The best RPG and strategy games of 2020

 J-RPG, W-RPG, RTS and other cool acronyms join hands in a list of some of the most outstanding games of the year that ends.

Like the year itself, our tour of the best games of 2020 is nearing its end, but there are still some important stops to go. Today's is a combination of role and strategy , twinned genres that sometimes merge to test both the ability to make immediate decisions and to elaborate longer-term tactics . Although not infrequently they share elements with action or adventures - some of their members could have appeared in previous days and vice versa - RPGs deserve their own and highlighted corner for offering not only experiences defined by quantifiable values, but also by the possibilities that these provide the player.


It is something that often extends to the narrative terrain, where the customization of attributes or the ramifications of dialogues allow us to write our own story through a mute or highly malleable avatar. Others, the script leaves little room for improvisation, but offers long hours of development and choral casts to tell some of the most elaborate and interesting stories that we can enjoy in the medium. And others, the names do not matter the least because the story that arises organically through the interaction with the systems is the real hook, giving rise to an emergent narrativethat prevents two games on the same mission from being equal. During 2020 we have seen very good examples of all types, so now we have to collect them and recommend them in case you have missed them.


Factorio


Factorio


  • Developer: Wube Software
  • Released: August 14
  • Platforms: PC

We start the list with an exceptional case in the sense that it does not have analysis in the magazine, but it deserves to be treated for being one of the best construction and management titles today. After several years in Early Access , 2020 has finally seen the formal launch of Factorio, a Czech strategy game based on survival on an alien planet . Start-up involves mundane procedures such as chopping rocks or felling trees to create fairly rudimentary tools and machinery, but the possibilities multiply at breakneck speed. Little by little, the game allows you to build real engineering works powered by steam, electricity or even uranium;elaborate systems that automate the collection and consumption of materials ; and turrets or walking robots that cope with the waves of huge indigenous insects that assail us from time to time — and increase in size as we pollute the environment. Like so many management games, Factorio can be intimidating at first glance, but the gradual introduction of its myriad of systems, as well as the extreme versatility it offers so that each player can use them in different ways, makes it a must for lovers of the genre.


13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim


13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim


  • Developer: Vanillaware
  • Released: September 22
  • Platforms: PS4


13 Sentinels is another remarkable work, and not only because it abandons the hack and slash formula of the previous games of the studio, but because it combines elements of RTS ( Real Time Strategy ) with a 2D narrative adventure starring a large and deliberately structured cast messy . Vanillaware's unmistakable hand-drawn art takes it to the next level in this 1980s reenactment of Japan , inhabited by thirteen students who wield fuses and find themselves embroiled in a conflict spanning multiple eras. Finding out how it all fits together is part of the appeal, as the plot avoids any hint of linearity, but remains focused on those thirteen characters - from which the player chooses and alternates quite freely - and avoids the confusion of other RPGs written with the little delicacy that only pursues twists or effects. 13 Sentinels is one of those games whose history already pays for the admission price, although combat, although simpler in comparison, also has its crumb thanks to the customization of the mecha, the formation of teams with different students and the variety of monsters to face. A jewel that deserves a little more attention.


Final Fantasy VII Remake


Final Fantasy VII Remake


  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release: April 10
  • Platforms: PC


And from a semi-covered Japanese RPG to perhaps the most anticipated in history. The Final Fantasy VII remake has been a coveted project since PlayStation 2 times and now, strange as it still may be, we can play it. Or at least its first part. With its focus on the events of Midgar , FF VII Remake expands and rewrites what was once the opening hours of the epic that revolutionized the genre in 1997. The great audiovisual and performance endeavors breathe new life into Cloud, Aeris, Tifa and other protagonists, as well as the remodeled suburbs and dungeons scattered throughout the huge futuristic city. This "stretching" does not come without bringing with it some narrative and structural licenses, but Square has managed to convince not a few fans with them. It has also done so when it comes to relieving classic turn-based combat by a real-time system that, however, still preserves the importance of materials , emblematic colored spheres that provide techniques as varied as spells, cures or invocations to their carriers. A solid start to an adventure with a lot to come.


Yakuza: Like a Dragon


Yakuza: Like a Dragon


  • Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
  • Release: November 10
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, One, PS5, X / S Series


Like a Dragon is one of those rare cases where a series moves from action to role rather than the other way around. The most histrionic vision of the Japanese mafia - the same one where adults in diapers also have a place - returns, changing the beat 'em up fights of its numerous previous installments for classic turn-based fighting . It is a decision that not only transforms the fights themselves, it also allows to put more focus on the cast of secondary that function as teammates , with lots of optional activities and story chapters that delve into each of them. The game takes us to a recreation in great detail of Yokohama ,city ​​full of content and hilarious mini-games such as karaoke, arcade machines or go-kart racing, as well as the management of several stores in case we are also interested in acting as an entrepreneur. The main plot, of course, has room for serious, emotional moments, but it's the distractions and industrial amounts of humor that make Like a Dragon a full-fledged Yakuza despite the surprising gender shift.


Desperados III


Desperados III


  • Developer: Mimimi Games
  • Release: June 16
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, One


Fans of the isometric tactical stealth popularized in our lands by the Spanish Commandos saga are surely also familiar with Desperados, a series of games that changed the trenches of World War II for the Wild West . For everyone else, it goes without saying that the third installment has come out this year, nor that it has done so by raising the saga to its best level. Desperados III allows extensive use of all the tricks in the manual, from whistling to lure enemies into the bushes in which we hide to using a second character to hide the corpse that the first one kills with a shot from a distance. There is also no shortage of contextual tricks like blowing up a wooden bridge or dropping a church bell on a group of bandits who gather to chat below. Each mission is built like a puzzle where we must use each piece to our advantage or improvise if things go wrong . Although the action takes place in real time, the game allows you to stop time and pre-program several tasks in a chainand then see how the characters execute them automatically. A good reminder of how addictive this subgenre can be.


