It may not be much, but we are trying to help you. It’s rough out there, there have already been too many great games recently and now more are on the horizon. We’re as scared as you are, but no matter you selection, we think you are going to be happy. We break down the last big release month before the holidays kick in with first a list of the major titles. Read on to see our thoughts on the our must play games and a few more that we are curious about. Good luck out there.
Week of Oct 31
- Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – PS3
- GoldenEye 007 Reloaded – PS3, 360
- Sonic Generations – 360, PS3, PC
- The Lord of the Rings: War in the North – 360, PS3, PC
Week of Nov 7
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 360, PS3, PC
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – 360, PS3, PC
- L.A. Noire – PC
- Metal Gear Solid HD Collection – 360, PS3
- Super Mario 3D Land – 3DS
- Cave Story 3D – 3DS
- Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking – 360, Wii
Week of Nov 14
- Batman: Arkham City – PC
- Saints Row: The Third – 360, PS3, PC
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Wii
- Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 – 360, PS3
- Assassin’s Creed Revelations – 360, PS3
- Need for Speed: The Run – 360, PS3, PC
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary – 360
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 – Everything
- Jurassic Park: The Game – 360, PS3, PC
- Kinect Disneyland Adventures – 360
Week of Nov 21
Here’s what has our attention this November
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Aaron – As long as there are places to go that aren’t yet charted and treasure to unearth, I will be right there ready to play the game! Uncharted 2 is game that will never leave my collection and it’s ready for company with this well-anticipated sequel. The Uncharted series is like playing the best summer action movie of any given year! With characters you can instantly love and a satisfying hybrid of platforming and gunplay, I hope to be spinning this game disc well into the new year in pursuit of a shiny platinum Playstation trophy.
Justin L – I’m just a little biased. I don’t care how little difference there may be between Uncharted 2 and 3, I love playing as Nathan Drake and this is my favorite genre of games and this is the best the genre has to offer. Plus, Uncharted 2 was my game of the year just two years ago. The only thing I hope I do different this time around is that I take the time to play the game multiple times. It is good to have you back, Drake. Let’s go get into some trouble.
Cole – I love the Uncharted series and can’t wait to get into this game. It came out this week and I don’t know when I’ll get it but it is a definite must buy. It looks like the Uncharted series and the Batman are going to be battling it out for game of the year again, just like in 2009. I am also interested to find out who the crazy, fantastical enemy is going to be this time around. Since it’s in the desert maybe the Scorpion King will show up.
Justin G – At this point, everyone and his mother (especially your mother) knows that I don’t have a PS3 and haven’t felt a compelling reason to get one, although Cole’s undying love for the Uncharted series has almost given me justification. Fortunately, though, my fiance’s workplace bought one with funds gathered from selling their parking during some event or another so that they could take physical-fitness work-breaks with Zumba and other hot PS3 titles. I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that I might just have to “borrow” that PS3 (which is suffering greatly from a lack of use) to play through Uncharted 2 and 3 just so I can experience the awesomeness of the series.
Ethan – Picking up Uncharted 3 is a given, but I am not planning on buying it right off as my queue is out of control and I don’t feel like I have the time to dedicate to playing through the whole game in one setting like I did with the previous two (I love me some traditions). That being said, Nathan Drake and I will be joining forces to explore the desert at some point in the near future. I am especially curious as to what the “out of left field” enemy will be (vampires creatures in U1, blue ape dudes in U2). My guess is were-bison, but that is complete speculation at this point.
Ben – I can’t wait to play Uncharted 3. Well, ok, I can wait, at least until I’m done with Arkham City but I will definitely be picking it up. I enjoyed the first Uncharted, thought I had some quibbles with it. The second one, however, blew me away. I was really, really impressed with how seamlessly the transitions from gameplay to cut scenes were and the voice cast was excellent as well. I can only assume and hope that the third one will improve on this as well, squeezing every little drop of performance out of the now aging PS3. I am excited enough for this game that it’s a fairly big compliment that any game could make me wait to play.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Josh – The best thing Bethesda could have done was release those gameplay walkthrough videos from E3. I only needed to view those once to know that this game is a day-one must for me. It seems that Skyrim might correct most of the things I didn’t like from Oblivion. Add to that a deeper combat system, a much more interesting setting and some badass looking dragons and you have a recipe for an extreme poopsocking session. My tube socks and I are the ready for launch day.
JP – I have been waiting to confront dragons for quite some time now. This might be my most anticipated game of 2011. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new engine and see what awaits me in the vast world of Skyrim. I love traditional Bethesda games and I don’t see this game disappointing any time soon. I am unsure where I will fit this game into my time schedule, but I am sure I will find a way to fit it in.
