“Forza Motorsports 7” – October 3 (Win, XBO) / “Gran Turismo Sport” – October 17 (PS4)
“Forza” has been a mainstay for Xbox users, alternating releases between the “Forza Horizon” and “Forza Motorsports” games each year, while the storied franchise “Gran Turismo” makes its first appearance on PlayStation 4 in “Sport”. Arguments will undoubtedly be made over which is better, but the real takeaway is that two racing series with high pedigrees will be out for gamers of either system to enjoy this month.
“A Hat in Time” – October 5 (Win, Mac, PS4, XBO)
“A Hat in Time” blew up on Kickstarter back in 2013, looking to capture the fun of Nintendo 64-era 3D Platformers like Rare’s “Banjo-Kazooie”. Earlier this year, some of the same people that worked on that title made a similar attempt in “Yooka-Laylee,” which failed to cash in on that nostalgia like they had hoped. Where “Yooka-Laylee” fails, “A Hat in Time” looks to succeed– taking on common criticisms of the later Rare N64 titles and adding their new twists to the genre.
“Middle-Earth: Shadow of War” – October 10 (Win, PS4, XBO)
“Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor” was one of the most well-received games of 2014, specifically because of its “Nemesis System,” where enemies in the game form a chain of command, and those you fight might show up later to give you even more of a challenge. The fact that it took place in “The Lord of the Rings” universe was only a bonus… or for some others a detriment. The two biggest things missing from the original game were a lack of personality and an open world the player actually wants to be in. The sequel addresses those issues, promising interesting characters and varied, interesting locales that could make this game one of the best of the year.
“The Evil Within 2” – October 15 (Win, PS4, XBO)
The industry looked with interest upon the original “The Evil Within,” and how could they not? The first game from the new studio, Tango Gameworks, was being helmed by Shinji Mikami, creator of “Resident Evil,” “Dino Crisis,” and the cool, heel-sliding shooter “Vanquish.” The fact that the game was a survival horror title reminiscent of his masterpiece, Resident Evil 4, that
truly revolutionized both the survival horror and third person shooter genres. While Mikami isn’t working on that title’s sequel, he is acting as producer, and if anything the horror and psychological thriller elements that made the first game so interesting are back in full force. Oh, and if you were wondering: Yes, this is releasing on Friday the 13th. Have fun out there!
“Assassin’s Creed Origins” – October 27 (Win, PS4, XBO)
After significant backlash over “Assassin’s Creed Unity” back in 2014, Ubisoft decided to wrap up production as best they could on the follow up, “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate” and take a year off to rethink the series’ conventions. While it’s easy to write “Origins” off as “Just another ‘Assassin’s Creed’ game, just set in Egypt,” Ubisoft has taken past criticism to heart and made changes to many base mechanics of the series such as vantage points and the combat system, creating a game that at times doesn’t resemble “Assassin’s Creed.”
“Super Mario Odyssey” – October 27 (Switch)
After Super Mario Galaxy released back in 2006, I honestly questioned in what direction the “Super Mario” series could possibly go that could possibly progress the platforming genre as much as “Galaxy’s” gravity mechanics did? Nintendo’s answer, as it seems, was pure insanity. In “Odyssey,” Mario can CAPture enemies with his hat and take over their bodies. This existential nightmare of a mechanic allows the player an unthinkable number of tools to tackle hundreds of challenges, packed tightly together in numerous, vast sandboxes for Mario to run around in. Also you can throw Mario’s hat like a Frisbee and a dog will catch it. So maybe think about it.
“Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus” – October 27 (Win, PS4, XBO)
It would be tough to argue that any day this year is crazier for big releases than October 27. Not only is Ubisoft making the return of their biggest franchise then, but Nintendo is putting out arguably its biggest game of the year. And on top of that, comes the sequel to one of the best games of 2014 and the latest entry in one of the most storied First Person Shooter franchises in history. “Wolfenstein II” has always been about two things: killing Nazis, and also killing Nazis. This game shifts the setting from Europe to Nazi occupied America, and in addition, they’ve added a hatchet. The developers are very proud of the hatchet. The weirdest part of the title? It’s theoretical and absurdist facets somehow manage to feel relevant and close to home. The jury is still out on if that’s a good thing.