October is finally here and ready to kick off the Holiday 2012 madness. With so many October 2012 video game releases, narrowing down the list to only five for the sake of this Essential Gaming piece proved difficult, meaning there are definite omissions from this list.
While games like Forza Horizon, James Bond 007: Legends, and Resident Evil 6 would’ve likely made the cut nearly any other month so far this year, the schedule makes this month a rare breed. While it isn’t quite November 2011, it is an obscenely strong month; consisting of no fewer than three of our most anticipated for the entire year, plus big sequels and spin-offs galore. Check out our list of the top five October 2012 video game releases and let us know which ones you’re planning on grabbing when they finally hit!
Pokémon Black/White Version 2 | Game Freak | October 7
You would think the Pokémon formula would have become tired and unpopular by now, but with 2011’s Pokémon Black and White scoring very positive reviews, as well as selling more copies than most games on the Nintendo DS, critics and fans made it clear that there is still plenty of fuel in the Pokémon machine.
Pokémon Black and White Version 2 will pick up two years after the events of Black and White. While the core mechanics will remain largely the same as its predecessor, Pokémon Black and White Version 2 will introduce a new side-game that sees the main character attempting to film a movie starring various Pokémon. Add in the new Challenge and Assist modes and returning players will have some fun new features to explore. If Pokémon Black and White Version 2 can keep just enough of the fun that Black and White brought last year, while evolving the series further, Nintendo could very well have another huge hit on its hands.
Dishonored | Arkane Studios | October 9
The first-person stealth genre has seen its fair share of contenders over the years, but few have made the run at the throne like Arkane Studios’ Dishonored hopes to do this month. While stealth will be a central focus of Dishonored, the game will actually allow for players to decide how they wish to approach each situation, and will equip players with the tools necessary to get as creative as they’d like.
The utilization of gadgets and environmental elements will enable players to play the game as stealthily or straightforward as they prefer, and the multitude of options will encourage players to go through the game multiple times to ensure they’ve seen every aspect of Dishonored. Dishonored has been one of VGW’s most anticipated ever since the first looks at the game surfaced, and Bethesda and Arkane have managed to sustain that hype for the past year. We’ll find out if that hype can be carried into the final product when Dishonored releases this month.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown | Firaxis Games | October 9
The name X-COM is typically enough to excite gamers and channel excitement from whatever age they were in 1994, but throw in the pedigree of the team behind this title, as well as the robust feature list, and there is something to be seriously excited about.
The more accessible approach doesn’t necessarily mean a dumbed-down, less challenging experience, but to squash any concerns, Firaxis decided to include a Classic mode, which will allow for veterans of the X-COM franchise to feel right at home. With XCOM: Enemy Unknown being the first released title in the franchise since 2001, Firaxis has plenty of lofty expectations to live up to, but if our hands-on time with the game is any indication, fans of the franchise will not be disappointed.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter | Danger Close | October 23
Following the revival of the Medal of Honor franchise in 2010, Danger Close has decided to take a more realistic approach with Warfighter. The campaign mode will tell the tales of real members of the United States Armed Forces in what could prove to be a very heart-wrenching look at life as a soldier.
Those more interested in the multiplayer aspect of Medal of Honor will find that this year’s multiplayer was being developed in-house, rather than outsourced to the developers of the Battlefield franchise, DICE. If the storyline can live up to the promise, Warfighter could continue the trend of more mature and emotional plots that was most recently displayed by Spec Ops: The Line.
Assassin’s Creed III | Ubisoft Montreal | October 30
This is it. Ever since we got to see it in action for the first time in April, and then get our hands on it in June, Assassin’s Creed III has skyrocketed to the top of the VGW “Most Anticipated” list. The technology behind the game is impressive, but what really grabs our attention about this title is what it’s about to do for the franchise.
With a fresh setting, a new assassin, all-new moves and an astoundingly exciting Vita companion title in Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, Assassin’s Creed III has all the makings of one of 2012’s best titles.