Despite everything, 2020 has been a big year for games. We’ve got two (three, technically) new consoles, and more people are spending more time playing games than ever before. Remember everyone going wild for Animal Crossing? Yeah, that happened. Elijah Wood even popped into someone’s village for a turnip. Though, like, I’m sure someone grows those in the Shire, but anyway. Unprecedented: that’s a good word for 2020. And I hope you’ve all managed to weather it OK.
Here, I’ve tried to bring together a year’s worth of different pieces from all the voices we now have on the site. And I’ve done it in the hope you maybe missed something you now have time to read. So bookmark it and come back on your way to get cold leftovers from the kitchen, and discover something new. And if you like what you read, click on the author’s name for more work by them.
Thank you to all of our contributors and to you for reading Eurogamer. Merry Christmas one and all.
Someone should make a game about: wheelchair mobilisation – Driving a wheelchair outside is an interesting business, as Vivek Gohil explains.
Meet the storm chaser of Red Dead Redemption 2 – How do storms work in Red Dead Redemption 2? And where do they go? How real are they? Emma Kent attempts to find out.
Kentucky Route Zero’s magical realism hides the raw economic realities of abandoned towns – Why do people abandon towns? There are more reflections of reality in KRZ than we may realise, as Emad Ahmed discovers.
Kokiri Greens, Sega Blue Skies, and they’ve changed the shadows in Crystal Chronicles – Which games have the nicest grass? It’s all Dr Omar Hafeez-Bore could think about on long walks while his car was in the garage.
Why Hangout Games are due for a renaissance – Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez livestreaming Among Us was a high point, but we don’t have the perfect hangout game yet, as Grace Curtis explores.
10 years later, Mass Effect 2’s Suicide Mission is BioWare at the top of its game – Was it really 10 years ago? I remember it like it was yesterday. And I can’t wait to play it again in the heavily rumoured remaster. Tom Phillips relives the experience.
Erasing Erasure in If Found… Dr Lloyd (Meadhbh) Houston unravels an Irish indie game about growing up, coming out, and coming home.
The fascinating theory that explains RuneScape’s illogical geography – Why does it only take 30 seconds to climb a gigantic mountain, and five minutes to run between a town that characters tell us is miles apart? Have you ever heard of scale theory? Lottie Lynn explains what it means and why it exists.
Towards more speculative sex – One from our Pride Week celebration. Better known by its more eye-catching alternative headline: why sci-fi fucking needs to get weirder and how games are paving the way. By Sharang Biswas.
The old-fashioned joys of journalling, and the modern comfort of maps – Remember when in-game maps were rubbish so you made your own? Jen Allen takes a trip down (a probably sketched somewhere) memory lane.
Devs and doggos: how Nodding Head made Raji while saving stray Indian dogs – It all began on the way to buy a plant. Alan Wen tells a remarkable tale.
Alternate controllers in a world we can’t touch – A touch-based ASMR plant dating sim, where you actually fondle a plant; a cooking game with pots and pans where you follow recipes to fill out visa applications. Alexis Ong explores the games rethinking control.
Why I race – It’s sunrise, and Martin Robinson lowers himself into his racing rig in his shed, strapping on his Oculus Rift. His first ever stint in an iRacing endurance event is about to begin.
What do the new generation’s controllers mean for accessibility? Vivek Gohill asks an important question.
“There are games that are just comfort food. This is not one of those” – Aoife Wilson talks candidly with The Last of Us 2 director Neil Druckmann in a special, two-part interview.
F.E.A.R. is a state of mind – What made FEAR so scary? There’s more to it than you may realise, as Luke Kemp explains.
Inside gaming’s least safe safe-rooms – Does Room 302 mean anything to you? The Red Moon Inn? Diego Arguello explores those places we thought were safe, but weren’t, with the people who made them.
Sometimes the best thing in a game is a pause – Not a break, a pause. There’s a difference, as Malindy Hetfield explains.
The power of text in games – Edith Finch, Lost Odyssey, Final Fantasy 7. Nearly all games have words but, as Aamir Mehar discovered, some wield them more powerfully than others.
A brief history of cyberpunk games – This is the year of Cyberpunk 2077, but cyberpunk games go back way further. Dan Whitehead plots their history.
