While the free console games aren't anything special and this January is as dry on new releases as every other January, there are a few games coming out this week that are definitely worthy of attention.
What is it? A game about space trucking with a Cowboy Bebop-esque soundtrack. Should you care? Absolutely. It's charming, immediately accessible and manages to blend the naval combat of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag with space, which works infinitely better than you'd think. For those on Xbox One, Rebel Galaxy launches next week. (The link above goes to the PC version, but the developers have said it will launch on the 5th on the US PSN for US$20.)
What is it? The next-gen reboot of Harmonix's PS2 rhythm classic.
Should you care? I didn't play the original, so this looks like a massively amped up version of Audiosurf — which can only be a good thing. But rhythm games aren't for everyone, Amplitude most of all. Watch this gameplay video and you'll get an idea whether this is your jam.
Hardware Rivals (PS4)
What is it? A multiplayer-focused vehicle shooter.
Should you care? Everyone's getting it for free provided you have an active PS+ subscription. I've got no excitement for this whatsoever, and reports from the beta last year didn't encourage a shift in my position. But it could turn out better than expected. Hell, it's free.
What is it? It's the narrative-focused, stealth-oriented game from the maker of Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell). The game launched on PC and PS4 last year and was meant to have a simultaneous Vita release, but that got delayed by a few weeks. And then it got delayed by a hell of a lot more. The Vita port is finally out this week.
Should you care? Chris rather enjoyed his time with Volume, describing it as a second excellent projecct from Bithell. This should play fairly well on the Vita, too, although I'd rather spend more time with Invisible, Inc. to get my stealth fix.
Discovery (Wii U)
What is it? A world-building block game inspired by Minecraft.
Should you care? No. Why wouldn't you just play Minecraft?
What is it? A noir-esque side-scrolling shooter where you're a man blackmailed into the world of assassination by the people who kidnapped your brother.
Should you care? Looks good and has a cool premise, but there's a few red flags here. The fact that "skip through the story by mashing ENTER" is listed as one of the main features leads me to think that the story might be a bit trash.
What is it? A puzzle game supposedly not about ponies where you're trapped in an arcade machine. But you're controlling a pony.
Should you care? This looks really unusual and has a super cool aesthetic. It's a shame that it's launching just after the Steam sales, but it looks real interesting nonetheless.
Did we miss anything? What are you picking up this week?