Well everyone, it’s that weird moment of the year where it’s not quite a ‘new’ year but it’s also just ‘new’ enough that we’re still sore about those resolutions we just broke. It’s cool though, I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.
Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll spend even more time indoors in front of my favourite video game console (or PC, or phone, whatever). The fact is, February sees the year 2017 AD continue its upward trajectory in terms of game releases (and little else).
So without further ado, let’s have a look at what February has in store for us.
Fire Emblem Heroes
The first game on our list might upset some you ‘hardcore’ gamers as it’s a mobile game. Hear me out though as it’s not any old mobile game. Fire Emblem Heroes is, as you’d imagine, is part of Nintendo’s turn-based strategy game Fire Emblem.
How the IAPs work out is to be seen, but the gameplay makes it look like a throwback to classic strategy games like Advance Wars and, obviously, older Fire Emblem games. Let’s hope Nintendo don’t fill it full of gross IAPs and that there’s enough content to keep us playing.
Poochy & Yoshi’s Wooly World
Yoshi’s Wooly World was an absolute joy of a platformer. Sadly it didn’t get played as much as it should have thanks to the fact it was a Wii U title. Luckily, the game playing public, have another chance to right this wrong thanks to the release of Poochy & Yoshi’s Wooly World.
Poochy & Yoshi’s Wooly world contains all of the content from the Wii U game plus some extra Poochy-centric content. It looks like the downgrade in hardware hasn’t caused the game to lose any charm as the graphics look as delightful and yarn-tastic as before. Did I mention there’s a Poochy Amiibo coming out too? Well there is and he looks wallet-damagingly cute.
I hated Dark Souls and I went into the Nioh demo wanting to give it the benefit of the doubt, after hearing it was essentially ‘Dark Souls with samurais’. Within minutes I was enjoying tense combat, varied weapons and some intricate and well designed levels. I was actually enjoying it. Then I got squashed by a boulder I couldn’t have known would flatten me. An unfair death that meant I had to replay the last 15 minutes – classic Dark Souls and a clear indication that I won’t be buying Nioh.
However, for the more masochistic among you, Nioh certainly has been making waves among the Dark Souls crowd. With its interesting take on Japanese mythology you’ll be taking on all manner of Y?kai and its brutal environments, Nioh should scratch the itch that some of you clearly have.
What are cooler – vikings, knights or samurai? This may sound like the sort of question you’d hear agued in the playground but it’s also a question that the people at Ubisoft Montreal. Naturally they decided that the only way to get an answer to this age-old question was to create a multiplayer brawler where warriors representing these different battling factions duke it out.
By all accounts, the combat is pretty compelling, with an interesting parry system where high, low and middle attacks are swung at each other and only your timing will help you not lose your head to a swing of an axe, a katana or a sword. How deep this hack and slash combat actually is remains to be seen, but it sure looks cool and who doesn’t like samurai / vikings / knights? (delete as applicable)
Sniper Elite 4
The last 3 Sniper Elite games were fun. I had fun playing them and I think over people would have fun playing them too. I wouldn’t got as far as to say they were ‘good’ though. You know what I mean? When a game is ‘fun’ and ‘enjoyable’ but when you wouldn’t say it was ‘good’? The Sniper Elite games have been that for me. A little bit rough but shooting nazis from 100 yards away and to see the bullet shatter their skull in slow-motion was fun.
I’ll say this quietly, because I don’t want to jinx it, but word on the street is that Sniper Elite 4 isn’t just ‘fun’ but it’s actually… good. With promises of improved visuals (it’s the first Siper Elite on the PS4 and Xbox One) plus better AI, Sniper Elite 4 might just be moment where things get good. Fourth time lucky!
Life imitating art. Art imitating life. Minecraft mimics Lego. Lego copies Minecraft. It’s natures way.
A rather bizarre and incestuous series of inspirations has us looking forward to LEGO Worlds this February. Essentially it’s a Minecraft style adventure game where users can complete missions to earn ‘studs’ and other blueprints. ‘Studs’ are essentially LEGO bricks and will allow you to alter the open-world you inhabit meaning you can make it your own.
There’s multiplayer aspect to look forward to as well. Because what would be the point of building a mad new world if you couldn’t go ahead and share it with everyone?
Horizon Zero Dawn
Whilst some people might be getting sick of open-world games, I have to say that I’m still a sucker for a giant map to explore. If you then tell me that this giant map is covered by robotic animals, then I’m more than interested.
Horizon Zero Dawn looks like an Assassin’s Creed meets Tomb Raider mashup, but full of the aforementioned robo-animals. You play as Aloy (is that a metal pun?) who is an outcast of her tribe. Why is she an outcast? Who knows – I’m not really here for the story. All I know is that the game looks gorgeous and I’ve seen footage of Aloy riding around on a robotic horse and I really want to play it. It also helps that the combat looks really cool and some of the enemies are huge.
This one might be a bit niche but trust me when I say it’s worthy of your attention. Constructor HD is a remake of the 1997 strategy game Constructor. Essentially you play as a fairly ruthless landlord who has to build properties and get tenants to move in.
There’s a whole lot of social commentary, though it’s hugely toungue-in-cheek and slapstick in its execution. For example, middle-class tenants will only move into a certain type of housing and they can’t be placed near poor tenants as it makes them upset. The issue is that poor tenants are upset by hippies and hippies are upset by the middle-class. You see?
On top of this you have to compete with rival landlords who will happily sabotage your dwellings by sending in cowboy plumbers who flood your paying customer’s homes. Constructor HD looks to be a faithful recreation of this somewhat aged game and I can’t wait to play it.
Halo Wars 2
I don’t know how many people were asking for a sequel to the ‘meh’ inducing Halo Wars but here we are. Halo Wars 2 is coming out and it’s coming out real soon.
This time round the developers are Creative Assembly. The people behind the Total War series, so this game’s got some serious strategy brains working on it. I’m not a massive fan of the Halo universe but looking at some gameplay footage of Halo Wars 2 has me intrigued. There looks to be a good number of unit types which should lead to engaging battles. I know it’s slim-pickings for fans of RTS games on consoles, but this looks like a genuinely good attempt at a genre that’s pretty much ignored by most console players.
Night in the Woods
I believe the developers when they say that Night in the Woods is coming out in February 2017. I genuinely do. I believed them when they told me their previous release dates but I’ve got a good feeling about this one. February 2017 is the one. I can feel it.
Why am I looking forward to Night in the Woods? Well, it’s one of those ‘indie games’ you hear so much about. It stars a cat called Mae as she moves back to her hometown after dropping out of college. She’s an aimless young soul who tries to reconnect with her friends only to find that things have changed yet haven’t changed at all.
You may have guessed that this is a Kickstarter fueled title that is achingly cool. The visuals and audio are right up my street and whilst I’m not too sure how it’ll play, as gameplay footage makes it look like a platform / adventure hybrd, the style and writing have me desperate to see what the long-awaited fuss is all about.
And that’s it for February. 10 games that should please even the most hard to please. If there’s a game you’re looking forward to that wasn’t mentioned, let me know. Odds are I completely forgot about it or I don’t think it looks very good. Either way, that could be a fun conversation to have!