They say that March comes in like a lion, but in terms of game releases next month? It’s a lot stronger in closing. Of the major titles on the horizon, many come out on or near March 23, making the third week of the month a very busy one if you have broad tastes in games. The highlights of March cover everything from separatist cults in the hills of Montana, to the sand and sparkling waters of tropical, treasure-filled isles, to stunning kingdom landscapes and moody prison cells. Here’s the most exciting of what’s in store.
5. Sea of Thieves
Release Date: 3/20
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
I know at least two things about Sea of Thieves: it’s pretty and it has pirates. Basically, that’s all I need to know. But also, it features cross-platform co-op play between Xbox One and Windows PCs, which is a feature I’d love to see made available with more games (I think the last time I saw that was Portal 2 for PlayStation 3). This will probably factor nicely into the gameplay, which allows groups of adventuring pirates to run into each other as they sail and hunt for treasure.
4. Detective Pikachu
Release Date: 3/23
Who can resist Pikachu with a new hat? A talking Pikachu with a new hat? This adventure game sees our intrepid electric hero befriend a young boy, the player character Tim, and investigate mysteries all over the city a la Professor Layton. Two years following its initial Japanese release, this baffling but adorable title is finally making its stateside a year before the film release.
3. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Release Date: 3/23
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
When the original Ni No Kuni, Wrath of the White Witch came out, it was an instant fan favorite thanks to studio Level-5’s collaborative work with Studio Ghibli and the predictably gorgeous animation. Its major flaw was its sometimes-frustrating combat system, and in this all-new story with a brand new cast, set 100 years after the original story, that has been revamped for what hopes to be a superior RPG experience. And although Ghibli is no longer officially involved, the designer Yoshiyuki Momose and composer Joe Hisaishi, both Ghibli vets who worked on the first game, returned for the sequel.
2. Far Cry 5
Release Date: 3/27
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
The Far Cry series is finally, setting wise, making its way to the United States, and it will be interesting to see how much of its conventions and legacy it’ll bring with it. Already the formula has been tweaked a bit with a new character creator and companion system, not to mention map editing and tamed animals, a feature introduced in Far Cry Primal. Other key staples like beacon towers have also been swapped out for a more unique anecdotal open world play style, so its resemblance to the games we’ve come to know over the years may be faint. Either way, if it recreates the open-ended thrill of exploring a massive new plot of land, it’s sure to be fun.
1. A Way Out
Release Date: 3/23
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
From the creators behind the critically acclaimed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, this prison break story is unique in that it’s strictly split screen co-op, centered on the convenient collaboration between two prisoners as they make their escape. Their puzzle solving and evasion techniques are interchangeable, and players must work together with their partner (either local or online), at times swapping roles as they ahem make their way out. Like Far Cry 4, the game will not require the second player to have a copy in order to join a session.
Holly Green is the assistant editor of Paste Games and a reporter and semiprofessional photographer. She is also the author of Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide To Video Game Grub. You can find her work at Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other videogame news publications.