While many equate the beginning of autumn as the inevitable return to schooling, there are a select few that find themselves overwhelmed for completely different reasons. Whereas textbooks and notebooks account for the bulk of money spent for the more studios types, gamers will find themselves lighter in the wallets due to the usual slew of fourth quarter release dates that developers tend to favor. From the span of weeks between September 1st and October 31st alone, gamers are typically looking at a list of releases that includes over 25 reputable titles. For 2012, this rule is no different.
Below are just a few of the hottest pre-holiday games (September – October) that have undoubtedly caught my.
September 18th, 2012
Set five years after its predecessor, Borderlands 2 hopes to follow the typical sequel stigma of “bigger and better”. Pitting players in the shoes of one of four playable heroes, the sequel follows an adventure that has these new heroes rescuing the vault hunters from the original in an effort to stop Pandora’s new leader, Handsome Jack.
Though the new cast resembles the old in terms of basic skill sets and abilities, new additions like dual-wielding and an ability known as Phaselock (disables enemies and keeps them from attacking) help to keep these characters fresh. Borderlands 2 will see a slew of new enemies as well as some fresh faces, with the bulk of the threat coming from Handsome Jack’s Hyperion forces.
A deluxe edition of the game is being sold for $99.99. True vault hunter’s will enjoy the Marcus Kincaid Bobblehead, comic book download, a Borderlands 2 art book, a map of Pandora, and bonus digital content.
Resident Evil 6
October 2nd, 2012
Of course, Resident Evil 6 was bound to make this list. On top of being a new entry into one of the hottest franchises of the current generation, everything about it just bleeds pure awesome. Four-player co-op, Agent Hunt mode, Mercenaries Mode, ResidentEvil.Net – not even looking at the new gameplay mechanics, the sixth installment of the Resident Evil console titles already promises to deliver. Playing as series’ favorites Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield, as well as Jake Muller, a newcomer with a familiar past, gamers will span the globe in an effort to eradicate the virus once and for all.
Releasing on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, retailers including GameStop and Amazon will be selling a must have $89 version for each system. Archives for the 360 will come with Resident Evil Code Veronica, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition, and Resident Evil Degeneration. The Anthology, releasing for the PS3, will include Resident Evil: Directors Cut, and Resident Evil 2 – 5.
October 9th, 2012
If there were an award for “Surprise of the Year”, it would have been given to Dishonored for its announcement at 2011’s E3 expo. The game’s developer, Arkane Studios, is most likely best known for its work on Bioshock 2 and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, but both titles already look like they will pale in comparison to what Dishonored has in store.
Taking place in the industrial city of Dunwall, Dishonored puts gamers in control of Corvo Atano, a former guard of the Empress who has since taken the role of infamous assassin. After the royal lady he is sworn to protect is murdered, Corvo is framed as the prime suspect and is given a chance at redemption from a mystical being known only as The Outsider. Imbued with abilities beyond the scope of normalcy, an arsenal of weapons and gadgets, and his own stealth / combat abilities, Corvo sets out to right his name and exact revenge.
Though the concept may not be the most original out there, how Arkane Studios implements it will be the key selling factor for Dishonored. Labeled as a first person stealth action adventure title, Arkane also promises hints of role playing elements, including character upgrades and moral-based decisions. Dishonored is very much so lined up to be 2012’s biggest surprise.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
October 30th, 2012
Admittedly, games like Assassin’s Creed III or the Zone of the Enders HD Collection probably deserve a bit more attention than yet another entry to the declining franchise that is Need for Speed, but there was a certain charm with the 2005 release that causes this title to warrant my attention. The open world setting of Criterion Game’s Burnout series lends itself to this Most Wanted revamp which moves from the city of Rockport to Fairhaven City.
One feature that has seen a complete overhaul since the original Most Wanted is the series’ multiplayer. On top of the use of Hot Pursuit’s Autolog, Most Wanted will feature a mode that puts cross compatibility in the limelight. Allowing players on differing consoles to compete with one another, Cloudcompete brings to life a concept that many developers should start using more often.
Will Most Wanted blow people away? Most likely not, but it is bound to provide plenty of logged “cop chase” hours.
Some honorable mentions include Professor Layton and the MiracleMask (3DS; Oct. 28), which stands as the Professor’s second to last entry as the title character; LittleBigPlanet (Vita; Sept. 25); the throwback XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Xbox 360, PS3; Oct. 09); Silent Hill Book of Memories (Vita; Oct. 16); and LEGO: Lord of the Rings (Xbox 360, PS3, Vita, Wii, 3DS, PC; Oct. 30).
Of course, those with a limited budget must be picky about what games they pick up, so consider these titles the author’s personal choices. As previously stated, the fall season will be littered with 25 reputable titles, which doesn’t include new IP’s and games that stand little chance of standing out.
Below is a list of releases, from September through October (stay tuned for a “Holiday buyer’s guide”, which will cover November – December), that are worth dropping some cash on.
PS3 / XB360
NHL 13 09/11
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 09/11
FIFA Soccer 13 09/25
Dead or Alive 5 09/25
Angry Birds Trilogy 09/25
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse 09/25
Pro Evolution Soccer 09/25
NBA 2K13 10/02
Just Dance 4 10/09
Harry Potter for Kinect 10/09
Doom 3 BFG 10/16
James Bond: 007 Legends 10/16
Forza Horizon 10/23
MoH: Warfighter 10/23
Assassin’s Creed III 10/30
WWE 13 10/30
Need for Speed: Most Wanted 10/30
Zone of the Enders HD Coll 10/30
Kirby’s Dream 09/16
Just Dance 4 10/09
DS / 3DS
Angry Birds Trilogy 09/25
Pokemon Black Version 2 10/07
Pokemon White Version 2 10/07
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning 10/23
Ragnarok Odyssey 10/16
The Sims 3 Supernatural 09/04
WoW: Mists of Pandaria 09/25
What games pique your interest? Do you think you’ll be finding your wallet to be a little lighter than normal by November?