The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2020!



  • I feel like if I try say everything I want to say about Cyberpunk 2077, I’ll be writing this post until tomorrow, so I’ll try to be brief. But probably this still be a long post because this game blew my mind in so many ways.

    This is an incredibly immersive game – I often RP when I play RPGs in one way or another, but in Cyberpunk 2077 it went out of control. I refused to equip gear that doesn’t fit my character’s style no matter how good its stats were. I even took shopping tours around the city to find matching shoes for my new skirt. And I did all of this in a first-person game! Besides clothing, I was thinking for reasons to do this particular side quest now (or at all), to do it this particular way, and also how quest’s outcome affects V’s personality. Finally, as an obsessed gamer I wanted to see different endings, but I knew that only one path makes sense for my heroine, so instead of loading save, I’ve started brand new game with another character. And then I did it again to see the third possible path.

    Currently I’ve completed 5 playthroughs (240 hours total). And it’s not just branching quests that make replaying worthwhile, it’s insane amount of history and lore. I’ve read all in-game documents I could find, 3 books that came with collector’s edition, another art-book, an official guide and even Cyberpunk 2020 rulebook, and I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of this world. The most amazing thing however is that all this history doesn’t feel like shackles – even though V and other prominent characters have very defined background, you can still express yourself and find your own place in this massive world.

    Speaking of world, this probably is the best open-world I’ve ever seen. Dense places, sparce places, boring places, big crowds, lonely people, emptiness, uplifting spots, depressing spots, planes, verticality – there’s so much diversity and so many details. Nothing ever feels like a video game level planted in open-world environment – everything feels like an actual place that people of this city have built or repurposed. Even city’s layout feels like an actual city, not like a condensed videogame version of a city. In one of my playthrough I mostly drove, in another I mostly walked – and different travel speed have completely changed my perception of the same environments. I often experienced this in reality, but it was the first time I’ve experienced this in games.

    Night City is even more attractive thanks to wonderful art direction and groundbreaking visuals. This of course is highly depended on the power of your rig, but even on my mid-range GPU (RTX 2070 Super) this felt like a completely new gen. I’ve spent multiple hours in photo mode, I’ve launched the game when I had only 15 minutes just to walk on the street – basically, I took every opportunity to admire this world and take in its beauty. Raytracing in Cyberpunk 2077 is the best on the market by a mile, and even Control feels like a prior-gen game now.

    Beside visuals, there are other groundbreaking technical aspects here. Animations excels even games from Rockstar and Naughty Dog – characters constantly interact with props and other objects in the environment, and they even give items to each other and to you. And all of this happen outside of cutscenes! Streaming is exceptional – you can ride through incredibly complex city districts at full speed and game will never slow you down to load assets. There are probably many other incredible things that I don’t understand – I’m not a game developer.

    This post is going out of hand, so here are some quick shout outs to other just-as-much-deserving aspects. Music is fantastic, both in-game implementation and just as a standalone soundtrack. Night City inhabitants speak multiple languages, and it was a genuine delight to hear Russian speech & understand it, and to hear other non-English speech & don’t understand it. Story feels personal and impactful and it’s just the kind of narrative I like. Characters feel like real people dealing with real and relatable issues. And there are also so-called Hidden Gems – bitesize single location stories that aren’t marked on the map, but very much worth seeking (lots of them are fun easter eggs or callbacks to popular media).

    I’ve said that Half-Life: Alyx is a game that divide gaming on before and after. Cyberpunk 2077 is also just this kind of game. In some way the excellence of Cyberpunk 2077 has ruined other games for me, and I highly doubt I’ll play anything nearly as good in 2021 or maybe even in 2022. So of course, Cyberpunk 2077 is my GotY.

    P.S. I usually don’t do this, but thank you @Brandon_Reister , @Exist-2-Inspire , @Sentinel-Beach , @TokyoSlim and @Hazz3r for your votes. I knew that Cyberpunk 2077 will not win any awards here, but it’s a game that absolutely deserves to be on the list.



  • Cyberpunk 2077 is still one of my most anticipated games, 6 months after its release...

    I hope that with its inevitable next-gen re-release, whether it's late this year or next year, I'll eventually play this game and have an absolute blast with it.

    It wasn't ready for 2020, but I don't mind waiting.



  • I loved Cyberpunk but at the same time it should not be out yet. There's a reason why Naughty Dog and Rockstar keep iterating on the same idea since forever, it's because videogames are extremely complex. Cyberpunk was too big of a shift and too ambitious for its own good. On top of that, 2020 was probably the worst possible year to release a game like this.

