The 6 Biggest Games Launching Next Week

We’ve entered the fall selling season, which means publishers will be pumping out big name games every week for the next couple of months. From their perspective, it’s all about holiday shoppers and big Q4 revenues — but for gamers, it means you won’t have to look hard to find something worth playing. Below, we take a look at the six biggest games launching next week across all systems. No matter what kind of games you’re into, you’ll probably find something to spark your interest.

Skylanders: Trap Team

October 5, 2014 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, iOS)

Skylanders is one of the biggest breakout successes of the past few years. If you’re not familiar with it, there’s a good chance you don’t have kids. Skylanders is a series of games that link up with a series of toys of the same name. Every time you buy a new Skylanders toy, you can load it into the game, which lets you play as that character in the virtual world. The game-and-toy combo has proven so popular that Disney released a similar product called Disney Infinity and Nintendo has its own line coming soon called Amiibo.

The “starter pack” for Trap Team retails for $75, and comes with a copy of the game, two action figures, a portal to upload them, and two plastic crystals, which play a part in the new game. Loads of extra toys are available, but sold separately. The game itself is an action platformer that has you exploring a large number of colorful levels, whacking away at enemies, solving puzzles, and fighting enormous bosses. Early reviews indicate that it’s a lot of fun. If you have kids (and a budget that can accommodate the considerable expense), Skylanders: Trap Team looks like a solid bet.

Alien: Isolation

October 7, 2014 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Windows)

Now for something completely different. If you’ve seen Aliens, you may remember that between the first two films, Ripley spent several decades drifting through space in a cryogenic slumber. There’s a touching moment at the beginning of the second movie where she finds out her daughter has grown old and passed away in the intervening years. With Alien: Isolation, we discover what Ripley’s daughter was up to while her mom was missing.

The game stars Amanda Ripley as she investigates the mystery of what happened to her mother. Naturally, she ends up in a sparsely populated space station, being stalked by an alien — kind of like what her mother went through in the original film. It’s a survival horror game, so you can expect to be underpowered against the threat, with less access to weapons and ammo than you might wish. That’s why it’s terrifying, but it’s also why it’s fun.

DRIVECLUB

October 7, 2014 (PS4)

Sony’s big exclusive racing game this season is DRIVECLUB, a title that puts you behind the wheel of fast, fancy cars and drops you into gorgeous locations all around the world. What separates DRIVECLUB from all the other racers is its focus on team racing. You and your buddies can start a club and race against other clubs online.

The game is full of social features and multiple ways to interact with your friends. Even if they’re not online when you are, you can still send them challenges and play against their best times. You can even download the MyDRIVECLUB app to keep up with your club when you’re away from your PS4. If your friends are doing a race, for instance, you can watch it play out in real time from your phone. Keep an eye out for reviews if this sounds like your kind of adrenaline rush.

NBA 2K15

October 7, 2014 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Windows)

It’s that time of year when the latest sports games flood onto the market, usually featuring minor tweaks and improvements, plus the latest rosters for the teams. NBA 2K15 is this year’s major basketball title, and if you play it on a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you can expect to see graphics that look pretty close to photo-realistic.

The developers say they’ve introduced over 6,000 new animations this year, making movements more fluid and lifelike. They’ve also included real player voices, and will let you scan your face into the game so you can play with the big boys.

Project Spark

October 7, 2014 (Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows)

Project Spark is all about creation. With the press of a button, you can summon vast swaths of environments, from mountainous regions to deserts to cities, sculpting the terrain to your liking. Then you can add characters and rules and turn the environments into playable levels. It’s like you’re creating your very own game.

Even if you’re not feeling all that creative, you can still download games and levels other players have made and take them for a spin. It looks pretty fun, even though it’s hard to envision exactly what the finished products will be like. But if people are able to whip up fantastic creations, Project Spark could be a game that will keep you coming back.

Costume Quest 2

October 7, 2014 (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PC)

This role-playing game is set during trick-or-treat on Halloween. You play as Reynold and Wren, twins who go on a neighborhood adventure, bringing a beat-down to creatures called Grubbins. The way you do that is by putting on different Halloween costumes that grant you various super powers.

This sequel won’t be all that different from the 2010 original, but this time around the developers have spiced up the turn-based combat by adding combos and time-based button presses. Your health no longer regenerates after each battle, either; instead, you have to find water fountains to heal back up. Another addition is that the main characters wear skates all the time now to increase their walking speed. Overall, Costume Quest 2 should appeal to anyone who enjoyed the original, or who has fond memories of Halloween as a kid.

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