Hey, there’s a new “Call of Duty” game! Must be November! Seriously, the “Call of Duty” franchise has become as regular as Opening Day for Major League Baseball. It’s going to come at the same time every year. It’s going to suck up your free time. There’s little you can do to resist. Perhaps what’s most interesting about “Ghosts” is that it will serve as the crossover game from the PS3 to the PS4 as it will be released on both systems. How it does comparatively platform-to-platform will be a major test for Activision when they’re determining their release pattern for 2014. As for the game itself, it’s the first non-sub-franchise (not “Modern Warfare” or “Black Ops”) in a few years and so that could hurt it a little bit…but not really. The name that matters is “Call of Duty” and until they really mess up the development of one of these games, they’re going to continue to be the only commercial juggernaut that merits comparison with “Grand Theft Auto V,” which, by the way, just passed 29 MILLION copies sold. Watch for a review here early next week.
Developer: Infinity Ward
Alternate: “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection”
November 12: “Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus”
Yes, I too am a little nervous and confused as to why Sony would not only choose to release a new game featuring two of their most beloved characters on the PS3 but mere days before the PS4 hits stores. What do you think is going to get marketing priority and better placement in stores? It’s a little understandable though when you realize that “Into the Nexus” is more of an epilogue than a new chapter in the “Ratchet & Clank” legacy and I’m sure the developers at Insomniac would want these characters to make their PS4 debut with more than a half-game (which only costs $30 by the way). After the total creative failures of “All 4 One” and “Full Frontal Assault,” “Ratchet & Clank” are returning to the amazing “Future” series, tying up some loose ends with a gameplay that will be more familiar to fans of games like “A Crack in Time” (which should be EVERYONE).
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Insomniac Games
Before You Buy: Play the entire “Future” series, especially “Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time”.
There have been TWENTY “Need For Speed” games. Perhaps that’s why some of the recent installments in this franchise have felt a little creatively lackluster. You try and make 20 variations on a racing game and see how fresh you feel. So why care about this one? Much of the staff of the landmark Criterion Games, the company that revolutionized this franchise and the “Burnout” one, now works for Ghost Games, who have returned the franchise to an open-world aesthetic that it hasn’t really seen since the last great game in the franchise, “Hot Pursuit.” Recent “NFS” games focused too much on city driving and racing, and I’m happy to see it return to a more story-driven model with more open-road gameplay. And that Frostbite engine was BUILT for racing games. It’s going to look so good that some people will wonder why this gaming generation is graduating already.
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Ghost Games
Before You Buy: Download and play Criterion’s “Burnout Paradise,” arguably the best racing game of the PS3 generation.
Alternate: “Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!”