2015 in video games is beginning to heat up, with a great mix of huge AAA titles, one-man indie projects, and a few that fall somewhere in between.
Here are 10 games worth checking out this month:
1. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Platforms: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PC
Release Date: March 10, 2015
80s synth music, neon colors, and gruesome violence combine for another trip down the Hotline Miami rabbit hole. The gameplay is almost identical to the original, albeit expanded through three difficulty modes and 13 playable characters. And weirdly enough, the developer has stated that this will be the final Hotline Miami game. Where will we get our hyper-colorful violence now?
2. Ori and the Blind Forest
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Release Date: March 11, 2015
This indie platformer blew everyone away when it was revealed at last year’s E3, and it’s not hard to see why. The game boasts a unique and vibrant visual style, and gameplay inspired by Rayman and Metroid. Microsoft clearly intends this game to be a statement of how dedicated the publisher is to bringing indies to the Xbox community, and from what we’ve seen so far, it’s a damn good start.
3. Sid Meier’s Starships
Release Date: March 12, 2015
A spin-off of Civilization: Beyond Earth, Starships puts you in control of a fleet of spacecraft, exploring the galaxy and dealing with alien and human factions through diplomacy and military action. The game places a heavy emphasis on customizing your fleet, giving you the ability to upgrade and configure individual ships as you progress. If you already own Beyond Earth, the game will also feature cross-connectivity features that connect the two games.
4. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: March 13, 2015
It’s been described as a steampunk Advance Wars, but that’s not giving this game nearly enough credit for its creative design choices and visual flair. The game takes place in a fantasy-inspired London, with players leading the defense against an alien invasion. Aiding your cause will be a mix of historic and fictional characters such as Abraham Lincoln, Tom Sawyer, and the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. To make things even cooler, the game is also compatible with certain Super Smash Bros. amiibo figures, allowing you to scan in new characters such as Marth and Ike.
5. Battlefield Hardline
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Love it or hate, Battlefield is an annualized franchise now. At least with Hardline they’re mixing it up a bit, swapping out the military theme for battles between law enforcement and criminal outfits. Hardline will also see a return of the Levolution mechanic from Battlefield 4, as well as a much bigger focus on the singleplayer campaign.