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Hogwarts Legacy, Like a Dragon Ishin, and More: February Games on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X

What are the biggest games in February 2023? After last month’s drought, February is shaping up to be a solid month for video game launches, with plenty of big titles scattered throughout. Up first is the much-anticipated Hogwarts Legacy on February 10, where you’re whisked away on a whimsical journey into the 1800s wizarding world, to live out a fantastical life within the magic-laden castle, the dense Forbidden Forest, and a whole lot more. In what feels like EA’s response to the Monster Hunter franchise, Wild Hearts kits you with ancient tech to bring down fearsome beasts, infused with the ferocious powers of nature. It releases on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X.

Those looking for co-op action can head on a trip to the cannibal-infested hellscape of Sons of the Forest, to scavenge for resources and learn to survive in the ever-hostile wilderness. Studio Endnight Games pulls all stops at creating some of the most disturbing horrors imaginable, and with the sandbox world now being four times bigger than the original, stakes are bound to get higher. It’s out February 23, exclusively on PC. A little before that, join the legendary samurai Sakamoto Ryoma’s revolution in Like a Dragon: Ishin!, as you deflect bullets with your trusty katana, gamble away savings, manage a restaurant, and force-feed red hot pickles to enemies. Unlike series protagonist Kazama Kiryu, Ryoma kills people, so be prepared for some bloody attack combos in this remake, coming to all major platforms.

The 41 Most Anticipated Games of 2023

With that, here are the eight biggest titles coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X in February 2023:

Hogwarts Legacy

When: February 10
Where: PC, PS5, Xbox Series S/X

This highly anticipated action RPG has seen two delays, and versions of the game for older consoles and the Switch are scheduled to arrive in the coming months. However, if your PC specifications are up to scratch, or if you have a current-generation console, you will be able to jump into the wizarding world and leave your Muggle status behind with Hogwarts Legacy, attending classes at the iconic school of witchcraft and wizardry.

It’s worth noting that the game is set in the 1800s, which means it’s a century before Harry Potter, or the Boy Who Lived, ever sets foot in Hogwarts. You’ll also start in the fifth year. You will hold the “key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart”. While the game won’t allow you to participate in a Quidditch match, areas like Diagon Alley in London, the Forbidden Forest, and the village of Hogsmeade can be visited.

Like other popular games, you will be able to customise your character’s appearance and pick a school house of your choice. Once you start to “attend” classes, you will be able to perform spells, brew potions, tame magical creatures, and engage in combat (or duels) with your classmates. You can also level your character up using in-game challenges to gain experience points. Hogwarts Legacy was also nominated as the most anticipated game of 2023 at The Game Awards 2022.

Returnal PC

When: February 15
Where: PC

Returnal is the latest in the line of PlayStation exclusives being ported to PC, plunging you onto the mysterious planet of Atropos. In it, you play Selene Vassos, a space pilot stuck in a bizarre, mind-numbing time loop, whose mysteries can only be revealed by participating in roguelike missions where you gun down hostile aliens in bullet-hell-fueled clashes. Forced to restart the journey each time she dies, you’ll discover that the planet and loot change, urging you to come up with ingenious builds that’ll help you last longer in the field.

The PC version comes with a host of improvements, including upscaling methods for both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards, support for ultra-wide monitors, and ray-traced reflections — absent on the PS5 version. Additionally, expect unlocked framerates and an FOV (field-of-view) slider, neatly packaged with an in-built FPS counter. Same as other PS–PC ports, Returnal will also feature support for the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback.

Watch the Features Trailer for Returnal, Coming to PC

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In Returnal, you’re stuck in a bizarre time loop that resets each time you die
Photo Credit: PlayStation

Wild Hearts

When: February 17
Where: PC, PS5, Xbox Series S/X

In the heartlands of Azuma, a fantasy landscape inspired by feudal Japan, thrives a group of oversized animals that have undergone a unique evolution by fusing with nature, and creating havoc with their elemental attacks. In Wild Hearts, players assume the role of a skilled hunter adept at the lost art of Karakuri — a life-sustaining technology that helps create life-size sophisticated tools that are ideal for combat and traversal across the sprawling map. Your job is to hunt those enormous monsters using ancient tech such as firecrackers to stun and a giant bamboo copter to deal aggressive damage. The idea is to craft tools on the fly, akin to Rust, and unload them onto the Kemono (beasts), which in turn yields loot and other raw material.