Why do we read cyberpunk? – But why is cyberpunk as a concept so appealing? Because it’s a warning? Because it’s transhumanist? Because it’s excitingly revolutionary? Yes, all of the above, and more. By Joel Franey.
What makes a Chinese game? – Alan Wen investigates a growing area from a Chinese perspective.
Before Fortnite and PUBG there was Minecraft Survival Games – Emma Kent tracks the enormously successful battle royale genre back to its roots.
Six years later, No Man’s Sky finally gets its sandworm – Matt Wales talks to Sean Murray about a game transformed.
Geralt of Rivia: A disabled protagonist – It’s there, in writing, in the books. So why has it been glossed over or covered up? By Sara Thompson.
How a visually impaired streamer hunts shiny Pokémon – It’s a test of patience for any player, but for Tony, it’s also a test of skill. He hunts shinies by sound. By Ben Sledge.
The power of demakes in the year of next-gen – Forget remakes, what about de-makes? PS2 game Silent Hill 2 looks great on NES. Wait, what? Edwin Evans-Thirlwell turns up some surprising results.
World of Horror is a brilliantly grim horror RPG – How does a 1-bit horror game manage to be so effective? Vikki Blake finds out.
We need to talk about the cost of next-gen video games – Console game prices are rising to £70. Wesley Yin-Poole asks why.
The video game apocalypses are already here, and they’re all around us – 2020 brought us remarkable images of the world’s busiest places deserted amid lockdowns. But they’re far from the only apocalyptic scenes to be found in our world today, as Ewan Wilson tells us.
Top 10 Games of the Generation – What’s different about this list is we, the writers of Eurogamer, didn’t come up with it. Instead, it’s made by game developers and other critics from around the world. I’m sure you’ll recognise one or two of them.
Avengers’ Kamala Khan is this year’s most important hero – Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel, is the first Muslim American-Pakistani hero in the Marvel universe. And that’s a big deal, as Dean Abdou points out.
Sexism and harassment in the games industry isn’t just about big names, the entire culture must change – 2020 has revealed an uglier side of the industry, and it needs to change.
Hades’ early access journey has been more important than the destination – Hades will undoubtedly finish high on many game of the year lists, but it was a long time getting here. And the journey was equally unforgettable, as Jay Castello recalls.
Perfect Dark: the oral history of an N64 classic – It’s now official: Microsoft is bringing Perfect Dark back. But what made it special in the first place? Wesley Yin-Poole talks to the people who made it.
Multiplayer Halo’s playground genius – Why is multiplayer Halo so much fun to play? Chris Tapsell has a child-inspired theory.
The seven treasures of Ultimate Play the Game – “You’ll understand my nervousness when you realise the amulet was cursed and brought our family nothing but pain and misery from the time it arrived to the day we destroyed it…” Martyn Carroll goes in search of a legend.
Meet the Final Fantasy 14 players who marry in the game, and in real life – “We kept it a secret from everyone for months.” Cian Maher hears from couples who made their vows in-game and out.
Who gets to write video game history? – It’s a good question. Florence Smith Nicholls searches for the answer.
The story of Your Sinclair – 93 issues of toilet jokes, computer games and skillo entertainment that outlasted the ZX Spectrum itself. Graeme Mason talks to the team behind Your Sinclair magazine.
20 years after its release, it’s time to play Daikatana – Do we remember the myth surrounding the game, or the game itself? Matteo Lupetti takes a closer look at a legend.
Picture books and video games: a backdoor into childhood – If you spend enough time comparing video games to picture books, Jefferson Toal believes you’ll find some surprising similarities in the stories they tell.
My friend and his Pokémon save file – Ed Thorn hasn’t seen his Japanese friend in over a decade, but he has a preserved memory of him: a Gameboy cartridge. Pokémon Red, and a save file.
The inescapable impact of plastics on the video game industry – What if every publisher used reinforced recycled card for game cases – how much plastic waste would we save? Sean Martin investigates an enormously important topic.
What stand-up comedy can teach games – Masud Milas is a stand-up comedian, and he’s worried games are too serious. Then again, making them funny is not as easy as it sounds.
https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-09-29-farewell-farmville – What, they cancelled FarmVille? “Christ on a cocking bike,” writes Ellie Gibson, as she takes a hilarious trip down memory lane.
Someone should make a game about: Seagulls – It’s the hard-hitting journalism you all crave. It’s me talking absolute nonsense. Merry Christmas!