Expect all sorts of action this fall


New games run the gamut from colonial time to cyberpunk

While it feels like we are entering the twilight of this gaming generation, the industry is by no means slowing down on the software side of things. The next three months has everything from new, intriguing titles to names that have epitomized the best of the action genre.

We’ll commence with a battle that has raged on for years: Call of Duty versus Halo. Both Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Halo 4 arrive on shelves in early November. Some will say that sales figures will determine the winner. Personally, I believe it’s up to each gamer to decide the victor for himself, depending on his own appetite.

Look to Halo 4 to have a more compelling storyline, with greater realism in its character models than ever before. Black Ops II will likely be the winner in pedal-to-the-metal, all out online insanity.

There’s one other sequel that may win out in overall style and fun. Borderlands 2 blasts it way to consoles Sept. 18, giving it a massive headstart over the aforementioned shooters. With its unique brand of chaos, blending massive sci-fi action and skill-based RPG elements, four-player online co-op, and stylized gameplay and wit (the trailer boasts 870 gajillion more guns), this is one game that will be a monster, until the big-name boys come out to play in November.

Two upcoming action titles have something in common: stealth and assassination. First and foremost comes a refreshingly new title, one that isn’t a sequel. From publisher Bethesda (Elder Scrolls, Fallout) and developer Arkane Studios (Bioshock 2) comes Dishonored. Set in a cyberpunked Europe of yesteryear, this is a sumptuous mĂ©lange of parcour-like scaling, futuristic weaponry, and Matrix-like powers. With the tagline “revenge solves everything”, this is sure to be the type of cutting-edge plot that would have even William Gibson raising an interested eyebrow.

While Dishonored may be a new household name, there’s one series that has been around the block for years: Assassin’s Creed. The third instalment (Oct. 30) is set in colonial times, trading Renaissance landscapes for wintry American cities and forests.

Leaping from tree to snowy tree instead of racing across cathedral rooftops, this new Assassin’s Creed will be much more grizzly in its style, with not only the addition of naval combat but greater room for exploration. Boston and New York are open to explore and the frontier itself is massive. Equally massive are the pre-order incentives for the game. Each vendor (Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon.com ) offers its own exclusive extra mission or powerful weapon.

Resident Evil 6 arrives Oct. 2 and is bound to leave you with many a sleepless night, though not for the reason you might think. Sure the game looks incredible and pushes the survival-horror franchise to new heights, but what makes RE6 stand out is Residentevil.net.

This site is being launched alongside the game and is designed as a social gathering point for players to update and compare stats. Available for both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, the site enables players to sign up for various in-game challenges and use points acquired to buy such things as character costumes. Full in-game notification and accompanying smart phone app, as well as Facebook and Twitter integration, make this a dynamic, more immersive addition to the franchise.

Sadly, a few choice action games were pushed to 2013, including Bioshock: Infinite, Devil May Cry, and Tomb Raider. On the other hand, with the barrage of superb games arriving in these final few months of 2012, there wouldn’t really be much time to play them anyway.

When he’s not teaching junior high school, St. Albert Catholic High School alumnus Derek Mitchell can be found attached to a video game console.


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