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New Releases: April 1st-7th, 2021

This week sees the release of a few well-known titles, with Outriders and the rerelease of Star Wars Republic Commando being the notable titles. But look past the big publishers, and you might find a few interesting surprises. Oddworld: Soulstorm offers another opportunity for Abe to rescue his fellow mudokons, while What Comes After offers Switch owners an existential journey that strives to keep things upbeat.

Header art: Life in Yima, PC

PlayStation 4
Breathedge (digital, $19.99)
Lost Words: Beyond the Page (digital, $14.99)
Luckslinger (digital, $7.99)
Oddworld: Soulstorm (digital, $49.99, free via PS+)
Outriders (physical & digital, $59.99)
Star Wars Republic Commando (digital, $14.99)
SturmFront – The Mutant War: Übel Edition (digital, $9.99)

Switch
A Long Way Down (digital, $14.99)
Abbie’s Farm for kids and toddlers (digital, $9.99)
Acalesia (digital, $4.99)
Breathedge (digital, $19.99)
CyberTaxi (digital, $9.99)
Dungeon and Puzzles (digital, $7.99)
Good Night, Knight (digital, $11.99)
Lost Words: Beyond the Page (digital, $14.99)
Moorhuhn Kart 2 (digital, $29.79)
Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks) (digital, $12.99)
Star Wars Republic Commando (digital, $14.99)
Stick Fight: The Game (digital, $7.50)
Street Racing: Tokyo Rush (digital, $11.99)
SturmFront – The Mutant War: Übel Edition (digital, $9.99)
Train Station Simulator (digital, $21.99)
What Comes After (digital, $6.99)

Xbox One
Lost Words: Beyond the Page (digital, $14.99)
Luckslinger (digital, $7.99)
Outriders (physical & digital, $59.99)
SturmFront – The Mutant War: Übel Edition (digital, $9.99)

PC (via Steam unless noted)
Cute Honey 3 ($TBA)
Dee-6: Dice Defenders ($4.99)
Life in Yima ($TBA)
Lost Words: Beyond the Page ($14.99)
Oddworld: Soulstorm (EGS, $49.99)
Outriders ($59.99)
Purrfect Apawcalypse: Purrgatory Furever ($5.99)
The Rebellion ($15.99)
The Slormancer ($TBA)
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator ($19.99)
Welcome to the Adventurer Inn! ($TBA)

Robert’s Pick: Often, I want games to transport me to worlds I’ll never see, whether it’s a fantastical imagining of Three Kingdoms-era China in Dynasty Warriors or the lavishness of pre-bubble times in Yakuza 0. But occasionally, I love when games reflect a reality that I have witnessed. Take a look at the screenshot of What Comes After and you’ll find an insightful summation of life in 2021. Not just everyone half-cloaked in face masks and attempting to socially distance, but how most of the non-sleepers are absorbed by whatever is on their phones. For me, this conveys a reality more truthful than photorealism. The game itself uses transit as an allegory, with fellow passengers taking a journey to the afterlife. I have no idea if the developers are able to make good on that premise, but if you see me on the train, eyes fixated on my Switch, this is probably what I’m playing.

But if my thumbs are busy, pulling the Joy-Cons in different directions, I might be playing SturmFront – The Mutant War: Übel Edition. Twin-stick shooting action is often my catharsis of choice, as a focus all of my attention in a futile effort to stay alive. As much as I like games that make me ruminate, I love ones that don’t let me think about anything else but survival. So, if you appreciate old-school titles with a lot of firepower and a metal soundtrack, SturmFront might be the kind of game for you. For those who prefer hectic action in dungeons, The Slormancer is worth a look.

Matt S’ pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot here for me this week. Where is the fan service?!?!? Everyone knows I can only play a game if it’s got plenty of that.

Okay, okay. That’s not entirely accurate. I do sometimes enjoy games of a different flavour, and there’s one that stands out to me this week: Train Station Simulator. I don’t know much about it, but as a fan of old-school simulators, which this is clearly inspired by, I’m on-board with its concept. Especially since I haven’t stopped playing A-Train for two weeks now, and this will be a nice complement to it; when I need a break from building train lines, I can instead spend some time building up a station that makes Tokyo Station itself look boring by comparison.

Otherwise, let’s face it: I’m going to play Moorhuhn Kart 2. It’s going to be terrible, silly… and I’m going to love every second of it.

Ryan’s Pick: In saying “I haven’t played an FPS game from Square Enix since The Dirge of Cerberus”, the meme where the younger girl is helping the old lady walk certainly comes to mind. Me being the old lady, of course. This is true however, in that I really haven’t given Square Enix much mind outside of the RPG/Action RPG realm in decades. I hope that Outsiders changes this trend, as I really am finding some things that I like from the game and seems to have emulated some of the things that I liked about Destiny and omitted some of the things I didn’t.

The first thing that caught my eye with this particular game is that they have actively stated that players won’t experience recycled content through the main game. This already gives them a leg up over Destiny and many fans have even suggested that this was some sort of jab directed at that franchise. Destiny did set itself apart with some really cool guns in the game, and it feels like this game really doubles down on those gun ideas and has taken them a bit farther. Some of them also look organic in nature, which gives me a nice Halo or Half-Life vibe, so I am fairly interested in trying them out and trying to create different combinations. Visually I think that the game definitely does have the current-gen appeal, so I will most likely opt to try it on PS5. Lastly, I agree with Matt as well, fan-service is definitely missing this week. It very much is the shield to my sword when it comes to having options when choosing a game. I don’t know what that means, really, but I just like the idea that fan service is my shield. Perhaps it truly is.

Matt C’s pick (editor, Shindig): Please, don’t sleep on Lost Words: Beyond the Page. It’s certainly not the first game to be built around metaphors for the five stages of grief, but it’s one of the most original and moving takes on the theme I’ve encountered—one where “the lava stage represents anger” is part of a bigger picture of how words, writing, and creative output can help a person deal with their grief.

There are two sides to Lost Words: one is a fantasy world, the creation of a young writer exploring her imagination and escaping from the world; the other is the same girl’s journal, where she pours out her feelings as she tries to cope with the death of her gran. In moving between these two worlds, Lost Words goes beyond simply using a fantasy world as an abstract metaphor for grief to exploring the very personal way in which the creation of this world helps the creator to make sense of the chaotic storm of feelings that grief entails.

It’s a platformer that puts words at the centre, literally—words are the very platforms that you use to move around, your interactions with them driving home the emotions and thoughts running through the mind of a grieving young child. These elements all combine in a powerful, poignant way to tell a beautiful, bittersweet story. (And if you need more convincing, know that Rhianna Pratchett, of Tomb Raider fame, is the lead writer.)

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

5 comments

  1. I’ll be reading the Star Wars Republic Commando to see how much was done to the game to bring it up to date. Still, seems like a great pickup for Switch, where I can play on the go.

    Anyone know of any modern tactical FPS, where you can shoot and give orders?

  2. Matt and Robert have a thing for trains. If there’s ever a game that has train-girls I feel they’d go nuts for it.

  3. Saw CyberTaxi. Read “Crazy Taxi”

    🙁

  4. I usually don’t disagree with the opinions I see here but Outriders felt horrible to me. Yes it was just the demo but shooting from cover points was just frustrating. They seemed wither too far to hit, where ducking all the time, or they’d spawn behind you and rush you.

    Hard hard pass on Outriders. Also the dialog was horrible. Please no more space cowboys, in memory of Spike.

    • People Can Fly has made some good shooters but the demo didn’t show much promise. I’ll wait for a deep discount before trying the full game.