The holiday lull is officially over, and February looks to be chock full of exciting releases to kick 2016 in high gear. From bare knuckle brawling to mammoth hunting mayhem, February has a slew of games lined up to meet the needs of even the most discerning denizens of the digital age. Here are five games we can’t wait to get our grubby mitts on over the course of the next month.
5. Megadimension Neptunia VII
We’ve spent the last few weeks working our way through the latest entry in Idea Factory International and Compile Heart’s latest entry in the over-the-top Neptunia series, and we have to say it’s been one hell of a journey. Megadimension Neptunia VII‘s story throws series stalwarts Neptune and CPU Candidate Nepgear into a bleak world known as the Zero Dimension as it teeters on the brink of a catastrophic collapse. The pair of purple-haired heroines must band band together with the Zero Dimension’s last hope and CPU, Uzume Tennouboshi, as they seek to destroy the Dark CPU and save the Zero Dimension from ultimate destruction. With a host of refinements to the game’s combat system, new and exciting CPU transformations, towering bosses and a brand new world to explore, Megadimension Neptunia VII looks to be one of the series’ finest entries yet.
Megadimension Neptunia brings its blend of role playing action and cheeky fan service to the PlayStation 4 on February 2 in North America, with a European release to follow on February 12. Stay tuned for our full review of Megadimension Neptunia VII later this week.
4. Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel
Silly name aside, publisher XSEED and Arcana Heart developer EXAMU’s upcoming anime crossover fighting game doesn’t pull any punches. Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel sports rich roster of 32 characters divided between playable pugilists and support characters lifted from the pages of visual novel company Nitroplus’ rich collection of IPs including the aforementioned Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura, Demonbane, Psycho-Pass, Full Metal Daemon: Muramasa and more. The game’s combat system is fast and fluid, and its combo system gets an added boost from punishing partner assists and the Variable Rush mechanic that allows you to unleash devastating free-form combo strings on your opponents. Simply put, there’s a lot to love about Nitroplus Blasterz, and we can’t wait until the floodgates are open and players get to dive into the online melees when the game is released next week.
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel releases on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 on February 2nd in North America. The best part? The game supports cross-platform play, allowing owners of both the PS3 and PS4 to go head-to-head in online fisticuffs. Stay tuned for our review of Nitroplus Blasterz on Tuesday.
3. Street Fighter V
It’s been a long time coming, and now the fifth numbered installment in Capcom’s venerated fighting game series is almost upon us. Poised to pounce on the PlayStation 4 and PC in a few short weeks, Street Fighter V brings the World Warriors back for another globe-spanning tournament filled with new characters to master, a lush new visual style, and cross-platform play between the PC and PlayStation 4 versions of the game. To top it off, Capcom looks to be doing good by fans this time around by adding a cinematic story expansion to the package, which will be released in June as a free update for all players. The story of the expansion takes place between Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter III and bridges the events that happen in between the two stories. So, if you haven’t upgraded to a quality joystick yet, you might want to do so. Street Fighter V looks like it’s going to put fighting game fanatics through the paces when it releases on February 16, 2016.
2. Far Cry Primal
We have to admit we were a little apprehensive when Ubisoft Montreal unveiled the latest foray into the world of Far Cry. While we’ve loved previous entries in the series, something about the shift to a savage, Stone Age setting seemed like a step in the wrong direction for the series, which has spoiled players with an array of fun gadgets to play with such as remote mines, gyrocopters, and an entire arsenal of customizable weapons in previous installments. However, from the moment we saw players charging into an enemy encampment atop a charging mammoth, we quickly changed our tune. Tarrak’s journey for revenge through the fictional land of Oros looks simply stunning, and the ability to tame animals such as prehistoric badgers and saber-toothed cats to maul the opposition sounds like a welcome evolution for the series, making the wildlife of Far Cry Primal’s world seems like much more than a simple means to attaining better gear through skinning. Add to that the unbelievable visual splendor we’ve come to expect from Ubisoft Montral and you have a recipe for what could well be one of the must-have games of 2016.
Far Cry Primal releases on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on February 23, 2016. The game’s PC release will follow shortly afterward on March 1.
1. Layers of Fear
Layers of fear looks to be a soothing psyche-shredding salve for those still reeling from Konami’s cancellation of Silent Hills. Developed by Bloober Team, Layers of Fear is a psychedelic horror where you take control over an insane painter in his quest to finish his magnum opus. Heavily inspired by the masterpiece paintings from the past centuries, and the architecture and décor from the XIX century, the game looks to chill players with its tense atmosphere and surreal scares that would make any grizzled veterans of P.T. shriek with joy (and newfound terror).
In an era where truly creepy survival horror titles are seemingly few and far between, Layers of Fear looks to be a welcome return to form for the genre, and we can’t wait to get lost in its world of madness and despair when it releases on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on February 16.
So, dear readers, what games are you looking forward to in February? Did we happen to leave out the title you’re most excited for? Be sure to sound off in the comments section below and let us know what you can’t wait to play next month.