I hate to interrupt you like this, especially when you’re on your 17th attempt at speedrunning Dubai in Hitman 3, but it’s time we turn our attention to the games coming out this February. Look, if nothing on this list catches your eye, then you can always hop on a quick flight to Mendoza and get back to biroing mustachioed men to death.
We’re still in the quieter part of the year for video games, definitely, but there are a few scheduled to launch over the next four weeks that are worth bringing to your attention. In lieu of a kooky card from Funky Pigeon, think of this as our early Valentine’s gift to you.
If you like moving images set to words and music, you can have a watch of the video above. But, if you prefer text, then read on.
Nioh 2 - The Complete Edition (February 5th)
The follow-up to Team Ninja’s Sengoku period soulslike was beloved by anyone who played it on PS4 last year, and now it’s time for us PC players to see what all the fuss was about. Nioh 2 - The Complete Edition includes the base game, of course, as well as the three DLC packs that came out after the game’s initial launch. It’s also got a few of the expected bells and whistles, such as HDR monitor compatibility, ultra wide screen support, and full mouse and keyboard customisation. While the core combat is going to be familiar to those that played the original, the inclusion of yokai abilities means this is definitely worth checking out for anyone who enjoyed the first Nioh. You can momentarily turn into a big monster and fuck shit up… what’s not to like?
Persona 5 Strikers (February 23rd)
Given that Persona 5 only launched on PS4, there may be a few of you out there that haven’t played it. While a lack of Phantom Thieves knowledge may impact the effect of some story beats, this game is a bit different to its turn-based RPG predecessor. So, I wouldn’t discourage new players from jumping into this world of teenage drama and talking cats. Persona 5 Strikers incorporates a real-time battle system, similar to Dynasty Warriors, while also allowing you to pause the action when you want to use your special Persona powers. Fingers crossed this mash-up of styles results in a sequel that services fans, new and old.
Little Nightmares II (February 10th)
Get ready to hide under some gargantuan tables and climb some mammoth-sized Argos shelving units, as developer Tarsier Studios is back to make your skin crawl with Little Nightmares 2. Original protagonist Six assumes the support role in this one, as you’ll be playing as the little paper bag with legs, Mono. The first game had a knack for making the mundane seem absolutely terrifying, so you can probably expect more of the same here. Except, this time, you’re actually able to fight back. You don’t have an armoury in your pockets or anything, it’s just that certain sections of the game will see you fending off some smaller enemies with tools that are lying around. I’m pretty confident that running away will remain the best tactic in most cases.
Nuts (February 4th)
Nuts definitely wins the award for the most unique game of February: there are squirrels, and you must research said squirrels. You do that by placing DSLRs around the forest during the day, and then you scrub through the footage your camera picks up, at night. It’s a game of trial-and-error, where you have to make educated guesses about where and when these nocturnal rodents will show up. If you’ve misplaced your equipment today, and you catch nothing on camera, then you have to do it all over again the following day. Your mileage may vary, depending on your patience for stomping through the forest over and over, but this relaxed puzzler is worth a go for those looking to play nature detective.
Blue Fire (February 4th)
While 2D platformers had their renaissance a few years ago, three-dimensional jumpers have never had that sustained comeback. I’m not saying Blue Fire will usher in a new era for the favourite of the late ‘90s, but I can’t help feeling all warm and fuzzy when I see it in action. In interviews, developer Robi Studios have implied it has the spirit of old-school N64 games, like Banjo or Donkey Kong 64, but with more challenging platforming puzzles and some lovely, fast-paced hacking and slashing. Of all the games out this month, this might be the one I’m most interested in playing, myself.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood (February 4th)
The snappily titled Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood might be worth checking out while you wait to suck on some necks in Bloodlines 2. After all, this ARPG is set in the same universe as Vampire - The Masquerade. However, as the name handily tells us, you’re a werewolf fella in this. You don’t have to wait around for a full moon to transform, either. You can switch between your three forms – man, wolf, and manwolf – whenever you like. While it sadly doesn’t seem like you’re able to play the whole game as that third choice, sneaking around vents as the four-legged option looks alright, and you have a crossbow when you’re in your human form. The year of the bow rages on.
30XX (February 17th)
The sequel to Batterystaple Games’ Mega Man-inspired, run-and-gun roguelike is even more like Capcom’s creation now, as they’ve ditched the cartoony style of its predecessor for a pixelated look. Aside from that, the developer has also introduced a new mode that should make the game more attractive to those who aren’t keen on losing all their progress when they die. Mega mode – shameless, but I quite like it – will generate a new set of levels each time you begin a run. But, when you lose all your health in this mode, you're sent back to a central hub that allows you to tackle a different stage, with any upgrades you’ve obtained intact. If you want even more control over your playthrough, why not create a custom campaign using the game’s level editor? Guaranteed wins every time.
Hellish Quart (February 16th)
Physics-based, sword-swipey fighting game Hellish Quart is coming out on Steam Early Access this month. Developer Jakub Kisiel has said they’re going this route because they’re more or less working on it alone, and given that it’s a fighting game, they want to involve the community throughout the development process to make sure everything is balanced and that the game is always going in the right direction. I wasn’t totally sure about this one at first, but I’m way more interested since giving the demo a go. If you get one good swing in early, you can be celebrating a victory almost instantly, but the fun in Hellish Quart – at least from what I’ve played – is when duels become a proper back and forth battle. If you’re looking for a different kind of fighting game, you should keep your eye on this.
The Shore (February 19th)
I understand why Lovecraftian games garner a Marmite response. I’ll often keep on scrolling when I see a Steam description that mentions brown sauce boy. The thing is I found it hard to zoom past this one after seeing how lovely it looks. A solo project from developer Ares Dragonis, The Shore is a story-driven, first-person puzzle game, where you're tasked with uncovering a big ol’ mystery on this blue-hued island. Standard H.P. fare, yes, but hopefully there’s a little more to this one than just grotesque, yet beautiful, fishy boys and girls. We’ll find out later this month.
Valheim (February 2nd)
If you’ve absolutely rinsed Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and you have a hankering for more viking fun, look no further than procedurally-generated survival game Valheim. You must bring order to this place and slay some of the fiercest beasts in the realm in order to prove yourself to Anthony Hopkins from the Marvel films. While you can go it alone, developer Iron Gate has said Valheim is pretty tough, so maybe you should consider making this a co-op adventure. Of course, there’s more to Valheim than just taking on some Norse nasties. There’s exploration, building, crafting, sailing: everything you’d expect from a survival game involving some lo-fi vikings.
Whatever you end up playing over February, even if that’s continuing to cane Hitman 3, I hope you have a lovely time with it. But, do tell: what new games are you looking forward to getting your hands on this month? Keen to hack and slash anything that moves in the Sengoku period? Eager to see what a Dynasty Warriors Persona game is like? Or do you want to be creeped out by Tarsier Studios latest? Let us know in the comments.