In what will probably be the first and last time I’m excited for anything involving Rabbids, the biggest release this week is comfortably the unusual cross-over between Mario and Ubisoft.
But the list of big hitters doesn’t stop there: the first episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm drops this week, ARK: Survival Evolved comes out of Early Access, and RedOut gets a well-deserved console release. It’s a big week in games, people.
What is it? The spiritual successor to Myst hits the PS4.
Should you care? No word on whether it’ll get the PSVR treatment, but it’s well worth your time if you loved Myst (but particularly Riven).
Life Is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 1 (PC, PS4, XBO)
What is it? Chloe and Rachel return a prequel for the original Life is Strange, minus Max’s time-twisting powers.
Should you care? The time-twisting was a cool mechanic, so it’ll be fun to see how the series holds up without it.
Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition (PS4, XBO)
What is it? A console launch for the crowdfunded computer RPG.
Should you care? Pillars was received well on PC, although I’m always sceptical about how well traditional RPGs like this would play on a couch. Divinity: Original Sin made it work, though.
ARK: Survival Evolved (PC, XBO)
What is it? The sandbox dinosaur hunting/breeding/taming simulator leaves Early Access.
Should you care? ARK has had one of the largest player bases on Steam since it hit the service two years ago, so there’s plenty of fun to be had. But don’t expect a trouble-free experience – it’s still unpolished in places.
Everybody’s Golf (PS4)
What is it? Put simply, kawaii golf.
Should you care? If you really enjoyed PangYa! and don’t mind stupid cartoon golf, you’ll probably have tons of fun with this. How you cope with the grind is another matter.
Windjammers (PS4, Vita)
What is it? IT’S WINDJAMMERS
Should you care? IT’S WINDJAMMERS
Resident Evil Revelations (PS4, XBO)
What is it? A re-release of Revelations, which first hit the 3DS in 2012 before landing on the previous console generation and PC in 2013.
Should you care? It’s set between Resi 4 and 5, which is important if you’re doing a full playthrough of the series. Alternatively, wait for the Switch release later this year.
Absolver (PC, PS4, XBO)
What is it? A multiplayer melee brawler where players alternate between fighting styles and stances, interacting and fighting other players as you traverse throughout the world.
Should you care? I played the tutorial of Absolver about a year ago now, and the principle was very cool (although it was pretty rough at that stage). It’ll be interesting to see what happens to this when it’s released in the wild, although it’s a noisy week to launch.
Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)
What is it? A HD remake of the first Yakuza game.
Should you care? If you enjoyed Yakuza 0 earlier this year, then definitely yes.
Surf World Series (PC, PS4, XBO)
What is it? It’s virtual surfing.
Should you care? Think Steep, but in the ocean, and everything looks jankier.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Switch)
What is it? Mario meets X-COM in this weird mash-up between Ubisoft and Nintendo.
Should you care? This game is just surprising top to bottom. Check out my preview below and you’ll get what I mean.
If I had to associate a single word with Mario + Rabbids. Kingdom Battle, it would, without a shred of doubt, be this. fuck.Read more
Rock of Ages 2: Bigger & Boulder (PC, PS4, XBO)
What is it? A Monty Python-inspired tower defence game where players also control a rock that happens to just … well, roll over everything.
Should you care? This game is so genuinely silly that it might be great. Or it could just be supremely dumb. Watch some footage and find out for yourself.
What is it? A pixel-art open-world platformer where the player battles trolls and crows, who are trying to unleash a Nidhoggr (?) on the world.
Should you care? One for fans of Dark Cells or Hollow Knight.
XCOM 2: War of the Chosen (PC, XBO)
What is it? An expansion for X-COM 2, adding new enemies, hero classes, missions, environments, factions and the Chosen.
Should you care? If you aren’t done with X-COM 2, I’d say yes, especially since it only seems like Firaxis will be patching the expansion from here on in.
Azure Striker GUNVOLT: STRIKER PACK (Switch)
What is it? Azure Striker Gunvolt and its sequel, 2D side-scrolling shooters, land on the Switch in a handy two-pack.
Should you care? If you’ve got a Shovel Knight amiibo, you can use that with this. I heard reasonable things about the game when it came out on 3DS, but this isn’t the best 2D action platformer you can get on the Switch.
X-Morph: Defense (PC, PS4, XBO)
What is it? A cross between a tower defence game and a top-down shooter.
Should you care? Looks like it would be a good handheld game, actually.
That’s not even half of the games coming out this week, but it’s the bulk of the biggest ones. If I’ve missed something major, let me know. Are you keen for Mario + Rabbids this week, or a new Life is Strange?