February 2016 might be an expensive time to be a gamer, so it’s worth prepping your wallet now for the storm of releases headed our way next month. With the likes of Assassin’s Creed, Dying Light, and Street Fighter all hitting consoles soon, now’s maybe the time to ask for a pay rise. We take a look at all the PS4, Vita, Xbox 1, PC, Mac, and 3DS goodies up for grabs in February.
Gravity Rush Remastered / PS4 / $29.99 / Feb 2nd
Kicking things off on February 2nd is remaster-pros Bluepoint Games’ PS4 port of Vita classic Gravity Rush. Protagonist Kat captured the hearts of Vita players everywhere when she started bending Newton’s law in efforts to save the world of Hekseville from evil Nevi monsters, and soon the same experience will be available in luxurious PS4 detail. With an impressive track record that includes Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, Flower Vita port, and Metal Gear Solid Collection HD, Bluepoint Games are poised to present us with an exceptional upgrade of this revered portable title. It will be interesting to see how the many features that worked so well on Vita (tilting and touch-screen primarily) will be transferred to a console format, as well as experiencing the rendering and graphics of a much more powerful system.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia / Xbox 1, PS4, PC / $9.99 / Feb 9th
Despite mediocre reviews of the previous two installments in the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles series (China and India), there’s still a fair amount of hype around for the final title in the collection. Having previously been chastised in reviews for lacking substance, the previous two titles seem to have displayed how Ubisoft and Climax Studios’ first adventure in 2.5D was perhaps not what the fans had in mind for the series. However, time will only tell if this concluding chapter can save the day. Events follow that of Nikolai Orelov in a time between that of The Fall and The Chain as he steals from the Bolsheviks holding the Tsar’s family hostage.
Dying Light: The Following / Xbox 1, PS4, PC / $19.99 / Feb 9th
With a brand new location offering the space of all the original game maps combined, The Following expansion looks set to satisfy every zombie hunter’s desire of exploration. Exploration, however, is always better in style, so while learning all about protagonist Kyle Crane’s backstory, be sure to take the new buggy out for a spin. The sparsity of new weapons appears to have some players concerned, but the promise of the sprawling countryside waiting to be discovered makes up for the paucity of artillery. We’re expecting that map to be pretty impressive, however, after its size was cited as the reason for the developers’ $5 price increase on the title last year.
Firewatch / PS4, PC, Mac, Linux / $? / Feb 9th
Developer Campo Santo has been suspiciously quiet on the price of their debut first person adventure Firewatch, nevertheless it looks set to enthrall and mystify its players. The title has been bathed in critical attention since day one, partly due to a panel discussing the design and aesthetic of the game in “The Art of Firewatch” at GDC 2015, and partly due to the creators’ previous employments with Telltale and Double Fine development studios. Set in the Wyoming wilderness, the year is 1989 and fire lookout Henry is on duty, exploring the open landscapes and uncovering clues surrounding a robbery and a shadowy figure. Your only port of call is a walkie talkie hooked up to your supervisor, Delilah, but tread lightly, because your responses to her contact determine her readiness to help. The title is also publisher Panic’s debut title, and has been long awaited since its announcement.
Project X-Zone 2 / 3DS / $39.99 / Feb 16th
With a predecessor scoring in the top 20 best games sold in the UK, and ranking among the highest in the US, Bandai Namco’s next title in the series has a lot to live up to. Retaining the same crossover tactical RPG premise as its parent, Project X-Zone 2 retains characters from the original crew. Joining Capcom, Sega, and Bandai Namco however, are characters from Fire Emblem Awakening and Xenoblade Chronicles, as well as new original character Chizuru Urashima. The battle dynamics of this series truly push it to the forefront of critical attention, so any evolution of these dynamics will be intriguing.
Street Fighter V / PS4, PC / $59.96 / Feb 16th
Setting you back nearly $60, the much anticipated Street Fighter V lands this month after many a press leak and many a promise. Fans have long awaited the 5th title in the classic Street Fighter series after being informed of its existence in 2014 when the YouTube upload button was prematurely pressed on the reveal 24 hours before PSX’s big announcement. Since then, Capcom have released (intentionally) many details on how the game develops the series, explaining that they aim to take it back to basics, stripping it of anything unrealistic and complex. This approach is likely to have the current rise in e-sport popularity in mind, as it makes fights more understandable for viewers and invests a whole lot more in the skill of the player. Attempts have also been made to globalize the title, with Capcom investing in community managers all over the world to gauge player feedback. Promising quicker, and more dynamic play as well as a cinematic story mode DLC to land in June, Street Fighter V might well be a game changer for the series.
Far Cry Primal / Xbox 1, PS4 / $59.99 / Feb 23rd
Another big budget game to finish the month, Far Cry Primal takes the series way, way back. In a Stone-Age backdrop far removed from the military scenes of previous titles, young warrior Takkar must rise from the position of unarmed hunter to lead, and expel, tribes all over Oros. It’s not surprising that Far Cry developers have chosen to abandon their previous set up in this new title, as they are renowned for their exotic environments. However, the premise of this title feels further removed from others, as players trade guns for rocks and animals, crafting weapons from nature’s own artillery. Despite a surprising lack of multiplayer, Far Cry Primal boasts something that few Triple A titles achieve in this day and age – originality in gameplay and setting.
So, it might be time to reassess your plans for February. There’s a lot to take in next month, with exciting new content and some brilliant looking ports, it might be time to start coughing at work – you might be off sick for some time…