As Evan pointed out the other day, PC gaming has been a little quiet here at the start 2021. While the year’s engine warms up, I’ve been tooling around in our GOTY from last year, Death Stranding, and waiting for whichever Cyberpunk 2077 update people tell me fixes enough stuff that I should give it a go. (I did check out one new game recently, The Medium, and it’s cool, but perhaps not my style.)
Over the next couple months, things are going to speed up a little. I’m very interested in Valheim. The Viking theme isn’t super exciting to me, but I do very much want to build longships with my friends. Nuts, a game about squirrels, is a must for me as a squirrel enthusiast (I was very sad last year when a ground squirrel moved out of a hole in my back yard). Hellish Quart (pictured above) also caught my eye as a Bushido Blade fan, and further along in March, Yakuza 6 and Evil Genius 2 are standouts.
Below are the games still to come this winter, and at the bottom, a few that are further out. For a more complete view, see our full 2021 PC game release date calendar.
Valheim | February 2 (Early Access)
This Viking-themed survival game could be quite cool. It’ll drop us into a procedurally-generated world for up to 10 players, where we can build bases and longships, hunt and fight. Yes, it involves chopping down trees. Chopping down trees is still fun, though! (Chris may disagree with me on that.)
Nuts | February 4
In another article, we described this game as a “squirrel surveillance mystery,” and I can’t think of a description for Nuts that sounds more fun than that. I’m keen to play this one.
Nioh 2 | February 5
Nioh 2 is already out on PlayStation 4, where it was met with acclaim last year. The PC version had a few issues when Wes previewed it, but some of them should be fixed up before release.
Hellish Quart | February 16 (Early Access)
This is a “physics based, realistic, 3D sword dueling game set in 17th century,” say the developers. It’s got local multiplayer, and supports Steam Remote Play Together, but doesn’t include built-in online multiplayer—a tough thing to get right in fighting games, to be fair. As a big Bushido Blade fan, I’m excited for this one. (Terrible name though!)
Little Nightmares 2 | February 10
We liked the first game, a horror platformer in which you play as a tiny girl in a horrible, oversized vessel called The Maw. No big departure here: You’re a little boy in another spooky world with the same ‘LittleBigPlanet gone wrong’ vibe.
More February games to check out:
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake | March 18
I can’t remember if The Sands of Time is a 2003 classic because it’s brilliant, or because it was 2003 and we were easily impressed—I haven’t played it since then. Perhaps we’ll find out when this big remake on the Assassin’s Creed engine comes out.
It Takes Two | March 26
The next game from A Way Out director Josef Fares, It Takes Two is a weird one. It’s local co-op, but supports Steam’s Remote Play Together feature, and involves a couple dealing with their relationship problems after being transformed into dolls.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life | March 25
The Dragon of Dojima is back again. Following Yakuza: Remastered Collection at the end of January, Yakuza 6 is releasing on Steam and being added to Xbox Game Pass in late March—it originally released in 2016 for PlayStation 4. We are truly in a golden age for, well, Yakuza games releasing on PC.
Balan Wonderworld | March 26
Gamers of a certain age and predisposition will know designers Naka Yuji and Oshima Naoto from Nights into Dreams, Phantasy Star, and many of the old Sonic games. They’re back with a game that is very recognizably theirs—a colorful adventure that at least partially involves jumping through rings.
More March games to check out:
Here are a few of the big games scheduled to release this spring. We’ll put together a clearer picture of the April and May release calendar near the end of March.