Although April is traditionally a fairly sparse month for gamers, with very few high profile releases before the fall and winter months, this year has seen an even more thin group of titles releasing. Many of the games that will hit store shelves during the upcoming weeks will be lower budget releases, often not even for home consoles but rather portable consoles such as the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita. There are still a few larger games to get excited about though, as well as a collection of high quality titles made available to download for free across various platforms.
One of the biggest releases for April will be Darks Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin. This version of the role-playing game that released last year for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is an upgrade on the original title, including all of the released DLC, better visuals, additional content and lore as well as new enemies. It is set to release on April 7 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in a special edition that is a sort of remastering. Meanwhile, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 users can also pick up the package, although the graphics have not been altered as much.
Also coming in April is another releases that has already been available on other platforms for some time. Grand Theft Auto V for PC will finally release on April 14. Rockstar have taken their time with this particular port, delaying it even when next generation versions of the game became available earlier in the year, to ensure it was of high enough quality. They seem to have done their job Grand Theft Auto V looks stunning on PC and is optimized for 4K monitors, allowing some beautiful visuals to be launched on the screen, far outshining the other versions of the game.
A brand new title that is slipping through the cracks of re-releases and remasterings is Mortal Kombat X. The latest instalment in the hit fighting series hit store shelves on April 14 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, with other versions for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 coming at a later date. The game is set to introduce a number of new features, such as the ability interact more with the environment and fighting variations for the characters. The energy meter from the last Mortal Kombat will also be making a return, along with a host of new characters joining the likes of Sub Zero, Kung Lao and Johnny Cage.
The latest expansion for the hugely popular Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will also be releasing in April. Blackrock Mountain introduces a selection of 31 new cards as well as new adventures and challenges. The five “wings” can be bought with either in-game gold or purchased with real-life money, with discounts offered if you by more than one wing at a time.
Despite not being an AAA title, Goat Simulator is looking like one of the most anticipated releases of the month when it becomes available as a digital download on Xbox One and Xbox 360. The humorous open world sandbox game has garnered a huge fanbase and sold more than 2 million copies even though it’s hard to consider it a proper game. Goat Simulator has already seen releases on Windows, Mac and Linux during the Spring and Summer of 2014 as well as making its way to mobile devices in September. The Xbox version has been ported by Double Eleven rather than the original developer Coffee Stain Studios.
The critically acclaimed Shovel Knight, an action-platformer that has been for PC, 3DS, Wii U, Mac and Linux since last year, will also be making an appearance across Sony’s PlayStation range of consoles. Releasing April 21, the tough side-scrolling title has been praised for being difficult but compelling. Many feel that it has brought many of the elements of games from the NES era onto modern platforms.
- Etrian Mystery Dungeon – Nintendo 3DS
- Affordable Space Adventures – Wii U
- Xenoblade Chronicles 3D – Nintendo 3DS
- Telepath Tactics – PC / Mac / Linux
- Omega Quinlet – PlayStation 4
- Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown – PC / Mac / Linux
- State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition – PC / Xbox One
- Tropico 5 – PlayStation 4
To celebrate the anniversary of the Games With Gold program, Microsoft will be offering double the number of free games to Xbox Live Gold members over the coming month. These include two Xbox One games in the form of the hit platformer Child of Light and a brand new pool game that has not yet officially released called Pool Nation FX.
Xbox 360 users on the other hand will have access to four games. From April 1 to April 15, players will be able to download the adventure game Terraria as well as the third-person shooter Gears of War: Judgement, a prequel to the other titles in the series. For the second half of April, the free games will be the disappointing shooter Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
Sony have still to announce exactly which games will be made available to PS Vita, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 users, although they have revealed that Woah Dave is one of the titles. Available on the PlayStation 4 from the beginning of April, the game is a platformer by an indie developer and has previously been released on PS Vita.
We’ll update the post as soon as Sony reveal the other freebies.