Out This Month is a roundup of some new games that are coming out this month.
Dark Souls II
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—March 11
The first few times a hostile player invaded my Dark Souls game, I assumed these demonic red figures were far stronger than me and promptly threw myself off the nearest bridge. If I couldn’t defeat them, I’d at least deny these pirates the satisfaction of destroying me. Eventually I grew weary of killing myself during these unsolicited murder visits and resolved to stand and fight. (And, more often than not, I won.) Dark Souls II tweaks the system to allow game invasions at all times, rather than just on certain occasions. In-game trespassing is about to increase 10-fold, but at least now I have the confidence to say this: Bring it on, losers.
PC, Xbox One—March 11; Xbox 360—March 25
I’m less confident about surviving Titanfall, the next-gen multiplayer kill-for-all from EA and the team of former Call Of Duty creators at Respawn. This Microsoft exclusive employs huge mech-style robot suits in a Skynet-fueled Voltronian hellscape peopled with all the same foul-mouthed little punks who make Call Of Duty all but unplayable for old folks like me. I picture my in-game avatar, not long for this world, quickly channeling ED-209 clumsily negotiating a flight of stairs, then falling into a pit of hand grenade-tipped spears before I just go back to playing Mario Kart 7.
South Park: The Stick Of Truth
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—March 4
In its “Black Friday” episodes, South Park gave the final word on the next-gen console wars: “Let these Sony fucks wallow in their limited voice-control functionality!” But Matt Stone and Trey Parker weren’t content to let things end with a fight to the death between Bill Gates and an unnamed Sony’s executive. In The Stick Of Truth, the long-delayed role-playing game, the South Park kids play the fantasy roles they adopted in those episodes and embark on a quest of low comedy and high adventure. Will Randy be able to defend the mall? Who will save Princess Kenny? What are the chances this game actually comes out today?
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360—March 18
It’s hard to figure out what Ground Zeroes is supposed to be—almost as hard as figuring out the plot that has been built up across more than 25 years of Metal Gear games. Turns out, it’s an appetizer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Ground Zeroes is a shorter, cheaper game that introduces the new “open world” espionage of the real MGS5, 2015’s The Phantom Pain. It also features Kiefer Sutherland as the new voice of Big Boss/Naked Snake.
InFamous: Second Son
PlayStation 4—March 21
At the conclusion of InFamous 2, all of the conduits—genetically predisposed mutants who siphon energy to fuel their power from nearby humans—are wiped out in a last-ditch effort to stop some super-conduit known as “The Beast” from complete global domination. InFamous: Second Son charts the fallout from this conduit genocide, an X-Men-style police state where even the hint of superpowers calls down the governmental thunder. Your character, an aspiring street artist, discovers his abilities and embarks on a buddy comedy with his older brother. The Beast might be gone, but can he master the beast…within?
Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls
Mac, PC—March 25
“I’m an angel. I kill firstborns while their mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. I even, when I feel like it, rip the souls from little girls, and from now till kingdom come, the only thing you can count on in your existence is never understanding why.” Christopher Walken is a weird dude, inscrutable as he is creepy, especially when he goes all biblical as Gabriel in The Prophecy. (Viggo Mortensen plays Satan—the scriptural “beast”—and eventually consumes Gabriel’s still-beating heart.) The heavenly motivations are only a little clearer in Diablo III’s first expansion, Reaper Of Souls. After the end of Diablo III proper, Tyrael, the archangel of justice, takes the Black Soulstone to Sanctuary. Almost immediately, he and his followers are attacked and nearly wiped out by Malthael, formerly the archangel of wisdom, but now acting the part of extremely grim soul reaper. Looks like it’s time to unretire Drewcifer, Unstoppable Monk Of Awesome.