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Three Single-Player Games to Watch Out for in May 2019

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May

May offers no respite from the big, bold games that have released so far in 2019, bringing with it a host of games almost certain to appeal to gamers of every stripe.

Close to the Sun

Release Date: May 2, 2019
Platforms: PC, consoles later in the year

May’s first major release may also be its most intriguing. Close to the Sun has regularly attracted comparisons to BioShock for its art style and premise, though the relationship between the two titles is, at best, spiritual.

Players take the role of journalist Rose Archer as she steps aboard Nikola Tesla’s ship, the Helios in 1897. Like Andrew Ryan before him (or after him, depending on perspective), Tesla has created a microcosm in which scientific freedom is unrestricted, with disastrous outcomes. Rose’s first impression is of a quarantine sign at the entrance to a still, dead ship, but she presses on regardless in search of her lost sister.

With Close to the Sun, developer Storm in a Teacup aims to provide an intense horror experience. The Helios holds none of BioShock’s shotguns or Plasmids. Instead, players have no means to defend themselves, with gameplay focusing on hiding from and escaping the threats on board.

Check out OnlySP’s final review of the game here.

RAGE 2

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

For anyone to whom the slow, meditative approach does not appeal, Bethesda is busting out the big guns with the long-awaited, little-expected sequel, RAGE 2.

This time around, id Software has tapped Just Cause and Mad Max developer Avalanche Studios for assistance in developing an open-world game. The result, if the trailers are any indication, is a breakneck, neon-fuelled experience that focuses on insanity and ramps up all the unique aspects of the earlier game.

One focal point of development has been ensuring the interconnectedness of the game’s structure, and the teams have promised a greater focus on narrative this time around. Perhaps in keeping with that, RAGE 2 is being distanced from its predecessor, taking place 30 years later with a new protagonist and a whole new story, though some callbacks will be present.

Although id’s legendary first-person gunplay is a driving force throughout the game, it will be supplemented by some light RPG elements, robust vehicular combat, and post launch challenges and support (though the developers deny that RAGE 2 is designed with a games-as-a-service model in mind).

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Out on the same day as RAGE 2 is the vastly different A Plague Tale: Innocence. A historical adventure, the game challenges players with overcoming obstacles with brains rather than brawn.

Players become Amicia, an orphan girl struggling to survive in a plague-infested medieval France while also keeping her younger brother safe. With the landscape rife with rats and members of The Inquisition, one of the core tenets of gameplay is reportedly the need to use these threats against each other. As such, though Amicia has a sling to use, the gameplay is designed more as survival puzzles than combat ones.

Developer Asobo Studio is not a household name, though it has a lengthy history of adaptations and support on major titles, including Quantum Break and The Crew 2. Furthermore, even though A Plague Tale is yet to release, publisher Focus Home Interactive has displayed remarkable confidence in the project by extending its partnership with Asobo.

Honourable Mentions

Although RAGE 2 is the incontestable action-blockbuster of the month, gamers in search of another kind of frenetic may want to wait until May 21, when Curve Digital drops American Fugitive, which has a more than passing resemblance to the earliest Grand Theft Auto games. Alternatively, PlayStation VR owners may want to look into Blood and Truth come May 28.

Sega also shines this month, dropping Team Sonic Racing on May 21 and Total War: Three Kingdoms two days later.

Anyone looking for an RPG has indie’s answer to The Outer Worlds, Within the Cosmos, to look out for on May 30, while those looking for slower stories get the latest episode of Life is Strange 2 on May 9, Observation on May 21, and the fjord-noir Draugen at a yet unspecified date.

Have we forgotten anything that you’re excited for? Let us know down below or on our Discord server.

Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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Editorial

Single-Player Gaming Picks For April 2019

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Single Player Games April 2019 SteamWorld Falcon Age Days Gone

Our apologies for trying to mislead you yesterday about where you should spend your money this month. The time has come to address that wrong and deliver what truly are the most eye-catching games of the coming month.

Falcon Age

Release Date: April 9, 2019
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR

Despite appearing briefly during PlayStation’s debut State of Play presentation, Falcon Age continues to fly under the radar for many gamers because of that VR connection. However, developer Outerloop Games is maintaining maximum accessibility by ensuring that the game can also be played without PSVR.

Falcon Age begins on a world strip-mined and culturally devastated by the uncaring actions of robotic colonial invaders. Enter Ara, a young woman who, while in prison for a minor crime, befriends a baby falcon. The pair escape together, and so begins an adventure of rebellion and resistance.

As players explore the desolate landscape, they will have to raise, train, and take care of their avian companion. Players will also engage in first person combat, with the falcon taking the traditional role of a ranged option. The gameplay trailer embedded below also points to the inclusion of some light survival mechanics.

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech

Release Date: April 25, 2019
Platforms: Switch

The SteamWorld series continues late this month, with developer Image & Form Games once again shifting gears to deliver a card-based RPG.

As may be expected from that brief description, a core gameplay loop is the collection of cards to increase the offensive capabilities of the party. Alongside that progression mechanic, however, is an XP system more traditionally associated with RPGs.

Anyone who has played one of the developer’s previous games will be familiar with SteamWorld Quest’s humorous tone and penchant for robot-oriented puns. Also returning is the eye-catching cartoon aesthetic that has aged so well, even from the low-res series debut SteamWorld Tower Defense on the 3DS.

Early impressions of the project have led to rapturous enthusiasm, with Hardcore Gamer claiming that “[i]t will not only be fun, but it might also be a turning point for games.” While SteamWorld Quest is only scheduled to launch on the Switch for the time being, most previous series entries have eventually made their way to a multitude of platforms.

Days Gone

Release Date: April 26, 2019
Platforms: PlayStation 4

Lacklustre early showings of Days Gone raised concerns that it would be an awkward, less interesting cousin to Sony’s more invigorating projects, such as God of War and The Last of Us, though Bend Studio has turned that impression around.

More than 12 years have passed since Bend Studio last worked on a console project, with the intervening period being filled with portable spin-offs to the Resistance and Uncharted franchises.

Days Gone is far more ambitious than those titles, though. Indeed, a key point of difference from most of Sony’s first-party offerings is the systemic nature of Days Gone’s design. Melee, gunplay, crafting, dynamic weather, vehicle customisation, fuel management, spatially aware AI, and stealth comprise just some of the multitudinous moving parts of the experience. Coupled with those elements are a massive open world and an estimated playtime in excess of 30 hours.

However, fans of the narrative-driven approach are not left out, as the game will also include around six hours of cutscenes, as biker protagonist Deacon St. John tries to survive in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombie analogues called Freakers.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Outside of these three headliners, April is chock full of single-player-pleasing games. Strategy fans have the espionage thriller Sigma Theory: Global Cold War on April 18 and Imperator: Rome, the latest grand strategy project from the team behind Stellaris and Crusader Kings II, on April 26.

Meanwhile, Vambrace: Cold Soul and Zanki Zero: Last Beginning hold down the RPG fort, the former without a specific date yet, but the latter on April 9.

Platformer sequel Super Meat Boy Forever is also expected out this month, fans of campy action have Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain to look forward to on April 11, and anyone still anxiously waiting for a Burnout sequel should look to Dangerous Driving on April 9.

Finally, story gamers get the choice of Victorian-era mystery Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey on April 5 or archaeology adventure Heaven’s Vault on April 16.

Have we forgotten anything that you’re excited for? Let us know down below or on our shiny new Discord server.

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