Every fall, video game releases ramp up. It’s when blockbusters come out, indies sneak into the lineup, and generally when gamers run out of money. This year, the gaming mainstays aren’t as exciting to us. Battlefield V hasn’t shown us much to get excited about and we haven’t paid attention to Call of Duty beyond finding out which celebrity has a cameo (Conor McGregor, Jon Snow, that kind of thing). These are the new video games that have us excited for fall.
After years of anticipation, Marvel’s Spider-Man is finally coming out. We’ve seen trailer after trailer and we’ve been doing our damnedest to stay away from spoilers and fan speculation. So far so good too, because all we’ve heard so far is about the normal villains we were already expecting and how Manhattan is a great open world, with plenty to do, people to interact with, and a crazy number of petty crimes to web up. Now we’re only a few short days from this game’s release and we’re debating on whether or not we should get an extra PS4 so we never have to take out the disc.
Some of the most successful games play more like mashups of other games. Fortnite is basically Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and cartoons. Almost every shooter released since 1999 is Half-Life or Half-Life 2 and Call of Duty blended together. Boundless looks like MInecraft, World of Warcraft, and No Man’s Sky all in one, and a combination like that looks like it could be a pretty fun one. You get to settle new planets, gather resources, build new bases, and generally craft the game experience to your own personal whims.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The rebooted Tomb Raider series is going very well so far. Both games have been smart, fun challenges with much better writing than Lara Croft has generally been associated with. While there are definitely things we miss about the old games (namely how difficult and frequent puzzles were), the series has taken to its reboot well. Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks like it’s going to uphold that consistency. We’re going to get another exotic ancient location, this time in Mayan territory, where Croft will likely pick her way through a team of evil archaeologists and their henchmen and learn more about all kinds of conspiracies. In other words, exactly what we come to the modern Tomb Raider games for.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Starting with Assassin’s Creed 3, the series took a weird turn. It went from being a cool mix of sci-fi and historical storytelling with a detailed and engaging conspiracy backdrop to an annual release with no heart and a ton of bugs. Assassin’s Creed: Origin put the series generally back on track and Odyssey looks to be another step in the right direction. Our favorite part is moving the series away from the focus it used to have on Western Europe. We went to Egypt in the last one and we’ll be doing ancient Greece in this one, two settings that lend themselves extraordinarily well to this kind of game. With this release, and the announcement that Assassin’s Creed is skipping a year, it looks like the series is slowly remembering what made it good in the first place.
My Memory of Us
Two of our favorite games are Limbo and Inside, and though My Memory of Us wasn’t developed by the same company, it looks like it’s in a similar vein. It’s mostly monochrome, a sidescroller, and has a constant feeling of suspense. This game is another in a long line of games that keep us excited for the indie gaming scene. Big studios don’t take these kinds of narrative chances, so we’ll support these small studios as much as we can. Otherwise we’ll drown in an endless supply of overproduced mediocre shooters.
Red Dead Redemption 2
For the gaming community at large, there might not be a more anticipated game this fall. Red Dead Redemption 2 has drummed up hype every time it released a trailer, and we got at least ten text messages from gaming friends when Rockstar showed a simple poster. This entry looks to be leaving the Marston family for reasons that are obvious if you’ve played the first entry. We’re also intrigued by the time period, as this is set when westward expansion is finally drawing to a close and the unbridled freedom people enjoyed is being replaced with more established civilization. That’s interesting because, as romanticized as cowboys and outlaws tend to be, we have a feeling most of the US at the time couldn’t wait to get rid of them. Playing as one of them should give us a great look at what it’s like when a transitioning world decides you’ve become unnecessary.
Overkill’s The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead has a weird track record in pop culture. On one hand, there’s undeniable success there. The show’s in its eighth season, the comic books are still going strong, and Telltale’s game series is consistently ranked among the best of the studio’s catalog. On the other hand, we know plenty of people who dropped the show over the years. For this iteration of The Walking Dead, we’re going with the first hand. We like what we’ve seen so far, so we may actually be getting a Walking Dead shooter that holds up.
11-11: Memories Retold
11-11: Memories Retold is about soldiers from different sides of the First World War trying to get through with their humanity intact. What really piques our interest is the art style here. The game looks like a moving watercolor, similar to some of the sketches and paintings soldiers would whip up in the trenches.
When we talked more at length about Fallout 76, we had a few reservations, the potential for griefing being our biggest one. Now that we know a lot more about the game, most of those reservations have been put to rest. Bethesda took the general dickishness of the internet into account making this Fallout release, with safeguards to keep you from getting killed every time you met someone new and having dozens of anonymous jerks steal your hard earned caps. And Bethesda generally stays involved in games and listens to community feedback, so when random people invent new ways to mess with your game, you can bet those issues will be addressed in the next patch. We’re more and more convinced that a Fallout MMO is a good idea.
Super Smash Brothers Ultimate
College dormers and casual gaming fans, along with everyone else who likes using their favorite Nintendo characters to beat the crap out of their friends, can rejoice. The Nintendo Switch is finally getting its own Super Smash Brothers release. The character roster is the longest it’s ever been, with everyone you’d expect and about two dozen more names we barely/don’t recognize. With the booming success of the Switch and the enduring legacy of the Smash Brothers series, it’d be criminal not to pick up a copy of this as soon as you can.