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Sunday, 21 March 2021

Hello and welcome back to 2021's final post from the Hot List. This week we will be looking at the most exciting new movies set to hit the big screen in 2021 from April onwards, after the cutoff point for this year's awards season.

ephemeric hot list most best hottest anticipated new movies films 2021 exciting

This is going to be an interesting year for film, to say the least. Eagle-eyed readers will no doubt recognise many of the entries on this year's most anticipated list as repeats from last year. One of the early impacts of global pandemic was the delay of many of the year's biggest cinema releases until 2021. As a result, this promises to be a uniquely overstuffed year for cinema, with not only the big 2021-scheduled films, but also many of those originally scheduled for 2020. Logically that should make this one of the finest years for cinema in recent memory, and the list this blog has come up with certainly speaks to that promise.

Equally noteworthy is the present streaming revolution that we are all witnessing. The closure of cinemas worldwide has forced studios to seek alternative methods of selling their products, and that has resulted in some truly landmark occurrences of new movies releasing simultaneously on streaming platforms (often for a premium fee). Is this just a temporary arrangement, or a sign of the future? In this writer's opinion, it's about time the industry modernised its approach for content delivery and one hopes that the success of these releases will encourage more of the same going forward. 

So without further delay, the key films to keep an eye on in the coming year (trailers linked in the title where available), starting with number 15:

15. In the Heights

in the heights hamilton musical lin manuel miranda jon chu best films movies 2021When it comes to films that will make a lot of money, In the Heights has got to rank up there as a sure thing. This is an adaptation of Lin Manuel Miranda's first Broadway stage musical, written some ten years before Hamilton.

This project has had something of a turbulent production history. Originally cancelled in the early 2010s, only be resurrected following the success of Hamilton by none other than Harvey Weinstein. Then all that happened, and this projected ended up over at Warner Bros.

In the Heights will be directed by Jon Chu, a man best known for the rather forgettable Step Up franchise of dance films, but who more recently has found his break in the world of serious filmmaking with the critically acclaimed Crazy Rich Asians. The former will stand him in good stead for directing a musical, while the latter showed him to have some genuine talent as a filmmaker. I think this is in good hands.

Release Date: 18 June, 2021

14. Last Night in Soho

last night in soho baby driver shaun of the dead hot fuzz edgar wright best movies films 2021Director Edgar Wright is a man whose reputation often appears to exceed that of his actual films. Wright has long been in the public's eye, having first made his name with Shaun of the Dead, going on to direct the likes of Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Then Ant-Man happened, with Wright famously writing the script and being fired before completion. This ignominy proved to be little more than a minor setback, with 2017's Baby Driver marking something of a comeback, earning universal plaudits and commercial success.

So there's a great deal of attention on his next project, Last Night in Soho. Billed as more of a straight-laced psychological horror than one might expect from Wright, this tells the story of a young fashion designer who mysteriously wakes up in 1960s London face to fact with her childhood idol, only to find that sinister goings are afoot. This stars Anya Taylor-Joy, most recently seen making waves with the hit miniseries The Queen's Gambit, alongside Matt Smith and Diana Rigg

Initially billed for release last spring, a pandemic-induced delay will see Last Night in Soho finally release this April.

Release Date: 23 April, 2021

13. Tick Tick... Boom!

tick tick boom rent jonathan larson lin manuel mirands best films movies 2021Back to Lin Manuel Miranda, then. Tick Tick... Boom! is an adaptation of the successful Jonathan Larson musical, and it represents Lin Manuel Miranda's directorial film debut. An exciting milestone for one of the entertainment industry's darlings makes this an event you won't want to miss.

If that is not tantalising enough, the screenplay has been penned by none other than Steven Levenson, the Tony award winning writer behind Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen (more on that later). The cast includes Andrew Garfield and Vanessa Hudgens

Still to be determined when this will hit cinemas/streaming, but filming wrapped last November so expect a release towards the end of the year.

Release Date: TBA 2021

12. West Side Story

west side story steven spielberg ansel elgort best films movies 2021If you're like me, your first thought here was probably "do we really need another adaptation of West Side Story?" And you would be right, but this is Steven Spielberg, and Spielberg doesn't make a film unless he has something worthwhile to say.

Spielberg is not the only legend on this project, with the screenplay penned by the Pulitzer Prize winning Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America and co-writer on Munich.

The presence of such luminaries makes a great opportunity for star Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our StarsBaby Driver) who has been threatening to break into Hollywood's A-list for some time. This could be the one that puts him into the stratosphere.

West Side Story will release this December, the thick of the awards season.

Release Date: 10 December, 2021

11. The Matrix 4

matrix 4 keanu reeves best films movies 2021 wachowski Call me crazy, but I'm looking forward to this one. We live in a world right now where no successful franchise is allowed to lie dormant. Star Trek, Star Wars, the Twilight Zone, the X-Files, Godzilla, King Kong, Sex and the City, Frasier, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (soon), Jurassic Park, Bill and Ted, Ace Ventura (apparently!), Planet of the Apes and Jumanji all represent old franchises that have made a sudden comeback in recent years, and I'm sure I'm even forgetting a few more. In a world oversaturated with media, people gravitate towards a familiar name. Franchises make money.

So it's tempting to dismiss The Matrix 4 as simply a cash grab and, certainly, the sequels proved to be very divisive films. But the Matrix is still a landmark franchise with an iconic setting full of potential. An extended break followed by a return with fresh eyes and minds could be what the franchise needs to outlive its original trilogy. The Wachowskis return as directors, with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss tipped to reprise their original roles... which is interesting considering how the original trilogy ended.

Beyond this, little is currently known. The film is set to release this December.

Release Date: 22 December, 2021

10. Next Goal Wins

next goal wins taika waititi best films movies 2021 michael fassbender elisabeth mossTaika Waititi is having something of a moment, the New Zealand filmmaker and actor has come a long way from indie comedy hits like Flight of the Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows to running the Thor franchise for Disney and, of course, his Oscar winning success with Jojo Rabbit.

His next film, Next Goal Wins, is based on the true story of Dutch football coach Thomas Rongen and his efforts to take the American-Samoa national team, then considered the worst in the world, to the 2014 World Cup.

