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October Gaming Guide

Holy Arkham City, Batman! Plus Rage, Battlefield 3 and more release this month. Prepare thy wallet!

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Have you recovered from the onslaught of games that released in September? No? Well, too bad. Because here comes October to further rape your wallet. Let’s skip the formalities and get right down to brass tacks. Here are the 10 biggest games releasing in October 2011.

Dark Souls

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Developer: From Software
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3
Release Date: 10/4/2011

The spiritual successor to the balls-hard Demon Souls, Dark Souls is an action-RPG set in a fantasy world full of demons, ghosts, dragons and other massive monsters who only live to kill you. But even with its incredibly steep difficulty curve, the beauty of what From Software has created is that its a fundamentally solid action-RPG that looks fantastic.


 

Dark Souls is not a game for everyone. We’re not joking when we say it’s ridiculously challenging. Only the most masochistic of gamers need apply. But the sense of satisfaction achieved for completing a dungeon or killing a boss is incalculable. Dark Souls is a true throwback to classic gaming when checkpoints and hand-holding were nonexistent.

NBA 2K12

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Developer: Visual Concepts
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, iOS, PS2, PSP, Wii
Release Date: 10/4/2011

The critically-acclaimed basketball franchise returns with Michael Jordan once again the cover athlete. However, he’s not alone. This year His Airness is bringing along a number of his friends, including Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving and more for the game’s new “NBA Greatest” mode. NBA Greatest mode lets you play as 15 NBA hall-of-famers and their respective teams to not only settle some of the NBA’s greatest rivalries, but also to answer questions such as “Jordan vs. LeBron?” once and for all.


 

Last year’s NBA 2K11 took away a large number of sports game of the year awards. We’re expecting NBA 2K12 to further add to that already stellar foundation with additions such as NBA Greatest mode, an improved My Player mode, Legends mode and more.

RAGE

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Developer: id Software
Systems: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Release Date: 10/4/2011

We’re actually in the middle of reviewing RAGE right now for Crave. While we can’t say much about it, since we’re under embargo, we can tell you that this promising, open-world shooter comes from id Software. id, makers of DOOM, should tell you that this one is quality. Will we tell you that? No. You didn’t hear shit from us, you get me!?


 

RAGE promises to be lengthy, varied, unique and well thought out. There’s said to be a strong mix of gunplay, characters, story and racing. Yeah, that’s right, racing. id Software is trying its collective hand at destruction derby style racing in this game. Will it work? Who knows! (We know.)

Spider-Man: Edge of Time

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Developer: Beenox
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, 3DS
Release Date: 10/4/2011

Developer Beenox returns to the Spider-Man gaming franchise with Spider-Man: Edge of Time, the follow-up to last year’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. For Edge of Time, Beenox is focusing in on just the “Amazing” and “2099” dimensions of the Spider-Man universe, telling a story that plans to answer the question of just how big an influence does Spider-Man have on people. And if he dies in the present, what does that mean for the future?


 

Beenox did some solid work with last year’s Shattered Dimensions. The game wasn’t perfect, but it was a step in the right direction after the Spidey gaming franchise went limping off into the sunset after 2008’s Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. Hopefully, Beenox has addressed the criticisms they received with Shattered Dimensions and applied that knowledge to the development of Edge of Time. We’re optimistic that Spider-Man: Edge of Time returns Spidey to a land of prominence within the realm of gaming. Keep an eye on this one.

Forza Motorsport 4

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Developer: Turn 10 Studios
System: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/11/2011

2009’s Forza Motorsport 3 was an incredible racing simulator. In fact, it turned this hardcore Gran Turismo fan into a Forza enthusiast. Now, just two years later, Turn 10 Studios is pumping out another Forza Motorsport with Microsoft Kinect support and the all-new Autovista mode which lets you really ogle over every minute detail of your cars, from doors, to dash, to wheels to engine and everything in between.


 

Over the years the Forza Motorsport series has earned the right to be mentioned in the same breath as Sony’s Gran Turismo series. Honestly, at this point, Forza may have even surpassed Gran Turismo due to the series’ consistent and substantial innovations made in much short development cycles. If you’re an Xbox 360 owner and like your video game racing realistic, then Forza Motorsport 4 is likely a must buy.