    Shout out to the world, Nightcity is in it self an achievement of game design, feels like an entity. Also to the narrative driven moments, where it builds on top of their previous works and imo cdpr is an absolute industry leader. That is when bugs, glitches and the general unpolished state don't get in the way, which happens often.

    Mega shout out to Skippy, probably my favourite gun ever.



  • Cyberpunk's a good game. I had a good time playing it. Didn't even meet any big bugs except for the PS4 version crashing on PS5 after every two hours or so. Didn't stop me from enjoying the world, characters and plot. Gonna take a new run on the eventual current-gen version in the future.



  • Personally I am very excited to play Cyberpunk 2077 when it finally comes out in 2023.



  • @shoulderguy said in The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2020!:

    *Also this game has some of the worst AI I've seen in recent years and it needs a serious rework.

    This x10000

    CP77 has 2000s-era shovelware AI. In some missions there are civilians in the middle of your shootouts. If you or an enemy tags one, which is inevitable, the police magically know you did that and respawn magically indoors with a 3 star wanted rating to try to kill you while you’re already in the middle of a shootout for the story mode. You’d think if anything the police are more concerned with the gang hideout but nope.

    It’s not just police AI though. I’ve been in full stealth (which isn’t very fun in a world where TLOU2 exists), and magically the enemy AI just knows I’m there and goes into hostile mode. But they don’t change their patterns, they just scream like combat is happening. This happened so many times.

    Then when you do fight in combat intentionally, AI is just aggressive. Not really much thought to it. Not to mention that I mainlined science pistols (I forget the true name) and there is a bug where they outright don’t shoot no matter what. CDPR claims it’s patched but when I played it last in February, it was still broken and I need to relaunch the game for my guns to even work.

    Then in the open world there is nothing more immersion killing than braindead AI routines. I’ll be driving and one of the cars the spawns within eyesight then proceeds to struggle to path down the road.

    Again, I’m shocked this game made the list because there are things that go beyond bugs and glitches like the fact there isn’t any thought out into enemy encounters and combat. Just aggressive AI.



  • @dipset said in The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2020!:

    Again, I’m shocked this game made the list because there are things that go beyond bugs and glitches like the fact there isn’t any thought out into enemy encounters and combat.

    This shouldn't be surprising at all. Firstly, we all have different tastes and priorities, so what is show-stopper for one isn't an issue for another. For example, bugs doesn't bother me at all. Secondly, games are interactive media so everyone have different experience. During my first playthrough of Cyberpunk 2077 (more than 60 hours) I've encountered 4 noteworthy glitches. While playing Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales (8 hours) I've encountered 7. Based on my experience, Miles is much more buggy game than Cyberpunk.



  • @ffff0

    I guess I'm speaking less to the bugs and more towards the fact that the AI just isn't really developed. I'd argue police AI is especially just non-existent. They spawn into the middle of your missions and their only mode is aggression. Likewise, enemy AI in those story missions where you sneak around a base sometimes just follow the same short path or don't move at all. When some enemies just stand put guarding a hallway without moving, I then get to questioning myself whether it's broken or they literally just didn't give this AI anything to do.

    AI like this is on par with some of the worst games I've ever played like Shellshock 2. Like, we're talking objectively bad and broken AI, not necessarily bugs or glitches. The type of stuff that would get roasted over a fire if this were a Ubisoft or EA game.



  • I didn't encounter many bugs or glitches in Cyberpunk on a PC I built specifically to play Cyberpunk that I thought were egregious. (I know other people had more problems, but they are free to rate or not rate their own experiences) A few T-Pose models, occasional car spawning out of nowhere. That's about it. Framerate (while it did go up and down throughout the patch cycle) it was always playable for me.

    I thought that both the shooting and the driving felt satisfying. I liked the story.
    An honorable mention here because there was some detail work left glaringly unfinished, like the sidequests or cutscenes where for example, the bartender will point out a specific thing to order - but then there's no option to order that thing from their vendor menu. Aside from that, it's a game I'll happily replay at some point.



  • The first 6-10 hours of Cyberpunk 2077 are magical. And then the cracks start to show.

    Night City as a play space is not the world that was promised in Trailers. There's more fun to be had in Grand Theft Auto 4 in terms of open world activities.

    Chromanticore is an abomination. It's transphobic as hell given the almost complete lack of trans representation outside of the advert and a blight on an otherwise decent game.

    The biggest problem with Cyberpunk is that they spent so long trying to make it work that they ran out of time to make it as good as it could be.

