This week in gaming: wage wars, historical and otherwise

The Order 1886 screenshot 004
Alternate history comes alive this week with the long-anticipated release of The Order: 1886, a cinematic action that appears to be PlayStation 4’s answer to Gears of War. Gamers looking to hew more closely to the established timeline can relish in the enormous battles of Total War: AttilaKirby and the Rainbow Curse and Dead or Alive 5: Last Round round out the week with some of gaming’s simpler pleasures: Vibrantly colorful platforming and scantily-clad anime women beating the crap out of each other.

What will you be playing this week?

The Order: 1886

PS4 (February 20)
Set in an alternate history London plagued by bestial humanoids, you are a knight in an order founded by King Arthur to protect humanity against supernatural threats. The Industrial Revolution has accelerated technology by a century, and so you are armed with electricity-spewing weapons and airships in your battle against the darker forces in the world.

Long in development, this cinematic, over-the-shoulder shooter aims to kick off another PlayStation-exclusive action franchise like Uncharted.

Total War: Attila

Windows (February 17)
The year is 395 AD; Rome has grown decadent and weak. Rumors from the east that a new warlord is rising up to unite the Huns sends waves of fear throughout the decrepit empire. This ninth standalone entry in The Creative Assembly’s Total War series of strategy games picks up where Rome II left off.

Despite what the name may imply, you do not play as Attila the Hun in Total War: Attila. Rather, you control one of 56 other factions ranging across the eastern Roman empire while the Hun threat gradually approaches like a rising tide.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Wii U (February 20)
This sequel to Kirby: Canvas Curse for the Nintendo DS continues the control scheme of guiding Kirby, trapped in ball form, around by drawing rainbow lines with the stylus. Up to three other players can join in and help Kirby out in his quest to reverse the curse and save Dreamland.

Like Kirby’s Epic YarnRainbow Curse renders the action in the style of handcrafted materials, this time as clay. It is also compatible with the Kirby, King Dedede, and Meta Knight Amiibo figures, each of which imbue Kirby with special powers.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round

PS3/PS4/Windows/X360/XB1 (February 17)
The latest iteration of this 3D fighter adds two new characters to Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate‘s roster, bringing the total count up to 34. This long-running series combines fast-paced, combo-driven fighting with lasciviously animated female characters for the ultimate in puerile fantasy.

Last Round utilizes a new “Soft Engine” in the PS4 and Xbox One versions, improving the character rendering to really get the most out of the game’s notorious breast physics.

What else is coming:

  • The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 (Linux, Mac, Windows/Feb. 20) — Picking up where the critically-acclaimed first game left off in 2012, this is a classic point-and-click adventure in a fantasy world from KING Art Games.
  • Q*Bert Rebooted (PS3, PS4, Vita/Feb. 17) — The arcade classic is back, in both original, 2D pixelated form, and a new, 3D version. The former faithfully ports the classic gameplay while the latter infuses it with new characters, power-ups, and mechanics.
  • Hand of Fate (Linux, Mac,Windows, PS4 Vita, XB1/Feb. 17) — In early access since July, this hybrid fuses tabletop deck-building card game mechanics with a roguelike roleplaying game, letting players explore dungeons, collect loot, and build their perfect deck.

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