Now that we’re a couple weeks removed from Destiny‘s September 9 release, some of the heavy hitters are peeking out at the sunlight. Fans of video games have some choices to make this week, and hard ones if they’re on a budget. We’ve seen some big launches, but this week is just overrun with them. Which will you be going with?
Wii U (September 26)
The Legend of Zelda meets Dynasty Warriors. We can’t make this stuff up. Hyrule Warriors sees publisher Tecmo Koei sending Warriors series developer Omega Force after Nintendo’s beloved Zelda franchise, and the results are actually pretty damn great.
Play as Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Impa, and an assortment of other fan favorites as you take on armies of creatures inspired by the classic Nintendo series. But it’s still a Warriors game, which means you’re one lone soldier (or two, in local co-op) fighting against thousands upon thousands of easily bested enemies in a light combo-driven brawler-style game.
PS3/PS4/PS Vita/3DS/Wii/Windows/Xbox 360/Xbox One (September 23)
Whether you refer to it as soccer or football, late September is the time when EA Sports releases its popular annual sports sim to an army of fans. That’s as true this week as it ever is, with FIFA 15 coming to virtually every platform you can think of.
FIFA 15 makes some tweaks to the way the game’s Ultimate Team mode works. There’s also a new iOS app specific to that mode. In addition, the devs at EA Canada made a number of under-the-hood changes geared toward giving each AI-managed player on the pitch more of an emotional investment in the game. Their performance changes throughout a match based on how good and bad play swings their emotions.
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes
iOS/PS3/PS4/PS Vita/Wii U/Windows/Xbox 360/Xbox One (September 23)
Disney Infinity stepped onto the scene in 2013, thumbing its nose at Activision’s Skylanders as a proper competitor in the small-yet-growing physical toys-meet-video games genre. Beautifully modeled figurines based on popular Disney franchises make nice conversation pieces, but you’re also able to transport them directly into the game using a USB-connected hub.
The second Infinity at last takes advantage of Disney’s access to the Marvel archives. Marvel Super Heroes is a fresh take, injecting an assortment of popular heroes and villains into the game as well as new gameplay systems that take advantage of their unique superpowers.
Windows/SteamOS (September 23)
We haven’t seen a whole lot of developer Arrowhead’s revival of the 1985 arcade classic Gauntlet, but the little we have seen looks promising. The original Gauntlet was pretty much unopposed when it first came out, helping to establish the dungeon-crawler genre in the wake of PC-only oddities like the ASCII-powered Rogue.
This new one arrives in a post-Diablo world, and one wonders how Arrowhead might innovate in the wake of the many genre staples that have emerged since the original game first arrived. The game uses a mixture of pre-designed and procedurally-generated levels, it supports four player online co-op, and it’s got much more depth than its ’80s predecessor.
What else is coming:
Slender: The Arrival (PS3/Sept. 23, Xbox 360/Sept. 24) – A horror story born on the Internet is now the subject of a video game. Okay, several video games. But this one is now coming to consoles, compliments of publisher Midnight City. In Slender: The Arrival, you follow a proverbial trail of breadcrumbs as a terrifying figure stalks you in the darkness. Don’t turn around, don’t even look, or the Slenderman will get you.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PC/Sept. 25) – This one has all the earmarks of being a horror game, but it’s more of a mystery adventure. Ethan Carter is a young boy who has disappeared. You play as a detective who received a letter from Carter in which he claims he’s in danger. What led to the vanishing of Ethan Carter? That’s for you to discover.
Fenix Rage (PC/Sept. 24) – Fenix Rage is a gorgeous lo-fi 2D platformer from Green Lava Studios. It looks like it takes a page from the Super Meat Boy and N+ playbooks, then sprinkles in a little bit of the tap-based flotation of Flappy Bird. Just don’t break your controller while you play it.
Flockers (PS4/Sept. 23) – Released for PC on September 19, Flockers comes to PS4 just a few days later. It’s a game from the same folks behind the Worms series, and it’s similarly split between adorable cuteness and relentless violence. It’s a puzzle game in the vein of Lemmings that sees you guide an army of poor, disposable fluffy animals to safety.
Neverending Nightmares (PC/Sept. 26) – A Kickstarter success that was born out of an idea to create a game informed by creator Matt Gilgenbach’s own struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. The beautiful hand-drawn game sends players off to explore a series of disturbing nightmare scenarios as they attempt again and again to wake up.