Michael Fassbender stars as Rongen, and he will be joined by Elisabeth MossArmie Hammer, and long-time Waititi collaborator Rhys Darby.

Release date is still TBA.

Release Date: TBA 2021

9. Soggy Bottom

soggy bottom paul thomas anderson master boogie nights magnolia bradley cooper best films movies 2021Soggy Bottom is the latest darkly comedic dramedy from writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, The Master).

The unknown Cooper Hoffman stars, alongside Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie and Alana Haim (of the rock band Haim fame) in this retro coming of age tale set in 1970s California.

Otherwise not a whole lot further is known. Filming is now said to be complete, having been initially set for a 2020 release before the pandemic hit. PTA's fims tend to do pretty well with the critics, and this one releases in the awards friendly month of September. Could be a dark horse for next year's Oscars.

Release Date: 10 September, 2021

8. Dear Evan Hansen

dear evan hansen ben platt broadway musical best films movies 2021 We're going all in on musicals this year, but don't worry this is the last one. Dear Evan Hansen is the adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, which won six Tony Awards. 

Penned by Steven Levenson, writer of the stage musical, with music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who, aside from composing the stage musical, will also be familiar as the Oscar winning lyricists behind La La Land and The Greatest Showman.

Ben Platt reprises his Broadway role as the titular Evan Hansen, and is joined in the cast by Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, and Kaitlyn Dever.

Dear Evan Hansen will hit cinemas in September.

Release Date: 24 September, 2021

7. Dune

dune denis villeneuve best films movies 2021 timothee chalamet oscar isaac josh brolinDune, an epic sci-fi adventure franchise beloved by many, but with a troubled history when it comes to adaptations. The 1965 novel was notably made into a film in the 1980s, and a miniseries in the early 2000s, both of which met with a mixed reaction, owing to the complexity and ambition of the source material.

In 2020 a new adaptation is coming courtesy of Denis Villeneuve, an Oscar winning filmmaking with a burgeoning reputation following his work on ArrivalBlade Runner 2049, and Sicario. Villeneuve also co-writes the script along with Eric Roth (MunichForrest GumpA Star is Born). Dune will star man of the moment Timothée ChalametRebecca FergusonOscar IsaacJosh Brolin, and Javier Bardem.

Release date is set for October, notably making its premiere on the new HBO Max streaming servie, quite the statement for such a blockbuster project.

Release Date: 1 October, 2021

6. Nightmare Alley

nightmare alley guillermo del toro best films movies 2021 bradley cooper cate blanchettNightmare Alley is the next picture from Guillermo del Toro, his first since winning the Oscar for Shape of Water. While that film may be far and away del Toro's greatest success, he has a long history of the bizarre and macabre from Pan's Labyrinth to Crimson Peak. While my expectation is that this will be more of the same, it is interesting to note how different the source material is from his usual fare.

The original novel follows a con-man and female psychiatrist who trick people into giving them money, but includes none of the supernatural elements that we might associate with a del Toro film. One can only hope that he maintains his characteristic directorial flair, even as he moves into more traditional genres.

The cast includes a lineup of strong performers, including Bradley CooperCate BlanchettToni Collette, and Willem Dafoe. Release date is TBA.

Release Date: 3 December, 2021

5. Wendell and Wild

wendell and wild henry selick jordan peele michael keegan key best films movies 2021 nightmare before christmas coraline
Pardon the sentiment, but it's about goddamn time. The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline are such beloved films, and yet for some inexplicable reason no studio ever seems to want to give their director Henry Selick work.

Well, Netflix finally seem to have seen the vast opportunity in embracing that fanbase and will produce his next feature film Wendell and Wild. Selick will be supported by Hollwood man of the moment Jordan Peele and Peele's long-time collaborator Keegan-Michael Key who will write and star in the film.

Release date is still very much up in the air, but I for one am very excited to see more of this man's unique vision come to the screen, and let's hope it leads to a long and fruitful relationship with Netflix.

Release Date: TBA 2021

4. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

ghostbusters 3 three ivan jason reitman bill murray dan aykroyd paul rudd finn wolfhard carrie coon ernie hudson best films movies 2021 It is finally happening. We are finally getting a real sequel to the classic Ghostbusters films of the 1980s. We can now officially pretend that awful Paul Feig reboot never happened, because we have a real sequel and it looks good. It's just a shame they couldn't make it happen before the death of Harold Ramis.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife will be directed by the son of original filmmaker Ivan Reitman, and acclaimed filmmaker in his own right, Jason Reitman (Juno, The Frontrunner, Up in the Air).

The film follows a new cast of characters, starring Paul Rudd, McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard (of Stranger Things fame), and Carrie Coon as a family who stumble across their deceased Grandfather's (presumably Ramis' Egon) old ghost catching materials, and presumably hell literally breaks loose.

Ghostbusters releases this November, and I am very, very excited about it.

Release Date: 11 November, 2021

3. The House of Gucci

house of gucci ridley scott lady gaga adam driver al pacino jared leto jeremy irons best film movie 2021This is an exciting one. The House of Gucci is the latest film of director Ridley Scott, about the murder of Maurizio Gucci and aftermath. Scott is joined by an all-star cast including Adam Driver, Lady Gaga, Al Pacino, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, and Jack Huston.

This is one of those projects that has been kicking around for many years. First mooted for Scott some fifteen years ago. Subsequently the project bounced around a number of studios, with various casts and directors attached, before finally landing back with Universal and Scott in 2019. Now Scott finally has the opportunity to work on this long-gestating project, and it looks like it will be one of the big releases of this year.

The House of Gucci releases this November.

Release Date: 24 November, 2021

2. Don't Look Up

dont look up adam mckay leonardo dicaprio jennifer lawrence cate blanchett meryl streep timothee chalamet best films movies 2021 The latest biting political satire from writer/director Adam McKay, who has solidly proven his credentials in the genre following The Big Short and Vice, having won an Oscar for the former. 

Don't Look Up tells the story of two love level astronomers going on a media tour to try and warn the public of an incoming comet (I presume they mean meteor) that will destroy the planet.

True to form, this McKay film will feature a huge cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Matthew Perry, Ariana Grande, Chris Evans and Himesh Patel among others.

Release date is TBA, but Netflix have confirmed that it is due out sometime in 2021.