    But, the Main Quest is absolutely incredible and I shall almost certainly play it again at some point. The missions were straight out of Grand Theft Auto 6 in terms of design and structure. The writing was great and the plot was fascinating. I was deeply moved by the end. Which is why I think it at least deserved an honourable mention.



  • @hazz3r said in The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2020!:

    The missions were straight out of Grand Theft Auto 6 in terms of design and structure.

    Tell us more!



  • Astro’s Playroom

    #11. Astro’s Playroom - 16 points

    Votes

    #1: 0
    #2: 1 (HappyGaming)
    #3: 1 (DemonPirate)
    #4: 2 (DIPSET, NeoCweeny)
    HM: 5 (Axel, Sentinel Beach, Nimbat1003, Lotias, iboshow)

    Information

    Release date: November 12 [US], November 19 [EU]
    Developer: Team Asobi
    Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
    Genre: 3D platformer
    Platform(s): PS5

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia
    Brad and Blood Stream



  • With no PS5, there's no way for me to play this, though when I do get one, I'm curious to try it. Granted, from what I've heard/seen, it's nothing really more than a tech demo to showcase the Dualsense packed to the brim with Playstation history/Easter eggs. It won't be the first thing I'll play when I have the console (that'll go to either FF VII: Remake: Intergrade or R&C: Rift Apart, and maybe even Kena: Bridge of Spirits if it'll still take months with EXTREMELY good luck), but I DO hope I come away with a better view of it. I'm not really interested, buy hey, free game, can't hurt to try it out and at least it's purely jolly AND it being a very short, contained time.



  • Astro's Playroom is fairly short and simple. But it's a great showcase for what the controller can do. And it was also cool seeing all the classic PlayStation nods along the way. With this game and Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Sony released two very jolly platformers in 2020. And I can always go for more of those.



  • Ahh jeeze I don't know why I left this out of my list-truly one of if not the best videogame freebie of all time. A celebration of Playstation unlike anything else.



  • This little game is wonderful!

    Since I didn't have a PS4 Pro, this was actually the first game I ever played in 4K, and the sharpness and definition alone were mind-blowing.

    The DualSense feels incredible, the feeling of raindrops all over my umbrella is a moment that will stay with me for a long while! Everything can be interacted with, everything reacts to you, there's so much polish and detail all over the place. I feel like reducing the game to a collection of easter eggs is seriously underselling it.

    It is jolliness incarnate. Astro is adorable, and Team Asobi is a true powerhouse, they have so much creativity and obvious love for their craft, I can't praise them enough for this marvelous game. I can't wait to see what they produce next, I truly feel that a full-scale game from them could rival the very best of Nintendo.



  • Can't play the game yet, but the soundtrack's a jolly banger that I have been listening to recently. GEE PEE YOUUUUUU



  • @bam541 Right! Totally forgot to mention the soundtrack but it's amazing!

    I recommend this article that explains the process of creating that song, it's very insightful: https://blog.playstation.com/2021/03/10/im-your-gpu-crafting-the-digitally-infused-pop-of-astros-playroom/



  • I just got recently got a PS5 and playing through this with my girlfriend who has very little knowledge of previous generations was a joy. I got to go through each world with her and explain each cameo and aside they put in, and I was an absolute joy to talk about the different PlayStation hardware through the years, or to guess what game was being acted out by little Astro guys. This game brought us so many smiles even if it was short and sweet



  • Astro's Playroom is my #32 of 41 2020 games I’ve currently finished.

    It’s a free game, so criticizing it feels a bit unfair, but it also meant to be a tech demo of haptic feedback. Well, this game showed me that I absolutely hate PS5’s haptic feedback.

    Usually, I’m extremely interested in everything new. 3D, VR, Move, remote play – give me everything, I’ll try it and probably like it. So, I was open to idea of haptic feedback and I liked its implementation in Forza games on Xbox One. But when I’ve started playing Astro's Playroom, I quickly realized that all those stories about feeling sand and glass and other surfaces was just marketing nonsense. It feels like a vibrating controller, nothing more. And vibrations were constant! When something is constant, it becomes a noise, a very distracting noise (imagine constantly hearing gunshots in a shooter, even when you just walk in a corridor). I didn’t turn it off, because it was whole point of this game, but maybe I should because it made playing this game incredibly annoying.

    But I feel like this game is pretty unremarkable if you strip away all controller features. There’s no story (history of PlayStation doesn’t count – hardware of the past doesn’t interest me), levels and gameplay are pretty generic platformer fair. Again, free is free, so it’s hard to be mad at this game, but unfortunately, it was the first thing I’ve played on PS5, and it showed me that I’ll dislike using this system even more than I initially thought.