Who would have thought last time that so much could happen in four and a half weeks? Weeks that have felt more like six months. If time seems to stretch out in front of us, and there is plenty of time on the couch ahead, there are more than enough titles releasing soon to keep single player gamers entertained. Two of these “new games” are in truth remakes — and though we hope to see brand new entries in Final Fantasy and Resident Evil someday, these epic remakes will do fine for the time being. Today, we’re talking about Resident Evil 3, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Gears Tactics.
Resident Evil 3
Release Date: April 3, 2020
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One
Resident Evil is the old faithful series: Even when they are off-piste and aping Michael Bay, the games have the best monster designs around, combined with exquisitely over-the-top characters. The third entry, however, is considered somewhat of a weak point.
Though it introduced the charismatic and terrifying antagonist Nemesis (STARS!), Resident Evil 3 was designed more as a spin-off than the next step for the series, shorter, more linear, and more of an action-focused title than Resident Evil 2.
For some fans, Resident Evil 3 represents an interesting middle ground between the survival horror of the first two titles and the action adventure of Resident Evil 4. For others, the game is a sideshow, a companion to Resident Evil 2 and not much more.
This week’s release seems to remake many of these features from the original Resident Evil 3, for better and worse. The game is smaller than 2019’s Resident Evil 2 remake, does not feature a two-character scenario, and mostly repurposes the previous game’s excellent Mr. X for the new version of Nemesis. Still, “more, but not quite as good” has not stopped sequels in the past from pleasing fans who just need another hit of the formula, and RE2 was a truly stellar game.
Even if RE3 follows in the original’s footsteps, as simultaneously a more bombastic and less distinctive romp through Raccoon City, there is plenty to like about it. Capcom’s graphics prowess and knack for designing great scares mean that, from a presentation perspective, RE3 promises incredibly polished action horror.
There also exists a whole other pressure in the real world that may or may not impact gamers’ propensity to enjoy a tense, disease-based thriller right now. As with the upcoming The Last of Us Part II, some may enjoy indirectly addressing a real world concern by experiencing it in-game. Others may wish to stay away for the time being and play something more obviously unreal and fanciful.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Release Date: April 10, 2020
Platform: PlayStation 4
If a single player gamer seeks a more heightened and fanciful world, Final Fantasy VII Remake might just fit the bill. This is a story where environmental terrorists go up against a big corporation that is destroying the planet — and actually make a difference. Complete fantasy. In any case, the return of arguably the most impactful JRPG of all time is not to be sniffed at.
Final Fantasy VII Remake appears poised to delight — and hopefully surprise — all but the most stringent purists. The game’s battle mechanics combine the most successful elements of several recent entries to the series: including a return to the Active Time Battle (ATB) system, player control over all of the characters in the party, and seamless transitions between exploration and action.
Last month’s public demo showed off the game’s gorgeous visuals; teased the remake’s expanded, yet faithful, approach to the original’s Midgar chapter; and demonstrated Square’s latest attempt to blend action into a core Final Fantasy title, with apparent success. We can only hope that the full experience can continue to deliver such excitement for the promised 20-plus hours.
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Platform: PC and Xbox One
Gears Tactics is an interesting prospect for single player gamers in the post-XCOM: Enemy Unknown world of turn-based squad tactics games. Following Mario + Rabbids, Gears is another AAA console-exclusive franchise giving the XCOM-inspired tactics game format its own spin.
Of course, Gears was pretty well gift-wrapped as a tactics franchise, with four-man teams of chunky fortress-style men and women stomping around excellently balanced maps, ducking away from enemies’ suppressing fire. Yet, while the game uses familiar verbs and mechanics, Gears Tactics is hardly a reskinned XCOM. More like the aforementioned Mario + Rabbids, the player can choose to attack, move, or use other special abilities in any order — in practice, this offers an enormous scope of freedom to sweep across the battlefield or inch forward in cover.
The game is fully immersed in the world of Gears, with many of its smaller design choices reflecting the bombastic tone, as opposed to XCOM‘s scrappy and horror-inflected one. If developer Splash Damage has successfully captured the soul of the franchise and transferred it to the beloved turn-based tactics genre, Gears Tactics could be its best game to date.
Notable Dates for Single Player-Friendly Games
April 7 — Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories (PC, NS, PS4), Below (PS4)
April 14 — Someday You’ll Return (PC, consoles TBA)
April 24 — Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 – Road to Boruto (NS), Trials of Mana (PC, PS4, NS)
April 28 — Sakura Wars (PS4)
Let us know in the comments which single player games you are looking forward to, and have fun until next month’s Three Single Player Games. In the meantime, you can follow OnlySP on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and join in the discussion on the OnlySP community Discord server.