Release Date: TBA 2021

1. The French Dispatch

best films movies 2021 french dispatch wes anderson timothee chalamet benicio del toro adrien brody adrien brody frances mcdormand tilda swinton bill murray And finally we have the new film of Wes Anderson. French Dispatch is a love letter to journalism, set in the outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional French town in the mid 20th Century.

The cast features a typically well-stocked lineup of big names, including Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lea Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Saoirse Ronan, and of course all the usual Wes Anderson collaborators such as Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and many others.

Love him or hate him, a new film by Anderson is always worth seeing, for the style of filmmaking if nothing else. Anderson will be joined once again by long-time cinematographer and collaborator Robert Yeoman.

Release date is TBA.

Release Date: TBA 2021

So there you have it folks: The 2021 Hot List. Be kind, be positive. I have the feeling that this year will be the start of great things.

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Welcome back to The Ephemeric's 2021 Hot List. I hope you enjoyed our last entry covering the essential literature of 2021. This week we will be having a look at the most exciting new music due for release in the coming year.

best anticipated new music 2021 albums hot list

I am sure I say this every year, but this has been a particularly difficult longlist to whittle down to the final 15. This year the reason is twofold: 1) with the ongoing global pandemic, a lot of creative minds have been stuck at home or in the studio when they might otherwise have been on tour, resulting in a large volume of new music in the works, and 2) with everything else going on, firm, reliable details as to what is coming out and when has been hard to come by, resulting in a great number of albums that are "maybe" coming out this year.

So as with every year I have done my best to come up with a list of the most exciting new music on the way and whittled it down to those that are most likely to actually happen during the next 12 months. The result is a list of 15 albums that represent an exciting blend of familiar names and new talents.

So without further ado, here is our list of the top albums to keep an eye on in 2021, starting with number 15:

15. Chvrches

chvrches churches new album 2021 best most anticipated musicFirst up: Chvrches, a Scottish synth pop band that has established themselves as one of the most exciting performers around today, with three critically acclaimed albums to their credit. Now a fourth, as yet untitled, album is on the way in 2021.

Since their debut and early EP work, the Scottish synth-pop band have shown a talent for crafting memorable hooks featuring innovative electronic genre combinations. Best seen with the likes of The Mother We ShareNever Ending Circles, and Graffiti

Little is known of their new album, although it is said to be heavily inspired by the classic bands of the 1980s. So expect this to be an album that doubles down on the wistful, synthy sound of its predecessors. The album itself? Expected sometime in the spring.

Release Date: Spring 2021

14. "Zoom In" by Ringo Starr

ringo starr zoom in paul mccartney dave david grohl nirvana foo fighters beatles 2021 best most anticipated new musicLittle more needs to be said about Ringo Starr, the legendary drummer of The Beatles, turned successful songwriter in his own right. In 2021 he is expected to release a new record, Zoom In, recorded during lockdown in 2020. 

While it is fair to say that his more recent output hasn't set the world alight, this is still a songwriter of consistent quality, and one who can attract the big names in terms of collaborators and producers. Zoom In will feature its own superstar collaborators in shape of Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl.

Zoom In releases this March, the first single Here's to the Night is out now. It's a bit schmoltzy, here's hoping the rest shows a bit more verve.

Release Date: March 2021

13. "Collapsed in Sunbeams" by Arlo Parks (New band)

collapsed in sunbeams arlo parks debut new album 2021 best most anticipated musicThe first of our newcomers: Arlo Parks. Hailing from south London, Parks has found herself featuring on many big in 2021 previews. A teenage prodigy and poet, Parks specialises in low-fi music that displays a control and lyrical nous that belies her tender years.

The key tracks from the scattering of EPs released to date include Cola and Paperbacks, two tracks that keenly demonstrate her characteristic tone that has been commonly described as "bedroom pop". Her newer releases Eugene and Caroline bode well for the full LP.

Parks' debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, was delayed from its initial 2020 release date due to the pandemic, but will now release early 2021.

Release Date: January 2021

12. Red Hot Chili Peppers

red hot chili peppers 2021 album best most anticipated new musicI do not think it would be controversial of me to say that the legendary California rockers Red Hit Chili Peppers have recently been punching somewhere below the peak of their heyday. But they are far from the spent force that some would suggest. There is a reason that the band has enjoyed the remarkable longevity of a nearly forty year career, during which time they have crafted an enviable discography of solid gold.

As they approach studio album number 12, there is particular cause for excitement with the return of longtime guitarist John Frusciante, who had sat out the last two albums. For many, Frusciante's sound is key to the band's identity, and his return bodes well for what could be a major return to form.

The newest album is said to be in the late stages of production, with a release expected later this year.

Release Date: TBA 2021

11. Holly Humberstone (New band)

holly humberstone best new most anticipated debut album 2021For 20 year old songwriter Holly Humberstone, 2020 was the year in which her star began its meteoric rise, with a smattering of singles and EPs earning praise and accolades all the way from the BBC to the New York Times. 

Sounding like a cross between Haim, Damien Rice and Radiohead, last spring's single Falling Asleep at the Wheel has been played tens of millions of times on Spotify and charted in the UK.

Now a debut studio album is in the works, expected for release sometime this spring. I expect Holly to be one of the more successful new artists of 2021.

Release Date: Spring 2021

10. "If I Could Make It Go Quiet" by Girl in Red (New band)

girl in red if i could make it go quiet new debut album 2021 best most anticipatedAnother exciting new songwriter, but of a very different style. Girl in Red, the stage name for Norwegian singer Marie Ulven has been generating great hype over the past few years for her low-fi bedroom pop that touches on issues from LGBT issues to mental health and the gender divide. 

Her's is an introspective sound reminiscent of some of the best indie acts of recent years. There's a little bit of Yeah Yeah Yeahs in there as well as The Smiths. Her early work has been characterised by dreamy, introspective tracks such as We Fell in Love in October and Two Queens in a Kingsize Bed although some of the more recent songs like Rue have hinted at an increasing electronic influence.

First coming to this blog's attention in 2018 with the release of her first EP, a smattering of subsequent EPs and singles have drawn acclaim and coverage by the industry's great trendsetters. Now a debut studio album, If I Could Make It Go Quiet is due in April.