Rob – This will be it. I’ve tried to play Fallout 3 once or twice, and I feel like if I would let myself get into it (do nothing else) I would absolutely love it. It just hasn’t happened for me. I’m going to try to give it a real shot with Skyrim. The atmosphere of the game is much more appealing to me than a nuclear wasteland, so if I have the option to play a game like this instead of Fallout… why not? Sorry, Fallout. It may not be fair to Skyrim this winter, though, with all the other must play games on my list. I may be to A.D.D. to get into it. I guess I’ll find out.
Ethan – I feel like I need to be prepared to nurse my marriage once this game comes out because my entire focus will be on fighting dragons for the next few months. Considering how long it took me to poke around the Mojave wasteland in Fallout: New Vegas, I don’t see having a social life being much of a priority. I am a bit nervous about the game because like the banking system, Skyrim is too big to fail without dire consequences in the gaming community, mainly the guys that have been counting down the days till its arrival as if it’s the last piece to the puzzle that is their life. These guys scare me, more than likely because I am their leader.
James – Ah yes, another addition to the story of the Elder Scrolls. Considering how much time I’ve put into other entries to the series, I would be crazy not to pick this up A.S.A.P. It seems that every Elder Scrolls game has been well designed, well scripted, and even well programmed (for the most part). Even before reading any details and watching gameplay videos, I expected nothing less from this one. Aside from all the fun I’m planning to have with this one, it’s also one of the few games that has caught my girlfriend’s eye, which is plenty to make it a must-buy.
Brandon – At this point not much else can be said about this game other than I have some incredibly high expectations on how this game will hold me hostage, force me to play every side quest and lose immeasurable amounts of time from my life. This game will play a role in fulfilling my fantasy of being dragon-born while playing a game. See what I did there?
Aaron – I fall into a grouping of people who own a couple of Elder Scrolls games and never finish them. Even so, I still have a lot of fun exploring the worlds they offer and leveling up my character into something amazing (or just some sneaky guy who stabs a lot). Here we are with one of the biggest releases of the year and there’s no way I won’t let Skyrim pass me by. Another large world to explore and this one has a ton of GIANT KILLER DRAGONS? If I don’t return your calls after November 11th, send for help.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Justin G – AKA: Batman, with killing. No, seriously, after playing through AC: II and AC:B basically back-to-back, I can’t wait to get my hands on Revelations. The settings of the AC games are rendered so well (and researched so thoroughly) that I’m always left a little breathless when I climb a tower and reveal more of the map. Also, and this won’t come as a surprise, it’s hard to get enough of doing a leaping double assassination on some guards and disappearing into a pile of hay.
Ben – This is another given for me. I’ll definitely be picking this one up. I really, really hope that this game turns out as surprisingly well as Brotherhood did. And despite the fact that I think people might be looking to see different stories told at this point, regardless of what character I’m playing, man is it fun to run around and stab people in the neck from rooftops. So I think I’m safe in that, even if the story of this game stinks, as long as the gameplay mechanics stay relatively similar to the rest of the series, this game will entertain me. I don’t run across too many sure things like that in my gaming life so this one is definitely on my list.
Aaron – After the fun-fest that was Brotherhood, I can’t wait to set off some explosions again with Ezio in Revelations! The story is on the verge of making my head hurt, but being an assassin has never been so awesome. And this time, there’s bombs! Not to mention the intense multiplayer returns so that you can sneak up on fools while trying to keep an eye over your own shoulder. People will be stabbed, buildings will be scaled and piles of hay will make for comfortable landings, physics be damned!
Justin L – Ezio. I’m sorry, I’m not caught up like I said I would. But I will see your story through and you may end up being the best game that I don’t get to this year. If your games keep improving, you may always take home some surprise game of the year titles. I’m also hopeful you help reestablish Altair as a bad ass. Here’s hoping I surprise myself and I unwrap you in time to say goodbye with a Grimmy in my hand.
James – I was actually a big fan of the first Assassin’s Creed. The objectives and story elements may have been pretty repetitive, but I could always have a good time running (and climbing) all over the medieval cities as Altair creating mischief and making daring escapes. Of course, I could do all the same things in Italy with Ezio in the other 2 games, but with much more varied and satisfying objectives. This game is a must-buy for me in order to see what else happens with Desmond, Altair, and Ezio. Of course, more multiplayer similar to the innovation we saw in Brotherhood will do nothing but strengthen the must-buy status in my mind.
