Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Dragon’s Dogma 2, Rise of the Ronin, WWE 2K24 and More: The Biggest Game Releases of March

2024 is shaping up to be top-heavy for video game release, with major titles like Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League already out of the gates. March promises to be a busy month for video games, too. WWE 2K24 released on March 8, bringing its familiar and fun wrestling playground in an updated package. Team Ninja’s latest action-RPG, Rise of the Ronin, comes out later this month. The developer is known for its gruelling but rewarding Souls-like Nioh series and is expanding the scope this time around with an open-world, narrative-driven role-playing title.

There are a couple of major ports coming this month, too. First up is Hi-Fi Rush, an Xbox and PC exclusive that’s launching on PS5 on March 18. Last month, Xbox had announced its plans to release four of its first-party titles on PS5 and Nintendo Switch. The acclaimed rhythm-action game from Tango Gameworks is first in line. Then, there’s Horizon Forbidden West, finally arriving on PC on March 21, after a two-year exclusive run on PlayStation consoles.

The month’s standout release, perhaps, is Dragon’s Dogma 2, a long-awaited sequel to 2012’s Dragon’s Dogma. The action RPG, developed by Capcom, lets players take on monsters along with their party members in an open world setting. The game arrives March 22 on current-gen consoles and PC. There are several other interesting games from different genres coming this month. Here are our picks for the biggest titles on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and Nintendo Switch in March.

The Thaumaturge

When: March 4

Where: PC

If you are a fan of RPGs and find yourself going back to Baldur’s Gate III, then The Thaumaturge will be right up your alley. The turn-based RPG with a top-down perspective may not match the production value and scale of last year’s blockbuster game, but it certainly punches above its weight in terms of a rich narrative and engaging gameplay. The protagonist of the game is Wictor Szulski, a detective and a thaumaturge investigating the death of his father.

A thaumaturge is a magician who can capture and command a special kind of spirit class known as salutors, who represent a certain human flaw. Once captured, the thaumaturge can use its abilities during battles. The description is enough to highlight the mystic and supernatural genre of the game, however, it has an equal part of historical fiction, as well, as the story moves along Russia-controlled Warsaw under the reign of a tsar.

The dialogue-heavy storytelling helps to build the rich narrative of a complex protagonist, who is waging battles both in the outer world and within himself, but the gameplay is also interesting. The primary combat is turn-based, which gives you ample space to build your own strategies. You will also have to hunt for clues and interact with people to learn the lore and advance through chapters.

WWE 2K24

When: March 8 (March 5 for Deluxe Edition)

Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X

WWE 2K24 arrives right in time for Wrestlemania XL, which is slated for April 6. The annual arcade-style wrestling simulation comes with some new attractions this year. 2K has included four new game modes, including Special Guest Referee, Ambulance Match, Casket Match, and Gauntlet Match. Some of these game modes have not been seen in recent years and will help gamers relive the nostalgia of Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels in a casket match and John Cena vs Kane’s Ambulance match.

A new Super Finisher has also been added, which will let you land an extreme version of your finisher. Single-player fans get two new MyRISE experiences and the new Showcase of Immortals mode, which takes you on a journey through the 40 years of Wrestlemania. You also get to play as more than 200 WWE superstars, including legends such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, Eddie Guerrero, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Macho Man Randy Savage as well as the full current roster. One small downside is that the visual and gameplay aspects have not seen much of an upgrade.

Hi-Fi Rush

When: March 19

Where: PS5

A first-party Xbox title, Hi-Fi Rush released exclusively on Xbox consoles and PC last year and charmed audiences with its rhythm-based action gameplay and its distinct art style. The Tango Gameworks title is finally going multi-platform. Last month, Microsoft announced its plans to launch four of its exclusive titles on PlayStation consoles and Nintendo Switch. Hi-Fi Rush will be the first among those four.

The game’s protagonist, Chai, is a rock star who has a music player embedded in his chest. This allows players to fight in tune with the rhythm of things. Hi-Fi Rush follows every action to the beat, with a colourful art style complementing the vibrant sounds. It arrives on PS5 on March 19.

Alone in the Dark

When: March 20

Where: PC, PS5, XSX/S

After several iterations since the original 1992 game, the 2024 reboot of Alone in the Dark holds on to its classic survival horror roots. You’re trapped in a dreadful home cloaked in mystery and darkness. You must trek through creepy passageways and solve complex riddles to discover the mysteries buried within the walls. You are not alone in these cold surroundings. Sinister beings lurk in the shadows, ready to pounce on unwary victims.