Release Date: April 2021

9. Arcade Fire

arcade fire album best new anticipated music 2021Two decades and four accolade and acclaim-ridden albums have established the Montreal-based Arcade Fire as one of the world's premier art rock performers. Their most recent album Everything Now marked arguably the first minor stumble of the band's career, receiving mixed reception for its relatively uninspired songwriting and re-tread of themes already well covered in previous work. Have Arcade Fire run out of creative juice? Their next album should answer that question.

Quite what form this new album will take is still a mystery. Frontman Win Butler has said that he has two or three albums' worth of material written during lockdown, and the band is said to be in Texas right now working on the next LP. There's great reason to be excited about the prospect of new music from a band that has given us songs such as Rebellion (Lies), Wake Up, and Sprawl II.

I would expect to see this ready for release in the latter half of 2021.

Release Date: TBA 2021

8. "Music of the Spheres" by Coldplay

coldplay music of the spheres new album best new anticipated music 2021Album number nine is on the way from Coldplay and supposedly it will be their last (although they seem to say this with every album so take that with a pinch of salt). Little is known so far aside from the title, Music of the Spheres, and a collection of official artwork released via social media. 

Coldplay are not a band who require introduction, having been one of the industry's biggest names over the past twenty years. For every person who will argue that they're past their best, you will find another who insists that they are better than ever. The truth is this is a band that has consistently put out good music. 

If their sound seems mainstream or overly familiar, it is only because they created that mainstream. Coldplay's last album, Everyday Life showed that they still have the desire to innovate and experiment. I look forward to seeing what they come up with next.

Release Date: Summer 2021

7. "Come Over" by Kowloon (New band)

kowloon come over new debut album best most anticipated new music 2021Kowloon is the California-based musician and filmmaker who over the past year has been putting out an irresistible lineup of chilled out indie pop, earning himself some buzz as an upcoming artist.

So far, he has put out a number of impressive tracks such as Walk With Me, Paradise and Wake Up, offering up a tantalising taste of what is to come from his debut album Come Over. Kowloon might just be the smooth dose of calm that we all desperately need right now.

Initially due out at the end of last year, Come Over is now expected to be out sometime this spring.

Release Date: Spring 2021

6. Jade Bird

jade bird new album 2021 best most anticipatedA promising newcomer of years gone by, Jade Bird's debut album earned significant plaudits and spawned a number of charting singles.

Sounding like a cross between Janis Joplin and Alanis Morissette at her peak, Jade Bird's brand of no holds barred rock and roll provides a thoroughly fun slice of Americana, with great tracks like Lottery and Uh Huh to her credit.

A second album is in the works and due for release sometime in 2021. Based on an EP released at the end of 2020, it certainly doesn't seem like Jade Bird has lost any of her edge.

Release Date: Summer 2021

5. Kavinsky

kavinsky nightcall new album best most anticipated music 2021
French house artist Kavinsky spent much of the 2000s developing his signature synthwave sound, inspired by the cinema and pop culture of the 1980s. That process culminated in his debut, and so far only studio album, OutRun.

An ambitious concept album, complete with its own mythology and distinct artwork. But it's the great singles we care about, including his most famous tracks Nightcall, and Odd Look. Indeed OutRun was so successful that it is considered among some internet subcultures to have created its own aesthetic genre, and is now an umbrella term used to describe any form of neo-futuristic 1980s revival.

Yet despite the success, there has been almost complete radio silence since that album's release in 2013. That appears to be finally changing, with Kavinsky posting to social media throughout 2019 and 2020 that new work was upcoming, before finally confirming at the tail-end of 2020 that a sophomore album was close to completion.

Release Date: Summer 2021

4. The Killers

the killers new album best most anticipated new music 2021Yes, you read that right. The Killers may have put out an album just a few short months ago, but they are allegedly already gearing up for LP number seven sometime in 2021. Frontman Brandon Flowers chalks this up to the lack of touring in 2020 and several months with nothing to do but record. Wembley Stadium's loss is our gain, I suppose.

These guys don't need any introduction, they're one of the world's biggest bands and have produced an array of hit songs from Mr. Brightside to All These Things I've DoneRead My Mind and Human. We know nothing about the new album aside from a tracklist that was posted to the artist's Instagram some weeks ago.

Last year's Imploding the Mirage marked something of a return to form for the band, a critical and commercial success with some memorable anthems for an otherwise dour year. The only reason this isn't higher up the list is that I have doubts as to how polished an album they can really put out in just a few months.

Release Date: Late 2021

3. Nilüfer Yanya

nilufer yanya second 2021 new album best new anticipated musicNilüfer Yanya's 2019 debut album Miss Universe was among the year's best, met with widespread acclaim and accolades including a few Debbies on this very blog. She closed out 2020 with a new EP, a teaser for a second studio album, due for release some time in 2021.

Suffice it to say, i'm excited for this one. Miss Universe was a remarkable demonstration of a songwriter with immense talent and the ability to shift between different genres and moods with aplomb. If the follow up can continue this fine run of form, it should make for one of 2021's most essential releases.

Yanya is said to be in the studio as we speak finishing this off, which suggests a release due sometime later on in 2021.

Release Date: TBA 2021

2. Aloboi (New band)

aloboi new debut album 2021 best new anticipated musicOur top ranked newcomer for 2021 is Aloboi, a Berlin-based composer with a knack for dreamy soundscapes and a juxtaposition of the old and new.

Aloboi's work-to-date has been remarkable. From the retro chill out vibes of A Pleasing Smile, to the more danceable electronic stylings of Want To Love, the classical remix of Night Train (Claire de Lune), or the dazzling genre mash up of Somebody Feel, it's a very impressive array of work for a newcomer that is fast establishing Aloboi as one of the more exciting talents in the industry.

As we await a debut album, one gets the impression that there is a lot more to come from this artist, whether its in 2021 or beyond, Aloboi is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Release Date: TBA 2021

1. "As the Love Continues" by Mogwai

mogwai new album 2021 most anticipated best new musicAnd finally, the most hotly anticipated album of 2021 is the latest from Scottish post-rock band Mogwai, As the Love Continues.

Mogwai's career has been long and influential, yet even as they approach the end of their third decade they show no signs of slowing down. This latest album represents their fourth in the last decade, and the buzz so far is that it ranks among their best yet. 

