It is officially fall. Leaves are on the ground. Sweaters have left their moth-filled closets. Pumpkins have begun to sneak into just about, well, everything. The coolest part about Summer going the way of the dodo? Video games! Fall and winter, aka the holiday season, are when the game publishers pull out the big guns. Get ready for your wallet to get a great deal lighter. Here are the titles to look out for over the next few months.
Halo 4 Platform: Xbox 360 Release Date: November 6th
What can be possibly be said that hasn't been said already? It's a new Halo! There will be lines around the block the day this gets released. It'll be like a new iPhone is out, only with more people wearing dorky helmets. What's new this time around? A new storyline, the beginning of a trilogy, that features the return of Master Chief. Also, be on the lookout for a revamped multiplayer system and tons of new maps.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star Platform: Nintendo 3DS Release Date: November 11th
The Paper Mario series is where Nintendo lets Mario get weird. The jokes and storylines in these games are ridiculous, seeming more at home in an Adult Swim cartoon than a video game. This new iteration takes the action RPG formula we grew up with and adds, well, lots and lots of stickers. You use stickers for virtually everything in this game, from battling enemies to creating new objects in the game world.
Assassin's Creed III Platform: Xbox 360/PS3 Release Date: October 30th
The hotly anticipated third (or fifth, depending on who you ask) entry in the Assassin's Creed series is nearly upon us. This time the stealthy action shifts from Renaissance-era Europe to America during the Revolutionary War. Word is, the game will feature all kinds of historical figures, from George Washington to Thomas Jefferson. Here's hoping none of our founding fathers turn out to be involved in a plot to wipe out humanity. That would be awkward.
Nintendo Wii U Release Date: November 18th
Contrary to what people may think, Nintendo's forthcoming console has nothing to do with college. It's a full featured follow up to their massively successful Wii, and the first entrant in the next generation console race. The Wii U features more horsepower, more connectivity and one snazzy hook. This hook? A tablet controller that can stream content from the system. Think of it as an iPad and a gamepad in one. Be on the lookout for new play experiences and the ability to use the system without occupying the TV. Let's here it for no longer being an annoying roommate!
New Super Mario Bros. U Platform: Wii U Release Date: November 18th
What would a new Nintendo console be without a Mario title to launch aside it? New Super Mario Bros. U takes the sidescrolling goodness to the next level, with the addition of five-player simultaneous multiplayer. Four people control characters and the fifth uses the tablet to become a sort of omnipotent God character that can help, or hinder, Mario and the gang. Sounds like we all better stock up on beers and invite some friends over.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale Platform: PS3/Vita Release Date: November 20th
Sony's take on the mascot brawler is almost upon us. Think the Super Smash Bros. series but with Nathan Drake and PaRappa the Rapper instead of Mario and Pikachu. The game supports four-player battles via local connection or the Internet. The coolest part? If you buy a copy for PS3 you automatically get a free copy for your Vita. Cross-platform goodness!
Platform: Xbox 360/ PS3
Release Date: November 20th
This open world assassin simulation is one part Splinter Cell and one part Batman: Arkham Asylum. Absolution, the series's fifth installment, promises more of the same stealthy action you know and love, including the return of the "make your own narrative" functionality that made the franchise famous.
Far Cry 3 Platform: Xbox 360/ PS3/ PC Release Date: December 4th
The classic island-based first person shooter series is back. Get ready to fight off hordes of guerrilla soldiers like it was the early 2000s again. This third installment features a robust single player mode and all the online multiplayer you can shake a literal stick at. There is no word as to whether or not this particular island features polar bears, though.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Platform: Xbox 360/PS3/ Wii U Release Date: November 13th
This game is already being touted as the most ambitious title in the franchise's long and illustrious history. The single player mode adds branching narratives into the mix. The online multiplayer modes introduce league play and all sorts of other goodies. Heck, there is even an open-world mode filled with zombies. Reserve your copy now and I'll see you on the battlefield (not the rival franchise, the actual field of battle).
ZombiU Platform: Wii U Release Date: November 18th
Speaking of zombies, the Wii U launches alongside its very own survival horror title. ZombiU, also not about college, takes players to a post-apocalyptic London that is being torn apart by zombies. This game amps up the anxiety, tasking you to multitask between the TV screen and the console controller as hordes of the undead rapidly approach. Also, once you die in this game you are dead for good. You have to start over as another survivor.
Nintendo Land Platform: Wii U Release Date: November 18th
Remember Wii Sports? That game alone launched the Wii into millions of households worldwide, and got your grandmother to take up bowling again. Nintendo Land is the Wii U's attempt to recapture that magic. It consists of twelve franchise-spanning minigames, including games that feature Mario, Zelda, Metroid and just about everyone else you loved as a kid. Each game is designed to take advantage of a unique aspect of the system's tablet controller.