After the big Christmas avalanche of great games last year that saw the long awaited arrival of Grand Theft Auto V, a new Assassin’s Creed filled with pirates and another fantastic adventure featuring everyone’s favourite plumber we’ve reach the inevitable grind that is the New Year release calendar. So far January has if anything given us a chance to catch up on past games we may have missed; a month with only the soon to be release next generation version of 2013 hit Tomb Raider to show for it. Things are starting to look up for February however with a few interesting titles cropping up providing something to look forward to no matter what system you have.
Outlast – PS4 – February 5th
Okay so technically this already came out last year for PC, but if you’ve yet to try Outlast for yourself and own a PS4 make sure to download this genuinely creepy horror come February 5th. (If you’re a PlayStation Plus member then you have no excuse since the game will be free!)
This first person survival horror takes away the firearm heavy combat seen in many games of the same genre lately and instead sees you avoiding conflict, hiding at the signs of danger and running from countless chasing enemies. Throw in some ingenious use of the night vision on our lead’s video camera along with the constantly chilling asylum you’re doomed to explore (and hopefully escape) and you the perfect horror experience for any fan of the genre.
The LEGO Movie Video Game - Pretty Much Everything! - February 14th
Surprisingly this entry in the LEGO series remains a little bit of a mystery (likely since it’ll be based on the yet to be released theatrical movie) but if the likes of LEGO Marvel Superheroes and LEGO City Undercover are anything to go by then this seems it will once more deliver an enjoyable open world experience.
What makes this game seem even crazier than your standard licensed LEGO title is its freedom with more than one license. Everything from Lord of the Rings to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Batman to Superman, hell even Abraham Lincoln shows up in some form. Expect the same goofy story with humorous cutscenes we’ve come to expect along with the usual break it and build it style gameplay in order to solve puzzles. Sure it’s not likely to break the mould too much but the series seems to have found its groove and gamers worldwide are still loving it so who are we to deny them.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze – Wii U – February 21st
It’s no secret that Nintendo’s Wii U is struggling right now but I think it’s safe to say the blame can’t solely be placed on a lack of big games any more what with the likes of Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, Wind Waker HD and of course the outstanding Super Mario 3D World now available. While these big hitters certainly haven’t had the desired effect on sales Nintendo were hoping for, it certainly doesn’t hurt to keep the momentum going bringing us next onto Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
While many were disappointed to learn at E3 last year that the exceptionally talented Retro Studios were working on another Donkey Kong title and not for example a new Metroid or new IP all together, if you set that aside for a moment you’ll see Tropical Freeze is shaping up rather well. Sure it may not be the hugely ambitious, visually outstanding title some may have been hoping for, but judging by what we’ve seen so far it looks still set to be a fantastic platformer with inventive ideas and excellent level design. New Kongs, the return of swimming, mine carts, barrels, ridiculously dynamic stages and of course the long awaited return of David Wise helming the music – Retro once again look set to prove they are one of Nintendo’s best developers.
Rayman Legends – PS4/Xbox One – February 21st
Rayman Legends is an outstanding platformer (it managed to make my number two game of last year in fact) and for those of you still yet to play it, now seems as good a time as any to take the limbless hero out for a spin with Ubisoft porting the game over to next generation systems. While it doesn’t seem much in the way of new content is being added along with the fact that visually I can’t imagine the game looking much different even with the added power (after all Legends looking pretty damn gorgeous as it was and ran at a silky smooth 6ofps on current gen systems) gamers who haven’t played Legends and want something for their PS4 or Xbox One might want to opt for the newer versions anyway.
Rivalling even Mario in terms of ambition, creativity and well… sheer fun, Rayman Legends was a true highlight of 2013 and a great way to kick off the new year for anyone yet to experience.
Thief – PS3/Xbox 360/PC/Xbox One/PS4 – February 28th
The long awaited sequel Thief will finally make its debut late in February after what seems like forever. Players control Garrett, a master thief, as he intends to steal from the rich. Similar to previous games in the series, players must use stealth in order to overcome challenges, while violence is left as a minimally effective last resort. Think Dishonored but with far more thievery.
While initial hands-on haven’t shown the most glowing of responses from critics it’s worth noting that these are the guys responsible for the impressive Deus Ex: Human Revolution, so for now we’ll keep our optimism high.
And the rest…
Fable Anniversary - Xbox 360 - 7th February
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - PS3/Xbox 360 - 14th February
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare - Xbox 360/Xbox One - 27th February
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 - Xbox 360/PS3/PC - February 28th February