Lead single Ritchie Sacramento sets the mood for what promises to be a "big" sounding album, one that draws from three decades' worth of influences. As the Love Continues releases in February.

Release Date: February 2021

So there you have it folks: 2021 in music. Tune in next week for this year's final Hot List, where we look at the most exciting new movies in 2021 (and trust me, that one is going to be interesting)!

Friday, 26 February 2021

Welcome back to The Ephemeric's 2021 Hot List. This week we will have a look at the most exciting new literature and novels you'll be reading in the coming year.

best anticipated new theatre theatrical production 2020 hot list
The keen eyed among this blog's longterm readers will no doubt have spotted a new addition to our annual Hot List. This is usually the time where I would reveal our most exciting new theatrical productions for the year. However, given the uncertain status of theatre over the next 12 months, such an endeavour would seem to be somewhat pointless. Instead, for this year only, we will replace our annual theatre preview with this super exciting list of 2021's most hotly anticipated books, novels and literature of any kind. If there's one thing this pandemic has been good for, it's catching up on your reading list, so let's just embrace it. Think this should become a regular part of the annual preview? Let me know.

So here it is: your reading list for 2021, our list of the top 10 upcoming releases from the world of literature to keep an eye on this year, starting, as always, with number 10:

10. "Light Perpetual" by Francis Spufford

best literature 2021 novel book light perpetual francis spufford golden hillLight Perpetual marks the sophomore effort from Francis Spufford, the once non-fiction author turned award winning novelist. 

If this author is at all daunted by the famously challenging second novel it's not apparent in the ambition of this follow up: a high concept piece of work that ponders the many what-might-have-beens of life. Light Perpetual imagines the possible futures of five children killed by a German bomb in November 1944. What would those five individuals make of all the incredible changes of the 20th Century, the wonders and tragedies of a world they will never see.

Just the concept is haunting in its own way; an homage to the fragility of existence, the finality of death, and to the unpredictable currents of the world around us. Light Perpetual releases in February. 

9. "Paris is a Party, Paris is a Ghost" by David Hoon Kim

best literature 2021 novel book paris is a party ghost david hoon kim Paris is a Party, Paris is a Ghost (#PIAPPIAG) is the debut novel of American writer David Hoon Kim, inspire by his own time spent living in Paris, studying at the Sorbonne. 

This is the story of Henrik, a young Japanese man adopted by Danish parents and living in Paris, where he aspires to be a translator. When Henrik's girlfriend dies mysteriously, he sets off on an investigation through the city’s seamy underbelly. A darkly comic story about being lost and found in translation, delving into topical discussions on matters such as displacement, exile and desire.

There's a lot of buzz about this debut novelist, whose work has previously appeared in publications such as the New Yorker and earned him fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, among others. PIAPIAG releases in August.

8. "Women and Other Monsters" by Jess Zimmerman

best literature 2021 novel book women and other monsters jess zimmerman
The folklore that has shaped our dominant culture teems with frightening female creatures. Jess Zimmerman's Women and Other Monsters offers a cultural analysis of female monsters from Greek mythology and invites all women to reclaim these stories as inspiration for a more wild, more “monstrous” version of feminism. 

This thoroughly unique concept urges us to re-examine our relationship with cultural tropes and embrace a new image of the female hero.

This makes for an interesting prospect. Ancient mythology with a dash of satire and modern feminism. Coming in March.

7. "Bullet Train" by Kotaro Isaka 

best literature 2021 novel book bullet train kotaro isaka Already a massive hit in his native Japan, Kotaro Isaka's latest novel might just be the next big page-turning craze.

Bullet Train has five contract killers on a bullet train from Tokyo to Morioka, all competing for the same target before the journey reaches its destination. It's a silly, binge-worthy premise with huge potential, and a film deal is allegedly in the works. Upon its original release it garnered awards and rave reviews. Now an English translation is on the way.

Bullet Train will release in English this April. I expect this to be one of the big sellers of 2021.

6. "The Startup Wife" by Tahmima Anam

best literature 2021 novel book startup wife tahmima anamYoung computer programmer Asha Ray starts a tech company with her husband Cyrus Jones. After building an algorithm for a popular social media platform, their careers skyrocket – but it seems Asha's husband begins to overshadow her.

Part romantic comedy, part razor sharp satire of the tech start up scene, The Startup Wife is the latest novel from Tahmima Anam, an author better known for her poignant tales of war and the personal struggles that play out against that backdrop. This more lighthearted subject matter might sound like a departure, but on closer inspection perhaps not as much as it seems. This is, at its heart, a tale of power and societal strife, albeit on a different scale.

The Startup Wife releases in June, and it is already being tipped as one of 2021's must-read pieces of literature.

5. "Project Hail Mary" by Andy Weir

best literature 2021 novel book project hail mary andy weir artemis the martianThis is the latest novel of Andy Weir, best known for The Martian, the award winning novel and, later, award winning film. 

Project Hail Mary ostensibly treads familiar ground: a man stranded in space on his own, with little hope of rescue. It's the Martian, but on a much bigger scale. Existential threats, interstellar travel. A scientific mystery and a dazzling tale of exploration all mixed into one (or so goes the promise). 

The stakes are big, and the drama irresistible. Weir has established himself as one of the more crowd-pleasing names in mainstream science fiction, and this looks to be more of the same.

Project Hail Mary releases in May and will certainly be one to keep an eye on.

4. "Double Blind" by Edward St Aubyn

best literature 2021 novel book double blind edward st aubyn Edward St Aubyn's Patrick Melrose novels sold half a million copies and were adapted into an award winning TV series. He has earned some big-name fans from the likes of Sam Mendes to Jonathan Franzen. The man has some clout and his latest work, Double Blind, sees the author treading exciting new ground.

Double Blind follows a group of three friends through a transformative year that takes readers from London to the Cote d'Azur and Big Sur and tackles big themes such as determinism, inheritance and freedom of will. It promises to be a journey that asks big questions but unfolds into some very personal themes.

Double Blind arrives late March and looks to be one of the year's biggest releases.

3. "Klara and the Sun" by Kazuo Ishiguro

best literature 2021 novel book klara and the sun kazuo ishiguro never let me goKazuo Ishiguro is one of those authors that when he has something to say, one listens. The Japanese-born British novelist is a Nobel Prize winner, whose novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go have established him as one of the most celebrated contemporary authors.

