The bugs are awake, the trees are growing greener, and springtime gaming is lighting up the northern hemisphere (please reverse all of that, southern hemisphere readers). Here’s a look at what we’ll be playing through the rest of April, May, and June: a few remasters, a healthy adventure game lineup, and some big-studio efforts including Prey and Dawn of War 3.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition
The original Bulletstorm has disappeared from Steam, leaving only . That’s a bit frustrating, as the cheaper original has probably aged decently on PC, but if you’ve never played it Bulletstorm is a treat. Rich McCormick’s sums it up: “It's difficult to defend, like a friend you take to a party who ends up pissing in a vase. You don't want to be associated with him, but shit, he provides an evening of excitement.”
Planescape Torment: Enhanced Edition
One of the —or the greatest, depending who you ask—has been updated with remastered graphics and music, a 4K interface, and “gameplay updates, bug fixes, and enhancements” led by designer Chris Avellone. Like its recent follow-up, Planescape: Tides of Numenera, the original is superbly written and, while fights do break out, decision-making and storytelling are squarely the focus. Unless something goes terribly wrong with this Enhanced Edition—we’ll post impressions next week—it’s hard to imagine a world in which we don’t recommend it. However, if you don’t need any fancy updating with your classic cRPGs, the for $10.
Release date: April 11 | Link: GOG, ,
Yooka-Laylee is a throwback to N64 platformers that perhaps throws itself back too forcefully. As Tom describes it recaptures the charm of games like Banjo-Kazooie but also the frustrating camera and dull combat. Still, there’s a fun nostalgia trip in it, and a performance patch is apparently coming at launch that’s supposed to correct some of the camera issues.
Looking a lot like Hotline Miami, Mr Shifty is a top-down, one-hit-kill brawler. The twist is short-range teleportation, hence the shiftiness, which can be used to dodge bullets and blink through walls. Your enemies do not have this power, but they can be kicked through walls, which looks real satisfying.
Full Throttle: Remastered
Tim Schafer and Double Fine have done a lovely job of preserving their LucasArts legacy, remastering Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, and now Full Throttle, a fondly-remembered point-and-click adventure from 1995. The remastered version will include new art, though as with Double Fine’s other updates, it'll allow you to switch between the new and original art.
Zip through randomly-generated 2D spaceships with a grappling hook, as space pirates do. Tom really enjoyed Flinthook’s speedy platforming back at PAX East, calling the movement “sharp and satisfying.”
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Episode 1
That extremely wacky space gang is at it again with more wacky adventures in space. The first episode of Telltale’s latest collaboration comes out not long before the next Guardians of the Galaxy film, but the story isn’t related. Though it’s not as if the synopsis describes any grand departure from the usual: “In the wake of an epic battle, the Guardians discover an artefact of unspeakable power. Each of the Guardians has a reason to desire this relic, as does a ruthless enemy who is the last of her kind, and who will stop at nothing to tear it from their hands.”
Ruthless enemies strike again!
Microïds’ much-loved adventure series continues with a new story, beginning after protagonist Kate is taken in by a nomadic tribe. It’s been a long wait for Syberia fans: Syberia 3 was first announced in 2009, and missed several release dates along the way. We’ll see if it actually hits this one.
The second game from Mountain creator David OReilly is about everything. Or a lot of things, at least: microbes, animals, plants, planets, stars, galaxies. The player can descend into the subatomic realm, or expand into cosmic structures, stopping along the way to embody a bear who moves by faceplanting.
What Remains of Edith Finch
From the creators of The Unfinished Swan comes “a collection of strange tales about a family in Washington state.” The stories are told in first-person, and according to the developer, each follows a member of the Finch family to their death with varied “gameplay and tone.”
“Ultimately, it's a game about what it feels like to be humbled and astonished by the vast and unknowable world around us.”
Batman: Arkham VR
Who hasn’t wanted to be immersed in the murders of Bruce Wayne‘s parents? Originally released only for PlayStation VR, Arkham VR is now on its way to Vive and Oculus headsets. Aside from the alley scene, players can hang out in the Batcave and ultimately “unravel a plot that threatens the lives of Batman's closest allies,” as Batman often does. With gadgets, too.
Release date: April 25 (North America), April 28 (UK) | Link: GOG, ,
Tim’s , titled “I walked across a charred baby pit in Outlast 2 and didn’t like it much” says a lot of what to expect from Outlast 2. Even during his short demo, he experienced some very unpleasant southwestern horror through a camcorder’s nightvision viewfinder. He only jumped in his chair a few times.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3
After a long period of silence for the series, Dawn of War 3 was announced just last year and now it’s already upon us. Relic’s Warhammer RTS sequel comes at a happy time for the genre—a remastered StarCraft is imminent—and brings with it fresh base building, big armies, and . Check out for more.
Arkane’s next systems-driven shooter takes the name of another game, but is a wholly new sci-fi horror creation. As Morgan Yu, players investigate a near future (but with an alternate history) space station, shooting aliens and transmogrifying into inanimate objects—. Other powers include psionic energy attacks and telekinesis-like gravity manipulation. Though there are obvious hints of Dishonored, it’s hard not to be reminded of BioShock, as well, which Phil discusses in .
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Similar to , Star Trek: Bridge Crew puts multiple players in command of a starship, each manning their own station and barking status reports at each other—except Bridge Crew does it all in VR. Getting a bunch of friends and a bunch of Oculus Rifts or HTC Vives together in the same place isn’t very realistic, but apparently it’s . Of course, you can play online with mics, and there’s a single-player campaign as well.
Release date: May 9, 2017 | Link: GOG, ,
A high speed FPS throwback to 1996—with a very gory trailer in which a kid’s head explodes, because of all the radicalness—Strafe doesn’t have a hard time appealing to the Quake fans its targeting. The randomly-generated levels and “near never-ending fountains of blood” keep it extra extreme.
Mirage: Arcane Warfare
From the creators of comes another take on the same multiplayer melee combat: this time, there’s magic. And swords, too. Evan back in 2016, noting that shooting and blocking spells reminded him of a fighting game’s attack and counter pattern, and Tom . Mirage is currently in closed beta, and a pre-purchase gets you in.
Finally, Tekken on PC! We’re excited. Why? What luck, we have . In general, we’re just happy to see another fighting game series come to PC, though there are some concerns. It won’t have cross-platform play, at least not at launch, due to “security risks”—psh—and we don’t know yet how it’ll run, but we look forward to testing it. Gamespot’s got a bunch of smooth-looking PC footage below:
Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind
Back to Morrowind we go. Leif at the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online expansion, reporting that ZeniMax promises 30 hours of main and side quests, a new class, and “balanced side PvP battlegrounds”—along with lots of the weirdness that comes with the setting.
One of the most exciting features of this off-road racer is the new “rally route creation tool”—which sadly isn’t a robust level creation tool, but is cool in that it’ll allow players to design “millions of routes” in the game’s five locations. The Dirt games have always been pretty good, so we have high hopes for this one.