2021 video game review: the hits and misses and anticipated titles


Supergiant Games

In the game “Hades,” players venture into the may layers of hell as Zagreus, the son of Hades. The goal of the game is to escape Hades.

Video games released in 2021 have had a few big names pop out from the crowd that caught most players’ attention. Like most gamers, I am always looking for a new challenge and addiction, so here are the opinions of “The Scroll” on trending games of fall 2021.


Chamber after chamber, constantly eyeing a fading health bar, a heart-thumping bass line fueling all who dare to play. Spamming the buttons into the floor, fearing a full level setback, players take Hades’s invitation to venture into the hellish reprimanding gameplay, deserving its title. It allows people to go on a sprint to kill with many weapon variations, specials and seemingly endless enemies. Along with its addictive combat, its story draws the audience in with the dialogue; the exciting characters and constant surprise scenes are found in every aspect of the game. The plot centers around Hades’s son Zagreus trying to escape his father’s domain and breaking through many layers of hell in the process. This third-person dungeon rager blew away judges at the Game Developers Choice Awards, winning awards for Best Design, Best Soundtrack and Game of the Year of 2021. Inspired by Blizzard’s Diablo series, game development studio Supergiant has sprung out many well-received bird-eye view slasher games, but “Hades” stood out with its amazing creativity. Supergiant’s workers are treated with the most care and were guaranteed to be at their full working capability during the production process of “Hades.” The gaming community has no shortage of Greek mythology-themed role-playing games (RPGs), but “Hades” will stand along with “God of War” as one of the greats.


“Biomutant” was the biggest disappointment of 2021 but thankfully not as horrendous as “Cyberpunk” though. Gamers first saw the teaser in 2017, and that long wait built a lot of tension until its drop in summer 2021. Many gaming channels were excited to play and review it the day it was released. However, people’s excitement for this shooter RPG assisted in its downfall. Multiple gaming websites like IGN and Metacritic gave Biomutant a mid-level rating. 

“[‘Biomutant’ was an] 8.5/10 … It’s not really story-driven, and that’s what a lot of gaming websites look for,” Brandon Hardy (11) said. “I could see why other people didn’t enjoy it because it didn’t give them a set objective to follow.”

Hardy’s opinion of “Biomutant” is a lot different than the general reception. He sees its specialty in the diversity of every player’s experience. The execution was lacking, but it was a decent game overall with a very fun concept. The game would let the player personalize its own humanoid fox avatar in this post-humanity wasteland populated by intelligent mutant animals. The main character (MC) is inbetween a war in the world as an outlier. Interestingly, the MC is also torn between a dark and light side of him personified by chibi angel and devil figures. The player has many opportunities to lean towards either side or keep mental balance, affecting dialogue and combat options. “Biomutant” was trying to reach into so many aspects of other genres, which is what killed it.

Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut:

“Ghost of Tsushima” was a phenomenal graphic-card breaking open world RPG. It made its mark in 2020 with multiple awards and nominations from The Game Awards, Playstation.blog, IGN and Gamespot. This year, its director’s cut edition was released. The new improved particle effects, fluid movement, 4K resolution and 60fps enhanced the gameplay past a threshold players did not know could be broken. The amazing story line of the rogue vagabond was extended in this edition too. Recently, many projects have felt the unnecessary need for a director’s cut, but “Ghost of Tsushima” upheld its decision through  balancing challenging swordplay with an emotional story.


Despite the flush of great RPGs and lack of new multiplayers, “Valorant” has stuck through 2021 as one of the top played games.

“The good thing about ‘Valorant’ is it’s free, so it’s really easy to play with your friends [for free] unlike other games like ‘OverWatch,’” Uddish Sood (12) said.

“Valorant” is a multiplayer magical shooter much like “Overwatch,” a popular game it has now surpassed. It has stormed into mainstream eyes since its launch in 2019. The defining features of it include its cast of characters and no-scope shooting style like “CSGO.” There are very few games with its shooting style to make it far in the gaming world, and “Valorant” stood out with its addictive face-paced gameplay. “Valorant” has hosted many worldwide tournaments since its rise in popularity. Tune in for the 2021 VALORANT Champions tournament on Nov. 29, 2021.

Awaiting Releases:

God of War: Ragnarok: 

“Ragnarok” has been in production and in the gaming community’s gaze ever since “God of War” (GoW) won the 2018 Game Awards’ “Game of the Year” award. The teaser for this game showed promising features under a new creative director Eric Williams. GoW fans all loved the previous director Cory Barlog for taking the series beyond its re-running bruteness and introducing an exciting Norse chapter in Kratos’s life. 

“Atreus is now a little bit older, and it seems Kratos will be going up against Thor,” Hardy said.

Williams will take Kratos and Atreus’s journey even further with exciting character arcs, new bosses, 3D environmental fights and an in-depth dig into its original mythology.

Black Myth: Wukong:

“Wukong” is another game to look out for if you enjoyed “God of War.” It is a mythological RPG about the journey of a Chinese legend, Wukong the Monkey King, and there has been footage released from the game.

“[During] that one little clip, they showed where Sun Wukong stood on his staff and slammed the crap out of that dragon,” Hardy said. 

The debut trailer for the game showed off a lot of key features that excite followers for what is to come. The gameplay in the trailer resembles the weapon effects and world of “God of War” and also the movement and technicality of “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.” “Black Myth: Wukong” is definitely one to keep an eye on over the next few years.

Forza Horizon 5:

“‘Forza Horizon 5!’ Let’s go!,” Sood said. 

“Forza Horizon” is a popular racing game with a decade-long history building up to the fifth installment. The series’ most recent game “Forza Horizon 4” produced such a smooth quality that it is hard to distinguish gameplay clips from real life. A lot of fans are excited to see how the franchise tops it off with Forza Horizon 5 coming out on Nov. 9, 2021.

Gotham Knights:

“Gotham Knights” is the culmination of all the regretted absence of Robin in the beloved “Batman: Arkham” series. These games have been focusing on Batman’s emotional battle with notorious villains. Now, he is dead, and all of his former protégés are left to protect Gotham from his reprised rivals. Robin, Nightwing, Red Hood and Batgirl all present the player with expansive gameplay options, each having a distinct specialty fighting style. “Gotham Knights” will surely fulfill the fans’ expectations next year.

Elden Ring:

“Elden Ring” is the much-anticipated continuation of the souls-like series such as “Dark Souls,” “Bloodborne,” “Demon Souls” and “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.” Hidetaka Miyazaki, the series director of “Dark Souls,” and George R. R. Martin, the original writer of the “Game of Thrones” books, have joined forces with their skills with world-building to create the masterful “Elden Ring.” 

“When it comes to Miyazaki, his style is putting lore and story in the items that you collect in the game,” Hardy said. “As you [explore], you can see how everything connects with each other.”

Miyazaki has earned trust through gifting masochist-like gameplay, which has kept players happy for a decade. Anybody will be ready to venture onto what he conjures up next. Players will be scrounging the barren open world as a “tarnished” quester trying to piece together the shards of a sort of “ring of life.” It is assumed that the gameplay will be similar to “Dark Souls,” but the game also has new features like allied dead foes and a spiritual horse to ride on. It will be interesting how “Elden Ring” will adapt harsh gameplay into an open world map on Feb. 25, 2022. 

“I feel like most of the games that got released this year were good in their own aspect, but when it comes to overall enjoyment for most people, it wasn’t really up there,” Hardy said. “But the introduction to games that are coming was good though.”