His latest, Klara and the Sun, promises more insightful commentary on the human condition. A tale of love narrated by a machine. Klara is an artificial being bought as a companion for a terminally ill 14 year old, navigating the nuances of human emotion from an outsider's perspective.

It's heady stuff, expect to have an existential crisis when this releases in March of this year.

2. "First Person Singular" by Haruki Murakami

best literature 2021 novel book first person singular haruki murakami wells cats A new novel from Haruki Murakami is always reason to be excited. For a long while, he was one of the most exciting authors in fiction. Yet if I'm honest, his recent work has gone off the boil to an extent. Ever since the career culmination that was 1Q84, his later works have amounted to little more than a rehash of some of the author's more satirised tropes. A perfect time, then, for Murakami to make a comeback. His next work, First Person Singular, may just be that comeback. 

With FPS, Murakami is getting back to basics. This is a collection of short stories, all written from a first person perspective (hence the title) meditating on various topics, from nostalgia to music, and baseball. Murakami has often been at his best in the short story format. In classic style, this work will challenge the traditions of the art form and blur lines between reality and fiction. FPS releases in April.

1. "Malibu Rising" by Taylor Jenkins Reid

best literature 2021 novel book malibu rising taylor jenkins reidBut our number 1 most hotly anticipated piece of literature for 2021 is the latest work from perhaps one of the best writers in the business today, Taylor Jenkins Reid

Reid is known for novels such as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six (and if you haven't read them, what's wrong with you? Go do so). Her latest work, Malibu Rising, tackles familiar themes of fame, beauty, and human folly. A lavish 1980s setting full of beaches, parties, and (presumably) self-destruction.

Reid's work is endlessly insightful, vividly crafted and just excellent entertainment. Without a doubt this is my pick for the year's most exciting novels. Malibu Rising releases in May.

So there you have it folks: 2021 in literature. Tune in soon for our next instalment of the Hot List, covering the essential new music coming up in 2021!

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Hello and welcome back to the Hot List. This week we will turn our attention to the videogame industry, previewing for you loyal readers the most exciting videogames set for release in 2021.

new videogames games gaming 2021 ephemeric
To say that 2020 was a challenging year for the gaming industry would be an understatement. On the one hand, with so many people stuck at home the demand for virtual worlds and experiences arguably reached an all time high. But at the same time the development of those worlds, the most intricate of which these days typically involves teams of dozens or even hundreds of professionals in different fields, was made infinitely more difficult due to the pandemic, resulting in the delay of many of the biggest titles in development. Then there were the games trade shows themselves, typically bombastic, media-friendly Comic-con style events, that suddenly had to reinvent themselves as an online-only affair. 

This was a struggle and period of adaptation that has seen a great deal of disruption, but the signs are that the industry is now finding its feet. The transition to  a new generation of consoles is continuing apace with PS5 and Xbox Series X making their debut and 2021 looks to be a bumper year for big releases. As with most things this year, it is hard to predict how everything will turn out, but I'm hopeful that 2021 will have much to be excited about.

So here it is, the 15 key videogames to keep an eye on in the coming year (trailers linked in the title where available), starting with number 15:

15. Hitman 3 (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Stadia, Switch)

hitman 3 best games 2021 pc ps5 xbox playstationAt this point, Hitman is a venerable old franchise. Throughout its long lifecycle the core concept has remained consistent: play a hitman taking on targets in a series of intricate open sandboxes. 

Hitman 3 marks the final chapter in IO Interactive's latest iteration of the series that began with 2016's Hitman, and the series has never been better. Delightful sandboxes full of creative, often darkly humorous strategies. With disguises, tools, interactive environments and clever AI for manipulation, this current trilogy offers greater variety and replayability than the series has ever offered before and that's before even mentioning the periodic "illusive targets" released by IO, or the ability to create and share online your own custom contracts set in these sandboxes.

Hitman 3 will close this trilogy with the ultimate refinement of all these aspects, before IO moves on to bigger and greater things (expect to see more on that in next year's Hot List). The first episode releases in January with more content to be released through the year.

Release Date: January 2021

14. Kerbal Space Program 2 (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

kerbal space program 2 jebediah best game 2021The original game remains one of the greatest gaming surprises of recent years. Created by one amateur coder during his lunch break, the concept was fairly simple: build rockets and try to launch them into space under realistic physics and orbital mechanics. The deceptively deep toybox-like design tools proved such good fun that you could sink hours into just getting that one perfect spacecraft into orbit before even realising you had other planets to visit. Now a full team of professional designers are bringing a full-blooded sequel, Kerbal Space Program 2.

The goal of this sequel appears to be to take the successful foundations of the original and just build on it. More parts, colony building, multiple star systems. It's the type of feature list that fans and modders have been dreaming about, but the key will be to get the basics right. The physics system has to feel as solid as the original, the building tools need to be as intuitive. It won't be enough to just slap a coat of Kerbilish paint on a pale imitation.

Originally slated for release last March, a series of delays has seen this title pushed back into 2021. Delays are fine, I only wish they would follow the same open-development model of the first game (back when it was an indie title). The precise release date is not currently known, but barring any further delays we should see it late on in the year.

Release Date: Late 2021

13. Age of Empires IV (PC)

age of empires iv pc 2021 best gameWho says videogame companies never listen to the fans? The Age of Empires series has always held a fond place in the hearts of old school strategy gamers, and in particular the 1999 classic Age of Empires II to this day retains a surprisingly devoted fanbase and active multiplayer and modding communities. So much so, in fact, that Microsoft even deemed to make one of the community's more popular mods an official expansion, some 15 years after the game's release.

It seems Microsoft's newfound embrace of the franchise was not limited to just fan-made expansions and HD re-releases, and have announced Age of Empires IV, the first entry in the series since 2005. Little is known about the sequel, but the teaser trailer appears to imply a medieval setting roughly in-line with the second and most enduringly popular game in the series.

One of my biggest memories of Age of Empires was that my school used it as a teaching aid, so whatever happens I hope this new title does not skimp on the educational value. Release date is still to be announced.

