Summer is nearing its end and now is the time for me to rejoice. The air is as crisp as the leaves I crunch loudly beneath my boot adorned feet. I start to look forward to the upcoming colours of the season, the reds and oranges, prepping my Halloween costume, carving a pumpkin, enveloping myself in a scarf as long as the Fourth Doctor’s, fireworks displays, eating hearty stews and drinking hot chocolate EVERY DAY!
Perhaps another reason I adore Autumn (or Fall *whispers* ‘Autumn’ sounds better) is the fact it coincides with big video game releases. Games companies use the Autumnal months to push their games in a bid to drive Black Friday and Christmas gift sales. While this may just be a heavy handed marketing tactic in the interest of increased profit margins *shakes fist in air at capitalism*, it’s a pretty amazing time for gamers.
Most of the big games expos and shows have been and gone, these events spark our interest in upcoming releases but now up until Christmas is the time that most will be released.
I’m feeling enthused and reinvigorated because I really do love this time of the year so I thought I’d write about the upcoming releases of the season that have me excited the most.
Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon
If you’ve read my previous posts on the site you’ll know that while I don’t condone keeping animals in tiny enclosed spaces and forcing them to fight for me I do enjoy the Pokémon games and I really enjoyed Niantic’s Pokémon GO which I’m still playing regularly.
However, I recently came across my old Nintendo DS while clearing out some old games which reminded me just how much I enjoy playing on handheld consoles, of course that alongside Pokémon GO reignited my interest in Pokémon games in general. Perfect timing, as a mere day after my birthday this year (yet another reason I’m excited), Pokémon Sun and Moon will be released!
Very little has been revealed about the two upcoming titles but there are alleged rumours and a lot of speculation about mega-evolutions including a possible, additional Eevee evolution. Nintendo, who are staying fairly quiet on the subject, have revealed 6 new Pokémon and suggested there will be “new version exclusive creatures” featured in the two games, whether this refers to the new 6 or to new evolutions is yet to be seen.
Let’s be honest though, if there turns out to be an additional Eevee evolution (they did show Pikachu and Eevee Z-moves in the trailer after all) then I’m sold on that alone!
I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for this title. Years ago, I complained about the games industry’s lack of new IP and how the market was flooded with sequels. Then Dishonored came along and I was not only appeased but also incredibly happy because this game was bloody brilliant! It’s a magical stealth-based action game set in a dystopian, plague ridden steampunk world where you play as Corvo Attano, bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles.
Not only can you control swarms of rats to consume your enemies, in this tale of revenge you’re also part of a resistance trying to save your home from evil, corrupt politicians who framed you for the murder of the Empress and kidnapped her daughter.
I’m excited to see the next installment, which is released in November and equally excited about the option to play as Corvo again or as new Empress Emily Kaldwin. I like the fact I’ll have the option to choose my character, even if it is only limited to two of them.
The chaos system is also making a return, which can change the game visually and thematically based on your actions. If you take too many lives, your cities are darker, more plague ridden and can affect conversation choices and change the story. I loved this system and found it an interesting way to utilise morality.
It will also feature voice acting from Rosario Dawson, Vincent D’Onofrio and Sam Rockwell and thats just to name a few! Its predecessor also featured big names (Lena Headey, Susan Sarandon, Michael Madsen, Carrie Fisher, Chloe Grace Moretz and Brad Dourif) and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
Yes, another sequel *cue cries of hypocrisy*, but Titanfall is another of those games that was released as a new IP at a time where sequels dominated the market and it was a fun game so I’m pleased there’s a second on the way. Giant stomp-y mechs and parkour wall running antics made this game so much fun that you could easily forgive the lack of single player mode or storyline which to be honest, I paid no attention to as it was just background noise!
My friends and I have a running joke about the words “off-the-grid” and often shout the name “Macallan!” at one another because that’s as much of the story we remembered…I mean I guess Macallan must be a main character or something, but who knows?
