The games of March 2012

Mass Effect 3 and much more in a strong start to spring

March 20

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: March 23

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City isn't your average survival horror affair, and the input of past SOCOM developer Slant Six Games should make that quite clear. But this multiplayer shooter is arguably more akin to Left 4 Dead than Sony's military franchise, putting players on the side of either the devious Umbrella Security Service or the U.S. Special Ops as they battle for control of the city, all amidst the familiar zombie outbreak. As the Umbrella operatives on the single-player side, you'll hunt down familiar characters from the series (or play as them in the separate Heroes mode), while online co-op takes on the form of a team-based shootout. It's a speedier and more fluid experience throughout, which has us excited to tackle Resident Evil in an all-new manner later this month.

Ninja Gaiden 3

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: March 23

Last month, the Vita got a remake of a remake in the form of Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, but now it's time for something totally new: Ninja Gaiden 3, for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. With Ryu Hayabusa back in action, expect the same kind of familiar and challenging hack-and-slash combat, along with gobs and gobs of gore – plus new quick-time sequences in battle. But the biggest addition arguably comes from the introduction of online competitive play, which serves up chaotic four-on-four showdowns that arrive alongside two-player online co-op trials. Hey, if Assassin's Creed can deliver a pretty awesome online experience, what's stopping Ninja Gaiden? Don't miss our recent video preview of the campaign's first 30 minutes.

Armored Core V

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: March 23

Despite the number on the box, Armored Core V is actually the 14th distinct release in just more than as many years – but after a few years away, perhaps this revitalized entry can burst out of the niche corner it found itself wedged in. Armored Core V introduces much smaller and nimbler mechs, the scale of which should make the stages feel much larger and allow for more stealth opportunities. Beyond that, the game also includes online five-on-five match-ups, with each team led by a captain that issues commands and dictates strategy. It sounds like an interesting twist for online games, and hopefully something that will make this giant robot series stand out for the first time in a while.

Silent Hill HD Collection

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: March 16

It made perfect sense when the Silent Hill HD Collection was planned for a January release; in those near-empty early weeks of the year, this survival horror double-pack could grab a little attention and prime players for Silent Hill: Downpour. But we don't quite get why it's now launching a week after that new entry on the same platforms, at least in North America. Still, the ability to play franchise favorites Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 in high definition with optional re-recorded dialogue should intrigue die-hard fans, and the $40 price is fair for a twin revival. We just hope it doesn't feel like a consolation prize for Silent Hill aficionados who don't dig the big new series release this month.

Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure

Platform: Xbox 360
EU: March 23

It's tough to get too excited about a Kinect mini-game collection at this point, but here's one that we sincerely hope ends up being an amusing little option. Based on five of Pixar's biggest films, Kinect Rush offers numerous little activities based on the likes of Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Up, with Kinect-based actions that require you to use your body to balance, throw food at a giant human boss, steer a fast-moving car, and glide through the air. Considering the mostly excellent source material, we'd love to see something amazing here. Hell, we'll even take something pretty good, as long as it means a little playtime with some amazing cartoon heroes.

Warriors Orochi 3

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: March 30

For those of you still captivated by the Dynasty Warriors brand of historical hack-and-slash action, worry not: the next fix is on the way in the form of Warriors Orochi 3. Continuing the side series that last appeared back in 2008, Warriors Orochi 3 feels even more like a Tecmo Koei mash-up than before by not only combining the casts of Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors, but also including playable characters from Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive, Bladestorm, and other recent titles. All of that should give this third entry an amusing little hook, though we don't expect the core action to be tremendously different than what's been seen time and again.

March 22

Angry Birds in Space

Platform: iOS, Android
EU: March 22

Set to be the next evolution (or at least, light reskinning) of the world's biggest mobile sensation, Angry Birds Space has only been teased thus far with a couple promo clips, with a full unveiling set for March 8. It's been a full year since the last new Angry Birds iteration, so the timing is right, but will this be more than a new set of levels for the hit franchise? Will they use the space setting to toy with the physics and introduce new play elements, or will it just be a fantastical setting for fowl-flinging action? We'll know more in a week, but whatever the case, it's sure to be a smash.

March 23

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
EU: March 23

Nintendo's next big 3DS salvo arrives later this month in the form of Kid Icarus: Uprising, the incredibly long-awaited revival of the beloved 8-bit hero. Uprising takes a surprising form as a third-person shooter, which also includes both online and local multiplayer modes – but based on our last couple of previews, we're feeling more and more confident about this reboot each time we play it. Sure, the core controls seem a little awkward, though the game supports the Circle Pad Pro attachment, but the mix of aerial and on-foot combat actually works well, and it's a serious looker on the hardware. We expected this game a year ago at launch, but we're glad it's on the horizon now; hopefully it matches up to the incredibly extended wait.

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