Even though 2016 has just started, it’s clear that this is going to be a great year for video games. January might have started slow in terms of new releases, but February is jam-packed with worthwhile games.
Some of the year’s most anticipated titles are scheduled to release in February. Ranging from long-awaited and mysterious indie titles, to primeval big-budget franchise entries, February’s lineup of new games is as varied as the month’s own weather on the East Coast.
But, which games do you absolutely have to get in February, you ask? Have no fear, we’ve got a list for you.
10) Tales of Symphonia HD:
The ‘Tales of’ series has been a video game staple for longer than most gamers care to remember. While each ‘Tales’ game is generally praised for including and iterating on the now-iconic battle system found in most entries, the overall quality of most ‘Tales’ games are general pretty divisive.
Tales of Symphonia, however, is arguably the most well-received game in the franchise. In February, Tales of Symphonia HD will release for PC, giving gamers who might have missed the GameCube/PS2 version or PS3 re-release of the classic JRPG a chance to experience all that it has to offer. Symphonia is full of colorful characters and has a story that is at least nominally interesting, that, when combined with the top-notch battle system, makes for a really enjoyable game.
9) Layers of Fear:
Influenced as much by classic works of art as the slow, lingering horror of P.T., Layers of Fear has the potential to be one of the best new horror games in quite some time.
Layers of Fear places players in the shoes of a deranged artist. the painter navigates his manor — which seems to constantly shift and change on a supernatural whim — players begin to understand that something is very not right with the troubled artist. Layers of Fear won over numerous gamers during its time in Steam’s Early Access, proving that while horror can take many forms, true obsession can be the scariest.
8) Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth:
Hearing that there’s a new Digimon game coming in 2016 might not be something that most gamers ever excepted to hear. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, however, aims to bring the world of the affable digital monsters to the public’s eye once more.
Releasing for the PlayStation 4 and Vita, Cyber Sleuth is aimed at an older audience than Digimon’s original animated series. Spinning a narrative that revolves around a group of hackers who find themselves embroiled in the world of Digimon and a mysterious detective agency, Cyber Sleuth is an RPG that seems as interesting as it is nostalgia inducing.
7) Gravity Rush Remastered:
There are a handful of re-releases and expanded ports coming out in February, but none of them can hold a candle to Gravity Rush Remastered. Originally a Vita exclusive, Gravity Rush is making the jump to the PlayStation 4 and bringing its high-speed gameplay and impressive art design with it.
Gravity Rush Remastered is an important release for a number of reasons. When Gravity Rush was first released, it instantly established itself as a modern day classic that left many fans pining for a sequel. Gravity Rush 2 might be a little ways away, but Gravity Rush Remastered is a must-play for any PlayStation 4 owners.
Unravel — and its mascot Yarny — captured the hearts of the gaming world when it was revealed at E3 2015. Charming and approachable, Unravel is a puzzle platformer that encourages experimentation and yarn-based problem solving.
Unravel’s primary game mechanic revolves around Yarny slowly unraveling the twine that his body is made up of. By using it to solve puzzles and reach different parts of the level, players have to balance Yarny’s available twine with their ability to progress. Throw in some physics-based puzzles and stunning real-world inspired levels and you’ve got this year’s most endearing platformer.
5) Street Fighter V:
Capcom’s latest entry into the iconic fighting game franchise has a lot going for it. By retooling and balancing the overall Street Fighter franchise, February’s Street Fighter V has the potential to be the most accessible and enjoyable fighting game in a long time.
Street Fighter V features a number of tweaks to the series, including the all-new V-Gauge which allows each character to use unique skills and reversals. In addition to the V-Gauge, SFV also introduces a number of newcomers as well as some Street Fighter faces that haven’t been seen in some time.
4) Far Cry Primal:
After the middling reception of Far Cry 2, the series has reinvented itself into one of gaming’s most enjoyable franchises. The newest entry into the series, Far Cry Primal, takes gamers on a prehistoric journey, eschewing the guns and explosions of previous Far Cry games in favor of throwable spears and long-extinct beasts.
Primal’s developer/publisher, Ubisoft, has never been known as a company that takes big risks. With Primal, it seems that Ubisoft is making a big change to a franchise that otherwise has remained largely the same for the past two entries. For that, at least, Primal deserves some attention.
3) Fire Emblem Fates:
Fire Emblem Fates might just be the most anticipated 3DS game of 2016. Broken up into two main chapters — Birthright and Conquest — Fire Emblem Fates promises to consume dozens of hours with its blend of strategic combat and character-developing segments.
Fates offers a bit more in terms of customization than Fire Emblem: Awakening, allowing players to customize their avatar in greater depth. In addition to the avatar customization, Fates spins a divergent narrative depending on what campaign players a progressing through. Expect a sweeping, engaging experience when Fire Emblem Fates releases on February 19.
Firewatch has a simple premise. You take on the role of a man who has taken a volunteer position working as a Wyoming fire lookout.
There’s more to Firewatch than initially meets the eye. Despite the relatively boring position Henry – the game’s main character – has signed up for, the wilderness holds secrets. After finding his lookout tower disheveled and destroyed, Henry begins to find clues that there are strange happenings in the forest.
Firewatch’s developer Campo Santo has been tightlipped about the actual events of the game, which has led to plenty of fan anticipation. The blend of exploration and mystery in such an idyllic location makes Firewatch look like a game that can easily draw players into its world.
1) XCOM 2:
If you have spent any time at all with 2K Games’ XCOM reboot, then you probably know why XCOM 2 is so exciting. The unabashedly old-school, turn-based series was revitalized in 2012 and this year’s XCOM 2 looks to be a big step forward for the franchise.
XCOM 2 builds upon the solid framework of its predecessor, offering tough missions with a wide variety of objectives. As the commander of a multinational Special Forces unit, it’s your job to defeat an alien threat using your tactical superiority and dozens of skilled fighters.
Expect customization, unique weaponry, and tons of replayability from XCOM 2. The alien menace may look different this time around, but they still go down with some good old fashioned bullets.
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”