The weather's warming up, the sun's starting to peek sheepishly through the clouds, and that can only mean one thing: the season of glorious post-work pubbery is just on the horizon.
Make the most of this, the last of the cold-as-hell duvet-dwelling months, with the best video games set for release.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
PlayStation 4 (Out Now)
Not just beautiful, but single-solitary-tear-rolling-down-your-cheek, phone-mum-and-tell-her-you've-found-the-one, yes-actually-mum-it's-perfectly-normal-to-fancy-a-videogame-loads-of-my-friends-do-too, well-yes-mum-they-are-all-from-Reddit-but-I-don't-see-what-difference-that-makes-ingly beautiful.
In development since 2011 by the same team behind the glorious Kill Zone series, Horizon: Zero Dawn is set in a post-apocalyptic future in which the world has been overrun by killer robots after an unknown calamity left the human race ruing their technological ambition. You play Alloy, a young orphan who is shunned by the tribe, who must prove her worth by demonstrating her abilities in the violent wild.
It's one of the most immersive RPGs you'll ever play, and feels like a creative and technical zenith for the PS4.
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Linux, Windows, Mac (Out 17 March)
A psychological indie first-person thriller set in the blizzard-stricken Canadian village of Atamipek in the winter of 1970, in which you play a private eye hired by a wealthy copper magnate to investigate a mysterious vandalising of his property. Needless to say, it all gets unexpectedly messy.
Sounds right up your street, that, doesn't it? Bit Twin Peaks-y. Full of puzzles, plot-twists and all that good stuff. What's more, this is just the first episode of four that are planned for release.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Nintendo Switch (Out 3 March)
It's Zelda, but not quite as you know it.
Yeah, fine, you still play as the same flaxen-haired sword-waver "hurrghhya"-ing his way through the rambling plains of Hyrule, and you'll experience almost all of the familiar Zelda tropes you know and crave along the way.
But for once, the goliath boss battles aren't the most intimidating part of the game. This time around, it's the sheer freedom that you're offered to explore the game's world, and non-linear story, in any way you see fit. The expansive nature of the game is reminiscent of the first time we played GTA III - it's immediately awe-inspiring. You're even aided with the majority of your integral weapons within the first half an hour of the game.
It's being lorded as a genre-defining masterpiece and a perfect start for Nintendo's new console, but we'd be lying if we said we're even half-way through the game. It'll take you absolute ages, and that's no bad thing at all. It feels like the realisation of vision that the creators of Zelda had from the very start.
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (Out 10 March)
On the back of Minecraft's unfathomable success, Lego have released the world-building sandbox game they were always destined to.
There's not much to it. You have thousands of Lego bricks available to you, and the freedom to craft whatever you want and show it off to the internet. That's it. No story. No action. Just bricks.
And it's everything we could have hoped for.
Dead Rising 4
STEAM (Out 14 March)
It's 2022, and you play a former photojournalist who's has somehow been wrangled into investigating a military compound which acted as the source of a zombie outbreak that ravaged the city a year prior. You discover that the compound is being used by nefarious authorities to stage secret zombie research, and the government labels you a fugitive in order to keep the info on the down-low hush-hush.
But the story isn't that important, really. What is important, is that you get to kill zombies with any number of random and ridiculous weapons and then take smug selfies with their rotting corpses to rub it in.
It's still funny as ever, and long-term players of the series will be glad to hear that the game is set in Colorado, the exact same location as in the first installment of the game. Other than that, it's the same old agenda: run around smashing as many zombies' faces in as you can. It's already reached consoles, but you can grab it on STEAM this month.
From: Esquire UK