It feels odd compiling a list of the new titles to be excited about halfway through a given month, but it feels strangely apt with how barren the first half of the month (sorry Atelier Ayesha Plus, you came out of nowhere!). Below is a small selection of the games I feel strongly towards out of the modest pool of new release fish.
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected + Gat Out of Hell.
Gat Out of Hell aims to be a silly little side project from Saints Row IV and much like its source material, does not make any concessions to take itself seriously. With a trailer that boasts a musical number, it’s hard not to get a little twinge in your heartstrings over the possibility of murderous rampage and the promise of mindless action. If you are looking to play on a previous existing platform, Gat Out of Hell will be a standalone $20 experience. However, both PS4 and Xbox One will include both an expanded version of Saints Row IV (with all of the old DLC) and Gat Out of Hell for $50, still cheaper than most other full-fledged retail titles on either system.
Citizens of Earth
The Mother series has always been endearing to my and the few clones that attempt to imitate its style never fail to catch my eye. Last year, it was the Mother 3-based Boot Hill Heroes and this year it’s Citizens of Earth. From what I’ve seen, the story makes no effort at telling a serious narrative and instead centers around a newly elected Vice President of Earth and his role of aiding his constituents in menial tasks before recruiting them to fight off living trees and sign-wielding protesters.
Dead Island, despite its rocky reception and gameplay that turned out to be nothing close to its initial reveal trailer, had some charm all its own. The zombie survival was an idyllic mash between the frantic survival of Left 4 Dead with the somewhat randomized gear and leveling progression of the Borderland series. Dying Light is looking to shake up that formula they’ve established in the previous two Dead Island games with first-person parkour and free running. One of the new modes called Be the Zombie shows promise for obvious reasons, although it’s a disappointment that such a mode will be initially locked behind a pre-order bonus exclusive to Gamestop.
Resident Evil HD Remaster
If you’re like me and follow the Japanese game release cycle, you may have already picked up and played through the recent release of Resident Evil HD Remaster late last year. The North American release will be hitting digital storefronts on January 20th, missing a physical release entirely. What you get for a $20 package is a high quality reworking of the GameCube/Wii release of the first Resident Evil title. New control schemes will allow players to divert away from the standard tank controls of the original. Sadly the infinite grenade launcher trick with Jill Valentine hasn’t made it into this release.
Grim Fandango Remastered
It’s black, it’s white, it’s got Manny Calavera looking his best in years. Tim Schafer and Double Fine are starting to pick up pace with giving their old library of adventure games new life on the PlayStation 4 and what better way to start it off than with a romp through the Land of the Dead that may or may not involve beavers?