Jump into October with these new games

Put these exciting upcoming interactive experiences on your early autumn wishlist.

Pikachu comes back as a detective in the upcoming game “Detective Pikachu Returns” which will release on the Nintendo Switch Oct. 6. (Nintendo)

The last few months of the year are always marked with headlining entertainment, starting in October. Last year’s marquee October album belonged to Taylor Swift, and next month’s slate features an album by none other than Taylor Swift. October 2022 was led by the critically panned DC film “Black Adam” (2022), and October 2023 will feature a film starring … Taylor Swift.

But when it comes to video games, October is jam-packed with exciting titles that unfortunately do not feature “The Eras Tour.” Here are a few of the most anticipated releases.

“Assassin’s Creed Mirage”

Ever since the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise began in 2007 with, ahem, “Assassin’s Creed,” developer Ubisoft has produced a dozen entries in the series’ slick combination of stealth and action. In fact, the three-year wait between the previous title, 2020’s “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla” and “Mirage” is the longest in the series’ history.

This game’s design was inspired by the series’ roots, with the game’s initial reveal promising a more story-driven take on the franchise, similar to the original game. In another twist, the game is set to ditch the open-ended formula of recent entries to support this renewed focus on storytelling. The Baghdad-set thriller is set to arrive on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC on Oct. 5.

“Detective Pikachu Returns”

You might have heard of a little franchise called Pokémon. No mainline entry is scheduled for this year — though downloadable content for 2022’s “Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet” is on the way — but developer Creatures, Inc. cooked up a new entry for one of the weirdest spinoffs ever conceived. A detective game starring Pikachu? Why? To that, Nintendo says: “Why not?”

The game picks up where the original 2018 game for the Nintendo 3DS left off, starring a fully-voiced Pikachu and his human partner in crime-solving, Tim Goodman. It’s a bit worrying, however, that press previews for the sequel have been mixed. Praise has been given for its new mechanic of occasionally separating the two protagonists, but there’s been skepticism over the game’s visuals. The only way to solve the mystery of this game’s quality is to play it when it’s released Oct. 6, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo’s newest and highly anticipated Mario installment, “Super Mario Bros. Wonder,” will release to the public on the Nintendo Switch Oct. 20. (Nintendo)

“Forza Motorsport”

Start your engines, because that opening pun was way less serious than the game it’s previewing. Xbox developer Turn 10 Studios has been tasked with one job since the beginning, and that’s to make this impressive series of racing simulators. It’s been six years since 2017’s “Forza Motorsport 7,” and this new entry drops the 8 in favor of a “reimagining” of the series, designed to take advantage of the latest technology.

Racing games like “Forza” have often been at the bleeding edge of game development, and this new entry is no different. The game features tons of advanced systems, with each track containing intricately simulated day-night cycles and reactions to minutiae, like tire marks and temperature. Enjoy Turn 10’s latest feat of technological wizardry when “Forza Motorsport” races onto Xbox Series X/S and PC on Oct. 10.

“Sonic Superstars”

The world’s premier series about a blue hedgehog has another installment in store after 2022’s “Sonic Frontiers.” This new entry will take place in the classic 2D format from Sonic’s origins, as opposed to the 3D action of “Frontiers.” But that doesn’t mean this new game, co-developed by Arzest and Sonic Team, is bringing nothing new to the table.

For one thing, “Superstars” is the first 2D Sonic game to feature multiplayer, with up to four players allowed to join in. In addition, the series’ classic Chaos Emerald collectibles now grant Sonic and friends power-ups, such as the ability to climb waterfalls and even create clones of themselves. This blend of old and new mechanics speeds onto PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC on Oct. 17.

“Marvel’s Spider-Man 2”

Insomniac Games has been developing action games for nearly 30 years now. Since it kickstarted its journey with Spider-Man in 2018, fans have been clamoring for more of its take on the wall-crawler. Lucky for them, the sequel promises not one, but two Spider-Men to play as. Peter Parker is joined by Miles Morales, fresh off his spinoff game that launched with the PlayStation 5 in 2020.

Miles will arrive with his electric powers he unlocked during his own game, while Peter receives the fan-favorite Symbiote suit, corrupting him with an icky and aggressive new playstyle. This blockbuster is even more ambitious than the original, with an expansion of the game’s New York into Queens and Brooklyn and a “‘seamless” transition when swapping between the two heroes in both its open world and story missions. Spider-Man’s new adventure swings onto PlayStation 5 on Oct. 20.

“Super Mario Bros. Wonder”

Nintendo’s headlining title this fall is a brand-new 2D platformer starring Mario and friends in its first 2D jaunt since 2012’s “New Super Mario Bros. U.” The name “Mario” may be convincing enough, but just in case it isn’t, Nintendo has stuffed this game to the brim with new ideas.

Classic power-ups are joined by wacky new ones like the Elephant Fruit, which turns your character into — you guessed it — an elephant. A brand-new badge system introduces customizable boosts like extra-high jumps or the ability to scale walls. But the real headliners are the titular Wonder Flowers — which, when grabbed, cause sudden twists on traditional Mario gameplay, such as an enemy stampede or transformation into a balloon. This new burst of Mario magic jumps exclusively onto the Nintendo Switch Oct. 20.

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