It’s been a surprisingly busy season with game releases so far, but it slows down a little this week. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you’ll have nothing new to play if you’re in the market for a game. Chances are that at least one of the four games launching this week will strike your fancy, whether you’re into retro-style platformers, strategy games, or casual endless runners. Read on to find out what games are launching across all systems the week of April 20, 2015.
1. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China
- Coming April 21 to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC
Like clockwork, at least one new Assassin’s Creed game comes out each fall. Ubisoft adds a new gameplay idea or two with each installment, but the idea is always the same: You’re an assassin who takes on murderous missions in a historical, open-world setting.
A new offshoot series called Assassin’s Creed Chronicles offers an entirely different kind of experience. To be released in three downloadable installments over the coming months, Chronicles is a series of side-scrolling action platformers that hinge heavily on the use of stealth.
The first game is set in China in 1526, just as the Ming dynasty begins to fall. You play as Shao Jun, the last assassin in the Chinese Brotherhood (an odd name for the organization, considering Shao is a woman). Much of the gameplay consists of you sticking to the shadows to sneak up on patrolling guards. If you’re feeling bold, you can disguise yourself as one of them or whistle to get their attention.
The game is full of swordplay and drenched in blood, of which you’ll get an eyeful thanks to the dynamic camera that swoops in to capture the action. You’ll see all kinds of famous landmarks, including the Great Wall, and well-known historical figures as you make your way through the game.
If the Assassin’s Creed series has grown a little stale for you over the past seven years, Chronicles might be just the game to reignite your interest.
2. Shovel Knight
- Coming April 21 to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PS Vita
It’s been available on other systems for a while now, but PlayStation gamers shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to play this retro-style action platformer. Shovel Knight takes inspiration from games like Super Mario Bros. 3, Castlevania, Mega Man, and DuckTales, but combines them into a game that feels fresh and new.
Shovel Knight has you hack, slash, and shovel jump your way through a series of gorgeously pixelated levels, fighting all kinds of enemies and massive bosses along the way. But don’t mistake this game for a thoughtless rehash of classic game design. It adds in a bunch of new ideas and gameplay mechanics (like checkpoints and a risk-reward system for accruing coins) to keep any modern gamer happy.
3. Infinity Runner
- Coming April 22 to PlayStation 4
With games like Temple Run and Jetpack Joyride, auto-runners have become a staple of mobile gaming, but they haven’t had much of a presence on consoles until now. Infinity Runner puts you in the sprinting shoes of the last sane person on a massive spaceship. Not only are you being hunted by a raging werewolf, but the other inhabitants you’ll encounter have gone mad, which means you’ll have to fend them off as you hurtle down the ship’s corridors.
But don’t expect a big AAA gaming experience; this is a bite-size morsel that’s perfect when you’re looking to kill a few minutes at a time. If you’re in the market for a quick jolt of adrenaline, Infinity Runner just may do the trick.
4. Dungeons II
- Coming April 24 to PC
Fans of Dungeon Keeper will want to keep an eye on Dungeons II. You play as the villain in this game, creating dungeons from scratch and populating them with monsters and traps to keep those pesky heroes at bay.
What’s new this go-round is that you can bring your army of beasties up to the over-world to ransack human cities. It’s all in good fun, though, as the game has a dark sense of humor and is peppered with geeky references. The first game in the series may have received mediocre reviews, but let’s hope developer Realmforge Studios has learned a thing or two.