Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Monthly Roundup

Welcome to the Monthly Roundup. Each month we’ll take a look at the upcoming releases and highlight the ones we are most excited for. The number of titles that we talk about will vary depending on the month but we’ll highlight our most anticipated titles and pick our personal favourites for the month.

Though November is not as jam-packed full of big-name releases as October was, there are still quite a number of games that are coming out to get excited for! Some of these have already been released (yes, we are a bit behind on this) but fear not: the month is only just getting started and we still have a ways to go.

Halo 4
Release Date: November 6th

Halo has always been a huge title in the video game industry and Halo 4 doesn’t look to change that; with an already gigantic and dedicated fanbase and a brand-new studio at the helm (admittedly staffed almost entirely by long-time developers of the franchise that created Halo at Bungie), it is a new-yet-familiar experience that many are looking forward to. The consensus thus far has been that Halo 4 is a much more emotional and serious story than the games that preceded it, but time will tell if this is a formula that Halo will benefit from. Check out our preview for more information on what to expect from the new sequel!
Nick J.'s Pick of the Month: Though I spent some time in the beta for PlanetSide 2 and enjoyed almost every minute of it (I say almost because it took me some time to realize the necessity of playing within a group of other people, instead of by myself), the game I am most anticipating in November is Halo 4 (a game that, at the time of publication, is admittedly already released). After having read into the plot of the game, familiarizing myself with the new Halo novels being written by Greg Bear, and reading about the Marathon trilogy (the original trilogy developed by Bungie), especially about how they approached AI technology and how AIs grow over time, I am extremely excited to see what sort of plot Halo 4 has to offer. It seems like a classic yet ingenious sci-fi story that I can't wait to delve into.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Release Date: November 13th

The next installment of the Call of Duty franchise takes us forward into the near future, showing us what the next generation of war will look like. The game looks to have some stellar graphics, thrilling setpieces and promises to bring the same exciting multiplayer that fans of the franchise expect. Though not many of us here at Loading Checkpoint are Call of Duty fans (Ed. Note: anymore), Dallas H. will be bringing us coverage of his experiences in-game, so stay tuned for that!
Dallas H.'s Pick of the Month: My pick for November would have to be Call of Duty: Black Ops 2! Out of all of us here at Loading Checkpoint, I am the biggest Call of Duty supporter; nothing better than playing seven straight hours of multiplayer team deathmatch! The graphics look improved and the sniping (my preference) in all of the gameplay trailers looks freaking fantastic! I will definitely be making videos for this game and posting them, so keep an eye out!
Release Date: November 18th

Released alongside the WiiU, ZombiU is likely the most anticipated title for the new Nintendo console. Utilizing the new WiiU gamepad in unique and intuitive ways, and taking the zombie genre to another level with more demand of interactivity from the players, ZombiU looks to be an interesting title that should help determine the success of the WiiU itself. I am unsure if anyone at Loading Checkpoint will be getting a WiiU but expect us to keep an eye on how it and the new games do on the market, and relay the information to you.

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
Release Date: November 18th

The first Epic Mickey, released only for Wii, was met with middling reviews; though people appreciated the classic Disney setting and the interesting approach to the gameplay, ultimately it was just another Wii game. Epic Mickey 2, however, is being released across all consoles and, indeed, all platforms -- even Windows and Mac! This sequel looks to continue the story from the first game and will most likely elaborate on the drawing gameplay from the first game, taking advantage of the touchscreen on the WiiU gamepad. Screw Kingdom Hearts, Epic Mickey is all the Disney you should need!
Nick R.'s Pick of the Month: Looking at November’s releases I find myself leaning in a different direction than I thought I would even a month ago. I find myself without a whole lot of enthusiasm for Halo or Call of Duty. It seems like more of the same, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but they fall down my shopping list because of it. I was pretty stoked for PlayStation All-Stars until I played the beta and found it to be a little bland. 
Then I heard Epic Mickey 2 was available on PS3. I really wanted to play the first but it was only available for the Wii and, sadly, I do not own one. Now the sequel comes as a multiplatform release. I've only just started to read about it but it looks promising: it's a local co-op musical! Mickey Mouse will burst into song as you play, and that makes me smile. This month I’m walking past the gloomy future wars of Halo and Call of Duty to pick up a happy musical Disney game. Epic Mickey 2 gets my vote this month.
Hitman: Absolution
Release Date: November 20th

While Hitman has always been the be-all end-all of stealth-action games, Absolution looks to take that claim to the next level. With enhanced AI, stellar level design, and endless ways to approach your objectives, Hitman: Absolution will give players nail-biting action as you execute elaborate plans to execute important targets -- and with added online interconnectivity, Absolution will have players competing against one another to figure out who is the true Agent 47!

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Release Date: November 20th

While Tekken and Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat all have huge followings, the truth of the matter is that the biggest fighting game to be released in the last decade was Super Smash Bros., and its two sequels. Taking cues from the successful Nintendo franchise, Sony is releasing PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, a multiplayer fighting game that pits familiar PlayStation characters against one another in a battle for supremacy. If you want to see Sly Cooper beat the crap out of Parappa the Rapper, or see Sweet Tooth blow Fat Princess away with a shotgun, this is the game for you.

PlanetSide 2
Release Date: November 20th

An MMO like no other, PlanetSide 2 is an FPS that pits three different factions against one another as they 
vie for control of an entire planet. When you create a character, you choose one of the three factions and set out in their name, as you try to take control of different facilities located across the map in order to gain resources for your faction. These resources can be turned in for vehicles and better gear, that then allow you to push to take bigger facilities, and the cycle repeats. The persistent world and the emphasis on large-scale team battles (it is next to impossible to capture any facilities without a squad of at least eight soldiers at your back) make PlanetSide 2 a very interesting and unique title, one that I am excited to try out with some friends!

Mass Effect 3 DLC: Omega
Release Date: November 27th

Though not a full release, also worth noting is the release of the third DLC pack for Mass Effect 3, Omega. This DLC includes a much larger story than previous packs, focusing on the conflict surrounding the Omega space station featured in Mass Effect 2. In the DLC, gangster Aria T'Loak enlists the aid of Commander Shepard to retake Omega from Cerberus forces; the pack promises to have some intense combat and familiar faces, giving Mass Effect fans some extra content they are sure to love!
Kaitlyn P.'s Pick of the Month: For the month of November I am most anticipating the release of the Mass Effect Omega DLC. Yes, it’s becoming clear to everyone now that I am a massive Bioware fangirl. See what I did there.
Anyway, we’re going to finally see what went down on Omega between the second and third game AND we’ll get to see a female Turian. Girl Power.

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