The Month in Games: April 2017

April sees some new chapters, new beginnings and some old favourites being updated and upgraded for gamers to enjoy.


Persona 5

A new vigilante group rises up in this latest chapter of the Persona series. In Persona 5, players take on the role of a student who is forced to transfer schools in the aftermath of an assault. Now relocated to Tokyo, the player must discover and hone their Persona powers in order to fight the evil of the world. Along the way, they are joined by some of their fellow students – each with Persona powers of their own – to form a group know as the “Phantom Thieves of Hearts”

Along with the sights of modern Tokyo, players will also be able to explore “The Palace” – a parallel realm that has been corrupted from a utopian dream by the authorities – as well as the “Velvet Room” – a haven for Persona users which moulds itself to the current occupier – which makes a return to the Persona franchise. As an added challenge, players will also have to venture into “Momento” dungeons to gain quest items and assist other characters within this altered world.

Persona 5 will be available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 from April 4*


Yo-Kai Watch 2

Travel back in time to discover the origins of the Yo-Kai watch is this sequel. In Yo-Kai Watch 2 players can choose to play as either Nate Adams or Katie Forester, two young children who find that their memories have been erased. Among those memories is knowledge of the “yōkai” – creatures whose origins lie in Japanese folklore. Also missing is their Yo-Kai watch, which they use to communicate with the mischievous creatures in the modern world.

With two editions of Yo-Kai Watch 2 available – Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls – each with unique options and content, players will be able to explore the town of Springdale like never before. The sequel will also offer more sharing options, with Yo-Kai Medals being available to trade online, a new multiplayer experience and new battle modes in PvP. Players will also be able to use the new “Model Zero” watch to form their teams of “yōkai” and do battle against the forces of evil.

Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Yo-Kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls will be available on Nintendo 3DS from April 7*


Yooka-Laylee

Venture out beyond Shipwreck Creek in this platformer. As the titular characters in Yooka-Laylee, players will travel in search of “Pagies” – pieces of the Grand Tomes – which need to be collected and protected. While on their quest, players will also battle with the duo of Capital B and Dr Quack – the villains who seek to claim all the literature in the world to convert it into pure profit. Using the “Pagies” to unlock new adventures and locations, this unlikely pairing of a chameleon and bat are all that stands to protect the world.

Players who pre-order Yooka-Laylee will be granted access to the Toybox – a special, spoiler free sandbox to experience some of the game’s features, along with new collectables and an exclusive character to converse with. The Digital Deluxe Edition will include a copy of the game, 24-page Digital Manual and Artbook combination and a copy of the game’s full soundtrack.

Yooka-Laylee will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC from April 11*


Micro Machines World Series

The Codemasters classic gets an upgrade with this new instalment. Micro Machines World Series sees the legendary franchise return to consoles with a new look but with the timeless locations and vehicles, players know and love. Racing through gardens, across kitchen tables, though the scraps and spills of a garage will have players competing in a world with new visuals, obstacles and sounds to enjoy. Each vehicle will come with its own set of advantages for the player to use as they see fit in order to cross the finish line first

Alongside returning modes – such as “Race” and “Elimination” – Micro Machines World Series will see the introduction of “Battle Arenas”, where the objective is to cause as much destruction as possible against opponents. The game will also include a new “Team Play” feature. With this new mode, players can join together with others to compete in games such as “Capture the Flag” and “King of the Hill”. In “Team Play”, four players can use the same screen to play, and up to 12 players online will be able to team up to play.

Micro Machines World Series will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC from April 21*


Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3

The world of Sniper: Ghost Warrior opens up in this third chapter. In Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, players take on the role of Jonathan North, a Marine Captain who has been ordered to hunt and find an intruder with the country of Georgia in order to prevent a new Cold War from beginning. Using a number of different methods, North must gather intel, travel across a new open world landscape and choose their own path in order to complete the task in front of them.

Players who pre-order Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 will receive 3 Velcro Morale Patches and an exclusive steel book case with their game. The Season Pass Edition of the game will include access to all Season Pass content as it becomes available. Included in the pass will be two single player expansions – The Escape of LYDIA and The Sabotage – two multiplayer maps, a new all-terrain vehicle, a compound bow and McMillan TAC-338A Sniper Rifle.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC from April 25*


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Racing onto the Nintendo Switch is this upgraded Mario Kart title. First released on the Wii U, Mario Kart 8 takes the enduring style of Mario Kart and adds new twists and treats for players. Anti-gravity racing, hang-gliders, motorbikes and underwater racing elements are among those enhanced for the Switch edition, which will also include all the DLC from the Wii U version – including tracks based on The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing

For the Nintendo Switch release, five new characters are being added to the roster. The classic Mario enemies King Boo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr. will be joined by the Boy and Girl Inklings from Splatoon. In addition, Battle Mode has been reworked with new modes and arenas and players will now be able to carry two power up items simultaneously. Players will also be able to use any Amiibo figures they have to unlock new racing suits for their Mii avatars. The game will also be more accessible for novice and junior players with the “Smart Steering” feature allowing for more control and stability while racing.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will be available on Nintendo Switch from April 28*


Free to Play

For Xbox Gold members, four new titles will be available to download for free in April through Games with Gold. On Xbox One, Ryse: Son of Rome will be downloadable from April 1-30* with The Walking Dead: Season 2 available from April 16 to May 15*. On Xbox 360, Darksiders will be available from April 1-15, with Assassin’s Creed: Revelations available from April 16-30*. The Xbox 360 titles will also be available on Xbox One via Backwards Compatibility.

Over on PlayStation, PS Plus members will have six new downloadable games to try for free across the PlayStation family. From April 4*, Drawn to Death and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime will be available on PlayStation 4 with Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom and Alien Rage available on PlayStation 3. Rounding out the lineup are 10 Second Ninja and Curses ‘n Chaos, which will be available on PS Vita and on PlayStation 4 on Cross Buy.

Also Released This Month

April 4* – PaRappa the Rapper Remastered (PS4), Blackwood Crossing (Xbox One, PS4, PC), Silence (PS4, PC)

April 7* – Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition (Xbox One, PS4, PC), ArmaGallant: Decks of Destiny (PS4), LEGO City Undercover (Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch)

April 11* – Stardew Valley Collector’s Edition (Xbox One, PS4), Deformers (Xbox One, PS4, PC)

April 12* – The Sexy Brutale (Xbox One, PS4, PC), Impact Winter (Xbox One, PS4, PC), StarBlood Arena (PS4/PSVR)

April 18* – Voodoo Vince: Remastered (Xbox One, PC), Full Throttle Remastered (PS4, PS Vita, PC), The Disney Afternoon Collection (Xbox One, PS4, PC), Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap (Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch), Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series – Episode 1 (Xbox One, PS4, PC, Android, iOS)

April 20* – Syberia 3 (Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC)

April 21* – SUDA51’s The Silver Case Remaster (PS4), Dark Souls III: The Fire Fades Edition (Xbox One, PS4, PC)

April 25* – Outlast Trinity (Xbox One, PS4), What Remains of Edith Finch (Xbox One, PS4, PC), Lock’s Quest (Xbox One, PS4)

April 27* – Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III (PC)

April 28* – Dragon Quest Heroes 2 (PS4, PC), Puyo Puyo Tetris (PS4, Nintendo Switch), Constructor (Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC), Little Nightmares (Xbox One, PS4, PC), Portal Knights (Xbox One, PS4, PC), Valhalla Hills – Definitive Edition (Xbox One)

*Dates refer to UK release. International dates may vary and are subject to change.

Words by Megan Roxburgh

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