October is here, welcoming the beginning of the most important phase in video game merchandising: the fourth quarter. Consisting of the October, November and December months, the fourth quarter generally sees the release of some of the most successful and entertaining games of the year.
This year’s fourth quarter looks particularly promising, with this month supplying gamers with a few big-budget blockbusters to entertain them for hours on end.
Gamers never say no to the productions of powerhouse Bethesda Softworks, responsible for the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. Bethesda’s newest release comes in the form of Dishonored, a first-person, stealth-based, role-playing game.
Set in the futuristic, dystopian city of Dunwall, Dishonored follows the story of Corvo Attano. Formerly a bodyguard, Attano was unjustly framed for the murder of the Empress he was hired to protect. He vows vengeance on those who have wronged him. As he sets out on his mission, Attano is aided by magical powers and abilities — such as teleportation and possession — that transform him into a silent yet powerful harbinger of death.
What makes Dishonored exceptional is its role-playing elements. The player’s moral and ethical choices affect the mission parameters and events, which can be completed in ways other than just killing everything in your path. Sneaking, hacking and evading are other strategic choices of the player, giving him or her the ability to complete missions in anyway he or she might choose.
Brutally murdering targets and destroying environments will cumulatively add to the game’s “chaos” meter. Depending on the length of the chaos meter, Dunwall will progressively deteriorate, bringing forth plagued rats and eroding buildings that the player must react to.
Because of its array of features and flexibility, Dishonored, which was released on Oct. 9, carries the potential to be a truly unique experience.
Other acclaimed games that have already been released in North America include Resident Evil 6 and NBA 2K13, both of which received an 8.75/10 rating in gameinformer magazine.
The sixth installment in the historical and critically acclaimed Resident Evil series puts players in the shoes of several protagonists, including Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy from previous games. Similar to other installments, the game consists of facing endless onslaughts of infected zombies in order to save the world from the spread of the newly manufactured C-virus. With frequent allusions to its predecessors, Resident Evil 6’s essence of nostalgia is sure to please die-hard fans of the series.
If killing zombies isn’t your choice of video game fare, then perhaps knocking down 3-pointers as Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant will cater more to your tastes. Following its predecessor’s success, NBA 2K13 boasts several new features to enhance its dynamic experience. In response to user demand, NBA 2K13 sports the 1992 and 2012 Olympic men’s basketball teams, both available to play as the game’s Play Now feature. In addition, the single-player career mode has become more interactive, allowing players to choose their character’s pre-game rituals and social acts. Along with this, the game’s graphical interface and animations have been ramped up, providing a more realistic feel for the game. NBA 2K13 is a slam dunk in the hands of sports fans and is available at most retailers.
But the biggest release of the month — if not the year — appears in the form of Assassin’s Creed III. Ubisoft’s powerhouse is back with its yearly installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, this time setting the game’s events during the American Revolutionary War.
Protagonist Desmond Miles assists in the war between the Assassins and the Templars by traveling into the memories of his past ancestor: a half-English, half-Native American colonist named Connor Kenway.
In the most interactive game of the series, players are able to explore countless miles of the American Frontier, including notable sites such as the cities of New York and Boston, Native American tribes, desolate forests and the colonial coastline.
What truly stands out, however, is Assassin’s Creed III’s realistic environment. The landscape changes with the season, boasting snowy forests and frozen rivers during times of winter. The unsettled Frontier bursts with wildlife, such as wolves, deer and bears, providing players with the option to hunt such game — if they choose.
Trees are now fully traversable, allowing Connor to swing from branch to branch with ease and to navigate canopies to spring upon unsuspecting redcoats. Along with Connor’s packed arsenal of arms and gadgets, the player now has the ability to dual-wield weapons, such as muskets and tomahawks, boasting many new, “wow”-generating kill animations.
Assassin’s Creed III has the potential to be the best in the series and is available Oct. 30.
With November and the release of Halo 4 just around the corner, October is set to be an outstanding month for game releases, starting this year’s fourth quarter off with a bang.