February 2017 is shaping up to be a tremendous month for video game launches. Next-generation gaming has arguably been broached with the launch of Square Enix’s massively hyped Final Fantasy XV, and the following four games slated for this month promise to push the boundaries of late 2000-gaming even further. Console gaming is dead- said no one, ever. For February, gaming enthusiasts have the deep honor of being treated to four potential giants, with one of them coming out in just two short days. Let’s take a look at the top 4 video games coming out this month.
- Nioh (February 7)
Let’s get one thing straight. This is not a Dark Souls knock-off. Nioh is its own beast, and more than one critical reviewer has already said that Nioh offers a more complex and satisfying battle system than Dark Souls ever did- a mighty claim to make, and one that we’ve listened very closely to. Nioh has been produced by Team Ninja, the same studio that made Ninja Gaiden, and features samurai backdrops, characters, and weapons. It’s set in Japan in the year 1600 and you play as William, a western samurai based on a real historical figure. Team Ninja released a brief demo for Nioh and it proved itself to be extremely difficult, wildly beautiful, and wholly intriguing.
- For Honor (February 14)
If you’re a gaming couple, this year’s Valentine’s Day is going to be an especially good one. If you didn’t already pick up Nioh, For Honor will be ready for your bloodthirsty pleasure. This one is Ubisoft’s action and fighting game which will allow for not only deliciously difficult one-on-one multiplayer combat but also massive NPC-and-human war battles. Play as historical combat figures from the samurai, knights, or vikings, with backdrops that are as detail-oriented as they are breathtaking in scope. Just like Nioh, For Honor has already made it clear that it’s not interested in holding anyone’s hand- serious gamers, rejoice.
- NieR: Automata (Japan Release: February 23)
The previous NieR games may have been known widely for their exotic and unforgettable soundtracks, but NieR: Automata promises that the franchise will be known for much more than just that after its release. Along with Nioh, Automata allowed gamers a taste of what was to come by offering a demo- and that demo was more than a little satisfying. NieR: Automata is being developed by PlatinumGames alongside of publisher Square Enix and shares the post-apocalyptic settings of its earlier siblings. Automata will feature a mixture of gameplay styles, focusing on melee weapons but incorporating shooting elements as well, which is something that should bring an extra edge to its already finely-tuned design.
- Horizon: Zero Dawn (February 28)
Speaking of hype trains… Horizon: Zero Dawn, set to release at the end of this month, has already won an award for Best Original Game in 2015 and 2016 at Game Critics Awards and is easily the most anticipated game on this list (sorry, Nioh). Gameplay includes playing as Aloy, a hunter living in a post-apocalyptic land ruled by machine-animals. This one is Guerilla Game’s baby, and all of the gameplay released thus far for it has been exceptionally beautiful- and seems to be equally rewarding. Setting traps, firing bows, and hacking enemies are all possible ways to defeat the machines, and thus far everything looks seamless and satisfying.
If all four of these games pan out accordingly, February just might become gamer heaven. Each of these games looks to offer equally impressive challenges in completely different atmospheres and with completely different gameplay styles. For their sake and ours, we hope all four of these giants do as well as they are expected to do, especially as they all seem to lean back in favor of skilled, rather than cinematic-heavy, gameplay. Nioh, For Honor, NieR: Automata, Horizon: Zero Dawn– we wish you the best, and we hope you help to usher in the new era of console gaming.