Highlights this Month – February 2019
Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (PC) – February 14
If a cherished friend or loved one is a big fan of Civilization VI, then the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for them this year is the upcoming expansion pack Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. Apart from new civilizations and leaders, key new features are environmental effects, management of power and fuel, new engineering tile improvements like canals and tunnels, a world congress and a whole new era – the 21st century. On top of this are all the regular additions with an expansion like new units, wonders, scenarios, etc.
Although perhaps not entirely aligned with Firaxis’ intention for this expansion, we are looking forward to playing the long game as a Viking naval Empire and deliberately cause rising sea levels through massive pollution and degradation of the environment. Global warming is never bad news if it means more of the map is covered in oceans for your battle fleet to roam and pillage!
Far Cry New Dawn (PS4, XBO, PC) – February 15
Next month sees the release of upcoming game Far Cry New Dawn, a spin-off of the latest in the Far Cry series; last year’s Far Cry 5. Similar to some of Ubisoft’s previous smaller titles in the series, this game is likely to be well-received but probably won’t blow us away. However, the post-apocalyptic setting is something that is likely to work extremely well thematically with the style of the Far Cry series, so this game is still very much worth a look!
Metro Exodus (PS4, XBO, PC) – February 15
Deep Silver’s upcoming game Metro Exodus looks to be an intriguing single-player experience. Available gameplay footage shows this game establishing itself as a post-apocalyptic shooter less silly than Fallout and with a strong focus on gunplay.
Yet the release of Exodus suddenly took on much greater significance a little over two weeks ahead of its launch when it was announced that Exodus for PC will be sold only via the Epic Games Store for its first year in retail, in a move described as Epic fully declaring war on Steam. Steam has responded to this move by posting a message to Exodus’ Steam page stating that they “…think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period” and go on to apologize to its customers who had been hoping to purchase the game at a later date through the platform.
While this was certainly a bold move from the Epic Games Store, given the issues regarding their currently negative perception among many gamers, the decision of Deep Silver to shift retail platform has not been received kindly. Some Steam users have used the review system in Steam to negatively impact the score of earlier games in the Metro series. It’s still early days, but it remains to be seen how all this will impact the reception of Exodus.
Anthem (PS4, XBO, PC) – February 22
EA and Bioware’s upcoming game Anthem releases later in the month and thanks to a somewhat rocky “VIP demo”, we now have enough footage of the game to know what to reasonably expect. Finding its own niche in the increasingly crowded and emerging “looter shooter” style of game, Anthem looks set to offer a uniquely focused PvE experience to gamers. It’s promising that the developers have listened to feedback and are incorporating requested changes such as the forced walking in its social areas.
Troubling news has surfaced via Reddit, however, that the game is set to be structured around selling microtransactions with very high cost of items with in-game currency that can otherwise be substituted for real-world currency. Knowing EA, this is not an unexpected move, nor is it nonsensical from a publishing perspective. Gamers will be wise to be wary of Anthem in this respect. The open beta for the upcoming game begins today and runs until February 3rd. Despite some hilarious miscommunication from EA’s community team on Twitter, the demo is open to all – so why not give it a go and judge it yourself – putative microtransactions and all?
Stellaris: Console Edition (PS4, XBO) – February 26
Pilgrim favourite science fiction grand strategy Stellaris is releasing for console to Playstation and XBOX towards the end of the month. While complex games like Paradox’ grand strategies may seem an odd port to console, its control scheme has been warmly received, so Stellaris is looking to provide a deep and rewarding experience from the comfort of your couch with gorgeously atmospheric music and beautiful visuals on your big TV screen.
Anno 1800 (PC) delayed
Industrial Revolution city-builder and trade simulator Anno 1800, set to release in February has been confirmed delayed. It will now be releasing in mid-April. Streamers showcasing pre-release gameplay had been asked to avoid certain aspects of the game and it is presumably these that Blue Byte need to nail down in the extra time they have given themselves.
D.I.C.E. Summit and 22nd annual D.I.C.E. Awards
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences hosts its D.I.C.E. summit on Feburary 13th. God of War, Game Awards’ Game of the Year 2018, leads the field with 12 nominations and looks to add to its already great host of awards and accolades.
Other upcoming games this Month – February 2019
- Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (PC) – February 1
- DreamWorks Dragons Dawn of New Riders (PS4, XBO, Switch, PC) – February 1Song of Memories (PS4) – February 1
- Wargroove (Switch) – February 1
- Etrian Odyssey: Nexus (3DS) – February 5
- The Occupation (PS4, XBO, PC) – February 5
- The Walking Dead (PS4, XBO) – February 6
- Ape Out (Switch, PC) – February 7
- BlazBlue: Central Fiction (Switch) – February 7
- God Eater 3 (PS4, PC) – February 8
- Monster Energy Supercross 2 (PS4, XBO, Switch, PC) – February 8
- Stunt Kite Party (Switch) – February 8
- Arcade Spirits (PC) – February 12
- The Liar Princess and the Blinde Prince (PS4, Switch) – February 12
- Trials Rising (PS4, XBO, Switch, PC) – February 12
- Degrees of Separation (PS4, XBO, Switch, PC) – February 14
- Constructor Plus (Switch) – February 15
- Crackdown 3 (XBO, PC) – February 15
- Dead or Alive 6 (PS4, XBO, PC) – February 15
- Jump Force (PS4, XBO, PC) – February 15
- Yakuza Kiwami (PC) – February 19
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Triology (PS4, XBO, Switch) – February 21
- Aragami: Shadow Edition (Switch) – February 22
- Dirt Rally 2.0 (PS4, XBO, PC) – February 26
- The Lego Movie 2 (PS4, XBO, PC) – February 26
- Constructor Plus (PS4, XBO, PC) – February 28