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Games that will blow you away in 2020

They say that good things come to those who wait. In that case, these games are going to be pretty darn spectacular. Multi-year development cycles are pretty common in the video game industry — games are hard to make, after all, and creating a truly great game takes a lot of time — but fans have been looking forward to the following titles for quite a while.

But the shape of 2020 is coming into focus, and it's looking gorgeous. With the next generation around the corner, many of these upcoming games represent the swan songs of their various platforms. But now that developers have figured out the current gen down to the last molecule, expect these games to squeeze every last ounce of power out of them, and possibly redefine how we even thought of them.

Here are the best games coming out in 2020.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps - Feb. 11, 2020

You don't need cutting-edge 3D graphics to create a beautiful game. Just look at Ori and the Blind Forest. At this point, development of Moon Studios' sidescrolling Metroidvania started over seven years ago, and yet the game still looks better than almost anything else on the market, modern or otherwise.

Somehow, its sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, looks even better. The game's overall sense of style is roughly the same, but Ori's moody natural environments and mysterious creatures are even more vivid and detailed than before, making the plucky little forest spirit's world feel more vibrant than ever. Ori's platforming elements seem to be just as tight and compelling as they were the first time around, too.

Oh, and did we mention that Ori has an adorable owl pal this time around, too? It's almost too charming to handle. We can't wait to see what other surprises Moon Studios has in store for Ori and the Will of the Wisps' 2020 debut.

Gods & Monsters - Feb. 25, 2020

Like most big game publishers, Ubisoft has a reliable stable of established franchises that it tends to cycle through. Gods & Monsters, on the other hand, is brand new — to a point, anyway. The "storybook adventure" game clearly take a lot of cues, at least visually, from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, with some of Nintendo's Kid Icarus thrown in for good measure.

The biggest influence on Gods & Monsters, however, might actually be Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, which also played with ancient Greek mythology. In fact, at E3 2019, Ubisoft confirmed that Gods & Monsters was created by the people behind Odyssey and was inspired by what they learned while making that game. Accordingly, it's an open-world adventure in which you play as a forgotten Greek hero who's on a mission to help the gods reclaim their powers. You'll do so with the help of your bow, your sword, and your telekinetic powers.

So far, Ubisoft has only unveiled a cinematic trailer, so it's possible that Gods & Monsters will change before release. It doesn't need to. Zelda with monsters from Greek mythology? We've already signed up.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake - March 3, 2020

At long last, Final Fantasy 7 Remake is coming. Well, part of it is: at E3 2019, Final Fantasy 7 director Yoshinori Kitase confirmed that the first episode of Final Fantasy 7 Remake fills two Blu-ray discs' worth of content, and yet only takes Final Fantasy 7 Remake through Midgar, the original game's opening area.

Kitase doesn't know how many more games it will take to finish the whole story, nor how long they'll take to make. We'll play the first part anyway. Final Fantasy 7 Remake's battle system, which looks like a mash-up of Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy 15, and Final Fantasy 7's turn-based battles, works surprisingly well, and seeing Square Enix's most beloved characters rendered in such loving detail never gets old.

So, yeah, it's disappointing that we won't be able to re-acquaint ourselves with Cid and Yuffie quite yet, and that Final Fantasy 7's big plot twist — you know the one — is still years away. Still, Midgar is arguably Final Fantasy 7's best setting, and it's going to be great to get to know it a whole lot better. We just hope the rest of the story isn't too far off. We've been waiting long enough.

Watch Dogs: Legion - March 6, 2020

Ubisoft's Watch Dogs franchise has always been wildly ambitious, but it has also struggled to live up to its lofty goals. As a result, you can understand why some people are skeptical of Watch Dogs: Legion's big hook. Ubisoft claims that the game will let you recruit and play as any person in Legion's dystopian take on post-Brexit London, with the storyline adjusting accordingly.

Maybe that's too good to be true, but so far it looks like Watch Dogs: Legion will live up to the hype. Hands-on reports say that identifying and recruiting agents is just as fun as it sounds. Once you have a character on your roster, you'll need to use them carefully, too. Every character has a different skillset — some are good at hacking, for example, while others defeat foes through brute force — which opens up a variety of different ways to handle missions, but if they die they're gone for good.