Crusader Kings III


Crusader Kings III


  • Developer: Paradox Development Studio
  • Release: September 1
  • Platforms: PC


The Swedish Paradox, responsible for historical strategy sagas such as Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron and the Crusader Kings herself, returns to the fray with a game worthy of its pedigree. Crusader Kings III allows us to choose a dynasty and control its actions and influences for centuries . As count, duke or even king we can set ourselves countless objectives depending on the place or time, from fighting to preserve the power of the Roman Empire to changing the political map of an Iberian peninsula still divided into several kingdoms or annexing countries to create a superpower new. Unraveling on the throne requires dealing with feudal lords, plotting to kill rivals , arranging marriagesto forge alliances and secure offspring to extend the dynasty. Crusader Kings III also boasts some RPG elements in its characters , with unlockable abilities and stress levels that skyrocket if the acts contradict their personality. The amount of variables and the level of detail of the simulation can intimidate newcomers to this type of game, deeper than Civilization , although the interface has been remodeled to make it more accessible than its predecessors.


Wasteland 3


Wasteland 3


  • Developer: inXile Entertainment
  • Released: August 28
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, One


While the Fallout 76 fiasco still lingers, 2020 has seen role-playing and survival in arid post-apocalyptic worlds return in its most classic form . As its name suggests, Wasteland 3 is the third installment in a saga that serves as both a precursor (the original dates from 1988) and a successor to the Isometric Fallout that placed more emphasis on management than action . In the antipodes of not a few triple A, inXile's game prioritizes density over scale, capacity for tactical thinking over visual spectacle, to make the player more responsible for the myriad of small decisions made during combat or narrative ramifications. In fact, the plot component has a very important weight and the development is punctuated by constant encounters and dilemmas , a memorable cast of secondary characters and the black humor that has so often characterized this class of titles. As a good old-school W-RPG, Wasteland 3 doesn't reinvent the genre, but it offers a degree of polish that ranks it among the best.


Demon's Souls


Demon's Souls


  • Developer: Bluepoint Games
  • Release: November 12
  • Platforms: PS5


We had a little debate about whether to put the Demon's Souls remake on the action list or the RPG list, but in the end it ended up on the second. It is somewhat interpretable, but after playing debtors of his ideas like Dark Souls III , Bloodborne or Nioh 2 , there is something archaic and at the same time comforting in the slower and premeditated rhythm of Demon's Souls . Created by From Software in 2009 and rejuvenated by Bluepoint Games in 2020, the game still depicts dark medieval fantasy in its purest form - not just castle ruins, shadowy dungeons haunted by monsters, or the melancholy of characters. who regret how things were before; nor forthe tangible weight of steel weapons or the limitations imposed by armor when moving; but because of its design, with long journeys where only the defeat of a boss translates into a new control point , or its ability to think more outside the box, posing challenges and puzzles with the bosses themselves that go beyond skill in combat . Even now, after many years and imitators, Demon's Souls continues to differ in its proposal.


Person 5 Royal


Person 5 Royal


  • Developer: P-Studio
  • Released: March 31
  • Platforms: PS4


Three years after its original release in our territory, Persona 5 has returned with a revised and expanded version that has served to revalidate its perfect grade and status as one of the best contemporary JRPGs . Royal maintains all the hallmarks of the base experience, such as a groundbreaking visual style , a tactical combat system and at the same time extremely agile , a wide and well-defined cast with which to share dozens and dozens of hours of everyday moments, elaborate dungeonsthat break with the more conventional everyday life on the streets of Tokyo and a catchy soundtrack that connects and assembles all the pieces as part of a harmonious whole. To this, which is not little, now is added an unpublished school semester , several additional story arcs , new characters and enemies , numerous playable refinements (during the combats and the exploration of the palaces) and, for the first time, texts in Spanish for not miss a single detail. If you haven't played it already, it's the ideal version to start with. And if you have, the changes and additions make this revision worthy of replay.


Cyberpunk 2077


Cyberpunk 2077


  • Developer: CD Projekt RED
  • Release: December 10
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, One, Stadia


The level of expectation raised around Cyberpunk 2077, especially after the crowning of The Witcher 3 as one of the best modern RPGs, made it an event practically incapable of meeting all demands, on all fronts and for all users . What few surely counted on, yes, is that its launch, waited for years and delayed several times, was so marked by the proliferation of bugs on PC and some disastrous console adaptations. It is one side of the coin, the most talked about in the weeks that have followed its launch for obvious reasons. But then there is the other, the one that focuses on those moments - or those computers - in which the game works as it should, as so many expected in light of CD Projekt RED's previous trajectory and the wealth left behind by a universe born decades ago. in the role of paper and pencil.


Under optimal conditions, Night City is a large and dense city , full of life, characters to remember , interesting and varied missions , driving in a wide range of vehicles , futuristic gun shootouts and brain hacking . Ditching a predefined protagonist like Geralt in The Witcher allows for considerably more customization, and while it doesn't become a Deus Ex either, there's more room for workarounds. On the other hand, the immersion reaches new heights for the genre thanks to the visual display - again, when everything works as it should -, the design , the cultures that populate the different parts of the map or the contrasts between affluent areas and slums. It is, unfortunately, an unfinished product that at the moment can only be recommended with an asterisk next to it, but also one that with a little extra work can materialize into that masterpiece that CD Projekt RED has already proven itself capable of.

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