SPRING LOADED WITH NEW ADVENTURES
THESE NEW TITLES WILL HELP PASS WHAT REMAINS OF LOCKDOWN WITH A SMILE
APRIL has arrived, bringing with it lighter nights, a glorious long weekend and – fingers crossed – the reopening of beer gardens.
We’ve all been cooped up in our homes for months now, so the warmer weather is incredibly welcome for leisurely strolls.
But while it’s nice to get out and about, there’s still a while to go before life returns to normal – and to keep us entertained during the times we have no choice but to sit at home, there’s a clutch of new games out.
There’s the dark, sci-fi shooter Outriders kicking off the month, and the delightful Abe is back with more Oddworld adventures.
Then as we slip out of April, there’s the stunning Returnal, to bookend the month with science fiction madness.
OUTRIDERS (PEGI 18) PS4, PS5, XBOX ONE, X/S
Set in a distant, dystopian world, this co-op mixes elements of RPGs with a third-person shooter.
Outriders finds humanity on the brink of crumbling, and your character has the augmented powers needed to rescue us all.
With heavy character cutomisation, you can choose between four exciting classes – the fire-manipulating Pyromancer; the technologymanipulating Technomancer; the time-twisting Trickster, or as a Devastator, who unleashes crushing, seismic attacks.
Developed by People Can Fly – the studio behind 2006’s Gears of War, and Bulletstorm – Outsiders combines intense gunplay with violent powers and an arsenal of increasingly twisted weaponry to offer countless hours of gameplay.
ODDWORLD: SOULSTORM (PEGI TBC) PS4, PS5, PC
Release: April 6
That adorable Mudokon, Abe, is back to free his people working as slaves for the Glukkons’ seemingly unstoppable business machine.
Soulstorm is a re-imagining of 1998’s Abe’s Exoddus, and picks up where 2014’s New ‘n’ Tasty! left off.
Sticking with the side-scrolling action the series is noted for, Oddworld has never looked so glorious running on the PS5 at 60 FPS at 1440p resolution.
Unlike Exoddus, Soulstorm allows players to pick a playing style. So whether you prefer the classic approach by sneaking and problem solving, or fancy scavenging what you need to create an arsenal you can hand to your followers you have saved along the way, there are more choices to replay with different approaches.
DESTRUCTION ALLSTARS (PEGI 12) PS5
Release: April 7
Fancy a bit of mindless, vehicular destruction?
Billed as a “global sports entertainment event where stars & cars collide”, AllStars sees you control one of 16 characters as you bump, slam and crunch your way around the arena.
The goal couldn’t be simpler: cause as much damage and mayhem as you can before the timer runs out.
The real killer here, though, is that it’s brimming with invasive microtransactions, which usually appear just as you’re having some real fun.
NEW POKéMON SNAP (PEGI 3)
Release: April 30
A sequel to one of the most original games in the Pokémon series, Snap sees you play as a Pokémon photographer.
Visiting various islands in the Lental region, you’re there to aid the research studies of Professor Mirror and his assistants, Rita and Phil.
The aim of the game is to capture photos of various Pokémon, and build a Photodex, with scores being given for image quality and composition.
With more than 200 of the adorable little critters to snap, there are also mysteries to be solved – like why can certain plants and Pokémon glow?
RETURNAL (PEGI 18) PS5
Release: April 30
Seeing out the month is this twisted, sci-fi psychological horror.
Transforming rogue-like gameplay into a third-person shooter, Returnal sees players fight to survive on a hostile planet.
You play as space pilot Selene, stranded on the planet Atropos, and stuck in a Groundhog Day-esque time loop which sees her resurrected every time she dies.
That means that with every loop, the world around Selene changes, so you have to be on your game for whatever’s coming at you.
A PS5 exclusive, it makes heavy use of the console’s 3D audio to bring the alien world around you to life.