Out This Month is a roundup of new games that are coming out this month.
PlayStation 4—November 15
Launch games are hit-or-miss. For every Super Mario 64, there’s a Pilotwings 64. (Choosing the former against my youthful contrarian inclinations still ranks as one of the better decisions of my life.) Only time will tell which mold Knack fits. The PlayStation 4 launch game tells the story of a little robot-type guy who can grow himself into a giant wrecking ball of a monster and the terrible humans who made the adorable bastard to further their own megalomaniacal ends. In a common theme across the first games available for this fall’s new consoles, even this nominally family-focused title involves war (albeit between humans and goblins). That brings us to…
Killzone: Shadow Fall
PlayStation 4—November 15
A few minutes into the dystopian terror porn that acts as Killzone: Shadow Fall’s trailer, it occurred to me that the game likely marks the moment when shooters become unabashed parodies of themselves. The idyllic futurescape (which actually appears to be a militaristic society, but whatever) is marred when an explosion rips through a building, leaving you all but dead. As one of the scary cyborg robot assassin guys makes their way over to finish you off, you get a sudden burst of energy and stick a knife into his brain. In no time, you’ve shaken off your concussion, severe burns, and almost certain PTSD to do what you do best—mow down the people responsible for this atrocity, thus guaranteeing the violent cycle will go on ad inifinitum. No one escapes your Killzone. Invite your friends.
Ryse: Son Of Rome
Xbox One—November 22
Ah yes, more war. Your family is dead, the barbarians are at the gates, and you’re wearing a metal skirt. Things don’t look too good, is all I’m saying. But that’s how they do in Rome.
Dead Rising 3
Xbox One—November 22
The city of Los Perdidos has been overrun with zombies. Your character, in a page straight out of the Evil Dead playbook, instinctively fashions himself a combination sledgehammer/power-saw murder-staff and gets to work. I don’t think I would fare quite as well in a similar predicament. Of all the Gameological staffers, I think young Matt Kodner would be the sole survivor. That plucky dude would, in no time, become the iPod-festooned leader in a WWE-themed tribe of feral children who will one day, when the sickness has past, rebuild humanity in Animal Crossing’s image.
Call Of Duty: Ghosts
PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One—November 5
It’s 2023, and the United States is no longer a superpower. The nation has been decimated inside and out by a shadowy organization known as “The Federation.” This group isn’t the friendly, non-interventionalist variety of Federation from the Star Trek program. No, it’s descended from the likes of Cobra, the Brotherhood Of Nod, Cerberus, HYDRA, the Sons Of Liberty, SPECTRE, or any other power-mad, well equipped insurgency you can think of. The United States counters not with economic sanctions or diplomatic overtures, but by deploying a handful of guys wearing scary masks who are really good at shooting bad guys.
XCOM: Enemy Within
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—November 12
Speaking of shadowy organizations, XCOM: Enemy Within, the sort-of sequel but more like expansion to my favorite game of last year, introduces another new cabal to the list. In Enemy Within, a rogue group known as Exalt betrays humanity and sides with the alien menace. I haven’t seen a betrayal this egregious since Kent Brockman swore allegiance to our new alien overlords.
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Nintendo 3DS—November 22
It has been a long time since I played a Zelda game, but as a present to myself for my 33rd birthday—because what 33-year-old doesn’t want, more than anything, a new game that is basically the same game they’ve played since they were 7—I decided to spring for the ritzy golden Triforce 3DS Zelda bundle. I’m sure my wife will be impressed.
Super Mario 3D World
Wii U—November 22
The name of this new Mario game is pretty confusing. It’s not actually in 3D, as in the “pop out of the screen and toward your face” type of 3D. And even if it were, why would we as a society still hype 3D like it’s some exciting new technology? Hondo was shot in 3D back in the ’50s. It might have ruled, but it’s not exactly a new frontier. That being said, Super Mario World was my favorite of the Marios, and OMG this one is 3D!
BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea—Episode 1
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—November 12
Alternate realities collide when the characters from BioShock: Infinite find themselves cast as citizens of the sprawling underwater community of Rapture from the first BioShock game. Offering a glimpse into Rapture in the days before it was destroyed by its own cannibalistic capitalist ethos, I expect this to be a neat piece of fan service for longtime followers of the series and a timely reminder of what happens when you let rich assholes do whatever they please.