With the release of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron last week and Madden 13 this week, we at the dawn of the fall AAA release schedule.
Start saving them pennies.
This year is looking like it may be the last big fall season for this console generation, as many are forecasting that Microsoft and Sony will be releasing new consoles next year.
Between this fall and next spring, we should see developers squeeze all they can out of the current hardware, meaning the best technically crafted console games yet.
Besides the annual sports entries, NHL 13 and FIFA 13, in September, we will see the release of Gearbox Software’s highly anticipated sequel to its surprise hit of 2009, Borderlands with....you guessed it, Borderlands 2! With its whacky sense of humour and cell-shaded aesthetic, its loot-based open world shooter formula scratches an itch that most games can’t. Toting more guns, new mechanics, and classes, Borderlands 2 aims to fill its predecessor’s comically big shoes.
October has games to please everyone. To kick it off, on October 2, Capcom’s Resident Evil 6 is a game specifically aiming to do just that by crafting parallel stories into the single-player campaign; promising to deliver traditional survival horror elements as you play as certain characters, and action-heavy sections as other characters. We will see if they pull it off, as initial receptions are lukewarm.
Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2 will follow on the 7th on the Nintendo DS, as a franchise that seems to still have some juice in it. Numbered sequels are rare in the Pokemon universe, so it will be interesting to see what the new iterations will bring to the already robust Pokemon library.
Desmond’s time travelling adventures take him to colonial America this time in Assassin’s Creed III (Oct. 28). It has been a long time since Ubisoft released Assassin’s Creed 2 (2009), and while fans have been treated to AC: Brotherhood and AC: Revelations since then, there are high expectation for the continuation and, hopefully, the conclusion to Desmond’s story. Unlike any Assassin’s Creed game before it, AC III takes place in sprawling woodland environments, with presumably less staggering verticality that the previous iterations had. Still, not much reason to be overly skeptical of Ubisoft Montreal’s development skill as AC II was received very well.
Other notable games in October include the mysterious assassin game Dishonored by Arkane Studios (October 9th), the infectiously fun party game Dance Central 3 (Oct. 16th), the sequel to the hugely popular children’s game Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (2011), Skylanders: Giants (Oct. 21), Medal of Honour: Warfighter (Oct 23), and Need for Speed: Most Wanted (October 30).
November is big, but may end up gigantor according to some recent rumours.
Halo 4 may be the most anticipated game of this year. With 343 industries taking the beloved franchise from Bungie’s able-hands, they spared no expense at delivering the best Halo game yet. Rounding up some of the best talent in the industry over the years, they rebuilt the Halo engine from the ground-up, taking Master Chief to a new world, to fight new enemies, while firing newly recorded gun sounds! Based on the details we have now, a robust single-player campaign is going to be complemented with a huge multiplayer component, including the a glut of competitive modes that progress your character, as well as a mode called Spartan-ops, which is an objective-based campaign that you can play by yourself or with four others.
And of course you can’t go a year without Call of Duty...so Call of Duty: Black-Ops 2 (Nov. 13). Jaded-nerdisms aside, all early accounts of BlOps2 are hopeful, as Treyarch has been saying all along that they have put a lot of thought into evolving the Call of Duty model. The mineral-war-with-China backdrop to the campaign actually sounds like it could be interesting, if not terrifyingly prognostic. With promises of new, interesting multiplayer additions, let’s hope the full package doesn’t end up being like the mind-numbingly familiar, explosion-thon Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was last year.
As for that rumour, there are rumblings that Nintendo’s new console, the WiiU, may be released in mid-November. Conflicting reports are surfacing from all over the place, but as they say: Where there’s smoke...there’s Nintendo being coy for the 40 billionth time.