Why am I so excited for a game that has next to no storyline? Well, it’s the fast-paced action and free-running that sells it for me, that and I’m a sucker for giant stomp-y battle mechs. I love Japanese culture and anime. Part of the reason I will happily defend Pacific Rim from naysayers is because I saw it as a love letter to anime and it featured all the tropes that anime often perpetuates. Seriously though, the short-lived, fast paced battles that made it incredibly fun to play online with your friends. An in a way, the lack of story meant there was no distraction.
Customisation of your Titans was a nice touch too, I enjoyed naming mine after Shakespearean plays or characters, though I’m hoping to see even more customisation in Titanfall 2, in a game which is online focused, I’d like to adorn my Titan with as many distinguishable features as possible.
Titanfall 2 has introduced a single player mode, which suggests the non-story will improve and means gamers who don’t play online can enjoy it too. It’s also set to feature lots more cool weapons such as a grappling gun to slingshot pilots or to grip your enemies and a pulse blade which is essentially a throwing knife that reveals the location of nearby enemies. I’m hopeful it will be an improvement on the original. Plus, it’s released a couple of weeks before my birthday…I know what’s going on my list!
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
Sid Meier has a rule when it comes to sequels, the “33/33/33” rule, which means 33% of the game should retain the systems that were established by the predecessor, 33% of the game should feature improved systems and the remaining 33% should be used for entirely new material.
This perhaps, explains the success behind the Civilisation series and is why I am excited for the upcoming release this October.
New ways to customise your cities and how they interact with their surroundings is one of the new features to look forward to. In the previous two games, stacks were done away with and replaced with a one unit, one tile rule. Well, in VI the Wonders are no longer able to be placed on the same single tile as the city they’re built in.
Additionally, the terrain bonuses make more sense in that mountainous areas will provide bonuses to religion and science because naturally scientists would want to study the rocks and the skies whereas religious factions might want to feel closer to their Gods. Because of this you’re now able to place pins on tiles to remind yourself what you should build there in future, this is a feature I really like as alongside all the diplomacy and advancement of it all, I do like me some forward planning and organisation.
You must also be more pro-active to advance your technology, instead of selecting a subject and waiting ages for your scientists and scholars to figure it out, your actions now come into play, for example if you want to excel at sea warfare and advance in seafaring then you receive a boost if your city is on the coast.
This dynamic means it’s much more realistic, though I really hope it doesn’t get too realistic, I don’t like the idea of selling arms to other warring civilisations. Then again, Gandhi being technologically obsessed with nukes in past games feels me with hope that this won’t be a feature.
Star Trek Bridge Crew VR
I’m as surprised as you that I’m featuring a VR title but as a Trek fan, I am genuinely psyched about this and though I haven’t got the funds to purchase any VR technology, I’m hoping in a year or two, the technology will lower in price. Fortunately, I have friends who can afford to own their own VR headsets who I’m sure will let me play this title if I ask nicely and bake a batch of brownies. Ah bribery, that’s how friendship works right?
Ultimately this is an example of pure fan service. I can’t imagine non-Trekkies really caring about this title so if you’re one of those people then I apologise for next few paragraphs…but I also don’t!
One of the most exciting features about this game is that each player has their own responsibilities (and let’s face it, limitations) which means you all have to work in perfect harmony. It’s the team building exercise to destroy all others…or it could be the friendship ending exercise but let’s not dwell on negativity here!
The captain must have perfect knowledge of the ship and all of its features, the specifics of each mission and, and…oh my God, I’ve just realised it’s basically your own Kobayashi Maru test!
*runs away to have full on geek out*
*returns and takes a deep breath*
The controls look to be incredibly intuitive too and if you choose to, you can ball up your fist and shake it in the air at your fellow players…or even a finger or two depending on the situation.
Though let’s be honest, I just want to shout “ENGAGE!” or “Shields up!” to indulge in my own fantasy of being in Starfleet; exploring, peace-keeping, defending and researching the galaxy for the Federation!
You see, this is why I love Autumn! Great games, golden leaves, delicious food and perfect weather for spending time holed up inside playing new releases in warm pyjamas and cosy socks!
Right, I’m off to plan this years Halloween costume but until next time, let us know what upcoming releases you’re most excited about in the comments section below.