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Happy’s Best New Games of 2021

Updated regularly by Happy Mag and the Clocked review team, these are the best new games the year 2021 has given us.

Housemarque – Returnal 

Returnal is a hard game. It knows how to punish your mistakes, and one slip-up can often mean the loss of hours of progress. Depending on what you want from a game, this could make it entirely unappealing.
On the other hand, its gorgeous graphics, evocative art direction and surprisingly fluid cinematic storytelling make it a must-try title. Returnal is also one of the first games to feel truly next-gen.

8.9

BUY HERE

best new games

Returnal
PS5

Capcom – Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village will leave you exhausted, breathless, bruised, and broken before its relatively short playtime is up. Depending on your tolerance for stress and anxiety, it will fall somewhere between a near masterpiece and trash.
While Resident Evil Village is unlikely to be many fans favourite game in the series,  it will come in second more than any other. And that is something worth applauding.

8.5

BUY HERE

best new games

Resident Evil Village
PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Microsoft Windows & Google Stadia

ZA/UM – Disco Elysium: The Final Cut 

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is truly unlike any other game to come before, CRPG or otherwise. For this reason, it’s best played with as little prior knowledge as possible.
On the surface, it’s a detective story. Solve a murder, prevent a war. Simple. Oh, except that your detective is an alcoholic, drug addicted mess of a human, and the very skill points you invest into him become the voices in his head. This unique take on the role-playing genre deserves to be experienced, and this new edition provides the perfect opportunity for those that missed it on its first release.

9.8

BUY HERE

disco elysium: the final cut

DISCO ELYSIUM: THE FINAL CUT
PS5, PS4, Microsoft Windows, macOS & Google Stadia

Insomniac Games – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart brings all the series’ hallmarks – silly humour, addictive platforming, bombastic combat, and surprisingly charming characters – firmly into the next gen. Quite simply, it shouldn’t be missed.
The graphics and visuals are polished and a real joy to behold, while the gameplay is basically a tutorial in fun game mechanics. The end product is something Insomniac Games can be immensely proud of; further strengthening their reputation as one of the premier developers of action/platformer titles.

8.8

BUY HERE

best new games

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
PS5

Arkane Studios – Deathloop 

Deathloop is the new action/stealth hybrid from Dishonoured developer Arkane Studios. It’s a curious game that pulls from many genres without ever fully committing to any of them. But once you get on its level, it’s an absolute riot. It’s like Christopher Nolan gave up on Hollywood and decided to make a video game.
The game’s primary objective is killing eight characters, referred to as The Visionaries, in one single day/loop. However, to do so requires gathering information about each target (often by killing them) and coming up with a masterplan. It’s a pretty unique take on an action game that gives players an unusual amount of freedom and flexibility.

8.7

BUY HERE

best new games

Deathloop
PS5 & PC

Sucker Punch Productions – Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut

In Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut you’ll sail to Iki, an island to the south-east of Tsushima, to quash a tribe of ritualistic Mongols and their mysterious leader, The Eagle. But it’s bigger than that. You’ll learn even more about the fascinating Jin Sakai, encounter hair-raising Japanese folklore, and explore some of the prettiest vistas ever rendered for video games.
The original Ghost of Tsushima delivered one of the most beautiful open worlds ever realised in video game history, and Director’s Cut cements that position. Iki Island feels as much like a painting as it does a video game, a lovingly crafted visual masterpiece that’s a privilege to adventure in.

9.0

BUY HERE

best new games

Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut 
PS5 & PS4

Bioware – Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Mass Effect Legendary Edition provides a fascinating opportunity to revisit a classic. The series had a lot to say when it was released, but after a decade of chaos and fearmongering, its moral storytelling is more relevant than ever.
While there are certainly aspects of the game, even with the Mass Effect Legendary Edition facelift, that feel dated, the crux of what makes the trilogy special is completely intact. Few games have managed to create a world as intricate, fleshed out, and full of mystery. Even fewer have managed to get you to care about it.

9.8

BUY HERE

mass effect legendary edition

Mass Effect Legendary Edition
 PS4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Square Enix – Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is far more than a simple remake, it’s a triumph of reinvention. There are elements that fans of the 1997 original will immediately recognise: a lovable cast of characters, world lore that runs deep and an epic story with surprisingly poignant moments. However, exciting fast paced combat, state-of-the-art graphics and some clever narrative deviations really succeed in elevating the whole experience.
Somewhat controversially Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade only covers the first third of the original’s story; which at least means we have something to look forward to in the future.

8.5

BUY HERE

final fantasy remake

Final Fantasy Remake Intergrade
PS5

Supergiant Games – Hades

Bringing Hades to consoles was a no brainer. When you have the winning formula of addictive roguelike gameplay, appealing art direction, and an endearing cast of characters – all of which Hades possesses in droves – you’re in for a good ride.
While the console version of the game isn’t likely to win over detractors it is the perfect opportunity for those that slept on it previously. It runs great and looks better than ever and, if you’re like me, a game only gets better if you can play it from the couch on a big TV.

9.5

BUY HERE

best new games

Hades
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC & Mac

Hazelight – It Takes Two

It Takes Two is a unique co-op game that not only offers an innovative approach to gameplay, but a surprisingly touching narrative about the turmoil caused by fractured relationships.
The game’s levels are ingeniously designed, often using specific mechanics that relate to what is going on in the story. It all amounts to an experience that you won’t soon forget.

8.4

BUY HERE

it takes two

IT TAKES TWO
PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S & Microsoft Windows

Ember Lab – Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is Ember Lab’s first foray into the world of video games, although their experience as an animation studio has certainly given them an edge in terms of story and art direction. The gameplay is also stellar, offering players an interactive experience that never clutters what the studio really wants to do.
Speaking of which, the story is simple enough to make sense to young kids, but emotionally rich enough to appeal to adults as well. Like those Pixar movies everyone can’t help but mention, there’s a universality to the storytelling – Kena is an exploration of family and duty, not to mention a graciously delivered lesson on how humans move through grief.

8.6

BUY HERE

kena bridge of spirits

Kena: Bridge of Spirits
PS5, PS4, Microsoft Windows

 


Happy Mag’s Best New Games

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