Pure Xbox - Monthly Preview - April

After a slow start to 2014, March showed up and had us putting in overtime with our Xbox consoles. It was all thanks to games like South Park: The Stick of Truth, Dark Souls II, Thief, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, and Titanfall — which were all either fantastic or, at the very least, good enough to be worth a weekend of your life. So with 31 days of quality entertainment now in the rearview mirror, it's time to direct our attention toward the future.

Welcome to our first-ever Monthly Preview.

In an effort to make your lives easier, we’ve compiled a detailed and comprehensive guide to all the delicious games gearing up to invade store shelves and digital marketplaces in the coming weeks. There may not be as many heavy hitters to go around as last month, but that doesn't mean you won't find enough more-than-promising options on the horizon. So grab a cup of coffee, ready your expectations, and offer a formal apology to your bank account; these are the games coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360 in April.

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate - Deluxe Edition (XBLA)

Release Date: April 2nd in North America & Europe

Initially intended for handheld exclusivity, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is going the way of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate HD and Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD by getting a home console port. This 2.5D action-adventure game puts you into the shoes of Batman as he attempts to restore order in Blackgate Prison following a violent inmate uprising. With HD visuals, a new map and hint system, as well as other tweaks, we'll soon know whether this seemingly superior upgrade will garner better review scores than the 3DS and Vita versions before it — which critics found quite polarizing.

LEGO: The Hobbit

LEGO: The Hobbit (XONE / X360)

Release Date: April 8th in North America / April 11th in Europe

Traveller's Tales is at it again with another LEGO game. Coming to both the Xbox One and Xbox 360, LEGO: The Hobbit focuses on the storylines from the first two films in The Hobbit series. You'll take control of characters like Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey, and Thorin Oakenshield as you guide them through memorable scenes and locations from their famous adventures. And of course, since this is a LEGO game, building and puzzle solving will also come into play. It sounds like a grand time for fans of the The Lord of the Rings franchise, but with so many LEGO games releasing in the past year, the concern is whether or not it will offer anything new.

Kinect Sports Rivals

Kinect Sports Rivals (XONE)

Release Date: April 8th in North America / April 11th in Europe

This is the Kinect game we've all been waiting for. Expected to launch with the Xbox One back in November, the release date was eventually pushed to Spring 2014 so that the developer, Rare, could add polish and ensure no features would have to be compromised due to time constraints. Everything we've seen and played so far suggests the Kinect Sports series is being taken to thrilling new places thanks to the impressive capabilities of Xbox One and Kinect. With tennis, bowling, soccer, wake racing, target shooting and climbing all on offer, it's looking like we're going to be plenty busy channeling our inner champion this April.


Titanfall (X360)

Release Date: April 8th in North America / April 11th in Europe

We already know that the Xbox One version of Titanfall is an incredibly engaging competitive shooter, but with such a tight lip surrounding this port, many wonder how the frenetic experience will translate to the aging Xbox 360 hardware — it’s a fair concern due to how much explosive action litters the battlefield at all times. Shaking up the standard FPS formula with giant mechs, AI squadmates and other complimentary additions, you can bet that if this one lands on the 360 with nary a hitch, you should probably take notice. Stand by for reviews to fall in the coming week.

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (X360)

Release Date: April 9th in North America & Europe
After releasing for the Xbox One back in December, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is now coming to your Xbox 360. This side-scrolling platformer is all about Max saving his younger brother, Felix, from the clutches of the evil madman, Mustachio. Luckily, Max has been armed with an extra magical Magic Marker that will allow players to add platforms and objects into the environment by interacting through Kinect. Although we found these motion gestures in the Xbox One version to occasionally be unintuitive, overall they weren’t problematic enough to sully the final product – we awarded the game a 7/10.

Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut

Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut (XONE)

Release Date: April 9th in North America & Europe
The year is 2299 and the fate of Earth is uncertain. There's a pivotal war raging on in the cosmos and you are one of the planet's last hopes. That's the plot in Strike Suit Zero, an interstellar space shooter from the folks at Born Ready Games. From a third-person perspective you'll pilot the titular Strike Suit, which may come across as a fairly standard fighter craft; however, in those against-all-odds situations, it can transform into a mecha for more devastating effects. Brought to the Xbox One through ID@Xbox — a program that allows indie developers to self-publish their games — it's reassuring to see such promising work begin to surface on the relatively young console. If our eyes don't deceive us, expect one heck of a hypnotic ride.

Trials Fusion

Trials Fusion (XONE / X360)

Release Date: April 16th in North America & Europe

For our money, Trials Evolution is one of the best values on XBLA — that's why this futuristic sequel is catching big air on our most wanted list. Trials Fusion is said to build on the unique physics-based gameplay established by its predecessors, by incorporating a trick system and brand new online modes to add even more depth to a proven formula. Not only will the game be coming to both Xbox One and Xbox 360 in digital format, but a retail copy will also be available — which is said to include a season pass for all upcoming DLC. If Evolution is any indicator, you can expect Fusion to be a game that keeps on giving. With the aforementioned DLC, alongside what's sure to be another thriving community of user-created tracks, April 16th is a date we think you should definitely consider adding to your calendars.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (X360)

Release Date: April 15th in North America / April 18th in Europe
It looks like EA is kicking us a special pass in anticipating of football's most prestigious event. Coming to Xbox 360 — and not Xbox One, for whatever reason — this celebration of the 2014 World Cup is said to feature "the deepest set of game modes ever in an EA SPORTS tournament title." With additions like Road to the FIFA Cup, 50 hours of talk radio, and various gameplay tweaks and improvements, it sounds like this may be the most robust football package to date. Although we can't speak of the overall quality just yet, expect this to be a sure shot for anyone looking to get in the mood for the big event.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (XONE / X360)

Release Date: April 29th in North America / May 2nd in Europe

Running alongside the events of the upcoming blockbuster movie sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will feature a plotline built around series' regular villains like Kraven, Kingpin, and Electro. All of this will once again take place in a sandbox-style New York, where various activities and events can be participated in at will. There's even a new "Hero or Menance" system that is said to reward players for keeping the crime rates to a minimum. With 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man being a massive step in the right direction, we can't help but weave a web of hope around the idea that, at the end of the month, our favorite wall-crawler will return better than ever.

Child of Light

Child of Light (XONE / XBLA)

Release Date: April 30th in North America & Europe

You don’t need us to tell you that Child of Light looks to be a gorgeous, hand-painted work of art. Running on UbiArt Framework – the engine created for recent Rayman games – players take on the role of Aurora, who must face her greatest fears while exploring the fairytale-inspired world of Lemuria. It’s a coming-of-age story built around a turn-based JRPG battle system that looks to feature a surprising amount of depth. From what we’ve witnessed thus far, Child of Light has all the prerequisites of great game, and could send the month of April out with a bang.

Which April release ranks highest on your most-wanted list? (16 votes)

  1. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate  0%
  2. LEGO: The Hobbit  0%
  3. Kinect Sports Rivals6%
  4. Titanfall6%
  5. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood  0%
  6. Strike Suit Zero  0%
  7. Trials Fusion25%
  8. 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil6%
  9. The Amazing Spider-Man 213%
  10. Child of Light44%

Please login to vote in this poll.

So there you have it... those are the games of April. Of course you can expect a few digital surprises to pop up here and there, but we’ve covered everything with a concrete release date. Which of these games are you most looking forward to? Be sure to vote in our poll above before making your way to the comments to participate in the usual bit of friendly conversation.