Shhh, shut it for a second. Do you hear that? No, it’s not the ice maker in the fridge turning on. That’s the sound of calm. Sure, Forza Horizon 3 came out on Tuesday, but the next two biggest things were Quantum Break for Steam(!) and XCOM 2 for consoles. Two previously released games and a super chill racing game. Let that soak in for a second.
For games journalists, though, their inboxes are starting to blow up. The holiday rush is beginning. Next week, in fact, we see two of the biggest releases of the year in Gears of War 4 and Mafia III along with Paper Mario: Color Splash. And then the next week is PlayStation VR and the accompanying explosion of PlayStation VR games, quickly followed by Battlefield 1 and Civilization VI, and that doesn’t even take us to the end of October.
So yeah, enjoy the calm. Enjoy the games while you can before they turn into an anxiety-thrashing obligation. And let’s look at some trailers!
Nidhogg 2 — Teaser Trailer
God damn yes Nidhogg 2. If you never played the first one, then you done messed up, A-Aron. It’s a fantastic little game that’s all about taking your opponent’s expectations and stabbing them in the face with a sword. It’s easy to play, but it takes an incredible level of insight into human nature to actually be good at it.
That being said, I have no idea what to think about the expanding arsenal. This extraordinarily brief teaser shows off throwing knives and bows (with arrows) along with the old school foil. I have full faith in developer Mark Essen, but I hope it retains the, I dunno, intricate simplicity of the original. Also that art style totally does not mesh with what those old pixel buddies put in my head. It comes out sometime next year.
Hello Neighbor — Announcement Trailer
Sweet fuck. Talk about ridiculous yet absolutely terrifying. For one thing, you’re sneaking into someone’s house. You are a home invader. That’s incredibly scary from an empathetic point of view. It’s one of the many reasons movies like Hush resonate with—and horrify—viewers. (Truth be told, though, the impetus has more in common with Rear Window, spying on a neighbor and uncovering their secrets.)
But then the tables turn and you are on the other end of the predatory stick. And suddenly you are empathizing with the bad guy in Hush. I’m excited to see where that goes, too. Hopefully the ending of the trailer isn’t how any particular run of the game also ends. There’s a lot of potential in that setup. It’s due out next summer for PC.
Titanfall 2 — Single Player Cinematic Trailer
What an odd trailer. It switches from what is an otherwise decent arc about what makes a pilot so special to some sort of dry summary of the universe the game is set in. But that’s before it folds back in with a single line about living up to something this guy has never been before but can speak about intimately. The entire thing feels weird.
And that’s not to mention the writing. “What truly separates the pilot from all the grunts and machines of the battlefield…” is a machine? Come on. I guess it doesn’t really matter, though, because it looks fantastic. Visually, this is one stunning trailer. I can’t stop watching it. So, mission accomplished? It comes out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 28.
Mafia III — Combat Trailer
Hmm. While the gunplay looks pretty good, it easily was not the best part of Mafia II. The story about good ol’ classic mobster betrayal and family bonds was one of the most gripping of any video game. Seeing this trailer and the accompanying developer video are focusing on something that is so far from what I was looking forward to.
It seems to play nicely with the narrative, though. The idea that there’s a character reason why you’re able to shoot up a bunch of mobsters and survive is a good one, and hopefully means they’ve put a lot of thought into both the gameplay and the story. And seeing the exploding car stuff gives me major Hitman vibes, so yeah, I’m into it. It comes out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and OS X on October 7.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap — Dev Diary 1
Goodness gracious this is a beautiful game. Seriously, I’ve not been more into an unreleased game’s graphics than Studio MDHR’s upcoming Cuphead. It’s so relentlessly charming. Look at that dragon! And that mouse with a sword! It’s all so crisp and clean and colorful.
But really, the cool part of this video is that it’s basically seven minutes of Ryuichi Nishizawa, creator of the Wonder Boy series, talking about the original Wonder Boy III with the developers of this remake. It’s wonderfully illuminating, especially regarding the differences of old and new game design and what each one could take from each other.
Gears of War 4 — Prologue Playthrough
Just so you know, this is 20ish minutes of the first mission, so if you don’t want to spoil the beginning of the game, then just keep scrolling. Otherwise, press play and keep reading.
This is an immensely interesting and potent intro. It covers some deep lore in real time. Event like Emergence Day, a skirmish from the Pendulum Wars, and even history about the Hammer of Dawn tech is revealed here. I hope the entire game can keep that up. I’m totally loving the idea that this some mythos blowout to give some exploding denouement to the series. It comes out for the Xbox One and PC on October 11.
Osiris: New Dawn — Launch Trailer
This is an Early Access game that approximates to some fulfillment of what people expected from Elite: Dangerous, No Man’s Sky, and Star Citizen. And that’s primarily because it aims to be that, though perhaps not in those highly specific and potentially controversial terms.
It’s massively multiplayer, massively large, and massively spacefaring. There’s a seamless transition from terrestrial flight to interstellar flight and a giant space station and oh fuck giant space worms. I don’t know about you, but that spells several tons of potential to me. It’s out now in Early Access.
Here They Lie — Launch Trailer
Oh fuck you. There’s no way in hell I’m playing this in VR. I mean, yeah, there’s some solid gold lines in there (“if you go deep enough, the city forgets it’s a city”) and I’m super interested in finding out what the significance of the colors yellow and red and oh crap I think I’m gonna play this game.
I do wonder how it plans on engaging the player. We’re still in those nascent days of VR where the question rarely is what it is but more how they plan on making it work. In this case, there can’t be any sort of action-heavy, Resident Evil-style gameplay, can there? That gameplay doesn’t work in VR. I guess we’ll find out when it comes out on October 13 for the PlayStation VR.
Battlefield 1 — Official Single Player Trailer
Whether you think horses are fun or blowing up blimps will make the multiplayer bad, this is one hell of a trailer. It’s a bit corny, but it’s really good at showcasing a global, unifying arc, throwing around wartime ideals than philosophical navel-gazing, which is appropriate for something like this. It builds nicely around several choice moments that really sticks the poignancy up the air.
It’s also a stupidly good-looking trailer. I realize we’re probably past being amazed at what video games can look like, but it’s still inspiring when you see it happening right in front of you. The varying leather textures and their weathering alone would convince 3D artists from five years ago that you’re a witch. It comes out October 21 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Planet Coaster — Coaster Crash!
Well. Fucking. Played.