Release Date: Late 2021

12. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord (PC)

mount and blade 2 ii bannerlord best game 2021A game that has been years in the making since the release of the original title back in 2008 Mount & Blade II arrives with a great deal of hype and it's easy to see why. The Mount & Blade series began life as an indie title, attempting to model an open world experience in a medieval setting that offered combat, trade and diplomacy in the mould of a title like Sid Meier's Pirates or Elite. 

The core gameplay is first person sword combat, reminiscent of a game like Skyrim, but in a realistic (albeit still fictional) world rooted in real-world technology and culture (ie no magic or non-human beings here). Where Mount & Blade differentiates itself from other titles is through its RPG and character interaction mechanics, which permit a great deal of player agency. Become a trader or a mercenary, swear fealty to a king and be assigned control of an army, or seize a town for yourself and begin to build your own fiefdom Appoint your own subordinate lords or generals, sire a family, build alliances, etc. It's all very dynamic and open, and the sequel builds on all those elements to create an ambitious and more advanced simulation.

Bannerlord has been in early access since last year, but should see its full release during 2021, supposedly in the spring a year after its initial early access launch.

Release Date: Spring 2021

11. Starfield (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

starfield bethesda fallout best game 2021 pc xbox ps4 ps5Anything you can do, we can do better. Having seen rivals and original Fallout creators Obsidian try their hand at a spacefaring RPG in 2019's The Outer Worlds (to moderate success), the current stewards of the Fallout franchise Bethesda are themselves getting into the mix with the as yet still very mysterious, Starfield.

Most of the details of this title remain shrouded in mystery, but rumours suggest a grand space opera in the style of a Mass Effect or Star Wars, with open-world exploration built around the same concepts as Bethesda's tried and tested Fallout and The Elder Scrolls series. Quite how this will adapt to a game which allegedly features multiple worlds and the ability to fly a spaceship is anyone's guess, but the few teasers we have seen point again to titles like Mass Effect for hints.

I am very excited about this game. The only reason it is this far down the list is because of my skepticism that it will in fact launch this year as expected.

Release Date: TBA 2021

10. Sable (PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

sable best pc game 2021 80 days meg jayanthI love a good indie game, but few make a debut as eye-catching as Sable. Produced by two lifelong friends in their basement, Sable promises to be a contemplative adventure focused around exploration, with a Ghibli-esque aesthetic and stunning hand-drawn art style.

It's certainly one of the best looking games to pop up in recent years, but such an introspective game is always going to succeed on the merit of its storytelling. It is fortunate then that the award winning Meg Jayanth is behind the story. If she can build the world of Sable with the same flair and aplomb as Sunless Seas or 80 Days then it could be a memorable experience.

Releasing initially on Steam, with a later launch on Xbox Live, we should see this one close to the summer.

Release Date: Summer 2021

9. The Artful Escape (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

the artful escape francis vendetti annapurna edith finch david bowie best game 2021Award winning film studio Annapurna made their debut in videogaming with the spellbinding What Remains of Edith Finch and have since followed it up with a series of remarkable and creative titles, including last year's excellent Sayonara Wild Hearts. This year they will finally follow up this success with their long-awaited title The Artful Escape. This one has been in the works for a while, time and time again it keeps getting delayed. But despite this, it looks better each and every time we see it. 2021 appears to be the year that it finally sees release.

The concept is quite unique. Players take the role of aspiring folk musician Francis Vendetti on a journey to reinvent his musical and stage persona. The result has been described by the game's lead developer as "David Bowie traveling off from London on an interstellar trip to create Ziggy Stardust".

In terms of actual gameplay, this takes the form of a musical platformer which sees Vendetti's performances depicted as journeys through mind-bending fantastical and sci-fi landscapes, with occasional rhythm-based music sections to pass. Frankly it's stunning to look at and listen to, with a pleasingly relaxing pace to it.

Release Date: TBA 2021

8. NEO: The World Ends With You (PS4, PS5, Switch)

neo world ends with you square final fantasy best game 2021 ps4 ps5 switch playstationWell this was a surprise. Fourteen years ago there existed a little-known handheld game called The World Ends With You, developed by Square Enix of Final Fantasy fame. It was really quite a wild ride: set in Shibuya, Japan, a world obsessed by fashion, status and pop culture. Players controlled a recently deceased teen with no memory of his demise, wandering the town unable to be seen by the ordinary populace and drawn into a series of cruel challenges by an enigmatic group known as "the reapers". It was a mystery rolled into a biting commentary on popular culture, impeccably presented in its music, art style and writing.

While warmly received at the time, it is a title that has since fallen into obscurity, until the surprise announcement of NEO: The World Ends With You. A full blown sequel, this time designed for home consoles rather than handheld. This marks the revitalisation of an underrated IP, with a larger ambition and scope than previously imagined. This could do for this title what 2019's wonderful Three Houses did for the similarly handheld-focused Fire Emblem series. Definitely one to watch.

Release Date: Summer 2021

7. Gamedec (PC)

gamedec rpg cyberpunk disco elysium best game 2021Slow-burning story-based RPGs are in vogue at the moment following the critical success of titles such as Disco Elysium, as is the cyberpunk genre (Cyberpunk 2077's somewhat tumultuous launch notwithstanding). Combining both those things is Gamedec, an adaptation of the Polish series of sci-fi crime novels.

The concept is deliciously on trend, a hard-boiled neo-noir detective story who investigates crimes in virtual worlds. Think Ready Player One mixed with Bladerunner. As with the aforementioned Disco Elysium, this is an RPG that decidedly does not focus on violence and action, but instead on its story and characters. Gamedec will live and die by the quality of its writing, but the premise so far is intriguing.

Gamedec entered beta at the tail end of last year, but was ultimately pushed to 2021 to allow for further refinement and quality control. It is now expected to launch this year, but no date has been confirmed.

Release Date: Summer 2021

6. Everspace 2 (PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

pc everspace 2 best game 2021The first game in the Everspace series was a serviceable enough roguelike experience. You'd be excused for thinking that the sequel, the creatively titled Everspace 2, was more of the same. This time, however, Rockfish have set their ambitions a little higher, crafting a full-blown story-driven space-faring RPG experience, more in the mould of a Freelancer (a truly underrated game).

