September Gaming Preview: Dead Island, Gears 3, Sports Games Galore
It's been a long summer. I don't know what's going through video game publishers' heads, but you'd think that the three months most people have off would be the perfect time to release some video games. Sure, it's nice out, and we should be spending out time with people, but who are we kidding? Most of us "hardcore" gamers are sitting in front of our TVs or computer screens simply waiting for the fall, so we can play some more new games!
Thankfully, we won't have to wait much longer. It's September, which means the fall video game dump is about to begin. We've already had Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Madden 12, as well as a few others in late August, and things are about to get a lot more crowded in all categories and genres.
Last week, we took a look at all the movies coming out in September, so without further adieu, here is a look at all the major video game releases coming out this month!
September 6th, 2011
It's pretty clear that gamers are itching to dust off their consoles and gaming PCs, and by the looks of it, publishers are right there with them. September is starting off with a bang with several major releases, including a first-person zombie shooter, a third-person space shooter, and a first-person alien invasion shooter. Oh. Well I guess there isn't all that much diversity.
In all honesty, the average guy who plays Dead Island is likely different from the average guy who plays Resistance 3, but it's interesting to see three somewhat similar games kick off the gaming season
Genre: FPS, Open World, Survival-Horror
Dead island wowed us the first time we saw anything about it. Unfortunately, it was sort of hard for Techland to keep all that buzz going. The first CG trailer was amazing, emotional, and most importantly, original. But everything we saw thereafter sort of made us realize that this was kind of derivative. We've all played zombie games before, and by the looks of it, Dead Island doesn't bring anything all that new to the table.
That said, what Dead Island does provide is a great-looking game, graphically, and potentially fun gameplay. I mean, who doesn't love mowing down a sea of zombies? If the game can deliver on that tension and emotion we saw in the first trailer, the fun that we've become used to from the Dead Rising games, as well as a little originality and diversity, then there should be no reason not to play this if you like zombies. But Techland hasn't had the best year so far (thanks to a crappy Call of Juarez game earlier this summer), so the jury is still out.
Genre: FPS, Sci-Fi
Resistance 3 marks the end of an era for Insomniac. By the looks of it, the game will not only mark the end of their involvement with the Resistance series, but also the last exclusive Playstation title that they plan to develop. The company is going multi-platform after a long-time partnership with Sony. But by the looks of it, Insomniac is going to out with a bang with the third entry into the series, and by the looks of it, it could be the best one yet.
Insomniac has reverted to some of the things that were in the original alien invasion game, that they decided to take out for Resistance 2. But they've continued to improve the graphics, and maintaned what has made Insomniac so popular -- crazy, ridiculous, and quite literally out of this world weapons. The Chimera have already won. But can you survive? And can this game live up to its predecessors? Frankly, it looks like it just might.
Genre: Action-Racing, Sandbox
I can't say I'm certain about Driver: San Francisco. It's been a while since we've seen a game in the series, but the racing genre has been saturated in recent years, especially in the action-racing sub-genre. Ubisoft does seem to have some tricks up their sleeves, including an original new "shift" function which allows users to switch cars without having to get out of them -- often a detriment to racing games. But the publisher has had some trouble explaining the logic behind the feature, so it remains to be seen how well it will be implemented. This is a relatively old series, that has been away for some time, so you gotta wonder whether Ubisoft is looking to push the life of a dying series or whether they can actually bring something new to the table.
Genre: Third Person Shooter, Action-RPG
Warhammer 40,000 is a long-running game series that finds its beginnings as a table-top war game. That soon transitioned to video games that were, for the most part, turn-based and real-time strategy games. The franchise might be one of the last saving-graces of THQ, and they'll be looking to take a risk with it this month, as they release Space Marine.
The game is a third-person shooter / RPG game, and while it might look a lot like a Gears of War-type of game, it definitely stands a chance at being the surprise of the season. But with so many releases this week, it very well stands a chance at being the game that everyone unfortunately looks over.
Other: Disgaea 4: A Promise Forgotten (PS3), Rock of Ages, Star Fox 64 3D.
September 13th, 2011
Many of us will likely still be playing one of the games above, but there are a couple of interesting additions on the week of September 13th. All three, however, seem to be targeted more to niche audiences.
Genre: Action-Adventure, Hack-n-Slash
You may have played God of War 3 last year. You probably even played the first God of War Collection recently, in case you missed the first two games on the PS2. You may not have known, however, there there are actually two other God of War games on the PSP. And since we don't all have Sony's portable device, they've taken it upon themselves to port the games to their main system. This week, you'll be able to play Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta in glorious 720p, and even in stereoscopic 3D! The games are the first "PSP Remasters" for the PS3, and if you enjoyed God of War, you should have no problem enjoying this.
Genre: Sports (hockey)
EA tries to give us new reasons to buy their latest hockey game every year, even though, when it comes down to it, it's really just a massive roster update. This year, NHL 12 adds dynamic goaltender interactions (including goalie fights), improved physics, changes to Be a Pro and Be a GM modes, the NHL Winter Classic, as well as certain legends such as Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, who will be playable and fully functional in any mode. In the end, it's tweaking, so it's up to you to decide whether you want to spend another $70 bucks on a game you likely bought last year.
Other: Supremacy MMA
September 20th, 2011
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Sony may be killing it in terms of the sheer amount of exclusives they're putting out this year, but Microsoft will look to dominate with their one, highly anticipated exclusive of the year. Epic Games will be releasing the third and final installment in the Gears of War series (at least, this iteration of it) later this month, and people are definitely excited.
The biggest addition to the game is four-player co-op, as well as Beast-mode, similar to Gears 2's hoard mode, only you play as the Locust. The game also adds, for the first time, female characters, as well as some new enemies, but when it's all said and done, it will still be good-old Gears of War. Whether that's a good thing or not, however, remains to be seen.
Other: F1 2011, Resident Evil 4 HD, Burnout Crash!
September 27th, 2011
Genre: Sports (soccer)
Just like NHL 12 and Madden 12, EA brings us their latest yearly entry in their soccer franchise, FIFA 12. Changes to this series include the new "Impact Engine" which completely changes collision animations, "Tactical Defending" which makes it more important to, well, play defense, as well as "Precision Dribbling", which allows players to shield and dribble simultaneously. The game also improves AI, adds new menus to the presentation, as well as improvements to career mode and the game's online modes, which EA claims to have "revolutionized".
These changes are plentiful, so it remains to be seen how players will react to everything, but it's actually refreshing to see a sports game actually switch up a lot of its content.
The one game likely slipping under everyone's radar this month is the upcoming X-Men: Destiny. Activision will look to follow in Sony's footsteps with DC Universe Online, only in the single-player format and the X-Men universe in this RPG.
Little is known about the actual gameplay, as Activision hasn't even offered a playable demo at any convention, but they have emphasized the game's "choices" and how you start as a new mutant looking to become a full-time X-Man by picking up new abilities and proving your worth. Players choose form one of three mutants, complete fabrications of the game, and all your favorite characters will be making appearances as non-playable characters. It's an interesting concept, but the lack of play time as actual X-Men might turn some people off.
Other: Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (trololololol...), Child of Eden (PS3), Splinter Cell Compilation (PS3).
So, there you have it. Plenty of games to choose from in the first month of the fall. From Action-RPGs, to shooters, to open world games, to plenty of sports games, that should be enough to tide you over until the heavy-hitters start coming out.
And October's going to be a big one. Just to name a few: Rage, Spider-Man: Edge of Time, Forza 4, Arkham City, Battlefield 3, wow!
What games will you be playing in September? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned to the site as we cover the releases of all of the above!