 8: Village

Resident Evil 8: VillageCapcom

A sequel to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, this entry in the survival-horror franchise begins eight year after the events of the aforementioned game, where Ethan Winters has started a new life with his wife. But of course, his peace is disrupted by Chris Redfield — and the twisted nightmare continues.

10. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Ratchet & Clank: Rift ApartSony Interactive Entertainment

"All of our alien worlds are filled with density and life previously unseen," said Insomniac Games creative director Marcus Smith teased during Sony's "Future of Gaming" presentation during Summer Game Fest earlier this year. The third-person shooter platform game releases in 2021, though no specific date has been set yet.

Title : 10 of the Most Anticipated Video Games of 2021
Originally Publish at : www.hollywoodreporter.com
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