The biggest surprise video game hits of 2020

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It was a year of surprises for all of us. Not only did we kick off spring with the Coronavirus pandemic, but we saw a series of anomalies throughout 2020 that shocked and amazed. The field of video games has not been immune to the weirdness that has permeated this year, even though many of the surprises the industry has brought have been far more exciting and positive than those supposed to shake us.

From unsuspecting titles becoming true mobile phenomena to free-to-play anime-centric games taking the world by storm, our world has nearly turned its head in the past 12 months. Now that the year draws to a close, let’s go back and take a look at the biggest surprises, upheavals, and unexpected moments in the video game world.

Here are some of the notable titles that took us by surprise in 2020.

Phasmophobia

Who hasn’t fantasized at one point that they were communicating with ghosts while exploring a dark, empty house? Phasmophobia, an unpretentious indie title from Kinetic Games, is all about getting to the bottom of a series of hauntings, whether from mischievous poltergeists or vengeful spirits. While challenging in many ways, this insanely good (and terrifying!) Multiplayer ghost hunt has become one of the biggest and most watched games on Steam in 2020.

It’s all about stalking and subduing Spirits for a parade of paying customers, whether you go solo or with a series of friends. But it’s not just about uninvitedly laying guns down at someone’s house and knocking out an out of control ghost. You need a plan, as well as a series of ghost hunting tools to help you communicate with and contain or control spirits.

And it’s not enough to wave an EMF counter and call it a day. Phasmophobia is way too smart for that. The key to victory is to accomplish a variety of tasks, such as speaking in a mind box to ask questions (and listening to a strange response) or setting up a notebook for the mind to communicate with you on the spot. ‘Ancient. You never really know what’s going to happen when you accept a contract. But with friends around you are pretty much guaranteed to have a tingling moment.

In a way, it shouldn’t be surprising that Phasmophobia quickly piqued the interest of the gaming community as a whole, attracting huge streamers and winning many honors during the Game Awards 2020, given her advanced phantom AI and everything she’s capable of. But for an industry where it’s normal to see games with otherwise huge budgets explode, seeing Kinetic Games’ humble horror game receive so much appreciation was both surreal and heartwarming.

Genshin impact

A beautiful and realistic world with lush greenery and lush landscapes? Check. The freedom to go anywhere and do whatever you want? Recheck. An anime-style protagonist tasked with finding their missing twin after being separated during their travels to distant worlds? Triple check.

Developer miHoYo’s Genshin impact had everything it needed to become a huge success, and potential players were first drawn to its anime aesthetic and gorgeous animation. But it sounded quite familiar – almost exactly, some would say, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, until cooking, fighting and exploring.

While Genshin impact Sharing multiple similarities with Nintendo’s hugely popular sequel to Zelda, it diminishes its own influence to write it down as a “copier” game with little to offer. In fact, it’s a vast world packed with new areas and new content to explore, satisfying fights, challenging puzzles, and a grind that can keep everyone coming back for more.

There is a reason it ended up getting bigger over $ 393 million on mobile devices, where it debuted, in just two months, making it the second-largest mobile game in history. Not bad for an “anime game”, a pejorative phrase that many throw out Genshin impact with the aim of undermining its success. While it’s free, it isn’t mired in the same pitfalls as other games in the genre, and it’s truly free in the sense that if you put in enough people, not only can you reach an endgame. satisfying, but you may collect all the available characters to explore the fantastic world of Tevyat.

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