I’ll post the feature next week for What we nominated Best game of 2020..And on December 17th Crown One of GameSpot’s 2020 Best Games Nominations, So jLubricate us as we celebrate these 10 games on the road to big announcements. BCheck out our other year-end coverage collected at our 2020 Hub Best Games..
At this point, it’s cliché to mention Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ accidental timing, the first few months of a world-changing pandemic, and the arrival at just the right time to survive an uncertain moon. It has become. Still, it’s impossible to watch the game without seeing the circumstances surrounding the release. More than any other title released this year, Animal Crossing felt like a panacea until 2020. This healthy, of course, is just as the COVID-19 virus began to proliferate out of control, blocking many parts of the world and suddenly destroying the everyday norms and routines we all took. A candy-colored escapism has arrived. It’s this digital playpen where the neighbor is a fitness-oriented penguins and the biggest concern is whether the sofa you just bought matches other decorations. Living room.
Given this situation, it’s easy to see why Animal Crossing became such an instant and unavoidable hit, especially earlier this year. As the unprecedented pandemic overturned our collective sense of normality, the game offered us a little welcoming rest, effectively interacting with friends and enjoying the everyday life that was currently denied to us. did. Of course, this is nothing new in itself. Many other games also act as a virtual social space where you can hang out and spend time with your friends. But what changed Animal Crossing’s hit was its focus on the small, informal aspects of everyday activity. The joy of checking out new items in stock at the store. A little thrill to see the city hall replace autumn decorations with Christmas lights. The satisfaction of involving a new type of fish that has not yet been exhibited in the museum.
Resonating with these little moments is the same thing that distinguishes Animal Crossing from other life sims since the beginning of the series: its real-time clock. Animal Crossing develops according to the date and time set in the system, so even within that genre, it follows a much more measured rhythm than other games. In the game, days and seasons pass, just like in real life, and stores open and close at specific times. For example, if you stop by the village at 10 pm, you’ll miss the opportunity to peruse the goods of the day and come back the next day (unless you’re okay with turning the system clock back).
New Horizons was a warm embrace of the game and helped many players find digital shelters from this year’s tragic torrents.
This deliberate pace extends to how slowly the game fills its function. When you first arrive on your island, you can’t find any equipment other than a makeshift resident service tent for Tom Nook. However, when I come back every day, the island houses gradually bloom. New villagers will move in and new facilities will be opened slowly. This gives you access to a variety of activities and attractions. In an era when many video games are too eager to be immediately satisfied, the most daring thing a game can ask you to do is wait-and take things every day, as Animal Crossing shows. Is worth it.
What really enhances New Horizons is all the smart ways built on the formulas of the series. While games of the past have always provided some customization, New Horizons is the first game to have full control over all decisions. Not only can you place furniture and other items outdoors, but you can also carefully select the exact location for other villagers to move in, or edit the landscape itself. New Halloween is the first Animal Crossing game that truly incorporates customization, giving players a true canvas that they can color as they like. This makes the experience much more personal and rewarding, and as I see the island houses gradually evolve into suitable villages, I’m very happy with the methods that some other games can’t reproduce. I will.
Customization is not the only area where New Horizons has improved its predecessor. Nintendo has made many other tweaks and improvements to its gameplay, large and small. For example, the ability to dig and replant trees is a welcome benefit, as is the increase in inventory space in your pockets and home. Combining these different elements is the new crafting system and the Nuukmile system. The former can make furniture, clothing, etc. from various materials gathered around the island, and the latter provides points for all kinds of actions, from chatting to getting with a certain number of villagers every day. I was bitten by a bee. Thanks to these systems, every item in the game (even seemingly useless items that can be caught from the river, such as weeds and trash) and every action you take is purposeful and satisfying gameplay. Feedback to the loop.
But above all, what makes New Horizons a special game is its appeal. Watching villagers read books in front of trees and sing spontaneous songs in town squares, these little moments are endlessly loved and never stop smiling on your face .. New Horizons was a warm embrace of the game and helped many players find digital shelters from this year’s tragic torrents. There have been many great games over the last 12 months, but no one is as closely related to 2020 as New Horizons.