It’s official, we live in a post-Madden world and video games are back. Gronk has smashed his way onto store shelves and into our hearts to herald the return of video games. Back to school means it’s time to shirk those classes and do some good, down-home gaming. The year has been great so far, chock full of hits like Overwatch, Uncharted 4, and Dark Souls 3, but now is the time when the game companies come out to shine off their very best IPs, like Attack on Titan and Metroid Prime: Federation Force. So, unless you’re a young millennial and only have eyes for League of Legends, Minecraft, or that Pokemon phone game, it’s time to rejoice and prepare ourselves for the season of gaming! These are the most anticipated and the definitive list of games to be released in Fall 2016. There are only seven because ten is too many and five is far too few. In no specific order, let’s begin:
Pokemon Sun/Moon – Nintendo – November 18th
Pokemon is having a hell of a year with Pokemon Go blasting through smart phones everywhere, but for those of us who refuse to catch a million rattata’s there is a new rattata to catch and he looks like a criminal. Pokemon Sun and Moon are reinvigorating the Pokemon we already know and love with new forms and a brand new region. Fire Pokemon are becoming Ice type and Exeggutor just looks wrong. It sports the hottest Pokemon graphics to be in a handheld entry in the series yet and brings back trainer customization. Between z-moves, what, and Ultra Beasts, double what, this game is going to leave gamers huddled in the corner straining their eyes on the small screen for days. And then there’s Popplio:
Final Fantasy XV – Square Enix – November 29th
This game feels like you are getting the band back together and heading out on a sweet bro-trip road trip. They made a movie, a youtube series, and this thing even has a clothing line line. It’s J-Pop meets Hot Topic and I just can’t get enough. The first new Final Fantasy game this generation and the first major installment since XIII, MMORPGs not withstanding. The combat swings more towards the third person action brawler and the graphics make this thing pop. The notion of rolling around a large open world with my dudes in a sweet ride has me very excited for this little number. Summoning remains one of my favorite parts of the series and I love collecting them and the summon in the demo had me very excited, whichever one it was just exploded all over the screen and it was awesome.
Gears of War 4 – Microsoft – October 11
One more dead grub just was not enough for Marcus Fenix and his son had to be dragged into the fight. With the continuation of their great co-op support and all new weapons, enemies, and cover system this one looks to be alright. I always liked Gears of War and considered it a more interesting and funner game than Microsoft’s other big game, Halo. Slaughtering Locusts, which are different but still the same, has and will probably feel great on the new systems, and returning to PC. I can never not get satisfaction when I’m sawing through enemies or blowing them up with the Torque bow. I’m worried the new characters will fall flat and the storyline will be a rehash of the first trilogy, but provided the blood and gore stay equally enjoyable I am willing to overlook some shortcomings. People really like Cole Train; I don’t really have anything else to go with that. I’m looking forward to using my Xbox One for something again. And I want to know what is in that basket gun.
Civilization 6 – Firaxis – October 21
This series has always been a go to time sink for me. I have won multiple games via every victory condition and experimented with the innumerable amount of empires they added to prior installments. I cannot wait for Ghandi to rain nuclear hell down upon me once again. The new city system is an interesting change to the game and gives cities more life instead of just having them expand and look silly. I cannot tell you how many times I have wound up with the Great Pyramids in the ocean. And screw the haters, I like the new art style. I just hope this one has quicker multiplayer and manages the long load times between turns when you have a ton of AIs and players taking long turns. It gets to be a long trudge later on in games until you start annihilating others with fiery death.
Dishonored 2 – Bethesda – November 11
The creepy stealth occult steampunk game returns this fall! I very much enjoyed the silent and deadly nature of the first game. I hope with multiple protagonists there are a ton of different ways to navigate through the game in both lethal and nonlethal games. I wish stealth games didn’t make you feel bad for wasting people. Sometimes I like wasting people, but the option not to is always nice. The first game was a pleasant surprise in a world without many new IPs coming around so I hope this one sticks it out, the world building was really well done.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Square Enix – August 23
With Mankind Divided, Square Enix hopes to expand on Deus Ex: Human Revolution and continue the world of Adam Jensen, who may or may not be a sociopath, according to some news outlets. I swear I saw that somewhere. Growing off of the anti-robotic enhancement sentiment Mankind Divided uses the term “mechanical apartheid” to describe the story and emotions of the game. I’m not sure if this ever really pans out as they hoped it would but I hear the shotgun is really rad and you can talk your way out of a boss fight. Now only if I could date that shotgun, we’d have a real winner on our hands. Nevertheless, the first game was enough to get me to check this one out sometime this fall.
Last Guardian – Sony – October 25
Will this ever come out? Only time will tell. This game is on here because I don’t think it’ll actually release this year, or if it does no one will like it and every one will hate it and blame someone for ruining it and it will turn into a whole big thing. Either way, it’s going to be fun to watch. I am not looking forward to when the dog/bird/griffin dies and the young boy gets all sad but it’s okay because the dog/bird/griffin sacrificed himself to save the boy. I liked Shadow of the Colossus a lot, so I’m checking this one out no matter what shitstorm may, or may not, happen.
Notable Mentions: Mafia 3, South Park: Fractured Butt Whole, Titanfall 2
Looking Ahead to 2017: