A new Call of Duty. A new Halo. And Nintendo is releasing a brand new home console. To say November 2012 is a busy month is an understatement. If you consider yourself a hardcore gamer, your wallet is going to be screaming bloody murder by the time November 30th rolls around. With that in mind, here’s a list of the hottest games hitting shelves this turkey month.
Platform: Xbox 360 / Release Date: 11.6.2012
Let’s just get this out of the way: Halo 4 rocks, I said as much in my review. The game boasts an engrossing and surprisingly emotional campaign, as well as enough cooperative and competitive multiplayer content to keep you busy for months. If you’re a Halo fan, this game is not to be missed. Thus far, Halo 4 is the best first-person shooter released this year. Time will tell if Black Ops 2 – releasing later this month – can dethrone it.
Platform: PS3 / Release Date: 11.6.2012
The Sackboy gang makes the transition from platforming to go-karting in this spinoff title developed by United Front Games, the same folks who created the amazing ModNation Racers from a few years back. Everything you expect from a LittleBigPlanet title – the customization suite, creation tools and humor – have been brought over to LBP Karting. It’s like the merger of two awesome worlds – LittleBigPlanet and Mario Kart. What’s not exciting about that?
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC / Release Date: 11.13.2012
According to developer Treyarch, the future is black. Black Ops 2, as the name so obviously implies, is a sequel to the original Black Ops, picking up in the year 2025, when wars are fought not by soldiers but by computers and machines. The game’s campaign follows the son of Black Ops 1’s protagonist, as he deals with a world overrun by rogue technology. Black Ops 2 also comes with a robust multiplayer component, as per usual, and a deeper zombie mode. If you like the Call of Duty games, odds are you’ll dig Black Ops 2.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PC / Release Date: 11.18.2012
The folks at Junction Point Studios and Disney want to take a mulligan with Epic Mickey. The original game had its charm, but it also lacked in a number of ways, mainly the poor camera controls. So for Epic Mickey 2, Junction Point has fixed the camera (supposedly), added cooperative play and decided to bring the game to more platforms than just the Wii. Better yet, Epic Mickey 2 is a full-on musical, which is a genre we rarely see taken advantage of in the video game industry. We’re really pulling for this second effort to be worthy of the mouse’s name. Keep an eye on this one.
Release Date: 11.18.2012
This month, Nintendo officially moves on from the Wii to their new console, the Wii U. The Wii U is a system that’s meant to bridge the gap between the hardcore gaming crowd and the casual. The system delivers high definition visuals on par with Microsoft and Sony’s consoles, as well as a neat tablet controller that allows for deeper immersive into your games. The tablet, called the Wii U GamePad, also lets you carry on your gaming session without stopping if someone needs to use the living room television. With that said, though, there are still a few oddities that have us scratching our head over Nintendo's new system.
Now to the details: the system comes in two varieties – basic for $299.99 and premium for $349.99. If you’re thinking of picking up the console, we suggest you go the premium model, as it comes with additional storage memory, a stand for your console, a copy of NintendoLand and a deluxe digital promotion subscription, which nets you points for each digital purchase you make that can then be used to buy more games.
As for games to pick up at launch, we recommend New Super Mario Bros. U, ZombieU, Scribblenauts Unlimited, and the Wii U ports of Assassin’s Creed III and Darksiders 2. That should keep you plenty busy.
Look for a more in-depth buyer’s guide for the Wii U here at CraveOnline closer to the console’s launch.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Platform: PS3, PS Vita / Release Date: 11.20.2012
Sony’s consoles finally get their own version of Super Smash Bros. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale stars all the staple Sony characters – Nathan Drake, Cole MacGrath, Kratos, Parappa the Rapper and more – in a knock down, drag out brawler taking place across a number of stages inspired by Sony’s wide range of properties. If you’re familiar with Nintendo’s fighting series, then you should feel right at home with PS All-Stars. However, that’s not to say PS All-Stars is a direct copy and paste of Nintendo’s winning formula. PS All-Stars does some different stuff with its combo and finisher system to differentiate it from the pack, but it also doesn’t rock the boat too much since it knows Nintendo has a winner on its hands. If you’re in the mood for some slobber knockin’ with Sony characters, PS All-Stars Battle Royale is your ticket.
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC / Release Date: 11.20.2012
Agent 47 makes his triumphant and bloody return this month. While Hitman: Absolution marks the fifth entries in this franchise, the developers at IO Interactive have said this is the most accessible Hitman game yet for new players. If you’re unfamiliar with the Hitman series, know that it’s an action/stealth hybrid that lets you go about assassinations however you choose – you can use all the turns at your disposal to stay hidden, or you can run in guns blazing to take our your target as fast as possible. All this wrapped in an engaging conspiracy yarn. From what we’ve seen of Hitman: Absolution thus far, the game is looking like something that should be on your radar.