My Most Anticipated Indie Games For 2021
Disco Elysium - The Final Cut - Two years back, when Disco Elysium was being raved about in every review and at every Game of the Year discussion, I was very jealous. I never had a PC capable of gaming on until just this last year, and as a result, every major PC only release has had to pass me by as I prayed the game would become successful enough to warrant a console release. Luckily, that’s happened with Disco Elysium, and this is no mere port, this is a nearly completely different game, with new scenarios and full voice acting. As a sucker for narrative based games that can be completely altered by player choice, I can not wait to play this.
12 Minutes - I have wanted to play 12 Minutes for over five years at this point, and although it shouldn’t be trusted, I have reason to believe that we finally will get to play it this year. What started out as a one-man passion project about a man forced to relive the worst 12 Minute period of his life has bloomed into a huge Annapurna Interactive release being voice acted by James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe. I’m utterly intrigued by the premise of replaying the same 12 minute long section over and over looking for new clues to solve you and your wife’s murder (something similar was done by The Sexy Brutale, which became one of my favorite indie games of the last few years). There’s totally a chance that it’ll be melodramatic or overblown, but I’m excited nonetheless.
Hollow Knight: Silksong - I loved Hollow Knight. It’s blend of souls-like mystery and brutal difficulty combined with really fun 2D platforming and combat was an experience that I found very captivating, and one that I enjoyed for about 20 hours. Now, if you’ve played Hollow Knight, you would know that 20 hours ain’t shit. I only made it probably a little over two-thirds of the way through the game, got stuck on a particularly annoying boss, quit for the night, and never picked it back up again. This fact has haunted me for years now, but the prospect of going back to the game and replaying the first 20 hours again is much too daunting for me, and going back to my old save now that I’ve forgotten everything is a recipe for disaster, so I’ve been stuck waiting for Silksong. The long delayed game has no guarantee of releasing in 2021, but I’m hopeful, because there’s nothing I’d rather do right now than get myself sucked back into this bleak world.
Psychonauts 2 - Maybe it’s cheating to call Psychonauts an independent game following the recent acquisition of Double Fine by Microsoft, but the game did start out its first few years of development as a crowdfunded game from an independent studio, so I am still inclined to think of it as such. Independent or not, there is no doubt in my mind that Psychonauts 2 is my most anticipated game of 2021. I grew up loving Double Fine’s games, the offbeat humor and unique premises and gameplay of their titles always struck a chord with me. Despite always being a fan of both Double Fine and 3D Platformers, I somehow never played Psychonauts until just a couple years ago, and I was so hooked by the game that I played it in 2 sittings and spent the next few days getting 100%. It’s a magical game, hilarious and heartfelt with a concept and art style that is totally its own and it still holds up today. Every piece of footage I have seen of Psychonauts 2 has implied to me that Tim Schafer and co. have recreated that magic a second time, and I truly can not wait to experience it.