Ubisoft knows how to make open-world games, and Watch Dogs 2 was a big step forward, so stay cautiously optimistic. If Legion works, it could be 2020's most impressive game. Besides, you can be a murder grandma. Who doesn't want that?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - March 20, 2020

In most Animal Crossing games, your avatar moves in to an established village that's already full of houses to explore and critters to meet. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you start with nothing. That's just one of the ways that New Horizons, the first true Animal Crossing title for the Nintendo Switch, is shaking up the series' long-established formula — but it's far from the only one.

Now, you can place your furniture outdoors. You can create a character with any skin color that you want, without resorting to weird "tanning" hacks. Instead of buying furniture, you can make your own using New Horizons' fully-featured crafting system — assuming that you've already gathered the right materials, of course. It has true multiplayer co-op that supports up to eight people at a time. It has an in-game cellphone, with which you can earn "Nook miles" by completing tasks, giving you rewards for doing things that previous games would've ignored.

And that's just the beginning. Animal Crossing is designed to last for years, and it should take us a while to discover everything that New Horizons has to offer. Honestly? We wouldn't have it any other way.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 - March 2020

If there has ever been a flawed masterpiece in video games, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is it. Released on PC in 2004, Bloodlines was praised for its script and its narrative design, which flooded players with meaningful and interesting choices, tackled adult topics like sex and death with actual maturity, and introduced fans to realistic, well-written characters. It's also, unfortunately, a technical mess, and it sold poorly, ultimately driving its developer out of business.

Still, over the past 15 years, Bloodlines has become a cult favorite among RPG fans, making a sequel an easy proposition. Even better, developer Hardsuit Labs seems like they're doing Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 right. The company has enlisted writer Brian Mistoda, who worked on the first game, to tell a new story about a newly turned creature of the night in Seattle. As in the first game, you'll have to navigate your afterlife while trying to keep your very existence a secret — but this is 2020. Camera phones and surveillance equipment are everywhere, and staying off of the radar is easier said than done.

You won't be making this journey alone, either. Bloodlines 2 is set just after an event called the Mass Embrace, during which Seattle's vamps bit a whole bunch of people and created a horde of so-called Thin-Bloods, while the supernatural community's age-old clans continue to battle for supremacy. Get ready. When 2020 rolls around, you would-be vampires are going to have your work cut out for you.

Trials of Mana - Early 2020

It took 24 years for the sequel to Secret of Mana to reach the United States. Now that it's here, we're getting two different versions. With Collection of Mana, you can play the Super NES original in English, in America, for the first time ever (officially, anyway). If you'd rather play something a more modern, Square Enix has you covered, too: Trials of Mana is getting a 3D remake, and it's only a few months away.

Don't let 2018's lackluster Secret of Mana remake scare you off, either. Square Enix has learned from its mistakes. The Trials of Mana remake is a brand new game that shares a story with the original, but little else. The combat system has been totally revamped, the minimap now has waypoints to help track quest objectives, and the world map is full of new secrets to discover.

Narratively, Trials of Mana is interesting, too: as in the original game, you choose three characters (from six) when you begin, and your party's interpersonal relationships change based on who you select. It's been a long, long time since Square Enix delivered a legitimately good Mana title. In 2020, the series returns to form.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Quarantine - Early 2020

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege, the latest entry in Ubisoft's series of tactical multiplayer shooters, is going strong four years after release. So, now that it's time for a sequel, how can Ubisoft make the new game special without cannibalizing its existing player base? Easy: make the goals less competitive and more cooperative, and add monsters.

Rainbow Six: Quarantine is inspired by Siege's limited-time Outbreak event, but it's not an expansion. It's a stand-alone title. In it, teams of three government operatives will team up to take on an alien parasite that threatens all of humanity. It's a pretty far out there premise, even for Ubisoft's increasingly sci-fi-oriented Tom Clancy franchise, but Quarantine's first trailer does give us some major Dead Space and Prey vibes. That's a good thing.

