It’s almost fall again, and amidst the tackling of football and the crunch of leaves, gamers will be glued to their flatscreens, playing the hottest release. What’s the best stuff coming for this fall? Here are five picks that run the gamut from popular games everyone will know about, to some perhaps lesser known titles that deserve attention.
1. Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games, Xbox 360, PS3) Rating: Mature Release: September 17th
The enormously controversial but highly successful franchise is finally back again. Expect this one to sell massive units and top the charts week after week. Some differences between this and other games in the franchise are playing from the perspective of three different characters, and an even more massive open world, featuring a fully fledged ecosystem (which means you can hunt and interact with wildlife, a first for the “do everything” series). As usual, the gangster/crime aspect is just the icing on what is more or less a massive life simulator.
2. Watchdogs (Ubisoft, Xbox 360, PS3, WiiU, PC) Rating Pending, Release: November 19th
You have to applaud Ubisoft for creating a brand new franchise in this day and age of sequels and retreads. Watchdogs is also topical, touching on the idea of surveillance by the government. You play in a high tech open world as a vigilante, hacking into the city’s computer networks to solve problems. Expect stealth gameplay in this one.
3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS) Rating Pending, Release: November. Remember The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on the Super Nintendo? That is probably most people’s favorite Zelda game of all time. Finally, Nintendo is making a follow up to this classic game for their 3DS system, which includes the same top down perspective as the original, but with modern graphics! A complete “can’t miss” for Nintendo fans and 3DS owners alike.
4. Rune Factory 4 (Xseed, Nintendo 3DS) Rating: E, Release: October
Don’t be confused by the cute graphics: the Rune Factory series combines RPG like elements such as hunting in dungeons with “life simulation” aspects taken from its parent series, Harvest Moon. A terrific game for both seasoned gamers and a great idea for parents with teenage gamers who don’t want blood soaked military games to be all they play, Rune Factory 4 is one “slightly off mainstream” game you won’t want to miss this fall.
5. Call of Duty: Ghosts (Activision, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii U, PC) Rating: M, Release: November 5th. It might be fashionable at this point to not mention Call of Duty, since it has become so popular that it attracts a backlash among some quarters of the gaming world, but let’s face it: if you want fast paced first person shooting and if you want to do that online, this is still going to be your first stop. Try the Battlefield series if you want a change of pace, but most shooter fans will be lining up at their local stores for this at midnight releases all over the country, yet again.