Arts

Upcoming October games: Role-play, plumbers, assassins

Several high-profile games are set to release this October, including Super Mario Odyssey.

Image By: Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons - BagoGames

The fall has always been a great season for new video games, and this year is no exception. Fans of photo-realistic racing simulators will be pleased with Microsoft’s “Forza Motorsport 7” (out now) and Sony’s “Gran Turismo Sport” (Oct. 17). Additionally, Bethesda Softworks has a huge month in store, as the publisher is releasing two anticipated sequels with “The Evil Within 2” (Oct. 13) and “Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus” (Oct. 27).

Speaking of sequels, “Middle-earth: Shadow of War” (out now) returns to J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy universe after having done so in 2014 with Game of the Year winner “Shadow of Mordor.” Matt Stone and Trey Parker have also finished their much-delayed game, with “South Park: The Fractured But Whole” (a wonderful subtitle of a name) finally coming out on Oct. 17.

Every platform has a plethora of new titles being released, making October a month that’s filled with more than just Halloween decorations and midterms.

Below, I’ve highlighted three games that deserve your attention — not because they’re necessarily better than what’s been listed, but because critics and your friends alike will be talking about them for quite some time, and who doesn’t like staying in the loop?

“Destiny 2” for PC — Oct. 24, also on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

The original “Destiny” was a game lauded for its player connectivity and unlockable loot, but loathed for its grind-style gameplay and repetitive nature. It’s a game many either loved or hated, and the sequel hasn’t exactly neutralized this polarizing reputation: The lore-based Grimoire cards are still tied to an external website rather than the actual game, and one-time shaders mean players must take caution when switching up the color of armor sets. One of the more notable criticisms “Destiny 2” has received is bringing back its $40 Expansion Pass, something the first game was also faulted for.

With other shooters like “Overwatch” and November’s “Star Wars Battlefront 2” pushing free downloadable content, many have been turned off by Activision’s publishing ploys to try and make “Destiny” a 10-year franchise — in this case, by making players pay for content down the stretch when this same content could’ve been in the game at launch. Despite some of the stigma attached to “Destiny,” the series has maintained a faithful fanbase.

The community supporting the game is an enormous one, and the series has received commercial success rivalling “Call of Duty” and “Battlefield.” PlayStation 4 and Xbox One users have already been playing “Destiny 2” for weeks, but PC players will soon be able to pick up their own copy of Bungie’s newest shooter and join the discussion. The improved gunplay is made all the better with a mouse and keyboard, while uncapped framerates and 4K resolutions make “Destiny 2” on PC the ideal version for those with a gaming rig.

“Assassin’s Creed Origins” — Oct. 27 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC

This once-annualized franchise is returning to store shelves after taking a year off, the first time the series has done so since 2009’s “Assassin’s Creed 2.” What has set this series apart from other open-world titles is its sprawling maps, which use real-world locations rife with historical context. The newest entry is based in Ancient Egypt, where players will encounter famous figures like Cleopatra and Julius Caesar.

The longer development cycle has not only helped with making the game more polished, but it’s also given the team at Ubisoft Montreal time to experiment with new concepts and mechanics. Eagle Vision is now replaced with an actual eagle you can control from a top-down view, so rather than having enemies and objectives highlighted in different colors, you must now tag them yourself from above.

The revamped combat system features enemy hitboxes and weapon-specific stats, giving “Origins” more precise and calculated battles. There are also new arenas with bosses and rewards for defeating them, making for an “Assassin’s Creed” that’s taken notes from contemporary action games like “Dark Souls” and “Nioh” (without the punishing difficulty of those two). By taking what’s worked in the past and building upon the franchise’s foundation, “Assassin’s Creed Origins” aims to breathe new life into a 10-year series.

“Super Mario Odyssey” — Oct. 27 for Switch

The first open-world Mario game since 2002’s “Super Mario Sunshine” on the GameCube, “Super Mario Odyssey” is a return to form for Shigeru Miyamoto’s beloved platformer. With 2017 already being host to the critically acclaimed title “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” Nintendo is looking to release a second Game of the Year contender for the Switch, a console still in its infancy.

“Odyssey” includes many unique locations to explore, be it the concrete cityscape of the Metro Kingdom or the eerie forest of the Wooded Kingdom. While most of the game involves 3D platforming, some areas have classic eight-bit side-scrolling segments, giving levels equal doses of nostalgia and modernity. The biggest new mechanic is Cappy, an anthropomorphic hat that teams up with Mario to help stop Bowser from marrying Princess Peach. While the idea of Cappy may sound rudimentary, watching the mechanic in motion introduces us to incredible new ways to navigate the world.

You can now control objects and enemies by throwing the hat at them; for example, capturing a Bullet Bill allows you to soar to ledges that couldn’t be reached otherwise. Nintendo has also added the ability to triple-jump and wall-jump, along with being able to customize Mario’s hats and outfits. Couple this with collectible-rich levels and you have an open-world game with legs (and many, many Goombas). If you’re lucky enough to find a Nintendo Switch in stock or already own one, “Super Mario Odyssey” will be an absolute must-have for your collection.

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