Video games! Now more than ever, they’re a dependablesource of entertainment and escapism.
At the end of last year you could look toApril, blissfully unaware about the oncoming state of the world, and worry that there werejust far too many PC games coming out to get through in the short amount of time you havebetween working and sleeping in the late-stage capitalist nightmare world we live in.
But, now that coronavirus is here, a lot ofus who are more fortunate are working from home, and April is just around the corner…there’s f*ck-all coming out, isn’t there? Well, not quite! A few of April’s most anticipated releases, like Cyberpunk 2077, have since been delayed, it's true, but we still have a few big chunkytitles coming next month, just not as many.
This means that our upcoming April releasesspotlight is going to err more on the side of indie than triple-A, but I have a goodeye for good indie games, so you can rest assured that while you might not have heardof some of these games before, they’re absolute treats that you’re sure to enjoy.
Onto the list, shall we? The Resident Evil 2 remake last year knockedeveryone’s collective socks off, both because of how genuinely fantastic it was and becauseMr.
X–blasting through the walls at any given moment like the Kool-Aid Man if he got filledup with concrete and became a noir detective–was f*cking terrifying.
But let me tell you, if you thought a honkingbig cinder block in a trilby was the epitome of horror, just you wait until you get a lookat the Hellraiser-esque, veiny nightmare fuel that is Nemesis, the roaming antagonist ofthis year’s Resident Evil 3 remake, the original of which was my Resident Evil game, and was responsible for giving me the coolest nightmares ever.
From the gameplay we’ve seen in the recently-releaseddemo, it’s received the same treatment as last year’s remake, adopting an over-the-shoulderperspective instead of retaining the tension-building but ultimately very clunky fixed-perspectivecamera and tank controls.
I’d go on some frenzied rant about how greatthose fixed perspectives were at adding atmosphere, and, “How dare they change the thing I likeit was much better in the old days, ” but I did dip back into Resi 3 near the end oflast year and y’all, it really doesn’t hold up.
And take a look at the Nemesis! The early promo shots weren’t exactly flattering, but here he looks even more horrible but in a good way than he did in the original! His face is melting off the side of his soddingbicep! Jesus.
I’m dreadfully excited for when it comesto Steam on the 3rd of April.
I, like a seemingly vast majority of people, had honestly lost all hope and/or interest in Fallout 76.
It had a catastrophe of a launch, and in thetwo years following it have seen such ridiculous sh*t as players being able to spawn the Brotherhoodof Steel’s airship from Fallout 4 into the map while on public servers, all of the nuclearsilos in the game suffering from their own equivalent to Y2K and breaking when we madeit into 2020, and in-game civil wars between those who do and don’t have a $13/mo Fallout1st subscription, which allegedly fosters a pay-to-win environment and locks much-requestedprivate servers behind another paywall beyond the retail cost of the game.
But I’m a huge sucker, so, a part of mewants to see if Fallout 76 Wastelanders and its introduction of actual walking talkingNPCs with quests to give you and conversations to have with actually does something to upsetthat negative track record.
Yes, Fallout: New Vegas is my favourite modern-dayFallout game so I shouldn’t really get my hopes up about this at all.
But even in the Bethesda Game Studios-developedFallout games, the NPCs and the stories they have to tell are still absolutely stellarin a lot of ways, so there’s every chance that Wastelanders actually transforms it intoa game that I find compelling.
Hell, the Fallout 76 community are doing alot of interesting things even with the game as it currently is, so who knows? I just want to believe, you know? I don’t want games to be bad, I want themto be good! We’ll see.
The Gears Of War franchise didn’t have themost spectacular start when it came to spin-off games.
More like Funko Plop.
But there are no amorphous plastic blobs insight in Gears Tactics, which looks genuinely a lot like XCOM (and not just because it’sa tactical turn-based affair) but if one of the blocky-armoured and really unlucky soldierswas voiced by John DiMaggio.
What separates it a touch from XCOM is, apparently, being able to stand out in the open, waving your arms about, and calling enemy locustforces sh*theads.
