Busy month September.
Schools are back.
College is starting.
And those banks aren’t going to heist themselves! Let’s get to it...
Title: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Developer: The Chinese Room
Publisher: Frictional Games
Released: September 10th
The swine will rise.
This super-spooky tagline for Frictional’s latest seems (at least initially) kinda hilarious. But give it a minute and a terrifying notion emerges. Pigs are out to get you.
Since their debut first person survival horror Penumbra: Overture (2007), Frictional Games have become experts at scaring the pants off underpowered gamers.
True to form, A Machine For Pigs is an extremely atmospheric physics puzzler set in the industrial age. Expect myriad narrative strands to intertwine but more pertinently, brace yourself for those hellswine!
Terror is the central theme. And uniquely, this screen warping, control hampering, pants wetting element is absent in the wider Survival Horror genre. And it is with these petrifying sequences AMFP will prove its worth.
The Swine will rise.
Can you save your own bacon?
Title: Total War: Rome II
Developer: The Creative Assembly
Released: September 3rd
Total War has been synonymous with Real Tim Strategy for eight titles now. Back in 2001, when Shogun: Total War redefined what it was to command polygonal armies,The Creative Assembly became undisputed lords of the genre.
Arguably, this remains the case. But if recent reviews are anything to go by, they now sit ill at ease upon that throne.
Poetically, like the empire that inspired it, Total War: Rome II stands accused of attempting too much, of overreaching, of wearing itself thin and showing its cracks. Still, other games can’t offer this level of tactical depth, strategic freedom or 50,000+ units onscreen at any given time.
Perhaps the Total War empire is in its decline. But I wouldn’t worry. It’s not like there’s a single RTS superpower to fill the power vacuum.
Title: FIFA 14
Developer: EA Canada
Released: September 27th
I am not football man. I kicked a ball once, and the less said about that the better.
Mark is more football man. So to get the juices juicing for this year’s FIFA, you could check out,
This Interview with FIFA Producer Sebastian Enrique
This Interview with Ultimate Team Producer Marcel Kuhn
This Preview of FIFA 14
Also, given this is the first FIFA to appear on next generation hardware (A copy of FIFA 14 bundles with day one Xbox One pre-orders) expect a bit more buzz than usual at the end of the month!
Title: Rayman Legends
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
Released: September 12th (Vita)
Bouncing right back from that whole Raving Rabbids craze (I do have a lot of time for those mentallers, though) 2011’s Origins and now 2013’s Legends have re-cemented Rayman as THE KING OF PLATFORMERS!
While he lacks Sonic’s speed, Mario’s charm and Meat Boy’s masochistic hook, Rayman’s flawless controls and inventive level design elevate him above his peers.
The narrative holds no real draw. Also, I’m not even sure what a Rayman even is... But this is gaming at its purest, distilled for your pleasure. Rayman Legends is a vintage blend; a taste of modern precision and an aroma of classic charisma.
Drink it in.
Title: Grand Theft Auto V
Developer: Rockstar Games
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Released: September 17th
One struggles to convey the magnitude of this launch.
Those who game and those who spectate are rarely on the same page. For instance, the outside world might think we’re all bloodthirsty COD heads, when in fact we gamers are 75 hours deep in Skyrim.
However when it comes to Grand Theft Auto, everyone is on the same page.
Gamers love it. Spectators love it. I’m pretty sure my Nan loves it.
And with good reason too – Numbered GTA entries are usually embody Rockstar’s greatest ambition.
They have all the vehicles.
They boast the largest maps.
They feature the most advanced multiplayer.
They sport the largest number of ancillary and tertiary activities.
And, if my recent Top 5 Mechanics GTAV Should Pilfer is any indicator, they showcase the most elaborate gameplay.
GTAV, naturally, will attempt to outstrip its predecessors, but not solely in technical, graphical terms. With a trio of interchangeable protagonists and the ability to research, plan and execute your heists in varied ways, Rockstar has its sights set on its freshest, most rewarding mechanical interface ever.
As Rockstar’s flagship brand, it too will have to suffer the brunt of the criticism. There will be those who lament the series’ increasing seriousness, contrasting it with the hilarity of Saints Row IV. Other detractors will comment on the vacancy of such an expansive world, preferring the detail and immersion of smaller maps like the aforementioned Elder Scrolls V.*
*If you don’t know what that is, fear not, chances are you’re one of the aforementioned spectators...
Finally, you get fussy buggers like me who dislike GTA’s criminality for the sake of criminality. We pine for more ambiguous, likeable avatars, such as RedDead’s John Marston.
But such criticism is months off.
September, and quite possibly Q4 2013 will be saturated with Grand Theft Auto V. Its sweeping campaign will dominate water coolers. That wild online companion will jam the servers. And regardless of your feelings for the series, when Rockstar Games release a Magnum Opus, a swan song, a love letter to a seven year console generation, it is always worth a look!