Brandon – I have to admit, I wasn’t that into the first Assassin’s Creed, and it actually took until AC:B to come out before I gave it the fair shake it deserved. Now I’m hooked. I want to see how it ends with Desmond, Ezio and how it all links back to Altair. I hope this latest installment improves on the great formula AC:B crafted and creates a masterful experience.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Ethan – I could care less about the multiplayer component to MW3 or pretty much any other modern war themed game out right now as I suck at them all equally. However, I am the unicorn of gamers in that my affection for the single player is what draws me to that series of games, so this game will make its way into my library at some point soon. Price and Soap are some of my favorite video game characters because they let their bad ass actions do the talking as opposed to constantly screaming obscenities (which is the calling card of their online brethren). Here’s hoping that Ghost makes a surprise comeback.
JP – I have full intentions of diving into this game once I get it for Christmas. I am interested in seeing how this game plans on setting it’s self apart from every other Call of Duty game. I am interested in seeing their version of Horde mode, and I’m a little disappointed that wager matches are gone from multiplayer. It looks like the core online experience has been revamped to help make the game more appealing to the average player. I am shocked that everyone is talking about the campaign. I honestly couldn’t tell you about how MW2 ended or any of the major plot aspects of the game. This would be my you’re gonna get it anyways title, I just have to wait for the fat man in red to bring it to me.
Brandon – If, for nothing else, I want to get this game to not only see how the SP campaign ends, but to see where the game goes as far as production value considering roughly a third of the Infinity Ward team that put together MW2 is gone. I also want to see how it stacks up first-hand against BF3. It’ll be like a heavy-weight fight, and my Xbox 360 will be the ring.
James – I will be picking this one up on release day. I might even pull off a midnight release pick-up if time allows. Like Brandon, I have to see how the campaign ends. I’m also curious how Sledgehammer has mixed it up in the multiplayer. From what I’ve seen, they’ve built the multiplayer experience almost exclusively off MW2 without pulling much from Black Ops. This may not be such a bad thing since, in my opinion, the MW2 multiplayer looks better and plays smoother than Black Ops, but I’ve been playing Black Ops for the past year and I might have some difficulty moving somewhat backward. We’ll see on November 8th!
Rob – I’m thinking this game is in my future. I won’t pick it up right away, because I’ll have enough Battlefield in my life to cover the desire to play military shooters. If it were all about the multiplayer I wouldn’t even think about it, but I do really like the single player campaigns in the COD series. I’ll be keeping an eye out for a Steam deal here.
Saints Row: The Third
Josh – Man thongs, giant dildos, anime jets, brothels and gang wars; this game has it all. Plus, I can play the whole thing with a friend. This is the kind of game that lets me vent a whole year’s worth of frustration in a single sitting. I can’t help but feel total stress relief after acting out my most dickish impulses on Stillwater’s inhabitants. I have a feeling this game will get Best Asshole Simulator during our 2011 GOTY awards. (note: that reads Simulator not Stimulator)
Justin L – I flat out don’t care that I haven’t played any of the previous Saints Row games. My library is overdue for, as Josh Lee likes to call it, an Asshole Simulator. I’m just ready to go out into a diverse open world and cause some chaos, preferably hilarious chaos. Outside of the chaos, Saints Row: The Third is looking good, I prefer the art style and customization options that the world allows to something overly gritty like GTA. I will either play this game for 2 hours or hundreds. Someone may need to come slap me to remind me to play other games, just be gentle with your weapon of choice.
Aaron – The last time I indulged something subtitled “The Third”, it was about Shrek and I could have done without it. But if Saints Row has something that Shrek doesn’t, it is the ability to beat people into submission with a giant purple phallic bat. (Hi Freud!) Saints Row has become one of the true definitions of a sandbox game, giving you many tools and a lot of freedom to do things you just wouldn’t dare attempt in reality. Sure, you might dream about skydiving nude into the middle of a gang territory and then jumping into a tank to prove your point… but let’s just say I could never afford a tank. Thank you, Volition, for letting me live my dreams.
JP – All Lacey and Josh’s discussions about this game have really peaked my interest, but I think I want to go back and play the others. Needless to say I would like to play this game at some point. It sounds like this game is extremely over the top, and I might need that after all of these serious titles in the back half of the year. I most likely won’t pick this game up until the spring. At the rate this fall has been going, I need to set up a donation fund just so I can afford all of these games.
Justin G – I’m not sure how much I can say about this because I spent so much time laughing watching preview-play videos of the ridiculousness of Saints Row: The Third. With all of the heavy hitters coming out during Mega Release Fall, it might not hurt to pick up something a little more lighthearted and sandboxy just to mess around in.
