This week in PC game releases (April 15 to 21), we’ll see Anno 1800 start a new voyage. Likewise, World War Z brings out its undead hordes, and Konami’s Arcade Classics might provide some nostalgia. Heaven’s Vault from Inkle also releases along with many others.
World War Z
- Release Date: April 16
- Developer: Saber Interactive
- Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
It’s crazed zombies and co-op. What’s not to like? Well, we’re going to find out soon enough once World War Z releases this week. Saber Interactive’s co-op action game versus the undead is based on the Hollywood blockbuster. That means 28 Days Later-esque runners, and near limitless hordes of them. It’s quite different from the novel where Zack is a slow and shuffling menace, and the focus was on humanity’s reaction and adaptation as opposed to gunfights and explosions.
That novel probably won’t translate well into a game, and the movie with all its trappings might be more intriguing to the gaming audience. That’s why World War Z will have several character classes such as a medic, a heavy weapons expert, and someone who likes throwing explosives. From various locales around the world, you’ll not only face off against zombie packs, but you can also challenge other squads in PvPvZ combat.
Will Saber Interactive find success in this endeavor? If they do, we’re hoping that momentum would carry over to their future projects, such as a very ambitious game set in the Warhammer 40K universe.
- Release Date: April 16
- Developer: Blue Byte
- Publisher: Ubisoft
The Anno series has been around for over two decades. Blue Byte’s expertise when it comes to strategy and management hybrids (including The Settlers franchise) has been invaluable. And that leads us to their latest offering — Anno 1800. This time around, the focus is on the Industrial Revolution, and how you’d manage your citizenry with the upheavals of the time period.
Anno 1800 takes you on a journey from dust and smog-filled islands to the paradise of the New World. Along the way, you’ll meet new characters as you uncover the mystery of your father’s unfortunate fate. There’s also a sandbox mode where you can eschew the plot and just play the way you’d want to. Anno 1800 emphasizes a balancing act when upgrading your citizen workforce, as well as looking to their needs and happiness. You’ll also focus on your resources, city-building, and logistics while balancing it with trade to make a buck.
Unfortunately, it does have a number of flaws. In our technical review, I noted performance drops despite being above the recommended specs. Meanwhile, in our official review, I mentioned distracting pop-ups, opaque mechanics such as trade value, and poorly implemented naval combat. Still, Anno 1800 provides an engrossing experience and one that can easily lead to countless hours lost in a relaxing romp.
- Release Date: April 16
- Developer: Inkle
- Publisher: Inkle
In Heaven’s Vault, you play as an archaeologist seeking to discover the secrets of the past. You can do this by deciphering a lost language. That, in itself, seems like a barely intriguing prospect until you realize that it’s also made by the creators of 80 Days and the Sorcery! game adaptations.
Inkle has made a name for themselves among the indie crowd given their artistic exploration and game design. For instance, 80 Days was named by TIME Magazine as its Game of the Year in 2014. The Sorcery! series, made by Steve Jackson, has enthralled gamebook/RPG fans for decades, and it eventually made its way over to digital format. Inkle looks to replicate their past success with Heaven’s Vault which, apparently, has a “fully adaptive narrative” that remembers every choice and discovery you’ve made.
Other Games This Week
One Finger Death Punch 2 (April 15) – From Silver Dollar Games, take out numerous other stickmen via simplified controls but complex skill timing and mechanics in this brawler.
Katana Zero (April 18) – Made by Akiisoft, Katana Zero (seen above) has fast and stylish 2D side-scrolling, platforming action. Well, that’s a mouthful. One will probably die quicker in the game before managing to repeat all of that. Just like Hotline Miami, it’s one hit and you’re dead.
God’s Trigger (April 18) – This top-down shooter from One More Level will have an Angel and Demon team up to eradicate countless baddies.
Konami Anniversary Collection: Arcade Classics (April 19) – As part of Konami’s 50th Anniversary, you’ll get to play old classics like Lifeforce, TwinBee, Gradius, and more.
Next week’s PC game releases will be bloody. NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat 11 arrives in stores. Likewise, we’re already halfway through April and March is over, but the long march to the empire is just beginning. That’s because Paradox Interactive’s Imperator: Rome has something for the aspiring general. We’ll see you then.