Between Resident Evil VIII, Monster Hunter Rise and New Pokemon Snap, 2021 has been a cracking year for video games so far. But the year is only half done, and there’s a lot of hotly anticipated titles that we can’t wait to get our hands on.
When it comes to new releases, chunky downloads for Day One patches have more or less become the norm now. Nothing really knocks you on your arse faster than popping in your brand new game only to have to kill an hour or so because your internet moves at a snail’s pace.
Waiting for your game to download can be especially tedious if your console of choice is the digital-only PS5 or disc-less Xbox Series S. Thankfully, most internet providers have cottoned on to our need for speed and have started offering plans that’ll make those big downloads absolutely fly by.
Optus’ Internet Gamer plan is an NBN 100 connection with a typical evening speed of 100 Mbps and comes bundled with an ASUS WiFi 6 Gaming Modem that’ll help you maintain a strong connection, no matter where you are in your house.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
While we wait for more details about the mysterious, open-world Pokemon Legends Arceus to drop, we’ve got remakes of two classic DS games to tide us over.
From what we’ve seen of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl so far, it looks like Nintendo has given these 15 year old games a facelift for both graphics and gameplay, so they resemble something closer to Pokemon Sword and Shield.
I really enjoyed playing the original Diamond, so I’m pretty keen to see how well it holds up/lose many hours trying to catch ’em all.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Are we ready to have the conversation about why the best Star Wars games are the LEGO ones? They’re a tonne of fun to play, full of great gags and clearly made by people who absolutely love the iconic sci-fi series.
This newest instalment covers the nine main Star Wars series, from The Phantom Menace to The Rise of Skywalker.
LEGO Star Wars was due out back in April, but has been pushed back to a later date. Here’s hoping we can get our filthy Wookiee paws on it before 2022.
Hyper Light Drifter is one of my favourite games of the last decade, so a new game from the same studio, Heart Machine, is pretty much an absolute must. Solar Ash follows you as you venture through the “Ultravoid”, a rift in reality that transports you to a strange alien landscape, populated by bizarre creature.
Like Hyper Light Drifter, Solar Ash looks absolutely gorgeous. I dare you to watch its trailer and not want to see more of it.
God of War: Ragnarok
The 2018 God of War was one of the highest-rated PS4-exclusives at the time, and for good reason. It absolutely whips.
After pretty much killing all of the Greek gods in the last God of War games, Kratos has settled down with his son, Atreus. The two go on a quest to fulfil Kratos’ wife’s dying wish, battling against various Norse monsters and gods along the way.
The game ended with hints that Kratos is going to have to face the bigger Norse gods, like Thor, and the Norse equivalent of the apocalypse, “Ragnarok”.
But is Kratos going to stop Ragnarok or make it happen?
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Hot take: the Ratchet & Clank series deserves the same amount of nostalgic love as the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro games.
This new game has Ratchet and his robotic sidekick, Clank, being transported to an alternate dimension where their nemesis, Dr. Nefarious, now rules the universe.
From what we’ve seen so far, Rift Apart looks like it’s maintaining the series’ high-energy gameplay, unique weapons and goofy sense of humour.
Tokyo is empty. Except for yourself, every living person has vanished and the Japanese city is now overrun by ghosts and spirits. So now it’s up to you to figure out what the hell is going on by using your newfound supernatural abilities.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is made by the same studio as the underrated survival horror game The Evil Within, so expect to crap your dacks maybe once or twice.
Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6 is set on a fictional Caribbean island called Yara, which is currently in a state of revolution due to its fascist dictator. It’s up to you to band together a network of guerilla fighters to take down “El Presidente” and take the country back for its people.
If the previous Far Cry games are anything to go by, expect an expansive map full of weapons, vechiles and characters that you can bring together to strengthen your guerilla army.
The game’s big villain, Antón Castillo, is played by Giancarlo Esposito (AKA Gus Fring and Moff Gideon), so expect a stone-cold performance.
New Halo? New Halo!
This series has always had a special place in my heart when it comes to multiplayer, so I’m excited to jump online to play a few rounds regularly.
I’ve had my fair share of lag problems, so anything that can let me play uninterrupted is welcomed with open arms.
With top speeds for an NBN 100 connection, Optus’ Internet Gamer plan isn’t a bad option. To really sweeten the deal, this plan is currently available for a discounted $89/month for the first six months you’re with the provider, before jumping back up to $99/month.Image: Halo Infinite + LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga