October is a mammoth of a month for games, with Grand Theft Auto V’s online launching, the PS3 having its last exclusive swan song with Beyond: Two Souls, and with Nintendo coming out swinging with two of their biggest franchises’ in Zelda and Pokémon.
GTA Online (Oct 2)
Well well well. Is this the worst online mode launch for a console game since Gears of War 2’s multiplayer in 2008? Perhaps it’s too early so say – considering the online component only launched two days ago – but only a minuscule amount of people have been able to play so far. Personally speaking I’ve had no luck whatsoever, even in a private online session. Hopefully this time last week we will have all forgotten about the launch woes because we’ll be having too much of a blast robbing banks with friends! GTA’s online launch woes does leave me to wonder this, though: If the online had’ve launched alongside the game’s initial release (September 17) then we probably could’ve all been playing online smoothly by now already.
Platforms: PS3 & 360
Rain (Oct 1)
Having just played through Rain to completion only a few hours ago, I’m going to make a bold statement: This is this year’s PSN equivalent to Journey/Unfinished Swan. I will say that it doesn’t quite reach the same high heights of the two aforementioned games – which most games don’t – but it is the standout PSN game of 2013. An adventure game with simple-yet-effective puzzles and platforming that will stay with you thanks to its powerful, atmospheric soundtrack and heartfelt story. It’s fairly short, clocking in at no more than six hours, but it’s worth every penny of its £10/$15 asking price.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Oct 4)
Super Mario 3D World is arguably the Wii U’s biggest game of the year, but from where I’m sitting, Wind Waker HD is Ninty’s biggest of the lot. We all loved the Gamecube, right? Well those of us who owned the thing most certainly did! I’ve got a confession to make, and it’s one I’m not proud of: I never played Wind Waker on Gamecube. I know, I know; I’m a terrible person! But, and I assure you of this, I’m going to make up for my sins and play the hell out of Wind Waker HD. Man, HD remakes are awesome, aren’t they? Fingers crossed for that Super Mario Sunshine HD remake!
Platform: Wii U
Dragon’s Crown (UK, Oct 11)
Dragon’s Crown was released over in North America at the start of August, and I’m not entirely sure why we’re getting it a few months later in the UK – other than the fact that we get stuff late sometimes. I can’t help but feel as if the August release date would’ve faired much better for Dragon’s Crown, though; as, well, as you can see from this list October is a pretty big month for games and Dragon’s Crown is now running the risk of being buried at sea by the bigger names. Personally speaking, I think I’m gonna have to pass on Dragon’s Crown for now. Not because it doesn’t look great, but because there’s other games that are taking priority at the top of my list. And not to mention that Beyond: Two Souls and Pokemon X & Y are both out on the same day.
Platforms: PS3 & PS Vita
Beyond: Two Souls (Oct 11)
Heavy Rain is, at this point in time, my favourite PS3 game. It is without a doubt one of my favourite games of this generation, too. Beyond: Two Souls has been my most anticipated game of the year, and my gut reaction is telling me that it’s going to be special. Real special. I was fortunate enough to go hands on with a generously lengthy demo just last week at Eurogamer Expo, and I wasn’t disappointed. It plays similarly to Heavy Rain, but yet it feels so refined and different. A lot of people may have already pegged The Last of Us as their final swan song for the PS3, but those people have peaked too early.
Pokémon X & Y (Oct 12)
Pokémon was the first game I ever played on a handheld. (It was Pokémon Blue on the Gameboy Colour, if you were wondering). The franchise will always hold a special place in my heart, like it will to many others too. Ever since Blue & Red there’s been vast improvements throughout instalments, but X & Y, by the looks of things, is a new breath of fresh air with its polygonal 3D graphics. Don’t worry though, Pokémaniacs, this is still Pokémon and you know and love it, with gym badges to collect, Pokémon to collect and bad guys to battle. Editors Note: I’ll totally be picking up Pokémon Y.
Sonic: Lost World (Oct 18)
Sonic’s back! How many times have you heard that before? I feel like I’ve typed it enough times in the short time I’ve been writing about games, but no matter how many times he gets knocked down, you just can’t keep the speedy, blue hedgehog away. I got to go hands on with the Wii U version for a short time at Eurogamer Expo, and while my socks weren’t knocked off, I was impressed enough to put it on my huge pre-order list. It had the feel and upbeat tone of Sonic Adventure 2, and the new enemies – the Sinister Six – may look directly targeted towards kids, but the stage I played was very challenging. Unfortunately I didn’t get to play the 3DS version, but it does seem as if all the marketing is focusing on the WII U version. Probably not a good sign. Regardless of how it fairs critically though, this is sure to be an early christmas presents for the kids. Right, Mum?
Platforms: Wii U & 3DS
Batman: Arkham Origins (Oct 25)
I don’t think I had ever been more excited for a game than I was for Arkham City in 2011. And I know I wasn’t alone in this feeling either, as it was one of the best selling games that year. I’ve got some bad news though (well, for me at least): I was majorly disappointed with the demo I played of Arkham Origings. It didn’t take the golden goose of worst game of the show award (that went to Ryse: Son of Rome) but it just felt exactly the same as Arkham City and it looked exactly the same too. That may not sound like a bad thing considering Arkham City was pretty darn great, but why we’re receiving a prequel now from Warner Bros. – not Rosksteady, the creators of Asylum and City – after the Joker was killed off in Arkham City is beyond me. I love Batman as much as the next person, but the chances are I’ll be giving Arkham Origins a miss.
Platforms: 360, PS3, Wii U