Ubisoft hopes that Rainbow Six: Quarantine will do for player-versus-environment co-op what Siege did for PVP. It certainly has an excellent foundation to build on, and Ubisoft has learned a lot since Siege's rocky launch. Stay tuned for more very soon.

Cyberpunk 2077 - April 16, 2020

CD Projekt Red hasn't said a whole lot about Cyberpunk 2077. We know that the game has been in development since at least 2012 and that it's a spin-off of Cyberpunk 2020, a pen-and-paper role-playing game. We know it's set in a sprawling and wide-open metropolis called Night City and its characters will speak multiple languages. If you want to know what everyone is saying, you'll either need to buy in-game translator implants, or load up on language courses at the local community college. Players will be able to experience other characters' memories using something called a "Braindance," and there'll be a Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer mode in addition to the single-player storyline.

Cyberpunk 2077 is supposed to be a number of orders of magnitude bigger than the developer's last game, The Witcher 3, but should also be just as densely packed with stories to experience, characters to meet, and things to do. That's a big undertaking, which is probably why over 400 people are currently working on the game. Cyberpunk 2077 sounds incredibly ambitious, but as The Witcher 3 proves, CD Projekt Red knows what it's doing. It's hard to follow up one of the greatest games of all time, but if any studio can do it, it's CD Projekt Red. Don't worry. They've got things under control.

Minecraft: Dungeons - Spring 2020

Minecraft won't ever get a sequel. Quite frankly, it doesn't need one. Spin-offs, though? Keep 'em coming. In 2015, Mojang and Telltale Games teamed up to give the blocky sandbox title a plot — kind of, anyway — with Minecraft: Story Mode, an episodic narrative adventure, while in 2019 Minecraft is going old-school. Minecraft: Dungeons might look like another voxel-based building game, but it's really a retro-style dungeon crawler, complete with young men and fair maidens to rescue, waves of monsters to defeat, and plenty of loot to collect.

Mojang promises that Minecraft: Dungeons will be full of new content. Even if you're an experienced Minecraft player, Dungeons will introduce you to environments, mobs, and items that you've never seen before. Everything still has that good, voxel-y Minecraft flavor, though. As Mojang explains, Minecraft: Dungeons' combat system is the same one that Minecraft players have been enjoying for close to a decade. If you, like many others, prefer to play Minecraft with friends, you can do that here, too. Minecraft: Dungeons supports parties of up to four players, and will reward groups with bigger and better items that scale accordingly.

Even if retro-style dungeon crawlers aren't your thing, keep your fingers crossed that Minecraft: Dungeons delivers. Mojang says that the action-RPG is just the first of many Minecraft-themed titles in development, and we can't wait to see what shows up next.

Marvel's Avengers - May 15, 2020

Here's what we know about Marvel's Avengers: it comes out in May 2020. It has Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, and the Hulk as playable characters (sorry, Hawkeye). It stars some of the best-known voice actors in the game industry. It features an original plotline, which sees the Avengers fall from grace after a mission goes bad, and it'll be updated regularly after release. All new heroes will be free.

Here's what we don't know: what it actually is. E3 2019 demos confirmed that the game would be a third-person action title. Comments from staffers indicate that Avengers will be a live-services title like Destiny or The Division, albeit one with a bigger focus on story. Does that mean that we'll be able to grind either solo or with friends to earn new gear, alternate costumes, and stat upgrades? It sure sounds like it.

Yeah, Avengers doesn't look amazing, but Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot was great. We're reserving judgement until we know more. The dearly departed Diablo-like MMO Marvel Heroes was pretty cool, after all. A higher-budget, story-driven take on that general concept? Yeah, we'll assemble for that.

Halo Infinite - Holiday 2020

What if you spent your whole life fighting a war, only to wake up one day to learn that you'd lost? That seems to be the premise behind Halo Infinite, which closed out Microsoft's E3 2019 with a plot-heavy trailer. No, we didn't see any gameplay, but, c'mon, it's Halo. We already know what that means: a first-person sci-fi shooter with a story-based campaign, along with some of the most compelling multiplayer in the business.

