The Biggest Games of April 2017

By Melvyn Tan on Mar 29, 2017

Image source: Gameranx
Image source: Gameranx

April is only a few days away, and chances are there'll be some Half Life 3/Portal 3/ Left4Dead 3-related news on its first day to bring tears and laughter to us. But don't worry, because April contains several video game release that are worth your attention, and none of them are April Fool's Jokes. 

Here's what you can look forward to next month:

Persona 5

Release date: April 4

Platform: PS3, PS4

What better game to anticipate on the first week of April than Persona 5? Even if you haven't played any of the games in the series, chances are you've at least heard of the name and are somewhat familiar with the latest title's attractive visuals and cool soundtrack. 

If Persona 5 is making you think about taking your first steps into the JRPG series, the good news is that you can jump straight into it, since you don't need to play the previous ones to understand the plot. Here, you'll play as a high school student who's also a phantom thief that steals the Treasure of criminals' "disorted desires" with the power of Persona to change their hearts. When doing so, you'll use something called the Metaverse Navigator smartphone app to infiltrate surreal worlds birthed from those corrupt hearts.

Aside from all that justice-doing, you'll also get to enjoy the pleasures of high school life, like school festivals, field trips, and overseas trip (!) and other events. If only my high school life was as cool as this sounds.

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition

Release date: April 8

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

A remastered version of a game that's four years younger than Call of Duty 4 and is sold at full price in the U.S. (Malaysia gets it at a much more reasonable price)? Whether or not that's an attractive deal is debatable, especially given that the original still looks alright, but having no Games for Windows Live and seeing Bulletstorm around again are definitely positives.

A refresher on Bulletstorm: you're a former assassin called Grayson Hunt who crash lands on a tourist attracton planet overrun by mutants and criminals, and seeks revenge against his former commander. Luckily, the road to vengeance is filled with combos, flashy floating points, and plenty of enemies to kick with your slow-mo-flying-inducing boot and/or pull with your whip. The gunplay looks good too, with guns feeling weighty and impactful, but creativity will reward more points than straightforward shooting.

The remastered version contains all of the game's DLCs, adds some new content and offers Duke Nukem - who gets his own unique lines - as a pre-order bonus.

Yooka-Laylee

Release date: April 11

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Yooka-Laylee - which I've constantly misheard as "ukelele" - is an open world platformer that boasts key talents from games like Banjo-Kazzoie and Donkey Kong Country. Yooka-Laylee isn't a random title like I'd initially thought, but is a combination of the names of the two main protagonists - Yooka (a green thing), and Laylee (a bat).

The "most funded UK games Kickstarter ever", the game features a villain called Capital B who plans to absorb the world's books and turn them into profit. You'll naturally have to stop him from succeeding in his evil plan, and your journey will involve beautiful environments to explore, a great cast, lots of collectibles and unlockable moves. Co-op is an option as well, with the second player getting a unique co-op character to play as.

More info: "Using their arsenal of special moves, our heroes will tackle a huge variety of puzzles and platforming challenges in their search for Pagies, the golden bounty used to unlock — and expand — stunning new worlds, each jammed to the gills with oddball characters, hulking bosses, minecart challenges, arcade games, quiz shows, multiplayer games… and much more!"

Dragon Quest Heroes 2

Release date: April 25

Platform: PS4, PC

The hack-and-slash RPG sequel is coming to PC on the same date as its PS4 counterpart, which is something to be celebrated - assuming that the PC version is hampered by issues, of course. There're a number of Steam reviews that criticized the gameplay experience as well, and hopefully Dragon Quest Heroes 2 offers an improvement.

It does at least look pretty interesting, especially with its blend of a somewhat dark-looking fantasy setting with a cartoony look that heavily suggests not taking things too seriously despite the surprising sense of gloom. Aside from hacking and slashing enemy swarms and boss monsters, you can also hack and slash with friends. The cast of playable characters will include familiat faces frm the Dragon Quest series as well as four new heroes, and all possess their own unique moves and abilities. Co-op supports up to four players, and the game's enviroments come in the form of "expansive and interconnected environments".

Here's some plot: "After a thousand years of peace, the Seven Realms suddenly collapse into conflict as if guided by a mysterious and malicious force. Now, you must lead a band of powerful heroes in a quest to defeat evil and save the war-torn world!"

Outlast 2

Release date: April 25

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

After putting you in the shoes of an independent journalist in the first Outlast, developer Red Barrels is putting you in the role of an investigative journalist for its horror sequel. The characters and setting are different, but the universe is the same.

I haven't watched much of the gameplay demo that came out last year and don't really want to considering that I'm writing this sentence at slightly past midnight, so here are some words that'll shed light on the game without jumpscare risks:

"You are Blake Langermann, a cameraman working with your wife, Lynn. The two of you are investigative journalists willing to take risks and dig deep to uncover the stories no one else will dare touch. You’re following a trail of clues that started with the seemingly impossible murder of a pregnant woman known only as Jane Doe. The investigation has lead you miles into the Arizona desert, to a darkness so deep that no one could shed light upon it, and a corruption so profound that going mad may be the only sane thing to do".

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3

Release date: April 25

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The modern-day sniping series goes open world and makes sure to incorporate the three words in its title into the gameplay. You've got your sniping with scope elevation and wind speed/direction considerations, but there's also sneaking with a silenced pistol and blasting enemies with an assault rifle (or shotgun, or machine gun) to satisfy the "ghost" and "warrior" parts in the name; you also get a drone for scouting and hacking. 

The story: 'You are an American sniper dropped behind enemy lines in Georgia, near the Russian border. Ruthless warlords have taken over part of the area and it falls on you to prevent the entire country from collapsing into chaos." It's up to you whether to approach your objectives as sniper, ghost or warrior, which is a welcome design choice.

The maps will have dynamic weather and a day/night cycle, and these will impact the gameplay. Combine all these aspects and Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 sounds like a pretty interesting game, at least on paper.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3

Release date: April 28

Platform: PC

Dawn of War is back with familiar faces, very familiar races/factions and a not so familiar visual style for the series. Sporting cartoony graphics, the return of base building and large armies and MOBA vibes, Dawn of War 3 once again features the Blood Ravens Space Marine Chapter as they clash with the xenos enemies of mankind yet again.

This time, the battle is over a weapon on the planet of Acheron, and the campaign will let you play as all of the game's factions, with the other two being the Eldar and Orks. It's a bit of a bummer to see these guys yet again, but changing things a bit are the giant war machines that each faction can field, like the Imperial Knight for the Space Marines and the Eldar Wraithknight. Meanwhile, elite sqauds with special abilities add some MOBA/Dawn of War 2 flavour to the mix, while abilities like the Orbital Bombardment add to the crazy destruction.

Competitive multiplayer is to be expected, but there'll also be an online co-operative mode, presumably for the campaign. While Dawn of War 2's multiplayer split control of its four squads between players, Dawn of War 3 will likely allow each player to build and command their own full-fledged armies. Double the carnage, then.

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Melvyn Tan
About the Author
A secretly eccentric college student who writes occasionally for Gamehubs and mostly plays shooters on PC. His gaming interests also extend to sneaking around in sizeable environments, slashing at things and commanding glorious armies. He prefers his turn-based strategy games to involve miniatures and dice however, and hopes to experience the whole of NieR: Automata soon.
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