Gaming: Notable Releases February 2017

Poochy & Yoshi’s Wooly World

Say what you will about the difficulty and gameplay of the ‘material designed’ yarn and wool games coming out of Nintendo over the last half-decade, but you can't argue that they aren't beautiful and charming games oozing with Nintendo style. Poochy & Yoshi’s Wooly World is a port of the Wii U Wooly World title, but with some updates and a new mode featuring fan-favorite character Poochy in a score-attack style game. The yarny fun never ends for kids of all ages February 3rd, and for the first time on 3DS.


Unfortunately for myself and a lot of Dark Souls fans, Dark Souls 3 will be the final game in the beloved series. I don't doubt that From Software will make another game in that style due to its popularity, but in the meantime some folks have been experimenting with putting their own flair on the Souls model. Using the pedigree of clean design and difficulty from the 3D Ninja Gaiden titles, the developers over at Team Ninja are combining deliberate pacing of the Souls style with the fast and stylish action of Ninja Gaiden to create what I hope to be a perfect medium between the two in Nioh. The beta tests available weren’t perfect, but there was something there that I am looking forward to investigating (and reviewing) soon. Battle the beasts of Japanese mythos February 7th, exclusively on the PS4.

For Honor

After some fun beta tests and intense media coverage over the past year, we will finally be able to get our hands on this multiplayer smash-up to combat your wartime woes. There is a lot going on here, famous warriors from different eras of humanity have been brought together to do what they do best: Battle for glory and honor. For Honor brings puzzle and fighting-game like mechanical elements to the battlefield to emphasize a patience and critical strikes over button mashing. With so many influences in both style and mechanics, whatever For Honor ends up being at launch will be unique and fascinating. For Honor hits store and digital shelves this Valentine's day for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Sniper Elite 4

The most recent Sniper Elite caught me off guard with its popularity at release, and after dumping some hours into it, I saw the appeal. It mixes some of what made games like Hitman fun, with over-the-top death animations and much-needed proper shooter controls. For fans of sniping games or the Sniper Elite series in the past, this will sure to be a must have. I will try my best to pull myself away Professional Mode of Hitman long enough to give this a shot. Cuddle up with your special someone and kill some WWII era fascists this Valentines day for for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Halo Wars 2

Real-time strategy games have had something of a dubious history on the consoles. The original Halo Wars surely made a lot fewer mistakes than Starcraft 64, but never really resonated with me enough to keep me playing. Halo Wars 2 promises more space-spartans fighting space-catholics and zombie goop, and improvements on the gameplay across the board. There is a new enemy faction in lieu of the Covenant called ‘The Banished’ that will mix up the gameplay for Halo fans, or create something new and interesting for folks new to the series. With a multitude of new online multiplayer modes, there is sure to be something for most RTS fans out there. Halo Wars 2 launches on February 21st on Windows 10 and Xbox one as the first Halo title to be available on the Microsoft ‘Play Anywhere’ program.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Myself and many others have been chomping at the bit to get access to Horizon Zero Dawn since its official announcement at E3 2015. This Action-RPG takes the novel approach towards the post-apocalypse by working with an new tribal humanity established over hundreds of years after an unexplained apocalypse. The human world is back and strengthening, but now is overrun with beasts. But, there is something off about these beasties; they aren’t mutants or dinosaurs, but actually robotic machines. Gameplay footage reveals influences from games like Far Cry and Monster Hunter, as you take control of Alloy a young but experienced hunter of the machines. The ‘using every part of the buffalo’ paradigm is hard at work here using bits of robotic monsters to fashion tools and weapons, and you should expect to see hunting, riding, and taking advantage of the ‘wild technology’ in this beautiful and scary new future. Horizon Zero Dawn finally arrives exclusively on the PS4 February 28th.

-Justin Wicker