Most people probably think of October through December as the beginning and end of the “holiday season”. I however think of it as the time when most major franchises release their games. I have created a short list of games that I consider to be the major releases this fall/winter and have also included brief thoughts on each one ultimately answering the question, to buy or not to buy.
-Resident Evil 6 (PC, PS3, X360) Release Date: October 2nd
Kicking off the month is Resident Evil 6. After playing Resident Evil 5 I felt like this series was leaving its survival horror roots and moving towards the third-person action genre. Everything I have seen about this game indicates that they are sticking with that trend. I love the Resident Evil franchise but I think that this one is going to be disappointing and I will most likely wait and buy this on a Steam sale; especially since two of what I think will be game of the year contenders come out the following Tuesday.
-Pokemon Black 2 (NDS) Release Date: October 7th
Pokemon is one of those franchises that doesn’t stray too far from the “safe zone”. When you buy a Pokemon game you know going in what to expect. I typically put anywhere from 60-100 hrs in every copy I have played making this a great bang for the buck. Pokemon Black and White 2 will be the numbered sequel to Pokemon White and Black, breaking away from the normal operating procedure for Nintendo and Game Freak. Typically a new generation of Pokemon is released and then there is a follow up game in that generation with a different color. What makes this a direct sequel? I will be sure to find out on the Sunday this game is released, as any Pokemon is a must buy for me.
-Dishonored (PC, X360, PS3) Release Date: October 9th
Since Bioshock Infinite was moved to February of next year Dishonored and the next game on my list are the games I have most been looking forward to this year. Dishonored is a first-person stealth action adventure game set in a steampunk themed city. Arkane Studios and Bethesda haven’t been shy about posting videos of Corvo (main character) in action and it looks like it will be a blast. It has an all star cast of actors for VA including people like Susan Sarandon, Michael Madsen, Chloe Grace Moretz, Lena Headey, and John Slattery. Best of all, this is new IP. I love getting into another universe that doesn’t have a number behind its name. This is a must buy.
-XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC, X360, PS3) Release Date: October 9th
XCOM is a remake of a classic strategy game from 1994. All combat is turn-based with an isometric 3d third-person perspective, it has fog of war, line of sight, destructable environments and it is made by Firaxis. That’s right, Firaxis Games, I don’t really need to say anything else. If it is turn based and Firaxis is making it, I am buying it. This game will feature squads that level up as you play and when killed they die permanently. There is also base building, and an advanced AI that changes each time you attempt a mission. Steam has a demo you can play for free, I recommend trying it out if you aren’t sold. One final word though, Firaxis.
-Mark of the Ninja (PC) Release Date: October 16th
Some might be surprised to see this on my list in October since this game came out in September. However this is the date that it comes out on PC. I didn’t get a chance to play this game before I sold my Xbox 360. It is a stealth game where you play as a ninja in a 2D platforming environment. I have heard it is a lot of fun and will probably purchase it to play later as I will more than likely still be enthralled by either of the previous two games.
-Medal of Honor: Warfighter (PC, X360, PS3, WiiU) Release Date: October 23rd
Medal of Honor is a franchise that was a much bigger deal a decade ago versus today. It is overshadowed by Call of Duty and honestly I think rightfully so. The last Medal of Honor was disappointingly average and seemingly afraid to try anything out of the ordinary. I appreciated the Tier 1 Operator stuff, because I found it to be interesting and it appeared developer Danger Close borrowed the audio guys from Battlefield, which is always a good idea, however it didn’t inspire enough attachment for me to purchase this day one and in fact I will most likely buy this game some time next year (thinking Steam Summer Sale) when it is about half of the original asking price. A benefit to anyone interested however is that a pre-orders garners access to the Battlefield 4 Beta, so there is that.
-Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game (PC, PS3, X360, Wii, PS Vita, 3DS, NDS) Release Date: October 30th
Are you kidding? Lego Lord of the Rings? I personally find the Lego games to be just plain fun. Add in LOTR lore and I am in. I most likely won’t buy this on release because of other games coming out around it but I will be playing this game relatively close to the launch date. Lego bitches.
