Unless you’re an avid participant in outdoor winter sports, this has been a pretty depressing winter. Personally, I can deal with either bitter cold or repeated instances of snowfall, but both of them together is a bit ridiculous.
New video games don’t keep you warm or help melt the snow, but they do make the winter a little more bearable. Thankfully there’s a pretty interesting crop of releases this week, including a point-and-click adventure from the master of the form, the eighth-gen debut of Lara Croft and a shooter that promises billions of different weapons.
Yeah, that helps. Not as much as if the calendar suddenly flipped to April, but it’s better than nothing.
And with that, here’s what’s new for purchase and download this week:
“Broken Age: Act 1″ (PC, Mac, Linux) – January 28
If you backed Tim Schafer’s Kickstarter campaign for this game, then congrats: you’ve been playing it for two weeks now. For everyone else, the first part of this point-and-click saga is about to become available to you.
A long time in the making (Double Fine had originally hoped to have it out in the fall of 2012), “Broken Age” is at its essence a classic case of boy meets girl while the boy is attempting to escape a spaceship that may not have his best interests at heart and the girl is attempting to end her society’s cycle of human sacrifice. You know, the usual. Early reports that slipped out despite the strange move of attempting an embargo on backers suggest that this a very good if not revolutionary return to the genre that made Schafer famous, and the best part is that there’s more to come.
“Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition” (PS4, Xbox One) – January 28
In what’s getting to be a running theme for the week, some people already have this game. Square Enix apparently decided people couldn’t wait a few extra days to see the reimagining of Lara Croft’s origin as an adventurer on PS4 and Xbox One and let some stores sell it last week. Since we’re sticklers for order, we’re going with its “official” release date here.
There’s also been a bit of a graphics controversy involving the “Definitive Edition” after reports said the PS4 version runs at 60 fps while the Xbox One can only manage 30 fps. I’m not one to care about such things, but plenty of people do. In any case, this is a pretty sweet reboot that probably looks gorgeous on both consoles regardless of the frame rate.
“Octodad: Dadliest Catch” (PC, Mac, Linux) – January 30
Could there be a punnier name for a game this year than this one? I seriously doubt it. The original “Octodad” was kind of a cult indie hit, the product of a group of college students that came up with the idea that an octopus could fool people into thinking he was one of them.
The sequel should still be plenty quirky but looks to be bigger and better in every other way. It also was one of the first graduates of the Steam Greenlight program, which Steam is now looking to kill. Ah well, it was kind of, sort of fun while it lasted. “Dadliest Catch” is also coming to PS4 later this year if you’d rather play it on a console.
“Loadout” (PC) – January 31
To paraphrase Justin Timberlake playing Sean Parker, a million weapons isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion weapons.
Or maybe even more than that. “Loadout” is a free-to-play multiplayer shooter that takes customization to its logical extreme , as well as putting an emphasis on player agility. It sounds awesome, so much so that I momentarily forgot that I’m horrible at every FPS known to man. Wait, this is third-person, so maybe… no, I’ll probably still be terrible.
Also releasing this week: “Call of Duty: Ghosts” – Onslaught DLC (Xbox One, Xbox 360) – January 28; “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z” (PS3, Xbox 360, Vita) – January 28, “Soul Fjord” (Ouya) – January 28; “Rekoil: Liberator” (Xbox 360) – January 29