In January, two games are head and shoulders above the rest: Hitman 3 and The Medium. One is the highly anticipated World of Assassination trilogy finale, and the other is a horror game that seems to make good use of the power of the Xbox Series X and S. These are the game’s January 2021 releases!
January 20 – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X in S, Xbox One and PC
It’s striking that we still know little about January’s biggest game. IO Interactive likes to keep details of Agent 47’s most recent and “personal” adventure secret, and considering the expectations for the game, the studio gets away with that. The first playthrough reveals that Hitman 3 is mostly larger and more complex, with full-scale levels like a Dubai skyscraper and more options for creatively taking down targets. The ability to play the game completely in virtual reality from a first person perspective is really innovative. The developer previously reported that NPCs around the world even react to the player differently, such as when you tap them on the shoulder. Hopefully Hitman 3 has a good start to the year.
January 26 – Switch and PC
After developing Shovel Knight and its extensions, Yacht Club Games released its first title: Cyber Shadow. This 8-bit platform game from Mechanical Head Studios stands out mainly for its similarities to The Messenger, another retro platform game with a ninja in mind. In the ruins of the city of Mekacity, players will jump and fight their way through hordes of robots and battle towering bosses. The game seems to focus on improving ninja items and skills as well, although it’s not entirely clear if it contains elements of metroidvania. Either way, the gameplay looks appealing, especially in combination with the soundtrack produced by Jake Kaufman (Shovel Knight), making Cyber Shadow perhaps one of the first pearls of 2021.
January 28 – PS4, Xbox One, Switch on PC
Another interesting platform game is Olija from Skeleton Crew Studio. In Olija, you play as a sailor stranded in the strange land of Terraphage. Armed with a magic harpoon, you try to escape from the side of the girl Oljia. The harpoon is at the heart of this: it is possible to throw the object and swing after it, to push off the ground and to use the environment to make big jumps. While the platform gameplay is good and clearly predominates, the developer points out that Olija borrows a lot from classic adventure games. So expect a sailor’s tale based on Asian folklore.
January 28 – Xbox Series X and S on PC
Although the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are “available,” very few true next-gen games will appear. The Medium seems to be an exception to this rule, as the concept of the horror game requires graphics power that was not previously available on consoles. As the titular medium, players travel to a deserted, communist complex to solve a mystery about another dimension. You’re exploring these dimensions at the same time: both are constantly in sight and, according to developer Bloober Team, therefore provide interesting puzzles and confrontations with dark spirits. The soundtrack is another reason horror fanatics eagerly await The Medium. It is composed by Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka and Layers of Fear composer Arkadiusz Reikowski.
Sword of the Necromancer
January 28 – PS4, Xbox One, Switch on PC
Numerous dungeon crawlers appear every year, most of which do little or nothing to renew the concept. Perhaps the necromancer’s sword had a nice twist. As a Tama character you have the sword of the necromancer, a sword that can bring others to life. With this, it is not only possible to slash groups of monsters but also bring them back to life and have them fight alongside you. Sword of the Necromancer also features a roguelite system, which gives players randomly generated weapons every turn and tracks level progress. Whether that’s enough for a refreshing new dungeon crawler remains to be seen, but at least it’s a game to watch in January.
In January also appear: Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest (January 7, Switch), Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom (January 7, Xbox One, PC), Iris Autumn (January 8, PS4, Xbox One, Switch), King Arthur: Knight’s Tale (January 12, PC Early Access) Nights of fire at Freddy’s: Core Collection (January 12, PS4, Xbox One, Switch), Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game – Complete Collection (January 14, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, pc), MXGP 2020 (January 14, PS5), Rhythm fighter (January 14, Switch), Walk 4 (January 21, PS5, X and S series), Gravity hero (January 22, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC), Redoubt: Space Assault (January 22, PS4, Xbox One, Switch in PC), Fortress: warlords (January 26, Switch and PC), Yakuza: the collection remastered (January 28, Xbox One in pc), Celestial vault (January 28, Switch) and The Pedestrian (January, PS4).