We’re in the second week of October already, which means the Fall gaming season is already underway. This season is absolutely stacked with huge releases and a console launch by Nintendo. For us gamers, there is a ton of stuff to be excited for this season and that means hurting wallets and crying bank accounts. The above banner features the box art for 10 games coming out over the next two months, but even that is just a small sample of what’s going to be available over the Fall season.
The Wii U launches on November 18th and it has an amazing launch line up ready to propel Nintendo into the HD-era and possibly welcome back the so-called “core” gamers. The juggernaut that is Call of Duty is back with the second installment of Black Ops, and this looks to be the most inventive Call of Duty game in years. Old favorites are returning with XCOM and Hitman, Assassin’s Creed and Halo, while new IP’s like Dishonored and ZombiU look to show everyone that there’s plenty of room for non-sequels.
Three members of the TVE staff looked at the Fall gaming season, saw all that terrific games that are coming out over the next couple of months, and decided it’d be a good idea to try and break down all the goodies to pick one game that we’re most excited for. The end result has narrowed the outstanding Fall gaming schedule down to just three titles (the most wanted for each of the three staff members). Two are coming this month, one is coming next month. Joining me (Editor-in-Chief Gary Smith) is our Game Reviews Editor Brian Hall and News Editor Eric W. Without further ado, lades and gentlemen we present TVE’s Three Most Wanted Games of Fall 2012.
Dishonored, Arkane Studios, Bethesda, October 9th (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
And now I present what you’ve all been waiting for, the shortest write up in this feature…Sandman presents Dishonored:
In a pretty well loaded fall release season, Dishonored has to be the title I’m most looking forward to. There is plenty to choose from, but Dishonored is a brand new title from Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks. So in addition to being something fresh, it’s published by Bethesda, the same people that have brought us The Elder Scrolls series, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, Brink, and Rage among other games. Bethesda brings us high quality gaming entertainment, so that immediately gives Dishonored a major boost.
So what we have here, is a first person stealth game in the fictitious city of Dunwall. We will play as the former bodyguard for the murdered Empress, Corvo Attano. As one might expect, Attano is framed for her murder and is an all around bad ass in terms of skills, 19th century gadgets, and what are sure to be some fun powers to unleash.
So anyway, we’re in 19th century Dunwall, and the Empress has been killed. Naturally the government is a bunch of jerks that holds down the poor. Oh, and there’s a plague too, and the government uses this as an excuse to isolate themselves from the poor, and to do some purging as they see fit. Attano is given a chance for revenge by a character known as The Outsider who grants Attano magical abilities.
While the game is designed to be a more stealth in nature, you can be more brazen in your play, however you can also subdue enemies using non-lethal force. In addition, apparently some of the magical abilities can be combined to do some more awesome stuff, though I’m not sure if that means you can combine two or more of your own abilities, or if you have to combine one of your powers with one from another character. Either way, it should be interesting.
Those of you that have been with us for a while know that I’m not the word-smith that Gary, Eric, and Jules are. I’m also not a salesman, my day job is actually in an accounting office, so I’m basically varying levels of nerd 16-18 hours a day. Nevertheless, I firmly believe this game is going to be seven layers of awesome. I kind of feel like this is a different take on Assassin’s Creed, but with magic included. Now that is a pretty high standard to live up to, and it may very well greatly disappoint me and fall flat on it’s face. However, I just do not see that happening, I’m confident this game is going to kick some serious ass.
Assassin’s Creed III, Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft, October 30th (PS3 & Xbox 360), November 18th (Wii U), November 20th (PC)
I’ve made it no secret here on TVE over the past few months that my most anticipated game of the year is Assassin’s Creed III. I don’t think I’ve ever been as pumped for a game as I am for the next Assassin’s Creed title. For starters, I absolutely love the Assassin’s Creed games. It has quickly become my favorite franchise of the current generation of consoles (possibly even of all time). So I was naturally hyped for “the next Assassin’s Creed game” from the moment I beat Revelations last year. But then the Assassin’s Creed III reveal happened and totally shot my excitement through the roof.
I loved visiting accurate representations of Jerusalem, Damascus, and Acre in Assassins’s Creed. I enjoyed the beautiful Italian cities and Constantinople even more (especially Rome in Brotherhood). But I wasn’t expecting the setting for Assassin’s Creed III at all, and would never have considered it giving the franchises love for big buildings and parkour across the tops of those buildings.
I enjoy history, particularly early American history. My favorite time period in colonial American history is the 1770s and the American Revolution. I’m a big “fan” of several of the Founding Fathers and the idea of liberty and everything the American Revolution stood for in fighting against a tyrannical Empire. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, and to a lesser extent George Washington, are all Founders that I like. We know three of those four will be in Assassin’s Creed III, as the game will be set during the American Revolution.
