Five video games to play this year

From sequels to spinoffs, here are some of the best video games to grab from the shelf.

1. “Horizon Zero Dawn”

Feb. 28

There are two words one needs to know when learning about this game: Robot. Dinosaurs.  This game is a PlayStation 4 exclusive that Sony is hoping will start to push the sale of the PS4 Pro – the latest, more “high def” version of the console. The game certainly looks amazing though not just its alluring metallic beasts, but in its fantastical environment as well.  This game, developed by the minds behind the “Killzone” series, expands the companies’ range as they venture into the open world RPG (Role-playing game) arena.  Players are put into the shoes of Aloy, a human outcast who has left her tribe to search for the lost history of her futuristic Earth.

2. “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”

March 3

Nintendo seems to be very confident in this title, as it is pretty much the only full game that will be available for the new video game console The Switch, when it releases on March 3.  It also seems that they have all the reason to.  Nintendo is taking on their most popular characters and taking him into the open world.  The idea of an open world Zelda game is tantalizing to fans everywhere and from what we’ve seen from the world, it certainly looks fantastically beautiful.

3.“Yooka Laylee”

April. 11

Game developer Rare put out hit after hit in the late ’90s and early 2000s with titles like “Donkey Kong Country,” “Conker’s Bad Fur Day” and the Nintendo 64 hit “Banjo and Kazooie.” After Microsoft purchased the company, it all came to a head when sequels like 2008’s “Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts” were released and it was nothing like any of the original games.

(Photo courtesy of PLAYTONIC.)

Playtonic, made up of almost entirely former Rare employees, put forth a Kickstarter for this 3-D collection adventure of “Yooka Laylee” in May of 2015 with a goal of $215,000. Within 24 hours, it became the fastest video game in Kickstarter history to reach $1 million. The hype has been building up since we’ve gotten a look at what seems to be the nostalgia filled goodness fans were hoping for when “Nuts and Bolts” was released.

4.“South Park: The Fractured but Whole”

Release Date Unannounced (2017)

When “South Park: The Stick of Truth” was released in March of 2014, it was a surprise hit to many.  “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone worked hard behind the scenes to put together one of the most faithful TV to video game adaptations ever.

The game used the same animation style as the show and cast the player as a new kid in town, able to travel to all the recognizable locations in South Park, Colorado. Now in the sequel, your status has been reset to zero as all the kids have moved on to embrace the fad of superheroes. The surprise of the first has certainly built up a following that can’t wait for this game to come.

5. “Red Dead Redemption 2”

Release Date Unannounced (2017)

The last time Rockstar released a game it made roughly $800 million in the first day it came out, with “Grand Theft Auto V” becoming the fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion.

While “GTA V” was released five years after its predecessor, “Grand Theft Auto IV,” the original “Red Dead Redemption” came out seven years ago.  Setting the standard for the western video game genre as soon as it was released, no game has come close to “Red Dead Redemption’s” gameplay, scenery and storyline.  You could race wagons, ride bulls and, of course, get into some good old-fashioned gunfights. While the release date has not been officially announced, here’s to hoping it’s closer to today than 2018.