What we're more curious about is how Halo Infinite will take advantage of Microsoft's new console, codenamed Xbox Scarlett. As a Scarlett launch title (although it's coming to Xbox One and PC, too), Halo Infinite seems like the perfect place for Microsoft to show off what the device is capable of. We know that Xbox Scarlett will drastically reduce load times, that it has some ultra-powerful hardware under the hood, and that it's optimized for game streaming and the Xbox Game Pass.

That's all cool stuff, but none of it is a system-seller — yet. If Microsoft can trust anyone to bring the heat, it's Master Chief. The war with the Covenant is over, right? Chief has to find something to do.

Avatar - Late 2020

Remember Avatar, the James Cameron movie that also happens to be the highest-grossing movie of all time? If not, you're not alone. Avatar might've made bank at the box office, but it hasn't really had much of a lasting impact. That's not stopping Cameron from producing a whole mess of sequels, however, or video game publisher Ubisoft from getting to work on another Avatar tie-in.

Ubisoft's new Avatar game will run on the company's Snowdrop Engine, which currently powers The Division, and is being presented as a companion to the new films, not a direct adaptation. At the very least, Pandora's lush jungles seem like fertile ground for the kind of open-world adventure games that Ubisoft is known for, and while the company didn't quite nail their first attempt, there's no harm in trying again.

Just don't expect to get your hands on Avatar any time soon. Ubisoft says that the game won't launch before the company's 2021 fiscal year (which begins on April 1, 2020, because accounting is weird), and that the release date will, ideally, be tied to one of the Avatar sequels' theatrical releases. Given that Avatar 2 currently has a December 18, 2020 release date — and that assumes that it's not delayed again — it seems like a turn of the decade arrival is optimistic at best.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 - 2020

Creator Michel Ancel never envisioned his 2003 action-adventure game Beyond Good & Evil as a one-and-done deal. It was supposed to be the first part of a trilogy, kicking off a brand new franchise that Ubisoft could exploit for years and years to come. Then, the disappointing sales happened. Beyond Good & Evil has gone on to become a minor cult classic, but it deserved better. In fact, Ubisoft's North American executive director, Laurent Detoc, says that the game's failure is still his biggest mistake, business-wise.

Still, the fans who love Beyond Good & Evil — and there are quite a few — have been clamoring for a follow-up for ages. Ubisoft promised one back in 2008, and then went silent. It took almost a decade to learn more, but as of E3 2018, we know the following: Beyond Good & Evil 2 is a prequel (although the first game's hero, Jade, will still appear), features an open world and custom-made characters, will allow players to explore numerous planets, and, going off of the trailers, is certifiably bonkers.

It also won't be out for a while. Ubisoft says that it's hoping to get a Beyond Good & Evil 2 beta ready for fans by "the end of" 2019. That means that the full game won't be ready for mass consumption until 2020 at the earliest, and that's assuming that Ancel's team hits all of their deadlines. As Beyond Good & Evil 2's past history shows, that's much easier said than done.

Dual Universe - 2020

Dual Universe's alpha, which is open to Kickstarter backers, begins in November 2018, but the full game isn't scheduled to release until late 2020 — and that's if everything goes according to plan. Why's it taking so long? Just look at the game's feature list. If developer NovaQuark can deliver what its promising, Dual Universe should be very, very cool. At the very least, it's remarkably ambitious.

Too ambitious, perhaps. Like No Man's Sky, Dual Universe takes place in a procedurally-generated universe. Like EVE Online, it's an interstellar sandbox driven by players. Governments, corporations, and the economy? NovaQuark is leaving it all up to you. In addition, Dual Universe has a Minecraft-style voxel-based crafting and building system that'll let you make more or less whatever you want, and a Star Citizen-like blend of first-person and interstellar combat. In-game devices are programmable via LUA script, meaning that tech-savvy players will be able to create artificial intelligences and low-key mini-games.

