As February arrives, and we (hopefully) see the snow begin to melt — but that doesn’t mean we have to go outside just yet! There are still plenty of big-name video games coming, and February has something in store for just about every type of player. Whether you’re looking to defeat waves of zombies in a new take on a classic franchise or explore a mythical Nordic forest, there will be plenty of interesting new games to play next month.
‘UFC 3’ (February 2)
Electronic Arts’ take on mixed-martial arts returns in UFC 3, starring the loud-mouthed superstar Conor McGregor. As with the majority of EA Sports releases, UFC 3 includes an Ultimate Team mode that mixes real-world fighters with your own customized characters to create an experience that is all your own, and new single-player challenges will keep you engaged even if you don’t face off against another player.
UFC 3 also introduces G.O.A.T. Mode, a “started from the bottom” campaign that tasks you with not only winning in the Octagon but building a fanbase as well as rivals who will call you out on social media. Should you succeed, you will be rewarded with new contracts and eventually face off against opponents in pay-per-view fights.
‘Shadow of the Colossus’ (February 6)
Shadow of the Colossus was Team Ico’s magnum opus, and though the studio is no longer with us, Sony’s Japan Studio and Bluepoint Games have taken it upon themselves to rebuild the emotional action-adventure game from the ground up. Far more than a simple remaster, the PlayStation 4’s Shadow of the Colossus looks like it was developed today, with gorgeous character models and greater environmental detail.
But the meat of the game needs no introduction — it’s one of the best video games of all time, with its minimalist approach to combat and mysterious Colossi combining to deliver something players had never seen before, and likely will never see again. In an industry plagued by excess, Shadow of the Colossus prides itself on restraint.
Shadow of the Colossus launches on PS4 February 6.
‘Civilization VI: Rise and Fall’ (February 8)
Civilization VI just might be the best strategy entry in a series where every game in a classic, and with the launch of the Rise and Fall expansion, your experience with the game will be even deeper. New “Golden” and “Dark” ages can change how you approach advancing your civilization in the future, and how you interact with your neighbors.
Also new to Rise and Fall are “emergencies,” special situations that can be triggered by major events. Using a nuclear weapon, for instance, can trigger an emergency and cause several other nations to ally against you. These nations could include Mongolia — led by Genghis Khan — as well as Korea, led by Queen Seondeok. With time, Civilization VI has continued to grow into the ultimate strategy game and one that you can easily spend a few hundred hours playing without encountering the same situation twice.
Civilization VI: Rise and Fall comes to Windows PC on February 8.
‘Dynasty Warriors 9 (February 13)
The Dynasty Warriors franchise has been letting players plow through waves of enemies in Imperial China for years, but these battles were always limited to single levels. With Dynasty Warriors 9, the series moves to an open world, allowing you to explore China more freely and plan strategic attacks against other armies.
In addition to setting the stage for surprise attacks and sudden small-scale fights, the open world also allows players to explore China in search of animals to hunt and fish and scenery to discover. Visiting towns will also allow you to get new weapons or learn information that can help you in an upcoming encounter.
‘Secret of Mana’ (February 15)
The original Super Nintendo title Secret of Mana is one of the best games of all time, melding the deep storytelling of role-playing games with engaging combat of action games to arguably create an entirely new genre. The all-new remake takes the game into 3D, keeping all the characters and charm you remember from the original but with gameplay designed to more closely resemble contemporary action-role-playing games.
Secret of Mana gives younger players a chance to experience a classic fantasy tale, and the tale of Randi and his friends should be even more enjoyable with the conveniences and visual enhancements seen on modern consoles. Should you find an SNES Classic, you can even see how it compares to the original.
‘Fe’ (February 16)
Electronic Arts’ “EA Originals” program has already given us the fantastic puzzle-platformer Unraveled, and the latest game through the program, Fe, looks like it will be just as charming. As the titular character, Fe, you explore a mythical Nordic forest and uncover its secrets, free the trapped creatures you encounter, and face off with the menacing “Silent Ones.”
The forest is filled with shortcuts and secrets, and you have access to a variety of acrobatic abilities in order to quickly move to your destination. Fe’s art style seems to draw some influence from Moon Studios’ Ori and the Blind Forest, but its brilliant environments and enormous creatures help it to forge its own identity.
Fe is out for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on February 16.
‘Metal Gear Survive’ (February 20)
It appeared the Metal Gear franchise had ended after creator Hideo Kojima left publisher Konami following the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but his former employer had other ideas. Metal Gear Survive is an alternate universe survival game filled with zombie creatures that players must fend off as they manage their hunger and thirst and attempt to avoid hazardous “mist.” It keeps the polished stealth-action gameplay fans loved from The Phantom Pain, but with an added dose of fantasy the series hasn’t seen before.
If you’re a fan of “tower defense” games or resource management, Metal Gear Survive will be right up your alley. Building fences and other defensive structures will be key to fending off the horde of undead, and if you’re having trouble completing the single-player campaign, you can always try out cooperative multiplayer and battle it out with a friend at your side.
Metal Gear Survive is out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on February 20.
‘Moss’ (February 27)
Most PlayStation VR games we’ve played thus far have used a first-person perspective to make you feel like you’re directly in the world, but Moss takes a different approach. Instead of viewing the game’s magical woods through the eyes of the mouse Quill, you view the action from above and also control yourself — this allows you to interact directly in the world and move the little Mouse at the same time. In our preview, we described it as “co-op with yourself.”
With a classic fantasy tale and the imagery we remember from childhood picture books, Moss could even be a great game to play with your younger kids by your side, but we don’t recommend letting them use the PSVR headset just yet!
Moss will launch on PSVR February 27.
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