As August winds down and September looms large on the horizon - that means only one thing to gamers: the start of the Fall release season. Yes! After the traditional summer gaming drought, we're about to get hit by a flood of new releases through September, October and November.
And our question this week is - which game is it you're most excited about? Perhaps it's the very-soon-to-be-released Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain? Or Super Mario Maker? Or maybe the upcoming Destiny: The Taken King expansion?
What's for sure is that there's a slew of great games coming out over the next couple of months, and we're in for a vintage Fall season. But when all's said and done, which one release stands out to you as the must-have title?
While you ponder your answer, here's what the USgamer team are most looking forward to.
Speaking as USgamer's resident racing nut, my most-anticipated game for the Fall is a really easy one for me to call out: Turn 10's beautiful-looking Forza Motorsport 6.
I played it multiple times at E3, and it's shaping up to be the greatest racing game yet seen. Yeah, I know it's a little early to call it without seeing the full game, but if I was a betting man, and I am, I'd put a good chunk of change down that it's going to make every other racing game eat its dust when it comes out in mid-September.
For starters, it's going to feature a roster of more than 450 cars (all modeled with exceptional "Forzavista" detail), and will boast 26 tracks, with around 100 variations to race on. There's the regular career path, plus a new "Stories of Motorsports" mode, which will span some 70 hours of gameplay. Basically, it features five sub-career modes, each of which has three racing series to compete in. The player gets to choose which type of car they'd like to drive from a choice of six, so basically you get to play this mode almost however you want.
But the biggest technical news is that the game now features night-time and wet weather racing. I checked out the latter at E3, and it seems very realistic. Almost too realistic in some respects - it look me a while to get used to the fact that cars aquaplane on puddles, which makes driving at speed incredibly challenging. But they say that in racing, wet weather is the great equalizer, and we'll have to see what that does for the AI racers.
Multiplayer is well taken care of, with support for up to 24 simultaneous participants, and a new league system that will pit players of "similar temperament" against one another. So I guess that means if you like barging other people off the course, expect to be lumped in with other players who like doing the same thing and prepare for a bit of a destruction derby.
Yep, like I said - it's all coming together very nicely. And with yet another year passing without a new-generation Gran Turismo to offer any sort of competition - and even with the exceptionally good Project CARS following closely behind - Forza is looking like it'll take pole position as the racing game to have.
I was going to say "Super Mario Maker," but, well….
No, the only answer here for me is Metal Gear Solid V. I've been with the series since the very beginning, and even though I've struggled to keep my faith with Hideo Kojima's weird, wacky stealth action franchise, I still believe in it. And after all these years, I need to see how it ends — how it comes full circle, if indeed it does.
I suppose my enthusiasm can be summed up thusly: I've long since ceased to buy limited editions of video games… but I've had the collector's edition of MGSV lined up for preorder since the day it went up for sale. I don't even care that Japan gets a full-sized robot arm and the American version is like a little tiny baby arm! I just want to own this small token of gaming's longest-running saga.
You'll hear more about my love for the series on Monday's episode of Retronauts, which tackles the Metal Gear franchise in detail. It's not just the history at work here that has me so drawn to the saga's grand finale, though; everything about the game sounds like it was carefully calculated to appeal to me. Stealth matters. It all transpires in an open, free-form game world. And it's mercifully short on drawn-out codec conversations. It looks like Metal Gear in its ultimate form, and from what I've played of it — and everything Kat and Bob have said about it — it lives up to that promise. I can't wait to tear into it… though I think I will wait. Just a few months, so I don't have to worry about splitting my attention between MGSV and other review projects… this is the kind of game that demands my full attention.
It was on an episode of Axe of the Blood God a couple weeks ago that Bob said he was ready for Fallout 4. I agree. It's been four years now since Skyrim, which itself is a very good game, and five years since Fallout New Vegas. Technology has progressed a great deal in that time, which is evident in how dated Fallout 3 and New Vegas look these days.
As always, what makes Bethesda's take on Fallout special is its sheer scope. There's a tremendous amount to find and do; and once you've gotten settled in, it begins to feel like a real world that you can live in and influence. It's an intoxicating feeling to get lost in one of Bethesda's worlds, even if I can kind of guess Fallout 4's big twist.
Aside from technological leaps, Fallout 4 is bringing with it some intriguing additions, including full weapon customization and the ability to build customized shelters. Both elements figure to add further depth to what is already a fairly intensive RPG.
In any case, Fallout 4 is going to be an absolute feast of a game. I'm both excited and a little terrified to know that I'm probably going to be on the review for it. But after five years, I'm ready to get back to Bethesda's post-atomic horror.