The included weapons are far from the regular affair, with items like a staff, which can bloat in size to become a greatsword, resulting in slower, but massive chunks of damage. If the encounters in Wild Hearts get too imposing to tackle alone, feel free to team up with up to two other players in seamless co-op, who can help take the heat off you. Similar to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, there also seems to be a deathblow mechanic added to bosses, wherein simply knocking them down doesn’t guarantee death. So, make sure you in for that finishing hit.

Watch the Gameplay Trailer for Wild Hearts

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Wild Hearts feels like EA’s take on the Monster Hunter franchise
Photo Credit: Koei Tecmo Games

Like a Dragon: Ishin!

When: February 21
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio is widely known for developing Sega’s popular and beloved Yakuza franchise of action-adventure titles. The Yakuza series has seen many spin-offs — most recently Judgment and Lost Judgment. Now, RGG Studio is remaking Like a Dragon: Ishin!, originally released only in Japan as a spin-off of the Yakuza series as a launch title for the PS4 in 2014. The remake will finally bring the beloved spin-off to audiences outside Japan.

Like a Dragon: Ishin! is a historical adventure set in Japan in the 1860s, where players will step into the shoes of Sakamoto Ryoma, a real-life samurai from the Edo period in Japanese history. Players will take up the venerable samurai’s sword and fight for their honour to clear their name off murder. In the process, they will also solve the killing of their father and change the future of Japan. Armed with a katana and a revolver, players can experience a variety of combat styles typical to Yakuza games and gain experience via side quests and exploration to unlock new abilities. In true Yakuza fashion, Like a Dragon: Ishin! Will feature a host of distractions and mini-games like gambling, Karaoke, and a combat arena.

Atomic Heart

When: February 21
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X

A utopian world where super-powered robots and hybrid mutants pose a threat to the harmony between metal and flesh. It is up to you to take arms and uncover the mystery behind the mysterious rebellion of robots. Atomic Heart is an FPS RPG that is set in an alternate time in the 1955 Soviet Union.

Armed with a power glove, blades, and cutting-edge weaponry, you will have to adapt your playstyle depending on the varying enemies. There is also an in-depth crafting system to further bolster your arsenal.

Sons of the Forest

When: February 23
Where: PC

Survival horror video games are having a bit of revival. The upcoming Sons of the Forest, sequel to 2018’s The Forest, is promising to turn up both aspects of the genre — survival and horror. The first game had the premise of Lost, Damon Lindelof’s seminal TV series, with an added element of cannibalism. The sequel follows the protagonist — you — who has been sent to find a missing billionaire on a remote island. Of course, the rub is that the island is infested with cannibals.

Players will have to scavenge, craft, and kill their way to survival and escape in this open-world survival horror simulator. The game will allow players ample freedom to approach it the way they want, keeping quests and progression flexible. Human-like mutated creatures and other monstrosities will stand in your way. The focus will be on crafting and building survival gear and shelter, but players will also have an arsenal of weapons at their disposal — pistols, axes, stun batons, and more. The game will feature both summer and winter weather systems and food resources will become scarce as the temperature drops. So, make sure you stock up! The game will also feature a co-op mode, where friends can share resources, work together to build shelter, and bring back up while exploring the island’s hellscape.

Company of Heroes 3

When: February 23
Where: PC

Relic Entertainment’s upcoming strategy game will let you control the Allied Forces as they invade Italy during World War 2. You can also control the Axis armies in North Africa as part of this real-time battle game. You will be able to control air, ground, and naval forces, according to the developer. The game will feature highly improved destructible elements, allowing you to see bricks falling off buildings that have been destroyed.

With Company of Heroes 3, you can utilise a new Tactical Pause system which does exactly what it suggests — it lets you pause the battle for a short while, queue up lethal instructions for your troops, and then watch as they are executed with precision once you resume the game. There’s a new Dynamic Campaign Map that promises “sandbox-style” gameplay for better control of the battle while calling for help from specialist units like the American-Canadian Special Service Forces, or the Gurkhas from the Commonwealth

After you try out the campaign and skirmish modes in the game, you can also jump into the fast-paced multiplayer mode. Relic also claims that no two playthroughs are ever alike on Company of Heroes 3, and you will have to utilise different strategies to deal with different geographies and local terrain in Italy and North Africa as you lead your forces to victory in this upcoming RTS title.

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe

When: February 24
Where: Switch

Play solo or invite up to three of your friends to join you on an adventure across Planet Popstar. Pick from Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight, or Bandana Waddle to help Magolor rebuild his ship. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is a remake of the original platformer that was released back in 2011.

The game features over 20 returning Copy Abilities, along with a couple of new ones — Mecha and Sand. You can also join forces with other players for powerful team attacks. It also includes a collection of subgames that can be played in co-op to earn in-game rewards.

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