Oh, and by the way: Dual Universe is a massively multiplayer online game in which all the players live on the same server. No shards. No instances. Everyone is in it together. If this all sounds too good to be true, well, maybe it is. If it isn't, though … well, 2020 seems awfully far away.

Microsoft Flight Simulator - 2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator was never sexy, but don't dismiss it as a niche title. It was published continuously from 1982 to 2006 and sold millions of copies along the way. Microsoft Flight Simulator's community is still thriving, too. You can understand why Microsoft decided to bring it back.

This isn't your daddy's Flight Simulator, though. While the old one was strictly a PC game, the new edition will also arrive on the Xbox One. More importantly, it looks amazing. The new edition of Flight Simulator sports 4K graphics that are so detailed that Microsoft reps worried that people wouldn't believe that its trailer was made from in-game footage. Microsoft also claims that it's leveraging two petrabytes worth of data, as well as its Azure AI system, to make Flight Simulator's world as realistic as possible. From what we've seen, we believe it.

Microsoft Flight Simulator won't be for everyone — it's complex and doggedly realistic, and its charms lie mostly in cruising around and taking in the scenery — but if you're one of Flight Simulator's legions of fans, its time to celebrate. The king is back.

Diablo 4 - TBD

You know it's coming. We know it's coming. Blizzard sure as hell knows that it's coming. The BlizzCon 2018 keynote might've ended with Diablo: Immortal's controversial reveal, and not Diablo 4 like fans had hoped, but c'mon. Blizzard responded to the Immortal backlash by confirming that there are multiple Diablo projects in development. Kotaku confirmed that a Diablo 4 promotional video was produced, although it wasn't shown at the convention (and, according to some reports, wasn't ever supposed to be). Blizzard job listings are full of Diablo references, and not just for Immortal. Clearly, something is in the works.

It's just not clear when we'll see it. Diablo 3 is only seven years old, it's still coming to new platforms (Diablo 3 hit the Switch as recently as fall 2018), and it's still receiving regular updates. Besides, there was a 12-year gap between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3. As far as Diablo 4 is concerned, the time still isn't right. Blizzard's games are great for many reasons, but a big one is that the company doesn't rush its products through development. They're ready when they're ready, and not a second sooner.

It'll be here eventually, though. Loot-hungry action-RPG fans are just going to have to wait. In the meantime, check out Torchlight: Frontiers and Path of Exiles. Those should help tide you over — at least until the real deal arrives.

Starfield - TBD

Bethesda revealed its next big single-player role-playing game, Starfield, at E3 2018. The company didn't share a whole lot of information — the brief announce trailer isn't much more than a planet, a distant space station, and a logo — journalists and fans have managed to uncover together a few pieces of information. In short: Starfield sounds really, really good.

Starfield will have sci-fi trappings. It's Bethesda Softworks' first new intellectual property in a quarter century. While Starfield's setting might be new, the game reportedly stays true to the "publisher's role-playing foundation," offering players an open world to explore and the freedom to make choices as they see fit. In other words, if you've played the later Elder Scrolls and Fallout games, you're going to get more of the same.

Similarly, while Bethesda hasn't said when Starfield is coming out, it's possible to make an educated guess based on the existing facts. Bethesda tends to work on only a few games at a time, and as of Starfield's announcement, they're still perfecting Fallout 76, which arrives much sooner. Bethesda's Todd Howard also hinted that Starfield may not launch until the next console generation, which would put it at 2020 at the earliest. That might feel like a long time, but it's been 25 years since Bethesda created a new franchise. You can wait just a little bit longer.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel - TBD

Forget Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and Fire Emblem. After Nintendo's E3 2019 presentation, people were only talking about one thing: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is getting a sequel. Nintendo didn't reveal a title, or a release date, or any plot information. It didn't matter. The Breath of the Wild sequel stole the show anyway.

Since then, fans have analyzed every frame of Nintendo's Breath of the Wild sequel trailer for clues. Zelda can be seen adventuring alongside Link sporting a stylish, shorter hairdo, leading many to assume that she'll be a playable character. A mummy featured in the video looks a lot like Ganondorf. People think they've caught glimpses of the Twilight Mirror in a few shots, and it sure looks like Link is infected by an old, ancient evil. That can't be good.

