Sure, 2021 wasn’t exactly the smoothest year when it came to the gaming industry. Activision Blizzard continued its monstrous practice of honoring multi-million dollar payouts compared to taking care of its employees; PAX attempted to make an in-person return and didn’t fare well at all (while also closing down the much-beloved PAX South); Battlefield 2042 arrived with all the impact of a wet fart; and several games were delayed into 2022, mainly due to the COVID pandemic.
But…not all the news was bad. In fact, 2021 was a hallmark year in a number of ways, thanks to some surprise returns, new announcements and other bits and pieces that made us feel good about being part of the industry.
Begone, bad news! Let’s take a look at the ten standout stories that made us feel all warm and fuzzy this year!
Dead Space Returns
Visceral Games may be no more, but its premiere title Dead Space continues to live on, as the team at EA Motive are hard at work on an inspired remake that promises to be creepier and more thrilling than ever before. Now if it could just lead to a fourth chapter in the series…
Oh, Look, G4 Is Back!
As it previously promised, G4 made its long-awaited return last month, bringing back a number of hit programs (not Cops) and bringing back familiar faces like Adam Sessler and Kevin Pereira, pairing them up with newcomers such as Austin “Xavier Woods” Creed and Gina Darling.
Welcome back, guys. Now don’t leave again!
Xbox Owners Got To Play MLB The Show 21 For…Free?
Talk about your surprises. Hot on the heels of the news that the series would go multiplatform for the first time ever, Microsoft just went and offered Sony’s MLB The Show 21 to Game Pass subscribers for…free? That’s right, PS5 owners had to pay full price, but Xbox subscribers got to enjoy this awesome baseball game for the price of nada. Now that’s what we call a grand slam.
Welcome Back, Metroid!
While the wait continues for Metroid Prime 4, Nintendo and MercurySteam have given us something to chew on in the meantime with the awesome side-scrolling adventure Metroid Dread. It’s hard as nails, but absolutely fun to play and jam-packed with killer visuals and sound.
Get it if you haven’t already.
Halo Infinite Bounces Back!
Following the premiere of a gameplay trailer that left some people underwhelmed, 343 Industries bounced back with a number of new features in Halo Infinite that we can’t wait to try. The multiplayer is already epic; and the single player campaign should be better than ever. Plus, that grapple ability is awesome as hell. C’mon, December 8th, get here.
Forza Horizon 5 Smashes Records
We knew that Playground Games’ Forza Horizon 5 would be a hot sequel for Xbox fans. But we had no idea it would get as hot as a volcano. Within the first week of the game’s release, it saw over ten million players joining the fold. And with the holidays fast approaching, that number is set to grow even further. Viva la Mexico!
Smash Bros. Goes Out On A High Note
Bad news: players weren’t getting the Waluigi reveal that they wanted. However, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate did get something just as epic, as Sora from the Kingdom Hearts series closed out the roster in high fashion. He’s a lot of fun to play, and matching him up against Nintendo and other legends is icing on the cake. Now, let Masahiro Sakurai rest, people.
Surprise! Guardians Of The Galaxy Rules
We didn’t despise the Marvel’s Avengers video game, but some folks did, and wanted Square Enix and Marvel to make up for that mistake. Well, they did with the magnificent single player game Guardians of the Galaxy. It encompasses all the action of the unrelated Marvel films, while going off in its own fun direction at the same time. Plus, that 80’s soundtrack!
PC Gaming Takes A New Direction With The Steam Deck
Who the hell needs a Nintendo Switch when you’ve got a Steam Deck? OK, obviously we do, but it’s great that Valve is hard at work on an alternate way to enjoy PC games without the need of lugging around a PC. We will have to wait for the system to ship early next year, but it should be worth it – especially without the need to upgrade graphics cards. Oy.
Huzzah, Scott Pilgrim Returns!
Ever since its delisting on platforms a few years back, players have been dying to see the return of the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World video game. Now, they have it, thanks to Ubisoft’s vibrant re-release on modern platforms. Not to mention that Limited Run Games gave it the physical treatment with a special edition. We’ll never let Scott slip out of our grasp again.
BONUS: 50 Cent: Blood On the Sand on Xbox!
To commemorate with its 20th anniversary on the market, Microsoft released a slew of backward compatible titles for Xbox – including one that players shouldn’t miss out on this time around. 50 Cent: Blood On the Sand is an exciting action game, where the rap star and his posse take on all sorts of enemy soldiers while “hitting that ramp” and hunting for that mother fuckin’ skull. It may cost a bit to hunt down a physical copy, but, damn it, it’s worth it. Go, shorty.
You’re not seeing things – we’re giving away a game system of your choice for the holidays. Find out how to win here!