This February, the videogame industry has conspired to give you the greatest gift of all: time. Time to clear your backlog, time to finish that needle felting project, time to reconnect with those old friends. That’s because there are no huge games coming out that month. When did that last happen – and what will you play, while the game release factory sleeps?
You might be saying, “This happens every year,” but you’d be wrong. Game releases used to huddle together at particular times of year like ducks in a rain shower, but that hasn’t been true for a while. For context, last February we reviewed Anthem, Ape Out, Apex Legends, Far Cry New Dawn, Metro Exodus, Crackdown 3, Yakuza Kiwami and Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. And January 2019 was no slouch, with Sunless Skies, Wargroove, Resident Evil 2, Slay The Spire, Catherine Classic, Below, and Hades in early access.
By comparison, this coming February looks to have Zombie Army 4, Dark Crystal: A Turn-Based Strategy Game Now For Some Reason, and Conan Chop Chop. No disrespect to those games – Dark Crystal looks genuinely interesting and I hope they’re all great – but they’re not exactly heavy hitters.
You can pick at the business reasons for this rare quiet month, if you’re boring. You can argue that there will also be fantastic smaller games released that we don’t know about yet, because that’s definitely true. But more importantly you can ask: what are you going to play from your backlog with the time you’ll have available?
March will arrive with a substantial set of game releases (Doom Eternal, Half-Life: Alyx, Ori And The Will Of The Wisps, Animal Crossing: New Horizons which isn’t on PC but let’s be honest we’ll be playing it) and so you haven’t got that long, but a quiet month is the perfect opportunity to play something from your backlog. Are you going to finally get around to sinking into Disco Elysium, last year’s best RPG? Are you going to finally unravel the mystery at the heart of Outer Wild’s solar system? Are you going to just keep playing Apex Legends, because that’s what you do every night anyway, and you haven’t bought a new game at launch for years anyway? Tell us.