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The month of February is shaping up to be a very impressive month for the video game industry. With solid releases throughout the month, gamers should expect some triple A game releases. Both Xbox and Playstation are having big name exclusives this month. Nintendo has a new console on the way that will shake up the competition as well.

For Honor – February 14

The brand new game from Ubisoft, For Honor, drops you into a war-torn landscape. Set in a medieval fantasy world that a history buff could only hope for. This game pins Samurais, Knights, and Vikings all up against each other. All three factions are playable and each has their own unique story. While the story portion of this game is interesting, the multiplayer is where this game steps into something new. For Honors multiplayer, is much like any other game where you are going up against another player, but with a slight twist. Ubisoft has introduced a new combat system called “Art of Battle”. This system allows you to lock into one on one combat with a real person. To come out victorious in these battles you must time your attacks and blocks correctly. This is a very new way to tackle combat and makes each and every interaction in the game feel new and just as intense as the first. This game has a lot of excitement surrounding it; hopefully, For Honor can live up to the hype.

 

Halo Wars 2 – February 21

Halo is a name synonymous with gaming at this point. It has been over 15 years since the release of the original, Halo: Combat Evolved. The Halo franchise is traditionally a futuristic first person shooter. In 2009 Halo Wars changed the formula. Like the predecessor Halo Wars 2, is a real-time strategy game played from a top-down view. You must lead the UNSC forces against a group known as the Banished. The story portion of the game centers on the entire cast not knowing that the war had ended. In a push and pull game, where you can also play cooperatively, it is heavily reliant on moves and counter-moves. Halo Wars 2 features a multiplayer option as well. In multiplayer, up to 6 players can battle it out in different modes such as Domination and Stronghold. In these game modes the teams must capture and hold a center point from the other players. Halo Wars 2 is a Windows exclusive, so Xbox and PC only. Overall this game looks like it will improve on all of the mechanics from the first one and with more content to offer.

 

Horizon Zero Dawn – February 28

The excitement surrounding this game is unrivaled in the first quarter of the year. Horizon Zero Dawn is set in a post-apocalyptic landscape where robotic creatures rule. Simply known as “Machines”, they resemble dinosaurs but are completely mechanical. Humans are broken up into tribes, similar to the first humans that were on earth. The main character is equipped with an array of ranged, stealth and melee weapons. The premise for the story is the protagonist, Aloy, believes there is more to the world than just inside the tribes’ walled-off town. On her journey outside of the tribe, she realizes that a rogue tribe is trying to conquer all of the surrounding areas. Aloy takes it upon herself to save her tribe from the invaders. Horizon Zero Dawn is an open world RPG adventure game with a loot system and a day and night cycle. The game is a Playstation exclusive but is still highly anticipated. The game has already won awards before its release, which is a good sign of things to come.

 

Nintendo Switch – March 3

The Switch is not available until March, yet has had massive numbers of preorders. The Nintendo Switch is the next console from Nintendo. Combining mobile gaming with the power of a home console built in one. The Switch is unique because you can slide a tablet into a dock and be playing on your home TV. If you have to leave but don’t want the game to end, you can pick the tablet up and put two attachable joysticks on the sides of it. The fact the tablet is able to get up and go, continuing right where you left off is very special. Playstation with the PSP and Vita tried to do this but it was a lot more complex than the Switch. The tablet can have up to 6-10 hours of battery life depending on the game you play. The Switch can charge by placing it in the dock. The device is also playable while it is charging. The Nintendo Switch will launch with 17 games available including Super Mario, Sonic and The Legend of Zelda. It will be getting games like NBA 2K18 and Skyrim later this year. Maybe this console will put Nintendo back in contention with Sony and Microsoft in the console war.

This is the month of sports games, Madden a few short weeks ago, now NHL, NBA, and FIFA, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some other really good games out in September. With most triple-A games coming out in the approaching holiday months here are some games to hold you over until then. Now mind you as a lover of sports in general, I always love this time of year because of the start of the seasons, but the games make it even better, so let’s look at some of the upcoming titles that are very popular.

NHL 17 

The latest installment in EA Sports hockey franchise comes with a number of upgrades from the previous years. With game modes added like Draft Champions and more options for Franchise, Be a Pro and Hockey Ultimate Team, NHL17 is a step up on the current gen consoles. This game has much more fluid movements on the ice for skaters and puck pickup is much easier. Another new part of the game is net battles, to redirect a puck or get a defender out of the goalie’s face. Along with new graphics, this is a definite improvement on last year. Something with yearly games like NHL, Madden and FIFA is that they are never leaps and bounds better than the year before. The game is buggy in spots, but this is the case with any game these days. Where NHL 17 really shines is in EASHL, the online game mode that allows you to make your own team and play in 6 vs. 6 games against other people. This game mode got a lot of detail added to it. Customizable jerseys, arenas, and even your own celebrations. It really makes you feel like you’re in control of your own team and player, not to mention its always more fun with friends. Overall if you’re a fan of hockey, it’s a must buy, other than that if you’re looking for a fun sports game I suggest NHL 17.

BioShock Collection 

Would you kindly share this article? If you’ve played BioShock in the past, then you know how much of a masterpiece they already are. BioShock 1, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite are now on both PS4 and Xbox One with an all new look. These three games all come in a collection for $60 which is a great deal, if you’ve played them in the past or not. If you haven’t played these games, you’re in for a very nice treat in the worlds of Rapture and Columbia. For returning players, this is not only great nostalgia but also your chance to play all the DLC if you never did with the original games. There isn’t too much to be said about the game since it is a reskin, but not much has to be said. The original Bioshock is almost 10 years old and is a game today that still is a masterpiece but the other two are just as good. If you like video games in general, I highly recommend this remastered collection.

