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Top 10 games for February 2020 – what did we play?

February 2020 – some gems in the rough

February 2020 didn’t see many games released on the AAA radar, and we had to depend on new indies and revisit some classics for our fix. This month we did things differently regarding the top ten list. This list still includes ten games, but each of the authors for Beards Swords Shotguns got to choose only five. Hopefully, this results in a more holistic reflection of our gaming and we liked during February 2020. The order of the ‘Top 10 games for February 2020’ list is in no particular order, but we can neither confirm nor deny our bias in ranking these games.

Number 1: Wolcen Lords of Mayhem

Top 10 games for february 2020 Wolcen
Loot, loot everywhere. [Image: Wolcen Studio]

The second half of February mostly comprised of us staring at our screens slaying hordes of monsters and scouring the floor for that sweet loot. In our official review we gave Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem a 7/10 and it truly is a visceral experience. The game had a rough launch, but during the last few weeks many of the critical bugs have been squashed and the developers are now focused on balancing the game. Because of the balancing, the build variety is expanding, and that means more fun for everyone and not just those with a Bleeding Edge build. After playing for 50 hours, the endgame needed some variety to keep it interesting and we will keep our eyes open for any enhancements the developers bring to the endgame. Overall we did not feel we wasted the time we spent with the game and it filled some of that Diablo IV sized hole we all have.

Number 2: Escape From Tarkov

Escape From Tarkov Lone Star
Just a normal Lone Star TX-15 DML Rifle that I looted

This is no surprise, Escape From Tarkov will be on the list for some time to come. This month the game had a rough patch in terms of its servers. I had matchmaking times of up to 10 minutes. The long load times are because of the Code Red challenge driving even more players towards the game. Players competing in the Code Red challenge had 7 hours to play the game, and on the 8th hour they had time to sell all items they gained from their various raids. The player who had the most Roubles at the end of the 8 hours won the tournament, and who better to claim first spot than Pestily. He donated his winnings to the charity that he is supporting. The influx of new players is great for the Escape From Tarkov’s development. Although it felt like Escape From Queue this month, when we actually got to play, boy we had a good time. From PvP focused raids to completing difficult quests, I only moved up to level 32 from level 26. If I kept grinding those quests, I am sure I would have been able to gain more levels.

Number 3: They Are Billions

They Are Billions
The hoard waiting to overrun me [Image: Numantian Games]

I picked up They Are Billions again after having played it when the game was released as an early access title back in December 2017. It’s still a damn hard game to be beat. I got back into the game by loading up one of my previous saved games only to find that the last save was on the edge of an imminent zombie zerging. I started from scratch to see what’s new, but unfortunately I did not survive long enough to see the new additions. This is what I love about the game, the mechanics are simple to understand, and yet the game is still challenging. On my first run, I didn’t even get to the second zombie wave as I was my own worst enemy. I cheaped-out with one part of my defence and the infection started from there, and moments later my happy steampunk village filled with screams of terror and hopelessness. The obvious addition to the game that I have yet to explore is the campaign. I am interested to see what type of story will unfold in this world. We here at Beards Swords Shotguns, love zombies and we always have a good time playing They Are Billions.

Number 4: Beautiful Desolation

Top 10 games for february 2020 Beautiful Desolation
Post-apocalyptic safari’s now open for business. [Image: The Brotherhood]

If you are a fan of point-and-click style adventure games, you should not miss Beautiful Desolation. Amidst classic and epic games such as the Monkey Island series and Grim Fandango to more modern iterations such as Machinarium, Beautiful Desolation does not look out of place. The setting of the game is unique as it explores a post-apocalyptic South Africa with beautifully rendered 2D-isometric graphics. While many people might roll their eyes at another entry into the post-apocalyptic genre, rest assured that the South African setting breathes new life into a tired genre. The gameplay is fantastic and provides what you would expect from a point-and-click adventure while being built on a solid narrative with high-quality music and voice acting. The game is available through Steam and GOG for only $20 or R120, so go and get it!

Number 5: Wolfenstein Youngblood

Wolfenstein Youngblood
Wolfenstein Youngblood scoping some bad guys [Image: Bethesda]

I started the month of February by playing Wolfenstein Youngblood from the Xbox Games for PC. This title is definitely different from the other Wolfenstein titles. The most noticeable change to me was the health bars and enemy levels that were introduced to the game. However, this did not stop me from wreaking havoc and destroying my enemies. Another big addition to the game is the fact that we can step into the nazi infested universe together. I believe they developed the game with coop gameplay in mind and I found the coop to be the best experience you can have with the game. Now it makes even more sense to take on a higher level enemy, your teammate can flank or take care of the adds while you can focus on the enemy’s weak spots. I love the Wolfenstein franchise and sure, they took a chance to see if they can move into other areas within the universe they created, but despite negative reviews I still had a great time playing Wolfenstein Youngblood.