-WWE ’13 (PS3, X360, Wii) Release Date: October 30th
I have not purchased a wrasslin’ game in years. I think the last one I even played was around 2004 or 2005. For some reason I am excited about this game. It might be simply because it has been a while since I have smashed someone in the head with a metal chair in a ring with thousands of fans screaming, but still I am planning on buying WWE ’13 this year.
-Assassin’s Creed III (PS3, X360) Release Date: October 30th, (PC) Release Date: November 20th
This is the newest installment in what has become one of my favorite franchises. The newest Assassin’s Creed takes place in America during the Revolutionary War. This dramatic difference of setting from Renaissance era Rome should prove to be an exciting change and will more than likely help the game feel fresh. There isn’t much of a reason to not purchase/play this and I think if you have played the first two then you should definitely pick this up.
-Halo 4 (X360) Release Date: November 6th, (PC) Release Date: in my dreams
Halo 4 is a sequel to one of the best selling video game franchises of all time. The only real reason someone might hesitate about purchasing it is that the developer of Halo, Bungie, is not the developer of Halo 4. What I have heard and seen of Halo 4 is that 343 Industries is making all the right moves. The game will feature a new enemy in the Prometheans and will have the same great multiplayer, gameplay and engaging story the originals had. The only reason I am not buying this game is because I sold my 360 and it will more than likely never be released for any other platform (read PC) ever.
-Call of Duty: Black Ops II (PC, X360, PS3) Release Date: November 13th
Another year, another Call of Duty. Modern Warfare 3 was a solid game but the single player campaign felt old and tired. Black Ops was however a very good game and the campaign and story was outside of the normal Call of Duty grind and it appears as though Black Ops 2 will continue that direction. The game will take place in two time periods, the 70’s – 80’s and 2025. Call of Duty multiplayer is always great and for a lot of people is reason enough to purchase this game, I will be buying it for this reason and the campaign as well.
-Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (PC, X360, PS3, Wii, WiiU) Release Date: November 14th
Epic Mickey was a very stylized game from a great video game designer in Warren Spector (Deus Ex, System Shock). Epic Mickey was an action platformer where Mickey accidentally spills ink on a cartoonists paper and tries to use paint thinner to remove it, when this fails the ink blot takes over and creates a wasteland that Mickey is later abducted into. Mickey then has to battle using his paintbrush. Epic Mickey 2 is a sequel and the main difference appears to be the co-operative play either by CPU control or another player. I think if you enjoyed the original Epic Mickey then Epic Mickey 2 is worth playing.
-Hitman: Absolution (PC, PS3, X360) Release Date: November 20th
A lot has been made about this game and the trailer that was released earlier this year. The videos I have seen of game play show a better stealth game than has been released in a while. I enjoy the Hitman franchise but I won’t be purchasing this day one because I will be getting Assassin’s Creed III for PC on this day. I will buy it later on sale or during a lull in releases.
-Scribblenauts Unlimited (WiiU, 3DS, PC) Release Date: November 18th
I loved the original Scribblenauts, mainly because of the ability to bring to life Cthulhu purely to get past the T-Rex I already placed in the game. If you haven’t played Scribblenauts, it is an action puzzle game that requires you to collect Starites by using objects you create to complete tasks. The main difference in Scribblenauts Unlimited is that there will be an overworld that is open to explore. You will also collect Starite shards and supposedly you will learn the origins of Maxwell’s magical notebook that allows you to bring these objects into the world just by writing them down. I will definitely buy this for PC or my DS.
-Far Cry 3 (PC, X360, PS3) Release Date: December 4th
Everything I have seen about Far Cry 3 has made it the FPS I am most looking forward to. It is an open world first-person shooter developed by Ubisoft Montreal. It also has role-playing elements including XP, a skill tree and a crafting system. You play as Jason Brody a tourist who has been stranded on an island that is basically at war with itself. Your girlfriend has been captured and you are fighting against some shady characters that have been trapped on this island for a while. Far Cry is one of my favorite shooter franchises and it has been roughly four years since the last installment, this makes it a day one purchase for me.