Destiny: Rise of Iron

The game that is slated to be a 10-year epic in the making has revealed its year 3 expansion. Rise of Iron is Destiny’s newest addition of content after a year drought from the Taken King. This has been much anticipated and is a breath of fresh air with new maps, weapons, armor, and story missions. The expansion introduces the new social area as well, Felwinters Peak, where the Iron Lords use to reside but have long since been absent. All but one Iron Lord is left, Lord Saladin, who has been a frequent visitor to the Tower. The new big bad in the expansion is called SIVA, a nanotechnology that the Fallen (alien species) have gotten ahold of and plan to destroy the last city. It is up to you to stop them and restore the Iron Lords to their former glory and discover what happen the Lords of old. When it comes to multiplayer, Rise of Iron is finally introducing private matches to Destiny. Want to just have fun with your friends? Now you can with this, finally becoming an option after three years. Overall this is a great expansion for Destiny and if you own the game or are looking to just get introduced to the world, this is the best time since the sequel is rumored for next year.

NBA 2K17

Basketball is back! With the latest installment in the basketball series, 2K is bringing you the best game they’ve put forward yet. Visually looks better, the gameplay feels more polished, and even the commentary feels fresh. We’ll start with something 2K did that I haven’t seen before. They released a game titled, “NBA 2K17: The Prelude”. This was a free download that included trophies/achievements and it allowed you to play as a player in college getting ready to be drafted. Best of all it was free, it allowed you to get a feel for the game that was coming and added a level of depth to the MyCareer  mode which is one of the biggest selling points of the game. The MyCareer mode also got a big change, as it now has an actor playing alongside you in this mode, Michael B. Jordan, the guy from Creed. Flashy yes, but pretty cool none the less. Overall this is another yearly sports game just like NHL mentioned earlier, but this game feels good to play and look forward to putting some hours into it. Plus is has an amazing soundtrack to boot.

With Summer in full swing, heatwaves come and go, and when one comes your way what better way to avoid it than by sitting inside with an air conditioner, a cold drink, and a great game. Here are some of the most notable games releasing in August.

Batman: A Telltale Game Series – August 2nd

The Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, the World’s Greatest Detective, these names are synonymous with one person. Batman. From the new Batman V. Superman, and the Dark Knight movies, to the previous Batman games (Arkham Series), the Bat is everywhere and most everyone and their mother have heard of him. This is a new take on a Batman game which will be released episodically, and in the game, each choice you make will matter and will alter the future of your gaming experience. This game will play similar to other Telltale games such as The Walking Dead, or Tales from the Borderlands, which were massively successful. The controls will be based on quick time events and button sequences, an aspect that should tie in nicely with the combat style for taking down Gotham’s criminals. Along with looking like a playable comic book, this game is filled with notable characters such as Harvey Dent, Vicki Vale, James Gordon, Selena Kyle (Catwoman) and beloved butler, Alfred. Episode One is going to release on August 2nd and for anyone that is a fan of Batman this game should be at the top of your list. LINK

No Man’s Sky – August 9th

Need I say more? No Man’s Sky is arguably one of the most hyped games to release in years, if you don’t know about this game yet, you must go check out some of the previews. After a few delays, the game is finally going to be released on August 9th. Before I get ahead of myself, ere is what No Man’s Sky is. This game is a procedurally generated universe, which means this game is ever-expanding and always changing and in this universe you are an explorer just trying to survive. You make a living by flying from star to star and exploring the solar systems around them. Each planet in the solar system may have life forms or may be barren, some may be a mass of dessert or it may be a lush tropical world. This game also offers a trading system that requires you to go to trading outposts and interact with NPCs or other players, and this game is open to online play. The game developers Hello Games have said that our sun would burn out before you could fully explore this game, think about that for a second, that’s 8 BILLION years. If No Man’s Sky can hold up to what it has boasted this will easily be a huge hit of summer 2016. There is one drawback, this game is a PC and PlayStation 4 exclusive which is unfortunate for Xbox owners. LINK

Madden 17 – August 23rd

With the NFL season getting underway again in September it is time for the annual release of Madden. The 28th installment of the beloved franchise offers updated graphics, gameplay changes, and smoother mechanics. EA has revamped the running game and player control, smarter defensive A.I. that adjusts to your game style and special teams that can actually block kicks. With these all new game features, this could be the most polished Madden to date. For a fan of the franchise, you know what to expect, all the game modes are still there, Madden Ultimate Team, Franchise, Online play and Draft Champions. Overall Madden will be a successful game and if you’re a football fan is a must have. LINK

Upcoming: Battlefield 1 Beta???

Ever since the reveal trailer for Battlefield 1 on May 6th, the internet has been ablaze with anticipation. EA and Dice took a chance on placing their first person shooter in the setting of World War 1, but so far it has paid off for them, as it has been very well received by the public. So well received actually, it is the most liked trailer ever on YouTube, beating out every other game and even movie trailers. Something unknown to people is when Battlefield 1 will have their public beta. There was a closed version of the game only available to a select few, but with the hype for this game, everyone is patiently waiting. EA has said that it will be in late summer, and with the game releasing in October, one would assume this beta is right around the corner. LINK

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