September is when video game releases get back on track, with some bigger titles beginning to slip out before the big rush comes in October and November.
There is a good breath of games coming out in September, ensuring that there is something for nearly everyone to play.
The Bioshock games are some of the most celebrated first-person shooters ever created. They transport players to two magical locations that exist in our mundane world. Rapture: the abandoned underwater utopia that couldn’t live up to its enormous goals, and Columbia: a floating city in the clouds under the rule of a corrupt dictator.
The shooting is fast paced and full of tough enemies and terrifying scenarios. Combat is a mix of standard shooting and magical abilities that allow you to send bolts of lightning coursing through your enemies, burn them to a crisp, or send a horde of angry bees at them. The combination of powers and weapons keeps things fresh and interesting as you mow down hundreds of nameless baddies. But the main draw is the worlds that you get to explore.
The collection nets you Bioshock 1 and 2, both set in the underwater Rapture, and Bioshock Infinite, set in the sky-bound Columbia, and all expansions. There is a lot to work through in these games. So if you’ve never tackled them and you want a fantastic shooter to explore, then the Bioshock collection is for you.
A new exclusive from Microsoft, Recore is a new adventure that takes you through a desolate desert world. Players take on the role of Jules – an adventurer who works her way through the dangerous dunes. But she isn’t alone.
She puts strange spherical cores into robotic husks to befriend them and take advantage of their various abilities. One looks like a robotic dog and dashes through enemies and can fit through smaller areas to solve puzzles, which you’ll be doing plenty of.
The combat is all shooting, but it utilizes a lock-on system in order to focus less on aiming and more on maneuvering through a veritable rain of bullets. The world and gameplay look unique enough to set it apart from anything else releasing for the next several months, and will be a nice change of pace from the gritty shooters and dour action games.
Previously released on PC, Darkest Dungeon is finally coming to PS4 and PS Vita. The beautiful hand-drawn art makes it very clear that this is a world to fear. The characters are ragged and worn, their clothes were torn and wounds dripping. You’ll lead a party through the game’s terrifying dungeons.
Everything progresses in 2D and then the battles are turn-based. But the more damage or fights a character endures, the more likely they are to suffer from a mental disease which will make them unable to go on.
So, not only do you have to level up your warriors and have a well-balanced team, you need to keep everyone healthy and happy in order for them to keep fighting the good fight. It is important to note that it is an incredibly difficult game, with enemies that will delight in wiping the floor with you. The turn-based action is incredibly fun, but be prepared for a deep game that will not hold your hand.
While the mainline Forza games specialize in creating realistic racing simulators, the Horizon series is all about over the top fun. The third game in the series moves the Horizon car festival to Australia. The entire country is open to you to race through.
The massive world is at your disposal. Do you want to compete in breakneck races? You can. Want to complete unique challenges? There’s that, too. Want to simply drive around and take in the stunning sights of the outback and the golden coasts? Explore away.
Forza Horizon always appealed to me as a non-racing fan. I love driving games, but the repetitive nature of tearing down similar tracks grew tiresome quickly. But drifting and drafting through backwater roads, along towering cliff sides, and down sun-soaked beaches is exactly the kind of racing that I want to do.
XCOM 2 is another game that came to PC earlier this year and is finally making its way to consoles. It’s a turn-based strategy game where you take control of a team of humans as they fight to regain control of Earth from a fleet of technologically advanced aliens.
Moving your troops around the field and dispatching the extraterrestrial nuances feels great and is incredibly intuitive, even for beginners. But combat is not the only thing to do. You can also build up your base of operations, ensuring that your team has all the necessary tools to reclaim the earth.
It’s easy to jump into, even if you haven’t played the original. A lot of strategy games don’t come to console due to a lack of precise control, but the XCOM series gets past this and lets fans of the genres get their fix even from the comfort of the couch.
Pokémon became such a worldwide phenomenon that Nintendo took another shot at the monster-collecting game. Yo-Kai Watch is set in a small Japanese town where a young boy named Nate must collect mischievous ghosts called Yo-Kai that exist to cause trouble.
You’ll explore the town, discover new ghosts, fight off enemy phantoms, and figure out why so many angry ghosts are flooding into the town. The second entry in the series is finally coming to the west, bringing more Yo-Kai, new areas to explore, and a new mystery to solve.
The series is aimed at an even younger audience than Pokémon, featuring a much more simple battle system and a more approachable structure. And the fact that it’s on 3DS mean it’s great for long car rides and taking on the road.
Matthew Herst is a Carleton University communications student, video game journalist and Sudbury.com’s resident geek writer. Yeah, this guy love’s video games. Besides Sudbury.com, you can also find his work on TheNerdStash.com. Follow him on Twitter @supergurst.