There’s not a whole lot to love about February. Christmas is nothing but a distant memory, and those new years resolutions you swore you’d stick to back in January have long since been abandoned. The weather is shit, and the days are bleak and mournful. With that in mind, lock yourself indoors for the entirety of this miserable void of a month and feast your eyes on some of the great games that’ll be coming out in the following weeks…
Layers Of Fear – February 16
The cancellation of Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills game was nothing short of an absolute tragedy. If the P.T demo was anything to go by (and we think it was), then the world missed out on a truly unique, terrifying, and innovative horror experience.
Enter Layers Of Fear. Billed as a spiritual successor to P.T and the doomed Silent Hills, you take control of an insane painter in a “psychedelic horror”on a quest to finish his masterpiece.
With a pervasively creepy atmosphere throughout, and an emphasis on fucking with your mind as much as it can before you’re done, Layers Of Fear looks all set to be a truly impressive horror title that Del Toro and Kojima would be proud of.
Unravel – February 9
Unravel is gorgeous. It’s so gorgeous, that it almost hurts to look directly at it for too long. We can pretty confidently say it is already the most adorable game of 2016, because you play as an old woman’s ball of yarn come to life in a side scrolling platform adventure.
Platformers based around unique and intriguing concepts are always welcome, and Unravel is as intriguing as they come. Yarny (our protagonist) leaves a trail of yarn behind him wherever he goes, which can be used to swing across treacherous gaps, pull heavy items, and solve all manner of puzzles.
The blend of real world locations and such a fanciful concept has resulted in something that looks truly incredible. You can bounce across apples in the water, and float through the breeze on plastic carrier bags (if you have 5p). Yarny has all the makings of a classic videogame creation, so here’s hoping Unravel doesn’t come apart at the seams.
XCOM 2 – February 5
Not to be confused with the second entry in the original series, X-COM: Terror From The Deep, XCOM 2 is the sequel to the 2012 reboot Enemy Unknown.
Anyway, XCOM 2 is a turn-based tactical affair in which players take control of a resistance force who are fighting against the ongoing alien occupation of the planet.
Master tacticians will have to juggle giving commands to squad members with overseeing the engineering and research department at your base in order to create newer, bigger, better gear with which to screw the aliens ever more efficiently. You’ll also be able to plan ambushes, hack enemy devices, utilise melee weapons, and loot alien corpses for resources.
Customisation is key. You can change up everything about your soldiers, from their personalties to their clothes. There’ll also be mod support, where campaign, class and enemy types can be created and shared through the Steam Workshop. It’s basically XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but streamlined, with much more content. And that’s no bad thing.
Street Fighter V – February 16
Capcom’s latest offering in the Street Fighter series is obviously one to watch for fans of good old-fashioned beat ’em up goodness. You’ve played Street Fighter. You know the drill. Mash buttons, build up that specials bar, and if anyone spams moves, stab them in the eye with a spoon and kick them out. Or just kick them out. Your call.
There’ll be new features, stages, and characters of course. Being introduced to the roster this time around we have the likes of shady assassin F.A.N.G and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Laura, who has an electric flavour to her attacks. Also new to Street Fighter V is the V-Gauge, which can be filled during combat and allows players to use abilities unique to each character.
Finally, the game has been made using Unreal Engine 4, so you know it’s gonna look slicker than a greased monkey being thrown down an airduct, and cross platform play will be supported. What an enlightened time we live in.
Far Cry Primal – February 23
Far Cry is a videogame series predominately known and loved for the fact that you can run around shooting people and blowing shit up, so Primal immediately strikes as an interesting and brave departure from the norm. Primal is set during the Stone Age, and follows the exploits of a young hunter who rises through the ranks to become leader of the tribe.
Like the other Far Cry games, it will be a first person open world action adventure. Unlike the other Far Cry games, you can’t buy weapons or run around with a gun. Instead, players have to craft anything they might want using materials from their surroundings, and there’ll be an emphasis on melee weapons rather than long range gear.
You’ll also be able to tame wildlife and use your new chums on your quest. Owls can scout out enemy locations at night, and sabre-tooth tigers can aid you in combat by tearing off the face of your foes. A day/night system is also in place, with certain areas and enemies becoming more formidable when the sun goes down.
Perhaps most intriguing though, is the chance to lead your own tribe. You’ll have to keep them alive by gathering food and fire, and drive away other tribes to be the best around. Just remember that when two tribes go to war… a sabre-tooth tiger is all you can score.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.