Everspace 2 will see players explore a series of intricately detaled hand-crafted star systems and planets, complete with quests, secrets to be discovered, and plenty of satisfying pew pew combat. What impresses most (at this early stage) is the surprising variety of gameplay and the depth to the environments that have so far been revealed. If they can craft a compelling story with immersive world-building, this could really be a quality space adventure.

This game enters early access in January, with a full release expected later in the year. What we have seen so far bodes well and this is definitely a title to keep an eye on.

Release Date: Late 2021

5. Bomb Rush Cyberfunk (PC)

bomb rush cyberfunk jet set radio hideki naganuma best game pc 2021I'm a 90s kid. That means I inherently love Sega. But Sega are an objectively bad company. How else can you explain why a company that always appears to be on the verge of collapse is allowing an astonishing catalogue of classic intellectual properties and franchises (arguably matched only by Nintendo in depth) to just collect dust in a warehouse somewhere? Chief among these is the great Jet Set Radio series of games. Frustrated by their intransigence, a group of indie devs (and apparent fans of the series) have taken matters into their own hands by crafting their own spiritual successor to the long dormant franchise. The result is Bomb Rush Cyberfunk.

Fans of Jet Set Radio will find much of what they love here. Bright, cell-shaded visuals, the funky musical stylings of the brilliant Hideki Naganuma, and the same mesmerising neo-futuristic urban setting. Featuring a colourful cast of characters, you will skate around a dizzying cityscape full of gangs, graffiti and rebel-spirit. So far it looks great.

Release is expected sometime during 2021. Can this indie team succeed where larger studios have failed and emulate the success of this classic title? We shall see.

Release Date: TBA 2021

4. Avowed (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

avowed obsidian pillars of eternity skyrim elder scrolls fallout best game 2021 There is not a single thing about the pitch behind Avowed that I do not like. Obsidian are masters of the RPG genre, known for the excellent Pillars of Eternity series as well Fallout: New Vegas (and indeed the team features many of the original creators of the Fallout franchise) and most recently the award winning The Outer Worlds. This is a Skyrim-like first person action RPG set in the same world as their Pillars series.

Obsidian are known for crafting immersive, fully fleshed out worlds that provide a high level of player agency, where the player's decisions have a real tangible impact on the story. The opportunity to dive into a new Obsidian RPG is always a reason for excitement, but I am especially excited to see the Pillars series (previously an old-school isometric RPG) reimagined from a fully immersive first person perspective.

So far we have seen little aside from the initial teaser. We should expect to get a closer look when E3 rolls around this year (assuming it does), with a release expected by the end of the year.

Release Date: Late 2021

3. Perfect Dark (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

perfect dark reboot best game pc xbox 2021 rare james bondSpeaking of long-neglected franchises (which makes more sense if you skip the last one and refer back to number 5 for Bomb Rush Cyberfunk), here's a reboot I most definitely did not expect to see.

Perfect Dark (the original N64 title from 2000) is one of my favourite games of all time. Created by Rare back during the pinnacle of their golden age, Perfect Dark was a first person shooter and spiritual successor to the classic Goldeneye, also developed by Rare for the N64. Like Goldeneye, it was a spy-thriller full of gadgets, colourful characters, and some of the best multiplayer ever devised. Unlike Goldeneye it was not constrained by the established James Bond lore. Instead, Rare were able to do their own thing, crafting a stunning cyberpunk world of mega-corporations, aliens and sinister cabals. The original title in the series was also notable for pioneering a sort of open hub-world at a time before the blending of an open-world format with other genres had become common as it is today.

So to be finally getting a new title in the series, the first since 2005's mostly disappointing prequel Perfect Dark Zero is an exciting moment. Developed not by Rare, but by the newly created The Initiative team at Microsoft, little is known about this title including whether it is a sequel, prequel or complete reboot. Mega-corporations appear to be back (spotted a Datadyne logo in the trailer) and we are told to expect some kind of an "eco sci-fi" plot. If they can pull this off it could be spectacular.

Release Date: Late 2021

2. Untitled Mass Effect Game (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

mass effect 4 5 sequel andromeda shepard xbox playstation pc ps4 ps5 best game 2021You know what is one of the few franchises better than Perfect Dark? Mass Effect. 

The original trilogy of Mass Effect remains one of the pinnacles of story-based videogames. A stunningly realised sci-fi world full of believable and well written characters, unforgettable settings and top level world-building. A series that pioneered (for mainstream gaming at least) morality systems and decision-tree storytelling where the player's decisions materially impacted the ending and inspired a generation of copycats. Then came Mass Effect Andromeda in 2017, a soft-reboot following the main trilogy that attempted to expand the franchise into a new setting and with completely new characters. While the title was not lacking for ambition, it was a buggy, incomplete mess that had clearly been rushed to market. Its disastrous launch resulted in the cancellation of all intended DLCs and sequels and placed the entire franchise temporarily on ice.

But now that period in the wilderness appears to be at an end. Mass Effect is back with an as yet untitled sequel. Right now essentially nothing is known about this game, but the initial teaser did reveal a few tantalising hints, most notably the reveal of Liara, suggesting a return to the setting and characters of the original trilogy. But at the same time, the audio of the trailer hints at a return to Andromeda, indicating that some kind of crossover or combination of the two settings may be on the cards. Whatever they end up doing, this is very exciting news, I can't wait to see what they end up doing.

Release Date: TBA 2021

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (Switch)

legend of zelda breath of the wild 2 sequel switch best game ever 2020You know what is one of the few franchises better than Mass Effect? The Legend of Zelda.

How do you follow up a game that is often considered to be one of the greatest ever made? That is the question Nintendo will be asking now as they craft The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (presumably a working title). In fairness, it is a position in which they have found themselves before in following up the Ocarina of Time. The result on that occasion was Majora's Mask, a game considered by many to be even better than its predecessor. So no pressure then.

We know nothing about this game, other than the fact that it is apparently directly related to its predecessor, itself a somewhat rarity in the Zelda series. One of the major boons in Majora's Mask's development was the fact that the engine and assets were already there, which meant that the developers could use their time more for adding finesse and character. If they pull the same trick this time around then we could be in for something special.

Release Date: Late 2021

So there you have it folks: 2021 in videogames. Tune in next week for the most exciting new theatrical productions coming this year!

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