Meanwhile, series producer Eiji Aonuma claims that the sequel will be darker than Majora's Mask, the creepiest game in the Zelda series, and might be influenced by games like Skyrim and Red Dead Redemption. The next chapter of the Breath of the Wild saga is probably years away. If it's even half as good as the original, we're willing to wait.

Psychonauts 2 - TBD

It's hard to describe what makes Psychonauts so special. It's not just the premise, which throws a bunch of psychic-powered kids into an otherwise normal summer camp, mixing up superpowered-shenanigans with all kinds of cartoony teen angst. It's not just the inventive levels, which use the environment itself to explore Psychonauts' quirky characters. It's not just Psychonauts' weird sense of humor, and it's certainly not the game's sales — these days, Psychonauts is a cult classic, but it absolutely bombed at release.

Psychonauts is all of that combined, and it's no wonder that fans have been clamoring for a sequel for a decade and a half. In 2019, they're finally getting one. Back in 2015, players hungry for more Psychonauts contributed almost $4 million to help fund the long-awaited sequel, and if developer Double Fine follows through on its promises, it looks like Psychonauts 2 will be worth the wait.

As in the first game, you'll play through the game as Raz, the freshly-minted Psychonaut agent who uses abilities like telekinesis and pyrokinesis to solve puzzles and tackle platforming challenges. The summer camp is gone, but many of its occupants will return, including Raz's girlfriend Lili. You'll still be diving into the minds of various agents in order to unravel the mysteries hidden in their psyches, but you'll also learn more about Raz and his unique family. Obviously, the graphics will be better than in the last Psychonauts, and the 3D platforming is getting some much-needed tweaks, but all in all Psychonauts 2 is simply going to be more Psychonauts. That's great news, and it's about time.

Bayonetta 3 - TBD

A catsuit-clad, lollipop-sucking witch who loses her clothing when she attacks seems like a weird mascot for family-friendly Nintendo, but then there's nothing normal about Bayonetta. The glammed up, hair-flinging action hero might've been designed as creator Hideki Kamiya's "ideal woman," but don't let the Bayonetta series' fanservice-heavy presentation turn you off. It's more style than sleaze, and besides, there's a vastly compelling action game lurking underneath all that camp.

If you've never played Bayonetta 1 or 2 or you only know her from her role in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, here's a little bit of what you can expect in Bayonetta 3: High heels that double as guns. Arms-dealing bartenders. Weapons named after classic folk ballads. Shape-shifting powers. Hordes of demons. Levels inspired by Dante's Inferno, of all things — the work of classic literature, not the polarizing video game adaptation.

It's basically Devil May Cry with the absurdity (and sex appeal) cranked up to 11, and it's glorious. Not that we'd expect anything less from PlatinumGames. Fast-paced madness is Platinum's bread and butter, as evidenced in games like Mad World, Vanquish, and NieR: Automata. We're not sure when the Switch-exclusive Bayonetta 3 will see the light of day, but we can understand why Nintendo would want to be in the Bayonetta business. We do, too.

Ghost Of Tsushima - TBD

There are two games on the horizon set in feudal Japan. One, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a third-person action adventure game by FromSoftware, the people who brought you Dark Souls. The other, Ghost Of Tsushima is a third-person action adventure game by Sucker Punch, the people who brought you Sly Cooper and Infamous. Both combine stealth with more straightforward action. Both put a big premium on swordplay. Both feature grappling hooks.

Confused yet? Here are a couple of ways to keep the two games apart. While Sekiro seems to be a relatively linear experience, Ghost of Tsushima is an open-world game. Sekiro is set in a stylized, surreal world with few links to reality. Ghost of Tsushima goes out of its way to be as realistic as possible, to the point where Sucker Punch hired a "historical sword-fighting expert" to make sure that the combat was kosher, and took a trip to Japan just to record native bird songs. When playing Ghost of Tsushima, you can even switch the dialogue to Japanese-only (with English subtitles) to squeeze out a little more historical accuracy.

