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NieR Replicant and Returnal breathe life into the quiet month of April

No April Fools joke here.
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Following a pretty slow month in March comes a rather stacked lineup for April, thanks in part to some titles that have been delayed from their original release dates.

Starting our month off is Outriders, delayed from an early February release but following a demo with a save carryover feature, April starts out big. And did we say that Outriders will come to Game Pass on day one?

Another big release comes later in the month – the new remaster for NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…, a remaster that would take everything that made Nier Automata great and will retroactively apply it to its predecessor. A stunning Lunar Tear edition is also set to release for fans and collectors!

Ending the month is Housemarque’s rogue-like bullet hell Returnal, PS5’s biggest exclusive since Demon’s Souls, ending a six month drought of finding exclusive games to play for the popular console. It’s definitely Hades with a gun in space, but it’s so much more than that as it combines a harrowing personal story with a rogue-like bullet hell shooter from the makers of Resogun and Matterfall.

Here are our some of the games we’re looking forward to this month.

Outriders

Release Date: April 1, 2021
Platform: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One X|S

In this explosive action-RPG, Outriders tells of the humans who have migrated to the planet of Enoch where they’ve merged with “the anomaly”, granting them abilities but in the process, rescinds their humanity. These humans who have mastered these new powers have become “Outriders”, explorers able to traverse the lands outside the settlements to either conquer the planet in their own right or aid their comrades to survive.

I’m glad there was a demo for this game and it came at a good time in between all the remasters and re-releases, quenching the thirst for a new IP at a time plagued by delays and cancellations. From my experience with the demo, the title is fun enough, but it’s nothing groundbreaking. With nothing really going on, it’s as good as a time as any to get on board this looter shooter.

Oddworld: Soulstorm

Release Date: April 6, 2021
Platform: PS5, PS4, PC

Just like Destruction All Stars, it is the free game on offer on PS Plus this coming April. One thing I do like that will be offered for this game is the feature on the haptic feedback on the Dualsense. If it brings more immersion into their 2.9D platformer and also utilizing the allies you help out, it’ll be a fun ride indeed.

SaGa Frontier Remastered

Release Date: April 15, 2021
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC, Mobile

Another classic from the original PlayStation is coming back, so prepare to delve again into the 8 different protagonists and their own unique stories to weave an adventure worth revisiting.

MLB The Show 21

Release Date: April 20, 2021
Platform: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One

If I can get through life without playing a baseball game, I would, but what really excites me about this game is that it is the first Sony Studios game that will grace the Xbox. Say wuuut? Run that by me again, Vince. The first Sony Studios game releasing for the Xbox.

Atelier Mysterious Trilogy DX

Release Date: April 22, 2021
Platform: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC

Out of all the Atelier games, the Mysterious Trilogy has been my entry point, which I also spent the most time one, most notably, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book. Not only do you get Atelier Sophie but also Firis and Lydie & Suelle as well. Also they include all the available DLCs and brand new content, mostly for Atelier Sophie including a mature costume (whatever that means) and a brand new episode. Seems like a good deal.

Judgment

Release Date: April 23, 2021
Platform: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Stadia

While I have mixed feelings about this game, you can’t go wrong with the quality of life features on a next-gen platform including crisp graphics, 60FPS performance mode, and of course lightning speed loading times. So dust off that leather jacket, it’s time to revisit Kamurocho on the side of the law! Well not really, but y’know, you’re not Yakuza…

Pick of the Month: Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139…

Release Date: April 23, 2021
Platform: PS4, Xbox One X|S, PC

Yoko Taro hasn’t fully realized Nier as a concept when it released in the early 2010s. At best it was a generic Action-RPG in the line of Square Enix’s lackluster releases for the Xbox 360 such as the forgettable Infinite Undiscovery and the unplayable The Last Remnant. Now that Nier Automata back in 2017 was lauded as “a perfect game” by its diehard fans, from the trailers alone, the re-imagining of the original feels a much realized game with the Yoko Taro stamp.

New Pokemon Snap

Release Date: April 30, 2021
Platform: Nintendo Switch

Pokemon‘s definitely come a long a way and with this year celebrating their 25th year anniversary, surely there are games in there somewhere. While this title serves more as a wildlife photography simulator rather than a full-on pokemon trainer battle, it hearkens back to the Nintendo 64 classic, but this time on the Switch. It at least gives you something to do before Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl comes out.

Pick of the Month 2: Returnal

Release Date: April 30, 2021
Platform: Playstation 5

With Demon’s Souls as the only true PS5 high profile exclusive for the system, Returnal satiates the need for a new exclusive almost six months from launch. With a mysterious backdrop and eerie plot that reminds me more of Control without the eyestrain, Returnal invites us into its foreboding world and quite possibly shows off some of the capabilities of the PS5 early after its launch.

Fantasian

Release Date: TBD Spring 2021
Platform: Apple Arcade

This game could’ve been an easy pick for April, but I’m holding off on it for two reasons. First, while it is rumored that it may release on April 16, we have no way of knowing if it’ll be released at all this month or some time next month. Next, it’s exclusively on Apple Arcade and I don’t know how many people have access to an Apple device. Yet, it is the next game from Mistwalker and hopefully it’ll release on Nintendo Switch at the very least.

*Disclaimer: Release dates may be subject to change.

Author

Vincent Ternida moved Vancouver, Canada in 2006 and called it home ever since. He spends the lockdown catching up with his Japanese RPGs, writing his new manuscripts, and figuring out why he suddenly became the main character of the latest Haruki Murakami novel.

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