That’s the teenage edge so essential tothe franchise which lacks rather a bit in Gears Pop, for example, probably because here, there’s a more active involvement in development from The Coalition, who have been at the helmof the series since Gears 4.
There’s not really much else to be saidabout Gears Tactics, at least for now.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up beingpretty much what it says on the tin.
Perhaps we’ll get a little more informationbetween now and its release on the 28th of April? Alder’s Blood looks edgy as f*ck.
Turns out God is dead and he’s just a bigfloating corpse with all his guts strewn out and all these spindly arms sticking out insteadof wings, and because of that there’s all this nasty Lovecraftian sh*t running aboutthe place that you, a Chief of a clan of a new class of human called Hunters, have togo and mess that nasty Lovecraftian sh*t up with some nets and rocks.
How f*cking dire.
Alder’s Blood feels in a similar wheelhouseto Darkest Dungeon.
Existentially, things are all messed up, andyou have to manage and order around a group of people trying their best to un-mess-upeverything, but they’re probably going to die before that happens.
That’s quite nihilistic, but expected givenone of the game’s big themes is that God is dead and we have killed him; mister wots-his-facein the trailer who’s gone a bit barmy having found this out even has a moustache to rivalol Fredrich Nietzche’s.
The big difference here is that it’s tactical-strategywith a huge emphasis on stealth; primarily because all of that aforementioned nasty Lovecraftiansh*t is a lot, lot nastier than you or your squishy hunters are.
It seems like there’s a lot to Alder’sBlood, and unlike the turn-based combat of Darkest Dungeon which never really suitedme much, this tactical stuff is way more my jam, so I’ll absolutely be giving Alder’sBlood a crack when it releases on the 10th of April.
What if HAL-9000 was the AI of a deep-seaexploration suit with a xenobiologist trapped inside it, and also wasn’t a genocidal dickhead? That’s the question In Other Waters perhapsunintentionally answers, because who the f*ck would ask that question, but here we are.
I’ve already given In Other Waters a lookas part of our Rezzed Digital coverage, which you’ll see the card for now, and let metell you, it’s beautifully serene and inspiring of a great deal of curiosity.
Your only means of communicating with Ellery, who has been sent to a planet to explore its sea floor, is by indicating a yes, or a no.
That’s because you’re a robot, of sorts, and your time is spent on the far more crucial task of scanning nearby lifeforms, collectingstrange samples, and navigating through the blue and yellow minimalistic depths of a planetdescribed to you in sometimes even poetic prose.
It’s absolutely wonderful, it is.
There’s not much more I can say for nowbesides, “It’s pretty, ” and, “I really like it, ” so if you want to get your scientiston down where it’s better and wetter, just do nothing besides sleep for the next threedays and wake up to In Other Waters’s release on the 3rd of April.
HyperParasite oozes garish, 80’s pastiche.
I say that as a compliment, because I’ma hopeless lover of the aesthetic.
You’re an alien parasite hell-bent on absolutelydestroying the human race, and you do that by snatching different host bodies of characterswith varying different abilities and stats, and try to achieve that genocidal desire viaviolent roguelike twin-stick combat.
So far, we only have a release announcementtrailer to work from, but I can absolutely tell you about three things I like the lookof right off the get-go.
One is that one of your potential host bodieslooks remarkably like Mr T, all-round badass and genuinely awesome IRL person.
I’m a bit heartbroken that T’s body isbeing used and abused John Carpenter’s The Thing-style, but excited that I indirectlyget to play as him.
The second is the great big honking businessmanrobot with rocket feet and a giant hand that’s got gun fingers on it.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a betterphysical representation of Capitalis– The third is how fluid it all looks.
Interesting upgrade systems and spins on roguelikemechanics are always very interesting to try out, but the most important thing about agame where you’ll be doing a lot of the same thing over and over is that the coreexperience feels good to play.
Right now I can only comment on the visuals, but it looks smooth? We’ll know for sure when the game comesout on the 3rd of April.
Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories is a, surprise, disaster survival game about the survivors in the wake of a massive earthquake destroyinga city.
