Fall is here, and it brings with it the beginning of a steady stream of sure top-sellers in the video game industry. October hosts the release of id Software’s first entirely in-house title since 2004, a sequel to one of the most wonderfully sadistic games of the last decade, the Xbox 360 and PS3’s taste of a previously Wii-only dance title, the triumphant return of the dark knight, and DICE’s true sequel to their genre-defining FPS from 2005.
- Rage [PS3, X360, PC] - October 4th
It’s been a long time since id Software has developed a game entirely in-house. 2004’s Doom 3 was the last time that such a title was released. And with the developer’s track record of games that includes the aforementioned Doom franchise as well as several Quake iterations, a lot of gamers are anxious about Rage. Not only is it the first completely in-house id Software title since 2004, but the storied developer hasn’t introduced a brand new franchise since Quake’s original release in 1996. On October 4th, we all get to find out if id Software’s still got it.
Rage is a post-apocalyptic, open-world FPS. It’s a popular genre these days with Fallout 3 and Borderlands having enjoyed a great amount of success in it. And while it’s tempting to compare Rage to these games, early impressions suggest that the similarities will only go so far. Rage is not expected to contain quite the same amount of extensive RPG elements as its genre brothers, but it is expected to be much more refined as a pure shooter. And from the company that practically invented the first-person shooter, we expect no less.
Thanks to in-game footage already released, one thing we know for sure is that this game looks really, really good. Next week, we’ll find out if it has the gameplay to match.
- Dark Souls [PS3, X360] - October 4th
When the PS3-exclusive Demon’s Souls came out almost precisely 2 years ago, there wasn’t much pre-release buzz. As a result, many felt rather blindsided when it received such critical acclaim, almost as if to say, “Why didn’t you tell me this was coming?”
The game has become famous for its sadistic difficulty level. Demon’s Souls absolutely punishes you the very moment that you become complacent. It could be considered impossible to successfully traverse any level on your first try, and anyone who’s ever played the game would agree. It takes practice - a lot of it - and a thorough understanding of every corner of every stage.
But at the same time, the game is not cheap. If you die (which happens a lot), it’s because you messed up, not because of some insurmountable, impossible situation. And once you learn that, the game becomes incredibly rewarding. So much so, in fact, that Gamespot.com awarded it as Game of the Year for 2009.
Dark Souls is not a direct sequel to Demon’s Souls, but it is its spritual successor. Early footage suggests that it looks and plays very similarly to Demon's Souls, and while very few have had the opportunity to play the finished game just yet, word is that this game is at least as punishing. On that note, if Demon’s Souls wasn’t your cup of tea, you probably won’t be much happier with Dark Souls. But if 2009’s Game of the Year is on your list of greats, then Dark Souls is already on your must-buy list. And on Tuesday, your wait will be over.
- Just Dance 3 [PS3, X360, Wii] - October 7th
Ubisoft’s Just Dance and Just Dance 2 for the Nintendo Wii are the consummate party games. With an original art style and an eclectic collection of songs, they became some of the most popular games for Nintendo’s console.
Now, bad for the Nintendo Wii but good for Ubisoft, Just Dance 3 will mark the franchise’s entry to the HD consoles of Xbox 360 and PS3. Kinect owners will have another great choice for their motion controller and Playstation Move advocates get another excuse to slip on the wrist straps.
Currently, Harmonix’s title Dance Central has a solid hold of the dance genre for the Xbox 360 Kinect. It will be interesting to see if Just Dance 3 can prove to be legitimate competition.
- Batman: Arkham City [PS3, X360] - October 18th
Batman: Arkham Asylum was arguably the best game ever based on a comic book. It was an open-world game in which the player took on the role of the dark night himself as he attempted to restore order to Arkham Island after the Joker had assumed control of it. With hours of gameplay, tons of content, and lots of voice actors from the popular animated series, it was a game that comic fans and non-fans alike fell in love with.
This month, we finally get the sequel. Previews of the game have been encouraging, showing off gameplay that looks even better than the original while not forgetting what made it so much fun to play.
Plus, Mark Hamill has said that Batman: Arkham City will be the last time he offers his iconic voice to the Joker, marking the end of an era. As if there wasn’t enough reason to get this game already.
- Battlefield 3 [PS3, X360, PC] - October 25th
Ever since its lengthy demonstration at E3 2011, the anticipation for Battlefield 3 has been palpable.
Back in 2005, DICE revolutionized the multiplayer war shooter with their release of Battlefield 2 for the PC. With unprecedented 64-player online matches and an RPG-esque progression system, Battlefield 2 provided the archetype that all future war FPS games would follow.
Since that game, DICE released Battlefield: Bad Company and Bad Company 2, which offered developed single-player campaigns to go along with multiplayer modes that were influenced by Battlefield 2 but not quite as ambitious.
In Battlefield 3, we have the true successor to Battlefield 2. This time, there’s a fully fleshed-out single player campaign, and the multiplayer mode seeks to once again pull out all the stops. Fans of the classic Battlefield games will be happy to know that jet fighter combat is back, along with the Team/Squad Deathmatch mode for the first time since Battlefield 1942.
Currently, Battlefield 3 is holding an open beta for anyone interested to come in and sample the multiplayer mode while helping to iron out some late bugs. Just head to Battlefield.com for details.
It's a good time to get your holiday wishlists together. That is, of course, if you can handle waiting until then to get your hands on some of these titles. But if your wallet isn't hurting yet, just wait until November.
Check out these retailers for your video game needs:
- Play N Trade, 545 South Broad St., Lansdale. (215) 368-1955
- , 2612 W. Moreland Road, Willow Grove. (215) 830-8505
- GameStop, 1551 Valley Forge Road, Lansdale. (215) 631-1230
- , 2333 W. Main St., Lansdale. (215) 855-4280
- GameStop, 801 Bethlehem Pike, North Wales. (215) 412-2900
- GameStop, Montgomery Mall, North Wales. (215) 362-2036
- , 222 East Main St., Collegeville (610) 831-8732
- GameStop, 1838 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown (215) 836-5947
- GameStop, 1495 Old York Road, Abington (215) 885-2069
- , 2500 W. Moreland Road, Willow Grove, (215) 657-4341
- , 44 E. Germantown Pike, Norristown (610) 279-2078