Number 6: Two Point Hospital

Two Point Hospital
Is this a simulation or is this reality? [Image: Two Point Studios]

It should be clear from this list that Xbox Games Pass for PC had a huge month during February. The catalogue is filled with awesome games and while we played many of these prior to their Games Pass debut, it was nice to revisit them. One of these is Two Point Hospital, the spiritual successor to the classic Theme Hospital. In the time since the games’ release they added a sandbox mode, and I headed straight for this mode after completing the first three tutorial hospitals. The game is just as charming, quirky and entertaining as when it released back in 2018. I adjusted the different sliders to make my hospital management experience quite challenging, and I was not disappointed. In between the outrageous diseases, cute animations and addictive management, Two Point Hospital remains a must play for fans of the simulation genre.

Number 7: Deaths Gambit

Death's Gambit Parry attack
Parrying an attack in Death’s Gambit [Image: Death’s Gambit]

This game was a pleasant surprise. I browsed to see what is new on the Xbox Games pass for PC and I stumbled upon Death’s Gambit. A beautiful souls-like game done with pixel art, what more could I ask for. Looking for aggressive gameplay, I played the Blood Knight character. If a massive axe doesn’t say aggressive, then I don’t know what does. Heading into the game and after a few enemy interactions, I immediately felt at home as the game reminded me a lot of Bloodborne and Dark Souls. It reminds me of these titles in the sense that you have to time enemy animations and spend your experience points at certain checkpoints. As easy as it is to spend your experience, it’s just as easy to lose your experience points if you are not careful. As soon as I got to grips with what the game is about, I was eager and ready to face my first boss. The first boss the game pits you against is the Owlking. I overcame the Owlking, and I was ready for the rest of my journey. I want to spend more time with this game though and what better reason to get going than to know there is a free DLC on its way according to the game’s official twitter account. The tweet reads: “The Death’s Gambit Free Expansion is still coming! We have been working hard and can’t wait to show you everything. Thanks for patiently following our development, updates will be starting up again”.

Number 8: Yakuza Zero

Top 10 games for february 2020 Yakuza Zero
Titanic: Yakuza version. [Image: Sega]

I have never played any of the other Yakuza games, and therefore I had low expectations for Yakuza Zero. Generally, I like games where the narrative allows players to experience something of the criminal underworld and organizations. I spent many hours playing Sleeping Dogs, True Crime and the Mafia series and I thoroughly enjoy the experience these games offer. Yakuza Zero absolutely blew me away. I was surprised at how emotionally engaging the story was and after completing the campaign it left me wanting more. Kazuma Kiryu and Majima are two of my favourite characters and they are on par with many characters I love from RPG’s such as Dragon Age Inquisition and Divinity Original Sin 2. The game is littered with activities and the property management and cabaret club kept me entertained for way more hours than I care to admit. It is always satisfying when a game exceeds your expectations and with Yakuza Zero I it left me speechless.

Number 9: Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege
Rainbow Six Siege, [Image: Ubisoft]

This is a great multiplayer shooter that I kept running idle for when the Escape From Tarkov servers acted up. We got some friends together and headed into some casual matches, and man did we have some fun. Defending our objective like the forces of Rohan defended Helms Deep in the Lord of the Rings: Two Towers and attacking the objectives like a SWAT team. I spent some of my in game currency to pick up Mira and Frost. I am late to the party as I missed out on a lot of the seasonal content because we did not have local servers for quite some time. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy going the lobbies were in terms of social interaction and cooperation. There really was a small amount of toxic players to deal with. From getting triple kills with C4 to catching a rat in Frost’s trap, this was a great game to pick up again after not playing for a couple of years. Another great reason to keep playing Rainbow Six Siege is because the year five content is around the corner. The developers will add two new operators; Oryx and Iana. The thing I am the most excited for is the arcade mode. The mode they teased was Golden Gun Mode. Golden Gun mode is where every shot is a one-shot-kill but you have to reload after each shot. This could make for some great gaming moments.

Number 10: Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV is must-play on Xbox Games Pass for PC. [Image: Square Enix]

I played Final Fantasy XV on PS4 when it released, bought it again on PC when the Windows version became available and now played it again on Xbox Games Pass for PC. It should be pretty obvious that I absolutely love this game. The narrative and especially the combat have received some negative reviews from critics in the past. Based on my experience of these elements, I feel that many of these reviewers expected something different and mistakenly caused the perception that the combat and story is bad. Moving on to something more positive, Final Fantasy XV is home to some of the most scrumptious looking food I have ever seen in a game. It is hard to resist snacking while you play the game, as your brain is constantly triggered to crave delicious food. Final Fantasy is a delightful experience with some interesting characters and gorgeous visuals, and your time will be well spent joining Noctis on his journey.

Onwards we March

We hope you enjoyed reading about our top 10 games for February 2020 and that you even give some of these a spin. March has some exciting games on the horizon, and we are excited to play as many of them as we can. We would love to know which games you played during February, so feel free to leave us a comment below.