Snowed in this week by that vengeful snowstorm Juno? There’s no better time to brew up some hot chocolate and settle down with a new game. Brand new excitement from Dying Light and Life is Strange is available alongside HD remasters of classics like Grim Fandango, Metroid Prime, and Heroes of Might & Magic III.
What will you be playing this week?
Linux/PS4/Windows/XB1 (January 27)
Dead Island developer Techland returns to open world zombie survival with its first game developed for the latest generation of hardware. Scavenge for supplies and craft weapons during the safer day in order to survive nightfall when the zombies become much more dangerous.
French actor, stuntman, and founder of Parkour David Belle consulted on the game’s development to help with the freerunning mechanics that the developer emphasized heavily in the months leading up to release. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game were canceled in October of 2014 in order to allow the develops greater freedom to innovate.
Life is Strange: Episode 1
PS3/PS4/Windows/X360/XB1 (January 30)
The first of five episodes kicks off this twisted, time travel narrative from developer Dontnod, which previously warped perceptions with the mind-hacking beat ’em up, Remember Me. Student Max Caulfield returns home to Oregon to discover that she has developed the mysterious power to rewind time. She uses this newfound ability to investigate the disappearance of another friend, leading Max down a rabbit hole of her hometown’s secrets.
Unlike Dontnod’s Remember Me, which was weighed down by lackluster action, the time-warping mechanics take center stage in Life is Strange, opening up interesting narrative possibilities and puzzle solving.
Grim Fandango: Remastered
Linux/Mac/PS4/Vita/Windows (January 27)
Originally released in 1998, this Tim Schafer-designed game is considered by many to be the pinnacle of LucasArts adventure game golden age during the ’90s. Combining film noir, the Aztec conception of the afterlife, and Schafer’s trademark wry humor, Grim Fandango is a surreal and beloved mystery.
The remastered edition was developed by Schafer’s studio Double Fine. In addition to a graphics and audio overhaul, Schafer reached out to the established modding community to incorporate into his update some improvements to the original control scheme.
Metroid Prime Trilogy
Wii U (January 29)
GameCube may be the forgotten child of Nintendo consoles, but it was home to some extraordinary games that have a chance to be reborn for new audiences on Wii U. Retro Studios’ Metroid Prime series reimagined the classic side-scrolling exploration franchise from a first-person perspective, receiving near universal acclaim after an initial fan backlash against the change.
This trilogy compilation was originally released for Wii in 2009. Improved graphics and sound polish up the experience while systemic improvements from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption have been retroactively applied to the first two entries.
What else is coming:
- Heroes of Might & Magic III: HD Edition (Android, iOS, Win/Jan. 29) — This classic, turn-based strategy title is many series fans’ favorite, available again for Windows PC or tablets.
- Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2 (Vita/Jan. 27) — Say that three times fast. This JRPG was originally released by Idea Factory and Compile Heart for PS3 in 2011.
- Raven’s Cry (PS3, PS4, Windows, X360/Jan. 30) — If Assassin’s Creed IV left you wanting more pirates, this action RPG weaves fictional events and characters in with the historical 17th century Caribbean.