Looking for the best new video games coming out in April 2016? Here’s our in-depth preview of the three biggest games hitting consoles and PC this month.
Quantum Break – 5 April – Xbox One, Windows
It’s always good to see games trying to break new ground, with original player experiences. And Quantum Break, from the studio behind Alan Wake, definitely has some new tricks up its sleeve.
While Quantum Break is essentially a third-person shooter, each game segment is split by live-action video episodes that advance the story.
But these aren’t just cut scenes. You’ll get to make choices as the villain, which affect the state of the story and the game going forward. Remember the live action series that accompanied Alan Wake? This feels like a really cool, interactive evolution of those.
There are also time-manipulation elements to the gameplay. You play as Jack Joyce, a guy with the power to freeze time for everyone but himself. So you can dodge bullets, escape enemies and pull off all sorts of other time-cheating moves.
Quantum Break just came out for Xbox One and Windows and reviews have been pretty positive. The game’s graphics have been rightly praised, and gameplay is solid too. Even the TV episodes, which could easily have been Hollyoaks-level dross, are good and watchable.
It’s mainly the game’s puzzles and platforming sections that have come in for criticism. But Quantum Break’s unique mix of genres make it a one-of-a-kind experience.
Metacritic score: 78
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Platform: Xbox One
Dark Souls III – 12 April – PS4, Xbox One, Windows
As the first to be designed for the current console generation, Dark Souls III should offer the most beautiful – and grotesque – world to explore yet. There is a bigger variety of enemies than in DS2, and series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki is back in the director’s chair.
Early reviews have noted a few small complaints among their gushing praise.
The frame rate dips often in the console versions; a problem anyone who’s been through Blight Town in the first Dark Souls will be annoyed to hear about.
DS3 is also said to be the most linear Souls game so far, with fewer choices on where to head next.
But this is Dark Souls. And that means a fantastic world to explore, hard but fair gameplay, and a real sense of accomplishment when you beat an area. We can’t wait.
Star Fox Zero – 22 April – Wii U
Star Fox has been a hit and miss series for Nintendo. In recent years, it’s been mostly misses. The first two games, known as Starwing (SNES) and Lylat Wars (N64) in the UK are mostly regarded as classics. The 3DS Star Fox 64 remake aside, newer games have been poor.
So here are Platinum Games, the studio behind Bayonetta and Transformers: Devastation, to help reboot the series. Here’s Star Fox Zero, and it’s looking very interesting.
We have to start with the control scheme. You obviously use the analogue stick to steer your ship. But in Star Fox Zero, you can also use the Game Pad screen and gyros to aim your guns independently.
It sounds impressive and fun. But it also sounds really difficult to get the hang of! Several previews of the game have noted the controls are tricky, but feel great when you get the hang of them.
There’s also a 2-player co-op mode, in which one player is the pilot and the other is the gunner. With the right partner, that could be great. As far as we know, there’s no online multiplayer.
It’s been a while since Star Fox Zero was first announced. In early trailers, many fans worried that the world looked empty and graphics were too simple. But a lot of polish has been applied since then, and the game is looking as vibrant and a Star Fox game should.
As with all new Wii U games, there are amiibo-unlocked features. And one of SFZ’s is really nice – tap a Fox McCloud amiibo to your Game Pad, and you can fly a SNES-style Arwing ship!
Star Fox Zero is looking like a truly unique gaming experience for Wii U. Here’s hoping it restores the series’ reputation when it launches on the 22nd.
Metacritic score: TBC
Release Date: April 21, 2016
Platform: Wii U