This Week’s 4 Biggest Video Game Releases

Christmas may be months away, but September is when we start to see a trickle of big blockbuster video games hitting the shelves. Not many games are coming out this week, but for a very good reason. One of the biggest games of the year hit shelves today, so game makers are steering clear so that they don’t get stomped in sales. Without further ado, here’s a list of four of the biggest, most interesting games launching this week.

Destiny

  • Today (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)

In case you hadn’t heard, this game is a big deal. Destiny is the first title made by developer Bungie since it completed its stunning run on the Halo series. These gurus know their way around a first-person shooter, and they’re bringing all that talent to bear on a brand new IP.

So what, exactly, is Destiny? Like Halo, it’s a sci-fi first-person shooter that takes place in the distant future — 700 years, in this case. By that point, mankind has colonized other planets in the solar system, but a mysterious disaster has wiped out almost every human in the universe. Only one city remains populated, and it’s simply called the City. The game begins as these remaining Earth citizens learn that aliens have taken over the human colonies on other planets. You play as a Guardian, a soldier tasked with protecting the City from these hostile creatures.

What makes Destiny so special is that you’re always playing with other people online, kind of like an MMO. You’ll see other people going about their business in the game, and you can band together to raid alien habitations. Some bosses won’t be beatable unless you assemble a team of other Guardians to battle at your side, all of which is to say that if you want to play “the next big thing” in gaming, Destiny is it.

NHL 15

  • Today  (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)

Lots of sports fans are playing the newest Madden football game right now, but if you prefer your sporting action to take place on the ice, you’re in luck: NHL 15 is heading your way. As with most years, this installment comes with top-of-the-line graphics and a handful of improvements to the standard hockey formula.

However, if you want to get the most out of this game, you’ll have to play it on a PS4 or Xbox One, because the lion’s share of the new features in this year’s installment are exclusive to new-gen consoles. Those features include a whole new physics engine that adds realism to the collisions and pileups, more detailed game commentary, and lifelike renderings of all 30 NHL arenas. If you’re not playing Destiny this week, NHL 15 is probably your next best bet.

Teslagrad

  • September 11 (Wii U)

This side-scrolling platformer is undeniably cute. An indie game that was originally released for PC last year, Teslagrad follows an unnamed boy on an adventure through a steampunk world. The big gameplay hook here is magnetism. Objects (or even the protagonist) can be colored either red or blue. Like-colored objects repel each other, while opposites attract. This mechanic lets you breeze through areas that would otherwise be impossible to pass. Critics enjoyed the game on PC, so we expect the Wii U port to be just as good.

The Keep

  • September 11 (Nintendo 3DS)

If you’ve been playing games for a couple of decades, you may be familiar with the first-person dungeon crawler genre. While it has morphed into modern games like Skyrim, the old-school games were turn-based and took place in dungeons divided into grids. Every now and then a new game like The Keep pops up, giving older gamers a nostalgic trip to the past.

This digital download from the 3DS eShop has you trek through gridded dungeons one square at a time, hacking your way through fantasy creatures like goblins and giant spiders. Standard RPG tropes apply, so you’ll hoard loot, manage your weapons and armor, and learn spells at a steady clip. Retro gamers should keep an eye out for reviews to see if this one is worth their time.

More from Tech Cheat Sheet: