Launching This Week: ‘Halo,’ ‘Assassin’s Creed,’ and More
The season of nonstop huge game releases continues to barrel ahead, with major titles coming each and every week. This week is particularly packed, thanks in part to Ubisoft’s decision to release not one, but two full-sized Assassin’s Creed games on the same day. But there’s a lot more than that coming, too, so read on to see what’s in store.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue
(Available November 11 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC)
Assassin’s Creed has been a yearly franchise for a while, but this year developer Ubisoft is going all out and releasing two titles on the same day. The first is Assassin’s Creed Rogue, a game that’s coming to last-generation game consoles.
In keeping with the series’ tradition, you play as a man who sends his consciousness back in time to inhabit the minds and bodies of assassins from the past. In this installment, you’re whisked back to the mid-1700s, during the French and Indian War. You play as a member of the Assassin’s Guild who winds up turning on his brotherhood and hunting them down. It sounds pretty dark, but the game also includes the same awesome naval battles from last year’s Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
(Available November 11 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC)
The other Assassin’s Creed game this year is heading exclusively to new-generation consoles and powerful PCs. Unity takes place in Paris during the French Revolution, so you can bet there will be loads of bloodshed during all the political backstabbing and guillotine executions.
Outside of the violence, however, the game has plenty to teach you about French history, so expect to run into famous figures like Robespierre and Napoleon Bonaparte. The City of Lights has also been painstakingly recreated, including a one-to-one digital replica of the Notre Dame Cathedral that took two years to build. Another stand-out feature of the game is that you can team up with three friends to play cooperatively. It promises to offer a good time, particularly if your friends have the same new console as you.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
(Available November 11 for Xbox One)
Arguably no series over the past 13 years has had a bigger impact on the current landscape of gaming than Halo. This franchise is a bonafide juggernaut that keeps powering along, building a universe of lore and bringing fantastic gaming experiences with it. The future of the series is coming next year with Halo 5: Guardians, but for now Microsoft hopes you’re feeling nostalgic.
This collection is the real deal. It bundles together all four main entries in the Halo series into one complete package. The first two games, originally released on the original Xbox, have been remastered to look great on the new hardware. All multiplayer maps ever released for every game are accounted for here, and will run on dedicated Microsoft servers, which should provide a smooth, stable environment for competitive gamers. If you want a lot of bang for your buck, this is the collection to get.
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
(Available November 11 for every system)
The current string of franchised LEGO video games stretches back to 2001 and is still going strong. The latest installment is the third in a sub-series of LEGO Batman games. Kicking off right where the last one ended, the villainous android Braniac has plans to take over the universe by shrinking planets and adding them to his impressive (yet unethical) collection. Can Batman and other DC superheroes stop him? The future of the “LEGOverse” is in your hands.
Tales of Hearts R
(Available November 11 for PS Vita)
The PS Vita has no shortage of Japanese role-playing games, but one of the biggest, longest-running series is about to join the party. Tales of Hearts R is a remake of a 2008 Nintendo DS game that only came out in Japan. Like the other games in the series, it’s an action RPG, which means battles take place in real time. Aside from that, it sticks close to the classic RPG formula of journeying between towns and dungeons as you progress through the story.
That’s not a bad thing for fans of classic RPGs, because the formula works. The game’s story gets pretty complicated pretty quickly, but the basic idea is that the main character makes a mistake and has to go on an adventure (and save the world) to correct it. If you’re looking for a grand adventure you can take with you on the go, Tales of Hearts R is it.
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
(Available November 13 for PC)
The most popular massively multiplayer online RPG in the world is about to get bigger. Warlords of Draenor is the fifth expansion to the already-enormous universe created for World of Warcraft over the past 10 years. It tells the tale of an orc Warchief who travels back to a time before the orcish homeworld of Draenor was destroyed. He assembles a powerful army of orcs and prepares to bring them through a portal to invade present-day Azeroth, where they’re sure to do some serious damage.
As is common for MMO expansions, Warlords of Draenor raises the level cap in the game, giving seasoned players more reasons to keep coming back. And if you pre-order the expansion, you can boost one of your characters to level 90 for free.
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