Written by: Mark Turcotte
Every fall we gamers get the gift of new AAA games delivered to us just before the holidays. These titles usually start arriving in late September, and continue right through to the year’s end. It seems I always find myself thinking that that year has the best fall release schedule ever, as each year comes and seems to top the last. This upcoming autumn is no exception, and has a November release schedule that I think is second to none. The number of AAA titles arriving over a span of mere weeks is staggering. It has left me stumped as to why these games would be released in such close proximity, and has me putting money aside as I prepare to buy them all.
First up on November 1 is the follow up to one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, Uncharted 3. If you have never played a game in the Uncharted series, then you are missing out on a franchise that has the perfect blend of great story-telling and high intensity action. The main character, Nathan Drake, has become a household name after only 2 outings, and it is often said that he has out “Lara’d” Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series. The cinematic flare that these games bring not only keeps you pushing through to the story’s end, but has you on the edge of your seat as you experience an over-the-top adventure through Drake’s eyes. From what Sony has shown so far (Did you see their E3 Press Conference Demo?), Uncharted 3 will be a must have and will once again push story telling forward in the action genre.
Next up on the list is Activision’s Modern Warfare 3 on November 8. Okay, yes, I heard the groan across the Internet as you read the title but let’s be honest. These games are fun to play. Say what you will about the set piece moments and what seems to be endless waves of enemies coming at you as you fight through areas that appear open but actually aren’t, but the bottom line for any Call of Duty game is that the campaign be exhilarating, over-the-top, and when it’s all said and done you have to catch your breath. On top of that, throw in the addicting multiplayer that the series is known for, and this is another must have title. The wildcard for this game is that Battlefield 3 actually releases days before Uncharted 3 on October 25. Despite its early release, Battlefield 3 needs to mentioned because it is a AAA title that many people plan on purchasing. Some say they’re picking up Battlefield 3 and not Modern Warfare 3 but, I gotta admit I’m getting them both.
On November 11, Bethesda is releasing the fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series with Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I try not to let the fanboy in me come out that often, but I can not help but get excited for this game. Skyrim looks beautiful, will have an engaging story, and will once again allow players to fine tune their character to their style of play. Like the previous games in the series, it will contain hours upon hours of gameplay and a massive landscape to explore and interact with. The demo that I saw at E3 showed off improvements to the interface, and displayed the new battle system that allows for numerous combinations of weapons and spells while appearing both intuitive and streamlined. When I think of this game, I find myself wondering just how many hours I will invest into it. It’s awe inspiring just how much content will be included, hence my undying need to see it all.
Finally on the list is Assassin’s Creed: Revelations which Ubisoft is releasing on November 15. The game will see the end of the Ezio and Altair story arcs. If you have not jumped into this franchise, yet, then you are missing out on one of the coolest and most engrossing series of this generation of consoles. The Assassin’s Creed series has one of the most in-depth stories, and some of the most engaging action gameplay available. With Revelations wrapping up the Ezio arc, however, I can’t help but feel some sadness. Ezio is a character that I have grown to know and have a connection to, and seeing him in this final act will be hard. The E3 demo looked a little bit more of the same, but with the promise of the continued story I’m sold. Add on top of that the inventive and original multiplayer that Brotherhood introduced, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations will be a game that can’t be missed.
So what’s a gamer to do? Here are four top-notch, AAA, must have titles all releasing in a matter of weeks in the same month. Not to mention Battlefield 3 which misses the month by just days, and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary which shares Ezio’s November 15. This month is going to be one for the history books. I wonder how the sales of each of these titles will affect the other. Additionally, many gamers often say that too many sequels are being made, and all of those titles mentioned above is a sequel. Is this really a bad thing? From the track record of the previous installments in each of these series, these new games will not only build on what the previous title did but will also add some new and inventive mechanics that make it better. What’s your plan for this November?