Best of the Rest
GoldenEye 007 Reloaded – Andrew: I know it’ll probably be bad, but for some nostalgic reason I’d like to play GoldenEye Reloaded, and just hope that it somehow gives me the same feeling the original did. My guess is that there’s really no possible way for that to happen since everyone’s love for GoldenEye was mainly based around the fact that it was one of the first multiplayer shooters we spent time with on a console. I really doubt I’ll pick it up right away since my to-do list is long, but it’s definitely on my radar to check out.
Need for Speed: The Run – Justin G: I think the last NFS I played was Carbon, but since Criterion has decided to release Crash, I’ve been jonesing for a “real” racer that’s not quite a sim. NFS has traditionally looked incredible and had a pretty high “fun” factor, so you may find me doing some street races in the future if the immediate reaction to it following the release is positive…although if I can’t force the car in front of me into a telephone pole as a passing maneuver, I might regret that purchase.
Jurassic Park: The Game – Aaron: Combining the amazing adventure game revival from Telltale with the great setting of Jurassic Park just seems like a no-brainer. While this one might be something that I save for December, I’m no less excited about running from all sorts of dinosaurs.
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection – Andrew: Metal Gear is a franchise that I’ve always wanted to get into, but never touched. I spent a little time with the demo for MGS 4 on PS3, but I didn’t know any of the back story, so I had a hard time getting into it. It seemed like its a series where you needed to be there from the beginning to enjoy it. The HD collection is a good place to start because the reality is I’ll never dig out my old consoles and find the original games to play through them all. It’s also tough to pass up the value of 3 complete games for $50. Especially since they were games that I never owned in the first place.
Lord of the Rings: War in the North – Justin L: While I don’t think War in the North is going to surprise anyone to the extent that I hoped, it still looks like the best multiplayer hack-and-slash out there. As long as I can convince a few other gamers to jump into Middle Earth with me, I’ll pick this up. You know, after its first price drop.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary – Brandon: The first Xbox game ever in my possession was Halo: Combat Evolved. I remember the countless hours spent beating the game on legendary and testing my skill. It was the first dual-stick control scheme I ever used, and for that, the first Halo will always have a special place in my heart. I’m really interested and excited to see it in HD glory, but since I am going broke with all of these awesome yummy games coming out this holiday season. This is one that may wait until Christmas or shortly after.
Sonic Generations – James: Throughout the 90’s, I was a die-hard SEGA fan. Sonic, of course, was one of the game series that was always at the top of my lists. It’s a shame that the Sonic games have been seemingly going down the drain lately, but this game seems to have a lot of promise. SEGA is digging into its well of previous success featuring re-imaginings of Genesis and Dreamcast era levels, and they’ve picked up some new voice actors to voice the main characters. I won’t be picking this up very close to release. In fact, I’m sure I will end up eventually picking this up on Steam during some major promotional period in the future, and I will rejoice.
Kinect Disneyland Adventure – Andrew: There isn’t much to say about Kinect Disneyland Adventures. I have a Kinect that’s collecting dust, and a 2 year old that’s getting interested in games. Since she thinks she’s a Disney princess it seems like a perfect fit. I’d like to try out a demo to see if she can get into it or not. Maybe it’ll be a good stocking stuffer for her this Christmas.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Cole: What can I say, I’m a tried and true Zelda fan. What I’m really interested in finding out about the latest game in the series is whether or not it gets away from the format set out in Ocarina of Time. If it is different enough it could be great, or it could just be more of the same. More of the same isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it needs to be fresh.
Serious Sam 3: BFE – Josh: AaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!
That sound is the stuff of nightmares. No shooter makes me sweat like Serious Sam. Every level is a white knuckle ride through scenic vistas overrun by hordes of the most obsurd enemies you’ll ever see. Croteam would have to make a whole bunch of bad decisions to mess this one up. I don’t think that is going to happen, so count me in.
Cave Story 3D – Justin L: I’m still not sold on the 3DS, but this is the number one game on my list of anything that has been announced. I never gave Cave Story its due on PC or the Wii, but it’s platforming seems perfect for a handheld (with buttons). Not only, but it uses my only approved use of 3D and that is 3D backgrounds to 2D gameplay. So when/if I ever do cave on buying a 3DS, I’m going straight underground.
Batman: Arkham City (PC) – Rob: This game is already in my Steam games list just patiently awaiting the 15th. I was all excited to play this a few weeks ago, totally oblivious to the fact that the PC version was coming out a month later. I played the hell out of Arkham Asylum, and expect to do the same in City. The game is just awesome, and has the rare pull to makes me want to actually scour the world to find all the collectibles. Can’t wait.
Giant Bomb (images)