Monster Hunter Rise
Capcom translates a slew of lessons from its brilliant console title Monster Hunter World to this Switch exclusive of its eccentric RPG.
(Switch; 26 March)
Evil Genius 2: World Domination
Seventeen years after the original Evil Genius had you building your own criminal lair, Rebellion’s sequel looks to capture the same breezy, satirical charm. The colourful spy-fi strategy leans on PC classics like Dungeon Keeper and Theme Hospital as you construct your base, order around minions and work to keep the lights on in your criminal enterprise. But plenty of mod-cons bring it up to date.
(PC, 30 March)
The Bafta-winning Arkane Studios return with this time-splintering action mystery. You are an assassin, Colt, stranded on the island of Black Reef and trapped in a temporal cycle which requires you to take out eight targets before the night ends and the loop resets. To complicate things, a rival assassin has been sent to preserve the loop and stop you by any means necessary. In a devilish twist, this assassin can be controlled by another player invading your game.
(PS5, PC; 21 May)
Back 4 Blood
Seeing as Left 4 Dead has seemingly been, well, left for dead by publisher Valve, the game’s original developers have taken matters into their own hands. Back 4 Blood is a spiritual successor to Turtle Rock’s seminal zombie co-op shooter, with 4-player co-op raids on the undead. As with L4D, the hordes are controlled by an AI director to keep things fresh (in a manner of speaking) on every run.
(PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S; 22 June)
Mario Golf: Super Rush
Nintendo’s famous plumber dons his polo shirt and check slacks for the first time in seven years in this hyperactive Switch sports ‘sim’. That term is used loosely of course, as Mario and pals charge for the ball after smacking it down the fairway, while a Story Mode has your own Mii working on your golf skills in the Mushroom Kingdom.
(Switch, 25 June)
From the creators of the brilliant Steamworld series, The Gunk has a duo of space explorers wading through a hostile, goo-infested planet armed with a high-tech vacuum cleaner and a variety of gadgets.
(Xbox, PC; September)
“It’s karate meets magic,” says combat director Shinichiro Hada. “We want the player to feel like a badass, spell-casting, high-tech ninja exorcist defeating countless evil spirits.” Hard to argue with the sell on Tango Gameworks terrific looking action-adventure, which pitches you into a futuristic Tokyo where all the city’s inhabitants have vanished and malevolent forces have moved in.
(PS5, PC; October)