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This week in gaming: The hunt is on!

week gaming hunt evolve big alpha postponement
Image used with permission by copyright holder
The hunt is on! Pursue or be pursued, with Evolve and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate leading the week’s releases. Alternatively you can practice carving a shank out of a toothbrush and figure out how to get rid of all that dirt with prison escape sim The Escapists. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask also makes its triumphant return in a 3DS port of the underdog Nintendo 64 classic.

What will you be playing this week?

Evolve

PS4/Windows/XB1 (February 10)
Left 4 Dead developer Turtle Rock Studios has taken cooperative gameplay to a whole new level in this dueling game that pits four player-controlled hunters against one, giant, player-controlled monster. Dangerous, alien wildlife keeps both sides on their toes as they struggle for supremacy.

Different modes remix the hunt-or-hunted angle, ranging from straightforward death matches to defense modes. A dynamically generated campaign mode weaves all of the modes together into a unique experience every time.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D 

3DS (February 13)
One of the strangest entries in the franchise, the oddball Majora’s Mask was overshadowed by its immediate predecessor on Nintendo 64, the revered Ocarina of Time, but it has retained a fervent cult following. Now those fans will be able to validate their nostalgia and share this quirky piece with people that missed it the first time around.

A leering, anthropomorphic moon is bearing down on the land of Termina, threatening apocalypse in three days’ time. Fortunately, the Ocarina of Time allows Link to reset that clock as many times as he needs, while solving everyone’s problems and collecting magical masks.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

3DS (February 13)
The title says everything you need to know about this action role-playing game from Capcom. Team up with friends online or locally to hunt monsters and collect that sweet, sweet loot.

Differing from previous entries in the popular Japanese series, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate features a greater focus on quests and narrative progression. It also opens up more three dimensional movement, allowing players to climb both walls and monsters in a more dynamic battlefield.

The Escapists

Windows/Xbox One (February 13)
Follow in the footsteps of Steve McQueen, Sean Connery, and Tim Robbins by planning and executing the perfect prison break. You have to balance your time between maintaining a job, developing your stats, making connections, and gathering supplies as you plot your escape while trying to keep a low profile.

If you miss roll call or get caught with contraband, the guards make it a lot harder for you to get out. Each prison has multiple possible escape routes for you to discover, and the game promises to have an editor so fans can share and break out of each other’s panopticons.

What else is coming:

  • Super Stardust Ultra (PS4/Feb. 10) — Save up your quarters and chase high scores in this frenetic, arcade shooter like Asteroids for the 21st century.
  • Unmechanical: Extended Edition (PS3, PS4/Feb. 10) — Take control of a whirring little robotic helicopter in this award-winning puzzle platformer, newly expanded.
  • Decay – The Mare (Windows/Feb. 13) — You are an addict, trapped inside your own nightmares in this phantasmagorical horror adventure.
  • Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+ (3DS/Feb. 13) — Strap in to your fighter jet for some intense dogfighting in this enhanced version of the 2011 game that now supports Amiibo integration.
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Will Fulton
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Will Fulton is a New York-based writer and theater-maker. In 2011 he co-founded mythic theater company AntiMatter Collective…
Move over Zelda: Tchia is officially my most anticipated game of 2023
Tchia glides through the air.

There are many big-budget games to look forward to in 2023, like Starfield, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. But after going hands-on with a much smaller indie title, I have a new most anticipated title of 2023. The game in question is Tchia, a vibrant, cheerful, and free-flowing open-world game about a girl exploring a tropical archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.
Tchia - Commented Gameplay Walkthrough
Tchia first caught my attention in a hands-off preview of Kepler Interactive's Gamescom lineup last year, but it took me going hands-on to really understand the magic of Tchia. A freeing open-world game in the same vein as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Elden Ring, or Sable, Tchia lets players loose on beautiful islands in the Pacific and gives them tools to explore by climbing, gliding, possessing animals and objects, and sailing wherever they want. Its deep understanding and respect for the culture it represents enhance the experience too. If you're wondering what indie darling will wind up becoming this year's critically acclaimed game of the year dark horse, you'll want to keep an eye on Tchia.
What is Tchia? 
Tchia is an open-world game following a little girl (named Tchia) trying to find her missing father on an archipelago inspired by New Caledonia, a tropical archipelago in the Pacific Ocean where some of the game's developers are from. While players have the stamina to climb up buildings and trees, swing from them, and even swim, dive, and sail around these islands, they can also soul-jump into lots of different animals and objects. These each add even more gameplay gimmicks that enhance exploration and help Tchia solve puzzles.

I had the chance to play some main story missions during my preview where Tchia befriends a young girl and explores one of the game's biggest islands, completing various objectives and even hunting for treasure. The story was fairly light in what I played, but the gameplay really shined. Although I had some objectives, it was just as fun to climb up the trees near the starting town and fling Tchia into a glide to travel a longer distance.
I could then let go of that glide to do tricks in the air or soul-jump into an animal, allowing me to explore the world in a new way. Tchia makes exploration feel fantastic, as you'll immediately feel like you have all the tools to make this world your oyster.
Oh, and did I mention you can play the ukulele? Because Tchia features a fully playable ukulele.
At a couple of narrative beats during my preview, I encountered rhythm-game-like segments as Tchia performed specific songs, but I could also play the ukulele at any time while I was exploring if I wanted to. While you can play whatever you want, specific melodies have additional effects, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time style. The results of these tunes range from simply changing the time of day to giving Tchia a buff that allows her to breathe underwater infinitely.

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Xbox Game Pass adds a little and loses a lot this month
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Microsoft revealed the games coming to and leaving Xbox Game Pass this month, and there's an odd imbalance. Only three new games are announced to be coming to the service throughout the rest of January. Still, we will lose six games on January 15, including last year's indie hidden gem Nobody Saves the World and We Happy Few, a title from first-party Xbox studio Compulsion Games. 
As for what's coming to Xbox Game Pass throughout the rest of January, we have three highly anticipated Xbox ports that are day-one launches on the subscription service. Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden will come to the service on January 19, while Monster Hunter Rise will be added on January 20. All three games will be available across the cloud, console, and PC versions of the service. Meanwhile, the what's leaving on January 15 list is double the length of what's being added:

We Happy Few
Nobody Saves the World
Windjammers 2
The Anacrusis
Pupperazzi
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

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Wolfenstein 3D and more classic Bethesda games join PC Game Pass
classic bethesda games pc game pass quake champions

Bethesda has announced that it added six titles to the PC Game Pass service today, most of which are from the 1990s or early 2000s. However, there is no word about them being included on Xbox Game Pass for console or cloud.

The six new games include Wolfenstein 3D, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Quake 4, Quake Champions, An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire, and The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard.

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