2011 has already been a wonderful year for gaming, and 2012 looks to follow suit. Every year, the period leading up to the holiday season is the busiest time for gaming, and this is no different in 2011. There are a ton of games worthy of your hard-earned money, so which are worth checking out? Read on for the first half of a list featuring awesome games being released this fall, and be sure to come back later this week for the remainder to the list.
1. Dark Souls
Platforms: X360, PS3
Release Date: October 4th, 2011
Notorious for its fiendishly hard difficulty, Demon’s Souls was well-received by critics and fans alike back in 2009. FROM Software has been slow to label Dark Souls as the true sequel to Demon’s Souls, but the two games have a lot in common with each other. Like its predecessor, Dark Souls is a third-person action RPG that has a huge emphasis on finding quality loot, collecting souls with which to upgrade skills and items by conquering tough enemies and large-scale boss battles. But where Demon’s Souls was incredibly difficult, Dark Souls often leaves the player feeling like their present situation is futile, and features more of an open-world environment.
What do you get when you purchase Dark Souls? Over 50 hours of gameplay, nearly-perfect game design, and a recurring headache. It is clear that the design team was meticulous when designing the game and nothing feels left out. While Dark Souls may at times feel impossible and bleak, it is one of the most rewarding games you will play this generation. It is not for everyone, and at times you may want to toss your controller at the nearest living object, but those willing to face the challenge will be paid back with an unparalleled gaming experience.
2. Batman: Arkham City
Platforms: X360, PS3, PC
Release Date: October 18th, 2011 (Console) + November 8th, 2011 (PC)
Batman: Arkham Asylum was one of the best games released in 2009 and arguably the best superhero games ever made. Arkham City looks prepared to one-up the original, with early reviews being extremely positive and indicating it as a frontrunner for game of the year. An open-world action-adventure game, it sees Batman entering Arkham City, a prison established in the Gotham City slums by Quincy Sharp, former warden of Arkham Asylum and current mayor of Gotham City. Batman does so to intervene after Two-Face threatens to publicly execute Catwoman. That short synopsis may be a bit of a mouthful for those unfamiliar with the Batman series, but Arkham City should follow the previous game in offering an excellent story that will be understandable even to those new to the series.
The inclusion of Catwoman as a playable character will no doubt entice fans, and the large number of returning villains are a welcomed addition. The number of gadgets has increased from eight to twelve, and there is nearly double the number of Riddler challenges offered in Arkham Asylum. The game will feature a slightly reworked version of the combat featured in Arkham Asylum, which was brilliant, being very simple to pick up and featuring an awesome combo system. Batman fans will no doubt fall in love with Arkham City, but there is so much on offer here that non-fans alike will have reason to check it out.
3. Battlefield 3
Platforms: X360, PS3, PC
Release Date: October 25th, 2011
Many years in the making, Battlefield fans have reason to rejoice, as Battlefield 3 is almost upon us. Though seemingly not drawing as much hype as Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3 looks ready to blow the latest Call of Duty sequel out of the water. Featuring gorgeous visuals and tight first person shooter gameplay, the game’s campaign is set in the Middle East and has gamers playing as the US Marine Corps as they fight to recover a missing US squad that disappeared while investigating the possible site of chemical weaponry. The game will feature amazing cinematics, judging by the trailers released so far, and there will be a co-op mode, so you can work your way through the campaign with a friend.
While the game’s single player component looks fantastic, the true draw of Battlefield games is the multiplayer, and Battlefield 3 looks prepared to deliver. The usual selection of game modes will be included, including team deathmatch and conquest, and players will be able to act as one of four classes: Recon, Assault, Engineer, and Support. If you have a computer strong enough to run it, the PC version of the game will no doubt be the strongest version, featuring graphics even more stunning than the console equivalents and 64 player multiplayer matches (in comparison to the 32 player matches on the console versions). Battlefield 3 looks like a prime reason to bust open your piggy bank when it releases later this month.
Stay tuned for the Part 2 of Six Video Games You Must Play This Fall!