Boy, February didn’t turn out like we hoped it would, did it? Both “Lords of Shadow 2” and “Thief” hit with a thud. And 2014 has officially started off weaker than any video game year I can remember. We need to turn this ship around now. And March looks like it could pull it off. Not only are there some potentially great games listed below but “The Walking Dead, Episode 2” launches on March 4th and “Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea—Episode 2” premieres on March 25th. It’s been kind of dull in the world of video games but some animated icons, a pair of highly anticipated sequels, and a follow-up to one of the most brutal games of all time could change it all in the next 21 days.
March 4: "South Park: The Stick of Truth"
Finally. FINALLY! As we can confirm, since we actually have a copy in-hand, “The Stick of Truth” is finally coming out. A game that has made anticipated lists (including one of ours) for years now is finally going to be here. This title was announced and buzz began at E3 2012. It’s been forever (and the show itself even made fun of the many delays) but we get to enjoy the RPG debuts of Eric, Stan, Cartman, and Kenny, completely with multiple anal probes. Should the delay cause concern? Maybe but video game delays aren’t nearly as poisonous as movie delays (if a movie sits on the shelf for years, it’s usually for a good reason). Remember a little masterpiece called “Bioshock Infinite”? It was delayed multiple times and came out pretty close to perfect. Do I think “The Stick of Truth” will be this quarter’s “Bioshock Infinite”? Probably not but a boy can dream…
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Before You Buy: Go check out the About.com guide to the TV show
March 11: "Dark Souls II"
Oh, the pain. Players of “Dark Souls” are probably already cringing at the prospect of another journey into this world of death, despair, and even more death. “Dark Souls” is notoriously difficult, one of the few modern games that treats death as something devastating and not just a reload opportunity. Anyone who seriously played “Dark Souls” often responds to questions about like someone with a form of gamer PTSD. It will mess with your life. Turn right, die. Turn left, die. Do anything, DIE. Ready to go back to this gaming nightmare? Yeah, I am too. We’re gluttons for punishment. The developers promise more customization and smarter A.I. Great. Customize, die.
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: From Software
Before You Buy: Read the Xbox360 “Dark Souls” review.
March 18: “Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes”
It’s about time. It’s been years since “Metal Gear Solid IV” really altered the gaming landscape for the PS3 generation. Can the long-delayed sequel do the same for the next-gen console? We won’t quite know right away as this is more of an appetizer for the main meal, a game designed to lead into the full “Metal Gear Solid V” experience later this year (we hope). So what can we expect from “Ground Zeroes”? The game takes place in 1975 after the action of “Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker” and centers again on Naked Snake (aka Big Boss). This is reportedly a short game (like two hours short…although some outlets are selling it at half the price of a full game) but consider it a prologue and “Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain” the big event. I can’t wait to see how Snake adapts to the PS4 generation.
Developer: Kojima Productions
Before You Buy: Play “Metal Gear Solid IV”
Alternate: “Final Fantasy X-X2 HD”
March 21: Infamous Second Son
Please be good, please be good, please be good. Let’s be brutal. “Knack,” “Killzone: Shadow Fall,” and “Thief” have been disappointing. We really need an essential PS4 experience and hopes are riding high that the return of one of Sony’s most quality franchises will provide just that. Whereas “Killzone” looked great but lost the fun aesthetic of its PS3 ancestors, the PS4 iteration of “Infamous” looks incredibly promising. The “Infamous” games did sometimes fall victim to gameplay over narrative and I’m a little worried that this will be all flash and no substance when what the PS4 NEEDS right now is a substantive game but even if it’s just as fun as the first two games with a new visual strength, that could alone make it the best PS4 game to date.
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Before You Buy: Read our list of the best Sony exclusives, which includes “Infamous”.