The Biggest Games of March 2017

By Melvyn Tan on Feb 27, 2017

March is NieR near, and so are another month's worth of new game releases. Like before, I've taken the liberty of sorting them out and compiling the biggest releases. They're not necessarily the best games, but what I consider to be the most - or at least fairly - noteworthy ones, either due to buzz or being the latest instalment in a generally well-known series. 

Let's get started!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Release date: March 3

Platform: Nintendo Switch, Wii U

Probably the most important game that's coming out on the Nintendo Switch at this point, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the latest instalment of the Legend of Zelda series and features an open world for players to explore. The backstory was revealed by fans last month, based on the runes on a map included with the special edition of the game. Long story short, Link and Zelda tried to seal something called the Calamity Ganon. "Divine beasts awoke from four directions and deployed a mechanical army which made the King and his people fearful. They fractured Ganon's power and sealed him, but the Sheikah were banished from the land ever since," ends the message.

The game's features state that you'll discover the current fate of "the ruined kingdom of Hyrule" during your adventure, with fields, forests and mountains to explore. Towers and mountain peaks can be climbed, and aside from hunting beasts and gathering ingredients (and fighting) there'll be over 100 shrines with puzzles and rewards inside.

Clothes will be a part of the gameplay as well, with cold environments requiring warmer clothes (and vice versa) while some apparel have special effects like making Link "faster and stealthier".

Lego Worlds

Release date: March 7 (PC, PS4, Xbox One), TBA (Nintendo Switch)

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

First released on Steam in 2015 via Early Access, Lego Worlds is sort of like Minecraft, but with Lego. The Lego part of it provides a pretty big difference though, according to TT Games associate producer Chris Rose. Its variety of bricks and slopes sets the game apart from the numerous voxel-based sandbox games, he told Wired.

Featuring a "galaxy" of procedurally-generated worlds, each World features discoveries ranging from giraffes and vampires to race cars and "colossal digging machines". Aside from shaping environments with the multi-tool or building things with the Brick-by-Brick editor, Lego Worlds lets you populate your Worlds with various characters (who can be customized with outfits and "options"), creatures, models, and driveable vehicles. The game will also let you "play with a select number of real-life LEGO sets, taken from the Classic and current LEGO themes", and player creations can be exported and saved.

Lego Worlds was originally supposed to launch in February, but the devs "weren’t happy with a few things" that kept that from entering Certification, according to this Steam announcement. Early Access players will get a unique in-game hat for use in the character customiser and the Lego Worlds soundtrack for free.

NieR: Automata

Release date: March 7 (PS4), March 17 (PC)

Platform: PS4, PC

The Japanese version of the game (with English subs) is actually available in Malaysia already, but the English-dubbed version will only be arriving in March. Set in the far future, NieR: Automata will put players in the role of man-made combat androids - mainly YoRHa No.2 Type B, or 2B - who are sent from the moon to reclaim Earth from machines with mysterious off-world origins. It's made by Platinum Games, so expect stylish hack-and-slash action regardless of whether you're fighting with swords, spears or 2B's fists.

Aside from epic-looking boss fights, there are also side-scrolling sections and bullet hell-like moments that are thrown in to vary the pace. Weirder parts of the gameplay include moose-riding and fishing, which are both things you can do in the game. The action-RPG also features an open world, and while the post-apocalyptic environments look somewhat sparse in the videos (perhaps suitable so), they're still pretty-looking backdrops to the action, at least. 

Ghost Recon Wildlands

Release date: March 7

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

An open world tactical shooter, Ghost Recon Wildlands features Bolivia in the form of an open world and tasks players with taking down the powerful Santa Blanca cartel as one of the elite Ghosts. You can play through the entire game alone with three AI squadmates or in jump-in four-player co-op.

Featuring a host of customization options and upgrades, missions can be approached as the player sees fit, either via an all-out assault, stealth, or a combination of the two. There are towns and outposts scattered around the massive map, and a host of vehicles to drive and fly as well. Driving is pretty terrible however, at least with keyboard and mouse.

Still, if you're looking for a large amount of content and plenty of shooting, Ghost Recon Wildlands looks set to deliver that. Just be wary if you're getting it for PC, as there are a number of comments about the open beta's poor optimzation.

Styx: Shards of Darkness

Release date: March 14

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The goblin Styx is back for a bigger-budget second stealth outing, this time dealing with Elves and Dwarfs. Set after the fall of Akenash tower in the first game, he'll be infiltrating Körangar, the city of the Dark Elves. The diplomatic summit there turns out to be facade however, and Styx gets involved in a "complex narrative". 

The game promises "multi-layered sandbox environments", and from the looks of things the levels do feature a nice amount of verticality at least. There're new enemies, skills and abilities to learn, artifacts to find in the world and ingredients for crafting. Co-op has also been introduced, and even in single player you can somewhat have two goblins simulatenously with Styx' clone ability. Players can also expect the core stealth and assassination mechanics to have been refined from the first game's.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Release date: March 21

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The latest Mass Effect game will take you beyond the Milky Way to the Andromeda galaxy. As the Pathfinder, "a leader of a squad of military-trained explorers", you'll navigate this new territory in search of a new home for humanity, uncover mysteries and find yourself as the hope of humanity later on.

Like the games in the previous trilogy, Mass Effect: Andromeda is a third person action-RPG that combines cover-based shooting with special abilities. You get a jumpjet this time around for added mobility however, and fixed classes have been scrapped for more flexible character customization.  The cover system is now "dynamic", letting you shelter behind "almost anything". And of course, you can romance people and aliens.

EA Access/Origin Access subscribers will be able to experience the game from March 16 for 10 hours, and their progress will carry over to the full game. 

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Melvyn Tan
About the Author
A secretly eccentric college student who mostly plays shooters on PC, although his gaming interests also extend to sneaking around in sizeable environments and slashing at things. He prefers his turn-based strategy games to involve miniatures and dice, and thinks that NieR: Automata's 2B is waifu material.
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