My favorite game franchise is going to allow me to experience, in part, my favorite historical time period. The Boston Tea Party, we’ll get to partake in it. We’ll be there fighting alongside George Washington at Valley Forge. We’re going to get to roam the streets of an accurate colonial Boston and New York. Frankly, I can’t think of anything that could possibly be better than what Assassin’s Creed III should be.
But it doesn’t just end there. Assassin’s Creed III does have a distinct Red Dead Redemption feel to it (even though the game was in development before RDR came out). For the first time in the franchise’s history, we’ll be able to carry a bow and go hunt wild animals. Skin them and sell their meat and pelts. My favorite game, possibly of all time, has been Red Dead Redemption. I pumped in well over 200 hours into the single player of the game alone. For a large portion of that time, I was simply enjoying hunting in the game. I’m excited that I’ll now be able to experience something similar in my favorite franchise.
They’ve could’ve stopped there and I would have been over-the-top giddy with anticipation. But they didn’t. They’ve got an all new engine for Assassin’s Creed III that will be able to accommodate thousands of NPC characters on the screen at the same time; we’ll actually be able to witness large scale battles between two armies. They’ve added a great looking free-roaming naval battle, and a ton of new animations. Frankly, I don’t see how a gamer couldn’t be excited for Assassin’s Creed III. It is, without question, the biggest game of the year as far as I’m concerned.
And that’s just the single player. The multiplayer also looks vastly improved. I love that they’ve remapped the stun button to the kill button and removed the prompt that gives you away, and that you’ll need a cooldown if you miss. No longer will players be able to charge after you to get a stun because they saw the stun prompt appear above your head, nor will they be able to spam the stun button. It’s going to be a glorious time. The new abilities look good, and the new King of the Hill style game mode also looks like it should be fantastic. But as far as multiplayer goes, I’m most looking forward to the new Wolfpack mode. It’s the first time an Assassin’s Creed game has featured co-op, and I couldn’t be happier about that.
I’m one of those gamers who prefers co-op over competitive. Campaign co-op, which Assassin’s Creed III does NOT have, is fun and all but I actually do prefer the horde style wave-based co-op (which is what Wolfpack is). Now I don’t intend to touch the multiplayer of Assassin’s Creed III until after I’ve devoured every bit of the single player (I intend to platinum this one as I have the previous games in the series), but once I 100% the campaign I can guarantee that I will spend a ton of time with the multiplayer and more than likely a large portion of that will likely go to Wolfpack mode.
Assassin’s Creed III hits stores on October 30th for PS3 and Xbox 360, and I’ll be there day one for PS3. It’s coming to Wii U on November 18th, and PC on November 20th. It’s so close now, and frankly I can’t wait to finally get my hands on this. Epic doesn’t even begin to describe how awesome I think Assassin’s Creed III is going to end up being.
Hitman Absolution, I/O Interactive, Square Enix, November 20th (PC, PS3, & Xbox 360)
It’s been a long six year wait but myself and a lot of other people but a new Hitman game is finally upon us come this November. I’m really not sure why it took IO this long to get around to it since the series has always been a glowing success on all platforms. It originated as a PC exclusive title so many PC gamers like myself have a special affinity for this series that goes back to its very beginnings with the first title. The Hitman series has been known for bringing stealth gameplay options and making people be patient and creative in ways you simply can’t do in other games.
Early on the hype train for the new Hitman game made it look like a very good looking Splinter Cell Conviction clone with Agent 47 in it. People like me were concerned with footage involving Batman Arkham City style Xray vision and clearly a more action oriented approach. We also were concerned with a trailer involving crazed nuns that suggested more run and gun blam blam action.
Thankfully these impressions were wrong as plenty of other media has clearly indicated that, mercifully, all the xray vision and hints can be turned off and Hitman veterans can play this game in what the developers have called Purist Mode the way we want to. Quite frankly, Purist Mode is the only way to go for a real Hitman experience and I can’t recommend that enough to everyone. No HUD, no x ray powers, no hand holding, no kiddie BS the way it’s supposed to be.
There will be stealth and many choices for accomplishing missions the way it’s supposed to be.
I’m a Hitman fanboy. It’s sad. At least once a year I have to fire up at least Blood Money for a jaunt and often times Contracts and Silent Assassin as well. The games are permanent residents on my hard drive.
So this is going to be a homecoming for me in a gaming level and I know I speak for a lot of other Hitman fans out there with that.