Developer Pieces Interactive brings back Emily Hartwood (Jodie Comer) to Derceto Manor alongside private investigator Edward Carnby (David Harbour). You can choose to play as either of these protagonists, allowing you to observe one situation from two perspectives. Through a series of dialogues, puzzle solving, and combat you will be able to make choices that directly impact the outcome of the story — will you face the fears head-on, or will you take a more careful approach, skirting past the perils that sit in wait?

Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition

When: March 21

Where: PC

The acclaimed open-world action-adventure game from Guerrilla Games is finally coming to PC, two years after its release on PS5 and PS4. As with all first-party PlayStation titles, the PC port is handled by veterans Nixxes Software. If the studio’s excellent PC ports of Marvel’s Spider Man and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart are any proof, Horizon Forbidden West is set to be a polished experience on PC.

The game puts players in the shoes of huntress Aloy, now armed with new knowledge and abilities after her adventures in the first game. Aloy takes on a new threat this time around, while heading west and exploring more tribes. There are, of course, a bunch of new machines to combat and tame. Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition will also include the Burning Shores expansion, offering a definitive package for the story. The game is still one of the best-looking titles on PlayStation and its visuals are sure to shine on high-end PCs. It arrives on Steam and Epic Games Store on March 21.

Princess Peach: Showtime!

When: March 22

Where: Nintendo Switch

Princess Peach is all set to be the protagonist of a game for the first time since Super Princess Peach came out in 2005, and Nintendo is not pulling any punches in making the game as inventive as possible. The action-adventure game is not just a 2D platformer but has many new ways to captivate and engage players. The entire story takes place in Sparkle Theatre, where Princess Peach goes to watch a play but things take a dark turn as Grape and the Sour Bunch attack the venue. The princess must now seek the help of a guardian sentient ribbon called Stella, and gain abilities to play different roles that come with different abilities to save the play.

It is not just the storyline and premise which is unique but also the gameplay. It does have elements of a 2D platformer, but players will find plenty of occasions to break the monotony by climbing up and down a level, exploring 3D arenas, and more. Different levels are thematically designed, and the entire visual experience feels like a play’s background made using wood and cardboard. Princess Peach: Showtime! may feel less like a Mario game because it does not follow the conventional storytelling most fans are used to — there is no Bowser at the end of the road, no Mario to save the day, and Princess Peach is not hidden away in the castle — but it is also the reason the game appears fresh, the puzzles seem to be unique, and the levels reflect the persona of the newest protagonist of the Mario Bros universe.

Dragon’s Dogma 2

When: March 22

Where: PS5, Xbox Series S/X, PC

2012’s Dragon’s Dogma remains a fan-favourite RPG title that brought fresh monster-slaying mechanics, deep role-playing elements, and a diverse open world to explore. The sequel, Dragon’s Dogma 2, promises the same, but at a much larger scale. The open world map is now four times larger than the first game. Players will take on the journey of the Arisen, a dragon-marked hero, just like the first game, and combat monsters with the help of their Pawns.

The Arisen and the Pawns have distinct classes, each with their own abilities. Players take on quests and side activities, hunt all kinds of monsters and abominations and finally take on the dragon. The RPG also allows players to climb onto monsters and target their weak points, in Shadow of the Colossus style. Dragon’s Dogma 2 comes out March 22 on PS5, Xbox Series S/X, and PC.

Rise of the Ronin

When: March 22

Where: PS5

As a wandering samurai, a masterless warrior known as a ronin, you are made to navigate the tumultuous landscape of medieval Japan in the Rise of the Ronin. But this isn’t just any old hack-and-slash adventure; it’s a tale of honour, betrayal, and redemption. As you traverse lush forests, bustling towns, and ancient temples in the upcoming action RPG from Team Ninja, you’ll encounter a diverse cast of characters, each with their own stories to tell.

From cunning ninja assassins to noble samurai lords, the world of Rise of the Ronin is alive with intrigue, danger and a deep combat system. Sure, you can button mash your way through hordes of enemies, but true mastery requires precision, timing, and strategy. The stunning visuals and fluid animations seen in the trailer promise to completely transport you to a bygone era.

South Park: Snow Day!

When: March 26

Where: PC, PS5, XSX/S, Switch

Also published by THQ Nordic after Alone in The Dark, South Park: Snow Day! is as different from a survival horror game as it gets. It is a co-op action adventure which allows you to celebrate a snow day with your friends! Fans of the animated franchise South Park should anticipate its signature brand of irreverent comedy and clever satire to be included in the game.

A blizzard, cancelled school, Cartman, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny. A recipe for madness and mirth. There’s never a dull moment in this snowy paradise, whether you’re building the perfect snow fort with Butters or causing mischief with Cartman while doing daring sledge tricks.

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