Batman: Arkham City

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Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3
Release Date: 10/18/2011

We’ve been feverishly anticipating this game since we finished Batman: Arkham Asylum back in 2009. Batman: Arkham City takes the action away from the confines of Arkham Island and drops the action right into Gotham City, specifically a quarantined zone which has been labeled “Arkham City” and serves as a city-sized prison for the convicts of Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison.


 

For Arkham City, Rocksteady is introducing an open world for Batman to explore, first and foremost. Also, Arkham City features Catwoman as a playable game in the game. The campaign alone is supposed to last nearly 25 hours, with the series' staple Challenge Mode extending the life of the game even further. Batman: Arkham City, we’re going to assume, is a sure bet. This is easily one of the biggest releases of the year. If you like action games, whether you’re a fan of Batman or not, give this one a look.

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

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Developer: Insomniac Games
Systems: PlayStation 3
Release Date: 10/18/2011

If Ratchet, Clank, Qwark and Insomniac are involved, sign us the hell up. This is a multiplayer title set to handle upwards of four players at once. You’ll take control as Ratchet, Clank, Qwark or the infamous Dr. Nefarious. You’ll also be able to fly solo, but the “All 4 One” subtitle certainly implies that the most fun will happen if done in a group (ain’t that always the way?).


Dead honest here: this is the first Ratchet & Clank title that we’ve found ourselves a little hesitant over. Yes, Insomniac has a clear, obvious penchant for quality developing, but we’re a little afraid of what’s new and unique. This four player adventure could be a mess, simply given the fact that Ratchet & Clank titles have always been solo efforts. Now, we’re not going to write this one off, we love the franchise and developers way too much for that; but, we are going in with a healthy dose of cautious optimism.

Dance Central 2

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Developer: Harmonix
System: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/21/2011

Be honest with yourselves… this is why you bought a Kinect. You didn’t actually think it would be the new hardcore way to play video games. No. You bought it to get drunk with your friends and shake your ass to the original Dance Central. And dance drunk you did, folks, dance…drunk…you…did.


 

Take that momentum, make it a sequel. Dance Central 2 looks to improve upon the original with voice features, two player drop-in/drop-out cooperative/competitive gameplay, all new songs and a better workout option. Now, if you have the original Dance Central and hope to keep busting moves to your favorite songs, have no fear; Harmonix will allow you to import the original songs to the new game, just like they did with Rock Band.

Limber up.

Kirby’s Return to Dreamland

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Developer: HAL Laboratory
System: Wii
Release Date: 10/24/2011

Trivia time! This Kirby title was originally slated for release on the GameCube back in 2005. It was delayed for the Wii, however, and then slipped into game development limbo. Nintendo released a different, unique, Kirby title with Kirby’s Epic Yarn last year. This upcoming Kirby is a return to form.


 

We would never call Epic Yarn a bad game. In fact, we loved it. But we wouldn’t necessarily call it a Kirby game, either. It wasn’t, quite simply, and fans of the series felt a little upset that they weren’t being treated to their typical round of tough fluff. So, Kirby’s Return to Dreamland looks to bring back the original luster of the franchise and characters. Let’s hope it succeeds.

Battlefield 3

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Developer: DICE
Systems: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release Date: 10/25/2011

Is this the Call of Duty killer so many fans are clamoring for it to be? We have no idea. But, we’ll say this, the hype surrounding DICE’s upcoming shooter is palpable. A lot of people are talking Battlefield right now, and we sense that this game will likely do much, much better than EA’s last “banner shooter,” Medal of Honor.


 

The Battlefield 3 beta is currently up and running on all platforms, for free, for those that have any interest in checking it out. You’ll have access to one map, Operation Metro, and one game type, Rush. It’s a little buggy, a little boring and pretty limited, but this should give you an idea of what the game’s multiplayer component will be like. This is one play option out of a ton, so expect much more from the shooter when it drops.