April 2021 Highlights

It’s an interesting month. If you believe the rumours, lots will be happening in April.

Delays, rumours, changes – it’s hard to keep up with everything these days. So this month is another video game heavy month, as that is all I have mostly concrete release info about.

Even PAX AUS 2021 ticket sales I can’t put in here. The launch in March was delayed due to a server meltdown, and I am guessing that ticket sales will be available after the Easter break. But they may have even already gone back on sale by the time this is live. What fun times!

But there is a heap of things I am still looking forward to, so lets look at my April highlights.

Outriders – April 1st

PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series

Online multiplayer ‘shoot to collect the bigger number loot’ game. Doesn’t sound like a game I would be excited about, does it? And yet, I keep coming back to check out trailers.

There is a demo for Outriders already out, and I haven’t tried it. I was tempted to, and then a bit of news came out. Outriders is coming to Game Pass day one. So, guess how I am going to try it out?

I loved playing Destiny 2 with Harls until the grind got to me. Developers People Can Fly have made a statement that elevates Outriders for me. This isn’t a game as a service – it’s a ‘game’ best played multiplayer. There is a start and a finish.

You aren’t encouraged to play Outriders for multiple hours a day to collect resources, just to enjoy playing with your team. Compared to Destiny/The Division and the like, Outriders seems closer to a dystopian sci-fi Borderlands experience.

So early April, I might see what SpookedShibe is up to and if she wants to give it a whirl with me, especially as it is cross-platform. I suspect I will be playing on PC rather than Xbox One, and I know she will prefer to play on her Xbox Series X.

New Pokemon Snap – April 30th

Switch

I don’t have the nostalgia factor for Pokemon Snap like a lot of players do. Skipping the Nintendo consoles personally for years, I didn’t play the original game.

What I did do was spend hours with my niece and nephew as they played. While one person played their game, I would concentrate on what was happening in the background, looking for secrets.

New Pokemon Snap won’t be for everyone. The idea of the game is to take pictures of Pokemon. That’s it – just take pictures. No battles, no Gym Badges, just exploring an island and taking happy snaps.

Why am I looking forward to playing it? Because there are nights when you want to play a game, but you don’t want to be overly challenged. I think New Pokemon Snap will take the spot Animal Crossing: New Horizons did for just chilling and unwinding.

Returnal – April 30th

PlayStation 5

I keep getting Returnal confused. I could have sworn it was delayed until next year. Well, that’s another game. Returnal comes out at the end of April, and I am keen to give it a play.

Returnal won’t be a game for everyone by its nature. It’s a psychological horror shooter, kind of like Dead Space. Curiosity piqued. There are rougelike elements, so levels or areas are randomised. No walkthroughs to help you find things!

One of the reasons I am so curious about Returnal is I recently discovered I have all 3 Dead Space games, but I have only tried the first one years ago on my PlayStation 3. I knew I wanted to play the series, but it has remained on my back catalogue and then promptly forgotten. I am guessing I have the trilogy thanks to a Steam Sale – those things are dangerous!

Returnal isn’t Dead Space, but it feels like a spiritual successor, and I am curious about the story. I might not play it on day one, but I will be watching reviews with great interest and nab it at some point.

Octopath Traveler – ALREADY RELEASED!

Switch, PC, Xbox One/Series

OK, This is a cheat entry, no denying it. Octopath Traveler is a huge ‘old school’ jRPG from Square Enix and blew up on the Switch when released two years ago.

In a pleasant surprise last month, Octopath Traveler was announced for Xbox and PC. And not only that, it’s included in Game Pass!

Octopath Traveler is a niche game, no denying it. A large niche, but the pacing and playstyle still aren’t for everyone. The playstyle is slow, which puts off a lot of players these days. Coupled with a vast amount of stats manipulation (if you want to go that path), and you have a game that is arguably harder than a SoulsBorne game while boring the players to death!

Octopath Traveler is beautiful, even if the art style is considered basic by many. The only performance benefit on Xbox and PC will be load times. Honestly, the Switch is, in my opinion, still the best home for Octopath Traveler.

But. Many gamers may wish to give Octopath a try but don’t have a Switch or be willing to spend the full cost on a gamble. So, not only can many more gamers try Octopath Traveler, and they can do it for free with Game Pass!

My excitement isn’t about the game itself these days. It’s the fact that many more gamers can experience this fantastic game, basically risk-free. Many people will probably decide that this style of play isn’t for them, but more people will discover a gem. That’s always worth looking forward to.

So that’s what is on my radar for April. Well, all that is confirmed at least. Lots of rumours about things announcing next month, but that’s rumours. I am going to wait patiently and see what else happens this month.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD
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