Welcome to March! We’ve had a sleepy start to 2020 and it was made even more sparse by some of the big hitters being delayed into later in the year. However, this is the month where all that changes as we’ve got some juicy, highly anticipated games heading our way and it’s only going to go up from here. March usually sets the tone for the rest of the year and boy do we have a charcuterie of gaming goodness to snack on this month.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps – PC, XBO – March 11
Ori and the Blind Forest reduced grown men, including me, to tears within minutes. After which you were treated to a magical and overwhelmingly colourful journey through a desolate forest filled with nightmares, devilish traps and brilliant platforming. The game brought platformers, which were usually stuck in the retro indie space, back into the limelight with just how gorgeous and ambitious it was.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps looks to be a continuation of that winning formula only with everything dialled up to 11. More diverse locations, a more complex story, different mechanics and many years of experience since the original. You honestly can’t ask for much more.
Prediction: If this game isn’t at least a 9/10, I will eat my own pants. They will have to royally screw this up for it to be anything but stellar and the previews we’ve seen over the years have just made us salivate in increasing volumes. I personally can’t wait and since it’s coming to Xbox Game Pass, I don’t even have to worry about scraping together the cash to get it.
Nioh 2 – PS4 – March 13
I admittedly know very little about the original Nioh except for the cliff notes. It’s a souls-like, it’s hard as all heck and it’s set in Sengoku era Japan. However, that won’t seem to matter in Nioh 2 as the game will be a prequel to the first and you’ll be able to create your own character as opposed to the preset hero you were given in the first adventure.
From the previews and demos we’ve seen so far, Nioh 2 doesn’t seem to divert much from the original. The fast and fluid souls-like combat is still there and the Japanese aesthetic is even more pronounced this time around. For all the masochists out there, this is certainly one to look out for.
Prediction: The first game performed really well and I really should play it sometime and I think the second will follow in those same footsteps. I’m going with a safe 8/10 on this one, but it’s possible they might elevate it even higher if they learned enough from the first game.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch – March 20
Animal Crossing has always been a salve for the soul. A peaceful, idyllic existence in a town where you pick up and sell beetles, chat to the lovely local populace and create a nice home for yourself that you admittedly have to pay off. I think the biggest fantasy for a millennial was being able to afford a house in the first place, but I digress. The point is, the series has been many people’s escapes into a nice comfy existence and it’s now finally getting an entry on console for the first time in years.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks to be everything we love from the formula being taken multiple steps further. This time we’re given an entirely clean slate in the form of a deserted island that you’ll be able to customise to your heart’s content and build a bustling community out of nothing. It’s a much more ambitious direction for the series’ debut on the Switch and it’s packed to the brim with all kinds of features, which you can read more about here.
Prediction: It’s cute, it’s endearing and it’ll probably suck all your free time into a black hole of positivity. I’m going with a 9/10 on this one as well since it looks like everything Animal Crossing fans have dreamed off and with the pedigree of Nintendo, you can sure put a lot of faith into it.
Doom Eternal – PC, PS4, XBO, Stadia – March 20
Oh hell yeah, it’s time to go back to ripping and tearing. For any FPS gorelords and speed demons, Doom Eternal has been on the wishlist ever since it was first announced. The game looks even more frantic, violent and insane than the first romp through hell with a real focus on blisteringly fast arcade-style shooting.
They struck gold with the reboot and now they just have to dig a little deeper to find the diamonds. I’m a liiiitle worried about Bethesda’s recent influences on their franchises, but if there’s one game that might be safe from their corrupting little fingers, it has to be this one. You can’t really go wrong with more demon-killing.
Prediction: I’m placing a lot of faith and hope in Doom Eternal, but I’m almost entirely confident they will knock it out of the park. It’s one of my most anticipated games of 2020 since shooting things in the face is my happy place and you can’t get better than this. I’m going with a 9/10 with the hope of a 10/10 for this one.
Half-Life: Alyx – PC VR – March 23
This one feels almost redundant to put here on the list since a small fraction of you are PC gamers, an even smaller fraction have a PC strong enough to handle VR and an even tinier fraction have the money to afford the ludicrously expensive VR units capable of running it. But come on, this is the next Half-Life and some conversation must be made about it.
After Valve have been, I don’t know, hibernating on a remote pleasure island for what seems like a decade, they announced Half-Life: Alyx that looks to flip the entire script on VR gaming which, while very impressive so far, hasn’t had that one killer game to really kickstart the niche gaming medium into complete relevancy. While most of us won’t be able to experience it for myriad reasons, this will be one game you will need to keep an eye on as it might change things as we know it. It managed to create a shortage of Valve Index headsets, so you know it’s going to be big.
Prediction: We won’t be able to review this since the last time I checked none of us is the heir of a family oil business and owns a Vive or something. However, this is Valve’s big return to gaming and you have to think that they have been crafting something really incredible in all those years of silence. I’m thinking a 9/10 for this one.
Here are some more games releasing in March:
4th Generation Warfare – PC – March 5
Murder by Numbers – PC – March 6
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX – Switch – March 6
The Elder Scrolls Online: Harrowstorm DLC – PS4, XBO – March 10
Overpass – Switch – March 12
Dead or School – PS4, Switch – March 13
MLB The Show 20 – PS4 – March 13
My Hero One’s Justice 2 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch – March 13
Doom 64 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch – March 20
Bleeding Edge – PC, XBO – March 24
Moons of Madness – PS4, XBO – March 24
Control: The Foundation DLC – PC, PS4, XBO – March 26
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch – March 27
Saints Row 4: Re-Elected – Switch – March 27
The Complex – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch – March 31
Operencia: The Stolen Sun – PC, PS4, Switch – March 31
Persona 5 Royal – PS4 – March 31
Wow, what a month. Violence, serenity, Japan and even some VR. I didn’t even add Persona 5 Royal which I’m very much looking forward to and if you’ve not played Persona 5 yet, honey, you need to make a plan. It’s going to be an explosive month and I think we can now officially say that the 2020 party has now started. Let’s boogie.