Back 4 Blood (October 12, 2021)
Okay, I’ll admit it—I sunk hundreds of hours into Left 4 Dead, I’m more than ready to do the same when Back 4 Blood launches later this year. Sure, it’s got a different name – but let’s be honest, this is pretty much the closest we’ll ever get to Left 4 Dead 3.
I will say this—if you aren’t already sold on Back 4 Blood, you should check out its recent E3 gameplay trailer or screenshots, which gives us closer looks at the fast-paced game. Jumping into the shoes of a Cleaner looks like your standard zombie-slaying fun, but it’s the Ridden that most excite me for October. With plenty of new abilities – and some returning favorites from the Left 4 Dead series – planning how to best tear apart the Cleaners looks to provide some of the most unique gameplay of 2021.
Back 4 Blood will boast a cooperative story, competitive multiplayer, and loads of replayability, I’ve got a feeling Back 4 Blood is going to consume the majority of my time on Xbox Series S this holiday season. Oh, and did I mention it’ll be included in Xbox Game Pass?
Back 4 Blood will release for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, and PC.
Halo Infinite (Holiday 2021)
If you’re like many gamers, you have a deep and abiding love for the Halo franchise, then the game you are most looking forward to in 2021 is clearly Halo Infinite. Set after the events of Halo 5: Guardians, Infinite is shaping up to be not only the game we want but the game we deserve.
Unlike the next game on this list, Halo Infinite seems a return to form for the series, with several gameplay elements hearkening back to its earlier, classic roots. However, it also seeks to innovate on the beloved formula by introducing new concepts. Master Chief’s adventure will see him roam an expansive world, and he is equipped with an all-new Grappleshot, a grappling hook that allows for more vertical movement and increased reach. In addition to that, the multiplayer component of Halo Infinite will be free to play. Intrigued and excited don’t even begin to cover how I feel about its upcoming release.
Halo Infinite will release for the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.
Battlefield 2042 (October 22, 2021)
This is a given—although Battlefield is at its peak when players utilize the game’s teamwork, not just gadgets, vehicles, and nice physics. We’ll see if this can live up to its predecessors to create some truly incredible gameplay. This game boasts of letting players:
Collapse a building onto enemies.
Use a Repair Tool to eliminate unsuspecting players.
Turn an ATV into a missile on wheels by using C4.
And…jump out of a jet to RPG an enemy fighter on your tail? (That’s not hyperbole. It’s called a RendeZook).
I can’t think of many FPS titles outside of the Battlefield franchise that allows players to get that creative on (or flying over) the battlefield.
The newest game in the long-running series—Battlefield 2042 aims to bring those creative elements to the forefront. Players can now call in vehicles near their location mid-life. Dynamic weather allows tornadoes to spawn mid-game, making certain sections of the map inhospitable for rooftop campers and the toughest of vehicles.
The brand new Specialist system, while controversial, allows DICE to experiment with more open-ended loadouts by removing weapon “class restrictions” and certain “gadget restrictions.” And the Plus attachment system allows players to adapt to the more chaotic and varied sandbox that 2042 is shaping up to provide.
When you combine all of these elements with massive maps and 64v64 player battles, the potential for mayhem and player creativity has never been higher. This game aims to be a love letter to all Battlefield fans, new and old.
However, after playing the recent beta, I can tell you that this game feels watered down. There is absolutely zero teamwork, none of the squad or squad leader systems and class systems of previous games, and the Specialist system is totally weird. We’ll see if DICE can pull a miracle out of a hat but it doesn’t look promising.
Battlefield 2042 will release for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
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