It looks like IO has done it right in the end. I loved Splinter Cell Conviction for what it is but I don’t want Hitman to just be a clone of that. I want Hitman to BE Hitman and I’m satisfied that’s going to be the case so I’m very excited. There is a gaming mechanic that’s making its round that came from Splinter Cell Conviction and in Hitman Absolution it’s called point shooting. This is a fun, neat mechanic if it’s put on a tight leash and especially in a Hitman game. I’m glad this perk will come fairly heavily penalized in Hitman so it doesn’t get overused.
I’m hoping this new online Contract Mode isn’t like Skyrim’s radiant AI where players are given the same handful of things to do with the same people over again into eternity. That’s pointless, boring, and an insult to player intelligence. My advice to any developer starting with Bethesda themselves is never do this again and instead allot the resources to more meaty in game material.
Other than that, I’m stoked for this concept that assures some level of increased replay value no matter what. Online is a bonus for me because I’ve had tons of replays on the earlier Hitman games and plenty of other single player only games.
To give this mostly fanboy praise-a-thon write up some balance I’m going to bring up a remaining item that’s a sore spot of disappointment for Hitman fans who have waited 6 long years for a sequel.
Originally IO had shunned/given the boot to both Agent 47 voice actor David Bateson and longtime series composer Jesper Kyd. I’m happy to report that in late August there was enough fan backlash that IO wised up, caved in, and brought back Bateson to voice Agent 47.
As of this writing, amazingly, they have not brought back Jesper Kyd and I think that’s a wretched creative decision.I encourage fans to continue to make noise about this because it’s not too late. Jesper could be brought in for post production very soon to get this thing all wrapped up on time but there isn’t a lot of time left.
Not having Jesper Kyd on a Hitman game is like not having John Williams on a Star Wars game in essence. It’s a senseless and stupid creative decision that still makes me have a sense of caution in the back of my mind about what other creative decisions I might run into in what otherwise looks to be a stellar game that will most likely deliver the goods.
IO: We’ve waited six long years for you to get around to making us a new Hitman game. Please finish this thing all off properly and give us Jesper Kyd’s music, another essential character, and do this thing right. Thanks.
There’s a lot of great games coming out between now and year’s end but if I’m forced to make a choice about the one game that arguably means the most to me personally, and especially after a long sorely overdue 6 year wait, then it has to be a new Hitman game. Hitman Absolution is at the top of a very close list of a small handful of titles for me.
There’s truly something for every gamer coming out during this Fall season. The above three games are but a small sample, but they are our individual most wanted games of Fall 2012. It’s an exciting time to be a gamer; every week offers up something that should at the very least be considered good, and of course we’re all eagerly awaiting the November 18th arrival of Nintendo’s Wii U.
What about you guys and gals, which games are you looking forward to that are coming out over the next couple of months? Be sure to let us know in the comments below, or over at our Facebook page that you should totally like (seriously, only a couple of days left to like the page and be entered for a chance to win NBA 2K13. In case you missed it earlier, we’re also giving away a copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown next Monday, so go register for a chance to win that down in our forums. That’s two of Fall’s big games that we’re giving away, so make sure you like/follow us for your chance to win something.
Here’s a proper list of games coming out this month through December, courtesy of Game Informer:
Resident Evil 6 – October 2
NBA 2K13 – October 2
Pokémon Black & White 2 – October 7
XCOM: Enemy Unknown – October 9
Code of Princess — October 9
Dishonored – October 9
Dance Central 3 – October 16
Doom III: BFG Edition — October 16
Skylanders: Giants – October 21
Medal of Honor: Warfighter – October 23
Street Fighter X Tekkan (Vita) – October 23
Forza Horizon – October 23
Killzone Trilogy — October 23
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask – October 28
Assassin’s Creed III – October 30
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation – October 30
Need for Speed: Most Wanted – October 30
Nike+ Kinect Training – October 30
Sports Champions 2 – October 30
Zone of the Enders HD Collection — October 30
WWE 13 – October 30
LEGO The Lord of the Rings — October 30
Halo 4 – November 6
LittleBigPlanet Karting – November 6
NASCAR The Game: Inside Line – November 6
Paper Mario: Sticker Star – November 11
Call of Duty: Black Ops II – November 13
Wonderbook: Book of Spells — November 13
Wii U Launch – November 18
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II
- Skylanders Giants
- Transformers Prime
- Wipeout 3
- Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
- FIFASoccer 13
- Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition
- New Super Mario Bros. U
- Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
- Nintendo Land
- Sing Party
- Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
- Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
- Darksiders II
- Assassin’s Creed III
- ESPN Sports Connection
- Just Dance 4
- Rabbids Land
- Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
- Scribblenauts Unlimited
- Game Party Champions
- Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two – November 18
Disney’s Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion – November 18
Hitman: Absolution – November 20
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royal – November 20
Persona 4 Golden — November 20
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – November 20
Far Cry 3 – December 4
Guardians of Middle-earth — December 4