The biggest difference between the two games, though? While Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has a firm March 2019 release date, Ghost of Tsushima is still a ways away. That's probably for the best. Both games look great, and we'd hate to see Ghost of Tsushima get lost in all of Sekiro's Souls-fueled hype. Best to keep them far apart. That way, it'll be easier to enjoy both.

Persona 5 Scramble - TBD

When Nintendo revealed that Joker was coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, fans assumed that his flagship game, Persona 5, was headed to Nintendo's red-hot console as well. Their hopes seemed all but confirmed just a few weeks later, when a mysterious Switch game called Persona 5 S snuck onto Atlus' release schedule. "S" as in "Switch." Get it?

Well, surprise! Persona 5 S isn't a Persona 5 port at all. It's a spinoff called Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers. While the core Persona games mix dungeon-crawling with social simulation, Persona 5 Scramble is an action game that puts Joker and the rest of Persona 5's heroes against never-ending hordes of enemies, which they can decimate with their of flashy powers. If the trailer looks kind of familiar, there's probably a good reason for that, too: Persona 5 Scramble is developed by Omega Force, the company that makes Dynasty Warriors and spinoffs like Hyrule Warriors and Dragon Quest Heroes, and it doesn't look like the studio is venturing too far from its roots.

The Persona series has a long history of popular and quirky spinoffs and there's no reason to think that Persona 5 Scramble won't be one of them. Atlus hasn't confirmed a Western release for Persona 5 Scramble just yet, but given the franchise's rising profile on these shores, we're guessing it's only a matter of time. And hey, at least Scramble is a real surprise. We never saw it coming.

Skull & Bones - TBD

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is one of the best Assassin's Creed games ever made thanks almost entirely to its pirate theme, which let Ubisoft's developers take Assassin Creed III's well-received ship sections and bring them to the next level. In fact, Black Flag's naval battles are so fun that Ubisoft decided to give them their own game. It's called Skull & Bones, and it looks great.

Want to hit the seas solo and build a pirate empire all by your lonesome? You can. Despite the focus on epic five-on-five sea fights during Skull & Bones' big reveal, the game will have a dedicated single-player campaign. Even better, the solo missions will be fully integrated with Skull & Bones' multiplayer content. Basically, Skull & Bones will have something for everyone, no matter whether or not their friends are online or how they like to play.

It'll also have a whole fleet of different ships and an arsenal full of weapons like cannons, mortars, and rockets to choose from. You'll be able to board other people's ships, conquer enemy territory, and scour the Indian Ocean for hidden treasure. All that, and Skull & Bones will constantly improve, too. Ubisoft Singapore says its been listening to fans since the game entered development, and plans to keep that back-and-forth going for as long as possible.

If you want to live out all of your swashbuckling dreams, and find Sea of Thieves just a little too cartoony? Skull & Bones is for you.

Spelunky 2 - TBD

Yes, we're getting a legitimate Spelunky sequel. That's all you really need to know. In 2008, Derek Yu's free, procedurally-generated platformer arrived and helped kick off the indie 2D platformer renaissance, making roguelikes (or, at the very least, roguelike-likes) into a major thing. Now, Yu, Mossmouth, and Blitworks want to give us more? All we have to say is: yes, please.

Spelunky 2 isn't just more of the same, although honestly, we'd be pretty okay if it was. It's got a new hero in Ana Spelunky, the daughter of the original's iconic lead. Levels will be split into two "layers," adding a third dimension to exploration (don't worry, though: all movement still takes place on a 2D plane). New liquid physics make transversing Spelunky 2's underground labyrinths more fun — and dangerous — before, and Yu promises that Spelunky 2's levels will feel more interconnected, interesting, and polished than before.

If you're a Spelunky veteran, Yu hopes that you'll be able to jump right in and pick up where you left off. Spelunky 2 should be more friendly for newcomers, too, although if you haven't played the original yet, you've still got some time before Spelunky 2's 2019 release rolls around. Like we said, the game is free. Why wouldn't you give it a shot?