You have to try and escape that city, findingsafe routes and additional survivors in collapsed buildings, cleaning yourself to keep yourstress levels low, peeing for the same reason, and you can customise your character witha bunch of different hairstyles and clothing items.
It’s been out in Japan since November 2018, but getting a release worldwide on the 7th of April.
Or at least, that was the initial releasedate, it’s now listed on Steam as coming out in “Early 2020.
” I can’t possibly imagine why this game abouttrying to survive after a cataclysmic and almost apocalyptic event might be gettingdelayed.
One of the inconsequential things about BladeRunner that always got me curious was what it was like driving the hover cars everywhere.
I mean, how the hell do roads work in thesky? I guess that’s what planes do, but therearen’t usually enough planes up above the clouds for one to cut another up and triggera frenzied series of honking your… do planes have horns…? Cloudpunk is a game literally all about that, you driving around in a horizontally vast and vertically depth-defying cyberpunk cityas a courier for a, quote, “semi-illegal, ” company called Cloudpunk.
So for all the other dorks out there, don’tworry, the thing where somebody in the thing says the name of the thing happens prettyearly on.
There’s not just driving, though, there’splenty of walking in amongst the towering neon skyscrapers and foggy god rays of streetlamps.
Matthew sat with some of the developers ofCloudpunk for a guided playthrough last year at EGX Berlin, you can check out that jazzy18-minute chunk of gameplay by clicking the card in the corner of the screen, and it looksincredibly promising, with a blocky voxel art style that collides with realistic lightingphysics and particle effects in such a way that it really compliments the neo-retro setting.
Cue plenty of future-honking and dystopicpile-ups on the 23rd of April.
On a to-be-confirmed day in April this year, Mojang will be doing what a lot of other developers featured in this video are also doing andanswering a question nobody thought to ask but everybody is now curious about; what ifMinecraft was Diablo? As it turns out, it looks like it could bequite good, actually.
The UI is suitably blocky, you can wear awolf’s head on top of your head, all of the dungeons and environments are, unsurprisingly, Minecraft-y, but if you were playing with one of those gorgeous lighting shaders turnedon, and uh… well, it looks like if Minecraft was Diablo.
Or does it look more like if Diablo is Minecraft? Where does it appear to lie on the spectrumbetween Minecraft and Diablo to you, dear viewer? Let us know in the comments.
In theory, I think Moving Out is loads offun.
Working together with your mates to shiftfurniture from a house into the back of a van in the quickest and most efficient waypossible can be quite viscerally satisfying, like trying to carry all of the shopping bagsback into your house in a single trip.
In practice, that experience can also becomea nightmare of unimaginable anguish the second you introduce a man who likes Toblerones andgets bad heartburn into the mix [big text on the screen reading, “My Boss MatthewCastle”] who proceeds to just start chucking cans of beans through unopened windows andeating all of the baguette before it makes it through the front door.
[mumbles] I feel like I might’ve lost trackof this metaphor… Anyway.
That’s pretty much what Moving Out is.
Developers SMG Studio have basically donean Overcooked but instead of shouting at your friends while trying to cook ten differentburgers, you’re shouting at your friends while you’re trying to fit a fridge througha door.
There’s a range of cute characters to choosefrom–including a wheelchair user which is such a great and simple way of highlightingthat people with physical disabilities are just as capable of manual labour as the restof us–and it’s got a really pleasant, brightly-coloured art style that makes it really easy to identifythings you need to see.
Having had the chance to play Moving Out, I’m really looking forward to seeing other people enjoy the game too when it comes toPC on the 28th of April.
Despite April being a little bit dry for hugereleases, there’s still quite a lot of interesting stuff going on in games this month.
Funnily enough, given everything going onin the world, a lot of them feel oddly fitting, like some sick display of Jungian synchronicity.
But nevertheless, they all look like reallycompelling experiences that I for one can’t wait to dip into.
What are your favourites in this list? Did we miss any juicy ones that you have youreyes on? Let us know in the comments section, and onyour way down there, why not give this video a like and subscribe to Rock Paper Shotgunfor more like it? Cheers very much for watching, and hopefullysee you again soon!.