It seems kind of cruel to have a new video games Tuesday coincide with April Fool’s Day. I mean, we gamers might be a cynical bunch (actually, I know we are), but there are some things we just want to believe in, and it’s very easy to take advantage of that faith come April 1.
Nevertheless, the game that seemed like the most likely candidate in years to be an April Fool’s Day joke is apparently not. I’m talking, of course, about Goat Simulator. It may have started out as a lark, but all indications are that it’s very real, and coming out this Tuesday.
(Note: If this somehow does turn out to be a hoax, then well played developers!)
Other games coming out this week are definitely legit, including an MMORPG with a big name IP behind it and the latest baseball game on last gen systems (PS$ owners, you’re going to have to wait a bit longer). So by all means, be wary, but get ready anyway for these new video game releases:
Goat Simulator (PC) – April 1
If you’ve somehow not heard of this, I feel sorry for you. As the name implies, you control a goat. And you can run around and smash stuff, earning more points for more creative ways of breaking things with your horns. You can also hurl objects with your tongue. If it was really a sim, you’d probably chew things up too, but I’m not sure if that’s the case.
You have to hand it to the folks who created Goat Simulator for taking what was obviously a parody of other sims and carrying it to its logical extreme. The final trailer even had a story to it for Pete’s sake! That’s good humor, and even if I don’t end up messing with this at all because I’m usually stuck reviewing serious games, I applaud everyone involved.
MLB 14: The Show (PS3, Vita) – April 1
Maybe it should be subtitled “The Only Game in Town” since it’s now the lone way MLB fans can get their video game fix. Hopefully it doesn’t go the way some other sports game franchises have when they don’t have any competition. At least for now, The Show doesn’t appear to be resting on its laurels, which is a good thing.
I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I’m really anxious to see what this game looks like on PS4, but we’ll have to wait until May 6 for that. My Houston Astros may already be out of contention in real life by then, so I’m not sure I’ll want to play with the real rosters, new tech or not. Oh, and if for some reason you’re in need of both basketball and baseball action on your PS3, you’ll be able to buy MLB 14: The Show bundled together with NBA 2K14 for the price of one and a half new games. That’s actually not too bad.
Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance (PC, iOS) – April 3
The consensus opinion seemed to be that this game was going to be a MOBA when it was first announced and the phrase “lane strategy” was involved. Instead, it looks like something more akin to Plants vs. Zombies with Space Marines, and though I’m not certain what that says about me, I find that a lot more interesting.
The Warhammer 40K universe is so rich that it can be applied to many different genres, and this one makes sense for a game that can also be played on mobile.Yes, I still hold out hope for an RTS or MMO that does justice to the IP, but hopefully this can tide fans over for the time being. Fingers crossed.
The Elder Scrolls Online (PC, Mac) – April 4
Even if you’re not a big fan of MMORPGs, you should be paying attention to what happens to this game. ZeniMax and Bethesda are throwing out much of what we thought we knew about where the genre has been heading, betting that the Elder Scrolls name and their own game design expertise are enough to eschew the free-to-play movement and command a monthly subscription fee. Of course other games have tried the same over the past few years, and all have failed.
From my own experiences with the beta, my feeling is that it’s going to be an uphill battle. ESO has one foot in the typical Elder Scrolls experience and one in MMORPG tradition while also trying to bring some new elements to the mix. That’s a tricky balance, and it’ll be interesting to see how many players it manages to hook after the initial surge you figure will be there at launch. I’m rooting for it to succeed, simply because I worry about the future of the genre if it doesn’t.
Also releasing this week: Age of Wonders III (PC) – March 31; Ragnarok Odyssey Ace (PS3, Vita) – April 1; Mercenary Kings (PS4) – April 1; Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – Deluxe Editon (Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, PC) – April 2; FTL: Faster Than Light (iOS) – April 3