Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Games of October 2011.

With Dead Island, Resistance 3, Gears of War 3 and two noteworthy HD up-port collections, September was a pretty healthy month for gaming. October is even beefier, with four huge releases that won't likely seem out-of-place in this December's Game of the Year discussions.

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October 4th
PS3, 360, PC
Hype-O-Meter : Day one.

I was chatting with Kayla the other night about Rage - and the storied history of id Software. "Remember a game called Doom? That was id - and John Carmack." I listed off their major titles, and how each came with a new technology that defined a generation of games. With Rage, that tech is id's megatextures. It's worth noting that an id game is often less impressive than the tech it is built on - but I for one have always been inestimably comfortable in the games they offer. Doom, Doom II, Quake II, Doom III - all just feel right to me - and it'll be a cold day in Hell before I let the release of a new id game pass unmarked.

October 4th
Dark Souls
PS3, 360
Hype-O-Meter : Day One.

2009's Demon's Souls was one of the two best games of the year, and I expect nothing less from From Software's spiritual sequel. If a review of Demon's Souls does not move you, consider this : the giant white wolf with the sword in its mouth at the top of this post? That's from Dark Souls.

Giant white wolf with a sword in its mouth. Hell yeah.

October 4th
Payday: The Heist
PS3, Steam
Hype-O-Meter : Pass.

I'm rather cynical about Payday. It feels like nothing more than attempt to capitalize on the team-centric, objective-based multiplayer shooting of Left 4 Dead - just without the zombies.

Does that sound like brilliant fun to you? Me neither.

October 11th
Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster
360 (Kinect)
Hype-O-Meter : I'll never buy it, but I support it.

I support Tim Schafer, and by extension Double Fine. Given that Once Upon A Monster is 360-exclusive (along with their last downloadable title, Trenched), I like to think that Microsoft is pouring some sweet cash money into the bright-eyed but commercially unimpressive studio - and that's nothing but good news for people who love beautiful, creative, unusual gaming fare.

That said, I certainly won't be picking up their latest game. I don't own (or want) a Kinect, I've not been the greatest fan of Sesame Street for the past... twenty years, but I selfishly want this game to do well - 'cause I want Brutal Legend II.

October 11th
Sideway: New York
Hype-O-Meter : Ooh la la...

All I know about Sideway is contained within this trailer. That's it. It is pretty and cool and original and it's due out on October the 11th.

What I'd like to know is how much it will cost and how long the game is - 'cause if it's short and cheap enough to not draw me away from Rage and Dark Souls for long, I'll be in like Flint.

October 18th
Batman : Arkham City
PS3, 360, PC
Hype-O-Meter : Day one.

Rocksteady's Arkham Asylum was the first really great Batman game ever, and one of - if not the - best superhero games ever made. The title's totally unique yet pleasantly skill-based combat rewarded the vicious, patient style that one feels Batman himself would employ - and the other stuff was fun too.

Arkham City promises to be bigger, better, meaner and more heavily populated with Batman's ridiculous rogue's gallery. As with Asylum, Arkham City won't likely be the Game of the Year for 2011 - but it will probably be on the short list.

October 18th
Ratchet & Clank : All 4 One
Hype-O-Meter : What the fuck did you do with my beloved franchise?

I am a huge Ratchet & Clank fan - don't think my library is missing a single title in the series - but I'll be giving All 4 One a wide berth come October. These have ever been single-player centric games, and while I can appreciate that multiplayer is where the money is in 2011, I don't appreciate the thought of never playing a classically-styled R&C game again.

The very idea makes me sad. Sad panda. Frownie face.

October 18th
PS3, 360, PC
Hype-O-Meter : This one has potential.

Rhythm games are all but dead, but Rocksmith is trying something different. Made at Ubisoft's gargantuan studios in Montreal, this is a Guitar Hero-esque title that promises to teach you how to actually play guitar.

It comes with a USB jack for your PS3/PC/360 that plugs into your guitar where an amp would, and the better you get at actually playing guitar, the better you get at this game.

I feel that's just bloody brilliant - aside from the fact that you have to spend the required cash to actually own a guitar in order to get the most out of it - but I sort of pray Rocksmith is a success regardless. This could set a lovely precedent.

October 25th
Battlefield 3
PS3, 360, PC
Hype-O-Meter : A military shooter I actually want to play?

I never liked Modern Warfare, I didn't try EA's Medal of Honor reboot and I still haven't played the copies of Bad Company 1 and 2 in my library - but everything I've seen of Battlefield 3 just makes me salivate.

I'm not big on the military shooters - not having cared for one since Medal of Honor: Allied Assault on the PC back in 2002 (which was, oddly enough, made by the crew that left EA and started Modern Warfare's studio Infinity Ward) - but Battlefield 3 is poised to change that. I don't know if I'll be picking it up - that'll likely depend on where I'm at with Rage, Batman and Dark Souls - but I doubt I'll be able to get through December without snagging DICE's next shooter.

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And there you have it - October 2011 is one monster of a month. I can't wait for the 4th!