This summer’s video game bonanza was cancelled. Between moving house and getting a new dog, my spring and early summer gaming sessions were wrecked. By mid-summer, I’d noticed that I had an alarming number of games that I hadn’t finished. Even worse, I’d acquired a ridiculous amount of downloadable content that I’d yet to complete – shout out to Rocksteady and the Batman Arkham Knight season pass. To make room for this fall’s games, I decided to not buy a single new title from June to September. I called it, No New Games Summer. It worked. Alan Wake, Quantum Break, Batman Arkham Knight: Season of Infamy and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper got completed. I’m still working on Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon.
It’s time to start making plans for the fall. I provided a brief look at what games I’m planning to play this fall in this month’s Ask The en. I want to deep dive into it a bit more here though, you know, in the interest in over sharing and all that.
I and Microsoft’s self-publishing business have a rocky history. ReCore, Quantum Break and Alan Wake were great. Halo 5: Guardians was legit too, I think. I’m still bitter about Crackdown 2 and Fable 3 though.
I’m ready to take chances on them this fall, despite the mixed feelings.
Forza Horizon 3
I had absolutely no plan to pick up Forza Horizon 3. I haven’t played the series since 2013. That’s when Forza 5 debuted on the Xbox One. My console came with the game. I didn’t hate it; I’m just not a car guy at all. Still, reviews for Forza Horizon 3 have me thinking about trying the game. It’s averaging a 90 on Metacritic. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. It looks like my Drivatar is going to Australia.
Gears of War 4
My Microsoft shooter of choice is and always will be Microsoft’s Halo. That series is on the bench this year, with Gears of War 4 getting all the love and attention from fans this holiday. I will be playing Gears of War 4. In fact, I’ll be reviewing it. When that review does début, remember to keep it in context. I know who the major players are because I’ve studied up on all the lore, but it’ll be the first Gears of War game I finish. Ever.
In case it’s not clear from my tweets and messages on Twitter and Facebook, my favorite publisher is Ubisoft. I like their flair for open-worlds and adding historical context to anything that they make. Sometimes they overreach – the original Watch Dogs comes to mind. Sometimes they nail it. I’m still playing The Division, and it came out in March. Staying with any console title that long is practically unheard for me.
Because I like Ubisoft, I’m willing to give them a pass and try new franchises. They’re cashing that pass in on Steep this year. It’s an open-world snow sports game. Certainly, it’s out of the ordinary.
Watch Dogs 2
My second favorite game made by Ubisoft, Watch Dogs had some issues. I hope they’ve worked through them. Even if they haven’t, a brighter setting and dumping Aiden Pearce are both steps in the right direction for Watch Dogs 2. Also, car hacking. Oh, you know I’m game for that.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
I can’t believe this is coming from me, but here it goes. I’m strongly considering picking up Call of Duty Infinite Warfare. Yeah, hear me out.
I enjoyed Advanced Warfare’s story. This game’s story has new power-ups and space combat. Am I ever going to play the game’s multiplayer? No. Am I ever going to buy additional map packs? Never.
On PC: Planet Coaster & Cities Skylines
Games have always been a part of my life, but consoles haven’t. I did a stint as a PC only gamer for a while. During those two summers I had just two games: Roller Coaster Tycoon and Sim City 3000. Sim City went down in a sea of flames a few years ago. The second to last Roller Coaster Tycoon game was produced by Frontier Developments.
Frontier wasn’t chosen for Roller Coaster Tycoon World, the latest game in that franchise. The studio used the money it made off Elite Dangerous to finance its own park simulator, Planet Coaster. With Halo Wars 2 not coming this year, Planet Coaster is my must-have PC game this year. I actually pre-ordered it in August so that I could get access to it early. The graphics are top-notch and the building creation engine allow you to create practically anything you want. My favorite thing made with it? A park designed around Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter series.
Cities Skylines made the most recent Sim City look like tragically inadequate. Once I’d finally picked up a PC powerful enough to play the game, I snatched it up. This winter the game has a disasters expansion that I can’t wait to get my hands on. As it exists today, the game doesn’t have them at all.
What are you planning on playing this fall?