Conquer gangs, galaxies, and the minions of Hell this week in gaming

this week in gaming march 9 hotline miami 2 004
Gamers on the go have it better than ever, and this week’s new gaming releases show the fantastic range of options available. Hotline Miami 2 on your PlayStation Vita is a great way to channel that commuter rage while jostling for subway space. If you need a slightly slower pace, but still want the satisfaction of a well-placed headshot, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. marries a third-person shooter with the turn-based strategy of Fire Emblem or Advance Wars. Step back even further and Sid Meier’s Starships lets armchair admirals conquer the galaxy with the swipe of a finger across their iPad.

What will you be playing this week?

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Linux/Mac/PS3/PS4/Vita/Windows (March 10)
In the first Hotline Miami, protagonist Jacket, under the orders of a mysterious telephone caller, wiped out the entire Russian mob in a bloody rampage. Now you have to deal with the consequences. Set both before and after the events of the previous game, wreak havoc as 13 playable characters, each with their own abilities and perspective on the story.

This sequel takes the same basic framework of challenging, top-down, two-dimensional killing sprees, but enhances it with new abilities, weapons, and difficulty levels. There is also a level editor that lets you design and share your own gory gauntlets.

Sid Meier’s Starships

iPad/Windows (March 12)
Following The Great Mistake, humanity took to the stars in search of a new beginning. Now that they have found purchase on alien soil and established a new home, it is time to head out into the void once more and find their lost brethren, undoing mankind’s diaspora by any means necessary.

Set in the same universe as Civilization: Beyond EarthStarships is a turn-based game of interstellar exploration, diplomacy, and conquest. Build up and customize a fleet of ships with which to unify humankind into a mighty, galactic empire.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

3DS (March 13)
Abraham Lincoln has gathered Earth’s finest to London in order to fend off a horrific alien threat. From the studio behind Fire Emblem and Advance Wars, this strategy game is a steampunk Americana XCOM, with squads of literary and historical figures going toe-to-toe with aliens in turn-based matches that feature real-time movement.

The standard bird’s-eye view of strategy games is replaced with a tighter, third-person perspective, behind the shoulder of each character as you move them in sequence. This makes battlefield positioning all the more important for gaining intel to get the upper hand in every tactical situation.

DmC: Definitive Edition

PS4/XB1 (March 10)
The fifth installment of the Devil May Cry series of beat ’em ups served as a reboot, giving the game a more grounded story and a younger version of protagonist Dante. The core gameplay of over-the-top, combo-based brawling with both swords and guns remains center stage, however.

The Definitive Edition updates the graphics for the latest generation of consoles, running at a crisp 1080p and 60 frames per second. It also includes all previously-released downloadable content expansions and new challenge modes.

What else is coming:

  • Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 3 (PS3, PS4, Win, X360, XB1/Mar. 11) — The episodic survival horror return of RE2‘s Claire Redfield continues, digging deeper into the mysteries of the Afflicted, the Overseer, and the island that holds them.
  • Shelter 2 (Mac, Win/Mar. 9) — In stark contrast to the alien, zombie, and demon killing that fills the rest of this list, Shelter 2 casts you as a mother lynx, raising her cubs in an open and dynamic wilderness.
  • Cities: Skylines (Linux, Mac, Win/Mar. 10) — Just the city builder you’ve been looking for if you still haven’t been able to wash the bad taste of the most recent SimCity out of your mouth, developed by Colossal Order with the strategy game publishing expertise of Paradox Interactive.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Win, XB1/Mar. 11) — You control a forest spirit in this beautiful puzzle platformer, developed by an indie team of industry veterans as a love letter to genre classics like Rayman and Metroid games.

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