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Editorial

Single-Player Gaming Picks For March 2019

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Single Player Games March 2018, Occupation, Devil May Cry 5, Outward

2019 seems to be another year that just keeps on giving for single players. A bevy of big names are hitting store shelves in March, but the potential indie gems should not be overlooked.

The Occupation

Release Date: March 5, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Four years in the making, The Occupation may well be one of 2019’s most overlooked games. White Paper Games’s Ether One stunned critics back in 2014 with its memorable atmosphere and meaningful narrative, and The Occupation promises repeat that success.

Set in an alternate 1987, the game casts players as a journalist researching a government Act that promises to strip away citizen rights. However, the path to be taken is entirely up to the player’s discretion. Regardless of the actions taken, the game takes place across four hours—played out in real time.

As such, each character in the game world has a set routine, but player actions are able to upset the normal cycles, providing ample room for experimentation and replayability.

More details about The Occupation are available in OnlySP’s interview with creative director Pete Bottomley from earlier this year.

Devil May Cry 5

Release Date: March 8, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

After a six-year hiatus (eleven ignoring DmC: Devil May Cry), gaming’s greatest demon slayer returns.

Dante is back, accompanied by Nero and new character V for another bout of over-the-top action. This time, V approaches Dante for help in stopping a fresh outbreak of demon mayhem. Meanwhile, Nero is drawn into the fray through his search for the person who took his Devil Bringer arm.

Each of the three protagonists will have unique gameplay styles. As ever, Dante brings an extensive arsenal that demands pinpoint precision of the player. Nero’s sword-and-gun combo is bolstered by the Devil Breaker prosthetic arm, which has a multitude of functions. Meanwhile V is a summoner, preferring to use demons to fighting on his own.

Devil May Cry 5 has been a dream of fans for many years, but whether its excesses can top those of Bayonetta remains to be seen.

Outward

Release Date: March 26, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Triple-A RPGs get all the attention, while more modest entries in the genre (the likes of ELEX, Two Worlds, and Seven: The Days Long Gone) often fly under the radar. Outward falls into the latter category.

The lack of hype belies an experience that seems to demand players rethink their conception of an RPG. Rather than a hero, the player character is an ordinary person, fragile and prone to death in the dangerous fantasy world of Aurai.

Notably, developer Nine Dots Studio has gone all-in on the survival aspects, meaning that players will have to eat, sleep, and stay healthy in a world where disease is as dangerous as the wildlife. One other key feature is the absence of experience points. Instead, players will have to pay trainers from across the world to improve their skills.

While the scope of Outward has been pared back during the development process, the developer still promises that a single playthrough could take up to 40 hours.

Honourable Mentions

In addition to Devil May Cry 5, action aficionados are no doubt looking forward to the partnership between FromSoftware and Activision, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which launches on March 22.

Nintendo will also be busy during Reggie Fils-Aimé’s last month as president of the company, launching Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn on 3DS on March 8 and Yoshi’s Crafted World on Switch come March 29.

Meanwhile, city-builder fans will have the chance to once again step into the shoes of El Presidente when Tropico 6 launches on March 29.

Also, March 26 brings about the end of the long, tumultuous saga of The Walking Dead, when the fourth and final episode of The Final Season, ‘Take Us Back’, draws Clementine’s heartwrenching story to a close.

Let us know below what you’ll be picking up next month, and be sure to follow OnlySP on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

 

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

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.

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