Studying haze? Video games be praised! Spring releases to cure your academic blues


Courtesy of FromSoftware, Fraxis games and Capcom

The Dark Souls knight, XCOM alien and Ryu are all iconic images from their respective game franchises. All three will be making reappearances in the next 3 months with the greatly anticipated releases of “XCOM 2,” “Dark Souls 3” and “Street Fighter.”

Devin Schwarz, A&E Editor

Videogaming in 2016 is set to be a collage of diversity and excitement full of sequels, reimaginings and even some things we’ve never seen before.

A number of the most anticipated titles this year have unannounced release dates, but there is still a heavy concentration of exciting games coming out in the first quarter of the year.

“Far Cry: Primal” on Feb. 23, “Tom Clancy’s The Division” on March 8 and “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” on April 26 set out to fulfill your craving for action.

“Far Cry Primal” reinvents the series in a way we have never seen before—instead of self-appointed kings, psychotic pirates or deliberate social unrest, “Primal” takes us back to the Stone Age and has us playing as a simple hunter-gatherer who slowly climbs the ladder of a local tribe in an attempt to lead it. This installment of the franchise will take on even more survival-oriented gameplay than any of its predecessors with finding heat and food being a major concern. The classic gun and vehicle elements of the previous games won’t be found in this title. Instead, players must craft their own weapons and travel on foot or, presumably, on the backs of animals. Husbandry is also a major part of “Primal.” As Takkar, the main character, you’ll use your animal taming skills to rise in power and battle the harsh environment you’re in.

“Tom Clancy’s The Division” and “Uncharted 4” are both new installments that take their respective franchises in new and exciting directions. “The Division” is taking a page from games like “Watch Dogs,” allowing you to manipulate your environment with complex hacking processes. “Uncharted 4” continues the escapades of Nathan Drake. This time he discovers his long-thought dead brother Sam is still alive. This installment is promised by the designers to be his greatest adventure yet.

For retro gamers, the return of Street Fighter Feb. 16 and Ratchet and Clank April 20 is a dream come true.

“Street Fighter V” will bring a variety of new features to the classic franchise, including four new fighters released upon launch. There’s also a new in-game gauge similar to the EX gauge present since “Street Fighter 3.” The aptly named ‘V gauge’ will allow players to perform a number of special moves never before seen in any of the classic characters’ repertoires. 

As a life-long fan of the Ratchet and Clank series, I’m personally brimming with excitement for the upcoming reboot of the 14-year-old action-platformer series. The new game will be more than an HD reboot of the 2002 original; it will feature new weapons, cinematics and a total rebuild of many of the levels. The game’s release will coincide with the film depicting the action-packed lives of the alien and robot main characters.   

“XCOM 2” Feb. 5, “Dark Souls 3” March 24 and “Mirror’s Edge Catalyst” May 24 all fill holes that, for many fans, have existed for far too long.

Dark Souls fans have  the shortest wait since their last title released only four years ago. Mirror’s Edge came second with a seven-year wait. XCOM fans had a three-year wait since the release of the previous title in the series, “XCOM: the Bureau,” although the first “X-com” came out 22 years ago. All three don’t break any new ground in terms of their design or mechanics, but promise to bring their franchises into the next generation with stunning graphics and promises of amazing gameplay.

This school semester will certainly be a hard one to focus as a buffet of games for every type is released. Now’s the time to get your hands on an Xbox One, PS4 or a top-of-the-line gaming PC as there’ll be no lack of games on these systems.