March (gaming) madness

Category: Features

There is a gluttony of amazing “triple  A” titles heading our way this March. Too many in fact! I don’t have any idea how I’m going to be able to get through one of these let alone all of them.

If you’re like me and living a time-poor lifestyle then perhaps you’ll only be able to pick out one. To help you decide here’s a run-down on all the major releases and my thoughts after having hands on at E3, PAX or other events along the way.

Horizon Zero Dawn – February 28

Yeah, yeah it’s not March I know. Horizon Zero Dawn is the first non-FPS title from PlayStation alum Guerrilla Games, best known for the Killzone series. A cross between Tomb Raider, The Witcher and Fallout, Horizon sets you in the far, far, far future where creatures that roam the long overgrown cities are made of machinery and mankind has returned to the wilderness in order to survive.

When I first saw the game I wasn’t overly impressed. It looked like another Far Cry clone set in a sort of sci-fi like setting. Then with each iteration and now with the amazing reviews from literally every outlet that’s been handed a review copy early Horizon Zero Dawn is looking to take out “Game of the Year” honours only three months in.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys investing in a deep story, role playing and crafting elements as well as nimble on the sticks for fast-paced encounters then this is the choice for you. Over thirty hours in and still loving every minute.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (And Nintendo Switch) – March 3

The game that was ready a long time ago but had to wait for a console to be done. Every Nintendo fan is waiting for this day. Not only do they get one of the most anticipated titles in Nintendo’s history but it also comes with the release of the new Nintendo Switch “console”.

Breath of the Wild can of course be purchased for the Wii U, meaning you don’t have to buy the new console to play it, and if truth be told is exactly what I’d be doing if I owned a Wii U.

As for the game, Breath of the Wild is an ambitious attempt to bring both the franchise and Nintendo to an almost level playing field amongst open world RPG’s – a genre getting a heavy workout this month.

From my hands on with the game I will admit I’m seriously impressed and the idea of being able to take it on the go via the new Switch does have its merits. That said, the graphics, the sound, the experience, whilst beautiful as beautiful as Nintendo can be is sadly lacking in every comparison with other systems.

If you’re a Nintendo owner or a Zelda fan this is obviously going to be your choice but I would encourage those keen to return to Nintendo-fold to also at least cast your eye over it.

You can read more about Zelda and my impressions of the Nintendo Switch here.


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – March 7

Take  Just Cause 3, add a little Rainbow Six and just a hint of Destiny and you’ll have something resembling the latest Tom Clancy branded title: Ghost Recon Wildlands.

Roaming the enormous open-world Bolivian environment you and your team go about ridding the good people from the grips of a fictional drug cartel terrorising the “Wildlands”.

Playable as a solo title Wildlands really feels best when played in a multiplayer, especially in a squad comprised of friends. Ubisoft of course show it off as a tactical team shooter where logical and clear directions are given by a team leader for the squad to follow through on for the most clinical of quest runs however we all know that’s just not how the internet works.

Stories from the beta include jumping out of a helicopter and parachuting to safety whilst your squad mates who’ve hitched a ride don’t yet have the “parachute” skill and thusly fall or ride a plummeting helicopter to their deaths. Good internet times.

Regardless, the game looks amazing. Truly, gorgeous and whilst certainly going to look even more impressive on a PC, something I feel like I want on either my PS4 or XB1. Wildlands comes across as a Destiny like game that I could easily pick up, jump into a mission, hang out with friends and have a great time with.

You can read my full, in-depth preview of Ghost Recon Wildlands from E3 last year here.


Mass Effect: Andromeda – March 21

This is probably the title I know the least about yet want to play the most. After the woeful and utter disappointment that was the ending of Mass Effect 3 the new direction for the series in Andromeda has you setting off on a 600-year journey to our next door neighbour galaxy.

Set just after the events of Mass Effect 2 when the galaxy was almost certainly doomed with the rise and return of the Reapers, the new series has little to no connection with the original trilogy and our beloved Commander Shephard.

The new title from world-creators BioWare looks to deliver many of the familiarities of the series in this new iteration. Dialog choices, relationships and action all having meaning in consequence that ultimately make each person’s experience unique.

I, nor anyone really, have been given any more details or hands-on with the game which being so close to its release is both unusual in this day and age but also exciting too. Andromeda could be the sleeping giant (as restful as a game brandishing “Mass Effect” in its title can be) but up against the others in the list its definitely not the most talked about. A strange situation for BioWare to be in.

If you’re a fan of BioWare or the Mass Effect series you’re jumping straight on this one, but if not, Andromeda will do little to convince you otherwise.


Persona 5 – April 4

I wish I knew more about the Persona series but those who do, well they’ve already imported a Japanese version, completed it then pre-ordered the English release and would tell you to do the same.

Megan Farokhmanesh has an amazing round-up piece on the entire Persona series and why it’s worth checking out this hugely popular JRPG series over at Polygon that I recommend you read in full but here’s her basic breakdown.

As a role-playing series, Persona consistently follows a group of teenagers doing extraordinary things. As a dungeon crawler, it encourages players to grind to their heart’s content without forcing their hand. As a social simulator, it places heavy emphasis on building meaningful bonds — and more impressively, succeeds. It is the JRPG genre at its finest, combining confidence and style with engrossing storytelling.

Persona 5 has been delayed more times than I care to count and I’m sure my E3 badge from two years ago now was adorned with Persona paraphernalia. In other words it’s been a long time coming and I’m keen to check out the series.

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