Ahh Fall; leaves turning, crisp nights filled with festival lights and bobbing for apples…I love fall. Not for those reasons of course. First off, my irrational fear of shallow water excludes me from the standard fruit-bob, and festival lights…really, what’s to like? I’m a bigger fan of autumn because it’s finally cool enough that I can justify sitting in front of my glowing flat screen for hours on end, indulging in all the latest video game releases. Plus jack-o-lanterns are kind of cool too I guess.
This autumn is shaping up to be a memorable one. There are hints of nostalgia, new IPs and a host of indy releases that I’m champing at the bit to get my mitts on. Mmmm variety. So long paycheck and social life! Let’s do a quick rundown of all the treats we can expect in the next few months.
First up is the conclusion of the Gears of War saga, which came out last week and I’ve invested around eight hours in so far. I’ll be honest I’ve never really gone to bat for this series, but there’s something deeply thrilling about an arcade style shoot ’em up like this, plus, as the reviews have pointed out, this release is a lot tighter than its predecessors. Maybe Gears doesn’t have the precision of shooters like Team Fortress 2 or CoD, but seriously what’s more gratifying than bombing a barrier, barreling towards some disfigured monster and hacking it to pieces with a chainsaw bayonet? That’s entertainment!
Next is Rage, out October 4th from the capable hands of Id, the studio that gave us Quake and Doom. For me, this release is nice because I only became aware of it around six months ago, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, I won’t have to tender my excitement over a grueling 12 year development cycle (I’m looking at you Blizzard). Rage looks like a combination of the best parts of Borderlands and the current generation Fallout titles, with vehicle heavy exploration, tight FPS sentimentality and awesome post-apocalyptic design. I will be watching Mad Max on repeat over the weekend to get ready.
Speaking of grueling development cycles and looking at Blizzard, the Diablo 3 Beta is in full force and, while I am one of the faceless rabble denied access to the pantheon of testers, I can tell you that I’ve been combing through YouTube archives and pretending to click my mouse to make it feel like I’m actually playing (forever alone). D3 is your typical dungeon crawler and pits heroes against an endless horde of nightmarish revenants and ghouls. This is one of those games that I’ve waited so long for that my expectations couldn’t possibly be met by the end product…but I’m willing to pretend they do…for a beta key. This game is slated for release in early 2012 proper, so I’ll be waiting with baited pointer fingers till then.
November is a release heavy month, so my suggestion is you start saving now so you can still get your Ma that Shakeweight she wants for Christmas. I personally think she looks great, but hey…
The PS3 exclusive Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is out on November 2nd; the next CoD drops on the 8th(don’t we have enough of these?); Viking-y hack and slash The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim sprints out of the tundra on the 11th; Nintendo drops Super Mario Bros. 3D for the 3DS on the 13th ; then we’ve got Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Saints Row the Third and Halo CE: anniversary on the 15th, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on the 20th as well as the long awaited release of the indy blockbuster Minecraft (look out behind you! sssssssssss) at some point during the month. With a November that chock full, allow me to say what you’re all thinking…….sh*t.
There are ton of other epics waiting to bust down the gates at your local FUNCOLAND (that’s a joke), but I’ll be doing my best to keep up with these releases while bringing you reviews and news henceforth.
By the way, I’m Chris DiMarco, I love video games and I’d love to hear what you’re personally anticipating, and what you plan on doing to keep it from ruining your financial house this Q4. Ramen noodles and Hurricane 40 ouncers anyone?